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What others say: Vacationing in ANWR

Posted: November 20, 2013 - 1:12pm  |  Updated: November 21, 2013 - 12:06am

Two U.S. senators, one from Washington state and the other from Illinois, introduced legislation Wednesday that would protect 1.56 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from future development.

Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) crossed partisan lines to push the legislation.

“The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a national treasure that must be preserved for future generations to experience and enjoy,” Cantwell said in a statement.

Sen. Cantwell speaks of ANWR as though it is a family vacation destination similar to Denali National Park or even Yellowstone. Sens. Cantwell and Kirk are missing a few details in their attempt to introduce more anti-Alaska legislation, which if passed would only serve to further deprive our state of its ability to manage our natural resources.

The portion of land in question (ANWR as a whole is spread out over 19 million acres) consists of more than 2,400 square miles of mostly barren tundra, designated as non-wilderness. To compare, the area that would be impacted is bigger than the state of Delaware and twice the size of Rhode Island. And two individuals who likely have never been within a hundred miles of ANWR are attempting to make decisions about it.

Sens. Cantwell and Kirk should back up their statement by bringing their families to Alaska and vacationing in ANWR. Unfortunately there are no roads to access, so they will need to rent a helicopter, and then coordinate for a sled dog team for travel once on the ground. If a sled dog team isn’t available, snowshoes are always an option. And don’t forget to pack enough food for both your families and the sled dogs — there isn’t a Wal-Mart or Costco within a thousand miles. On the plus side, lodging will be cheap (there isn’t any).

When your children complain of boredom and blistering cold, remind them why you’re visiting: so they can come back and do it again one day with their children. But be prepared for them to scream, “Are we there yet?” for a few thousand miles.

The issue at large isn’t about whether ANWR should be open to natural resource exploring, it’s about Alaskans deciding whether it should be opened. We don’t need bureaucrats from the Lower 48 deciding it for us. ANWR may encompass federal lands, but those lands are still in Alaska and we should have a seat at the head of the table when decisions of such magnitude that directly impact our citizens are being discussed.

After Sens. Cantwell and Kirk return home from their ANWR vacation, we welcome their opinion on how it should be managed. Few Alaskans have ever seen ANWR up close, but many of us have been to Washington and Illinois, though we wouldn’t try to push policy on those states. Perhaps Alaska’s congressional delegation can return the favor and assist Washington and Illinois by introducing legislation impacting them.

Chicago recently passed New York City as the murder capital of country (500 so far this year). Instead of trying to preserve ANWR for future generations, Kirk should try preserving the current generation in Chicago so there will be someone left to visit ANWR.

In Seattle, police reportedly handed out snacks Nov. 13 during a marijuana rally. Some Washington residents may need some additional motivation if they’re to ever experience ANWR up close.

As we see it, the two politicians need to direct their attention closer to home. Much, much closer to home.

If our delegation were to assist Illinois by introducing legislation imposing harsher penalties for violent criminals, and then were to wage a legal battle in Washington state repealing marijuana legalization, we’re fairly sure the citizens of those states would be every bit as appreciative as Alaskans are that Sens. Cantwell and Kirk are attempting to run our state.

— Juneau Empire,

Nov. 17

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RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 11/21/13 - 10:43 am
0
1
Whine, Whine,Whine

As usual the opinion/letters page continue to complain about the problems with our federal government. No discussion or opinion on what should be done. Only the long list of complaints. The answer is economics. As long as Alaska looks to the federal government for handouts Alaska will never be financially independent. Our land will remained occupied.

Here is the answer. Take our money and place it in a State Bank. Let’s call it Bank of Alaska. Then create credit to help build infrastructure in Alaska. In this way we would benefit all Alaskans and be off the federal teat. Then perhaps out State and Alaskan federal representatives would grow a backbone.

Until then we shall just continue to complain and whine.

beaverlooper
2785
Points
beaverlooper 11/21/13 - 04:26 pm
1
0
whine

Gosouthwell ,you are in the top 3 whiners in this comment section.You have no REAL options either.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 11/21/13 - 05:45 pm
1
0
Public banking

beaverlooper- Public Banking is the answer. It is a system that promotes productivity rather than speculative banking. Check out this old news article.

http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/north-dakotas-employment-miracle-w...

beaverlooper
2785
Points
beaverlooper 11/21/13 - 07:14 pm
1
0
sorry

Sorry to tell you but there no ONE answer to the problem of the economy. The law of unintended consequences. By the way a state owned bank is socialism.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 11/21/13 - 07:38 pm
0
1
Beaverlooper

OK. give me another alternative to the current failed system. I suppose you believe our public hospitals (Central Peninsula and South Peninsula Hospital are socialism.) Interestingly, the only public Bank in the nation is the Bank of North Dakota. If it is socialism, can you explain why North Dakota has had a Republican governor for 20 years and currently they have a super majority of Republicans in their State Legislature. Perhaps those Republicans are really socialists. Stop the foolishness of name calling and discuss successful systems for success.

Raoulduke
3003
Points
Raoulduke 11/21/13 - 09:05 pm
1
0
CURE

As long as the people(Our Representatives) who have made a great deal of money.Keeping things the way they are.They do make the laws,and they benefit them.There is no level playing field.Do you really expect them to make laws that would benefit the average citizen?These people are making one hell of a living being a professional politician,and it is an elite club.Oh! Yes! I do not believe. There will ever be a cure

beaverlooper
2785
Points
beaverlooper 11/22/13 - 04:11 am
1
0
gee ray

Gee ray I guess just not as smart as you.Since you say your single answer worked in one state it must be the solution for the whole country. Sure glad obamacare is going to work. It worked for one state so I guess it will work for the whole country as well.Any other brilliant single answer solutions to save us,we have plenty of problems for your profound ,single answer wisdom to solve.
I never said I had the answers ,I just said there is no single answer that will fix or economy.

Raoulduke
3003
Points
Raoulduke 11/22/13 - 05:21 am
1
0
socialists

Weren't the Republicans the one's.Who signed a pledge to a private citizen,and followed their pledge.Instead of their OATH of OFFICE.Take the money,and run.They are nothing more than TRAITORS to this country.Sure! No.Dak. has a majority Republican everything in that state.So does Alaska.So! What is the problem with Alaska?Stubborn voters,and very overtly corrupt POLITICIAN'S.Who have dangled carrots for votes for generation's,and the Alaskan has fallen for it every time.Yes! Alaskan's are suckers.If not.Why are you having trouble with the amount of ownership of natural resources.When this state can make the distinction between Nepotism,and Conflict of Interest .Then,and only then will the Alaskan get a FAIR shake.Anyone believing otherwise Has been DUPED.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 11/22/13 - 07:19 am
0
1
Hope and change

Raoulduke,
Yes we continue to cling to hope and change through laws and politicians. We need to develop systems that automatically protect the people. Obama was elected with the hope of change. Nothing changed. Things are worse. Dodd-Frank law was suppose to change the banking system with new laws. It has not because of the complexity of the law and clever ways the big banks get around it. For 70 years we had an economic system that protected the people. It was called Glass-Steagall. Very simple. Commercial banks were separated from investment banks. Commercial Banks were protected by the FDIC and Investment Banks were allowed to fail if they made wrong decisions. A simple system that protected the people from the banking collapse of 1929, repealed in 1999 and caused the economic catastrophe we are currently in. Nothing is going to change at the federal level. But I place my hope at the local level. Bank of Alaska. Now if we could have a paper that started to ask the tough questions. If you see no hope, then you must understand this system cannot last much longer. Then What?

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 11/22/13 - 07:22 am
0
1
Intelligence is not needed

Beaverlooper,
Intelligence is not needed. That is much of the problem. We are told we are not smart enough to understand modern economics. Hogwash. As I stated in my last letter to the editor. Systems in Health care changed. Like so many other changes in the delivery of a service, simple changes to help protect people. A public Bank is that answer. Obamacare is just another tax for a bailout of the insurance industry. Insurance companies run the system and will make great profits with subsides from federal government. Just like the Banks too big to fail/jail. When money/credit is created for the benefit of all people everybody benefits. But you follow the public debate. “I am just not smart enough to understand.” “If we only elected an individual smart enough to protect us.”

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 11/22/13 - 07:29 am
0
1
Socialism

My point was the foolishness of name calling. Believing a public system is socialism. Our founders believed in Public education. People established public hospitals all over the nation. There was a time people understood our monetary system. Great debates occurred around our monetary/banking system. None since the establishment of the private Federal Reserve Bank. Without any discussion about baking and money we will fall flat on our face, again. Only this time the nations of the world will reject our dollar as the reserve currency of the world. Then what?

BigRedDog
659
Points
BigRedDog 11/22/13 - 07:51 am
0
1
The answer, Unlock the Land

The best and most proven method of stimulating a developing economy is to get land into the peoples hands. With the federal gov. locking up lands they are really locking up any chance of prosperity for those they govern! Opening undeveloped land to citizen ownership creates commerce greater than ANY GOV. Plan. Build a road to Bristol Bay and open 5,000 homestead sites to returning Veterans. This would create commerce and the local Native Corps would benefit far beyond any active plans in the works today.
So go ahead and whine, but all or most of the land available for development is under control of the Banks, State, Boroughs, Cities or the Federal Government and they want more. Most of the towns still alive in Alaska started with some homesteader who wouldn't give up and built this great State.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 11/22/13 - 08:00 am
0
1
I like what you say

BigRedDog,
Private banks run the show at all levels of government. They decide who gets the money they create. A public Bank of Alaska could create the money for infrastructure projects and all the people would prosper.

caribousteaks
3
Points
caribousteaks 11/22/13 - 12:35 pm
1
1
I suppose it would be nice if

I suppose it would be nice if Cantwell would worry about her own state and stay out of ours. Less than a 1000 people a year visit ANWR, fewer even get to the Coastal Plain area under contention. 59 out of 60 of our state legislators support exploration in the 10-02 and oppose wilderness designation that Cantwell and Kirk are going for. Do not these kinds of political numbers matter to Cantwell and Kirk? Clearly not. Clearly every D in our Senate is wrong. Every D Governor we have had and our D Senator is wrong.....gosh can't she get it? Its a sad thing that Cantwell is so pigheaded and disrespectful to not heed the wishes of the people of Alaska and our democratically elected leaders to keep Alaska open for business and not locked up in some fantasy world she has visioned. To Cantwell man and nature cannot co-exist. Extremism is good and the world and nature is black or white. Cantwell should stay out of ANWR and stay out of Alaska.

beaverlooper
2785
Points
beaverlooper 11/22/13 - 11:10 pm
1
0
Intelligence is not needed.

"Intelligence is not needed. That is much of the problem. " WOW!!!! Ray that one is a classic .
Funny how Obamacare worked in Massachusetts when it was called Romneycare and a was republican idea.
I do think we should go back to Glass-Steagall and the gold standard. That is economics I can understand.I'd love to see the dollar backed up by gold ,silver,something real.......any thing that worth more than the IDEA that a dollar might actually be WORTH something more than just a piece of paper that we can print more of when it comes in handy.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 11/23/13 - 09:03 am
0
1
beaverlooper

Now you are talking. A system change. I have talked about Glass-Steagall for years. I now realize it will never make a comeback. If Alaska created our own Bank we could direct it not to be an investment bank but only work as a commercial bank. The gold standard should only be used for the balance of trade outside the USA. Obamacare is nothing more than giving control of health care over to the insurance companies. Just like our monetary system was given over to the private banks in 1913. Government oversight on the Federal Reserve is non-existent today. Government rejection of Glass-Steagall is the best example. Government oversight of Obamacare will be the same.

kksalm
232
Points
kksalm 11/23/13 - 10:45 am
2
0
ANWR, our future generation's safe deposit box

I say let's save it for our children, their children.....
In the future oil will certainly be more valuable. Presently we're basically squandering the world's supply. This period in history will be viewed as criminally wasteful of the world's resources. If the middle east wants to sell us theirs, let's buy it. Let's keep our oil safely tucked away in ANWR, kind of a permanent fund for those to come.
What's the hurry about depleting ANWR now?

Have a wonderful day!

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 11/23/13 - 11:16 am
1
1
kksalm

You raise a question in your statements. Why have we been using the same natural resource as we have for the last 100 years? It seems to me we should be past using fossil fuels as energy. Makes me think my grandparents should have saved their model T in their garage so I could drive it today.

kksalm
232
Points
kksalm 11/23/13 - 01:28 pm
1
0
RaySouthwell

Yes we should be past this current technology depending on fossil fuels.
We've been using the same natural resource derived from fossil fuels to line the pockets of the corporate oil cartel. As I remarked, future generations will marvel at this system of funding the few at the expense of the whole to the call of "Drill Baby, Drill."

Have a nice day!

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 11/23/13 - 02:08 pm
0
1
agreed-kksalm

Having a nice day. Monopolies control the nation with the banks taking the lead. The people love money and monopolies make the most. Advancements have been stifled because we moved from innovation to money making schemes. Breaking up the monopolies would be a good start to change the failing system. Unfortunately, the feds like the system that supports monopolies. Alaska could take our money and create a public bank. Bank of Alaska. We have an untouched resource, our money. We need to do as banks do, create credit. But unlike banking monopolies using money to use in speculative investment. Use our money to create our productive capacity. Turning money into something of value-infrastructure.

BigRedDog
659
Points
BigRedDog 11/25/13 - 09:46 am
0
1
Ports, Docks, or Arsenals?

That folks is the only land our forefathers, in their great forethought; set aside for legal National Gov. Control. Are these folks planning a port, dock, or an arsenal? Otherwise this is another continuation of outside special interest vote gathering. Just tell the millions of folks trapped in tiny specs of land called a state by eastern standards, "You all own millions of acres of land and somebody wants to steal all the gas under it!" Vote for me and I'll protect that gas from those pesky Alaskan voters who just want to create jobs anyway.
What real geo-social economic issues allowed the naming of so many areas as states in our crowded Northeast? Could those same standards be applied to Alaska's vastly diverse territory? I'm talking states like RI, NH, Vermont, Conn, Del, NJ is there ANY defining issues which REALLY show these areas should have MORE power in the US GOV. than the voters of Alaska? Just their ability to raise a militia during the revolution is that it?
What I'm saying is Alaska should be at least " 5 STATES" with 2 Senators each and a Congressman! SE Alaska, SC Alaska, Western Alaska, Interior Alaska, and Northern Alaska. As the geo-social economic needs and interest of these areas is just so diverse they have a right to be called a State as much as these LITTLE TINY specs of dust swept together in our crowded Northeast.
And I have been to ANWR, back in 1975 working as derrick hand for Nabors Alaska Drilling. Flaxman Island was the scene of a near disaster, we almost lost the gas pressure in ANWR and narrowly escaped an epic BLOW OUT. As luck would have it we worked hard and bowed our heads in thanks when we prevailed saving this valued resource for some piney whiney northeastern vote gatherer to lock up along with our hopes of a National Energy Policy. They have NO REAL interest in ANWR outside the votes they can twist out of the story.
They still don't understand the economics of such a HUGE expense as a trans Alaskan Gas line. W/O the gas from ANWR such a line is unfeasible as the reserves excluding ANWR just would not support this massive project long enough to pay for it. Hey maybe we can find a way to put that expense back on the tax payers! Heck we should just lay down and let the more populated states just role over US and take what they like! We can always tax ourselves back into good sound financial national health, speaking of national health, have you tried signing up yet?

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 11/25/13 - 10:11 am
0
1
no hope in Washington

BigRedDog,
We continue to complain about D.C. politics. They are controlled by the monopolies. Alaska could make a difference if the people demanded a public Bank of Alaska. No more begging. Do as banks do, create credit and do what is best for Alaska.

beckster
21
Points
beckster 11/29/13 - 11:29 am
0
0
AK Senators Failed Alaskans

Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 - the largest land lock-up in Congressional history. Designates more than 2 million acres in 9 states as wilderness. Both Alaska senators Begich and Murkowski voted yes on the bill, which became law. Now they think they will get enough votes for opening ANWR for oil development after locking up land in those states. Yea right.

Raoulduke
3003
Points
Raoulduke 11/30/13 - 03:52 am
0
0
hope-change

R.S.-You keep avoiding my question by continually referring to a new economic system.My question was not a tough one. You state No.Dak. is a Republican run state with a state bank.They also have a different state constitution than Alaska's. What do you think of the Republican's that signed the pledge?A good thing,or a bad thing? Just a simple yes,or no answer will suffice.Thanks

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 11/30/13 - 08:11 am
0
0
Signing the pledge.

I avoid arguing who are the best politicians. I brought up the Republicans in North Dakota because some believe anything called public is socialism. Public bank, public hospital public prison, or public education. I am tired of the divisiveness surrounding your question. I have often said there are no good politicians, only bad politicians who on occasion do a good thing. Self Interest drives us all. That is why I consider fair market capitalism the best economic system for the advancement of all people. It takes our drive of self-interest and places checks on it in an attempt to avoid greed.

Raoulduke
3003
Points
Raoulduke 12/01/13 - 04:03 am
0
0
Inference

R.S.- You do not want division,But you have made some negative inference about the Democrats,and have said nothing negative about the Republican's. R.S. That in itself is a divisive action. Just an observation Which is not intended to be argumentative.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 12/01/13 - 09:04 am
0
0
Raoulduke

Not sure about your reference. But I repeat all politicians are the same. They support their own self-interest. System changes is what is needed to have structures that keep this self-interest in check. Starting with the banks.

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