February 8 News: Murkowski Threatens To Hold Up Interior Secretary Nominee Over Alaskan Road

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) may hold up Senate confirmation of President Obama’s nominee for Interior secretary because the Interior Department won’t approve construction of a road in Alaska. [The Hill]

Interior announced this week that it does not intend to allow a road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, a project advocates say is needed so residents of King Cove can reach an all-weather airport in Cold Bay for medical evacuations.

Murkowski told The Hill Thursday she would consider placing a procedural “hold” on the nomination of Sally Jewell over the proposed road. “It may be that I have got to make threats, it may be that I have got to hold something up, I am hoping that I don’t have to,” Murkowski said in the Capitol.

She noted that the road decision is not final and that outgoing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar can reverse course. Interior this week said that allowing the road would imperil a vital wilderness area that’s home to many species, and that there are other options for medical evacuations.

The Environmental Protection Agency is set to release its draft Climate Change Adaptation Plan today, in Friday’s edition of the Federal Register. The pollen is meant to guide the agency’s response to global warming, which it says is occurring at a rapidly increasing rate. [The Hill]

A series of scientific papers, most prominently the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, have laid out the ways rising sea levels, devastating storms, and drought are threatening economies across America. [National Journal]

A Duke University online survey released Thursday found the share of Americans who say climate change is occurring — 50 percent say definitely and 34 percent say probably — has rebounded, reaching what may be its highest level in national polls since 2007. [USA Today]

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the country’s first multi-state system for capping carbon emissions and creating a market in carbon allowances, proposed a 45 percent reduction next year in the total carbon dioxide emissions allowed. [NYTimes]

New research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance suggests Australia’s electricity can be provided from wind farms at a lower cost than from new coal or gas plants. [BusinessGreen]

In an outcome hailed by environmentalists, European Union lawmakers voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to overhaul the region’s troubled fisheries policy to end decades of overfishing. [NYTimes]

7 Responses to February 8 News: Murkowski Threatens To Hold Up Interior Secretary Nominee Over Alaskan Road

  1. Ozonator says:

    The extreme GOP appears to be aiming for the completely stupid party to fulfill Denier Bobby Jindal’s destiny for the entire nation with another “Jewell” in their crown. Only in Louisiana have voters been given a chance to add a constitutional amendment to black-top a road in a northern parish.

  2. Joan Savage says:

    There are some geographic and economic factors that could be related to Murkowski’s insistence on a road between Cold Bay and King Cove. It might be she is more interested in supporting commercial traffic from Cold Bay to King Cove, rather than emergency vehicles going the other direction.

    The two locations both have airports and are roughly twenty miles apart as the crow flies.

    Cold Bay is the site of oil exploration interests, but Cold Bay itself is too shallow for tanker access. King Cove, on the other hand, is on the coast near Deer Passage, over twice as deep as Cold Bay.

    Connect the dots..

  3. Sasparilla says:

    “Keystone XL: pressure on Kerry ahead of meeting with Canada counterpart”

    “The US secretary of state, John Kerry, steps into America’s biggest environmental controversy on Friday in his first meeting with a foreign minister since his swearing in.
    Kerry had a 15-minute telephone conversation with Baird at the weekend, and officials from the company building the pipeline, TransCanada Corp, visited officials at the state department on Thursday.”

    Will Obama jeopardize our political relationship with Canada over this expansion (of a pipeline he previously approved)? Seems like a long stretch.

  4. Sasparilla says:

    TransCanada stock has hit a 5 year high (possibly longer) this last week. Money, its seems, is quite confident this pipeline is going to be approved. (go to the 5yr view on the page below)

    As Han Solo once said – “I’ve got a bad feeling about this…”

  5. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Yes, and pretending that it is really all about helping the sick can be useful in demonising environmentalists as ‘anti-human’ (a smear becoming quite common on the deranged Right)and because this type simply enjoys being ‘flexible with the facts’. It seems to feed their egomania.

  6. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Sasparilla, the Keystone pipeline was ‘done and dusted’ long, long ago. Obama’s complicity was assured even since he was talent scouted at college, and seen as being potentially useful one day, for those people who really matter, and that is not you or I.

  7. Sasparilla says:

    Hi Mulga, while part of me wants to believe the there’s a realistic chance it could get canceled (even Joe is relatively optimistic giving it a 50/50) – looking at it from the money side of things agrees with your point (and money knew that the cap-n-trade bill was dead many, many months before it was officially declared dead).

    As to the theory he was talent scouted at college – that seems pretty far fetched.