Environment

Environment

  • Our natural beauty is one of our greatest natural resources and it must be protected but not to preclude the development of our other natural resources—there must be a balance
  • I support local governments having a voice in assessing the impacts to their residents and their ways of life from planned development in their regions.

As anybody living in Alaska knows, we are blessed to be surrounded with such breathtaking, unparalleled natural beauty.  This truly God given gift must not be taken for granted.  We must remain ever vigilant in protecting what is too easy to take for granted.

The devastating Exxon Valdez oil spill underscored the incredible price that is paid for complacency.  While much was lost as a result of the devastation resulting from the spill, much was learned as to how to prevent another comparable disaster.  “Trust but verify” is a term now frequently used regarding such matters.

Much has changed with regard to the shipping of oil since 1989.  However, while there have been many improvements made by industry, we must still guard against the entrenched complacency that was the norm before March 1989.

Since that time there have been two separate citizens’ advisory groups established by federal law and funded by industry to provide comment and recommendations for improvements to the operation of the Alyeska Marine Terminal at Valdez and the safe shipping of oil in Prince William Sound, Cook Inlet, and the Gulf of Alaska.

Our natural beauty is one of our greatest natural resources and it must be protected but not in such a manner as to preclude the development of our other natural resources.  There must be a balance. I am in support of local governments having a voice in assessing the impacts to their residents and their ways of life from planned development in their regions.