After sitting in limbo for nearly a year, a controversial permitting bill is on the move again. House Bill 77 has been sent back to the Senate Resources Committee, and it’s scheduled for hearings on Monday and Wednesday.
Gov. Sean Parnell introduced last session, and he pitched it as a way of reducing the permitting backlog. But tribal organizations, fishing groups, and environmental outfits came out strongly against it. They argued it would limit public involvement in land management decisions and give the natural resources commissioner blanket authority to issue general permits. The governor has expressed willingness to remove some of the more contentious provisions to allow the bill to advance.
The bill has already passed the House, and but was unable to get enough votes in the Senate in its current form.
- September 3, 2015- "I say bravo for the trapper. The state won’t do what’s right. He should do what’s right," says Pete Buist, spokesman for the Alaska Trappers Association.
- September 3, 2015- On Twitter, over email lists, and in wry internal reports, journalists complained about a lack of legitimate opportunities to question the administration’s policies.
- September 3, 2015- As a regional hub for 10 remote villages about 30 miles above the Arctic Circle, Kotzebue is where Obama came closest to actually seeing the communities he’s touted throughout his trip as being imperiled by climate change.
- September 3, 2015- Alaskans of all stripes came out this week for a chance to shake hands with President Barack Obama, or at least glimpse his motorcade, but one person not on hand for the big visit was Don Young, Alaska’s only member of the U.S. House of representatives.