President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord drew muted reactions from Alaska officials on Thursday.
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski told reporters she’s “agnostic” on the Paris accord itself. But, she said, she hopes the U.S. won’t “fall back” in its efforts to address climate change, adding that Alaskans are already seeing impacts.
Gov. Bill Walker released a statement highlighting the effects of climate change across the state, but he stopped short of criticizing President Trump’s decision.
In his statement, Walker said shrinking sea ice and coastal erosion are causing “social and economic upheaval,” adding that the communities of Shishmaref, Kivalina and Newtok are “literally washing into the ocean.” And he noted that erosion and thawing permafrost will affect military installations across the state.
Alaska hasn’t seen any official statewide policy initiatives on climate change since an effort under former Governor Sarah Palin, nearly a decade ago. Democrats in the state House introduced a bill this spring to create a statewide climate change commission, but the bill never made it to a vote on the floor and faced opposition from Republicans in the state Senate.
The state was exempted from the Clean Power Plan, the Obama administration’s hallmark climate policy under the Paris agreement. But the Walker administration has indicated it hopes to advance some kind of state climate policy this year.
- “I don’t know if the gravity really is hitting everybody, but we’ve been arguing for recognition since statehood, and under this administration the attorney general has provided an opinion that, yes, tribes do exist, that we have inherent sovereignty,” said Richard Peterson, president of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.
For third time in 2 years, state officials cite Skagway Assemblyman for financial disclosure violationsHenry’s checkered candidate disclosure record was discovered when he pleaded guilty to federal tax crimes in early 2016. Henry hadn’t paid income tax for a number of years.
- Studies suggest most of the people coming to the area with the warplanes will likely offset a decrease in the Fairbanks-area population from cuts in funding for state agencies and the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
- BP isn't disputing that the incidents took place. The company has already taken extreme steps to address the issue.