The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation denied a climate change petition on Thursday submitted by a group of teens. The petition asked the state to reduce carbon emissions, monitor greenhouse gasses and come up with a long term climate change strategy.
In late August, the teens hand-delivered the petition to DEC commissioner Larry Hartig. In his rejection letter, Hartig said the request posed “significant consequences for employment and resource development” in the state.
Seb Kurland, a member of Alaska Youth for Environmental Action, the group that submitted the proposal, was initially disappointed by the decision. But the 17-year-old from Juneau isn’t giving up.
“I’m hopeful the governor and the Lt. governor will take action on this subject,” Kurland said. “And that their newly appointed members will do something about it.”
The governor’s office has made some strides to address climate change since the teens voiced their concern. The administration created a new position, appointing a climate change adviser.
Lt. Governor Byron Mallott says a climate plan is forthcoming.
- Corri Feige is not new to the agency she will now lead — she was previously the head of DNR's Division of Oil and Gas under Gov. Bill Walker.
- British Columbia is taking steps to fully clean up the abandoned Tulsequah Chief Mine. The defunct Canadian mine upstream from the Taku River has been leaching acid for more than 60 years.
- An Anchorage Superior Court judge issued a final order on the lawsuit, which was filed in August by the ACLU of Alaska, the group Dunleavy for Alaska and Palmer resident Eric Siebels.
- The Urban Indian Health Institute conducted the report over the past year amid concern that Native American and Alaska Native women are vanishing in high numbers, despite a lack of government data to identify the full scope of the problem.