The U.S. Senate voted earlier this evening on a measure that could open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling rigs before the end of the year. It’s far from a done deal. This is just the first stage in a Senate process known as “budget reconciliation.”
The meeting was public — sort of. It wasn’t easily accessible. There was no way to call in. The legislative information office, or LIO, was closed for the state holiday. So the meeting wasn’t streamed like others are during the legislative session.
The Environmental Protection Agency is backing away from the use of preemptive Clean Water Act restrictions against large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay watershed. That comes as part of a settlement with the Pebble Limited Partnership, and the company now says it is preparing to file for permits.