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WASHINGTON — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed an order Thursday that he said would help speed the permitting process for onshore drilling — particularly in Alaska.
Zinke's new directive orders Interior Department staff to come up with plans to speed and streamline the permitting process and to hold more frequent lease sales for federal lands.
Less than two years after Royal Dutch Shell abandoned its offshore Arctic oil exploration program and triggered an exodus of other companies in the Chukchi Sea off northwestern Alaska, the Trump administration says it's time to open more federal waters in the Arctic and elsewhere to oil drilling.
Oil industry boosters and Alaska politicians are joining President Donald Trump's administration to push for more development in an area of the North Slope that could hold huge oil reserves — over the objections of environmental groups that want existing protections upheld.
New Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was in Alaska last week and appeared to make a good impression on Alaskans he met and who listened to him in speeches. Zinke met with Alaska Native leaders to discuss issues like tribal rights and sovereignty and, the next day, spoke to a friendly audience at an Alaska Oil and Gas Association conference.
On June 6, 2017, the US Water Alliance released the most comprehensive briefing paper to date on the connections between water management and vulnerable communities living in America.
Americans often assume that only developing regions in countries like Africa or Asia, struggle with providing clean, reliable drinking water. The high-quality water systems built for most communities in America--which was a monumental engineering and public health achievement--obscures that fact that people in America still face water challenges daily.
As President Trump marked his 100th day in office on Saturday, up to 200,000 people took to the streets of Washington to take part in the People’s Climate March. Sister marches were also held across the country. The protesters decried President Trump’s steps to roll back environmental regulations, appoint climate change deniers as the heads of government agencies, and defund and erase climate change programs and research, including the administration’s move Friday to scrub climate science pages from the EPA’s website. The People’s Climate March began at dawn on Saturday with a water ceremony led by indigenous peoples at the Capitol Reflecting Pool.
Indigenous groups and Arctic nations have renewed calls for the world to address climate warming, but US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says his country will not rush to make a decision on its policies.
Description: This assessment evaluates the effects of future climate change on a select set of ecological systems and ecosystem services in Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula and Chugach National Forest regions. The focus of the assessment was established during a multi-agency/organization workshop that established the goal to conduct a rigorous evaluation of a limited range of topics rather than produce a broad overview. The report explores the potential consequences of climate change for: (a) snowpack, glaciers, and winter recreation; (b) coastal landscapes and associated environments, (c) vegetation, (d) salmon, and (e) a select set of wildlife species. During the next half century, directional change associated with warming temperatures and increased precipitation will result in dramatic reductions in snow cover at low elevations, continued retreat of glaciers, substantial changes in the hydrologic regime for an estimated 8.5 percent of watersheds, and potentially an increase in the abundance of pink salmon. In contrast to some portions of the Earth, apparent sealevel rise is likely to be low for much of the assessment region owing to interactions between tectonic processes and sea conditions. Shrubs and forests are projected to continue moving to higher elevations, reducing the extent of alpine tundra and potentially further affecting snow levels. Opportunities for alternative forms of outdoor recreation and subsistence activities that include sled-dog mushing, hiking, hunting, and travel using across-snow vehicles will change as snowpack levels, frozen soils, and vegetation change over time. There was a projected 66-percent increase in the estimated value of human structures (e.g. homes, businesses) that are at risk to fire in the next half century on the Kenai Peninsula, and a potential expansion of invasive plants, particularly along roads, trails, and waterways.
As his whirlwind tour of Alaska begins winding down, the nation's new interior secretary said on Tuesday he would work to give Alaska Natives more opportunities to take over wildlife management and other federal responsibilities.