Unheard-of and underreported move
Rumors that the Obama Administration would react to the Nov. 2 elections by circumventing Congress were not exaggerated. As one example, sneaked into the preThanksgiving news dump, witness the setaside of 187,000 square miles of Alaska as essential to polar bear breeding and habitat.
It’s hard to grasp the enormity of that landgrab, which will restrict oil exploration and drilling as well as other activities. Choose one of these comparisons, depending on where you live: 5 Maines, 4 Pennsylvanias 3 Floridas 70% of Texas More than Nebraska and South Dakota combined
Or Montana or California
2 of every 7 acres in Alaska.
The Interior Department’s fish, wildlife and parks arm did this despite data showing significant gains in polar bear population over a decade or longer. Assistant Secretary Tom Strickland claimed it would help to stave off extinction.
I believe this to be a pre-emptive strike at resource development in our richest state, crippling this nation relative to Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and Brazil, for example, where fewer foibles exist. First it was the Gulf of Mexico, and now it’s Alaska, causing the offshoring of jobs by an administration that hypocritically vilifies corporations that do likewise in response to heavy government regulation and taxation here. Barry J. Mitchel Portsmouth, Virginia