Guns, oil and fish
Alaska is truly Americas last frontier where people are proud to be self sufficient and enjoy the opportunities that millions of unexplored acres of wilderness provide. Alaska where most do indeed cherish God, family and guns. With the fierce outcry to regulate firearms in Washington and many states taking action on their own to pass more stringent regulations and laws, up here near the top of the world we see things a shade differently. Our state leaders in an uncommon stroke of ( common sense ) are in the process of passing a law that may just upset the federal government a bit.
House bill HB0069 has just passed the house and is awaiting approval from the senate. The bill provides for ‘criminal penalties for federal officials who enforce or attempt to enforce these new federal firearm statues’. It also provides for the state attorney general to defend Alaskan citizens who are prosecuted by the federal government for violating the new laws. The basis I gather from reading the bill is that the government does not have the right to tell us weather we can own different types of firearms and that it is unconstitutional to enforce these new laws. I won’t go down the road of mentioning that no matter what laws they pass the bad guys will have whatever guns they want, or to say that we do not ban alcohol that causes more deaths from drunk drivers than guns.
I will say that for one brief instant the shining star of common sense
has shown itself in the halls of Alaska’s representatives.
Maybe there is a virus of ‘common sense’ spreading because I also read that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Thursday that a new management plan for the vast National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska will allow Alaskan oil companies to continue to expand their exploration and production in the NPR-A. It will also allow the petroleum industry access through the reserve for a pipeline that can connect oil drilled offshore in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas to the trans-Alaska pipeline. The reserve covers 23 million acres, and access to petroleum will be allowed on 11.8 million acres that are estimated to hold 549 million barrels of recoverable oil and 8.7 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas.
Though it does not open the Arctic national Wildlife Refuge it indeed may be a step in that direction. For those who consider this a disaster for the wildlife I can say through personal observation you are wrong. I have seen the caribou and their young running under and along side the pipelines and throughout the drilling rigs in Prudhoe bay. And the thousands of birds that migrate through this ares have been photographed enjoying the many ponds and riverbanks in the production area.
Why is it that so many do not realize you can not have it both ways. Yes the majestic beauty of the untouched wilderness will now be dotted with drilling rigs and a new pipeline or two, but isn’t it better to have that than a growing dependence on oil from countries that hate America? And when was the last time these environmentalist spent any length of time enjoying the unspoiled wilderness that is Alaska’s North slope.
Lastly just for a smile to those that appreciate the art of fishing. As much as I love to fish you would never find me on a frozen lake fishing. You have to be made of stronger stuff than I to stand there at below zero temperatures freezing over a hole in the ice, but here is proof of what can be found at below zero temperatures on a frozen lake in the middle of nowhere.