In the 1960’s and 1970’s, Americans joined together to secure some of the best air, land and water protections in the world. Then the pendulum started to swing back, with billions of dollars from corporations, think tanks and phony “astroturf” groups pushing an aggressive anti-consumer, anti-environment agenda.
Today, from Koch Industries to Exxon, and from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to Monsanto, the drive for corporate profits has eroded the basic safety net protecting our kids, our families and our communities.
Now we’re faced with yet another rollback agenda in Alaska, with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation proposing a new process to unravel plans put in place after the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (EVOS) to better prevent and respond to oil spills.
Like similar rollback efforts across the nation, the corporations use specific language to denote this “deregulatory agenda.” This time around, we’re hearing from Governor Dunleavy that “Alaska’s open for business” – as if somehow, before he was Governor, the state was actually “closed for business.”
Like any solid propaganda effort to undo protections that Alaskans support, this agenda needs a good storyline. So, ADEC’s saying that it’s “heard from many Alaskans” about their concerns with current spill prevention and response rules.
But there’s one problem: ADEC cannot or will not tell us which Alaskans have expressed concerns.
The process to re-open the rules and law around spill prevention and response – which already have been revised nine times since the EVOS to make them more “efficient” for industry – is expensive and time consuming – for our state government and for everyday Alaskans alike.
ADEC has better things to do than cater to the whims of oil companies hoping to expand drilling and shipping into the Arctic. For example, the state is grappling with a public health crisis around contaminated drinking water, and ADEC’s considering whether to allow Hilcorp to increase its toxic oil dumping in Cook Inlet fisheries.
So, tell ADEC our spill prevention and response rules are working just fine, and ADEC should not waste our public dollars on a process that will most surely rollback safeguards for Alaska’s prized fisheries and our coastal communities.
Submit comments here: http://alaskadec.commentinput.com/?id=fdLgJY2gM