Alaska Governor Sarah Palin defended the Juneau Access Project to build a road across the Lynn Canal on June 4, 2009. The project was halted February 19, 2009 by U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick who granted the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC) an injunction to stop all work on the project. Alaska’s Department of Law filed an appeal with the 9th Circuit Court in San Francisco (Appeal, 2009, p. 1).
“The incredible amount of litigation this project faces shows how difficult it is to build infrastructure in a cost-efficient, responsible, and timely way,” Governor Palin said. “While we are frustrated by the delay, the project is in a position where the technical, legal challenges must be resolved before it can move forward for a full assessment” (Appeal, 2009, p. 1).
“With all due respect, the court is simply wrong,” said Deputy Attorney General Craig Tillery. “The record contains data and analysis regarding existing ferry assets and traffic in Lynn Canal. It shows existing vessels cannot meet the purpose and need of the project, particularly reducing travel time and costs” (Appeal, 2009, p. 1).
The SEACC is the same cast of characters who tried to stop the Kensington gold mine from moving forward. That project employs 400 Alaskans, half of whom are Natives, and with average salaries over $80,000 per year.
This is a typical environmental group that wants to stop all human progress. The Department of Law release does not give the complete background on the Juneau Access Project, but it does give enough to tell us the gist of what the project is about — to build a road across a river to supplant inefficient car ferries, reducing travel times and costs.
Environmental groups have been trafficking in alarmist nonsense for years, and the solutions they propose to meet energy demands or help humans move about are patently absurd….things like painting roofs white, or monitoring tire pressure to save gas. Their proposed “cap and trade program” is a scam that will increase energy bills by 50%. The whole “carbon credits” framework is similarly a scam. These environmental groups are in many ways no different than the Luddites of old — they stand opposed to human progress. They use “protecting the environment” as means by which to regulate our activities and interfere with our lives. These groups deign to tell us what kind of vehicles we should drive — of course they prefer that we not drive at all; and they want to dictate how we light and heat our houses, among many other things. They make it impossible to build power plants and refineries, despite increased demand for both electricity and petroleum, because our population has grown.
The environmental harm that results from sinking some pilings into the earth beneath the Lynn Canal is miniscule at best and the prevention of said harm is no justification for not improving access to the state’s capital.
Kudos to Governor Palin and her administration standing up, doing the right thing, and having the spine to stand up to these environmental extremists and support a worthy project.
State files appeal of federal court ruling halting Juneau Access Project. (2009, June 4). State of Alaska, Department of Law. Retrieved June 4, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/pdf/PR-DoL_AppealonJuneauAccessProject_060409.pdf