Like a lot of Alaskan’s I really don’t appreciate the federal government coming into our back yard and telling us how to run the Cook Inlet. It was their rules for “Natives” that got the Beluga into this problem and now to get us out we want to freeze the Humans.
All through the 70’s we drilled and dredged and built things in Alaska and the whales were perfectly happy. I find this quote enlightening.
“Smith, the federal biologist, said the only known cause for the decline was over-hunting. Natives in the Cook Inlet region, using aboriginal hunting rights, traditionally took a few whales every year with no effect on the population, Smith said. But in the 1970s and 1980s, he said, the migration of Natives from western and northern coastal areas of Alaska to Anchorage led to the unregulated hunting of perhaps 100 or more belugas a year, an unsustainable number.”
So unless we are going to regulate the Eskimo’s and prevent them from hunting (which we did in the Inlet) the whales are going to have a problem. I like this guys “goal”.
The goal of the rule isn't to lock up territory but to allow the species to recover, Smith said. Because belugas historically coexisted with the Cook Inlet oil industry and with dredging for the Port of Anchorage and other areas, there's no reason to prevent that activity from continuing, though officials might increase regulation of noise, discharges and other activity that could harass whales, Brad Smith said
Let’s not forget that the Beluga likes to stick to the shore and to the river mouths, we like to drill in the deeper water of the Inlet. I believe on their maps they designate that as “area 2”. So if we drill in the deeper water and historically we weren’t the ones that drove the Beluga to extinction, why over regulate the industry?.
Governor Parnell and our State Senators agree. The Obama administration is over reaching here. What is the point of putting even more hoops for industry to jump through when we are not the problem? Like Senator Merkowski I doubt any of the numbers provided are accurate, but if this is only $360,000 a year of impact how many whales are we talking about anyway? We will spend more just on permitting plans with this added benefit. If anyone is bothering the whales it might be those pesky jet skis. They are noisy and they move fast and tend to be driven by people who can’t seem to even watch out for themselves much less for a Beluga Whale.
One thing I do know, this State needs oil and natural gas production. This state is even getting into the drilling business, through Kenai Offshore Ventures, and this state knows how to conserve our resources, including Beluga Whales.
So my hats off to the Governor, go get em. Senators, you’re supposed to be watching our backs down their in Washington, give something to think about. Threaten to sell our oil to the Japanese, that should get their attention.
As to the rest of us, I wouldn’t change a thing. We have a drill rig coming this summer, drill baby drill. The people of this state will stand behind anyone that can keep lights on, the cars moving and heat in our homes. If they want to stop the drill bit from turning in their back yards, fine, but not in ours.
And to the Beluga, we love you and we will keep the Eskimos from eating you. Now get busy and make some babies and eat some salmon. There now that we have that part settled, we need to get back to work.
Good companies like Apache, Chevron, Devon, Buccaneer Energy, Linc, and others all know how to treat this land right. I bet more trees were chopped down just passing drafts of this silly regulation than whales that were killed by us. Better yet, if you match up the map provided by NOAA and the map of the activities in the Inlet, almost of our activity is in “Area 2” not “Area 1” and since we drill in the summer when they in the Northern part of the Inlet, this just really looks silly.