More Untested Technology by BP Planned for Oil Drilling in the Arctic

I read the General McChrystal article in Rolling Stone last night. It wasn’t as bad as the other article in the same magazine titled, “BP’s Next Disaster.” The article pushed me over the edge in recovering any kind of trust that we won’t continue business as usual, allowing the same scenario as the gulf to happen again and this time in the pristine Arctic Ocean. According to the article, and environmentalists, the current moratorium on drilling appears to be nothing more than a stall to cool everyone off about the gulf disaster before proceeding with new untested technology once again but in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas in the Arctic north!

Do you love it? And it’s on the heels of the latest report that the oil in the gulf is still gushing, the waters in the gulf are turbulent so skimmers only collected a total of 3 gallons of oil there today, and the oil has reached the Texas coastline making its arrival the farthest point yet that now spans 5 states in a 550 mile stretch.

What’s really bad about the plan to drill in the Arctic is that nothing much has changed as far as regulatory oversight, and BP has pulled a fast one to modify it’s operations in the Arctic so that it does not fall under the offshore drilling moratorium. Look out. It’s another unproven approach to extract undersea oil. According to the article: “This fall, [BP] plans to begin drilling for oil near Prudhoe Bay via an oil rig it created by building an island-a glorified mound of gravel-three miles out in state waters. Because the island rig is connected to the mainland by a causeway, BP and the Interior- [SALAZAR!!!]-agree that the ‘onshore’ facility is not subject to restriction as ‘offshore’ drilling.'” The article goes on to describe a new unorthodox way to extract the oil that again is pushing the technology “beyond its proven limits.”

BP calls the project ‘one of its biggest challenges to date’ that is especially dangerous because of its a year round operation in “what the company itself admits is ‘some of the harshest weather on earth.'” It has the blessings of the MMS that even gave BP a leadership award in “recognition of [their] visionary approach to drilling.” OMG! The MMS considers the island rig safe even though BP only has “the capacity to respond to a worst-case discharge of 20,000 barrels a day.” We now know that’s way short of what can really happen.

Shell Oil is no better. It has received “all environmental permits it needs to drill five exploratory wells in the Arctic.” Problem is that Shell has pretty much been given the same pass by the Interior as BP relative to disaster response. The Interior Dept. doesn’t believe there will be a problem with a spill. And Shell responded that it is only “prepared to respond to a spill of 5,500 barrels a day.” But Shell’s “operations in Nigeria spilled at least 100,000 barrels of crude last year alone.” And Shell “has never conducted an offshore-response drill in the Chukchi Sea.” The article says that’s perhaps because “there’s no proven technology for cleaning up oil in icy water, which can render skimming boats useless – much less to cope with a gusher under the ice.” Shell contends that because it would be drilling in shallow waters, “roughly 150 feet” that it somehow makes it safer than the well BP drilled in the gulf. But government data relative to blowouts shows that “most blowouts occur in shallow water.” It also reminded of a blowout in shallow water that happened off the coast of Australia last year – a 10 weeklong gusher.

The NOAA has warned the Obama Administration that drilling in the Arctic poses a grave risk to the environment. The article stated that the NOAA “urged the president to halt future leases in the Arctic, warning that federal regulators operating on Bush-era guidelines had ‘greatly understated’ the risks of drilling. Both industry and government displayed a ‘lack of preparedness for Arctic spill responses’ and had failed to ‘fully evaluate the potential impacts of worst-case scenarios.'” AGAIN.

Take into account where Shell plans to drill if anything disastrous did happen. It’s so remote that:

The closest coast Guard station is on Kodiak Island some 1,000 miles away.

The nearest cache of boom to help contain a spill is in Seattle – a distance of 2,000 miles.

There are only two small airports in the region.

Even if relief supplies could somehow be airlifted to the tundra, there are no industrial ports to offload equipment into the water.

Relief equipment can realistically be brought to the region only by boat – and then only seasonally.

The Arctic is encased in ice for more than half the year, and even icebreakers can’t assure access in the dark of winter.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse cautioned Salazar at a hearing after the BP spill, ‘If it’s this hard to clean this up in the relatively benign conditions of the Gulf of Mexico, good luck trying to implement this sort of a cleanup in the Arctic.’ The worst-case scenario would have a blowout happen in the fall just as the water begins to freeze over. Relief wells couldn’t be drilled until the following summer. Frigid water doesn’t support the microorganisms needed to breakdown oil either. In the meantime the oil would spread under the ice fouling the coasts of Russia, Canada, and quite possibly those of Norway and Greenland. It’s one thing to screw up our own coastlines, but another country’s coastline could make for some mighty tense relations.

At stake are “polar bears, walruses, seals, migratory seabirds, gray whales, endangered bowhead whales and the native hunters that depend on the whales. Sylvia Earle, formerly of the NOAA believes, “There are values there that transcend the value of any fossil fuel we can extract-irreplaceable ecosystems that we don’t know how to put together again. There are some places you should not drill, period.”

Yet, Defenders of Wildlife finds the “new leases are based on the same fundamentally flawed and patently illegal environmental analyses used to green light the Deepwater Horizon.” Brilliant. We’ve learned nothing from our mistakes and continue with business as usual where oil is concerned.

Read the article:


Offshore Drilling Opens Up

President Obama will open up offshore gas and oil drilling off the coasts of Virginia and possibly southward. There will also be drilling in the eastern gulf coast, and unfortunately, the Arctic. I wrote about the ban on offshore drilling expiring back in September 2008. I wrote then that the momentum might not end up being there for offshore drilling with alternatives around the corner. And that may still hold true. There wouldn’t be any effort toward offshore drilling until at least 2012. It’s in very initial stages of research.

With respect to what many are calling a change in position, Obama said all along he would open up offshore oil drilling. I remember crinching when I heard it. The NY Times recalls: “Mr. Obama said several times during his presidential campaign that he supported expanded offshore-drilling. He noted in his State of the Union address in January that weaning the country from imported oil would require ‘tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development.'” Nuclear energy was among the options too.

The NY Times article also said there may be protests from local government officials whose seaside towns would be affected. Tropical storms and near hurricanes have been running up the Atlantic seaboard farther and farther lately. Hurricane Ike failed to make an impression, occurring during the presidential campaign. The devastation of Texas’ shoreline, the oil slicks, and drums floating around was horrible. If it occurs along the Atlantic, it was Virginia’s call. The same holds true for Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska. If a spill occurs, or wildlife is affected, it’s pretty much hers. In any case, the advancement of new offshore drilling will be interesting to watch.

I hate to say this, but this might be what it takes to get people paying closer attention to be careful what they chant for, “Drill, Baby, Drill.” I wouldn’t want to look out at a rig or be near one in the event of a hurricane. The western shores of Florida might be looking at them too, because the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved a broad energy bill last June that greatly shrinks the size of the no-drilling buffer off of Florida’s western shores according to The Hill website,

I’m just thinking, KISS GULF SHRIMP GOODBYE.

There might be a lot of newcomers joining the opposition, all those that live along our coastlines already battered by bad weather, and abused by the insurance industry. Now big oil and gas are coming to a neighborhood near them. It will be an interesting few years, and also the new energy legislation to come. President Obama kept his promise on some major points—lets see what we get in the form of progressive, green energy legislation in return.


Seismic Activity; Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Glaciers, and Drilling

Found some interesting articles about interrelationships regarding geological phenomena after the latest 8.8 earthquake in Chile. I’m posting the links that should present a logical pattern in order to incite some thought. Like I said after reading them, “Hmmmm?”

Did you know that earthquakes are related to volcanoes and caused by pressure, stress, and load build-up? Read:


Upheavals of land result from earthquakes and form mountain ranges or as stated in the previous link, volcanic mountain ranges tend to appear along faults.

Tectonic plates all relate to one another like a giant jigsaw puzzle comprising the earth’s crust. So pressure or a relatively quick release of pressure in one fault affects tectonic plates elsewhere. Huge glaciers that weigh billion of tons are rapidly melting and also affecting pressure on tectonic plates. Alaska’s coastlines are rising as a result of glaciers melting.

The last article stated some of Alaska’s wetlands are drying up because of the rise, think recent Alaskan wildfires.

Whenever tectonic plates move quickly they cause seismic waves that cause smaller tremors. Likewise glacier walls or peninsulas weighing billions that fall off into the sea produce seismic waves.

Seismic waves from melting glaciers may cause increased earthquakes in Alaska and we know there are volcanoes up there too. Notice this article is from 2004.

Small earthquakes caused from seismic waves from melting glaciers in Greenland.

Gathering any insight into tectonic plates worldwide and what affects them? We should consider the plates are a little more active due to accelerated glacier melt in both poles and some pretty big chunks crumbling into the sea. The latest jar in Antarctica came from an iceberg breaking off the size of Luxembourg the day before the big earthquake in Chile. And that was after another mammoth glacier hit the latest to break off earlier in the month. Hmmmm? Did that affect the earthquakes in Haiti or Chile.

So weight on the earth’s lithosphere affects tectonic plates, as well as pressure below. Atmospheric pressure also plays a role in what are called “slow” earthquakes. For instance, typhoons (hurricanes) cause slow earthquakes.

Atmospheric pressure has never been thought to be great enough to affect tectonic plates but now there is evidence that it spurs “slow” earthquakes. Atmospheric pressure may more easily influence seismic activity due to weakened fault lines from massive earthquakes like Indonesia 2004.

If atmospheric pressure can affect tectonic plates when it was long held that it could not, then oil or natural gas drilling may also affect tectonic plates by drilling into continental crust and oceanic crust. Seismic activity for oil drilling is low, but there are 3,000 oilrigs worldwide.

We’ve caused tremors from natural gas drilling already.
Drilling causes quake in U.S.

And geophysical hazards research scientist, Christian Klose, from Columbia University in New York, has done many peer reviewed publications about human activity inducing earthquakes. I shouldn’t be using this website as it is an online encyclopedia but there is a lot of information in the article about earthquakes from coal mining, water extraction, and gas exploration.

In this light, shouldn’t there be more investigation about mining and drilling? We’re ramping up natural gas exploration everywhere that pumps chemicals/water 1000’s of feet into the ground under great pressure. Remember what causes earthquakes—pressure and stress? Ditto for pumping CO2 into the ground.

Congress might learn more about humans affecting seismic activity as they investigate natural gas drilling for other reasons.


Visible Signs of Oil from Exxon Valdez Spill Still Found on Beaches

World Wildlife Foundation’s newsletter “Focus” reported that scientists are still finding visible signs of oil from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. It’s been 20 years! You might be thinking, “But how many oil spills are there, really?” The list of oil spills from 1967 to 1991 on NOAA’s website is extensive considering they only list significant spills. The criteria are 100,000 gallons or more for international spills, and 10,000 gallons or more spills happening in the U.S. The chart of oil spills from the NOAA is in barrels. There are 42 gallons in a barrel.

The 25 years between 67 and 91 saw a lot of oil go into our oceans. Luckily, the past 20 years has seen a decrease in tanker spills worldwide. The Exxon Valdez was so horrible; the attention caused a marked improvement in reducing accident rates for oil tankers. Unfortunately, the concern wasn’t so much for the environment or wildlife as it was for the financial liabilities from a spill. A shame, since we know quite well that oil companies do indeed recover financially. We know what big oil’s net earnings are these days. The irony is that wildlife and the environment doesn’t seem to recover quickly at all, or ever for that matter.

Thirteen hundred miles of Alaskan coastline was spoiled from the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
Communities and fisheries were ruined. Four thousand otters died and at least one population of orca whales has yet to recover. Local livelihoods were destroyed, and many wildlife and fish populations are still depleted, while Alaska’s economy lost millions, according to the same newsletter.

It’s good to know we learned from that spill. Tanker spillage is drastically down but we haven’t licked the problem altogether. The same environmental research information from a consulting firm that reported tanker oil spills are way down, also said that pipelines have taken up the slack. It stated: “Since 1985, U.S. pipelines have spilled more oil than tankers and barges combined. Since 1991, pipelines have annually spilled 37 times as much as tankers. The change in the proportion U.S. pipeline spillage is largely due to the fact that since 1990, pipelines transport more oil across more miles than water carriers.” And that infrastructure is old and getting older. Luckily, we’re spilling less and less over the past two decades, but as the report went on to say:

While the statistics show encouraging downward trends, there is no room for complacency. An ill-timed oil spill that occurs in a sensitive location, regardless of spill size, can cause devastating damage to natural environments, property, and business, and, occasionally, to human lives. Aging pipeline and facility infrastructures,
as well as aging vessel fleets, may be ticking time bombs, especially as they become subjected to increasing oil throughput and transport in future years. Increased international attention to tanker safety has had a positive influence that is sorely needed in other vessel categories and for non-vessel sources, particularly pipelines.

Oil is a leaky business both on land and sea. We’re faced with more oil exploration in the sensitive areas spoken about here. In 2007, Bush lifted a longstanding executive ban on off shore oil leasing in Bristol Bay, Alaska. According to WWF’s newsletter, Bristol Bay is known as America’s fish basket that contributes $2.2 billion to the economy annually. It is near the Bering Sea, “which produces nearly half of America’s wild seafood.” Do you like seafood? Consider Gulf shrimp also, since the recent Senate version of the energy bill includes more oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. We’re messing with our food supply when we go for the crude. We endanger wild life, and the economy of the regions at risk for “oil spillage.” Right now the U.S. Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia vacated Bush’s plans for oil leasing in Bristol Bay. Help keep it that way. Contact your representatives and tell them to limit oil drilling, especially in areas that have long been protected FOR GOOD REASON. Besides, we only have 3% of the world’s oil supply, and use 25%. This horse is not going to win the race this time. The math dictates we must find replacements for our energy needs or forever be dependent on nations that, well, just don’t like us.


Higher Heating Bills Next Winter

Now that the weather might be warming up in Michigan we don’t really think about the awfully high gas prices we paid for winter heating. But I caught a quick little announcement on WXYZ news that we will see higher heating bills this coming winter. HIGHER?!?!?!?! The price of natural gas is down, but DTE will be charging more for delivery costs.

At the same time congress is conducting hearings on the pros and cons of fracturing for natural gas. Fracturing is a quick method of forcing water, sand, and other liquids (chemicals) into the ground under high pressure. Not a good practice at all. We really need to get moving on alternative sources for our energy needs because we’re really lousing up the earth with the way we do things. I’ve read about streams poisoned from the benzene leaking out of the ground with the fracturing process, and the humungous waste of water especially when hitting underground springs. I recently wrote about natural gas drilling again.

According to ProPublica, “the fracturing process was exempted from federal environmental oversight in 2005 and now, amid emerging evidence that it is damaging water resources [4] across the country, Congress is preparing legislation that would reverse [1] the exemptions and require the industry to identify the toxic chemicals it pumps underground.” The American Petroleum Institute and its deep pockets is preparing to fight stating that individual state regulations are enough. Remember, I wrote a blog about our state cutting back so badly in its regulatory departments especially relative to groundwater issues that no one is minding the fort. So the API is grossly incorrect already in its assumptions about states being able to monitor fracturing processes.

Whatever happens, you know it will affect our wallet one way or another. It’s curious though just reading through feature articles on Oxford-Princeton Industry Briefs website says a lot. Starting on May 15th with “Natural gas stocks rose in U.S.,” the headlines follow: “Natural gas supplies rose last week, Natural gas rig count reaches 6 year low, Arctic thought to contain massive oil and gas supplies, Congressional plan could raise energy royalties, Natural gas customers enjoying low rates, Natural gas stockpiles rose last week, Natural gas, oil prices see as trending upward, and Senate committee backs more drilling in the Gulf.” If you click on Senate committee… the related headlines say, “Oil prices boosted by higher supplies, Debate over congressional proposal taking shape, and OPEC production headed back up.”

None of it makes sense. How are natural gas supplies rising if gas rig counts are down, less rigs should equal less natural gas? And now that Congress might raise energy royalties the push is on to drill more in the Gulf. Oh and suddenly the Arctic is THOUGHT to have massive oil and gas supplies so if the gulf doesn’t produce… And as customers enjoy lower rates, natural gas and oil supplies are trending upward, that’s curious. Finally, why are oil prices boosted by higher supply, and not higher demand? I thought we are using less oil? OPEC’s production is headed back up. When supplies are high, aren’t prices supposed to drop?


It’s Still Polar Bears vs. Big Oil

The NRDC and other organizations like Greenpeace and Center for Biological Diversity have filed a suit against the Bush Administration again on behalf of the polar bear according to the NRDC. The polar bear is on the endangered list, but it seems its habitat is not. Soooo there is a lot of leeway (loopholes) in that plan for Big Oil.

The White House has been flooded with petitions to protect the polar bear and its habitat, but the NRDC and others have had to file suit even as Bush’s time in office is limited. Likewise, the Center for Biodiversity has a lawsuit against the Dept. of Interior, lead by good ole Dirk Kempthorne, for attempting to expand oil and gas development in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas or the “Polar Bear Seas.” It’s called the “Five Year Plan.” Real nice. In five years we should be on our way to oil independence.

It’s more tail chase logic. Allow oil companies to invade polar bear country with the industry that produces the fuel that emits CO2 fueling global warming that is melting the polar bear’s habitat in the first place. It’s another pretty package with little inside from the Bush administration. Apparently, we are to assume the package itself is a big portion of the actual present. And so goes this administration’s polar-bear-is-an-endangered-species offering that sounds right and just but turns right around and gives oil companies the upper hand in the Arctic.

An Arctic that is diminished with one million square miles, six times the size of California, melted away in the past 30 years. For those that want to argue this all happened before, well it wasn’t the Medieval Warming Period from somewhere in the 900’s-1300’s era. We’re a heck of a lot warmer now. According to New Scientist Environment website we might have to go back 6000 to 125,000 years to get as warm as we’re getting and it’s only going to get worse. This is not just natural phenomenon happening here. Anyway the difference between thousands of years ago and now is almost 7 billion people.

Look at the more dense population areas of the world. They are along the water. Take a pitcher of water with ice cubes in it and watch as they melt. No water level change, but add ice and that pitcher overflows. Imagine the scenario if all the ice that covers the land in our coldest regions slips into the surrounding water. That’s adding some mighty big ice cubes to our albeit mighty big oceans/seas but the pitcher will still overflow.

Big Oil’s intrusion in the Polar Bear Seas is adding insult to injury or in this case certain death to the polar bear. And it’s unnecessary. There are some 63 million acres of land leased for oil exploration that hasn’t been touched. The intruder polluters also endanger birds, fish, and other mammals with potential oil spills.

Organizations like the NRDC, Earthjustice, Greenpeace, Center for Biodiversity, and others are making progress. Shell put off drilling in the Beaufort Sea off the Arctic Refuge coast for another year. Now if they can just hold the Bush Administration and Dirk Kempthorne at bay for oh, a couple of months, maybe a new administration will have a little more empathy for the polar bear and our environment.


Energy Information Administration on Drilling in ANWR

Here is the official government report on the what citizens can expect from drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. An excerpt from it that many refuse to listen to relative to immediate relief at the pumps states:

In all three ANWR resource cases, ANWR crude oil production begins in 2018 and grows during most of the projection period before production begins to decline. In the mean oil resource case, ANWR oil production peaks at 780,000 barrels per day in 2027. The low- resource-case production peaks at 510,000 barrels per day in 2028, while the high- resource-case production peaks at 1,450,000 barrels per day in 2028. Cumulative oil production resulting from the opening of ANWR from 2018 through 2030 amounts to 2.6 billion barrels in the mean resource case, 1.9 billion barrels in the low resource case, and 4.3 billion barrels in the high resource case.

In other words it will be 10 years from now before oil production even begins and will not peak until 2027-30. We could be off of all oil by then for Pete’s sake! We have not begun to conserve but we want to drill more? We have not begun to use the land we’ve specifically leased for oil production. Of the 90 million plus acres in the gulf, 70 million go untapped. What is with our penchant for wanting more land to poke holes into, when we haven’t begun to touch the land we’ve already leased to drill?

More, more, more before we’ve even touched what we have is stupid.


Alaska’s Predator Management Video

This is pretty gruesome to watch but I think it’s necessary to see the unethical, unfair sport of aerial hunting that has been promoted throughout Alaska by Sarah Palin. It is from Defenders of Wildlife.

This policy has basically fueled the wolf hunting program in Idaho. Why Idaho?

Check out this list:

Dirk Kempthorne is former governor of Idaho and rushed into his appointment by Bush as Secy. of the Interior. The Secy. of Interior is over the USFWS.

Matthew J. Hogan, the former chief lobbyist for Safari Club International, is Acting Director of the USFWS.

Safari Club International, according to, consistently lobbies against the intent of the Endangered Species Act.

Butch Otter, governor of Idaho, is known for his desire to be the first person to take a shot at a wolf.

Sarah Palin graduated from the University of Idaho in 1987. She is the biggest catalyst in Alaska, along with SCI, for aerial hunting as a method for predator managementwolves.

What is it with Idaho and their bloodthirst for wolves? Less wolves more hunting for people? What a totally unfair premise. It’s also a stupid act as it goes against a healthy balanced ecosystem. Wolves take care of the ever growing population of coyotes many people continue to mistake for wolves as one in the same. They are not. Coyotes are scavengers. They are usually killed by wolves for intruding on the wolves’ food. If hunting is used to replace the wolves, there will be little to no carcasses left for coyotes. Coyotes will begin to come into people’s yards as their population grows and wolf populations diminish from overkill. I had a lady comment elsewhere that people in Vermont are sympathetic to wolf hunts, and proceeded to tell me about problem coyotes in her yard. See what I mean?

Also, rangers in Yellowstone Park presented a pro-wolf video for Public TV that I watched. They showed all of the new tree, shrub, and grassy areas that were evolving because the wolves were balancing the overabundance of deer and elk that kept eating particular plant species to the ground. Over a course of time, one area went from a predominantly grassy plain to what appeared to be the beginning of a forest.

Obviously, hunting was unable to control the abundant population of deer, elk, and other vegetarian mammals.

Watch the video if you can. I could not. I do not call this hunting, and neither do real hunters. There is a place for legitimate hunting in America. This is not legitimate, nor is the reason for predator control in the extreme like aerial hunting. Elk and deer populations in Idaho are beyond their limits based on state’s records. And Palin’s pressure to continue excessive hunting of wolves via plane/helicopter in Alaska as a form of predator management to preserve elk and caribou populations, is a complete contradiction to the detrimental outcome of elk and caribou populations within ANWR if drilling is allowed.


Sarah Palin, Alaskan Wildlife’s Worst Nightmare, is VP Pick?

As a Democrat, I couldn’t be happier with this pick. I had to laugh when it was said her campaign for governor was run on “ethics.” OMG!

Wait until the large environmental groups disclose her ethics. For example Rodger Schlickeisen of Defenders of Wildlife issued this statement already about Palin’s destructive environmental policies:

Sarah Palin, whose husband works for BP (formerly British Petroleum), has repeatedly put special interests first when it comes to the environment. In her scant two years as governor, she has lobbied aggressively to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, pushed for more drilling off of Alaskas coasts, and put special interests above science. Ms. Palin has made it clear through her actions that she is unwilling to do even as much as the Bush administration to address the impacts of global warming. Her most recent effort has been to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the polar bear from the endangered species list, putting Big Oil before sound science. As unbelievable as this may sound, this actually puts her to the right of the Bush administration.”

To be to the right of the Bush/Cheney regime is a scary thought. That’s pretty far out there. Sarah Palin is a scary thought for wildlife. Alaska’s predatory management program is barbaric. I recently blogged about 14 wolf cubs shot in the head on the spot after an illegal stakeout by Alaskan Wildlife Agency employees? Bears have been added to the predatory list now. Funny how wolves and bears have always been a part of the Alaskan landscape, but now they are intolerable. Animals in Alaska do not have a friend at the governor’s house.

I don’t think Sarah likes living things as much as money. That will come out sooner or later. Cruelty is not a nice trait to see in a woman.


Alaska Senator Stevens Indicted Relative to Oil Services Company

Alaska’s Ted Stevens, longest serving Republican in the senate, was indicted on seven charges for his connections with VECO, an oil services company, and the renovations done to his home.

Ted is pro-oil, and we see why. VECO CEO Bill Allen pleaded guilty to bribing Alaskan lawmakers. And Ted has been accused of influence peddling. So we have an admitted briber, and a guy who invites it. So now Ted’s been indicted for lying about his dealings with VECO.

Ted has consistently put ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) drilling language in defense bills. Remember the recent Senate hearings with oil execs about high gas prices in relation to excessively high profits? We can thank Ted, the Chairman of that committee, for preventing them from having to speak under oath.

Senator Stevens is best remembered for financing two Alaska bridges to nowhere to a tune of over $220 million. A fiasco that had Ted threatening to quit the senate if congress took money away from those bridges. The money for them would have been redirected for repairs desperately needed in New Orleans afer Katrina. Stevens got his way, but the bridge money was given to Alaska’s transportation fund instead.

But Ted’s mid 80’s age and this haven’t stopped him. He’s put in his bid to run for senate again. This is not the way to top off a long career.

Democrats want Mark Begich, the mayor of Anchorage, in the race. Begich is the favorite. Alaska could use someone environmentally friendly for a change. If they could just get rid of Governor Palin, Alaska might stand a chance at remaining a pristine wilderness.

After this, maybe Senator Waxman, who is investigating everyone, and doing a fine job of doing his job by the way, should direct more attention to the goings-on in Alaska and why so many are protesting.

Read more of Stevens bio at: