July 11th, 2012

Think About It……..                                                                                                 July 11, 2012

Ballot Measure #2 will face Alaskan voters on the August 28 Primary Election Ballot as an indirect initiated state statute. The measure would establish a new coastal management program in the state.

Voting No on Ballot Measure #2 is imperative if we as Alaskans believe we should make our own decisions with regard to responsible development. Alaska’s previous coastal management program lapsed after lawmakers failed to save it. However, many  people feel  the  previous program, although not a good one, was much better that the proposal in Ballot Measure #2.

Certainly local communities need coordination between state and federal permitting processes, but the proposed coastal zone management program does not achieve its intended goals. It is confusing, poorly written and could easily hamstring development activities statewide. 

As Kurt Fredriksson of Juneau summarized last month “Alaskans support effective, responsible coastal management, but this measure will create confusion and uncertainty. It will impose a new undefined set of rules and standards that give unprecedented and un-checked powers to an entirely new body unaccountable to the voters. It creates more government red tape and grows the bureaucracy. Plain and simple, this is a vague, poorly drafted bad law that will spawn delays and endless litigation.”

It is the feeling of many Alaskans that Ballot Measure #2 is flawed and adds another layer of burdensome red tape. The program would make obtaining permits for development much more difficult for the small energy companies.

As Tim Jones, speaking on behalf of Cook Inlet Energy said “We cannot wait through unreasonable delays of projects, as we already have to apply through a multitude of agencies.

If the measure were to be approved by voters, Federal funding for the program if adopted would not begin for two years. The Governor’s office says the cost of hearings and setting up the coastal zone management program could cost Alaska over $5 million. Even those dollars are not significant enough to cover the negative economic impacts that would result.

Everyone knows that oil and gas exploration here in Cook Inlet has slowed to a miserable crawl over the past few years and now in the midst of a mini-boom, Ballot Measure #2 would adopt a new program which will put the brakes on investment and projects simply because it adds a lot more Federal red tape.

Opportunities for local input for coastal development and the permitting process are extensive and adequate without this measure. Ask your friends and neighbors to join you, on August 28th, in voting NO on Ballot Measure #2.

Think About It!          JCD   7-11-12


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