Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Alaska Republicans have second thoughts on Global Warming

Interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal yesterday (2/22/05 page A4) noting that Alaska’s two Republican senators appear to be having a change of heart about their opposition to global warming legislation now that their home state is being impacted negatively.

“In Alaska, where severe storms, flooding and permafrost melting have caused widespread damage, the two Republican senators say they are willing to reconsider carbon-dioxide regulation after voting against it two years ago.”

Funny how conservative Republicans suddenly become more generous, forgiving and broadminded whenever an issue impacts them personally. No doubt Sens. Ted Stevens and Lisa Murkowski would have remained unmoved in their opposition to emmission curbs if it was some other state suffering the ill effects of global warming. But Alaska just happens to have longest coastline in the U.S. and the melting sea and glacier ice has resulted in severe erosion and flooding problems in 86 percent of the state’s native villages.

According to the article, Sen. Stevens is proposing to help the impacted villages with funds that would be generated by opening the Arctic Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling - an issue the Congress is expected to take up in the coming weeks.
As if that were not ironic enough, the article goes on to note this additional irony - “If Congress approves drilling in the refuge... oil companies could find it hard to start exploration (because) the runways of the nearest airport... are often underwater now after fall storms.”

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