President Barack Obama announced his plan today to designate nearly all of Alaska’s 19.6-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as permanent untouchable wilderness lands.
That means there will be no oil drilling, timber harvests, fracking operations, mining, road building, development or any other human activity that would damage the area’s otherwise natural and pristine appearance.
In a statement issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior announced the release of its Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for the refuge. Quoting the statement:
“The release of the CCP and the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the refuge, which recommends additional protections”. . .”President Obama announced he will make an official recommendation to Congress to designate core areas of the refuge – including its Coastal Plain – as wilderness, the highest level of protection available to public lands.”
In a piece by Ron Arnold writing for The Daily Signal, “Alaska’s U.S. senators, Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and at-large Rep. Don Young, all Republicans, vowed at a press conference to fight Obama’s offshore decision…”.
Rep. Young is quoted as saying, “It’s becoming undeniably clear that this administration does not view Alaska as a sovereign state, but rather an eco-theme park for the most extreme environmentalist allies of the president and his party.”
Most disturbing is the role that Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin may have played in the decision.
Former Heritage Foundation investigative reporter Lachlan Markay now a staff writer with The Washington Free Beacon reported that:
“Russian money for anti-oil and gas campaigns had been laundered through a Bermuda investment house, bank, and shell corporation and the California-based Sea Change Foundation.
“The Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Food and Water Watch, the League of Conservation Voters and the Center for American Progress were among the recipients of Sea Change’s $100 million in grants in 2010 and 2011. . .”
In July 2014, the U.S Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee issued a report called The Chain of Environmental Command – an in-depth environmental collusion report detailing how a “Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA”
The report revealed that three Russian energy investment firms funded a company called Wakefield Quinn, a Bermuda law firm that laundered the funds through a front corporation called Klein, Ltd. Klein in turn passed it on to Sea Change, which distributed the funds to anti-oil-and-gas green groups based in the U.S.
Now that President Obama has walled off the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil and gas exploration at the behest of environmental groups that make their budgets with Russian money, Putin is asserting vast claims to oil and gas reserves for Russia in the Arctic.
That’s an astonishing return on the investment that Russia has made in eco-organizations that may not have America’s best interests at heart – something that might change when President Obama leaves office in 2017.
Until then, when the cats away, the Russian bear will play.