President Trump signed a Congressional override of a Fish & Wildlife Service rule prohibiting Alaska from killing predators to support moose and caribou populations on federal wildlife refuges.
Alaska and Hawaii
"The Senate voted Tuesday to abolish a rule restricting specific hunting practices on national wildlife refuges in Alaska — including trapping, baiting and aerial shooting — on the grounds that state officials should be able to set the terms for wildlife conservation on public land within their own borders.
"As the underwater methane leak in Cook Inlet, Alaska continues well into its third month, even basic environmental monitoring has been impossible because of ice cover. The ice also prevents any repair to the pipeline or response to the leak."
"Federal regulators have given oil and gas operator Hilcorp until May 1 to permanently repair a pipeline spewing more than 200,000 cubic feet of gas a day into Alaska's Cook Inlet or shut it down, citing public safety and environmental risks. The line has been leaking since late December, the regulator disclosed, longer than reported by the company."
"A natural gas pipeline has been leaking since at least Feb. 7 and the company says it can't safely stop the flow of gas." "Natural gas from a 52-year-old underwater pipeline has been leaking for at least two weeks into Cook Inlet in Alaska, home to a number of endangered species, including beluga whales."
For the first time, Sundance Film Festival spotlighted a single theme, and it was climate change. Documentaries highlighting the issue including a sequel to Al Gore's blockbuster, as well as more than a dozen other films dealing with issues like coral reefs, recyling, changing landscapes and rainforest destruction.
"As the global climate heats up, so do the ocean waters off Alaska, meaning big changes for marine ecosystems and bad news for some species."
Conflict is brewing over the leasing of oil and gas drilling rights on millions of acres of federal land, now that the pro-oil-and-gas GOP controls Congress and the White House. And one especially big battle to come? The one over opening for drilling the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a dispute that raged for decades.
"Far above the Arctic Circle, one of the longest-running controversies in U.S. oil drilling is about to reignite. Bouyed by Donald Trump’s election, Republicans are pushing to allow oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the frigid wilderness in northern Alaska that’s been a political battleground for drillers and conservationists for decades."