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Sarah Palin, Cook Inlet Pollution, Chevron and the Whales

As Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin has had a hand in some of the worst environmental neglect of the Bush White House. The neglect has been so bad, some of it has even been against the law.

visit alaska now before sarah palin poisons all the beluga whales shirtTake, as an example, the beluga whales of Cook Inlet. Cook Inlet is surrounded by four public parks: Kenai Fjiords National Park, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Katmai National Monument, and Chugach State Park. The area is a national treasure.

Yet, Sarah Palin treats it like a dump.

As Governor, Sarah Palin gave special permission to Chevron to dump toxic waste into the waters of the Cook Inlet – 300 percent more than Chevron has ever done before. Palin also is pushing for oil drilling operations to be placed up and down the inlet.

This is in spite of the fact that the beluga whales who live in the Cook Inlet are under review for protection under the Endangered Species Act. As the Green Man explained back in July, a petition seeking a decision on protections for the Cook Inlet belugas was required by law to be given back in April – but the Bush White House saw to it that no such decision was given. To this day, political appointees of George W. Bush continue to break the law by refusing to provide a decision about whether the belugas are entitled to protection.

Sarah Palin has taken part in this illegal neglect of the Cook Inlet belugas. Even though the population of belugas in the Inlet has plunged dramatically from over 1,300 in the 1980s to fewer than 375 now, Sarah Palin supported George W. Bush’s inaction, claiming that the research by federal scientists concluding that the belugas require protection is wrong. “Unwarranted,” she called it.

On what basis did Sarah Palin contradict the scientific research? Had she commissioned any scientific studies on the subject herself? No. Does Sarah Palin have any degrees in science? No. Sarah Palin has an undergraduate degree in Communications – how to talk pretty – that she earned by attending several different colleges over a period of six years.

benito cook inlet beluga sarah palin and chevron pollution video podcastSarah Palin, like George W. Bush, believes that scientific research is irrelevant. She is less interested in the facts about the environment than she is interested in the economics of the matter. The important economics of the matter, as Sarah Palin sees it, is that big oil companies like Chevron are willing to arrange for their executives to write big checks and send lobbyists to make special arrangements to cater to the needs of politicians like herself. Beluga whales hire no lobbyists, and they write no checks.

Country first? Dumping toxic wastes and drilling for oil in the waters off a national park isn’t country first. It’s Chevron first.

Here’s a tip: If you want to visit Alaska, do it now, before Sarah Palin poisons all the whales.

Hear about the problem straight from the lips of Benito the Beluga.

4 comments to Sarah Palin, Cook Inlet Pollution, Chevron and the Whales

  • prescott

    Protect the beluga’s while the rest of the free country is filing for bankruptcy because they can’t afford to pay $500 a month in gas…and pay for their mortgage or car note! Better yet…do you even realize how many people have committed suicide over the past year because the cost of fuel has put them out of business and they are to afraid, embarrassed, stressed out and depressed to try and climb out of this mess. Hmmmm…what’s more important…Human life or a beluga whale??? Where is your passion (author of this posted article) for your fellow American’s? Amazing…but very sad!

  • No, prescott.

    Follow the law. It’s the law.

    Why do Republicans think that America’s leaders are above the law?

    It’s also about protecting you.

    The seafood you eat may come from the Cook Inlet. They do lots of fishing there.

    This isn’t a human vs. whale question.

    Get it?

  • The Beluga Whale population has declined in Cook Inlet because herring are no longer abundant there, especially in the winter when marine mammals depend on herring the most. Herring are much more abundant further south down the coast. The marine mammals like Belugas and seals had to migrate south in order to survive.

    Why? Because of misguided but good intentioned actions taken by the Federal Government to protect the Pollock fishery. They didn’t want Pacific Pollock to go the way of Atlantic Cod. So….

    Based on incomplete studies and half-baked science, the USFWS restricted fishing for Pollock without similarly restricting the harvest of other species, notably herring, that eat the same food as the Pollock. The result was the pollock population has exploded. The pollock now out-compete herring in many areas, like Cook Inlet, where herring used to be co-dominant. That has caused the cook inlet whales and seals to starve unless they relocated south down the coast where herring are still abundant. It turns out that herring were much more important for marine mammals than scientists realized, especially in winter when the Pollock stay deep whereas Herring come up near the surface every night in the winter. Marine mammals prefer to feed near the surface, where their air is. The USFWS didn’t know that when the current rules were made, long before Ms. Palin became governor.

    It’s all about the fish, not about the Governor of Alaska. Don’t give the politicians too much credit when things go well nor too much blame when they don’t.

    Ms. Palin and I are miles apart on many of the so-called social issues. I’m a big believer in choice, maximizing freedom of choice, in every way by every freely acting person. But IMNSHO Sarah Palin is far less of a threat to the Bill of Rights than Joe Biden who has spent decades on the Senate Judiciary Committee where he has been presonally responsible for many of the worst laws passed in recent decades. AFAICT Delaware Joe isn’t much of a friend to the natural environment, either, at least not nearly so much as he’s a friend to the well-heeled contributors who kept the money flowing to incumbents of all stripes in DC.

  • JoeVoter, a lot of what you say, for example, about the imbalance of pollock and herring and seals is true. However, it’s not ALL about the fish. Don’t over-simplify. Belugas dive deeper than seals and sea lions, for one thing. Pollution of the Cook Inlet and heavy ship traffic are significant elements in the population decline, for another. Heavy metals of the sort contained in the billions of gallons of toxic waste dumped by Chevron, approved of by Palin, have found their way into the fish that the belugas eat, and into the belugas eat themselves.

    Arsenic kills. Lead kills. Cadmium kills – and not just belugas.

    Sarah Palin has zero scientific training. Scientists who are experts in marine mammals and marine ecology have stated that the Cook Inlet belugas are endangered and should get Endangered Species Act protection. Sarah Palin is working to thwart that – just as George W. Bush has done with huge numbers of species in habitats all over the USA. Sarah Palin isn’t qualified to oppose this case on the merits. She’s opposed because of the economic interests of her political cronies, and because she has an ideological opposition to the Endangered Species Act.

    There’s seafood taken from the Cook Inlet for human consumption. Are you going to apologize for the contamination of that, JV?

    I am not a fan of Joe Biden, however, I don’t understand how you could say that Sarah Palin would be better on the Bill of Rights – given her extremist positions against First Amendment freedoms.

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