President Barack Obama’s FY 2017 federal budget repeals oil and gas revenue sharing payments and uses a portion of the money to relocate coastal Alaskan communities supposedly ravaged by “climate change,” prompting global warming alarmists to sing his praises.
The Washington Post’s environmental reporter, Chris Mooney, told his readers Tuesday the move to redirect money from a shuttered oil and gas revenue sharing program for relocating Kivalina, a small Alaskan village of about 400, is a good thing because it illustrates how serious the president is on the issue.
Nearly $400 million of a $2 billion Coastal Climate Resilience program in Obama’s budget is allocated to cover Alaskan communities supposedly scarred by global warming, including expenses accrued while relocating towns afflicted by coastal erosion, among other environmental calamities.
The program also grants resources over 10 years to states and local governments considered “at-risk,” so they can prepare for and adapt to climate change.
Mooney, for his part, pointed to Christine Shearer, a researcher who wrote a book on Kivalina and now works for the NGO CoalSwarm, and others, to show the need for action.
“When Kivalina voted to relocate decades ago, they found there was no government agency in charge of relocation, and that most funding was available only after disaster struck,” Mooney quoted Shearer saying about the lack of government authority over towns wishing to relocate.
She added: “And disaster has struck Kivalina many times, with erosion and flooding, threatening their safety and lives. While the $400 million Resilience Fund is not enough to relocate all the Alaska Native communities facing displacement from climate change, it is an important start.”
Victoria Hermann, the director of the Arctic Institute at the Center for Circumpolar Security Studies, told Mooney the president’s move ostensibly shows how serious the administration is at confronting global warming.
“President Obama’s proposed funds to combat climate change in Alaska, particularly his Coastal Climate Resilience Fund, finally moves his climate legacy from rhetoric to reality for today’s communities at the front lines of rising oceans,” Hermann said by email.
Mooney quoted Herman as suggesting President Obama needs to take the relocation program a step further.
“In order to truly combat climate change and build resiliency in American communities,” she said via email, “the President’s proposal must extend beyond our northernmost state to help towns across the country adapt to the effects of a changing climate.”
The cheers the Obama administration received because of the relocation program were muted somewhat by a decision made by the US Supreme Court Tuesday halting President Obama’s Clean Power Plan (CPP).
The Court’s decision, which stays the plan until it can weed through its myriad legal troubles, deals the president’s major environmental regulation a possible deathblow.
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