Treadwell Urges Common Agenda on Federal Overreach
West is binding together
May 23, 2014, Anchorage, AK – Western states are building a more aggressive common agenda against federal overreach, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell said today.
“Our direction has been clear for a long time: we want to develop our states and we want to protect the environment,” Treadwell said.
Treadwell spoke to the Western Interstate Region, an affiliate of the National Association of Counties and made up of the elected county commissioners from the 16 western states of the U.S.
Treadwell shared a number of Alaska’s battles with the federal government, including critical habitat listings, the effort to explore ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge), the effort to drill offshore outer continental shelf leases, the proposed road from King Cove to Cold Bay, EPA rulings that pre-emptively veto development, and Alaska’s intervention in the Jim Wilde and John Sturgeon access cases.
“The Feds are holding us back from areas that promise huge economic benefits and energy security,” Treadwell said. “That’s not only hugely frustrating, it’s a failure on the part of Washington to deal openly, transparently, and with equity.”
One place Alaska could use more cooperation with the federal government, Treadwell said, is where the U.S. is falling significantly behind other nations – in the Arctic.
“Other regions in the Arctic – such as Greenland, the Yukon, and the Northwest Territories – can offer more certainty to investors than Alaska or any western public land state,” Treadwell said. “Even Russia does a better job working with regions in development. The U.S. is unprepared."
“The idea – and maybe the most radical idea – that I want to put on the table today is this,” Treadwell said. “I think we and other large public land states must demand that when the federal government makes a plan on land in their state, that plan does not go forward without the approval of at least the governor.”
“Winston Churchill once said America would always do the right thing, but only after exhausting all other possibilities,” Treadwell said. “Well, when it comes to land management, the federal government has exhausted all other possibilities. Let’s do the right thing.”