A number of years ago, I read an article about an environmental controversy regarding a proposed project here in Alaska. A person from outside Alaska who objected to the development was interviewed for the story. When asked if he had been to Alaska, he said, “No.” When asked if he thought he might ever visit Alaska, he said, “Probably not.” So why was he so passionate about an area he likely will never see? He responded, “It lifts my spirit just knowing that it’s there.”
I’m all in favor of lifting spirits. I’m just not sure it should be done at the expense of the safety, health and welfare of nearly 1,000 Americans who have very limited options when responding to emergencies. If the federal government has the discretion to block construction of a lifeline road between King Cove and the airport at Cold Bay, it follows that it has an obligation to devise and fund a viable alternative. Just saying “no” is not good enough.
— Ted Moninski