As read in the News Minus, Governor Sarah Palin has now stepped back from her campaign pledge to return the Habitat Division to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. It was one of Murkowski's more flagrant attempts to deregulate industrial-scale mining in the state, coupled with his support of mixing zones, (another bad idea.)
Of course the mining industry greeted Palin's move with applause, but why would they be surprised at their victory? Alaska Miner's Association Executive Director Steve Borell served on the Department of Natural Resources Transition Team, which by a whopping coincidence recommended that Palin not return Habitat to Fish and Game. As Borell wrote at the AMA website1:
Last month I mentioned that I was part of the DNR Transition Team. Transition teams for each department assembled a report addressing the major topics that will face the new administration. The purpose of these reports is to give Governor Palin and her administration a better understanding of the issues they will face. The status of the Habitat function was one of these major topics. The DNR Transition Team report pointed out that the review, evaluation and permitting work of the Habitat group is now functioning very well, much better, with less conflict and controversy than ever before; and the Transition Team strongly recommended that the Governor keep the Habitat function in DNR.Man, two weeks of not posting. I offer the usual blogger's lament: no time. But hopefully, Flic will offer us her review of "Jesus Camp" which ought to come to The Loon. Hint, hint.