Murkowski Says Obama Plans 3 Gut Punches to Alaska Economy This Week

first_imgAlaska’s governor and congressional delegation are furious over President Obama’s announcement this weekend that he’s seeking wilderness status for the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. That would put the area off-limits to oil and gas development. Permanent wilderness designation would require congressional approval, and this Republican-led Congress is unlikely to grant it. But that’s just the start of what Obama has in store for the state in the coming days.Download AudioSen. Lisa Murkowski, flanked by Congressman Don Young and Sen. Dan Sullivan, faced national reporters at the U.S. Capitol, projecting ferocity.“We have said as a delegation that we will not stand it. We will not tolerate (it), and we will do everything that we can to push back against an administration that has taken a look at Alaska and said ‘it’s a nice little snow globe up there and we’re going to keep it that way,’” she said.Murkowski says wilderness status for ANWR is just one of three gut punches the Interior Department plans deliver this week to Alaska’s economy. She says Interior Secretary Sally Jewell’s chief of staff, Tommy Beaudreau, told her about them Friday. Punch two will be withdrawals from the Arctic off-shore leasing program. That five-year draft plan is expected as soon as tomorrow. Punch 3, Murkowski says, will be to the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska, where ConocoPhillips needs a road to develop its Greater Moose’s Tooth project. Murkowski says the government intends to impose conditions that will add $40 million to the cost.“If it’s not off-limits, (the administration is) going to make it so hard and so expensive that no operator is going to want to do it,” Murkowski said. “Is this how you treat a state?”Murkowski says she intends to try to block the actions legislatively and through the budget — a meaningful statement since she chairs the subcommittee charged with writing the Interior Department’s spending bill. She’s written a “sense of Congress” statement on the Arctic, as an amendment to the Keystone pipeline bill. She mentioned a possible lawsuit. She also says the congressional delegation will work to educate the rest of the country on how much care Alaska’s industry takes to avoid harming the land or animals.Rep. Young told reporters the industry does no harm to Arctic wildlife.“I mean that’s the nonsense. The guy in New York, Miami, Philadelphia San Francisco. ‘Oh, we’ve got to save the poor little animals,’” Young said in falsetto, hands aflutter. “It doesn’t affect them! Never has. It’s all a myth, easily sold to the less knowledgeable people.”Once the administration formally requests wilderness status, it intends to manage those parts of ANWR as wilderness. Environmentalists who support the plan say it won’t make a big difference on the ground, because industry isn’t allowed there now anyway. The government says in its plan it intends to keep subsistence access the same. Murkowski says she believes Obama’s wilderness request is just a prelude.“Lisa’s theory: I think that they are advancing this in an effort to get environmental support, to raise money for the cause,” she said.As she sees it, Obama is trying to drum up support from his base so that he can then declare ANWR a national monument, an executive action to lock up the area. Murkowski says that would violate the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, which says Congressional approval is required to reclassify large tracts of land.“But if he’s got public support on his side, he doesn’t care if he’s ignored the law (ANILCA),” she said. So I think he’s teeing himself up for future action.”While Obama’s move has Alaska officials fuming, environmentalists are thanking him. Cindy Shogan of the Alaska Wilderness League says it’ll still be tough to get a wilderness bill through Congress but she says Obama’s commitment to the issue helps.last_img read more

This year will be the year the Internet of Things

first_imgThis year will be the year the Internet of Things (IoT) makes it big, according to one survey, and with the Internet of Things will come a new world of user experience. Embarcadero Technologies has released the results from its Software for the Internet of Things Developer Survey, which revealed that three out of four developers see a new user experience for the IoT.“Developers are going to have to change the way end users interact with an application,” said John Thomas, senior director of application development products for Embarcadero. “It isn’t just a four-inch phone device anymore. It is a bunch of infrastructure that goes into delivering real solutions.”(Related: Internet of Things hype is peaking)While the survey revealed that 56% of IoT devices will include traditional inputs such as keyboards and buttons, 97% of devices will accept non-traditional inputs such as sensors and GPS, and 37% will use non-traditional ways to present information such as virtual reality and haptics. “Developers are going to have some big challenges in building solutions because they have to learn a lot about the individual gadget or thing they are integrating with and how best to deliver it,” said Thomas.The survey also revealed that 2015 will not only be a big year for building integrated IoT solutions such as industrial sensors, drones, health monitors and smart buildings, but it will also be the year that the IoT will start making an impact on businesses.“This is really when we are going to see the majority of applications starting to integrate the Internet of Things,” said Thomas. “The Internet of Things is becoming a business reality, an enterprise reality. It is not just a novel thing for a consumer to interact with. It is about building real business and enterprise solutions around them, and this is the year they are going to be going to the market with it.”last_img read more