Rick Whitbeck: Alaska should have known better



Alaska should have known better than to be bullish on a development project when Judge Sharon Gleason is sitting in her US District Court seat.

Once again, Gleason single-handedly put Alaska’s energy future in the crosshairs of her job-crushing, environmentally radical, never-met-a-development-project-I-like judicial power, and now, one of our state’s most promising projects is nearly back to square one.

On Wednesday, Gleason laid waste to years of work by numerous federal agencies – setting aside strong support from Presidents Trump and Biden – and ruled that ConocoPhillips Alaska’s Willow project was “legally flawed.”

Her ruling was hailed as an environmental victory by the usual anti-Alaska eco-extremist organizations, and left responsible development advocates gob-smacked.  After all, the permits for Willow had already been issued, and the start of development was only essentially awaiting the legal ruling.

But now, Willow must wait while the Bureau of Land Management, Department of Fish and Wildlife and other federal agencies consider how to work through Gleason’s ruling.  In her 110-page decision, she noted areas of particular concern around climate change and polar bear impacts, while giving improbable (before Wednesday) credence to the eco-Left’s arguments that those weren’t sufficiently addressed by BLM and Fish and Wildlife.

Power The Future continues to be astonished by the tone-deaf and radical rulings coming from Judge Gleason. We’ll continue to support those projects she (and her eco-left whisperers) continue to vilify, and we’ll continue to fight for Alaska’s energy future.

Read more at Power The Future.


  1. Polar Bear Impacts? You mean that there are now more Polar Bears, perhaps due to there being more open water during the summer months and that this translates into more fish which leads to more seals which in turn makes more yummy seal blubber for Polar Bears? Those impacts? Huh… yes Judge, please elaborate your concerns here. BTW, whatever has this apparent Polar Bear population expansion have to do with the Willow Project? Please explain in real scientific detail… not some cultist mumbo-jumbo generated by the extreme eco-deranged.

  2. At some point we have to deal with activist judges if we have any hope of saving this country.

  3. Appears to be an obvious over reach. Judges are to make sure laws are followed not make policy. Seems policy had already been established by Trump and Biden.
    As there are three branches of government, for checks and balances, one of the other branches need to apply “checks and balances “…

  4. I suggest we simply ignore Judge Gleason, while appeals work their way to the SCOTUS. What can she do, hold us in “contempt of court”? Pah!

    It’s time the people of Alaska hold judge gleason in contempt. This judge is not competent to decide whether or not “scientific studies” were performed adequately in the course of applying for permits. and the plaintiffs too obviously biased to provide “scientific” refutation of the applications’ studies.

    I could write a “scientific” paper proving that the moon is made of green cheese and enter it into a court case and it would be accepted (though laughed off the face of the earth by anyone with a dab of common sense). Impeach this judge – nothing impartial to see here…

  5. Another excuse monger! Alaska should have known better…what the hell’s that supposed to mean?
    Instead of reading what “Power The Future” operatives are doing to disrupt, discredit, disband, de-fund “the usual anti-Alaska eco-extremist organizations”… what PTF’s doing to them before they can do it to us, we get yet another sorry sackful of excuses about why good stuff can’t be done.
    To Whitbeck we say, not unkindly, save your whining for someone who cares. In case you didn’t notice, things are just getting started, Americans have to endure three and a half more years of Bidencrap. We’re in no mood for more lousy rotten excuses about why people can’t do what they’re paid to do.
    “Rules for Radicals” wasn’t written just for radicals, so… why are “the usual anti-Alaska eco-extremist organizations” still standing on your watch?

    • Because murder is illegal – and we don’t play by their rules anyway. We actually respect the law – rather than bend it to fit our idiotlogical fantasies.

  6. Traitorous trolls infecting this website need to get a life – oil is the lifeblood of Alaska. Trying to turn us into a park – or into their own fantasy about what “wilderness” is – contrary to the will of most Alaskans, will simply make us disappear and make us a very ripe target for whomever tries to invade us to steal these currently untapped resources. We have 200 years’ worth of oil – even more will likely be found whenever “they” let us look for it. You want to get your plastics and fuels from places without our strict environmental laws by denying us the right to pump our own? You are the ones contributing most to environmental degradation. PTF and Rick Whitbeck are not shills for the oil industry – they’re looking out for the National and Alaskan interest.

    • There are thousands of years of oil left for use in petrochemicals and other higher value petroleum based products. The ICE will be gone in thirty years, that will solve about 90% of our carbon emission problem.

  7. Thorne speaks the truth. We need our own oil supply, and we need jobs. Projects like this one give us both. This is a good example of why we need to fight tooth and nail against leftist control of the judiciary at all levels. – M.John

  8. The lack of responsible bids on ANWR leasing and the price decline of WTI tells me all I need to know about Alaska’s carbon extraction future. Apparently Dunleavy’s proclamation that Alaska will no longer do business with big banks has had little effect. Our entire economy is smaller than the Silicon valley, Alaska’s future is in tourism, renewable energy and carbon capture. The next thirty years will be a transition from carbon extraction to renewable resources. In the interim Alaska should get a fair price for oil, SB-21 is a giveaway.

  9. Has anybody inquired into your mental health recently? Because you seem to be out of touch with reality. During a summer that saw all time high temperature records for Canada, Continental Europe, Siberia, and most of the West Coast…when there was simultaneous record flooding in China, Europe, UK, and the desert South-West…when, despite the flooding, there is a 20 year ongoing drought in the SW which has caused the start of water rationing…when there are record fires in Siberia, SE Europe, and once again, the Western United States…you, RW, as a spokesman for the oil industry, calling ANYBODY an “eco-extremist” is offensive, insulting, insensitive, and as a result… COUNTERPRODUCTIVE! Times have changed, and you have somehow failed to grasp it. There is a reason no actual oil companies bid on ANWR! You had ONE job to do, make people sympathetic to the oil industry! Instead you actually caused me to wonder if I should become a liberal! (The required sex change operation is a deal killer!) Here’s the thing; Revelation 11:18 makes it clear that the “destroyers of the Earth” will be destroyed. I’d contemplate those words before calling anyone an eco-extremist.

    • Yo Antonio… quick reminder:

      If you’re going to tell a pro-development individual that they’re out of touch w/ reality you should not then start babbling religious nonsense. It offsets any shred of logic in your prior comment.

      • Yo, Skid Mark…the Bible and Science are NOT mutually exclusive!

        I was tailoring my response to my audience. RT, in calling people “eco-extremists” was making the scientific argument that climate scientists don’t know what they’re talking about. My SHORT listing of RECENT weather extremes was, in part, meant to counter that implied argument by RT. The other part of listing those events was to make the main point of my comment…when someone loses everything they have in a fire or a flood (or worse, a loved one), you don’t go around calling them a “Drama Queen”! Which is essentially what RT did…while apparently representing big oil! FAUX PAS!!! If I were “Power the Future” I’d print a retraction ASAP! If I were big oil, I’d “defund” Power the Future! I just saw an Exxon advertisement about how they’re investing in green energy to combat climate change! Times have changed. As for the Bible verse…most American conservatives ARE Christians. I was speaking to them in the language they would understand. This centuries old antagonism between the anti-God left and the anti-science right IS going to prove fatal to America. During the “lockdown” God had me write a Book about this very issue! So your bringing it up here is strange…one might even say God prompted you, Old Pair of Jeans! It’s free of charge, God wouldn’t have me make money off of it, but I don’t know where to send it. I’ll send Suzanne a copy, maybe she’ll run it as a series! She gave Power the Future a platform, why not a servant of God???

        • Yes, it is about science. But weather and climate, like all fields of science, has endless numbers of variables. Extreme weather has been occurring since creation. By the way, we have been given enough understanding to realize the cosmos could not spring into existence without a creator. Its unimaginable how that could happen. But, to the point, you are enjoying all the benefits of cheap energy while suggesting we need to stop extracting it. Do you ride in automobiles? Eat cooked food? Live in a heated home? Wear manufactured clothing? Travel by air? Unless you can say no to all these questions and many more similar, then you should not suggest energy extraction and industry should be restricted any more than absolutely necessary. Otherwise, you would be a profound hypocrite like so many others.

          • First, a careful reading of my comments will reveal that at NO time did I “suggest energy extraction and industry should be restricted”. My point was; change IS coming, is already happening. Why make it worse by having an oil rep tell tragedy stricken people they’re crazy crybabies?! As MRAK readers know, I come from an oil family, I’ve been a gold miner, and I made a boat load of money in the 1979 silver boom. So that you would accuse me of being anti-resource extraction is not accurate. Second, you picked the WRONG person to try that “endless…variable”, always been “extreme weather” bit on. I have the intelligence and the education (including astrophysics and ancient history) that I don’t need a scientist to interpret the raw data. In fact, I saw “climate change” was going to destroy the Earth way back in the 70’s and I have tried to minimize my use of fossil fuels ever since. I went so far as to spend 1980-81 living off the land in the Bush WITHOUT motors! As you don’t know anyone who’s ever done such a thing, let me impart some guru like wisdom upon you…life IS competition…and you can’t compete against motors! YOUR oil gluttony FORCES me into also using motors. Still, I resisted electricity at my cabin until 2007. Buy my cotton, silk, wool, hemp, clothes at quality 2nd hand stores with an occasional quivit, alpaca, or fur made by Natives. My mint condition 2004 Explorer was bought from that proverbial old lady and I only drive it 2,500 miles a year. I go MONTHS between fillups! Strike three, Wayne, calling somebody who’s spent 40 years of his life minimizing his footprint, a hypocrite. On Judgment Day when I’m asked about who destroyed the beautiful Earth, I’ll enter THIS comment and my prior ACTIONS as my defense. You have a defense prepared Wayne???

  10. Unelected radical Commies like Judge Sharon Gleason, appointed by Bolsheviks are making Laws that they do not have the constitutional authority to do and she is destroying this Nation and any responsible development. This clown will gleefully support AOC’s “New Green Deal” , that Murky and Sullivan support by agreeing to the $1.5 TRILLION Democrats Infrastructure bill, of which only 20% will go to actual infrastructure aka roads, bridges, airports , ports, and not every Democrat wet dream For the last 50 years.

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