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Alaska Blog and Media Coverage of the Kulluk Grounding – Updated

4:12 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Kulluk aground

A number of Alaska bloggers have been making efforts to inform their regular readers and others drawn toward the news story of the grounding of and salvage efforts toward the Shell Alaska drilling rig, Kulluk.

In alphabetical order:

Just a Girl from Homer:  Shannyn Moore posts most of her essays first at the Anchorage Daily News, in her weekly op-ed, then at The Mudflats. (see below)

Progressive Alaska:  I’ve been writing articles at PA and at Firedoglake on aspects of Shell’s Arctic Drilling plans since last summer.  Since the Kulluk debacle began unfolding on December, I’ve posted a dozen articles here.  They are easy to find at the bottom right hand border of the blog, as they have been the only articles posted here since December 30th.  Most of those articles were cross-posted at the national progressive blog, Firedoglake.  And some of the Firedoglake articles have not been cross-posted here.

Of those, the most important was probably the one I wrote last night, List of Questions on Shell’s Alaska 2012 Arctic Drilling Fiasco Grows Longer by the Day.  I’m going to use some of that article as the basis for another one at PA, perhaps later today.

Of the articles I’ve posted at both places, the one that seems to have drawn the most attention was my interview with Alaska marine environmental icon, retired University of Alaska Prof. Rick Steiner.  You can read it here.

Because of my background, mostly in the distant past, working at sea in Alaska, on small and large fishing boats, as a charter boat operator, and as a deckhand on oceangoing tugs, including towing one of Shell’s key components of their drilling scheme – the Arctic Challenger – from Seattle to Barrow, and having participated in several salvage operations, I’m able to offer a little more to this subject than some might.

The Immoral Minority:  Jesse Griffin has posted three articles on the grounding.  They can be found and followed at IM under the tag, Shell Oil.

The Mudflats:  This high traffic blog has posted articles by both Jeanne Devon and Shannyn Moore.  Beginning December 31st, The Mudflats has offered two articles by Devon, one by Ryan Marquis,  from I Eat Gravel, one by Thomas Dewar, and an op-ed by Moore.  Four can be found under the tag Shell Oil.  Moore’s op-ed, which is a Must Read, can be found at this link.

Moore’s op-ed raises an interesting point that I don’t think anyone else had yet brought forth:

The 1990 Oil Pollution Act has a limited liability clause. It limits the amount non-tanker vessels can be forced to pay in the event of an accident. So, after Shell has incurred $28 million in expenses, it may be able to invoke its liability limit.

I quoted Moore in my Firedoglake essay on questions.  The questions that the limited liability clause bring to mind immediately are along the line of “how is it determined who has spent what?” and “how soon will we be able to corner Sens. Begich and – especially – Sen. Lisa Murkowski on this?”

Murkowski’s views are important, as she is a key figure in why this liability limit is so absurdly and unrealistically low.  And she is also a major recipient of political contributions from the builder of the vessel most responsible for this debacle, the Aiviq.

Like me, Moore has a maritime background in her past.   With her network of contacts that rivals the best investigative reporters in Alaska, as was illustrated in her breaking of the strange hiring of “Judge” Paul Pozonsky, Moore will probably have a lot more to add to the Kulluk debacle.

What Do I Know?  Once again, Steve Aufrecht has provided several fresh views of the response to the Kulluk debacle, from his viewpoint as a distinguished professor of public administration.  Steve has written seven articles on this, beginning on January 2nd.  His articles are important enough to be listed here by their individual titles, which are intriguing, as well as inviting: Read the rest of this entry →

Palinphetamine, Alaska Bloggers and the Alaska Press

12:18 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

While soon-to-be-ex Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin tweets through the night, Alaska’s bloggers are uncovering huge holes in the Palinista narrative that she has nothing to do with her legal defense fund.

It is being reported that since earlier in the week, soon-to-be-ex Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s number of twitter followers passed the 100,000 mark. Given the growing knowledge on the left and among aficionados of the unintended internet humor produced by the seemingly clueless Palin, and her ability to come up with endless strings of inanities, it may be reasonable to assume that at least half of her twitter followers are there for the laughs.

This morning – like in the middle of the night – Palin provided more irrational inanity:

Four hours ago: This wk saw add’l violation of law:filer of friv ethics complaint leaks confidential documents out of context 2 create false headlines, pre- [emphasis added]

Four minutes later: judge investigation,destroy integrity of process&strip rights;Abuse WILL cont til leaks/friv filers r held accntble&press reports accurately [re the press - see below]

Seven minutes later: Legal Fees Fund trustee’s press conf yest set record straight w/facts/truth re:recent complaint;read transcript in case press chooses not to

To me twitter is – so far – fascinating from an outsider point of view, because I’m not yet ready to join the band. If blogging is addictive in a way similar to cocaine (as a loose example), twitter may be like crack. Palin just can’t keep away from that little glass pipe blackberry. Some call them crackberries, seemingly for good reason.

A commenter to a recent Media Matters article puts it this way: