Here is a sampling of editorial opinions from Alaska newspapers:
Jan. 23, 2013
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Good hydro news Susitna dam project back on track
Important field studies on the Susitna hydroelectric project will be able to proceed this summer thanks to a reasonable ruling by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The federal agency has taken note of the short season in Alaska and the preparatory work done by the Alaska Energy Authority in setting a deadline of April 1 for approving final research details.
This is critical in helping advance the project during the next few years to get to the construction stage.
The authority has committed to providing the results of 2012 river data and specific research sites in time for FERC action this spring.
The staff of the commission challenged 13 of the 58 proposed studies for not being specific enough. The state responded by asking the commission to stick by the schedule under which a series of comprehensive studies can get going to answer key questions related to geology, water, fish, wildlife, subsistence, safety, economics and recreation.
Three of the study plans questioned deal with fish in the Susitna River and productivity of the river.
The energy authority has agreed to file final implementation plans by March 1, which will give the federal agency a month to go over them.
Now it's up to the energy authority to polish off its final plans in a little more than a month.
Jan. 19, 2013
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Scoping mission: Air Force wants to hear about Eielson F-16 study
Mark it on your calendar: Air Force officials will be in town Feb. 6 and Feb. 7 to conduct public meetings regarding the proposed transfer of Eielson Air Force Base's F-16 squadron to Anchorage.
The trip to the Interior will follow meetings Feb. 4 and Feb. 5 in Anchorage and in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough to take public comment about the proposed move of the aircraft and hundreds of personnel to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
The purpose of the meetings is to set the parameters of an environmental impact statement, a study required under the National Environmental Police Act. The meetings are an opportunity for Fairbanks and state leaders to speak directly to Air Force brass about their plan, which has come under withering criticism from U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich, Rep. Don Young and others.
The congressional delegation, along with Fairbanks elected and civic leaders and Gov. Sean Parnell, have questioned the military's projected cost savings.
Yes, the Air Force does need to reduce its budget. It and the other branches of the military have been ordered to downsize. But state and community leaders here have an obligation to stand up for Fairbanks to make sure we are being treated fairly and that the Air Force isn't overlooking important information.
Meetings will be held 6 to 8 p.m., but locations have yet to be announced.
Let's make sure the Air Force hears us.
And, if you've still got one, it might be good to wear your "Save Eielson" T-shirt from 2005.