Trump Administration Sues to Allow Development of Life-Saving Izembek Road

Trump Administration Sues to Allow Development of Life-Saving Izembek Road

May 30, 2019

When U.S. Superior Judge Sharon Gleason issued two rulings in late March, the majority of the people taking issue with her decisions focused on how she effectively blocked oil and gas development in the Outer Continental Shelf. Power The Future spoke about that ruling extensively on the Power The Future Energy Hour (Tuesdays from 5:00-6:00 PM Alaska Standard Time on KVNT 1020 AM, 92.5 FM and online at

The second ruling was overlooked by many but had potential life-and-death consequences.

The Izembek National Wildlife Refuge encompasses only 492 acres, making it the smallest refuge in Alaska. The villages of Cold Bay and King Cove sit on the outskirts of the refuge. Cold Bay has an airport that allows for jet access. King Cove does not.

Medevac services for King Cove residents require the patient to take a boat or small plane to Cold Bay, increasing delays in getting proper medical care.

The plans to build a 12-mile road between the two communities appeared to be finalized when the U.S. Department of Interior and the local village corporations agreed on a land swap.

But life-saving roads be damned in the eyes of the environmental extremist movement. They sued to overturn the agreement and found a willing judge in Gleason, who was appointed to the Bench under President Obama.

But there’s good news. Last Friday, Interior filed suit in the U.S. 9thCourt of Appeals, seeking to overturn Gleason’s ruling, and re-establish a timeframe for building the road.

Power The Future normally focuses its efforts on advocating for energy workers. In this case, though, we stand amazed that the eco-extremists in Alaska would fight a life-saving measure through a small piece of wilderness. It boggles our collective minds.  Here’s hoping that the 9thCircuit realizes that human life is more precious than blocking a 12-mile road
and that they reverse the abominable decision put forth by Judge Gleason.