Alaska Should Be Proud of Its Energy Workers

Alaska Should Be Proud of Its Energy Workers

August 12, 2021

By Rick Whitbeck, Alaska State Director

I’ve traveled throughout the state with Daniel Turner these past three days.  As we’ve visited with mining, oil and gas and tourism/transportation workers and business owners from rural and urban centers in Alaska, I’ve been continually impressed with them.

First and foremost, the workers we talked with were by and large passionate about the work they are doing and have respect for people they are doing it with.  That isn’t unique to Alaska, but given the conditions many of them work in, good, positive attitudes definitely make a difference.

Secondly, workers understand how important they are to the overall Alaska economy.  Given that tourism typically accounts for one in every ten private-sector jobs and oil and gas directly or indirectly pays for another 25% of the private sector, the people we talked with are crucial to Alaska’s economy today, and will be well into the future.

Third, each of them take pride in working within environmental regulations and restrictions designed to keep Alaska pristine and beautiful.  There is no doubt Alaskans understand and are proactive about balancing environmental stewardship with responsible resource development of our state.

My last take-away was how much more could be done to provide jobs – especially in rural Alaska – with little impact on our environment.  Mining isn’t a “dirty” industry that the horror stories woven by the eco-Left would make it out to be.  Oil and gas development has come a long way with shrinking its footprint and using technologies like directional drilling and fracking.  Tourism companies are utilizing – and exceeding – environmental best practices in their daily operations.

Alaska is a land of small population, great size and even greater opportunity.  I’m proud to be standing with Alaska’s energy workers, and invite you to join us as we attempt to keep Alaska’s future bright.