Alaska’s Federal Races Heat Up Over Energy Policy

Alaska’s Federal Races Heat Up Over Energy Policy

October 19, 2022

With less than three weeks to go before Election Day, Alaska’s races for U.S. Senate and House are in full gear, with candidates crisscrossing our massive landscape, hoping to squeeze out enough votes to secure victory.

In the Senate race, incumbent Lisa Murkowski, along with challengers Kelly Tshibaka and Pat Chesbro, are all using energy policy as a defining issue in the campaign.  Senator Murkowski’s latest ad touts her support for an ‘all of the above’ energy strategy for America, highlighting her work on expanding oil and gas projects – like Willow and Pikka – while concurrently advancing wind, tidal and solar projects, especially in rural Alaska.

Chesbro, for her part, has played along with the far-left backers of her campaign, focusing on more renewables and less fossil fuel use, and using the twin bogeymen of climate change and extreme weather to drive home her point. 

Tshibaka has attacked Murkowski as being soft on support for traditional energy, noting the incumbent’s support for Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, who has repeatedly and brazenly delayed and shuttered many Alaska resource projects since being confirmed to her position.  Tshibaka believes she can be more effective and less wishy-washy than Murkowski; a long-standing position taken since she began her campaign over 15 months ago.

Power The Future took a more hands-on approach with Alaska’s Congressional race, specifically related to energy, as State Director Rick Whitbeck sat down with each of the finalists for 25-minute, long-form interviews. 

Candidates Chris Bye, Sarah Palin, Nick Begich III and incumbent Congresswoman Mary Peltola spoke on four main topics in the interview: Alaska’s role in achieving a workable energy mix, Alaska’s need for more infrastructure to reach development projects, the future of oil and gas on the North Slope and in Cook Inlet, and how Alaska’s critical and strategic mineral deposits should be developed, with the ultimate goal of creating domestic supply chains, instead of further and increasing reliance on China, Russia and other less-than-friendly-to-the-U.S. nations.

Those are available online for viewing, and we respectfully suggest any Alaskan with an interest in seeing the state’s bright energy future continue view them.

These next three weeks offer ample opportunity to meet with candidates at events and to watch them in televised debates.  Our hope is that Alaska’s elected officials work for a continued balance between responsible development and environmental stewardship.  Your vote will ultimately determine whether that holds true.