Alaska’s Voters: Responsible Development Matters

Alaska’s Voters: Responsible Development Matters

November 6, 2020

Preliminary results from Election Day show Alaskans realize how our state’s responsible development is key to Alaska’s future, as candidates endorsed by anti-development, extremist-mindset organizations didn’t fare well against candidates with a reasonable approach to balancing environmental stewardship with development.

On federal races, Alaska seems certain to deliver our three electoral college votes to President Trump’s tally.  Senator Dan Sullivan will fend off the tens of millions of Outside money spent against him and defeat “The Bear Doctor”, Al Gross.  The “Dean of the House”, Congressman Don Young, seems certain to vanquish liberal challenger Alyse Galvin (for a second straight election).  All three of those races have 60% or more of the counted votes currently tallied in the pro-responsible-development camps.

Ballot Measure 1, an attempt to triple oil and gas taxes – and therefore, force Alaska’s producers to reconsider whether our state is worth future investment in – seems certain to be defeated, with nearly 65% of the votes opposing the measure.  This initiative was the latest in a series of extremist-backed efforts to thwart responsible development, following attempts in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

One of the leading “wildlife-above-human-life” organizations in the state, the Alaska Center (for the Environment), endorsed Gross, Galvin and Ballot Measure 1.  Quite the trifecta of disappointments for that group.  But it was on state races where development foes – including the Center – spent money with little return. 

Of their endorsements of State Senate and House candidates in competitive races, they are winning only one of 11 races where there is enough of a margin of victory that the contests could be considered “over”.  In five other races with incumbent Democrat seats, the Center-endorsed candidates are losing after election day (although there is certainly a path to victory for all of them), and their preferred candidate trails in a race for an open seat representing the North Slope and Northwest Arctic areas of the state.  Even if all six of those win, a 7-10 win-loss record is nothing to write home about; especially when coupled with the clear rejections of their extremist agenda in the federal and ballot measure races.

So kudos to Alaska’s voters for seeing that energy workers’ efforts are to be celebrated, and not vilified.  We’ll look forward to working with the ultimate winners, educating them on the importance of a vibrant energy economy for Alaska’s future, advocating for continued opportunities and being a voice to counter the noise coming from those who would rather see America and Alaska weakened, jobs crushed and oil, gas and mineral independence moved to notations in a history book.