“In an Effort to Save Alaska from Itself, Biden Wants to Make Sure Nobody Lives in Alaska” Power The Future Energy Hour Recap: Dave Stieren with Gov. Dunleavy’s Office

“In an Effort to Save Alaska from Itself, Biden Wants to Make Sure Nobody Lives in Alaska” Power The Future Energy Hour Recap: Dave Stieren with Gov. Dunleavy’s Office

November 25, 2020

On last night’s Power The Future Energy Hour, Alaska State Director Rick Whitbeck caught up with Dave Stieren, the Director of Community Relations for the Office of Alaska’s Governor, Mike Dunleavy.

Dave just recently returned from a 25th Anniversary celebration trip to Hawaii, and he and Rick discussed what he saw during his time in Kona, with regard to economic recovery and the impact COVID-19 has had on Hawaii’s tourism-based economy.

Dave noted, “You walk around there and…it is an ‘in-your-face’ reminder of what a lack of economic activity…does”, as long-time businesses are shuttered, with many never to re-open.

Talk then turned to how Hawaii’s economy in many ways mirrors Alaska’s, with a great deal of dependency on a single industry.  Hawaii’s is obviously tourism throughout the islands.  In Alaska, tourism drives much of Southeast Alaska, and it was gutted in 2020, with 2021 still not certain to be a year of recovery for that industry.  Oil and gas revenues, however, pay for well over half of all private-sector funding of Alaska’s state government, and those shrunk due to COVID-19 and geopolitical events this year.

Dave had a very clear message to those who continue to fight against economic recovery in that sector, saying “Government doesn’t have a lot of money in the state of Alaska anymore.  So, if you have been fighting responsible resource development, because you think it will hurt jobs, you need to come up with a plan.”  He noted that the Governor has continued to press for opening Alaska for business – safely and without rushing back into pre-COVID activity levels – because putting people to work is a priority.

Talk turned to how the Governor’s office is reviewing a potential Biden/Harris administration and learning how working with them would be different than with the Trump administration.

Dave noted, “We’ve seen the Biden administration, and it was the eight years of the Obama administration…in an effort to save Alaska from itself, the Biden campaign wants to make sure nobody lives in Alaska.”  He went on to talk about the foolishness of an energy plan that promotes renewables but doesn’t take advantage of US (especially Alaska’s) ability to mine the necessary minerals and rare earths. That discussion, and the other potential pitfalls of working with a radicalized group of US leaders, dominated the rest of the show.

If you missed this week’s show live, you can still catch it – as well as every episode from the past 21 months – on Power the Future’s Soundcloud.

The Energy Hour can be heard live every Tuesday night from 5:00-6:00 PM local time on KNVT (92.5 FM, 1020 AM and online at 1020KVNT.com).  The show (also replayed during the same hour on Saturday night) is heard throughout Southcentral Alaska communities, and acts as a recap of Power The Future activities in Alaska, as well as an opportunity to hear from various members of Alaska’s energy and political communities.  Feel free to reach out to Rick@PowerTheFuture.com with show ideas or feedback!