Misguided Opinion Piece, But Spot-On Headline

Misguided Opinion Piece, But Spot-On Headline

May 18, 2021

A recent headline in the Anchorage Daily News’ opinion section caught Alaska State Director Rick Whitbeck’s eye.  “Prioritizing Outside political donors over Alaska’s families is wrong,” it read, before devolving into a near hit-piece against Alaska’s Governor, Mike Dunleavy, whose ‘Alaska-first’ decisions have earned him plaudits from our organization multiple times in the past.

As off-base as the opinion piece was, the headline couldn’t be truer.  Alaskans by and large recognize and embrace the role responsible resource development plays in our state.  We realize that the direct and indirect jobs, state and local revenues and secondary economies driven by development build the foundation for much of the rest of the private-sector employment across Alaska.  We understand the tremendous history of mining, oil and gas, timber, and fishing as economic drivers for Alaska.  We appreciate how important continued resource-centric opportunities and projects are to Alaska’s future economy, employment and community development.

Which is why – unbeknownst to the opinion author – the headline (but certainly not the opinion piece itself) hit a bullseye for so many Alaskans.

Because you see, Outsiders with deep pockets and divisive, radical political agendas attempt to stifle Alaska every single day.  Look at just some of the extremist environmental groups waging war against Alaska’s development opportunities today:  The National Resources Defense Council (San Francisco-based); Wilderness Society (Washington, DC), Audubon Society (New York City), World Wildlife Fund (Washington, DC), SalmonState (Portland).  None are Alaskan.  None understand Alaskans.

Which is why Alaskans – and not Outsiders – must continue to stand up and fight this push to lock up our state and its economic future.  We must reject – as the author said – Outside political donors when they affect Alaskan families.  We must do so until the Outsiders leave us alone – which, admittedly, may never happen.  But we must not stop until they do.  To quit fighting gives them the impetus to shut down projects and prospects.  To end jobs.  To destroy futures.  To end hope.