Talk About Hitting a Nerve

Talk About Hitting a Nerve

November 26, 2019

When Power The Future’s Alaska State Director, Rick Whitbeck, was penning his monthly op-ed for the Anchorage Daily News, he thought about the recent Twitter back-and-forth between Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC).  AOC had taken the Governor to task over his thoughts on how Alaska would be impacted by poorly-thought-out policies such as the Green New Deal, noting that jobs in the oil and gas industry would suffer, and revenues to the state from fossil fuel development would drop.

Rick’s answer to that online dialogue was published on November 1st, and it sure has triggered some Alaskans – especially those who believe the eco-extremist myth about how much better the world would be without continued oil and gas production, mining, and the jobs that go along with those industries.

Four – count ‘em, four – letters to the editor have been written in reply to that article, with the most recent being published yesterday.  (For those wanting some “fun” reading, they appear here, here, here and here.)

The “facts” the letter writers believe pertinent – that Alaska is ground zero for global warming, that fossil fuels are on their last legs, that pointing out the stupidity of a freshman Congresswoman is akin to slandering a great American, that 3500 scientists can agree on something – all miss the point.

Alaska is dependent on continued energy development for its economic survival.  Revenues from the oil and gas development in this state accounted for $2.7 billion to government coffers in 2018.  The jobs from oil and gas are foundational to this state’s employment figures, and anything that threatens those threatens Alaska’s overall economy.

Mining operations across Alaska are currently – with much more potential impact to come – among America’s most important operations for extracting components necessary for green energy development.  Without a momentous increase in mining, there can be no significant green energy expansion.

So before the letter writers continue to pen their missives, let’s hope they think more thoroughly through the missed points they continue to make.

Alaska’s energy workers, their families and their jobs are critical to our great state.  That’s why Power The Future will continue to fight for them.