The Green New Deal’s Effects on Alaska – Part 1 – Clean Energy

The Green New Deal’s Effects on Alaska – Part 1 – Clean Energy

February 28, 2019

Much has been made of The Green New Deal (GND), House Resolution 109 introduced by first-term Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and veteran Senator Ed Markey (D-MA). Hundreds of essays have been written, thousands of letters to the editor have been penned, almost every TV and online pundit has chimed in with comments for and against the ideas expressed in the resolution itself and the (now-deleted) FAQ that Ocasio-Cortez’s office distributed prior to the GND’s release.

Taking the resolution at its face, with nothing but the words of the resolution itself to fall back on, a question can be asked:  What would the GND mean for Alaskans?

This series will take a look at the GND, and how it would impact the Alaska way of life.  Today, we’ll focus on migrating from fossil fuel development.

Starting with page seven, line 18, the GND would require “meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable and zero-emission energy sources…” That in and of itself should be enough to scare Alaskans, as fossil fuel development (oil, gas, coal) generates somewhere north of 70% of the State’s general fund revenues each and every year.

It is important to note that the last major “green energy” project in Alaska, the Susitna-Watana dam north of Talkeetna, would have generated nearly 50% of the energy needs for southcentral Alaska.  It was canceled in 2016 by then-Governor Walker after immense public pressure from – of all people – environmentalists, who said that the dam would have impacted fish runs, among other things.

If Alaska’s economy is dependent on fossil fuel development for its general funds, and environmental groups are consistently fighting the major projects (both existing and potential) that would provide more “clean” energy for Alaska residents, it is laughable to expect the GND to be supported by Alaskans.

Since Power The Future advocates tirelessly for energy and development jobs, we support Alaska’s efforts to continue to responsibly develop its natural resources – whether oil, coal, gas, minerals or timber – as those materials, directly and indirectly, help Alaskans and Americans across the country power their daily requirements for electricity, heat and transportation.