Why Would ANY Alaskan Vote for Biden After His Debate Answer on Oil?

Why Would ANY Alaskan Vote for Biden After His Debate Answer on Oil?

October 23, 2020

The oil and gas industry and Alaska have long had a mutually-beneficial relationship.

The industry has provided approximately 90% of all business revenue to the State most years, and still – even after the restructuring of how Permanent Fund allocations are made to cover state costs – account for nearly 66% of all non-Fund sources.  Since 2014, the industry has paid $19.1 billion in taxes and royalties to the State.

Approximately one-quarter of all private-sector employment is directly or indirectly tied to and supported by the industry.  Including all direct, indirect, and induced employment and wages, oil and gas industry spending in Alaska accounted for 41,800 jobs and $3.1 billion in total wages in Alaska in 2018. This included: 5,800 Alaska resident jobs in the oil and gas support services sector and 31,900 indirect and induced jobs in other private and public sectors.

So when Joe Biden was asked directly in last night’s debate if he would close down the oil industry, the dialogue was astonishing:

Joe Biden: “I would transition from the oil industry, yes.”

President Trump replied, “Oh, that is a big statement.”

Biden: “That is a big statement, yes. Because I would stop…”

Moderator, NBC’s Kristen Welker: “Why would you do that?”

Biden: “Because the oil industry pollutes. Significantly.”

Trump: “I see.”

Biden: “But here’s the deal…”

Trump: “That’s a big statement.”

That’s a job-killing, “just-transition”-inducing, threatening, demeaning and higher-cost-of-energy-creating statement.  That shot was fired across the bow of every energy worker in Alaska and elsewhere across the country.  If Americans are paying attention, it may have cost Biden hundreds of thousands of votes in swing states where jobs in oil and gas form a foundation for their states’ economies.

Joe Biden can’t walk that statement back.  His words are clear.  His intentions known.

Joe Biden wants oil and gas jobs gone.  The sooner the better.  That’s not good for Alaska.  That’s not good for American energy independence.