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Alaska politicians mouthpieces for the oil and gas industry

The economic status of Alaska is identical to that of an undeveloped third world country. And their State politics and politicians are not much different either. They are mouthpieces for the oil and gas industry, bought and paid for by the oil industry through the vast royalties paid to the state.

Comment on Alaska and the oil and gas industry from a former employee of Shell Oil Company USA

John,

I have a few comments about Alaska and the oil and gas industry.

Thirty odd years ago the mainstay industries of Alaska, if you can call them that, were fishing, logging and mining. There was some oil production from Cook Inlet, but it was not a significant contributor to the states economy. Then along came Prudhoe Bay and the North Slope. Suddenly, the State of Alaska was awash in royalty revenues.

That gravy train has chugged along for thirty years, but it is beginning to run out of steam. If significant new reserves of oil and gas not discovered in the National Petroleum Reserve and if development of known oil and gas reserves in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge are not permitted, and if it is not possible to produce the known oil and gas reserves, and undiscovered reserves from the Arctic Continental Shelf, which is a real possibility, then Alaska and Alaskans have a serious problem. They will have to fund their State government like every other state in the continental US. Through sales, income and property taxes. And State services will have to be curtailed dramatically.

The economic status of Alaska is identical to that of an undeveloped third world country. And their State politics and politicians are not much different either. They are mouthpieces for the oil and gas industry, bought and paid for by the oil industry through the vast royalties paid to the state.

Don’t expect rational and responsible judgments from Alaskan politicians on environment policy or resource development. They have a ‘drill baby drill’, ‘dig baby dig’, and ‘log baby log’, and ‘suck’m out of the sea’ mentality when it comes to the exploitation of Alaska resources.

And these are resources now largely Federally owned, i.e., owned by the entire nation, not the State of Alaska or Alaskans. Only Federal authorities have the authority to set resource development policy for these resources, whether Alaskans like it or not. Alaskans will not exercise responsible judgment when it comes to the development of these resources, and fortunately they don’t have that legal authority.

Alaskans need to come to terms with the idea that the great oil industry gravy train may be coming to an end in the not too distant future, like it or not. They will then have to run their State government responsibly and frugally, off sales, income and property tax revenues, etc.

The next new industry will be environmental remediation of the damage done by the oil industry on the North Slope.

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