By RICK WHITBECK
Well, at least the dozens of political mailers, robocalls and omnipresent media blasts are in the rearview mirror, Alaska.
Now, we can only wait for results, and realize the ultimate outcome will launch Alaska’s energy community down one of two paths.
The first, under four more years of President Trump’s leadership, will continue the move toward American energy independence for oil, gas and minerals. It will continue to employ tens of thousands of Alaskans in jobs that have shaped this great state (and have been around – in some cases – for multiple generations).
The first will still lead to changes, as an increased push for renewable energy will shape future policy. Those discussions – and actions taken slowly and with diligence – should lead to increased opportunities for Alaskans, as Americans realize that critical minerals and rare earths should come from American mines, and not be imported – and therefore controlled – by Communist China.
The second path, under a Biden administration, will be shaped and driven by the radical environmental movement. Immediate impacts on traditional energy workers will be felt. The eco-extremists won’t care that Alaska gets 67% of its private-sector state revenues from oil and gas. Those are “bad” and must be replaced by “green” energy as quickly as possible; workers and their families be damned.
The second will be driven by radicals on dubious topics including climate change, environmental justice and a “just transition”. These won’t be debated, because to do so would allow for disparate opinions that have no place in the movement.
The second will put immense amounts of pressure on Alaskan families, who will face uncertain futures for the jobs and careers they have enjoyed until now.
As Alaska energy workers go to bed tonight, many will be praying with their families for patience, peace, strength and hope.
Once we have the same level of clarity on yesterday’s results, the paths forward are clear. Let’s hope Americans chose the correct one.
Rick Whitbeck is Alaska state director for Power the Future.