After unprecedented Election Day, Alaska’s energy community waits for results - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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After unprecedented Election Day, Alaska’s energy community waits for results

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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.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • There’s never ever been a successful socialist country in the world. The Dem’s are wanting to lead America down that path, not because they’re idealistic, but because they’re looking towards personal power and profit.
    They will want to put us back under the heels of the New World Order, Globalism Will suck America dry. China will rule us by our mineral dependence on them.
    However, Pelosi will be happy with just being able to afford designer ice-cream. Everyone has their own motives. Ahahahahahaha!

  • The oil industry can breath a sigh of relief, as that ill conceived initiative was the worst way to correct any oil patch issues.
    I suggest that we put pressure on the oilies to help develop value added processes in Alaska. I also advocate for Alaska to develop a sustainable industrial base, using our energy, mineral and other resources in state.
    Murkowski and Sullivan can grand-stand on Pebble all day long, but circumventing our duly legislated NEPA only discourages investment in Alaska.
    Those two can quit lying, pretending they’re against Pebble. They’re only playing CYA because the Pebble, Northern Dynasty management got caught on tape bragging.
    On Stocktwits, an investors forum, I said many times that the Hunter/Dickenson management was an albatross around Pebbles neck. H/D is privately held. It owns Northern Dynasty Minerals. In turn, NDM owns PLP, the Pebble limited partnership. It’s all rather incestuous.
    The NEPA is a trustworthy process. The FEIS and ROD are clean bills of health. It’s the H/D, NDM, PLP management that’s the actual problem. Once some major miner buys Pebble out, that problem will be fixed……..

  • Maybe there could be a plant on the NS making something needed by the industry there, but I cannot imagine any real Alaska processing investment that depends on the remaining life of the NS and TAPS. I especially cannot imagine investor and investment banks having any interest, and that is with President Trump pulling off re-election (which seems unlikely today, but I remain hopeful). If candidate Biden becomes President then I think the very last barrel of oil will come down the pipe before an Alaskan born today begins First Grade.

    • Enough stranded gas to last a hundred years or more on the North Slope. Gas power plants – High Voltage Direct Current – Cheap electricity for industry and domestic.
      It would cost a fifth of the proposed gas-line to China to build. The mining industry could install much cleaner processes and electric trucks. The oil industry could afford to build value added processes in Alaska.
      only problem is that the power lines will take up so little real-estate that the old money families in Alaska couldn’t buy up the right-of-ways and make a buck reselling to johnny come lately investors. It wouldn’t be conducive to “Bridges To Nowhere”‘

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