By JOHN PENCE
America is in the midst of an energy renaissance thanks to President Trump, allowing Alaska to develop a durable energy infrastructure that will generate prosperity for years to come.
I’ll be in Anchorage on December 6 for the Alaska Republican Party’s Unity Gala, and I invite you to join us as we celebrate the revival of Alaska’s energy industry.
Every Alaskan knows the importance of energy security — thousands of working families in the state rely directly on local energy production, and every resident benefits from the state’s oil dividend, which paid out $1,600 per person in 2018. Alaska plays a crucial role in preserving our country’s energy independence, helping America to become a net exporter of oil and refined fuels for the first time since 1973.
Energy is the key to Alaska’s future, as well, considering that Alaska has the sixth-largest crude oil reserves in America, including Prudhoe Bay, which easily ranks among the country’s 10 largest oil fields.
This historic energy rebound didn’t happen by accident. Unlike his predecessor, who used the Environmental Protection Agency to bludgeon the U.S. energy industry, President Trump has focused on strengthening this vital sector of our economy, eliminating draconian regulations that did nothing but destroy jobs.
“President Obama has aggressively blocked oil production … Every single move he’s made is to block the production of oil and natural gas,” then-candidate Trump pointed out in 2016. “He’s taken huge percentages of the Alaska petroleum. And you take the reserve, he’s taken it off the table. He’s taken it completely off the table.”
One of the President’s first priorities was to roll back onerous restrictions on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) — something he accomplished within just a few months of taking office by opening up about 1.6 million acres of the 19.3 million-acre area for fossil fuel extraction. His efforts to strengthen the U.S. energy sector haven’t diminished since then, paying huge dividends for Alaska. Just last month, the federal government awarded Anchorage a $25 million federal grant to help build a new petroleum and cement terminal at the city port. Meanwhile, the Trump administration continues to explore new ways to boost drilling in remote regions of Alaska — a move that would make the state even more prosperous.
The President’s pro-growth economic policies have also triggered a renewable energy boom, helping green energy companies expand without punishing workers in industries that still rely on fossil fuels. In late November, Renewable IPP officially opened the largest solar farm in Alaska — a $1.5 million project that will create jobs while reducing carbon emissions by about 2 million pounds per year.
Sadly, not everyone in Washington values Alaska’s ongoing energy renaissance. Almost every Democrat running for president in 2020 has pledged to burden America’s energy industry with radical environmental policies inspired by the $93 trillion Green New Deal.
Alaskans deserve to have a future of economic growth and prosperity, and President Trump is providing just that with his common-sense approach to energy policy. I hope you’ll join me in celebrating this winning agenda on December 6 in Anchorage. Together, we can protect the Great Frontier from out-of-touch Democrats who are intent on dismantling the backbone of this state’s economy.
John Pence (@JePence) is a Senior Adviser to the Trump 2020 campaign. He is an alumnus of The College of William & Mary and holds a law degree from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law and a business degree from New York University.