New source of revenue for Alaska: Carbon credits


In all the decades that Alaska sold timber, it only received a few tens of million of dollars in revenues. But in the Clinton Administration, the federal government locked up the Tongass National Forest and the timber industry in Alaska all but dried up. There was just not enough in state forests alone to ever be commercially viable.

Now, Gov. Mike Dunleavy is looking at selling carbon credits for at least some of the forested land that is not harvestable. It’s done in other parts of the world and, with carbon credits, the state could make up to $1 billion a year in revenue. It will take years to roll out but if Alaska can’t cut the trees, can it profit from that sequestration of carbon in this new business of carbon credits? Gov. Mike Dunleavy wants to find out, and he needs the Legislature to pass a bill allowing him to develop contracts.

What he will propose is a carbon credit program for some forest lands and depleted oil basins, and even for seaweed forests off of the coast of Alaska.

Dunleavy said a firm has approached the state and said that such a program could yield more than $30 billion over 20 years, if Alaska will leave some forests intact. It would not prohibit other uses of the land, such as recreation, but the trees would not be cut in exchange for billions of dollars.


    • If this is what I think it is, California tax payers may buy these credits to offset debt on California taxes. So a large corporation might buy a chunk of land. In exchange for the money, deed to the land is restricted for a period of time, such as 99 years.
      So: The state of California will essentially pay Alaska to not develop certain of its lands.
      Native Corps can do this, too.
      So can you if you own enough land!

      • Not close. Once you are admitted to program and issued credits by the state of California, the credits can be sold on the open market or through a private placement. The typical buyer is a commercial entity that emits carbon during its business process. The emitter’s have a cap on the amount of carbon that they can emit in California. To overcome this they purchase the credits on the open market or through a private placement and can then continue on with their process. BP and other refiners in California historically have been active in this market. The credits are only useful to offset carbon emissions, not any type of tax. Land is not involved in the process at all. In order obtain the credits you must agree to not develop the timber resource below an agreed upon level for 100 years. If you violate the agreement, you would be required to provide the state of California an amount of credits that correspond to the violation.

    • Why? You really would rather cut old growth forest and cause damage to salmon habitat than place these forests under conservation easements that pay more than logging and allow for recreational use? Is there an actual argument for this or is it a knee jerk reaction to conservation? Please elaborate.

      • Stop being hysterical. While it suits you, it’s hard to take you seriously when you act like a teenage girl.

        1-No one is taking about wholesale clear cutting.
        2-Trees are a manageable, renewable resource.
        3-Logging creates good paying jobs. Those are badly needed in SE.
        4-Salmon runs are far more durable than given credit for. Especially if the logging works around the runs.
        5-Carbon offsets are a fiction that employs next to no one in SE.
        6-Sitka spruce is highly prized and grows quickly. See manageable and renewable.
        7-The false equivalence of this or that is stupid and intellectually vapid. It is entirely possible to balance the needs of people with responsible natural resource management.

        I’m old enough to have heard all this before.
        -The pipe line was gonna kill the caribou and elk.
        -The Exxon Valdez was gonna make the coastline and related waterways barren for a 100 years.
        -Mining was gonna kill all the bears and chase away the whales.
        -we’re headed into an ice age
        -4 times minimum we’ve only had 10 years to save the planet.

        On and on and on and never getting any of it right. Nature is much more resilient than environmental nut jobs and leftists (I repeat myself) give it credit for.

        • Masked; What…… we need people to run the plows, buses, and other city jobs that are unfiled. There are other things that are better for construction than just wood like concrete, steel, plastics that don’t rot.
          Salmon runs are not so durable, cut down your house & see how long you survive. You are incorrect on all your assertions 😉

          • I’m incorrect timber provides jobs?
            That timber In manageable and renewable?
            That carbon offsets won’t benefit SE Alaska in a tangible monetary way?

            Curious Joe? How much time do you spend in SE? In the Tongass?

            Plastics come from (gasp) oil. You can’t make an airplane out of concrete.

            Plows only operate in the winter, only so many bus drivers needed in SE

            Alaska pubic school grad?

        • If it’s true that someone told you the pipeline was going to kill elk you should consider upgrading your information sources. There are no elk around the pipeline. Never have been. Afognak and some little burg on the panhandle. Nowhere else.

          • You missed the point. Gloom and doom and rampant destruction were predicted by the left. Not me, not my claims.

            My point is every time the left makes such claims they are wrong.

        • We need more lumber and cheaper lumber for construction. Have you seen the price of a damn 2 x 4 in Alaska? It has already been proven logging is manageable and sustainable. The Carbon Credits is another Ponzi scheme concocted by the globalist cabal to make them money and ruin your life. Climate Change is a natural event that has been happening for centuries, the criminals just found a way to brainwash the population into thinking the world is ending and you must pay for that and make them rich. Dunleavy is a RINO globalist that is just following their orders and enslaving the rest of us to their plans. We need more industry in Alaska that can responsibly produce the rich resources we have here including rare earth minerals. If you get the criminal politicians and crazed green lunatics out of the way, Alaska could be an economic powerhouse!

      • You didn’t complain last time you used toilet paper, and what place was used for responsible forestry to harvest trees for our hygiene.
        . When alaska uses paper goods, we should be willing to cut down our trees instead of cutting other places trees. You know, You are That guest who’d complain the hotel room without toilet paper due to crop shortage while the northwest sits on a forest treasury.

        • Jen, toilet paper can come from the abundant black and white spruce found throughout Alaska, including right here in south central. I’m all for it, though a bidet is a real delight (especially if you like a clean butt). That is also not where that timber would go, but beyond that, I’m not sure why folks would be opposed to the State being paid for conserving its resources. Forests are just nicer than logged out areas. That said, I’m a huge fan of logging roads as they provide great access for lots of folks, including myself.

  1. I have many pounds of carbon in my wood stove. Is there a place I can sell it? Maybe credit me on my property taxes
    I will have more coming as it will be negative degrees in the coming many days.

  2. More of Uncle Joe’s funny money. I’m sure Lisa Murkowski will be all over this. Of course, during the transactions and transfers of said monies, I’m sure a skim(s) will occur down the line. 10% for the big guy sound about right?

    • This has nothing to do with the Federal Government unless they are the ones buying the carbon credits from the State of Alaska.

  3. This scheme only works if the threat to harvest the timber or develop the land is real. It is not. The enviros have demonstrated that they are very good at stopping Alaska from developing and using Alaska’s land. This doesn’t cost them very much and I do not see them abandoning their efforts. The carbon credit scheme doesn’t work absent a change. There are many that have no interest in seeing a significant wealth transfer to Alaska. To me, this feels like cryptocurrency. If somethings sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t.

  4. It is An illegal, unenforceable contract to sell our country or parts of it to foreign interests the world/globalists – to sell our children’s’ interests and rights to them. Not Constitutional. WHY DON’T DEMOCRATS KNOW THIS? :*(

  5. If this were actually about capturing carbon then they’d log every old growth forest and replant since new growth forests capture more carbon than old growth forests. If someone will pay the state to not do something we already aren’t doing then we should sign up for that deal.

    There are Native Corporations in court right now fighting about the revenues they make from doing this very thing, they are required to split certain revenue 70%-30% with other Native Corporations…for some reason they don’t want to share the 100’s of millions they make off of this scam.

    • Steve-O, you are wrong-o, the ANC’s settled this issue last spring, not in court, but through arbitration. Also, its only the twelve Regional Corps that are subject to sharing.

      • If they settled it last spring, why are they in court for it now?

        “A dispute among Alaska Native corporations about carbon credit revenue is now in court.

        Three Native corporations are suing three others, who’ve made at least $100 million and likely more selling carbon credits. The corporations suing say they want their share under a four-decades-old revenue sharing agreement. The corporations selling carbon credits say that revenue should be treated differently and is not subject to the agreement.”

    • Steve-O, you got the first part of your post wrong. It is in fact the opposite of what you wrote.

      The older and larger the tree, the more carbon it absorbs and stores. A study of close to 700,000 trees of over 400 different varieties from all over the world found that trees actually accelerate in growth rate as they age.

      Another issue with cutting down all the old growth trees is that all the carbon they stored in their lives is returned to the atmosphere within a couple years. About 70% of each tree’s carbon is left behind in processing to create lumber or other wood products. About 45% is left in the forest in the form of root balls and branches that are limbed off before the logs are sent to the mills.

      See the study performed by the US Geologic Service by Nathan Stevenson

      • Pablo,

        In fact it is not the opposite of what I wrote, it is exactly what I said. When you said “all the carbon they stored in their lives is returned to the atmosphere within a couple years” this is a completely absurd statement. Even if you were to burn that tree all of the carbon stored isn’t returned to the atmosphere. There are wooden buildings that are hundreds and hundreds of years old, that is captured carbon.

        It is well known that smaller trees grow faster and thus capture more carbon than older trees, in fact trees become less efficient at processing carbon as they get older. Old growth forests are known to be essentially carbon neutral, they block out new growth and slowly die off so any growth seen on these old trees is offset by the deaths of the neighboring trees that then slowly rot and release carbon on to the forest floor. The best of both worlds is to remove old stagnate stands of trees, remove that captured carbon and lock it up in a longer term storage like buildings, and replace it with a new forest that captures more carbon to be stored away later. One old tree capturing as much carbon as what one young tree does is an obvious fallacy, how many smaller trees fit into the space as one large tree and how many smaller trees need to die in order for one large tree to grow? Science tells us the answer to these questions and the answer is clear, new forests with many young growing trees captures more carbon than old growth forests with few trees.

        Environmentalist whackos do not like the logical conclusions of their insanity, so they deny reality and make excuses along the way. The best way to illustrate this is by showing them the error of their ways.

        And it’s the US Geological Survey.

  6. Carbon credits ranks right up there with cryptocurrency……..
    How much is spent each year to put out every fire. Piss poor management by not managing it at all.
    The Masked Avenger has it correct.

    • “Carbon credits ranks right up there with cryptocurrency……..”
      The difference is that the seller is insulated from criminal liability because he’s selling a farce with the complete blessing of government. This is the cryptocurrency you never want to buy, but selling it (without physical, legal, or any other collateral) to a fool who created the very credit it insists it must have is a blessing. In short, you profit from the graft that the victim created, insists it must have, and demands to invest in.
      What’s not to love?

  7. in a state where the principle stream of revenue comes from oil (carbon), i would be hesitant to pay lip service to the idea that harvesting of that resource needs atonement. The people you put out of work with schemes like this, means the state will progressively drift toward the politics of California (look at Southeast now where the working classes are pretty all replaced with government workers). The Governor should revisit his first year in office and look for a billion dollars in cuts to the bloated state government and not take money from California corporations so they can pollute.

    Steve-0 hit the nail on the head with the first sentence in his post btw

    • Seems like they really don’t want folks to be logging. First, it was Sarah going to a logging convention in Oregon. Now this nonsense?
      Constantly spinning. Squeaky wheel gets a greasing. Maybe a BDO forensic accounting greasing is due with the State of Alaska.

  8. If the enviros won’t let Alaska develop its forest industry any more, then why not make money off of the forests being locked up? I agree with Masked Avenger that it would be better to do some thinning of the old growth forests and then replant them with younger and more vigorous trees. We didn’t have this problem when I was young because forests and animal populations were managed. That management meant that we didn’t have the giant forest fires they have now. But like every thing else that demands that nothing natural – animals or trees – be touched now, the consequences have been as bad for the animals and the forests as for the people. Starving wolves now attack pets and sled dogs when their usual food is not plentiful enough while the public is bombarded with photos of baby wolves saying “don’t let them be killed.” Old growth forests now face attacks from tree bugs and giant forest fires that hit miles of forests that could have been cut and used for housing. So yes, let’s see if Alaska can make some money out of the prison the enviros have put the state in.

  9. We need to take global warming very seriously and encourage MORE of it. More CO2 means more vegetation and a longer growing season, thus strengthening our forests and refurbishing it’s growth. More CO2. More Alaskan summer days of play. More green. More carbon credits.
    LOVE this governor!

    • The Earth as a whole is actually cooling. Global warming is a PONZI scheme to take more of your tax money! Stop playing into their hands. True about the CO2, good for the trees!

      • Michael Johnson:
        Stop ruining Lakreesha’s fun! Environmental wackos and all the piss-ant, so-called scientists who feed the wackos with more garbage deserve this.

      • You seem very knowledgeable about this. What is the real reason for the Bering Sea crab population crashes, the massive seabird die offs, and the increasing volatility of temperature and precipitation in the West and Southwest?

        • Reliable Idiot,
          Earth is dynamic and fluid. Nothing stays the same……idiot. Weather patterns change. Solar output changes. The jet stream changes. Living things die off. Earthquakes happen. Glaciers advance and retreat. Rivers shift course. Rain patterns change. Crab populations change. Birds will commit suicide for unknown reasons. Temperatures can fluctuate for hundreds of different reasons. This stuff has been going on for four billion years. Quit being such a gullible dumbA$$.
          It’s time to grow up.

          • 😂😂
            Lakreesha gets professor of the year award.
            That lecture should be worth at least five college credits. Probably at the graduate level .🤣

          • Hey Lakreesha – always good to have a reasoned, fact-based conversation that doesn’t devolve into name calling. No one would argue that anything you said is wrong (although the second to last sentence was a bit hyperbolic). The counter argument is not that climate change doesn’t occur naturally, it’s that human activities are accelerating change at a pace that has never occurred before. When these events happen over thousands, or tens of thousands of years, animals, plants, and humans have time to adapt. When severe changes occur over tens of years, there’s inadequate time for natural selection, so some plant and animal species are severely impacted. The Bering Sea crab population was sustainable for generations, but reached crisis numbers in only two years. Infrastructure (dams, buildings, roadways) were constructed using long term climate baselines that are quickly becoming obsolete, and the cost of repairing and replacing will be huge.

          • Reliable….
            Same old brain-washing argument that has been propagated by Lefties for decades. Your argument that climate change is a product of man’s activities and related to fossil fuel consumption cannot be proved, either by science or in a courtroom. Your theory is based on illogical assumptions. You cannot prove any of it. Your brainwashing has become your religion, and that’s how this climate change/ climate action nonsense has taken hold with young people. It’s your version of Christianity.
            You can run any quantitative data from any observations in any academic setting and still not come to a meaningful, rational conclusion, or provable conclusion, that anthropogenic activity is the root cause of climate change. It’s all bullsh*t advanced academically and spread out into the media to generate government grants, spending and wasted money. On a higher level, it’s pure socialism propoganda to take money from wealthy nations and spread it around to less developed nations. Your argument fails miserably. You have nothing but your environmental bible and the nonsensical proclamation that “the sky is falling.”
            All intended to scare people, in the name of very flaws science. Go study UFOs and Bigfoot. You gave more to work with there.
            Michael Johnson above, has it right.

          • There’s more. What RV isn’t telling you is that the data collection is being intentionally skewed, and in many cases, flat-out falsified. Scientific data, on say, crab populations in the Bering Sea can be skewed by relocation of data points. Data can be altered too. Exact science depends on where, when, and how you collect the data. Crab populations may be concentrated in new areas where old data collection points are still being used. The list of variables goes on and on. All scientific data, especially in the areas where climate change is the fundamental driver for research, is subject to the veracity of the scientists. Science has become political over the past four decades. Its primarily a function of ongoing research money to be spent in a particular field of investigation. Much of the investigation is being done by college students, many at the graduate level. They have been indoctrinated about climate change for most of their lives. They are eager to get their degrees and start earning money. The researchers who analyze the data and package the results are prone to skew the results most favorable to their personal intent, which is to boost the climate change narrative.
            Very sad, but it’s come to this. Pure science has been contaminated by politics and brain-washing. I know. I’ve been in it.

  10. Masked Avenger is correct -but the worst is-those darned lightening strikes have more control over our forests than a carbon credit agreement. Plus-when we don’t manage-the fires will be catastrophic like California -with whole
    Communities going up in smoke (note the Cheech and Chong reference) because it’s just about that stupid.

  11. And another thing-Australia has “high oil” trees also-and horrific forest fires at times-so they used a method and the theme was “Alpine grazing reduces blazing” and cattle/sheep farmers would move their herds into more difficult terrains and let’s livestock help control underbrush -but the main point is-they didn’t say “let’s
    Just let everything grow lush”

  12. Paying tas credits for timber that is not harvestable makes about as much sense as investing in FTX. Stuff like this can be expected after the past 4 year of budget fiascos and endless special sessions with the Dunleavy administration.

    • Can’t we get BDO to do a forensic accounting? The State of Alaska is hiding accounts in the General Fund, as to not create red flags.

  13. Too many commenters don’t understand the difference between old growth forests and farmed timber. For many years, the federal government subsidized clear cutting old growth timber, to the amount of $50,000 per year per logger, so that these irreplaceable trees could be shipped to Asia. Dunleavy’s current plan makes more sense, even though a standing forest releases tremendous amounts of CO2 from decaying logs.

    • the use of the word subsidy is a bit loose. All you have to do is look at the profits that ANCSA corps made on the same timber once they received clear title to the land. Most of “subsidy” you refer to was normal government waste and regulation.
      You are correct that a standing old growth forest has no benefit for CO2 sequestration as common sense will tell you, if it is not growing, it will not absorb carbon.

  14. Is carbocryptocurrency going to be the next bubble?

    We all know that no one will ever cut another tree in the Tongass. If Dunleavy has figured out a way to monetize that, good on him. Why not sell the Brooklyn Bridge – er.. carbon credits – to those idiot bi-coastal tree-huggers? Maybe then BlackRock will raise our ESG rating.

  15. Becoming beholden to more agreements, probably enforced by the feds & courts, on Alaska resources, just doesn’t sound good to me. Especially if many of us would like to see more state sovereignty, not less. Once those resources are tied up, that’s it, no matter if future administrations decide they are not such a good deal.

    Kind of like…pay us not to develop Alaska in ways you don’t like, and we’ll comply. The money might be good (and who is actually paying the money?) Consumers and/or taxpayers who necessarily need to use fossil fuels because they utilize the services of the commercial airlines, like that trip to Hawaii you might be planning? You can go but you’ll be paying a carbon penalty. And that penalty WILL become more expensive. You’re heating oil or gas. And even your wood stove. I can see a special wood stove tax in the future, of course paid as a carbon offset, also to Alaska.

    In other words these financial benefits will mean higher taxes. Especially higher taxes on the evil folks who dare to enjoy travel, snow machines, warm homes in winter etc etc. If you don’t believe it just look at how expensive a pack of cigarettes these days. It’s deemed an evil product. Not banned though. Just taxed unmercifully.

  16. Sounds too good to be true. I think that there are a few adages out there that address this! The first one that comes to my mind is, ” there’s a sucker born every minute”.

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