Rep. Sara Rasmussen to Seattle City Council: Knock it off

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Rep. Sara Rasmussen, the freshman legislator from Anchorage District 22, wrote the Seattle City Council this week to correct the record on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Rasmussen’s letter was in response to the Seattle City Council passing a resolution to stop the Emerald City from doing business with any company that drills in ANWR.

“First and foremost, a large majority of Alaskans from across the political spectrum support drilling in ANWR. This past legislative session, a resolution in support of drilling in ANWR was overwhelmingly passed by the Alaska House of Representatives, with bipartisan support, by a vote of 36-3,” Rasmussen wrote in her role as a member of the House Natural Resource Committee.

Rasmussen added that the Inupiaq living on the North Slope – the area of the state most affected by drilling – support responsible development of resources in ANWR.

“In fact, denying them the right to develop their own land is, in a way, a violation of their economic self- determination. The resolution mentions the Gwich’in and ‘other Alaska Native tribes that live in the region,’ yet completely ignores the Inupiaq’s ownership of the land and support for responsible development,” she wrote.

Rasmussen acknowledged that Seattle has a right to choose which vendors it uses, but she argued that disqualifying vendors for their participation in resource development – an industry that employs and sustains tens of thousands of Alaskans and supports more than 113,000 jobs in the Puget Sound Region – places an undue burden on those who rely on resource development jobs to feed their families.

“I would ask that the Council reconsider its resolution and carefully consider how the City of Seattle can constructively interact with businesses and industries that sustain the people of Alaska,” she wrote.

In fact, the City of Seattle doesn’t actually do any business of note with companies that may drill in the 1002 area of ANWR’s coastal plain. Not directly anyway. But the indirect business interests are completely intertwined between Puget Sound and Alaska.

There are hundreds of businesses that operate out of Seattle and supply dozens of companies working on the North Slope. Companies like Lynden, Alaska Air, and even Amazon, which has become a significant part of the supply chain for Alaska’s business community are based in Seattle and supply goods, services, and workers to the North Slope.

Microsoft products are used all across the oil patch, from company headquarters to the oil field. Then there’s the Cherry Point and Anacortes refineries, where all Alaska crude oil gets refined before it is sent to the Sea-Tac Airport for jet fuel, and to gas stations, where the City of Seattle garbage trucks fill their fuel tanks.

20 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you Rep. Sara Rasmussen..good job. There are a lot of Alaskans that have your back. ???

  2. How refreshing for Sara to explain simple facts to folks who likely won’t read or listen, sadly. But she did the right thing, and that is to be commended!

  3. I was a bit more direct:

    Seattle needs to focus on their own problems and stay out of Alaska’s business.

    I used to LOVE your city and always said if I had to live in a city it would be Seattle. But you’ve lost your way. When I was a teenager I could walk anywhere, any time. It’s no longer safe, even in the middle of the day. So why don’t you fix your own problems before meddling in Alaska.

    You are very close to losing our family’s medical tourism. The last trip we were there for 10 days, and not counting the contributions to your medical facilities, spent over $10,000 in your city. Mail order is looking more attractive by the minute.

  4. I doubt if the Seattle City Council has much interest in sorting out the facts regarding 1002 area drilling. They probably rely on MSNBC, the Sierra Club and various other Left-wing interest groups for pre-digested propaganda points. Sadly, most of these folks have be subject to decades of indoctrination from the US educational system. I hope we drill in the 1002 reasonably soon and that renders much of Seattle’s population apoplectic.

    Having said all that, Seattle is not representative of much of the population of Washington State. There are plenty of good folks there.

  5. But Seattle is ok with all the boats from there coming up and developing a natural resource such as, oh I don’t know, say SEAFOOD.

    • Good time to ask the legislation for a new “Boat safety” law for out-of-state boats and ships that ply the seafood trade. Oh.. Start off at $500,000 for a safety inspection and tag that’s only good for one year. Non-compliance would start off with seizing the boat or ship and paying a massive fine to get it back.

      • Well Joe,
        Apparently you are not aware of how many billionaires there are in the Seattle area like Bezos and Gates etc…
        If you do your homework and see the corporations who get to invest the majority of our PF capital in their “blue chip” companies then you (and Sara) may begin to figure out who the real players are in the AK economy.
        I would venture to say that the Princess lodges and cruise ships are way more invested in Alaska than any company that calls the Arctic home.

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