Rick Whitbeck: Rep. ‘GoFundMe Gray’ has a wild idea



We’ve seen many proposals from the eco-left over the years that had us scratching our heads and pondering how anyone could think they were good ideas.  This one from Alaska might take the cake.

At the end of February, during a meeting of the Alaska Legislature’s House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Andrew Gray (D-Anchorage) asked the following:

“I kind of have the ultimate CCUS [Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage]: Is it possible under some circumstance for us to get paid not to take oil out of the ground? And my brief sort of crazy idea is to just sort of, if we did it like a GoFundMe, there’s so many environmentalists around the world that we could potentially set up a charge, to fund our government, to be paid not to drill oil. If we had people, if we had 100 billion in the ground, and we divide it up how much that would be over time, that we could potentially get paid not to drill. Do people talk about that? Is that possible?”

You can view Rep. Gray’s comments here.

Aside from the relative complexity associated with funding state government on the backs of individual GoFundMe donations – which certainly are less-reliable than the more than a billion dollars resource development helps fund the state with annually – there’s a gaping hole in Rep. Gray’s logic: more than a quarter of all private-sector jobs in the state are supported by the safe and responsible extraction of oil and gas.  A GoFundMe won’t fund those jobs.  They’d be lost, and Alaska’s unemployment numbers would skyrocket.

But to Rep. Gray, who was endorsed during this last election cycle by the radical Alaska Center (for the Environment) and other anti-development organizations, keeping oil in the ground is a goal that should be explored; no matter how much damage it would do to his constituents and the state.

Simply put, elections have consequences. They put zealots with fringe ideas into office, and then we get to listen to “solutions” like this.  Let’s hope this is the low point of Rep. Gray’s legislative career, and that he doesn’t have any more “brilliant ideas” in the future.

Rick Whitbeck is the Alaska director for Power the Future.


  1. Here’s a another novel idea. Why not manage the State’s timber resources and create a forest products industry ? The soils and climatic conditions in South Central and Interior Alaska are almost identical to Finland, a nation with a very robust forest products industry (and way more moose than we have in Alaska). The best way to deal with carbon reduction is by sequestering it in healthy growing trees. Locking up thousands of acres of timber for a one-time check is a loser’s game.

    • makes to much sense it would drive down the lumber prices in AK (or certain parts of AK) plus there’d be something to load all those empty shipping boats with headed south

    • Good idea, that. Two additional points for your consideration (one of which you’ve already touched upon):

      – There are other ways to log (better ways) than clear cutting which triggered the current pushback. Problem is USFS gets more $$$ for clear cutting than for thinning.
      – A growing forest fixes more CO2 than an old growth forest.

      Cheers –

  2. Anyone that ever listened to Gray at an assembly meeting would be aware of his histrionic, strident, disjointed testimonies that belied facts would not be surprised that this idiocy sprung to his frontal lobe. It amazed me the volume of useful idiots that made their way to Juneau this go round.

  3. Farmers get paid by the government not to grow certain crops. And by looking around at everybody’s physical appearance, we currently have no food shortage.
    If money is paid not to produce Alaska oil, there will be a shortage of oil byproducts, mostly gasoline, and prices will rocket up. And Alaska’s revenues will shrink. Economics 001.
    Does this guy Gray have any postsecondary education at all? Or is he just another brainwashed, woke, environmental wacko idiot, devoid of any common sense and logic?

    • If a clever individual enters university they will be clever when they graduate. If someone that’s not clever enters university they won’t be clever when they graduate.

      Credit hours won’t cure Mr. Gray’s matter.

    • Naomi, Alaska’s oil production is basically a drop in the bucket of oil production around the world.

      Alaska isn’t even leading the US in oil production. That honor goes to Texas. From my research, I will post the link below, I have found that Texas produced 1776449 thousand barrels in 2020 accounting for 43.18% of all oil production in the United States. In 2020, Alaska produced 163852 thousand barrels, 3.97%. Alaska produced less than half of what New Mexico did in 2020, as NM produced 370402 thousand barrels, 8.97%.

      While I am not advocating for AK to stop producing oil, that’s beyond asinine, if we did stop, there wouldn’t be a shortage of oil products/byproducts

      my data source link: ‘https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_crd_crpdn_adc_mbbl_a.htm

      • Those numbers are very low; Alaska has been around 400K/bbl./dy. for the last several years and has begun to tick up in recent years. Unless the communists, excuse me, Democrats throw another wrench in the works new fields should get us above 500K bbl/dy.

        A cessation of Alaska production would disrupt US supply and pricing for some time, particularly in The West, primarily because there is little shipping available to bring oil from east to west and Western refineries are designed for Alaska oil. Turning off Alaska oil turns most of the Escalades in California into lawn ornaments for some time until shipping and refining could be arranged. It would probably be easier to import oil for Mexifornia from Mexico.

        In any event, this idiot is just riffing on ideas floating around about turning the whole Alaska economy into something like the Juneau economy. Just do away with most of the private sector keep just enough to supply groceries and building materials and rely on Amazon and other online providers for everything else; I pretty much lived that way when I lived in Juneau. Then when we shuck out the surplus private sector, the State lives on the Permanent Fund. In the minds of these people we could do that forever if we had $100Billion in the Fund, but I know government well enough to know that it won’t last a decade, and I’ll be long gone.

        • There is a part of me that grows every year. Let’s cut to the chase and just give the legislature the corpus of the PF.

          It’s their ultimate end game. It’s too much money they don’t control.

          Once they have the corpus there will be the predictable orgy of spending on everything from office furniture to unsustainable new jobs.

          Inside of 6 years they will empty it, and this mess will finally be over.

        • Show us your sources Art, otherwise you are just writing words on the internet. And anyone can do that even those horrible commie libs

          And for the record 400k barrels a day equals 146000 thousand barrels per year or 146,000,000 barrels. The numbers I cited are higher at close to 450k barrels per day.

          Here is my math: 400,000 barrels * 365 days = 146,000,000 barrels per year

          163,852,000 barrels per year / 365 days = 448,909.59 barrels per day

          Even if we increase production to 600k barrels per day, we don’t get close to Texas and barely inch closer to New Mexico in oil production. New Mexico produces oil at a rate of over a million barrels per day. 370,402,000/365=1,014,800 barrels per day.

          And also, it is not like oil production will just stop like someone turned off the faucet and oil will stop flowing. There will be so much noise made about shutting production down, the rest of the producers around the US and world will have ample time to plan.

  4. Thank you, Mr. Whitbeck. Always smart, always looking out for Alaska. You are appreciated. Gray…..not so much.

  5. Just what Alaska needs. Go ahead, tie our state’s well being and government to completely voluntary outside funding from a source that has already proven time and again that they have an agenda that does not take the citizens of Alaska into consideration…..

    Go ahead. See what happens. If you think Carter and his ANILCA were bad for the state just see what this will bring.

  6. I like Gray’s idea.
    Environmentalists paying me every month to ‘save’ Alaska.
    As long as the checks keep coming I won’t take anything from the ground, cut a tree or even catch a fish.
    Heck. I’ll even throw in NO driving!
    I’ll sell my car, use Uber & winter in a college town south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

  7. House District 20 (U-MED district) voters elected this clown to represent them. Buzzwords he promoted on his elect me website resurrected via internet archive. “My platform is simple: Common Sense, Compassion, and Courage. I’m dedicated to representing our neighbors and standing up for Alaskans.

    20 questions & answers Alaska Beacon before he was elected: Very concerning viewpoint on gun restrictions for your own good- “There is room for common sense gun laws in our state. A Red Flag law, like the one championed by Republicans and recently passed in Florida, would be a good start.” Good luck with that. ‘https://alaskabeacon.com/briefs/qa-with-alaska-house-district-20-candidate-andrew-gray/

    In a State where our AK State Troopers can’t tell a fake court protective order from a real one for a certain school superintendant that had family members wanting her to get a “mental health check”. Still haven’t heard if any family member was prosecuted for perjury or fraudulently impersonating an Alaska Judge, I am not sure a Red Flag law would be implemented correctly. Watch out!

  8. It’s not a wild idea or a crazy idea, it’s nothing but stupid. This is something that a child would think of and then immediately think better of. It shows a complete and total lack of understanding of countless concepts, like the economy, the environment, carbon capture and/or sequestration, oil, jobs, taxation, government, and even how gofundme works. It’s a remarkably ignorant thing for an elected official to say, and that’s saying something with all the remarkably ignorant things public officials say!

  9. That’s our society today. Everyone wants to get paid for doing absolutely nothing.
    I think people would sell their mamas if they could get a dollar for it.

  10. Sounds like he’s copy catting someone else, who probably mentioned a go me fund, for a project that doesn’t get funding. Now who could that be?

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