Alaska Editorial: Missing the point

This editorial first appeared in the Ketchikan Daily News:

Last week’s announcement that the Obama administration would sell off 30 million barrels of Strategic Petroleum Reserve oil was short-sighted and won’t do much good.

Alaska’s Congressional delegation agreed that the approach is a poor substitute indeed for an energy plan. Such a plan must include increased domestic oil production.

Goodness knows we’ve got the oil. Sen. Mark Begich points out that “developing Alaska’s oil and gas resources buys our country 100 years of energy security from countries who don’t like us.”

His colleague, Alaska’s senior Sen. Lisa Murkowski, notes that in addition to reducing our need for foreign oil, “domestic production .... also provides our nation with an opportunity to create jobs, generate government revenues, close our trade deficit and pay down our debt.”

Congressman Don Young sees what he calls the raid on the reserves as “a clear acknowledgement of the need to increase domestic supply.” Characteristically, he goes further, calling the move “all talk, no action” and a decision that “does absolutely nothing.”

The point of the reserves is for truly hard times — not for when the price of oil is a political liability to a president seeking re-election in a disappointing economy.

Everyone talks about the need for a realistic national energy policy — one that not only looks to renewable energy, but that acknowledges we’ll be needing oil for some time to come. Even if everyone stopped driving fossil-fuel vehicles tomorrow, we’d still be using oil.

Wouldn’t it be smart to be producing it in America and buying it from Americans?

The reserves are intended for when we can’t get oil and we have a true emergency. The idea isn’t to empty them when we just don’t want to pay four bucks a gallon at the pump.

A short-sighted raid indeed.


Wed, 02/22/2017 - 11:53

Stand with Alaskans and stand with Planned Parenthood

I appreciate Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s recent decision to support repealing the Trump administration’s global gag rule. The global gag rule bans federal money for overseas family planning programs if the programs also provide abortion, or provide information about abortion. The global gag rule puts thousands of lives at risk, and Murkowski has rightly recognized that. I praise Murkowski, and want her to know that Alaskans stand with her in supporting access to family planning services. This means that we support Planned Parenthood, and we hope she will stand with us in the coming weeks by refusing to vote for any changes to the Affordable Care Act that include defunding Planned Parenthood. Read more

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 08:42

Alaska editorial: The opioid issue

This editorial first appeared in the Ketchikan Daily News:

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Expanding apprenticeship in rural Alaska

We are proud to announce a new statewide training initiative: the Alaska Maritime Apprenticeship Program. Over the past year, the Calista Corporation, in partnership with the state and federal government, has built a Registered Apprenticeship program to train Alaskans for careers on deck, in the engine room, and in the galley, earning both a salary and an industry-recognized credential. Working with a group of companies including Brice Marine and Yukon River Towing, we are expanding career and training opportunities for Alaskans in the maritime industry.

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Wed, 02/22/2017 - 08:40

Transboundary mining: Defending Alaska’s interests

It is a big week for Alaska’s capital city. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan are in town to address the Alaska State Legislature, the United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA) Board of Directors, and all Alaskans. There are a number of issues on which the state of Alaska, including our elected decision makers at both the state and federal levels, can show unity. One of those critical issues is asking the U.S. federal government to defend Alaskan interests in the Alaska-British Columbia (B.C.) transboundary mining issue.

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