Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2001

Labor leaders endorse ANWR drilling

FAIRBANKS - Labor leaders have sided with Alaska's senators in support of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, saying the work would benefit the nation's economy.

"We know when working families need help, and that time is now," James Hoffa, president of the Teamsters, said at a news conference recently.

Hoffa said gasoline prices are rising and ANWR oil would help stem that trend. The union distributed a $228 receipt from a member's recent truck fill-up in New Jersey.

Mike Sacco, of the Seafarers International, said developing ANWR would keep U.S. workers employed on U.S. ships and in shipyards. "These jobs will keep the economic engine of America prospering," Sacco said.

Sen. Frank Murkowski has noted that the Avondale shipyard in Louisiana has put one double-hulled tanker on the water, has recently christened another, has three under construction and may start working on two more. "Without Alaska oil, those ships wouldn't be built," he said.

Overall, Hoffa said, ANWR's development would create 735,000 jobs. That figure comes from a 1990 study conducted by the Wharton School of Economics at Cambridge University in England.

Adam Kolton of the Alaska Wilderness League questioned the alleged labor unity, noting that the nation's largest union group, the AFL-CIO, had not endorsed ANWR development, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

Kolton said predictions that ANWR oil would both cut gasoline prices and create 735,000 new jobs are both based on the flawed assumption that the new oil would drive down world crude oil prices.

Legislator to speak at luncheon

JUNEAU - The Alaska Business Roundtable in Juneau will feature Rep. Ken Lancaster, a Soldotna Republican, this week. Lancaster will speak on building Alaska's vision.

The lunch, which costs $13, is at noon Thursday at Hangar on the Wharf. It is presented by the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce and the Juneau Chamber of Commerce. Call 586-2323 for information.

Bonnie awarded to Crystal Clear

JUNEAU - Crystal Clear Communications of Juneau was recently awarded a prestigious Bonnie, or "Best of the North" merit award, presented by the Advertising Federation of Alaska.

M'Iva Rickey, owner of Crystal Clear, said the award was for a 30-second television commercial created for First Bank. The humorous commercial, which features a phone conversation between a Southeast fisherman and a non-Alaskan living Outside, was titled "Miscommunication." She said the collaborative effort with videographer Tom Pillifant and First Bank's marketing director Eric Bjella was "a joy to create."

"It was a fantastic amalgamation of people I trust and have worked with together for years, and it came together beautifully," Rickey said.

PenAir ends service to Bethel

ANCHORAGE - PenAir has canceled its Bush service out of Bethel.

Service to the 17 largest communities in the Yukon-Kuskowkim Delta region around Bethel was only marginally profitable, PenAir President Orin Seybert said

The company needed the planes and staff for its increased business in the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands, he said.

PenAir's passenger service in the region has more than doubled since Reeve Aleutian Airways suspended all scheduled services in December, Seybert said. And for the first time, PenAir is flying to Adak.

PenAir serves 80 communities around Alaska with 35 airplanes.

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