Mr. Ruedrich's alleged ethical violations are yet another chapter in the story of political corruption in Alaska. Apparently, Mr. Ruedrich has been on the horn doing favors for the oil and gas industry while on the public's dime. The industry figured out that effective control of the public's oil and gas really requires control of the people's government. In case we-the-people don't understand that, ConocoPhillips spells it out in its TV ads: "The state's got to realize where the money comes from," and, "Every aspect of our lives is affected by oil." Mr. Ruedrich, along with Messrs. Ogan and Murkowski, could not agree more.
Nothing exemplifies industry's commandeering of our ship-of-state more than the steamrollered "streamlining" of the fish-habitat and coastal-management permitting programs. Historically, local coastal districts have had a strong role steering development so the public may continue to enjoy clean air, clean water, and productive, natural habitats. The oil and gas industry objects to local control because it is not as keen on "balancing" development and environment; neither are the governor, the Legislature, nor are the logging, mining, tourism and fishing industries.
Bad apples like Mr. Ruedrich will continue to fall from the tree-of-state as long as the tree grows in contaminated soil.