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Here we are, the United States, in an energy crunch, or so it would appear.
We Alaskans have energy-rich land, chock full with minerals and natural gas, and cannot provide an answer to any of our worldly problems. I may not be speaking for the rest of Alaska, but I know what we are in for. We're paying too much for gas and fuel oil, here in Bethel at $5.77 at the least for gas and close to $7.85 for fuel oil (the only answer to heating energy in our community).
There are communities out here that pay more then $10 a gallon for fuel oil. All the while the "state" of Alaska is reaping billions of dollars with the increases in oil prices. We Bush Alaskans also file the lowest average of income per family (300 percent the poverty level). Where does that leave us for food, near the bottom?
Lawmakers and the rest of the "happy go lucky" kind don't even think of us in the Bush. They consider us outcasts of the general public, looking for an occasional "feed" of generosity. It makes me sick.
We are the original owners of this land, here in Alaska, and wish they could consider us citizens of the U.S. and listen to our opinions. Representation has been pretty good for us out here, but the rest of them represent a different kind of people.
As a side note, even our elected governor makes decisions without our general public in full mind.
Lawmakers should either decide to process what we have, or stop telling us how we should "live" by our resources under their blind rule.
We poor Alaskans could all benefit from excluding ourselves from the "United" confounds of the U.S., and do better by making financial decisions on our own in a separated state or territory. Our advantageous Panhandle and our populous (prosperous) Southcentral communities of Anchorage and beyond (on the road system) have all benefited from the industries that make Alaska the "Ultimate Cruise Destination" and alternative fuel source.
As a side note, could any of you imagine paying $13.50 for a bag of Doritos at your grocery - not convenient - store?
Yeah, I'm angry and I vote just like the rest of the residents, but I have a hard time believing in the system when I see what happens to folks out in Bush Alaska.
If I stepped on anyone's toes out in Bush, Alaska, I am sorry. I am too mad to care right now.
Addendum: Nuclear Power is a viable alternative energy resource that we should consider. We have come a long way in terms of responsibility and safety.
Larry Howard Jr.