Refuge of riches

Posted: Friday, August 03, 2001

I want to compliment Bill McAllister and Michael Penn for their special report, "Refuge of Riches," in the July 22 Empire. It is certainly a report worth reading, forwarding to friends and keeping.

However, the features that include "How ANWR could affect you bank account" do not bring out that this is not another Prudhoe Bay bonanza. The state of Alaska owns the land at Prudhoe, leases it and receives the royalty revenue. By contrast, ANWR is owned totally by the federal government and all lease and royalty revenues, should they occur, would go to the federal government. A small portion of the receipts may, according to a formula set by Congress, go to the state of Alaska. Many people both within Alaska and in the Lower 48 do not seem to understand this.

I also want to compliment Phyllice Bradner Matson on her excellent My Turn article, "Myths about ANWR development." I agree heartily with her analysis. Many people in the Lower 48, including those who should know better, think that oil development means despoiling the beautiful interior of the national wilderness. I, too, have been to Prudhoe Bay and have seen the caribou and other wildlife roaming there and along the pipeline. And after seeing the coastal plain at Prudhoe and Point Barrow, I changed my mind about flying on Alaska Air over to Siberia. The coastal plain of Alaska or Siberia is not a desirable tourist destination, despite its ecological significance.

Elizabeth A. Daugherty

Juneau



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