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In the Sept. 7 Juneau Empire, columnist Gregg Erickson missed most of my accomplishments in two terms as governor. Here is a partial list.
Demanded that Atlantic Richfield drill at Prudhoe Bay in 1967, leading to the discovery from which Alaska's economy and government services have benefited since.
Led the settlement of the state and federal claims resulting from the Exxon Valdez disaster for $1.1 billion, avoiding the delays and expense of litigation. Those funds are being used to clean up, preserve and enhance Prince William Sound.
Demanded and received nearly $4 billion of unpaid oil taxes and royalties from the producers.
Established the individual fisheries quota and the Alaska Community Development Quota, winning participation by more than 50 villages in the Bering Sea fisheries.
Founded the Northern Forum, creating a network of cooperation among over 30 Arctic regions.
As for the Hickel Highway, without a surface transportation route, the North Slope would have taken many more years to develop. As a historical footnote, it was built in the winter of 1968 - 69, not 1967 as Erickson indicated. It was my decision to build the road, but it was built by my successor, as I had been recruited by President Nixon in December 1968 as Interior secretary.
Walter J. Hickel
Former Alaska governor