Governor longs for the good old days

Letter to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, December 08, 2004

"Zippee de doo dah, oh what a wonderful day" is the theme of Gov. Murkowski's recent newspaper tabloid - and vastly hyped political blather at considerable cost to Alaskans.

Meanwhile, Murkowski has severely cut crucial funding and infrastructure across our state on a wholesale basis. Incredibly, his propaganda also brags about a negotiated "settlement" with BP Oil forgiving millions of dollars in fees for pennies on the dollar - during record prices and profits. There's no doubt that Murkowski certainly takes care of his corporate benefactors.

I only wish he had half as much concern for all Alaskan citizens.

This governor clearly longs for the good old days of the 1950s in hyping his resource development plans - code words for clear cutting to the horizon and dumping mine tailings wherever - water quality be damned and to hell with the consequences. And oh yes, ever more "industrial" roads to nowhere.

Unrestrained development to benefit a few companies is invariably harmful for others who depend upon sound, intact ecosystems. Alaska's fishing, hunting, recreation and tourism industries all need healthy environments, and provide more jobs than all the timber, oil and mining put together by a factor of over 2-to-1, contradicting the governor's label of "Resource Development" for his lead dog in his cartoon. In the words of an old-timer, "That dog won't hunt."

It's too bad for Alaska that this governor and administration look backward to the past. What we sorely need is thoughtful leadership, progressive enough to look and plan forward for a vibrant future, and wise enough to safeguard the resources we all need to make our livings.

Erik Lie-Nielsen


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