Opinion: Corruption in Alaska

Opinion: Corruption in Alaska

We have trouble recognizing corruption in the Alaska government. The argument will be to look at the Permanent Fund. Alaska is just about the only place where people are shareholders in some of their own resources.

[Volatile oil market prompts conservative forecasts]

That much is true. The bigger picture is Alaska is selling oil low, during a worldwide glut. I once worked for two brothers who owned a huge ranch. They contradicted each other about just about everything. But one thing the brothers agreed on is you sell cattle and timber when the price is right. No exceptions. They believed in selling smart.

[Opinion: Tourists don’t visit Southeast to see clear-cuts]

Unlike the ranchers’ cows, we feed the oil men in any market at any price. Who benefited from the give away of federal and Alaska Native timber in the Tongass? Who benefits from the extinction of the herring biomass? Who benefits from selling our oil on the cheap? Are we so desperate that we are selling the cows at the expense of the herd? Who feeds on this system? Whoever it is, they are corrupt. Would they be found in the Alaska Legislature and in the statehouse? Why would they do this? Wouldn’t the people be better off to drill when the price is right? The best timber is gone. Shouldn’t we give the herring a few years off?

Those contrary ranchers could not agree on anything, not even on a brand of chew. But they believed in selling smart.

John Welsh,


• My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.