Opinion: Dunleavy vetoes: conspiracy, incompetence, or just don’t care?

Whether you lean toward conspiracy theories, or just see the Dunleavy administration as incompetent, the vetoes of Alaska’s weatherization and energy efficiency programs are shortsighted and bad for Alaskan businesses and families.

The conspiracy theory says he vetoed the Cold Climate Housing Research Center funding because it included the word “climate,” and was a way to demonstrate his Koch Brothers street cred. But it is equally likely that he and the folks who work for him just don’t know what the center does, or that it is a world class research and demonstration program that works to figure out how to improve Alaska housing, save us millions on our energy costs, while bringing millions of dollars of funding into the state. It’s a little harder to make a conspiracy argument for vetoing $5 million for weatherization and energy efficiency work, but much of that goes to help lower income households save money, so perhaps it best fits the “we just don’t care” category.

As with many (most?) of his vetoes, nobody in his administration has explained their rationale, or evaluated the impacts and alternatives that they considered in vetoing these programs that will help make Alaska livable after our oil wealth is gone. There might be more than one explanation, but at the very least this failure is incompetence.

Steve Behnke,


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