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Opinion: It’s clear which candidates have the backs of Alaska’s energy community

There’s a clear distinction between the major candidates for president, U.S. Senate and U.S. House.

With less than three weeks before the November elections, the stakes for Alaska’s energy workers have never been higher.

There’s a clear distinction between the major candidates for president, U.S. Senate and U.S. House. One set of candidates would continue with the advancements made the past four years with regard to American energy independence, enhanced responsible development and job growth among all sectors of the energy community – at least prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

One set of candidates would emphasize a transition away from the natural resources that drive Alaska’s economy, and move toward a “Green New Deal” where tens of thousands of Alaskan families and over a quarter of our workforce would be at risk of job loss or forced transition.

You might hear from that second set of candidates that Alaska won’t be impacted, and that their goal of a “just transition” away from fossil fuels is the only way to save America from a future of heartache and “catastrophes” from the “existential threat” of a “climate crisis.”

I’d submit that this position is great for instilling fear, but does little to help Alaska’s workforce or economic future.

There simply aren’t enough “green” energy jobs or projects in our state to replace the potentially-affected workforce, should that second set of candidates win and begin their plans to dismantle Alaska’s economy and key employment areas, which would ultimately displace thousands of good-paying energy jobs in the Great Land.

So as we ready ourselves to cast our ballots between now and Nov. 3, let’s remember which set of candidates will have the backs of Alaska’s energy community — and a bright economic future — going forward.

Rick Whitbeck,

Anchorage

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