Thursday, June 23, 2011

Yes, as an Alaskan you do have power

The one thing I most love about my state is her people. The beauty of Alaska is that we are family, and when one community hurts we all hurt, and we will do whatever it takes to help one another regardless of party. As Alaskans we also have total access to our Governor, and elected officials unlike other states.

I meet folks all the time who are baffled at my access to those in power. All Alaskans have the same access. These men, and women are making decisions about our future, and I am always surprised at the complacency of the public when so much is at stake. I would hope that Alaskans do not feel intimidated because they shouldn’t be. We should be holding all those in elected office accountable.

Alaska’s future is at stake, and the last thing this state needs is a public sitting by and hoping for the best. We had 547,853 barrels of oil travel down our pipeline on June 16, 2011, and the public seems unfazed, while Tom Barrett, President of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company begs for more oil.

There needs to be a huge educational effort to teach Alaskans about heavy oil, the importance of the Trans Alaska Pipeline (TAPS) to our state’s economy, and the life and safety issues to our citizens if there was to be another TAPS shutdown. There is plenty of blame to go around in regards to the complacency of Alaskans, and enough of the rhetoric already. We need to engage one another, and the public regarding issues of our economy, and not just at paid business luncheons, or commercials during session. Real public outreach like I did with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.

In 1986 Alaska’s economy crashed in 90 days, and it is up to Alaskans whether or not we repeat history.