We must remove harmful government regulations, reduce unnecessary litigation, and begin to develop a comprehensive plan for Alaska’s energy future. Alaska’s energy and economic futures are mutually dependent, because cheap energy brings with it increased industry and jobs. However, in Alaska, we have significant challenges that many in the Lower 48 do not face such as transportation costs and the lack of a widespread electrical grid. Fortunately, Alaska has more energy potential than anywhere else in the U.S.
Our state is diverse, and a one-size-fits-all approach will not work, but certainly regional approaches to Alaska’s energy needs should be pursued.
For example, Southeast should never have to burn another gallon of diesel fuel. With the immense hydro potential, we should focus our efforts on a Southeast intertie. Also, the Aleutians have tremendous wind and geothermal potential that has yet to be harnessed to its full potential. An in-state gas-line will allow North Slope gas to supplement Cook Inlet, and allow Anchorage to continue to grow, while also providing Fairbanks with the advantages of cheap natural gas that Anchorage has been solely enjoying for decades.
I am pleased to have voted for the 2018 budget resolution that paved the way to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) Coastal Plain, also known as the 10-02 region. This is an issue I’ve been working on and fighting for over the past 45 years. The 10-02 is an area where oil has been developed by God. ANWR is not a Wilderness area; it was designated to be drilled at the request of Congress for the good of the nation. The area designated for exploration is approximately 2,000 acres, smaller than Dulles International Airport, and contains an estimated 20 billion barrels of oil. Oil is not evil. It is necessary for this nation socially, to create jobs and build a healthier economy.