Candidate's name: Michael (Mike) D. Corey
Date of birth: December 23, 1959
Employment history: Sandberg, Wuestenfeld & Corey since 1985
Previous public offices held: None
Previous unsuccessful runs for office: None
Education (please include dates and degrees): Bachelor's in geology, University of Colorado (1982); law degree from University of San Diego (1985)
Military service: None
Spouse name: Dayna Corey
Children: Nathan, Kevin & Glenn
Web site: None
1.Why are you running for office?
I entered the race for United States Senate to gain experience for future application. I have stayed in this race to offer Alaskans a rational alternative for those who prefer to chart a new course in representation, tapping a young conservative with more than two decades of experience representing and forwarding the interests of others.
2. The most important issue in this election ----
Is the development of a long range, comprehensive energy policy that will allow the United States to flourish and secure the future of generations to come.
3. What specifically should Congress do, if anything, to address rising energy prices?
Congress must provide economic incentives to utilize all sources of energy and facilitate conservation. Developing all sources of domestic hydrocarbons is essential. Alaska's economy requires that we supply hydrocarbons, consistent with the understanding since statehood that Alaska pulls its economic weight through development of its natural resources.
4. If oil and gasoline prices continue to rise, could you support government price controls?
Market forces must be allowed to set the price to avoid greater upheaval in the future. I do support government investigation of trading practices that impact the price of crude.
5. Do you support drilling in ANWR? If the answer is yes, tell us something new that you as a member of Congress can do to open the coastal plain to drilling.
Yes. After years of attempts to open ANWR I trust that all rational arguments have been presented. However, through a new, youthful charisma, I would prevail upon the naysayers that the desire to sacrifice ANWR to break the nation's thirst for oil be traded for a more rational energy policy that is more equitable to Alaska's economy and would better represent their passion and intellect.
6. TransCanada has suggested the federal government can help the proposed Alaska gas line by acting as a "bridge shipper." That means the federal government would agree to buy enough gas to fill the line if necessary, or at least guarantee the equivalent revenue stream for the pipeline owner. Will you support legislation to do this?
I would support any economically rational measure to facilitate construction of a gas line. The proposed guarantee would certainly be in the best interest of Alaska. However, as indicated by the skepticism of our current US delegation, additional compromise may well be required. To that end, I would support the suggested guarantee in exchange for a reciprocal commitment on the part of TransCanada that profits derived above an appropriate level be shared in an appropriate percentage with the United States Treasury to balance the risk and reward.
7. Do you support offshore drilling in Bristol Bay?
Until our supplies of domestically derived hydrocarbons are abundant, I do support such drilling in a responsible fashion.
8. What can the federal government or Congress do to further a natural gas pipeline should state measures such as an AGIA license fail to pass, or fail to "induce" a pipeline?
AGIA has now passed both our State House and State Senate. The first steps have therefore already been taken.
In the event construction pursuant to AGIA is nevertheless derailed, Congress could choose to provide incentives to make the economics of the project more attractive. A more aggressive approach could be to declare the presence of the gas line a matter of national security and take a far more involved role, similar to that of the construction of the AlCan Highway.
9. Some say oil companies have leased vast public acreage and are now sitting on the leases without drilling. Point Thomson in Alaska has been mentioned as an example. Do you believe this has anything to do with our energy crunch?
Every unit of hydrocarbon that is not included in the world's supply exerts upward pressure on price. I am not in possession of the data that would permit an opinion on quantification of the extent to which any undeveloped field has driven up the price. I am in favor of lease agreements clearly addressing the consequences of the passage of time without delivering the discovered reserves.
10. Rural Alaska has been hit particularly hard by high fuel prices. Are there specific steps Congress or a member of Congress should take to address this?
The cost of addressing the unique fabric of Alaska's remote and diffuse population was on the mind of Congress when the debate over statehood occurred. The funding was to be derived from the development of Alaska's natural resources. A portion of the federal government's share of oil revenues could be dedicated to equalize the price of fuel.
11. Should Congress continue President Bush's tax cuts to stimulate the economy? Explain.
Perpetuation of the tax cuts may not be optional to avoid a catastrophic downturn in the economy in the near future. That said, I believe it is imperative that we cease to spend more than we take in; and the sooner the better. Highly intelligent economists with Ph.D.s argue the wisdom of taxes, interest rates and the relative value of the dollar. Every responsible American understands that they cannot indefinitely spend more than they make. We must find a way to fund the charges our government is incurring for us. I prefer to cut spending and expand the economy, holding taxes to the absolute minimum while accomplishing our goals.
12. How important a priority is reducing the federal deficit? Explain.
While not an economist myself, I understand the simple need to pay for what I buy. Most all of us do. I view the need to reduce the deficit as a top priority. I view doing so as a component of a policy that will return our country to prosperity. Doing so will reduce the threat of harmful inflation and perpetuate our nation's financial credibility.
13. Should the U.S. tax code be simplified? Is it fair?
Taxing at a simple percentage of gross income without further computation has a great deal of appeal. However, such a change would remove provisions that have previously been judged to induce financial behavior in a fashion of benefit to the country. I believe it impossible to arrive at a structure that will be judged as fair in everyone's eyes. I favor consistency in the tax structure to facilitate long range planning and predictability.
14. What should the future U.S. role in Iraq be?
Ultimately, the U.S. should be entirely out of Iraq. Between now and then, we should employ the policies that minimize loss of life and injury, regardless of the time it take to accomplish this rational goal.
15. How long do you believe the U.S. occupation should continue?
The U.S. occupation should continue as long as is necessary to minimize loss of life and injury; not a day longer. We need to listen closely to the guidance of our dedicated, professional military when making this decision.
16. Should a date be set for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq? Explain.
Most of our professional military believes not. I suggest we listen and follow their advice unless a compelling rationale indicates otherwise. I believe that a date certain for our departure places American lives in jeopardy and places the military's hard won progress at risk.
17. What role should Congress have in deciding the kind of military approach the U.S. uses in Iraq?
The approach to accomplishing the mission in Iraq should be formulated by our professional men and women in our armed forces. Congress may well assist in defining the mission. Our professional military should be shown significant deference in deciding how to accomplish the mission, maximizing safety and minimizing cost.
18. Under what circumstances, if any, would you support a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons?
In the event we had valid evidence that Iran, under its current leadership, were pursuing nuclear weapons and all other viable pressures were ineffective, I would support the use of military assets to eliminate the threat.
19. How good a job is the military and the Veterans Administration doing in providing ongoing care to soldiers and ex-soldiers who served in the war? What specifically would you do to improve services?
Our veterans deserve the best of what America has to offer. Although there are many men and women who provide competent and dedicated care for our veterans, the overall services provided by the VA should be improved until the care is as good as or better than any care facility in the nation. I suggest independent review and audits of the VA facilities to insure that the goals are being met. Deficiencies should be cured immediately.
20. What role do human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases play in global warming:
None, some, most, or all? Explain. Very intelligent people debate whether the answer is some or most. Very few people believe that the answer is none or all. I understand the earth to be an incredible buffer, capable of attenuating the impact of additions and subtractions of chemical percentages for which we are responsible. By definition, human-caused emissions play a role in the chemistry of the atmosphere and oceans. However, temperature is a function of so many variables, we do not yet have a scientific answer to the question. Some argue that heating begets cooling. It is far easier to accurately explain why something happened than it is to accurately explain why something will happen. This is yet another area where our country would greatly benefit from additional emphasis on scientific education and research.
21. What legislation currently in Congress comes closest to the policy you would advocate for dealing with climate change?
We must be careful that addressing greenhouse gas emissions does not yield an overly burdensome tax, further compromising the currently fragile US. economy. We must be vigilant regarding whether developing nations will follow suit and what we intend to do about those who do not. I am now persuaded that a "cap and trade" mechanism, in some form, is in our future. Rational legislation should reward those who best limit their "footprint." I must leave to the appropriate respected scientific community determination of the limits of GHG production. The economic value of the permits will be substantial. I advocate that the income to the U.S. from the initial sale/issue of these permits be invested in the development of new technologies to enable sustaining the limits sought.
22. Coastal erosion is a serious issue in a number of rural Alaska villages, with discussions about relocating some communities. Do you believe this is appropriate or realistic? Explain.
Coastal erosion amounts to a natural disaster not unlike those faced by our fellow Americans throughout the rest of the country. The fact that the process is usually of longer duration diminishes the dramatic effect for most unfamiliar media viewers. However, federal support for a one-time move to more stable ground seems reasonable. That said, fiscal practicality dictates that we evaluate whether the village can be self-sufficient in its new location. A variety of factors and options should be examined to insure that we are not simply delaying the demise of the village.
23. Is it appropriate to use the polar bear listing as a threatened species to limit oil and gas development in the Arctic or regulate distant greenhouse gas emissions? What other steps, if any, do you think government and industry should take to protect Alaska's polar bear population?
If the fate of the polar bear was tied directly to oil and gas development in the Arctic, limiting one's focus to development there would merit more attention. However, oil and gas development in the Arctic must be a portion of a comprehensive energy policy that minimizes negative human effect on the global environment. The polar bear should not stand between us and our need for energy independence. That said, the United States government and industry can maximize the outlook for the polar bear by pursuing a global effort at the reduction of greenhouse gasses. A unilateral effort risks encumbering the U.S. and not achieving the ultimate goals sought.
24. What's your position on the proposed Pebble mine in southwest Alaska? How do you plan to vote on the "Clean Water" initiative on the August ballot?
The Pebble project cannot be allowed to harm precious habitat. As of August 4, 2008, I intend to vote no. I favor the Pebble project being subjected to existing permitting procedures unless and until it is demonstrated that enforcing the laws already in effect will not provide adequate safeguards. Contamination is not imminent. We have time to continue to address all concerns and reach a decision that is based on reason over emotion.
25. Are changes needed in the way congressional earmarks work? Under what circumstances should members of Congress be allowed to direct federal spending to specific projects in their district?
I believe that earmarks enhance accountability. Many are now living this reality. I prefer a system that allows the public to receive full disclosure of what amount is being spent and what it is purchasing. Members of Congress should be allowed to direct federal spending to specific projects in their district subject to the scrutiny of their colleagues and the rest of America.
26. What should Congress do, if anything, to help increase the supply of doctors in Alaska?
Congress should do more to create financial incentives to induce more doctors to initiate and perpetuate their careers in Alaska. The measures may appropriately include consideration of the construction of a medical school in Alaska.
27. Some major Alaska fisheries have been "rationalized." That is, individual shares have been assigned to fishermen and even to processors. Do you support this approach for more of Alaska's fisheries?
I support a system that fairly maximizes the profitability of each fishery and the safety of the participants. At this time I would need to defer to experts in the field to ascertain whether "rationalizing" additional fisheries is in the best interest of Alaska.