Once again, our governor is railing that North Slope oil production is dwindling and we need to change the tax structure to spark more investment. We must give back the major companies’ $2 billion a year, even while getting nothing in return or our budget will shrink, meaning fewer job opportunities and less money for schools and public safety.
Other sources state that investment and employment on the North Slope are up 40 percent today and our DNR commissioner, Dan Sullivan, states “The North Slope’s vast resources attracted interest from a diverse set of explorers.”
Regardless of where the truth lies, our natural resources will someday be used up. What then, do we use to run our economy?.
It’s time to consider the words of Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration. He states it is dangerous for us to rely solely on natural resources to drive the budget. Our best bet is to invest in the education of Alaskans to bring more lasting sources of revenue.
We need to change our focus.
— Susan Valenti