Letter: Pumping more oil is short-term; Alaska needs to take long view

April 20, 2013 

I read with interest the Compass of Gov. Parnell (April 17) regarding the passage of the tax break for big oil and compare it to the letter of several days ago by our former Gov. Murkowski (April 12). Both speak of “competitors” with Alaska for investment; Gov. Parnell specifies that he is speaking of states in the Lower 48.

This is a misleading nicety. The real “competitors” are the resource-rich countries on other continents — largely inadequately governed, corrupt entities where public officials sell out the interests of the electorate in order to enrich themselves. The populations of these countries get little benefit from the exploitation of their resources because too few of them qualify for the technical jobs that suddenly appear. 

Too many of the best oil industry jobs in Alaska have gone to people from elsewhere. They will take their skills and retirements elsewhere when they are done here.

Pumping more oil is only a short-term solution to a problem the oil companies created. We need better definitions of Alaska’s problems and more dedication to long-term solutions.

— Bryan Silva


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