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Readers write: Letters to the editor, Aug. 10, 2014

Alaska Dispatch News

Why we voters vote against our own interests

Net profits in billions of U.S. dollars for 2013 for the three major oil company beneficiaries of Alaska’s oil giveaway are: Exxon Mobil, 32.6; BP, 13.4; and ConocoPhillips, 9.2. More profit goes to the oil companies in Alaska, already, than in many other states. This is happening while the Legislature is telling us that we have to tighten our belts, cut education and social service funding, limit infrastructure improvements, and more. Yet the Legislature gave away some $2 billion to oil companies with nothing received in return for Alaska. Jobs required for extraction already appear quite secure. The oil companies are spending millions of dollars in advertising and in twisting arms to say this gift is the right thing to do. 

It seems that as Alaska was traveling down a seemingly balanced development path, we suddenly fell among those who claimed that the state would be better off to just give them a bunch of our money, as this would benefit the state in the future. When asked for assurances, those interests reply, “Trust us.”

Why do we respond to such persuasion? A single message repeated loudly and often enough tends to help greed win out. Vote yes to repeal the giveaway.

-- Bernhard Richert
Anchorage

 

Why yes is a positive word

Yes on Ballot Measure 1 is a vote for the maximum benefit for the development of our finite resources for the citizens of Alaska.

I have recently discovered an excellent book by an Alaskan who was a genuine statesman and clearly had the best interests of ordinary Alaskans and the future of Alaska in mind.

The book is “Diapering the Devil,” by Jay Hammond, Republican governor of Alaska from 1974 to 1982. As another respected Alaskan, Jack Roderick, put it, “Hammond championed Alaska’s Permanent Fund partly to help prevent the mismanagement of Alaska’s petroleum wealth.” The preface of the book is dedicated to future generations and quotes a reply that Hammond made when he was asked as governor how he would tax the oil companies, answering, “For every cent we could possibly get. After all, just as it is the obligation of oil company CEOs to maximize benefits for their shareholders, so it is the obligation of the State’s CEO to do the same for his.”

 Another quote from the book is re: Hammond’s four criteria for healthy resource development:

A: Was it environmentally sound?
B: Did the majority of Alaskans want it?
C: Could it pay its own way?
D: Did it meet our constitution’s mandate that it provide maximum benefits to the people? All the people.

-- Sandy Harper
Anchorage

 

3 points on Begich campaign

1. The “true Alaskan,” “Put Alaskans First” campaign is brought to you in large part by the Washington, D.C., Democratic Party. Are we now considering them Alaskans because their lavish spending purchased Sen. Begich’s seat six years ago?

2. When an Alaskan asks that he stop using her picture in his ads he responds he will not and he will do as he likes. Hum? Not the way Alaskans I know would act ... someone please get our senior senator a towel to wipe Sen. Begich’s footprints off of her.

3. Has anyone heard a peep out of Sen. Begich as to his stance on Ballot Measure 1? Seems like a true Alaskan would voice his opinion ... or is he waiting to have it sent to him from Washington, D.C.?

-- Maggie Spencer
Anchorage

 

Hickel wouldn’t tolerate ACES

It’s been amazing to see how many people know Walter Hickel Sr. better than his son -- or the rest of his family. Particularly people he didn’t even know.

However, facts are facts. Gov. Hickel was a believer in the “Owner State” and a strong proponent of resource development. And he was a businessman, and a businessman would not agree to confiscatory taxation and ACES is a confiscatory tax. Mr. Hickel certainly knew his father better than the rest of us.

-- Randy Davis
Anchorage

 

Public unions gluttons

As a single taxpayer struggling to make ends meet, I beg Mayor Sullivan to stick to his guns and use his veto against public union gluttony. Why should public employees get such lavish pay, overtime and pensions, while the rest of us have to work till we drop dead in order to pay for it?

FDR said long ago that public employees should not be allowed to unionize and we, like Detroit, will soon regret not listening to his warning.

-- William Griffin
Anchorage

The views expressed here are the writers' own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a letter for consideration, email letters@adn.com, or click here to submit via any web browser. Submitting a letter constitutes granting permission for it to be edited for clarity, accuracy and brevity.