Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sarah Palin--she's baaaack!


The Road to Nome, a long overdue improvement to the State's overland infrastructure is now being proposed by Gov. Palin. This is the first time there has been support by any administration since Walter Hickle in the late 60s.

Even more telling is the beginning of a thaw between Exxon and the State with the approval by DNR for Exxon to drill two gas wells at Pt. Thompson this year, along with building necessary pad and ice road support infrastructure. Granted, a long way to go to settle the State's angst against Exxon for delaying and setting upon gas leases when Alaska and the United States could use the royalties and natural gas. The natural gas would offset Middle East sources, meaning less money to the terrorists and cheaper gas for Americans.

The progress towards the start of a 24 inch natural gas in-state pipeline from the North Slope to Palmer or Anchorage is positive with a potential completion in 2014. That's cutting it too close for my liking in terms of completion before Cook Inlet reserves are depleted, but at least it is a date.

The Healy coal power generation plant sale to Golden Valley Electric is another good decision. The new power plant will reduce costs to central Alaska power consumers and demonstrate that a clean coal generation facility is a necessary and viable power generation technology for Alaska and the U.S. That plant has set idle for better than 10 years after a tremendous investment by the Dept. of Energy and the State of Alaska.

Now, if Sarah will get spending under control and show us the "fiscal conservative" side of the Palin Administration, the Sarah Palin I voted for and supported will be occupying the Governor's office.

The next item should be a vocal and public challenge by our Governor to the ANILCA restrictions regarding rights of way. The Izembek NWR land swap is an indication of unfairness in ANILCA. The State of Alaska should be allowed to build roads as it needs them and where it deems fit, just as every other State has been allowed to do so. To deny Alaska is to impose a restriction that is bad faith with respect to the intent of our Statehood Compact.


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