What, if anything, can be as financially impactful as the oil and gas industry in Alaska?
Rebecca Palsha, KTUU, July 9, 2019
“Tourism has been showing an amazing run of success over the last several years with a big surge in the population numbers coming up from the Lower 48,” Bill Popp, the president and CEO of the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, said. Still, it doesn’t come close to how much oil and gas contributes to the state, both in high-paying jobs and in contributions to state revenue. That’s created an issue as state lawmakers debate the PFD and fight over budget cuts. It begs the question: Can anything replace or replicate the impacts of a shrinking oil and gas industry? “The oil industry accounts for about one-third of all jobs in Alaska and contributes to about half of our economy overall,” said Marleanna Hall, the executive director for RDC. “But other jobs, for example, the mining industry, the average mining industry job (pays) over $110,000 a year. So these are real family wage jobs, something that provides for a healthy lifestyle.”
Hall and Popp both say don’t count oil and gas out or expect a rising industry to eclipse it.
Our Take: According to the state’s spring FY 19 Forecast, the industry was on target to pay $3.078 BILLION dollars to the state. Nothing compares.
Trump looks to quash any vulnerability on green issues
Timothy Cama, E & E News, July 9, 2019
President Trump took an election-year swing yesterday at defending his environmental record, fighting back against criticism that his policy rollbacks are harmful. His remarks came as polls show the president may be vulnerable on green issues, and Democratic presidential hopefuls were quick to respond. Just weeks after formally launching his 2020 campaign for reelection, Trump used his bully pulpit to tick off a list of accomplishments from his 2½ years in office, including a North American trade deal that mentions marine litter and air quality improvements decades in the making. “From day one, my administration has made it a top priority to make sure America has among the very cleanest air and cleanest water on the planet,” Trump told a largely supportive crowd of administration officials, leaders from conservative groups and others in the White House’s stately East Room. “We want the cleanest air. We want crystal-clean water. And that’s what we’re doing, and that’s what we’re working on so hard,” he continued.
Our Take: Critics claim that the President’s rollbacks of Obama-era policies contradict his claims. We disagree. As noted by Kimberley Strassel, “rollbacks” is a deceptive way of describing regulatory changes and proceeds from the idea that all environmental regs are good and that changing or eliminating them is bad.
From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:
REPUBLICANS LAUNCH ENVIRONMENTAL CAUCUS IN HOUSE AND SENATE: Republicans in the House and Senate launched a new caucus Wednesday intended to demonstrate the party’s “innovation”-centric approach to reducing emissions and pursue other environmentally friendly policies.
“From a Republican point of view, we need to showcase we care about conservation, we are about the environment, and we have innovative solutions that are not top-down regulatory solutions,” said Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina senator and one of the leaders of the Roosevelt Conservation Caucus, speaking at a press conference Wednesday morning.
Other members of the caucus include senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Steve Daines of Montana, Rob Portman of Ohio, Richard Burr of North Carolina and Cory Gardner of Colorado, and representatives Elise Stefanik of New York., Will Hurd of Texas, Brian Mast of Florida, and Matt Gaetz of Florida.
Republicans at the press conference provided few details about new proposals, instead challenging China and India to do more to reduce emissions. They were dismissive of solutions such as carbon pricing.
Members, however, challenged Trump to accept climate change science and propose appropriate policies. Trump delivered an address Monday defending his environmental record without mentioning climate change.
“I would encourage the president to look long and hard on the science, admit the science is real, and come up with solutions that do not destroy the economy like the Green New Deal,” Graham said. “I am tired of playing defense on the environment. We will win the solution debate, but the only way to win is admit you have a problem.”