Oil comprises one-third of our state’s economy, which was suffering from declining production to less than a quarter of what it once used to be – even before the global cutback in oil consumption and drop in oil prices caused by the Covid-19 crisis.  

We need to diversify our state’s economy, and that starts with diversifying our approach towards energy.  We must start modernizing our energy system, maximizing our production and use of renewable energy to provide reliable and affordable energy for every Alaskan.  

I support an all-of-the-above energy strategy – one that utilizes responsible development of oil and gas resources in Alaska’s federal areas, with revenue sharing for the state and local communities.  It’s clear that Alaska’s economy cannot currently exist without the fossil fuel industry that provides so much of our income and employment.  But it’s also clear that that industry is declining – the number of oil rigs operating in the U.S. has fallen by over 70% since the start of this year, to the lowest level in half a decade, with analysts projecting them to collapse to a record low by mid-year and around one-quarter of their 2019 levels by year’s end, and will barely recover in 2021.  Alaska clearly needs to start planning for an economy that isn’t as dependent on the fossil fuel industry.  

I will support and strongly advocate for responsible development of oil and gas resources in Alaska’s federal areas. But, we must also balance and protect the development of other resources that could be threatened by irresponsible exploitation of Alaska’s oil and gas – and take sensible steps to protect the workers and communities impacted by these industries from further downturns and to help them to transition successfully to a world of declining fossil fuel use. Alaska’s diverse natural resources provide abundant opportunities for us to diversify our energy mix and to maintain a balance between preservation and production for our sustained health and prosperity. 

As Senator, I will work to provide affordable energy options for Alaskans, will push for tax credits, promote funding, and increase federal investment for clean energy sources and sustainable energy infrastructure, energy efficiency and conservation, and will promote export of Alaska’s expertise in technologies like microgrids.