Liberals in Alaska are considering a major change to their party’s platform that would bring to an end one of their state’s major industries.
The Daily Wire obtained documents recently that show the Alaska Democratic Party has been considering the amendments to its platform that would end all fracking and drilling for oil in Alaska.
The documents are part of a trove of files that allow members of the Climate Caucus of the Alaska State Democratic Party to suggest changes they’d like to see made to the platform of the party.
Some of those documents show members are calling for all oil development in Alaska to come to an end. This is despite the fact that Alaska has traditionally been one of the top oil-producing states in the country.
Tim Hinterberger, one of the caucus’ members and a University of Alaska at Anchorage professor, outright condemned all oil development in the documents. He even went as far as proposing that the state Democratic Party delete one statement from the platform that pledges the party’s support for “responsible oil development performed in a manner that protects our fish, game and wildlife resources.”
As he wrote in his submission:
“At this advanced stage of climate disruption, no oil development is responsible.”
Ending all oil production in Alaska could be disastrous to the state’s economy. In 2022 alone, the state produced more than 159 million barrels of crude oil. That put it fifth on the list of U.S. states for crude oil production last year.
In 2018, estimates showed that the oil industry was responsible for 77,600 total jobs – indirect and direct – while counting for a total of $4.8 billion in total wages.
If you take into account how much money the state spends on revenue from the industry, oil production accounts for roughly 50% of Alaska’s total economy. That’s what makes the call from some state Democrats to end all oil production so confusing.
According to Must Read Alaska, other members of the caucus called for the removal of another portion of the platform that advocates for gas and oil to be procured under specific circumstances.
The people who made the submissions urged the Alaska Democratic Party to remove one section that reads “the monetizing of Alaska’s North Slope natural gas resources in a safe and environmentally responsible manner as soon as it is economically feasible to do so.”
They also advocated for offshore fracking and drilling if the circumstances were right.
The production of oil in Alaska has been on the decline in recent years. In 1998, Alaska was responsible for 25% of all oil production in the United States. That being said, it’s still a major contributor to the country’s and state’s economies.
Power the Future’s Alaska state director, Rick Whitbeck, said that eliminating oil production in the state would be devastating, and called the proposed changes to the platform of the Democratic Party “both irresponsible and radical.”