Saturday, June 01, 2013

Alaska Governor Sean Parnell Tapped To Deliver GOP Weekly Address, Urges Obama Administration To Remove Roadblocks To Energy Development

The GOP weekly address is of more interest to Alaskans than usual this week, because one of our own got tapped to do the honors. Governor Sean Parnell was chosen to tout the need for the federal government to remove additional roadblocks to full energy productivity.

Governor Parnell leads off by touting how the top ten best states for business, as selected by CEOs in Chief Executive magazine's ninth annual survey of CEOs released on May 6th, are all governed by Republicans. Criteria include tax and regulatory regime, and workforce quality, which not only measures work ethic and educational attainment, but also considers the willingness of workers and management to have a cooperative relationship a plus. Of course, Governor Parnell fails to mention that Alaska is not one of the top ten, although the magazine notes that Alaska's "new business-friendly state senate curbed proposed tax and regulation boosts". The latter primarily refers to the SB21 oil tax bill, the impact and politics of which are described in this previous post.

Thanks to KTUU Channel 2, we have a video:

Governor Parnell also focused on energy, and called upon the president and Congress to do more to open up federal lands for development. He noted his recent proposal to seek up to $50 million from the state legislature to help fund efforts to determine the true oil and gas potential in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which is off-limits to development, citing this as an example of how Republican governors are trailblazing the path to the future. According to CNN Political Ticker, Parnell also urged the president to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project, which would create 20,000 jobs and carry oil from the Canadian tar sands to the Gulf of Mexico, and to boost offshore drilling.

The fact that Governor Parnell was tapped for this high-visibility task may indicate that the Republican establishment is trying to give him a bump over intra-party challenger Bill Walker, whose candidacy has been acclaimed by those who oppose AGIA and support Walker's proposed All Alaska Gasline. Parnell can use this appearance to claim that he has earned the confidence of the national Republican apparatus, and that Alaska could get a better deal by re-electing him.

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