Oct. 23, 2012
To the editor:
Since when did “bipartisan” become a bad thing? It has long been a tenet in the public discourse about our two-party system that “working across party lines” is a good thing. It is desirable to listen to all sides of an issue, find common ground, work things out and get something done. I hear many folks lament the national gridlock.
The bipartisan Senate majority is led by a Republican from Kodiak and has Democrats from Fairbanks in some key positions, namely Sen. Joe Thomas on the Senate Finance Committee and Sen. Joe Paskvan as co-chairman of Senate Resources. The co-chairs of the Senate Finance Committee are a Republican from Sitka and a Democrat from Bethel.
Many of the Republican candidates for Senate would have you believe that this is a bad thing, especially because it is this bipartisan majority in the Senate that has stood up for Alaskans against a “plan” to give away about $2 billion per year of our money to the oil industry in some vague hope that they might pump more oil down the Alyeska pipeline.
I say it is a good thing that the bipartisan majority prevented this massive giveaway of our dollars. No one would sign a contract paying out $2 billion per year without some pretty strong guaranteed benefits in return, yet this is exactly what those pushing this “plan” want to do with our money.
The bipartisan majority would like to see more oil flowing down the pipeline too, but their program rewards concrete action and actual increased production, not just vague promises. It is crucial for Fairbanks and the whole state of Alaska that we re-elect Sen. Joe Thomas and Sen. Joe Paskvan so they can continue to stand up for all Alaskans against this senseless corporate greed.