To the editor: The Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce invited Vote Yes for Alaska’s Fair Share to participate in a debate. The chamber’s regular noon meeting on Sept. 1 was selected for the debate. Vote Yes and I were pleased with the opportunity to provide information to citizens on Alaska’s citizens initiative.
But the chamber is apparently afraid of information they do not control.
At first, the chamber indicated to Vote Yes that the debate would be rescheduled. The justification was to have the debate closer in time to the date of the vote on Nov. 3.
Then the real reason came out. The Fairbanks chamber was canceling the debate and would not reschedule.
It is a sad day when the chamber puts a knee on the neck of information that could be provided on the Vote Yes on 1 for Alaska’s Fair Share, a citizens initiative so important to Alaska’s future.
The chamber must fear the reality of its members hearing that it is time to end the subsidy to oil as there has been: 1) less investment in Alaska’s legacy fields, 2) years of declining employment — loss of 5,000 oil jobs — by the industry, 3) net negative production revenue to Alaska over the last five years, and 4) loss of about 57,000 barrels per day in trans-Alaska oil pipeline throughput.
Alaska needs greater transparency and less secrecy. The chamber favors and promotes secrecy.
When the best interests of Alaska diverge from the oil company interests and its surrogates and doormats, whose side are you on? I hope you would vote yes for the best interests of Alaska.