This Aug. 1, 2017, file photo shows the oil producer BP company logo at a petrol station in London. (AP Photo/Caroline Spiezio, File)

This Aug. 1, 2017, file photo shows the oil producer BP company logo at a petrol station in London. (AP Photo/Caroline Spiezio, File)

Voices of the Peninsula: The neighborly thing to do

Maybe I’m radical for believing that a decision about what’s fair shouldn’t take place at a ballot box.

  • Thursday, July 23, 2020 11:47pm
  • Opinion

Eight years ago, a company named Hilcorp moved to the Kenai Peninsula. I knew little about them, as my family had little interaction (aside from friends) with the oil patch. Graduating high school at SoHi, I received a scholarship from Hilcorp. I was not the only one to receive such a scholarship. Hilcorp branched out nationally in the early 2010s and distributed scholarships to each of the communities that they grew into — because that’s what neighbors do.

I now live in Anchorage. I see ConocoPhillips’ name on parks and buildings at UAA and their tower downtown. CP invested in the North Slope and continues to, but they also invested in their communities. Because these places of higher education allow Alaskans to learn trades and skills to deliver energy with more efficiency and to higher standards. And because this is where ConocoPhillips’ employees live. And because that’s what neighbors do.

In 2018, I returned to Anchorage and served on the Anchorage Pride committee. Upon reaching out to BP they said, “We have people power — tell us where you need them.” And proceeded to be a major sponsor of the event. I know that Pride was one of the many events that BP sponsored that year. Because that’s what neighbors do.

I am not saying that any organization is flawless. Certainly, there are ways that each and every one of us can improve. I am a young person with a vested interest in the improvement of our state and the environment too. But now I’m watching as the people of Alaska scream and mock and foam at the mouth and write vile Facebook comments over an industry that doesn’t “pay its fair share.” And I’m sad. Because that’s not what neighbors do.

Perhaps it’s naivety to think that an industry that props up about 90% of state government might be “paying its fair share.” Perhaps it’s just feelings to think about the hundreds to thousands of our neighbors who will lose their jobs if oil companies are hit with increased taxes. Maybe I’m “radical” for believing that a decision about what’s “fair” should not take place at the ballot box. But I, for one, will be voting “No” in November. Because that’s what neighbors do.

Owen Phillips, class of 2012, Soldotna High School


• By Owen Phillips


More in Opinion

This Sept. 18, 2019, file photo shows the view of the U.S. Capitol building from the Washington Monument in Washington. (File photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
A Message from Sound Publishing: Tax credit proposal would aid local journalism

Bipartisan legislation in the U.S. House would offer tax credits to advertisers and subscribers.

Voices of the Peninsula: Kenai refuge ditches trapping safeguards

This proposal has the potential to seriously harm many recreational users.

Larry Persily
Alaska Voices: The Permanent Fund divide

It will take a lot of compromise to reach an affordable dividend and decent public services.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks during a Friday, March 27, 2020 press conference in the Atwood Building in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Office of the Governor)
Opinion: Wear masks, distance for the good of community

Distance is the only guaranteed measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Mead Treadwell (Courtesy)
Ranked-choice voting and Ballot Measure 2 should be voted down

It would eliminate party primaries for a free-for-all.

Tony Knowles (Courtesy photo)
Alaska Voices: A simple trail toward a stronger sustainable economy

Over the last two years Alaska Trails has scoped out and planned for an Alaska Long Trail.

Kenai Peninsula College is photographed on March 26, 2020. (Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: Kenai Peninsula College and COVID-19

We don’t like it, but we are doing the best we can with the hand we’ve been dealt.

Juneauites gathered signatures to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy in late February. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)
Alaska Voices: One year later, Recall Dunleavy still committed to Alaska

If we want change on a national level, we lead this change by first upending the governor’s tenure.

A sign by the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center shows where to vote on Aug. 21, 2018, for the Diamond Ridge, Homer, Alaska, precinct. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Voices of the Peninsula: The only candidate honest with the numbers

Fiscal responsibility starts with being honest about the numbers.

Most Read