What others say: An important visit

  • Tuesday, August 18, 2015 1:27pm
  • Opinion

Alaskans will welcome the office of the president to Alaska this month, being good hosts and hoping for an equally pleasant guest in President Obama.

For both, this visit represents much responsibility.

Alaska is home to the nation’s only Arctic region, which is being dramatically affected by a warming climate.

Alaska also is a massive state, a land about a fifth the size of the whole continental United States, with huge investments in the oil industry and other economic development, mostly a result of extracting natural resources.

Alaska depends on this development for its financial well-being, as the latest budget crisis driven by decreased oil prices has demonstrated.

The industry and the environment must coexist. Ultimately, it is the leaders of Alaska and the nation — specifically, Gov. Bill Walker and President Obama at present — who are responsible for ensuring that.

Obama will visit Alaska to speak to a global Arctic leadership summit in Anchorage. He also will travel to the Arctic itself, visiting Kotzebue. He wants to see and hear the stories of the effects of warming on glaciers, permafrost, villages and the way of life for Alaskans there.

Obama, if he’s to be truly informed and work with Alaska when it comes to the Arctic, he must be made fully aware. Primarily, he must come to recognize that while Alaska is very different from Kotzebue to Ketchikan, it also is a state of communities that share the same hopes and dreams of prosperity. Ketchikan and Southeast Alaska might be distant from the Arctic, but the actions taken there affect all Alaska communities, and, therefore, affect this region, too.

Ketchikan and Southeast will experience the consequences of good and bad Arctic decisions along with the other communities.

The Obama administration is highly concerned about global warming, hence the president’s visit. Earlier this summer, he imposed unprecedented pollution limits on power plants across the country. This week 15 states petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C., Circuit to block the regulations that outline those limits.

Given that, Alaskans welcoming the president should be prepared for the mindset of the man who will come to visit. The visit will require providing a concise — Obama won’t be staying long — and accurate picture of Alaska, not only as an Arctic state, but the state as a whole.

We Alaskans are in this together, despite political preferences. If we fall, we go down together. If we rise, which we prefer, our days will be looking up significantly as we begin resolving the latest budget challenge in earnest, while addressing issues such as the Arctic. We don’t need anything imposed on us that would make doing that more difficult.

Alaskans know Alaska and its issues, including global warming. It’s appropriate for President Obama to come visit and discuss those with us.

We hope he hears and acknowledges the whole Alaska story, not just one part of it — the Arctic part.

— Ketchikan Daily News, Aug. 15

More in Opinion

This Aug. 3, 2021, photo shows Juneau International Airport.  The Federal Aviation Administration shared recommendations on Thursday for improving aviation safety in the state. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: How the FAA will improve the margin of aviation safety in Alaska

Alaska depends on aviation more than any other state…

Central Peninsula Hospital is seen in Soldotna on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: Perspective of an educator in a ‘high-risk’ group, part 2

During some of the darkest days of my time in ICU, it was obvious where we all live is a special place.

Lawmakers havereturned to the Alaska State Capitol for a fourth special session. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Revenues should be determined before more PFD spending

The governor believes the dividend drives the entire calculation. Sadly, he has it backwards

Ronnie Leach. (Photo provided)
Point of View: For Domestic Violence Awareness Month, #weareresilient

At the onset of COVID-19, we expanded our services in a way to ensure COVID-19 consciousness.

Rep. Don Young talks during a June 2021 interview with the Empire. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion:Where’s Don Young when America needs him?

Once upon a time, avoiding political controversy was completely out of character for Young.

Peter Zuyus
Voices of the Peninsula: Seniors appreciate vaccination efforts

To those who have worked to encourage vaccination we say: Be proud, you are, in fact, saving lives.

Jackson Blackwell (courtesy photo)
Voices of the Peninsula: Carbon dividends are the bipartisan climate solution

By levying a gradually increasing price on carbon, U.S. emissions will be slashed by 50% in 15 years.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Juneau Empire file photo)
Dunleavy: Facts Matter

Political opportunists care more about spreading political untruths than accepting the facts.

Steve Hughes. (Photo provided)
Voices of the Peninsula: We are all victims of COVID-19

It is disturbing to hear, as a triage nurse, the many reasons cited for not getting a vaccine that are based on misinformation.

Opinion: LGBTQ+ Alaskans deserve respect and dignity

Like every state that lacks equality, we need federal protection.

Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships. (logo provided)
Point of View: September is National Recovery Month

The biggest challenge when talking about recovery is the truth that one… Continue reading

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is seen in this Dec. 19, 2019 file photo. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
Opinion: Alaska will greatly benefit from historic infrastructure bill

I was able to add many provisions to our bipartisan bill that are targeted to help Alaska.