OPINION: A loss for Trump is a loss for Alaska
Statehood, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and the authorizing of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System rank as the most significant federal actions in state history, but no president has done more in sum for the Last Frontier than President Donald Trump.
For whatever reason, and despite his frequent clashes with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Trump has a particular shine for Alaska and made unprecedented progress for the state in less than four years.
The chapters of Trump’s presidency are still being written and this is not intended to be his political obituary with so many legal challenges and recounts unresolved.
The Pennsylvania count remains unknown as the U.S. Supreme Court will weigh in on whether it was constitutional for a state court to extend the deadline to receive ballots by three days and independent of the state Legislature.
It was no coincidence that the media in near-unison declared former Vice President Joe Biden the winner less than a day after Justice Samuel Alito ordered Pennsylvania to sequester the late ballots pending an ultimate ruling.
The narrative must be given momentum and the public must be dissuaded from believing anything to the contrary or entertaining any suspicion about the witching hour changes to vote tallies across the country.
As of press, Trump was trailing Biden by less than 13,000 votes in Arizona from a Nov. 4 deficit of 93,000 and about 33,500 votes remaining to be counted.
Georgia is still being contested and where the result on its face makes little sense. Biden somehow leads Trump by 12,651 votes as of press, but fellow Democrat Jon Ossoff trails incumbent Republican Sen. David Perdue by 82,000 votes and received nearly 100,000 fewer votes than the former vice president.
The down ballot numbers are equally suspicious in the other Georgia Senate race, where the combined vote total for Democrat candidates is almost equal to the number of votes that Ossoff received and, again, nearly 100,000 fewer votes than Biden received.
A similar down ballot issue is in Michigan, where Trump and Republican John James received a nearly identical number of votes but Biden received almost 70,000 more votes than incumbent Democrat Sen. Gary Peters.
The above are just a few of the outstanding issues that must be addressed for more than 70 million Trump voters to have any confidence in the ultimate outcome.
However, the prospect of a Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration is not something we have to speculate on as it relates to Alaska. The state spent eight years under former President Barack Obama and Biden being stymied and slow-walked at every turn of the permitting process that impacts pretty much every economic effort in Alaska.
Point blank, environmental radicals will wreak havoc on Alaska as the state economy is reeling from a three-year recession and the triple whammy of 2020 on oil prices, tourism and fisheries from the COVID-19 fallout.
Battles Alaskans have been fighting for literally decades turned in the state’s favor under Trump: nearly 40 years to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain; almost 20 years to repeal the Roadless Rule, which contrary to media reports is not a green light to clearcut the Tongass National Forest; and more than 25 years trying to build a road from King Cove to Cold Bay that remains tied up in court but was a surprising issue for Trump to take such a personal interest in.
A new management plan was approved for the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and approvals were granted for the massive North Slope prospects at Pikka and Willow, which have potential to add as much as 300,000 barrels per day in new production.
A road to the rich Ambler Mining District was also approved along with the key permit for the Alaska LNG Project.
None of this, other than possibly the AK LNG permit, would have happened under Hillary Clinton and the ultimate outcome for these current efforts is far from certain under a Biden-Harris, or Harris-Biden, administration.
There were other decisions benefitting Alaska such as reversing the steep increases of premiums in the individual insurance market under Obamacare by funding the “reinsurance” program created by the state Legislature in 2016, and fisheries relief from the White House for trade- or pandemic-related issues were often just a phone call away.
Thankfully Alaska voters have returned Sen. Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young to Washington against Democrats-in-disguise Al Gross and Alyse Galvin.
They also overwhelmingly rejected yet another attempt to raise oil taxes at the ballot box while the outcome remains in question for an ill-conceived experiment to upend our election process funded almost entirely by Outside interests.
By sending Sullivan and Young back to Congress, reelecting Trump and turning down the economic suicide of the so-called “Fair Share Act,” Alaskan voters did their part.
Counting Alaska’s ballots won’t take nearly as long as it will to know whether the progress for the state under Trump will continue or be put in reverse.
Andrew Jensen can be reached at [email protected].