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The picture of the Taku in its final minutes as it headed into a scrap yard...

Wednesday marked a proud moment for Vigor Alaska.

Alex Michael Wilson, 29, died May 1, 2018, in Pinon Hills, California. He was born March 2, 1989, in San Bernardino, California.
Lester “Ron” Ronald Strunk, 75, died April 30, 2018, in Ketchikan. He was born Jan. 18, 1943, in Glendale, California.
H.E. “Bud” Davenport, 90, died May 10, 2018 in of Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Focus on oil

Step by step, Alaska draws closer to increased oil production.

It’s one of the state’s economic necessities.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski chairs the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, which on Wednesday moved ahead with a resolution to end the years-long moratorium on oil and gas development in a small portion of the 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Murkowski expects the eventual development in the 1002 Area will create thousands of jobs, make energy affordable, make it domestic energy, create new wealth, reduce the federal deficit and strengthen the nation’s security.

Sen. Dan Sullivan pointed out that such development will help the state eliminate its budget deficit and provide money for public safety, education and much-needed infrastructure in Alaska.

The development of oil and gas in Alaska also increases the nation’s independence. The United States can be more discerning about buying oil from its antagonists, while providing energy to its allies.

Alaska, as Rep. Don Young notes, has been been working for decades to develop in the 1002 Area. Alaska’s congressional delegation is getting Alaskans there.

With Republicans in control in Congress and the White House, the time has come to open the 1002. One step at a time.