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12/6/2017
A seat at the table

Alaska will have a seat at the table.

Rep. Don Young has been asked by House Speaker Paul Ryan to serve on the conference committee that will devise the final tax reform bill.

The bill includes language that would lead to natural resource development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain.

The effort to open ANWR started 40 years ago.

Young, who is the longest serving House representative, served on a 1973 conference committee that led to the Trans Alaska Pipeline System.

The tax reform issue is expected to end with similar economic effects for Alaska and Alaskans.

“…I look forward to bringing Alaska the victory on ANWR (it) has long deserved,” says Young. “There is still a long way to go in our unified effort to unleash Alaska’s true energy potential, but I am committed to getting this across the finish line.”

Young also noted the tremendous effort on the part of Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan to get ANWR into the tax bill.

The senators’ success and Young’s new part in the play to open ANWR is encouraging at a time when the state faces a $2.5 billion budget deficit and rapidly decreasing savings.

Alaska needs new revenue and the jobs that creates.

Opening ANWR, along with other projects that appear to be inching forward, such as Gov. Bill Walker’s gasoline project, provide that potential.

It’s a matter of not turning away from the challenge. Alaska is doing it.