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On one thing, most congressional Democrats and Republicans agree — retain tax relief for individuals, small businesses and energy.

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Phillip Dean Nehl, 59, died Dec. 10, 2014, in Ketchikan after a long battle with heart failure.
David Jmmanuel (Keith Gustaf Dahl), 50, died Oct. 28, 2014, suddenly of natural causes at home in Ketchikan.
Frank Chester Leask, 76, died Dec. 9, 2014, in Metlakatla.
8/26/2014
Water to sell

Alaska has water it could sell.

California looks like a likely customer.

It's losing about $2.2 billion this year as a result of drought that has plagued the state for the past three years.

When it comes to the state's economy and the nation's food supply, this is catastrophic.

California has the biggest farm economy of any state; it also has the most productive area of all states in its Central Valley.

All of that farming requires 80 percent of the state's water. When drought occurs, the demand well exceeds supply — cities and communities cut back and the state digs deeper wells trying to reach groundwater. All of the drilling creates additional problems, including sinking ground. Plus, the state's water is supposed to accommodate about 2 million families, but the rain and snowpack aren't able to restock the supply.

Of course, the California legislature is involved. Such situations prompt new water-related regulations.

Most people would prefer solutions other than laws and regulations. For example, Alaska has an oil pipeline. It plans to build a natural gas pipeline. It, along with California and the nation, which definitely have an interest in maintaining California's agriculture industry, might look at a water pipeline out of Alaska.

Ketchikan alone receives more rain than it needs. Even Fairbanks has been reporting record rainfalls. Alaska, instead of letting rain just run off, could capture it and run it through a pipeline system to California or any other state prone to droughts.

Except for the path the pipeline would follow, the line wouldn't disturb the environment at all. If the line sprang a leak, there wouldn't be any harm to the environment. The worst would be less water running until the line was repaired.

California's spending billions because of the drought; it would be better off directing at least some of the money to a long-term solution such as another Alaska pipeline.