Saturday, August 12, 2006

Prudhoe Bay - An Appalling State of Affairs

Alaska haemorrhaging oil money - when I read this article I was only the second viewer. I was incredulous to discover that 89% of Alaska's state revenue comes from oil royalties and that the pipeline shutdown by BP from Prudhoe Bay would cost the state US$6.4m/day and the state would run out of money within two months. In this day and age what sort of a government is foolish enough to have basically only one source of income? The people don't pay personal income tax or state taxes. How could this incident come about in this day and age? Alaskans must be ultra-conservative by nature or somebody would surely have recognised this as being potentially damaging on a huge scale in the future. What is there was an attack on the pipeline?

Something else that must be somewhat a precedent is the call for a state hiring freeze by the Governer. Perhaps this just involves state employees however. I can't imagine that it would be statewide.

Australia was known to be "riding on the sheep's back" up until about 50 years ago. Wool was our primary industry and most of our export revenue was gained from it. Riding on the sheep's back is another way of saying "putting all of your eggs in one basket" or relying too much on one thing. No business, or state, should be reliant on one product. Government of Alaska, take a long, hard look at yourself.

Latest news is that the oilfield's production won't be stopped completely. Maybe that has saved a couple of bums in Parliament.

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