A growing collation of radical environmental and social justice warriors are pressuring Alaska lawmakers to spend hundreds of millions of dollars over the next 25 years with the ultimate aim of ending fossil fuel extraction and usage and redistributing resources which it claims were secured through intergenerational “colonial structures.”
The Alaska Climate Alliance is a coalition of more than 50 leftist organizations united by a quest to address “climate crisis head on at all levels of society,” while “shifting our state towards a joyful, interdependent and Indigenous-led future.”
This week, the group is sending lobbyists to Juneau in an effort to convince state lawmakers to back its agenda. This includes gradually dismantling Alaska’s fossil fuel economy by the year 2050 through increasingly onerous “benchmarks” that the energy industry must achieve. They also want the state to publicly underwrite solar energy production projects and approve $128 million in new spending to continue the Renewable Energy Fund. Since 2008, the REF has already spent roughly $300 million in state appropriations on scores of alternative energy experiments. The program is set to expire this year, unless lawmakers extend it.
The coalition’s most immediate concern is to inundate legislators with personal visits, emails, handwritten letters and phone calls, while mobilizing activists to turn out in force for potential public hearings on anti-oil and gas legislation and green energy bills.
Leading the group’s efforts is a coordinating team of activists from Native Movement, The Alaska Center, Native Peoples Action, Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition and the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council.
Ultimately, they hope to impose so-called “Just Transition” principles on all Alaskans. Developed by labor unions and environmentalists, these ideals are centered around shutting down certain industries which are deemed harmful to the planet and indigenous and minority identity groups.
“Climate action is possible, even in this legislative climate,” the Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition stated in a Jan. 30 action alert to supporters. “This week, FCAC staff will join grassroots and Indigenous constituents from all over Alaska for a fly-in to Juneau. As we meet with legislators and the press, our goal is to represent our membership and our community in the fight for climate justice, energy democracy, and a Just Transition.”
One of the key messages will be to pressure to “stop the bad by calling on this legislative body to take real leadership and re-evaluate Alaska’s relationship with the fossil fuel industry,” FCAC stated. “The Keep It iN the Ground (KING!) Working Group is asking Alaskans to join them in demanding that our state legislators fundamentally reform Alaska’s oil and gas codes.”
Those who might wish to share an alternative perspective on Alaska oil and gas industry, can contact lawmakers through the following links.
— Find Your House District: https://myvoterinformation.alaska.gov/
— Find Your Senate District: https://www.elections.alaska.gov/doc/forms/H07.pdf
— Contacts for Alaska House Representatives: https://akleg.gov/house.php