It was Thomas Pain, with the help of Ben Franklin, who wrote a book called ‘Common Sense’, so somewhere between the seventeen hundreds and now our leaders lost this basic way of thinking. If my representatives in Juneau had any ‘common sense’ it looks like they decided lately to not use it. With a new session of our state’s government in session they are again pushing for money to build a natural gas pipeline from Prudhoe bay to Valdez. In Valdez they will also build a gas liquefaction plant, (a factory to convert the natural gas to liquid for shipment on tankers to the far East). My representatives speak of T-ing off separate lines to feed Fairbanks and other cities and villages. These same representatives make it sound like it will be the salvation for all of us suffering under the high cost of home heating oil.
This is crap……. There are very few in number using natural gas in Fairbanks compared to oil and wood for heating their homes. To convert to natural gas heating would mean people spending thousands of dollars to convert our heating systems. Yes in the long run, maybe 10 to 15 years down the road, when that new heater is paid off it would mean spending less for the fuel to heat our homes, but who has a couple thousand laying around? What motivated my representatives in Juneau, to push harder for money for the natural gas pipeline, has been a call for lowering the cost of ‘royalty oil’ to all Alaskans. Royalty oil is the oil the big oil producers give to the state as part of their payment for doing business in the state. The state in turn sells the oil to local refineries and they process it and sell it to us. The state marks the price then the refinery adds it cost plus profit and by the time it gets to us we are usually paying the highest prices in the country for gasoline and heating oil.
Common sense would dictate that in this age of cutbacks in spending when a plan is promoted that would not entail the state spending billions of dollars, (selling the ‘royalty oil’ to the refineries at cost), they would jump a it.
But then again why should Juneau have anymore common sense than Washington.