Cathy Giessel, Senate District N: Got jobs, Alaska?

Alaska schools with Career & Technical Education + Responsible Alaska Resource Development = Alaska Jobs (Today + Future) + Vibrant Economy = North to the Future!

Oil — It funds your Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) check…only $878 this year. Some Alaskans were startled by this year’s comparatively small payout. But here are the facts: North Slope Production is Down + Price of oil is Down = Less money to State of Alaska treasury and PFD.

It’s Alaska’s oil…but its not working for us while it sits, stranded, in the ground. We hire people who know how to get it out of the ground. We tax them for the amount they take out and keep 12.5% of the oil as our Royalty share. That Royalty share contributes to the Permanent Fund, and, ultimately, the Dividend check.

High taxes + Hard to Reach Oil + High Cost to Produce the Oil = Production on North Slope Down + Price of Oil Down = Less money to State of Alaska and PFD + Less Alaska Jobs = Families Split Up as Workers go to Other States + Our Kids Leaving for Jobs in Other States.

We can change this equation. But it takes serious discussions and decisions, which the recent State Senate Majority refused to do.

The worldwide economy and hydrocarbon production has changed dramatically. Alaska taxes increased late in 2007 (and were retroactive to the beginning of 2007). Since then, decline in production has been relentless … while other areas in the US and world have increased. Will Alaska take part in that production?

Natural Gas — Alaska has lots! But…we have not taken the necessary action to get a gas pipeline from the North Slope to our homes and businesses. Cook Inlet supply is decreasing. Warnings are that we will be importing natural gas to supply SouthCentral by 2015.

Good news on October 26! … Corps of Engineers issued documents to allow Point Thomson liquid condensate project to begin construction this winter. This is great for jobs and putting more liquids in the oil pipeline. But natural gas production and pipeline is still years away.

The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation began the process for building a natural gas pipeline. But this year, the State Senate Majority refused to adequately fund the continued work on that in-state gas pipeline. We must move forward with in-state gas.

Alaska Jobs — I support hiring our trained, work-ready Alaskans first! How do we increase the number of employed Alaskans? First, Alaska needs to have jobs available! Good news … with the Pt. Thomson permits issued on October 26, Exxon predicts up to 2,400 Alaska jobs during peak construction of the project.

Second, Alaska needs to have a workforce ready to fill the jobs! Healthcare has projected job growth, but we also need welders, carpenters, heavy equipment mechanics and other trades. These are family-supporting jobs and critical to our industries.

I strongly support Career & Technical Education (CTE) in our junior high and high schools. Nikiski Middle and High School, in my new district, has some great CTE courses for our students, including welding, carpentry and culinary arts. This is exactly the local control of education that I support.

CTE equips students with marketable skills that employers need. These courses are interesting, challenging and keep students in school. Its education that works!

My opponent claims to support “Alaska hire” but huge amounts of his campaign money going “Outside” makes me question his sincerity. So far he has sent $50,000 to Oregon and Texas to run his campaign, polling and media (APOC reporting). That’s not exactly hiring Alaskans!

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