Sunday, July 6, 2008

Prediction: rising oil prices will bring village residents to Anchorage

Alaskans get bigger PFD checks and better government services when BP and Conoco strike it rich. Plus, there are more jobs to go around when oil exploration is economically feasible. Our economy holds steady while the lower 49 suffer from high oil prices. So it's no surprise that the oil industry trumpets its economic impact in Alaska:
Obviously, we remain a driving force in the economy, contributing the vast majority of state revenue,' said Kara Moriarty, AOGA's deputy director. In 2007, oil and gas revenue accounted for 88 percent of Alaska's general fund.

But rural Alaskans find the situation more bleak:
According to university researchers, the poorest families in Alaska's most remote towns and villages are expected to spend more than 40 cents out of every dollar they make on power and heat in the coming year.

In comparison, Anchorage's lowest-income households will spend about 9 cents from every dollar on energy bills.
State (and Anchorage) politicians had better get prepared for an influx of rural residents seeking jobs and a lower cost of living. They will be looking for low-income housing and social services as they get settled and look for employment. Heads up.

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