Thank you for holding these hearings. My name is Deborah Brollini, and I’m testifying on behalf of myself, and my children. I am the administrator and owner of the energy blog Alaska Energy Dudes and Divas. I am not an energy expert. I’m just an Alaskan who cares deeply about my state and my children’s future.
I have been perplexed by the these hearings regarding Alaska hire because the Alaska’s Supreme Court decided on January 17, 1986 that “Alaska hire” was unconstitutional
I too have been concerned about the job numbers, and have been researching and looking into the job numbers myself since the end of session. After reviewing the data, and speaking with Labor Economist Neil Fried… the issue is far more complex, and not transparent. I learned from Mr. Fried that the jobs data is not public. He cannot share those actual employee numbers, or make them public because the federal government forbids it. However, the Alaska Department of Labor can release ranges.
We can all agree that Alaska hire is important. It is part of Alaska’s culture, and something we should all take pride in, and do our best to increase the hiring of Alaskans. It is in the best interest of our state, the best interest of our businesses, and in the best interest of our economy. Our economy is reliant on the oil industry, and all of Alaskans benefit whether you live in Kwethluk, Hydaburg, Anchorage, or Fairbanks. It is important that we keep our economy strong for our children and our grandchildren’s future.
We can argue job numbers all day. However, we are not going to have jobs for our children and grandchildren if we do not have a safely operational pipeline. Alaska’s Supreme Court did decide on Alaska hire back in 1986 when Alaska’s economy crashed in 90 days. January 1st 1986 oil reached $20 dollars, and by April 1st, 1986, our economy had totally crashed. We were able to dig ourselves out after the crash because we had lots of oil in TAPS.
I’ve testified on HB 110 last session to House Resources, and House Finance. I would like to caution you that if we are not careful, we might relive a painful past of our own making, where Alaskans were packing up their families and leaving in droves, and throwing their keys at the bank where I was foreclosing on those homes as a paralegal.
Alaska has a bright future if we think long-term, and with vision. I attended the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, and the Trans Alaska Pipeline forum back in May. What stood out to me was that policy makers, Alaska Native people, and the public at the time thought not about themselves or their children. But, their decisions were based on their desire to have a grand future for their great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren.
I believe we have lost our way. We all need to un-dig our heels, get our heads out of the weeds, put down our swords, and think and believe in our children’s future. By not doing so, we are only hurting ourselves.
* My testimony had to be reduced to two minutes. Therefore, my testimony may seem choppy