Oil Rich Alaskans Struggle
to Heat Homes
By Melissa O'Bryan
March 03, 2008
It's refreshing to see how Alaskans are depicted in the media.
This is a copy of a letter I sent to Senator Tom Wagoner, Kenai
regarding his comments in an AP article.
Dear Senator Wagoner,
I just finished reading the
article by Associated Press writer Anne Sutton titled Oil Rich
Alaskans Struggle to Heat Homes. I was deeply disturbed by your
"Republican Sen. Tom Wagoner
is proposing a $750 credit for every household to be applied
to utility bills, paid by the state in lump sums to power companies.
It's more direct, he says. "It's fair and equitable and
it doesn't give out a cash payment that can be turned into bottles
of whiskey, tobacco, bingo parlors or whatever." Wagoner
While I understand that you
may be looking at an alternative to a direct payout, it is frankly
none of your business what the money is spent on. Many of these
checks will not go to whiskey, they will go to groceries, or
towards a credit card that may have been used to offset the difference
between the budgeted amount for fuel and the actual amount we
may have paid. Your comment was disrespectful and depicted Alaskans
as a bunch of irresponsible drunks.
I would invite you to look
at the Alaska State Troopers dispatch record for Ketchikan to
see what this rise in fuel is also costing us. Many homeowners
as well as one of our fire departments have reported fuel being
stolen from them. Our community has experienced a rash of thefts
which have been up to 275-300 gallons of fuel stolen. Do the
math, Senator Wagoner. I sincerely doubt the fuel is being sold
on the black market but merely to heat these desperate peoples
homes. How nice for the people who have to replace the stolen
fuel. Surely they will use that check to buy whiskey or possibly
partake in our weekly bingo game offered in Ketchikan.
I am not sure where the money
should come from, I don't claim to have a broad knowledge of
the subject but I do know that for many Alaskan families this
will simply be a little boost to a way of life that we may one
day be priced out of.
On another note, Sitnews readers
let's try to keep our eyes on our own tanks as well as watching
out for your neighbor, report suspicous behavior. Hopefully,
we can help keep these fuel burglaries from continuing.
Received February 29, 2008
- Published March 03, 2008
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