Walker Hits the Ground Running at First Candidate Debate of 2018
April 26, 2018
On Thursday, April 26, gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker participated in the first debate of the 2018 election cycle. The debate was hosted by the Alaska Support Industry Alliance, which is a nonprofit trade association that provides resources to oil, gas, and mining industries in Alaska.
The debate highlighted Walker's record of aggressively supporting resource development on Alaska's terms. Walker demonstrated the depth of his knowledge of and support for Alaska's resource industry through his work in both the private and public sectors.
Governor Walker said of the debate: "I am absolutely committed to bringing Alaska's resources to Alaskans and the market. As we stand here today, we are significantly closer to a natural gas pipeline. The GMT exploration well needed permitting assistance. I flew to DC to assist in getting the permits granted. North Slope companies spend in excess of $40 million annually on seasonal ice roads to facilities. The North Slope needs a roads system to sustain development and provide access to newly opened areas, and we are partnering with industry to put these roads in place.
Walker also highlighted the critical importance of a sustainable fiscal plan to industry, saying: "For more than thirty years, Alaska has been solely reliant on the resource industry for revenue." Walker added that the State will no longer rely on this single income stream following implementation of an endowment formula from the permanent fund earnings. Other candidates agreed.
Campaign spokesperson Lindsay Hobson said, "Walker's record stands on its own. And the strength of that record and commitment to the industry truly shined in today's debate."
Walker added: "I will continue to fight for resource development on terms that are good for Alaska and the industry and look for creative solutions to make sure production continues to increase, exploration is pursued, and development is supported."
Bill Walker was born in the Territory of Alaska. He worked on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline as a teamster, carpenter, and a laborer. He attended law school and used his law degree to support development of an All-Alaska gasline. As governor, Walker has worked to lower the cost of exploration by partnering with industry on infrastructure development, opened historic new trade ties between Alaska and Asia, and fought for a fiscal plan to stabilize Alaska's economy.