Comment of the day: Are legislators losing interest in AKLNG project?

Lynn Willis responds to the news that only one-third of our legislators bothered to sit in on the AKLNG project update, a project that is said to be vital to Alaska’s future:

Speaking of promises for future revenues, the ADN reports that only 20 of our 60 legislators signed the necessary confidentiality agreement to be informed of the AKLNG project status. Legislation to proceed with the AKLNG effort (SB 138) passed by a vote of 52 to 8 yet apparently now only 20 of the 52 supporters are demonstrating the direct interest I would think is extremely essential as we progress in this effort. This legislation involves us as an equity partner; therefore, these legislators have a fiduciary responsibility to remain as informed as would any member serving on a corporate board of directors. The supporters of SB138 claimed that this secrecy was absolutely vital so I cannot understand why any of them would not be participating in this agreement.

I could understand those who will not be in Juneau this January not signing; however, what about the rest of them? Is this lack attention caused by a loss of interest in this critical (and very expensive) effort already? I would argue that sending a staff member to this kind of briefing is a clear indication that the staff member should become the actual legislator.


3 thoughts on “Comment of the day: Are legislators losing interest in AKLNG project?

  1. Andy

    Remember…remember….remember !!
    Government good…..private business bad.

    A secretive cabal of informed folks for this gas line guffaw makes political sense , because the State does not want private investors to know how intellectually challenged they really are. How can we the public trust a bunch of boneheads that were elected with a simplistic jingle ? A new set of sycophants and wanna be types are lining up for the new trough.

    By waving the political wand and spreading of populist pixie dust, new leaders -in-chief for a bazillion dollar project will be assigned. Hundreds of millions of dollars are already spent for what? Shhhhhhhh….don’t ask, don’t tell.

    An informed public is dangerous, they may smell the fetid corruption in the corridors of power. Truth and transparency you ask? Nope…hear no evil, see no evil, and
    evil doesn’t exist.

  2. Jon K

    People need to understand why this confidentiality provision exists and how it works. The Administration wanted legislative involvement in negotiations to get feedback and to strengthen the state’s leverage in the negotiations. The only way to do this is by requiring legislators to sign confidentiality agreements – you simply cannot engage in commercial negotiations without confidentiality. The process put in place is very similar to labor negotiations – legislators are allowed participate in the negotiations, but only if they keep the discussions confidential.

    Ultimately all pertinent information from the negotiations will be disclosed during public hearings when the legislature will be asked to approve the contracts. The public is going to get a chance to weigh in and understand the deal. This issue is being demagogued by the usual suspects.

  3. Mike Ventresca

    The NDA they were expected to sign was an antidemocratic ball gag: any legislator who signed it should be requited to attend remedial 5th grade social studies classes. No legislator with half an ounce of sense is going to sign a legal agreement that would preclude him from using information gathered on a public project to inform the public.

    Government is not a private company, but a public good.

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