Vote No on 2 to protect Alaska’s Future
The August primary ballot includes Ballot Measure 2, which would create a new coastal management program in Alaska.
My advice to each and every Alaska voter is simple: read the ballot language and the full statute that would become law if this measure passes. It can be found on our website at VoteNoOn2.net. Once you do, you will realize that Measure 2 is both deceptive and defective. It is not a means to “restore” coastal zone management in Alaska as it proponents claim, but instead it would impose a completely new, untested regulatory scheme on how we manage resource development. It will affect any project, large or small, that requires a permit of any kind. And it will affect every region of the state, not just coastal areas.
If you care about jobs and Alaska’s economy, you should Vote No On 2.
If you believe resource development is vital to Alaska’s economic future, you should Vote No On 2.
If you believe we need a balanced approach to environmental protection that does not stifle our ability to encourage new investment and develop and grow as a state, you need to Vote No On 2.
In theory, coastal zone management can be a tool for local coastal communities to provide input and guidance to federal and state authorities about how their coastline is developed.
Alaska first implemented a coastal zone program in 1977, and operated under various versions of it, with reforms made several times, until June 2011, when the state legislature failed to agree on a bill that would continue the program. Proponents of Measure 2 collected sufficient signatures to put the issue before voters on August 28.
This ballot initiative was written behind closed doors, with no public debate, input or involvement. While proponents of this measure claim it resurrects the old program, nothing could be further from the truth.
In preparing any measure for voter consideration, the Alaska Attorney General is tasked with writing a summary of the measure as it will appear on the actual ballot. Normally that summary runs between 50 and 100 words, but for measure 2 it took the attorney general 703 words to describe what the measure would to, making it the longest, most complex ballot measure to go before voters since statehood.
But the real issue is this: this ballot measure has the very real potential to shut down resource development in Alaska. This is not an exaggeration or a scare tactic. It is reality.
The measure will politicize coastal zone management, and create a new, powerful unelected board to set policy, whose members are not required to have a technical or permitting background.
Ballot Measure 2 gives coastal districts sweeping new authority on what they can regulate, and also includes gaping new loopholes. For the first time ever, this could include the visual appearance, such as color, designs, and location on private property, like recreational cabins or docks, as well as commercial projects.
This is made possible because “scenic and aesthetic enjoyment” is included as new regulatory standards. No one knows who added this provision or why. Or even who wrote it.
With no timeline for implementation and no clear rules, Measure 2 will create an environment for legal battles that stifles new job creation, frustrates Alaskans making use of their private property, stops exploration for oil and gas and ties up projects in courts. It’s even uncertain if it impacts projects that have already begun.
Ballot Measure 2 could stop oil and gas development projects that are hundreds of miles from communities, including the huge potential for offshore development. As throughput in the Trans Alaska Pipeline continues to decline, Alaska can’t afford more red tape and another barrier to the responsible resource development and investment that drive our economy.
Perhaps the wildest claim from measure 2 proponents is the assertion that their new language will help streamline permitting and reduce lawsuits. If that were truly the case, you would see groups like the Resource Development Council, the Alaska Oil & Gas Association, the Alaska Miners Association, the Alaska Support Industry Alliance, the Associated General Contractors, the Council of Alaska Producers, the Associated Builders and Contractors, the Anchorage Homebuilders Association, the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce, and local chambers of commerce all supporting it.
But they don’t. They are all opposing Measure 2 because jobs and Alaska’s economy are at risk.
Unfortunately, we don’t have the option of fixing Measure 2. The only remedy available to voters is a straight up or down vote…and we think it is abundantly clear that a No vote is critical.
Please be an informed voter. Get the facts. And vote to protect jobs and Alaska’s economic future.