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Solar the president and democratic governor huddling at the White House today and apparently hit the battle over public employee union rights going on around the country not gotten a lot of attention there Maryland governor Martin O'Malley saying little -- was actually spent on the subject -- most of his democratic colleagues call -- a quote distraction while but isn't it a lot more than a distraction and let's ask Republican governor Sean -- now all of Alaska -- watches the fox.
Business exclusive governor good to see why -- targeted -- -- NEA.
Have I would say it must be kind of frustrating for the union leaders to see governors like Christie from New Jersey and like Mitch Daniels from Indiana getting these very high ratings despite the fact that -- tackle in the unions -- ought.
It does it seems to be backfiring this strategy that the unions or use it.
Well -- and I think the public knows that's governors and legislatures have to balance their budgets and when -- governor have to make cuts to balance his or her budget there -- only three places you can go get -- those personnel costs.
-- go to your welfare system your health and social services system.
Are you good education and the choices are pretty limited and I think I think the public knows that.
Well compromise is is always a real solution here as you watch what's going on in Wisconsin.
Do you sometimes sit there and say you know what I would do we'd love to know governor what would you do in this situation to get both sides together and get some compromises.
But you know -- -- -- pretend it's known.
The parties there how to get it together except I can tell you that Alaska has been through.
Similar budget deficits in years past and the one thing we did -- we focused on our constitutional priorities those things that the state constitution said we had to do.
Identified those cars -- education public safety and transportation infrastructure.
You focus on those priorities.
You sit down and talk and figured out.
How do you deal -- the public sector union contracts some of which you you simply can't pay off because they've been too generous in the past.
-- and indeed Alaska has about a ten billion dollar unfunded liability from our previous.
Pension obligations that -- undertaken and we're we're having to make annual payments and still that is going to be a huge budget buster for years to -- OK so now what the president is going to be meeting with all governors soon you'll have -- what would you like to say no I'm sorry it's -- -- -- -- and a list right okay so when you.
When you have an opportunity to meet with all the governors and the president at some point is there a message you'd like to get a mean what do you think we all really need to do to get these states back.
To healthy working -- Well listen I I think it's more about what's happening in the international arena right now that's driving out.
Fuel prices and so when Americans are having to pay for five bucks a gallon at the pump which is coming.
We need to start looking at more domestic.
Energy creation here we need to have our regulatory agencies permitting oil and gas exploration and development.
Across this land we import 63% of our oil from foreign sources.
And is it any wonder that when there's that shock going on in the Middle East that our prices are being driven out.
We're we're sacrificing jobs at home and we're sacrificing revenue into the treasury to -- our deficit if we don't look here.
That's really what I'm here in Washington promoting is that Alaska is -- rich storehouse of energy as are some of the other states in this in this country when we wanna help.
All right well focusing on oil they're too big Kahuna is in the United States and of course one is they're drilling in the gulf and the other.
Is Anwar's is that drilling in Alaska on some very pristine land it's just -- a little tiny sliver of that land we all know but.
Are you in favor of drilling and and war and is there any progress in pushing that point with a president.
Well of course of course I'm in favor of drilling in the -- -- -- -- but even before that we have a Federal Reserve called the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska.
Its name itself implies it's for petroleum.
We can't even get permission from the federal government to explore there.
We can't go offshore in the Arctic there's huge potential there -- -- -- of course I'm I'm support of drilling in the coastal -- but before we get there.
We've got a lot of other options if we have a federal government that wants to create jobs at home and energy production here at home.
You -- recently gave a speech to the National Press Club today about American energy security and and as we look up at that security you know.
What sort of measures can your state take to help offset any major oil supply disruptions from the chaos in the Middle East.
Separate from starting a -- drilling you know argument over and more.
Well Alaska already -- supplies about 11% of this nation's production every day.
I've 600000 barrels a day come -- the trans Alaska pipeline system the infrastructure is there to move oil to market.
We have a lot of land.
Are in the -- PRA the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska we also have a lot of land off shore shallow offshore -- 150 feet of water.
We'd like to be able to drill there explore there that's something that the federal government ought to.
Be working on rather than making us more dependent upon foreign oil.
You know governor -- -- ironically despite all of the oil in Alaska has whenever we see those gasoline prices around the country -- always the Alaska's one of the highest.
Gasoline prices in the nation is it conceivable lead again despite that the wealth of oil you have in your state that -- -- -- rising price of gas.
May put your -- in in jeopardy of a double dip recession.
Well he frankly.
The spike in fuel prices hits our rural communities hardest because they buy diesel involved to get them through the winter -- I can only come up the river systems there we don't have.
And you know an interstate system to many of our communities like the rest of the US so it will be created huge hardship in our rural communities.
I'm at the same time.
If we could have more access to lands a federal lands for drilling for exploration we could create jobs -- more jobs for our people as well as for other Americans.
Governor we've only got a couple seconds left but you just mentioned gasoline going to 45 dollars a gallon up we've seen in some regions already four dollars to 399 thanks for the extra penny.
-- but when do you see five dollar a gallon gasoline happening especially considering were at 21 year highs for inventories in this nation.
Well look just two years ago we -- at a 140 dollars a barrel of -- well.
With increasing unrest in the Middle East it's only a matter time before.
That price tag that sticker shock starts to increase for Americans that's what I -- to avoid I think I think.
Department of interior EPA they can get on the stick get more.
-- production from the gulf get more production from the state of Alaska as all the other areas they just need to.
Eliminate this no new wells policy that seems to have taken -- -- governor shot -- -- now of oil rich Alaska good to see governor thank you very.
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