Berkowitz and Walker share vision for Alaska

Anchorage Daily News - October 27, 2010

Ethan Berkowitz is an intelligent man. As the Democratic candidate for governor, he has asked Bill Walker (primary Republican candidate for governor); to lead his all-Alaska Pipeline Team should Ethan become our next governor. For the benefit of all Alaskans, Bill Walker has accepted this offer. Ethan Berkowitz has put party politics with its re-tread rhetoric aside and selected the foremost expert in gas and oil issues by choosing Walker to join his cabinet. Ethan chose the best man for the job and we need to follow suit by voting for Ethan Berkowitz for governor.

Gov. Parnell is a nice man. However; I fear he is married to AGIA and will pursue the Canadian pipeline regardless of the science that tells us AGIA is dead on arrival. The states of North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming are sitting on 500 billion units of recoverable shale gas and oil compared to 50 billion collective pool oil and gas in Alaska and in Saudi Arabia. Horizontal drilling with striation blasting is making shale oil and gas easier to recover. Continued improvements in this method of drilling are rapidly increasing. By the time a Canadian gas line is built, our natural gas will be as useful to the intended market as a fur coat is to a brown bear.

Ethan Berkowitz is a nice man. However; Ethan also possesses the grit and determination to see that Alaska will realize its greatest potential. He will not accept onerous conditions for oil and gas production. I believe Ethan is reasonable and fully capable of reaching conditions that are acceptable to all parties involved.

Make no mistake about it; an all-Alaskan Gas Pipeline is our greatest opportunity for a solid financial foundation now and in the future. In addition to spur lines to serve Alaskans, we will also realize added value with a North Slope to Valdez gas line. The natural gas we don't use can be liquefied and shipped to Asian markets that are eager for our gas exports.

I am a registered nonpartisan who supported Bill Walker in the primary. I watched a debate between Ethan and Bill and determined they both were very close in their vision for Alaska. Both endorsed an all-Alaska Pipeline as well as education, Alaskan jobs, attention for our elders, and caring for each of us with a concrete plan to achieve these goals.

People, we have a unique opportunity in front of us. Please don't let it slip away. Vote for Ethan Berkowitz and Diane Benson on Nov. 2.

John Combs served as mayor of Palmer from 2004-2010.