September 7, 2003
Anchorage Daily News
Letter to Editor
"Your editorial cartoon caricaturing me on Aug. 30 was hilarious because it represents a total departure from reality. My ideological opponents are grasping at straws."
- Rep. Kohring
Your editorial cartoon caricaturing me on Aug. 30 was hilarious because it represents a total departure from reality. My ideological opponents are grasping at straws.
One of the primary purposes of House Bill 69 is to remove a layer of government (at the borough level) that impedes shallow gas drilling. I'm completely consistent doing this as I've endorsed reforming bureaucracies all my political life. HB 69 removes the local layer from hindering companies' search for natural gas. Imagine if you ran a gas company and had to clash with state and borough bureaucracies. Not only is borough intrusion redundant, it's expensive and hugely time consuming.
The woeful assumption that HB 69 will hurt landowners by allowing gas companies to run roughshod over them is unsupported. There remain powerful safeguards in law. That hasn't changed. The difference is a streamlined permitting process.
I stand by HB 69 as the right thing for Alaska. Most of those complaining tend to be anti-growth environmentalists watering at the public trough, or out-of-power Mat-Su "Progressives" (Democrats) desperately seeking an issue to make me look bad. The only trouble is the majority support HB 69 for what it promises; real production, good jobs and less intrusive bureaucracy.
Matter of fact, I'm proud of it. Hope we can create more laws of this kind to release the productive forces of the private sector.
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Vic Kohring is a fifth term Republican, representing Wasilla in the Alaska State Legislature and is Chairman of the Special Committee on Oil & Gas and serves on the Transportation, Budget & Audit and Ways & Means Committees.