First Alaska sustainability report published: The Alaska Standard
Click here to go to the full PDF version of this issue, with any maps, photos or other artwork that appears in
some of the articles.
On May 24 the first ever Alaska sustainability report, The Alaska Standard, was released by the office of the governor.
"Beginning in 1957 with the historic oil discoveries at Swanson River, and the Prudhoe Bay discovery following shortly thereafter in 1968, Alaska established itself as the petrostate it is known for today. Alaska has managed its resource development processes responsibly through strict environmental regulations and the proactive implementation of anti-waste statutes prohibiting natural gas flaring or venting during full-scale operations. These practices contribute to the State of Alaska being ranked the lowest in carbon emissions from a petrostate and ranking as the 10th lowest US state in carbon emissions from human activities," the inaugural publication reads, this information from State Carbon Dioxide Emissions Data, U.S. Energy Information Administration, or EIA.
"Alaskans know that we-ve been doing resource development better than anyone since statehood by following our Constitutional mandates to develop our resources for the maximum benefit of our people, adhere to the sustained yield principle, and to safeguard the public interest," Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy said.
"However, for far too long we-ve allowed our story to be told by others, often to the detriment of our ability to develop those resources. This report allows us to tell our story to the world and demonstrate that the standards ratified by our people at statehood and put into action since then have set the bar for best practices that should be adopted across the globe," he said.
From Alaska-s legacy resource industries of oil and gas that "will sustain us for decades to come, to our investments in renewables and emerging energy technologies, we want the world to know that Alaska is the best place on the planet to do business that strikes the right balance between what-s best for both people and our environment," Dunleavy said.
The Alaska Standard was produced by Chicago-based Bridge House Advisors under a contract with the governor-s office and includes contributions by multiple state agencies and corporations, the University of Alaska, and independent stakeholder groups including the ANCSA Regional Association and the Voice of the Arctic I- upiat.
Bridge House Advisors is an ESG and sustainability consulting firm, which has more than 50 technical experts from varied backgrounds with extensive and varied environmental and sustainability experience.
"In my opinion, for the last 6+ decades, the State of Alaska has demonstrated the spirit and intent of the UN-s Sustainable Development Goals and the State and its people are uniquely positioned to lead on the global energy transition," said Jeff Gibbons, chief growth officer of Bridge House Advisors.
The report covers Alaska-s history of resource development since statehood and how this development has benefited the people of Alaska through state services, infrastructure, jobs and economic opportunities, reduced poverty rates, increased lifespans, and nearly $30 billion in Permanent Fund Dividend distributions since 1982.
"Alaska Native corporations steward and sustain lands for subsistence use as well as resource development that helps our state and its people," said ANCSA Regional Association President Kim Reitmeier. "Alaska Native people garner strength, purpose and a connection to our history through our lands. It allows a sense of place and a tie to our ancestors that will never be broken."
The report also covers the work of the Alaska Energy Authority to reduce the cost of energy and displace diesel fuel in communities off the main power grids.
"The Alaska Energy Authority has a proven track record of increasing the reliability and resiliency of energy in communities across Alaska. Throughout our 47-year history, AEA has collaborated with local and regional partners to implement innovative energy solutions that positively affect rural and urban Alaskans," said AEA Executive Director Curtis W. Thayer.