Don Young’s History Fairbanks vs. Don Young

 

Don Young sacrifices Alaska's 90/10 split of oil royalty revenue when he promotes ANWR

Don Young played a key role in developing and winning Congressional approval for a 1995 bill that would open ANWR - the only ANWR bill to reach the President's desk. He also:

  • Sacrificed a key provision of the Alaska Statehood Act. Young proposed reducing Alaska's share of oil royalties on federal land from 90/10 to 50/50.
  • Enabled a veto when his bait and switch "diplomacy" regarding the 90/10 split exploded in the press.

Oil industry trade journals predicted that Young's bait and switch would be "the fatal shot in the foot for ANWR. If any congressman needed an excuse to vote against us, Young has given it to them." - Oil and Gas Journal, 11/13/95. H.R. 2491 passed without a veto-proof majority, and was killed by Bill Clinton's veto pen on 12/6/95. Don Young's fateful choice of words on Problem Corner, KFAR Radio, 10/31/95 still affects Alaska's oil revenue:

"My decision has been all along that, well, all right, we'll take the 50/50 split and then we'll go after the rest of it at a later time. If necessary, we'll do it through the court system but there will be a way that we get our just dues." - Don Young 10/31/95

The Alaska State Legislature overwhelmingly passed SJR 2 in 2005, which opposes "any attempt to coerce the State of Alaska into accepting less than the 90 percent of the oil, gas, and mineral royalties from the federal land in Alaska that was promised to the state at statehood." The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly unanimously passed Resolution 95-078 which called on Congress not to change the 90/10 split, unless the change was approved in a vote by the Alaska people.

Fast forward to today , and Young still actively seeks to reduce Alaska's royalty oil share to 50% (see votes below), despite overwhelming in-state support for the Alaska Statehood Act - per its original, painstakingly negotiated provisions.

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Bill

Don Young’s Action:

Effect

Date

Status

H.R. 6107

Sponsor

Reduce Alaska’s share of royalty oil from a 90/10 spit to a 50/50 split, under a bill to open ANWR.

5/21/08

Remains in House Committee

H.R. 5429

Voted Yes, Roll Call 209

Reduce Alaska’s share of royalty oil from a 90/10 spit to a 50/50 split, under a bill to open ANWR.

5/25/06

Passed House, died in the Senate

H.R. 2491

Voted Yes, Roll Call 812

Violate Alaska Statehood Act by reducing Alaska’s share of oil revenue on federal lands from 90% to 50%, under a bill to open ANWR.

11/17/95

Passed House and Senate, Vetoed by the President

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