11 May 2007

Voting no

AGIA passed the House this morning and the only dissenting vote was Ralph Samuels. Not only was it odd to see the majority leader voting against his entire caucus (and the other caucus) but the vote gives reason for pause.

Samuels is routinely described as the most knowledgeable lawmaker on oil and gas issues and that alone should give anyone second thoughts.

(It could be - though I doubt it - that he's in the pocket of the oil companies, like several of his colleagues appear to have been. But if that were the case, surely when he saw the vote was going against the producers he would have covered by supporting the measure. If I were Vic Kohring, I'd be voting "yes" on this bill no matter what was in the bill, simply because the bill is seen as anti-producer.)

On the floor, Samuels described his objections to the bill as concerns that it won't generate a sufficient number of serious bids to build the pipeline and the state will get stuck with a bad project that won't come to fruition. Is that a harbinger of the future?

One thing that Samuels said, though, is for certain. I paraphrase: "This is not the important vote. The vote that matters is next session when we have to pick a project."

UPDATE: I see Vic skipped the session and dodged the vote.

1 comment:

First Alaskan Man said...

He wants to be seen as “a man of principles” and must have a re-election coming up next year is my bet. He’s better the public will forget about this vote by then as he prays hard there isn’t anything done to get AIGA off and running. Then he will look good when it’s time for voters to take him to church or to the woodshed. Either way, he wins. In my estimation, voting against big oil is a good thing. It would have been a very strong message to big oil. However, it looks like he just wants to play politics.