Thursday, October 20, 2005

Party report: ANWR and reality

Quite the interesting fundraiser. The party was held at Well Street Art Company, with much interesting art by Don Decker and a show put together by Ron Senungetuk (very beautiful, interesting works by a variety of artists).

Eric Croft was speaking and answering questions as we arrived (we were a bit late). He was talking about the gas line. I didn't catch if he was talking about an all-Alaska line. Mike Musick asked him what he thought about opening the refuge up to oil drilling; Croft's answer was that it was really a side issue, that the state had no control over it anyway, and that he'd rather concentrate on developing resources on state land, such as the gas, which is cleaner. Mike pressed for an answer, and Croft replied, directly, that he thought it should be opened. A woman near the wall said in agreement, "At some point you've got to face reality."

Hans (my husband) nearly walked out.

I pointed out (although not tidily) that the hoopla around ANWR has very little to do with reality, that the numbers have been manipulated and that plain dishonesty and exaggeration have characterized much of the discussion on drilling in the refuge. It seems to me that people need to be told the truth about it, rather than giving in to a mass illusion and saying "Drill it!" as though that will get him elected. Didn't work for Knowles, and it didn't work for Ulmer, as Mike pointed out later at the Golden Eagle.

I asked Croft about renewable energy, and he said he'd push for Fire Island as a test project. Then he went on to something else. Former legislator John Davies asked him to go back to renewable energy, but Croft didn't hear him. (This is a problem with many candidates and elected officials in Alaska.) Then the Q&A format dissolved, and everybody got to mingling. I saw Jim Sykes, who we'd come with, talking with him later.

As we left, Croft shook our hands and said he'd really like to talk more with me; I told him that I might call him up later and interview him. I want to hear more about renewables.

But I seriously doubt at this point that I would vote for him (given no Green alternative); ANWR, I discovered tonight, is a deciding issue for me. And I'm not alone.

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