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NameYoung Don
Positioncongress
StateAlaska
PartyRepublican
Office Room2314 RHOB
Phone number(202) 225-5765
emailEmail Form
Website
Contact Representative Young Don
Donald Edwin Young is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Alaska's at-large congressional district since 1973. He is the Republican Party's longest-serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives in history, having represented Alaska for 24 terms.

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Congressman Don Young was re-elected to the 117th Congress in 2020 to serve his 25th term as Alaska’s only Representative to the United States House of Representatives. First sworn in as a freshman to the 93rd Congress after winning a special election on March 6, 1973, Congressman Young is today the Dean of the House and the longest serving member of the current Congress.

Congressman Young served as Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee from 1995 to 2001 and then as the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 2001-2007. In the 110th Congress, Representative Young returned to the helm of the Resources Committee to lead his fellow Republicans as the Ranking Member. In the 112th Congress, he was chosen to serve as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs (IIANA) – a position he held until January 2017. After fulfilling a successful 6-year term as Chairman of the IIANA Subcommittee, Congressman Young was named Chairman Emeritus of the full House Committee on Natural Resources – a role that allows him to bring his years of experience and knowledge to all five of the panel’s Subcommittees. Today, Congressman Young currently serves as the most senior Republican on both the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and House Natural Resources Committee.

Congressman Young calls Fort Yukon, Alaska home; a remote village of approximately 700 people located 7 miles above the Arctic Circle in Alaska’s central interior region. Born on June 9, 1933 in Meridian, California, he earned his associate degree at Yuba Junior College in 1952, and his bachelor’s degree in teaching at Chico State College in 1958. Between earning these degrees, he served in the US Army’s 41st Tank Battalion from 1955 to 1957.

When he first moved to Alaska, Congressman Young made a living in construction and tried his hand at commercial fishing, trapping, and in the search for gold. In Fort Yukon he taught in a 25-student, 5th grade elementary class in the Bureau of Indian Affairs school. Constructed of logs, the school had a wood stove that kept his Alaska Native students warm in the sub-freezing, arctic winter. With the annual spring break-up of the river ice, he captained his own tug and barge operation to deliver products and supplies to villages along the Yukon River. Even today, he remains the only licensed mariner in Congress.

It was in Fort Yukon that Rep. Young met and married a young bookkeeper named Lu. Lu was always at the Congressman’s side and supported him throughout his public service career. Lu and Don were married for 46 years. They were blessed with and raised two daughters, Joni and Dawn, and 14 grandchildren. Mrs. Young passed away on August 2, 2009. Although Congressman Young never imagined finding love again, on June 9, 2015 he married Anne Garland Walton, a Fairbanks-area flight nurse and proud mother of two children and six grandchildren.

Congressman Young first entered public service in 1964 when he was elected Mayor of Fort Yukon. Two years later, Alaskan voters elected him to the State Legislature in Juneau where he served in the State House from 1966 to 1970, and later in the State Senate from 1970 to 1973. Just hours after being sworn in to United States House of Representatives in 1973, he found himself leading the historic battle for approval of the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline. Often citing this as the single most important achievement in his career, Congressman Young stated, “Next to statehood itself, the most historical legislation passed that affected every Alaskan then, now, and in the future, was the passage of the pipeline legislation.”

That same year, his colleagues honored him as the “Freshman Congressman of the Year.” He went on to gain a key appointment on the then Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee where he pushed through the 200-mile fishing limit critical to Alaska’s fishing industry. He fought against federal control of lands and resources to which Alaskans are rightfully entitled – a battle he continues today with the same vigor. In 1997, he passed by a 419 to 1 vote, the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act, which sets guidelines and priority uses within our nation’s 550-plus wildlife refuges.

Congressman Young proudly serves as the “Congressman for All Alaska” and loves his role as the only Alaskan Representative in Congress. Renewed by the challenges and goals of the 117th Congress and his committee positions, Congressman Young will continue to champion legislation and funding for programs benefiting Alaska and the nation. His vision remains the same – to provide citizens with the opportunity for a better life not just for today, but also for tomorrow and the future.

Second Amendment

The United States has experienced tragedies caused by individuals who used a firearm, several of which have been declared acts of terrorism. In response to these events, some lawmakers have used the terrible loss of life to promote tighter gun control laws, though these attempts have not gained traction in Congress because of the limitations the proposals would place on the Second Amendment rights of Americans.

A majority of the shooting tragedies this nation has endured share a common element that the assailant was mentally ill and behavioral red flags were either ignored or not acted upon until it was too late. All Second Amendment supporters will agree that firearms do not belong in the hands of violent criminals or the seriously mentally disturbed. However, instead of using tragedies to justify limiting access to firearms for all Americans, lawmakers should use them as motivation to reform the way we recognize and care for the mentally ill, in addition to protecting our citizens from radicalized terrorists.

Gun ownership is built into the fabric of our nation. Nearly a third of American adults own a firearm, and Alaska has the highest rate of gun ownership with 62% of adults saying they own a gun. All Alaska residents are eligible to subsistence hunt on state lands, and many Alaskans rely on gun ownership to feed their families and communities through the practice. Subsistence hunting occurs year round and is critical to rural Alaskans who rely on it for nutrition and stability. It is also central to the customs and traditions of many communities.

Federal law has regulated the sale and possession of firearms for decades. Several high-profile incidents of gun violence have prompted proposals to modify this framework, including by reinstituting the assault weapons ban; imposing universal background checks; and broadening restrictions on gun possession by foreign nationals, suspected terrorists, and others. Firearms restrictions, however, must comport with the requirements of the Second Amendment, which the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller upheld as protecting an individual right to keep and bear arms. I am a proud supporter of the Second Amendment, and will continue to fight in Congress to ensure that all Americans’ Constitutional rights are protected.

Tax Reform

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Print this Page Share by Email I have long advocated for a comprehensive tax reform, greater accountability in the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and a fairer and simpler tax policy for Americans. The overcomplicated and outdated tax system riddled with loopholes and exemptions cost American families millions of dollars each year and was a confusing, burdensome system to navigate each April. It had been 31 years since the last major overhaul of America’s tax code. I am proud that Congress and President Trump were able to pass H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law.

Overall, the changes to the old, broken tax code made in H.R. 1 will deliver much-needed tax relief to millions of families, help our workers and job creators compete and win here at home and around the world, and make the tax code simpler and fairer for all Americans. In Alaska, the typical middle-income family of four will see a tax cut of $2,803. The American economy has faced eight long years of deprecation, and this law created many growth-driven reforms that empower middle class families, support entrepreneurship and small business, and spur American competition and competitiveness. Below are some highlights of the law:

  • Small Business Relief: Reduced small business taxable income by 20%. Small Businesses comprise 99% of the companies in Alaska, and this will allow small business owners to deduct more from their adjusted gross incomes. This puts money back into the hands of small business owners and provides them with some breathing room as they struggle to compete with larger corporations.

  • Income Brackets: Lowered the seven income tax brackets to: 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%. These tax brackets determine how much income tax individuals pay each year. Previously, the lowest bracket was 12%, and with the new plan, unmarried Americans only pay 10% on the first $9,525 they make annually. Married individuals filing joint returns only pay 10% on the first $19,050.

  • Standard Deduction: Doubled the individual standard deduction to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples. Standard deductions ensure that all taxpayers have at least some income that is not subject to the federal income tax. Individuals have the option of claiming the standard deduction, or itemizing their deductions. Doubling the standard deduction adds more incentives for people to claim the money rather than feeling the need to itemize numerous tax deductions which would likely sum up to an amount that is less than the new standard deduction level.

  • Child Tax Credit: Doubled the Child Tax Credit to $2,000, raised the income threshold from $110,000 to $400,000, increased the refundable amount from $1,100 to $1,400, and added a non-refundable credit of $500 for dependents other than children. These crucial updates will help families care for their children and elderly dependents.

  • Individual Mandate: Eliminated the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate penalty tax, allowing families flexibility to buy the health care plan that is right for them, if they choose.

  • Charitable Tax Deduction: Retained this itemized deduction. While there are some concerns that due to fewer people itemizing their charitable donations, there are not adequate incentives to spur people to donate, this legislation overall promotes a stronger economy. It grows Americans’ paychecks, allowing them to donate more of their hard-earned money to causes they believe in.

Immigration

The United States has provided countless nationalities a refuge to pursue a better life by regularly granting asylum or permitting various immigrants the opportunity to become American citizens. This country is a nation of former immigrants whose ancestors once came here to provide more opportunities for their children or to escape persecution and danger. However, our current immigration system is in serious need of repair. The average citizenship application processing time for high skilled immigrants such as engineers or scientists can exceed 10 years, yet a growing number of undocumented workers either illegally cross our southern border or overstay temporary work visas every day.

During the 113th Congress, the Senate passed a package of immigration reforms which attempted to address this issue in one fell sweep, S. 744. The House said it would not consider S. 744, because any attempts to change immigration policy in this country should be considered in small, gradual reforms, designed to avoid mistakes and maximize success.

Due to the ongoing nature of this debate in the House of Representatives, I cannot predict what type of legislative proposals will be offered on the House Floor, if any at all. Should the House consider addressing these issues, I support the piecemeal approach advocated by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and others. This process will allow for a full debate, as the House Committees work step-by-step to fix our broken immigration system. As your Congressman, rest assured I will keep your thoughts in mind as this debate continues.

In addition, the House GOP has outlined standards for immigration reform based on a number of modifications that ensure our nation’s broken immigration policy is addressed in a manner that enforces current laws and does not jeopardize our economy and national security.

These standards of Immigration Reform are as follows:

Border Security and Interior Enforcement:

First and foremost, the United States must secure its borders and implement measures to ensure they remain secure. This includes a zero-tolerance policy for those who illegally cross our borders or illegally overstay their visas in the future. This will prevent further Administrations from selectively choosing which policies to enforce and which policies to ignore.

Entry-Exit Visa Tracking Systems:

On eight separate occasions Congress has required by law an Entry-Exit system to track and monitor foreigners in this country. Previous versions of these laws have called for a biometric system, one that uses state- of the art technology to verify and confirm identity. A path forward must require full implementation of our current laws, including Entry-Exit Visa tracking systems.

Employment Verification and Workplace Enforcement:

The United States must build upon the use of electronic employment verification system, which would streamline the slow and outdated paper based system used by many employers across the country. We must not only seek those who are here illegally, but those who have harbored, aided, and encouraged them to come to this country.

As a country of immigrants, we fully understand the role our legal immigration process has in society. However, it is well past time that our legal immigration process moves from a system that focuses on extended family members and the luck of the draw, to a system that favors the economic needs of this country.

Our system must focus on the thousands of highly skilled foreign nationals seeking education, economic opportunity, and jobs that provide for our economy. For too long, we have been educating and training a highly skilled workforce only to export them because of a clogged legal immigration process. Any form of legal immigration must consider the economic impact opening our borders has, especially when we have millions of out of place workers who should never be displaced or disadvantages by foreign workers.

Identifying Those Living Outside the Law:

Without action, our current immigration system makes no effort to identify those currently living and working in the United States illegally. The prosperity and economic future of this country depends on identifying these individuals and requiring them to make right by the law. This, however, must not call for direct citizenship to individuals here illegally because that would seriously jeopardize our country’s rule of law and be unfair to those currently waiting in the legal immigration process. Any form of immigration must identify those 11 million illegal immigrants estimated to be in this country. In the future, if certain policies and provisions could be properly implemented, including all border security measures, the process for granting these immigrants the ability to live here legally could then be considered. However, this process would call for a number of benchmarks that include detailed background checks, the payment of fines and taxes, and the ability to properly support themselves and their families without access to public benefit. Those who fail to meet the outlined criteria, and those who are criminal aliens, gang members, or sex offenders would be ineligible for legal status.

Health Care Reform

Our health care system is critical to our wellbeing and way of life. As Alaskans and Americans live longer, the demand for qualified health providers will continue to grow. Likewise, as medical devices and health care practices become more advanced, the cost of services can increase. As a nation, we have found ourselves in a perfect storm; a rising shortage of doctors and ballooning health insurance premiums that threaten access to care for Americans.

The “Affordable Care Act” (ACA), also known as Obamacare, was a flawed government remake of health care built on broken promises that led to inferior outcomes. Then President Obama promised Americans that the average family would save $2,500 per year and that they could keep their current health plans and doctors if they liked them, none of which was shown to be true. Further, Alaska has some of the highest health costs in the national and was hit with huge premium increases in the individual market and the loss of all but one insurer.

On May 4, 2017, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act, which would have begun a transition away from Obamacare by repealing government mandates and taxes while retaining provisions I wanted to see preserved including protections for preexisting conditions, allowing dependents under 26 to remain on their parent’s plans, no limits on lifetime caps, and more. I was among those voting in favor of passage. However, the Senate was unfortunately unable to find a path forward when the legislation was referred to that chamber. There was progress made in December of 2017 with the repeal of the individual mandate to buy insurance, which I always considered one of the worst provisions, was repealed as part of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Veterans

Alaska is home to more veterans per capita than any other state in the Union, so it is easy to see why the love for our veterans’ community is ingrained in the tapestry of Alaska. As a veteran myself, I understand that we have a responsibility as a Nation to take care of our veterans. I have made that responsibility one of my top priorities and will continue to fight for all those men and women who are willing to step forward and put their lives on the line for us.

Rural Veterans

Many of our Alaska veterans live in highly rural areas, and they should be able to receive the care they have earned regardless of where they live. This is why I introduced H.R. 5558, the VA Highly Rural Transportation Program Extension Act, which I am proud to say was incorporated into H.R. 5985, the Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act, which was signed into law. This Program enables State Veterans Service Agencies and Veteran Service Organizations to provide no-cost transportation services to VA or VA-authorized healthcare facilities for veterans in counties/boroughs with fewer than seven people per square mile. Furthermore, through the Congressional appropriations process, I have advocated for the funding of $270 million in funding for the VA’s rural health initiative, which provides access and care to veterans in rural areas.

Transportation and Infrastructure

Over the last 45 years, I have worked tirelessly to address the crucial infrastructure needs throughout our great state. Before being elected to public office, I saw firsthand the problems we had with a lack of infrastructure as a tug and barge operator along the Yukon River. But I could also see the potential economic development that communities and rural villages could achieve if they were given the resources to put ideas into action.

Transporting people and goods presents a significant challenge in Alaska. Efficient movement of cargo and people, using all modes of transportation, will be essential to solving transportation needs throughout the country and in Alaska.

As Arctic shipping routes begin to open up, Alaska will be on the main stage and should be seen as a vital link in transporting goods between America and the Far East. I see the potential for growth and a bright future for the State of Alaska.

The current surface transportation law, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which was signed into law on December 4, 2015, is the first long term surface transportation bill in over a decade. Through my senior role on the House’s Transportation and Infrastructure committee I was able to steer more than $308 million for Alaska specific projects, established the Tribal Self-Governance Program within USDOT, reauthorized the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), and a 1% reduction in administrative fees by the Bureau of Indian Affairs / Federal Highway Administration. I remain committed to providing a robust investment in infrastructure to more efficiently move people and products domestically and internationally. We cannot compete in a global marketplace without the proper investment.

From a state perspective, Alaska is doing very well with the FAST Act, as programs are stood up and appropriately staffed, we will continue to benefit. I understand that states cannot make long-term plans when Congress keeps passing short-term extensions but at the same time, Alaska’s apportionment formulas will continue to bring in more dollars than Alaskans put into the highway trust fund (HTF). The FAST Act provides $67 million annually for the Alaska Marine Highway System, Denali Commission receives millions for rural transportation, and the other highway, transit, and bridge programs received robust funding levels.

There is much more work left to be done. Major investments in infrastructure are needed in Alaska. Twenty-one percent of our major roads are in poor or mediocre condition; less than 10 percent of our bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete; the ports, docks, and small boat harbors of Alaska are far behind; and our drinking water and wastewater infrastructure needs an investment of $972.1 million over the next 20 years (American Society of Civil Engineers Report Card 2017).

From a national perspective, it is vitally important that we provide enough funding in the HTF to maintain a strong investment. The federal government cannot replace the responsibilities of the state and local governments, but can supplement their efforts. The House will take up an infrastructure package in the next year, which I will fight to include funding for highway, bridge, transit, and research programs. I will continue to work with my colleagues on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to ensure that a new surface transportation bill is passed.

Additionally, aviation is a critical component of Alaska’s transportation system, as 82% of Alaskan communities are not served by roads. The aviation system in Alaska links virtually all communities with economical and dependable year-round transportation both within Alaska and throughout the world. Aviation and Alaska have an interdependent relationship.

Through my senior position on the Transportation and Infrastructure committee, I have worked to ensure that our communities, which are dependent on air travel for their livelihoods, have access to safe and reliable transportation. Currently, the House is working on a reauthorization bill for the Federal Aviation Administration, which is sets policies and priorities for the nation’s aviation system, and creates jobs through infrastructure improvements. The current bill maintains funding for the Essential Air Service (EAS) Program, provides clarification for Part 121 operators to fly under Visual Flight Rules, grants access to rural roads to hunting grounds and other parts of the community, and prohibits the sale of aviation infrastructure in the State of Alaska. I successfully fought to ensure that EAS is maintained in Alaska, because EAS is a vital lifeline that connects over 60 Alaskan communities.

Education

As a former teacher, I am committed to ensuring that our nation’s children are provided with the best education possible. I strongly believe that all children have a right to study in safe and productive learning environments and that America has a responsibility to provide exemplary education across the board. We must make significant investments in education to equip current and future generations of children with the knowledge and skills they need to compete and succeed in the global economy. Parents should be able to send their children to school confident that they will receive an excellent learning experience.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is the primary legislative vehicle that Congress uses to set the federal government’s K-12 education policy. Updating ESEA has long been overdue as it has not been reauthorized since the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was signed into law in 2002.

The NCLB mandated a “one size fits all” approach to increasing academic achievement of students throughout the country. Instead of empowering schools in Alaska, NCLB standards have burdened them. Alaska is not alone in its struggle to meet unique challenges and educate its children. In fact, each state has geographic, economic, or cultural barriers that have prevented its schools from complying with NCLB requirements.

Most agreed that the NCLB needed to be replaced with education policies that give individual states, school districts, and parents more decision making. Therefore, on December 3, 2015, the House passed S. 1177, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This bipartisan, bicameral legislation replaces the outdated, unreasonable, and unworkable federal standards included in the NCLB law.

Importantly, the ESSA stops the federal government’s promotion of Common Core and protects the rights of states and school districts to develop or change their own standards as they see fit. The bicameral bill:

  • Prohibits any agent of the federal government — including the Secretary of Education — from incentivizing, forcing, or coercing states into adopting Common Core, or interfering with a state’s standards or assessments.

  • Rejects policies and programs the secretary has used to coerce states to adopt Common Core, including waivers of K-12 education law with strings attached and the Race to the Top program.

  • Prevents the secretary from imposing additional burdens on states and school districts through the regulatory process in areas of standards, assessments, and state accountability plans.

  • Eliminate Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) standards for states, which have proved to be burdensome one-size-fits-all requirements rather than catalysts for states to improve student performance. S.1177 replaces AYP with state-determined accountability systems, thereby returning authority for measuring student performance to states and school districts.

  • End federally mandated interventions currently required of “poor performing” schools, giving states and districts maximum flexibility to develop appropriate school improvement strategies and rewards for their schools.

Recognizing that we cannot turn our backs on America’s indigenous peoples, this K-12 education law included important language crafted by Senator Murkowski and myself to improve the American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian education equity programs. Significant disparities continue to exist between the academic achievement of Native students and their non-Native peers, and Native communities face unique and burdensome educational obstacles. For these reasons, I have proudly fought to protect dedicated funding streams for culturally-based tribal education programs.

The ESSA would:

  • Authorize nearly $32 million annually for the Alaska Native Education Program (ANEP);
  • Reform grantee requirements for ANEP eligibility to ensure that Alaska Native Organizations are always lead recipients and have the primary responsibility for the development and implementation of funded programs.

Ensuring that our children receive a quality education is one of the most crucial issues facing Alaska and the United States. I will continue to support important programs that benefit young Alaskans at every stage of their educational journey, from pre-Kindergarten through college.

Opioid Epidemic

Opioid and substance abuse presents a great challenge to Alaska and across the nation. It robs us of our youth, plagues countless adults, and inflicts anguish on our families. We must unify to seek ways to address this problem.

Recently, most of Alaska was designated as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA). While this is a somber designation, it is also a needed step toward additional assistance to law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, local, and tribal levels. Each HIDTA region is governed by its own Executive Board, which has the flexibility to design and implement initiatives specific to the unique area.

Additionally, Congress continues to focus on the issue and seeks ways to address these challenges. Omnibus legislation passed in March of 2018 and signed into law included nearly $4 billion to address this epidemic, which was the largest investment to date, and helps fulfill the President’s Opioid Initiative. This included $1 billion in grants to states and tribes, increased support for prevention and addiction, as well as more funding for drug interdiction efforts. This will remain an important topic moving forward.

Budget

Our national debt is over $21 trillion and growing. It presents one of the greatest long term challenges we face as a country, one which we must all come together to confront.

For Fiscal Year 2019, the federal budget is estimated to be $4.407 trillion. This comes in three spending categories. Mandatory Spending ($2.738 trillion), Discretionary Spending ($1.305 trillion) and Interest on the National Debt ($363 billion). Depending on economic growth and government revenue, there is projected to be around a $1 trillion deficit.

Due to this concern, I have long supported a Balanced Budget Amendment to restrain federal spending to the amount of revenue it collects. On April 12, 2018, the House of Representatives voted to propose a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Unfortunately, due to Democrat opposition the resolution did not have enough support to pass. However, I remain committed to working with anyone, Republican or Democrat, to bring greater balance to the U.S. budget.

Alaska Energy Issues

We must remove harmful government regulations, reduce unnecessary litigation, and begin to develop a comprehensive plan for Alaska’s energy future. Alaska’s energy and economic futures are mutually dependent, because cheap energy brings with it increased industry and jobs. However, in Alaska, we have significant challenges that many in the Lower 48 do not face such as transportation costs and the lack of a widespread electrical grid. Fortunately, Alaska has more energy potential than anywhere else in the U.S.

Our state is diverse, and a one-size-fits-all approach will not work, but certainly regional approaches to Alaska’s energy needs should be pursued.

For example, Southeast should never have to burn another gallon of diesel fuel. With the immense hydro potential, we should focus our efforts on a Southeast intertie. Also, the Aleutians have tremendous wind and geothermal potential that has yet to be harnessed to its full potential. An in-state gas-line will allow North Slope gas to supplement Cook Inlet, and allow Anchorage to continue to grow, while also providing Fairbanks with the advantages of cheap natural gas that Anchorage has been solely enjoying for decades.

I am pleased to have voted for the 2018 budget resolution that paved the way to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) Coastal Plain, also known as the 10-02 region. This is an issue I’ve been working on and fighting for over the past 45 years. The 10-02 is an area where oil has been developed by God. ANWR is not a Wilderness area; it was designated to be drilled at the request of Congress for the good of the nation. The area designated for exploration is approximately 2,000 acres, smaller than Dulles International Airport, and contains an estimated 20 billion barrels of oil. Oil is not evil. It is necessary for this nation socially, to create jobs and build a healthier economy.

Natural Resources

Said quite simply, America must become energy independent. We have no other choice unless we are prepared to continue financing foreign governments. But the good news is that we have the ability to, and that Alaska can lead the way.

In January 2017, I was named Chairman Emeritus of the House Natural Resources committee, which allows me to bring my knowledge and experience to each of the subcommittees. I have long fought for a balance between conservation and development of our nation’s resources. Timber, oil, minerals, fish, and any other resource was put there to be harvested. That doesn’t mean we should take everything out of the ground, but we should be using what God has provided to further U.S. interests and build our economy.

Alaska has a wealth of natural resources, and as Chairman Emeritus I am in a key position to fight for the continued development and prosperity of our great state. I’ve been able to take the lead on several far-reaching bills this Congress, including reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and the opening of ANWR to exploration.

What many Americans do not realize is how many products are made from a barrel of oil. Someday America’s energy may not come from fossil fuels, but the U.S. will never be able to fully cut our ties to them. In a 42 gallon barrel of oil (results in 44.68 gallons through the refining process), 19.15 gallons becomes gasoline (43%), 9.21 gallons becomes diesel (20%), 3.82 gallons becomes jet fuel (9%), and 1.75 gallons becomes heating oil (4%). The remaining, and most important, part of the barrel is the 10.75 gallons (24%) that compose the molecules that make-up asphalt, plastics, lubricants, etc. Failure to develop this 24% of the barrel will leave the U.S. without rubber, aspirin, syringes, golf balls, toothpaste, and even the synthetics that compose windmills and green cars.

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