Earlier this year, the Institute of the North announced that it was organizing a policy trip to Norway, among other things to enable a closer look at the system Norway uses to encourage oil and gas development in the country. Given the timing — the trip was originally scheduled to occur during what became the month that the Legislature was in special session — and the participants — the delegation included several Legislators — the trip received a fair amount of press. The trip also received extensive criticism from Paul Jenkins and other so-called “conservative” commentators.
The trip later was rescheduled and takes place toward the end of this month. While Jenkins’ and other’s similar criticism of the effort unfortunately may have caused some to change their plans, I am continuing to go — at my expense — because I believe that Norway’s oil policy potentially has something significant to offer Alaska and warrants a closer look. Continue reading