One fifth the size of the continental US, Alaska stands as America’s only Arctic state. And when it was founded, Alaska was given a special deal. Too remote for full Federal infrastructure funding, Alaska would have to pay for its own needs from the wealth locked away below its frozen soil.
For many years this worked well, and revenue from mineral resources and hydrocarbons covered up to 90% of the funding needed for government services, but there was a catch. Fluctuating oil revenues made for years of feast and famine for Alaska’s finances. A petroleum company can delay drilling a well, but a community cannot delay teachers’ salaries.
Now finding itself in a changing world, Alaska is taking its destiny into its own hands as this state of pioneers looks to adapt to shifting markets, and position itself for an energy revolution.
Cold Climate Housing Research Centre