Alaska Business Insider

Alaska’s economy never stands still. One minute the oil industry is booming while tourism companies are tottering, and the next the construction industry is laying down its hammers while fishermen are enjoying strong catches.

In this blog we’ll track those highs and lows, resource development disputes, new ventures and many other topics. We’ll rely on our own reporting as well as bring you relevant news from other media or any other source that has information of interest to people following Alaska industries, from mining to retail to real estate.

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Imagining Alaska's economy without oil

From Elizabeth Bluemink --

A new academic paper says Alaska's economy would be half as big as it is today if oil had never been discovered on the North Slope.

The paper, by Scott Goldsmith of the University of Alaska's Institute for Social and Economic Research, says that all the jobs that can be traced in some way to oil development -- about 187,000 -- make up half of the state's jobs.

Without oil, Alaska would have seen bigger growth in tourism, seafood and mining, plus more development of the air cargo industry, according to the paper. The economy would have remained very seasonal due to the primary role of seafood and tourism.

In the future, Alaskans shouldn't look to a North Slope gas pipeline as a substitute for the oil industry, according to Goldsmith.

"On an energy-equivalent basis, the current market value of oil is more than twice that of gas. It’s also far more expensive to move gas to market. So the state’s gas tax base, which is the market value minus transportation costs—the wellhead value—would be only a small fraction of the current wellhead value of oil production," he writes.

To read the paper, click here.

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