(The cost of doing business in Alaska) Reality bites

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Alaska squeaked back in front of California in September to regain its position as the nation’s sixth-largest oil producer, but as U.S. oil production has grown in this decade it is stunning what a small player the 49th state has become on the national stage.

September’s northern production of about 13.5 million barrels was a significant increase from August production, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), but it was less than a tenth of the production of Texas, about a third of the production of North Dakota and about half of New Mexico.

Late and iconic Gov. Jay Hammond’s long-ago observation of Alaska’s role as “oil barrel to the nation and national park to the world” is now down to the latter.The implications for the Alaska economy are large.

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