Opinion: The feds are to blame for local business challenges

The natural beauty of Southeast Alaska is stunning, and never more so than during our summer months.

When should be the time to enjoy family, children and warmer weather; it’s different this year.

Many in our region earn their living during the summer season. This places increased importance on having enough employees, financial confidence and supply chain certainty. We don’t have that in 2022 due primarily to a federal government that is out of touch with Alaska and opposed to it.

Gasoline prices are prompting small business owners, fishermen and tour operators to re-evaluate their business practices. Add to that the attacks on our energy industry. Many Alaskans wonder what could happen next. The decisions of militant judges and overambitious federal administrators have had an impact on our region. The threat of significant changes in mining regulations could affect our mines, threatening jobs, family wages and important local incomes. The loss of a single mine could devastate us.

We need to look closely at our representatives and how they vote. Do they support a strong economy in deeds as well as in words? Are they voting to confirm their support for a strong economy and workforce in Alaska? Let them know, and if they’re not listening, then maybe it’s time to find someone who does.

Hopefully the federal government will change course quickly and begin to appreciate Alaska’s ability to balance environmental protection with responsible development. If he continues down this path, the bright future of Southeast Alaska could be drastically clouded, with potentially catastrophic consequences for many of our neighbors.

• Robert Shoemake is a former Juneau City and Borough Assembly candidate, small business owner and resident of Juneau.