Governor ‘calls out’ Montana hunting equipment company over stance on ANWR development

The governor encouraged Alaskans to “choose wisely” when spending Money
 Pools of water in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's coastal plain, Alaska (Photo from AP Images)
Pools of water in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's coastal plain, Alaska (Photo from AP Images) (KTUU)
Published: Sep. 1, 2020 at 10:26 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - On Aug. 29, Montana-based outdoor equipment company Sitka Gear posted on social media voicing the company’s opposition to oil development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. On Tuesday, Gov. Mike Dunleavy, R-Alaska, responded with a post voicing his disappointment.

In it, he called Sitka Gear’s statement “sad and shortsighted,” referring to the company as a virtue-signaling corporation, and encouraged Alaskans to “choose wisely when spending your money with companies who actively seek to upend your economic well-being.”

“I’m going to call them out because it hurts Alaska. It hurts our ability to raise revenue, it hurts our ability to provide jobs for our people,” Dunleavy said at a press conference Tuesday. “... I think it’s my job as the governor to call out a company that’s not located in Alaska, that makes money off an Alaskan city’s name, a great city, to the detriment of Alaska.”

Sitka Gear has not yet responded publicly to the post or to a request for comment, but the reaction from people online was strong and mixed.

Some agreed with the governor, saying they didn’t want to support a company that didn’t support Alaska resource development. Some even took to Sitka Gear’s page, one commenting on a post, “Shame on your company for opposing Alaska development and jobs.”

Others criticized the governor for using his official social media accounts to attack a private business stating its opinion. One user on Twitter wrote, “So now only businesses who get in line with your policy stances get your support while everyone else gets intimidated?”

This is not the first time the governor has expressed his opinion on businesses on social media. In February, he targeted several banks, including Wells Fargo and JP Morgan after they announced they would no longer fund oil and gas development in Alaska. The state’s congressional delegation responded similarly.

Copyright 2020 KTUU. All rights reserved.

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