Here & Now Here & Now

Support the news

Alaskans Expect Near Record 'Oil Check' Windfall05:56
Download

Play
A portion of the 800-mile Trans-Alaska pipeline that feeds oil to the West Coast. (Al Grillo/AP File)
A portion of the 800-mile Trans-Alaska pipeline that feeds oil to the West Coast. (Al Grillo/AP File)
This article is more than 5 years old.

On Monday, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker announces how much money Alaska residents will receive in a check from the state's savings account of Alaskan oil revenues.

It's a unique arrangement in the U.S. Last year most Alaska residents received nearly $1,900 each from the state's Permanent Fund, which was created by a voter-approved constitutional amendment in 1976.

This year's check is expected to be even bigger, even though the price of oil has plunged and the state has a $3.5 billion deficit, largely because Alaska's state government is almost entirely dependent on oil revenue to operate.

Matthew Smith, news director at KNOM in Nome, Alaska, tells Here & Now's Peter O'Dowd that residents of rural areas like Nome are particularly dependent on the yearly checks. He also says there's concern that some state lawmakers may instead want to balance the budget with some of the windfall money.

Guest

This segment aired on September 21, 2015.

Support the news

Support the news