Don Young speaks at a Chamber of Commerce Luncheon. (Brielle Schaeffer/KCAW photo)

U.S. Rep. Don Young made a stop in Sitka on Wednesday (4-6-16) to speak at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon. The 22-term congressman, known for being a loose cannon, railed against business regulations and the media, but rallied for affordable energy.

Downloadable audio.

Young had one very important question for those who attended the Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

“Does anybody got anything here made in the United States on you?” he asked. “But that’s earrings. You’d all be a bunch of naked people. Marvelous thing to look at.”

And, he says, that’s a problem. The United States should be producing more goods and developing resources.

On a more local level, Young says the doom and gloom of the state budget deficit can be seen as an opportunity for diversification — and development.

“We have a lot of challenges in the state of Alaska,” he said. “I don’t think they’re dire as people make them out to be they’re bad enough but I also think it’s an awakening period of time.”

Young says . Southeast should never burn any fossil fuels and he’s working on that at a congressional level.

He says the key to development here is hydro power.

“I’m saying we need to and with cheaper power we can develop our resources ….our minerals our timber our agriculture our oil and all the other resources including our fisheries.”

And hydro could be a boon for the state struggling with plummeting oil prices.

“We will probably not build that gas line,” he said. “Mainly because the market has gone to hell. Seriously there’s a lot of gas around everywhere. But we need power and I can see the hydro dam and the Susitna Dam and that lake up there … We could have so much power that we don’t need the gas.  We’d have so much power we’d have a surplus and attract people into the state of Alaska.”

But, he says, excessive regulations are getting in the way. He says there are 8,000 new regulations being proposed for the next seven months.

“Nobody understands that the public, the income is coming from the resources of this land and the presidential candidates don’t understand it either and the biggest problem we have is regulations,” Young said.

In his typical fashion, Young didn’t pull any punches. He says problems the country has can be solved but the American people need to start paying attention.

“Basically people got lazy,” he said.” They don’t read anymore. They listen to the bobble heads. You ever listen to the bobble heads? Every day CNN, CNBC and what do you call that other one? Fox News.  They’re all guilty. They don’t give you news, they give you opinions and if you don’t take time to read you get brainwashed eventually and start seeing as gospel truth what’s coming out of the mouth of the bobble heads. I’m very discouraged by the people of America when they don’t take time to understand they’re going to be electing the president of the United States.”

His pick? John Kasich.

Young has a problem with the media unless he’s talking about Thad Poulson of the Daily Sitka Sentinel.

“Thank you for still owning your own newspaper, I think you still do,” he said.  “I think he’s the last of the Mohicans.”

Young is up for election this year. If reelected, he would be serving his 23rd term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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