High oil prices are a massive drain on Cascadia overall, but they’re a massive windfall to the state of Alaska. Alaska’s economy is routinely whipsawed by the gyrations of world oil prices. With today’s spot-market price for Alaskan crude setting a new record at $50.44, not only is money pouring north from the southern reaches of Cascadia (Washington and Oregon consume a huge share of Alaska’s oil), money is also pouring into the state treasury.
Alaska’s state government gets well over half of its revenue from oil royalties and corporate taxes paid by oil companies. Juneau is so captive to oil money, in fact, that the Anchorage Daily Newsbusiness section’s daily chart of oil prices shows the break-even point for the state budget, as you can see.
Also notice that today’s oil price is two and half times the average price of the last decade.