“All in all, I don’t think it could have gone better,” he said.
Walker was invited to fly aboard Air Force One on the trip from Washington, D.C. He said his points during the conversation with Obama largely focused on easing hurdles to resource development, allowing the state to better control its future.
Walker said he emphasized declining oil production through the trans-Alaska pipeline as an ongoing concern, as well as prohibition on development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He also praised Obama administration moves to allow offshore Arctic drilling and grant Medicaid waivers to Alaska.
Walker said Obama seemed open and engaged during their discussion, as well as throughout his Alaska visit. “This is our time for Alaska to tell its story, and I was very insistent that I needed to be able to do that,” Walker said.
Walker said he expects his time with Obama will help him better state the case for Alaska in the future — if not with the president, then with aides and advisors who surround him. He said that meeting those influential voices helped him make valuable contacts.
“The most beneficial for me and I think Alaska, is I got to meet his key people and the people around him,” he said. “That I couldn’t have done any place else.”