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Oil Plunge Forces Soul-Searching on How to Pay Alaska’s Bills

Oil has been Alaska’s lifeline. The collapse of crude prices could change everything.

Lawmakers are embroiled in a stalemate over how to fill a $3.5 billion deficit after oil’s plunge sapped two-thirds of the state’s revenue. If oil remains near a six-year low, as some analysts project, it will deplete Alaska’s $10 billion reserve fund by 2018.