Alaska AM News Roundup for Feb. 5

  • The first real show of pushback on Rep. Bill Walker’s plans for the state to purchase Fairbanks Natural Gas will happen today at 1:00pm when the Senate Special Committee on Energy will have a hearing to “review” the plans. You can stream the hearing with 360North.
  • Gov. Bill Walker will be releasing details on his amended budget today. KTUU explains what it is expected to entail.
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski is considering legislation to strengthen the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s security protocols following secret informational leaks, according to The Hill.
  • The Alaska Journal reports that there is another proposed mine near the controversial Pebble Mine project. This feels like the beginnings of deja vu, or more accurately: Groundhog [Mountain] Day.
  • Political cocktail banter might be focused on the Downton Abby décor of a particular congressman from Illinois, RollCall turned their focused on other offices of questionable decorating styles; namely Rep.Don Young’s penchant for animal hides, his proudly displayed walrus penis gavel and other accouterments that put other mentioned congressional offices into pure vanilla decorating scheme territory.
  • Rep. Bryce Edgmon (D-Aleutians & Alaska Peninsula) sat down with KUCB and explained how the state budget cuts will have a greater negative impact on rural Alaska than their urban counterparts.
  • The Hill reports that former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) will be speaking once again at CPAC. Wonder if she’ll be bringing her Big Gulp again?

Palin & Her Big Gulp

  • Ethan Berkowiz is the latest possible Anchorage mayoral candidate that is playing the “will I or won’t I” game, according to the Dispatch. Election day is on April 7, 2015.

  • Reason lists the ways the federal government has prevented and curtailed resource extraction in Alaska and the economic devastation it has created within the state.
  • Sen. Dan Sullivan got in some gavel bangin’ when Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) excused himself from the Ocean SubCommittee hearing on vessel discharge to vote.

Sullivan gavel bangin'

  • The Peninsula Clarion has the details on the dispute settlement between CIRI, the Alaska Mental Health Land Trust Authority, the Department of Natural Resources, and AIX Energy LLC over Kenai Loop gas fees.
  • Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) had lunch and the Washington Post noticed.
  • USFWS told the Juneau Empire that ANWR wilderness designation was in the works for years, you just had to know where to look (or which tea leaves to read).
  • The Hill boils down the FCC’s proposed Net Neutrality rules to six key points.
  • Despite budget shortfalls, the Anchorage Assembly has voted to exempt the five charter schools that currently rent or lease space from paying municipal property taxes. The Dispatch covered the Assembly’s debate, but this added tax burden to Anchorage taxpayers was not included in the article.
  • FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg will be stepping down from her post at the end of March; no reason has been given.   Halfwheel has exerts from Hamburg’s resignation letter.
  • Legislators have kicked the marijuana crime bill forward because legislative aides told the Fairbanks News Miner that more time is needed for the bill rewrite. The last day of the First Legislative Session is April 19.
  • Political candidates take out your notepad because Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is going to school you on the art of trolling, per Politico.
  • The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly has determined what “public” means in terms of marijuana consumption, per the Juneau Empire.
  • Foreign Policy conducted an Ivory tower survey of 660 U.S. international relations scholars to determine the most effective U.S. secretary of state with International Business Times offering an explanation of the poll. The current secretary of state came in dead last. The most effective was Henry Kissinger.
  • Becky Bohrer with the AP reports that if Lt. Gov. Byron Mallot is suddenly unable to perform the duties of office, then Walker’s one-time running mate and current Arctic issues advisor, Craig Fleener will become his successor.
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