Alaska News Roundup for May 12

  • Shell has been given conditional approval (i.e. a green light) to drill up to six wells near the Burger Prospect in Alaska’s Arctic offshore area, per NPR.


    Photo Credit of This Small Planet

  • The House and Senate minorities intend to hold their own set of public hearings on budget issues, Medicaid expansion and Erin’s Law. APRN explains why.
  • An update on Interior Energy Project is tonight at 6:00pm at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks.   For those unable to attend, the Fairbanks News Miner has the gist of what is expected to be reported.
  • The federal Government Accountability Office has released its first-in-depth report on “landscape-scale” forest restoration. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) requested the study to determine if restoration efforts were in fact efficient and cost-effective. The GAO discovered that while the system in place isn’t perfect, the economic and environmental positives largely outweigh the negatives.

  • Houston is mulling over a 1% sales tax increase to supply the city with roughly $80,000 more in revenue because of the state’s budget cuts, per the Frontiersman.
  • The National Law Review, reveals that Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s S.883, American Mineral Security Act of 2015 (it reestablishes the assessment of mineral designation and other factors surrounding critical mineral extraction) will give testimony before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on May 12. The committee to which she is Chair.
  • Gov. Bill Walker signed HB1 yesterday to establish the Arctic policy for the state. KTVA interviewed Rep. Bob Herron (D-Bethel) and explains the bill in detail.
  • Alaska’s population dropped for the first time in 26 years. The Dispatch discovered that the reason for this unexpected decline is because the number of deaths has begun to outstrip births due in part to the aging Baby Boomer population.


    Photo Credit of the Dispatch

  • Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott spoke with the AP’s Becky Bohrer about his trip to British Columbia where he discussed trans-boundary mining issues with territory leaders. The trip was successful and Lt. Gov. Mallott explains why this is an important issue for Alaska’s future vitality.
  • The Fairbanks City Council approved to expand the Bentley retail area with new roadwork for the anticipated new revenue generators, according to the Fairbanks News Miner.
  • The Sitka Sentinel captured this beautiful moment of last Friday’s opening of the Blue Lake hydro powerhouse where Gov. Bill Walker and many members of the community celebrated this milestone.Gov


  • US Forest Service announced that the Tongass National Forest’s most valuable product is no longer timber, but salmon. KCAW has the jaw-dropping news in detail. This dovetails with the Tongass Advisory Committee’s recommendations to move from old-growth to young-growth timber harvesting.
  • Nils Warnock, Executive Director of the Alaska Audubon Society, wrote an op-ed in The Hill to explain the important role Alaska’s unsullied public lands plays in the lives of migratory birds.


    Photo Credit of LinkedIn

  • The Frontiersman explains how the $5,000 in net-profits from the Mat-Su Inaugural Ball will be shared amongst local non-profits.

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