March-Issue-5 2013

 

Archive »AJC Issue Archive Departments

State oil and gas commission mulls tough new regs on fracking

Alaska’s Oil And Gas Conservation Commission began two days of hearings Thursday on proposed new regulations on hydraulic fracturing. The petroleum industry said they would be among the toughest in the nation, if adopted.

Parnell discusses 5-year fiscal plan for Alaska

Gov. Sean Parnell on Wednesday laid out a five-year fiscal plan that includes an annual decline in overall spending and a draw of up to $700 million from the state's savings.

Oil drops below $93 on unemployment claims data

The price of oil dropped sharply for a second day after the government said the number of people seeking unemployment aid in the U.S. reached a four-month high.

US rate on 30-year mortgage slips to 3.54 pct.

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages crept closer to their historic lows this week, a trend that could help the housing recovery strengthen.

Japan central bank revamps policy to boost economy

Japan is taking aggressive action to lift consumer prices, encourage borrowing and help pull the world's third-largest economy out of a long slump.

NTSB begins review of Alaska helicopter crash

About 100 vehicles from police and fire departments escorted the remains of two Alaska State Trooper employees Wednesday as a federal probe was launched into the cause of the helicopter crash that killed them.

Weak economic reports send stock market lower

Weak reports on hiring and growth at service companies dampened investor optimism on the U.S. economy Wednesday, putting the Dow Jones industrial average on track for its worst day in more than a month.

Alaskans set record in PFD charitable giving

Alaskans contributed a record-setting $2.4 million to charity through Pick. Click. Give.

Teacher "pink slip" bill passes House

School districts would be allowed to wait almost two additional months to notify tenured teachers if they're going to be laid off.

NKorea refuses to let SKoreans enter joint factory

In past deadly confrontations between North and South Korea, a jointly operated industrial park stayed open, churning out goods.

Oil down nearly 3 percent as US supplies increase

The price of oil on Wednesday notched the biggest one-day drop since November, as supplies in the U.S. reached the highest level since July 1990.

State says court decision unlikely to affect existing oil and gas leases

Alaska officials are studying a state Supreme Court decision requiring an analysis of long-term cumulative impacts of oil and gas leasing.

State House approves in-state pipeline bill, sends HB 4 to the Senate

The Alaska House of Representatives passed legislation on an in-state gas pipeline late Monday, but there is concern about time to get the bill through the state Senate in two weeks remaining in the 2013 legislative session.

2 troopers, injured man killed in helicopter crash

A veteran pilot whose name was synonymous with Alaska State Trooper wilderness rescues was at the controls of a helicopter that crashed Saturday night near Talkeetna, killing three people.

Stocks rise on strong auto sales, factory orders

The Dow Jones industrial average touched another record high Tuesday after reports on auto sales and factory orders provided the latest evidence that the U.S. economy is strengthening. Traders plowed money back into European stocks on optimism that the financial situation in Cyprus has stabilized after a tense, four-day holiday weekend.

Obamacare credits could trigger surprise tax bills

Millions of people who accept government subsidies to help buy health insurance next year could get stung by surprise tax bills later on. That's if they don't accurately project their income.

Alaska seeks to woo Colorado gun company

Alaska is making its pitch to woo a Colorado company that has threatened to leave that state over new restrictions on firearms.

House Resources unveils a version of oil tax bill

The House Resources Committee released an oil tax proposal Friday that co-chair Eric Feige said is fair to Alaskans and oil companies.

Alyeska studies water effects in Alaska pipeline

Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. will conduct research to determine whether lowering the water content of crude will improve the performance of the trans-Alaska pipeline.

Endeavour jack-up rig now at drill site in Cook Inlet

A jack-up rig that has been in harbor in Homer since last fall undergoing modifications was given final clearance by the U.S. Coast Guard on March 29 and departed the harbor for its first Cook Inlet exploration site, a spokesman for the rig owner said.

Stocks dip after manufacturing growth slows

Stocks edged lower on Wall Street Monday after an industry group reported that U.S. manufacturing growth cooled in March and was weaker than economists had forecast.

State officials push for more engineering on large gas pipeline

State officials are trying to prod North Slope producers and TransCanada to commit this summer to a more detailed design and engineering phase for a planned $45 billion to $65 billion Alaska gas pipeline and liquefied natural gas export project, Commissioner of Natural Resources Dan Sullivan told legislators in a briefing Wednesday.

Independent companies praise parts of oil tax bill, seek some changes

Independent oil companies exploring the North Slope have urged state legislators to retain a capital investment tax credit in the current law and to extend small producers’ tax credits.

Senate passes $9.9B state operating budget

The Alaska Senate passed a $9.9 billion state operating budget Thursday, turning aside minority-led efforts to add in more money for things like education.

Young responds to new ethics investigation

Alaska's lone U.S. House member said Thursday that he's not concerned about a new ethics investigation into him.

EPA takes aim at auto emissions, sulfur in gas

The Obama administration proposed new regulations Friday to clean up gasoline and automobile emissions, claiming the new standards would provide $7 in health benefits from cleaner air for each dollar spent to implement them. The costs likely would be passed on to consumers in higher gasoline and automobile prices.

US consumer spending, income jump in February

U.S. consumers stepped up spending in February after their income jumped, aided by a stronger job market that offset some of the drag from higher taxes. The gains led economists to predict stronger economic growth at the start of the year.

Archive »Real Estate

US rate on 30-year mortgage slips to 3.54 pct.

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages crept closer to their historic lows this week, a trend that could help the housing recovery strengthen.

Archive »Transportation

MOA sues contractors over port construction

On the same day the Anchorage Assembly was presented with construction options for the Port of Anchorage expansion project, the Municipality of Anchorage filed a formal complaint in state court against three firms hired to work on the now suspended project.

State commission starts planning Arctic future, influence

JUNEAU — The state legislature opened a new chapter in its efforts to prepare for its warmer future with the organizational meeting of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission in Juneau on March 23.
Jewell nomination advances after agreement on King Cove

Jewell nomination advances after agreement on King Cove

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Energy Committee on March 21 endorsed President Barack Obama’s nomination of Sally Jewell to be Interior secretary, moving her nomination to the Senate floor for an expected vote next month.

DC circuit judge rejects Alaska challenge to roadless rule

Alaska’s challenge to the Clinton administration-era roadless rule in national forests was rejected March 25 by a federal judge, who said it came too late to be considered.

Archive »Construction Articles

MOA sues contractors over port construction

On the same day the Anchorage Assembly was presented with construction options for the Port of Anchorage expansion project, the Municipality of Anchorage filed a formal complaint in state court against three firms hired to work on the now suspended project.

Archive »Oil & Gas

State oil and gas commission mulls tough new regs on fracking

Alaska’s Oil And Gas Conservation Commission began two days of hearings Thursday on proposed new regulations on hydraulic fracturing. The petroleum industry said they would be among the toughest in the nation, if adopted.

Oil drops below $93 on unemployment claims data

The price of oil dropped sharply for a second day after the government said the number of people seeking unemployment aid in the U.S. reached a four-month high.

Oil down nearly 3 percent as US supplies increase

The price of oil on Wednesday notched the biggest one-day drop since November, as supplies in the U.S. reached the highest level since July 1990.

State says court decision unlikely to affect existing oil and gas leases

Alaska officials are studying a state Supreme Court decision requiring an analysis of long-term cumulative impacts of oil and gas leasing.

State House approves in-state pipeline bill, sends HB 4 to the Senate

The Alaska House of Representatives passed legislation on an in-state gas pipeline late Monday, but there is concern about time to get the bill through the state Senate in two weeks remaining in the 2013 legislative session.

House Resources unveils a version of oil tax bill

The House Resources Committee released an oil tax proposal Friday that co-chair Eric Feige said is fair to Alaskans and oil companies.

Alyeska studies water effects in Alaska pipeline

Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. will conduct research to determine whether lowering the water content of crude will improve the performance of the trans-Alaska pipeline.

Endeavour jack-up rig now at drill site in Cook Inlet

A jack-up rig that has been in harbor in Homer since last fall undergoing modifications was given final clearance by the U.S. Coast Guard on March 29 and departed the harbor for its first Cook Inlet exploration site, a spokesman for the rig owner said.

State officials push for more engineering on large gas pipeline

State officials are trying to prod North Slope producers and TransCanada to commit this summer to a more detailed design and engineering phase for a planned $45 billion to $65 billion Alaska gas pipeline and liquefied natural gas export project, Commissioner of Natural Resources Dan Sullivan told legislators in a briefing Wednesday.

Independent companies praise parts of oil tax bill, seek some changes

Independent oil companies exploring the North Slope have urged state legislators to retain a capital investment tax credit in the current law and to extend small producers’ tax credits.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Oil tax reform: Creating opportunity for Alaskans

Should oil tax policy be about more money for government spending or about more economic opportunity for Alaskans?

GUEST COMMENTARY: More deliberate approach needed on oil tax reform

Recently I’ve been quoted in the media urging the Senate to tap the brakes on Senate Bill 21, the Governor’s oil tax reduction bill.

With two weeks to go, Legislature gears up for final push

JUNEAU — The Legislature has a little more than two weeks to wrap up its 2013 session in Juneau.

Producers say Senate tax bill a big step, tweaks still needed

JUNEAU — Major North Slope producers say legislators are making big strides so far in making Alaska more competitive for new oil investment, but Senate Bill 21, which passed the Senate narrowly March 20, still needs some changes to make the state really attractive.

State commission starts planning Arctic future, influence

JUNEAU — The state legislature opened a new chapter in its efforts to prepare for its warmer future with the organizational meeting of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission in Juneau on March 23.

Arctic Research Commission urges more work on oil spill response

The U.S. Arctic Research Commission has called for independent analysis by federal agencies of oil spill response capabilities in the Alaskan Beaufort and Chukchi seas.

Buccaneer: Kenai Loop field contains 22B cubic feet of gas

Buccaneer Energy’s small Kenai Loop field has been certified as containing 22.3 billion cubic feet of proved developed and non-developed natural gas reserves, Buccaneer said in press release.

Archive »Alaska Politics

State oil and gas commission mulls tough new regs on fracking

Alaska’s Oil And Gas Conservation Commission began two days of hearings Thursday on proposed new regulations on hydraulic fracturing. The petroleum industry said they would be among the toughest in the nation, if adopted.

Parnell discusses 5-year fiscal plan for Alaska

Gov. Sean Parnell on Wednesday laid out a five-year fiscal plan that includes an annual decline in overall spending and a draw of up to $700 million from the state's savings.

Teacher "pink slip" bill passes House

School districts would be allowed to wait almost two additional months to notify tenured teachers if they're going to be laid off.

State says court decision unlikely to affect existing oil and gas leases

Alaska officials are studying a state Supreme Court decision requiring an analysis of long-term cumulative impacts of oil and gas leasing.

State House approves in-state pipeline bill, sends HB 4 to the Senate

The Alaska House of Representatives passed legislation on an in-state gas pipeline late Monday, but there is concern about time to get the bill through the state Senate in two weeks remaining in the 2013 legislative session.

Alaska seeks to woo Colorado gun company

Alaska is making its pitch to woo a Colorado company that has threatened to leave that state over new restrictions on firearms.

House Resources unveils a version of oil tax bill

The House Resources Committee released an oil tax proposal Friday that co-chair Eric Feige said is fair to Alaskans and oil companies.

State officials push for more engineering on large gas pipeline

State officials are trying to prod North Slope producers and TransCanada to commit this summer to a more detailed design and engineering phase for a planned $45 billion to $65 billion Alaska gas pipeline and liquefied natural gas export project, Commissioner of Natural Resources Dan Sullivan told legislators in a briefing Wednesday.

Independent companies praise parts of oil tax bill, seek some changes

Independent oil companies exploring the North Slope have urged state legislators to retain a capital investment tax credit in the current law and to extend small producers’ tax credits.

Senate passes $9.9B state operating budget

The Alaska Senate passed a $9.9 billion state operating budget Thursday, turning aside minority-led efforts to add in more money for things like education.

Young responds to new ethics investigation

Alaska's lone U.S. House member said Thursday that he's not concerned about a new ethics investigation into him.
Medicaid rolls expected to grow when ACA kicks in

Medicaid rolls expected to grow when ACA kicks in

Medicaid costs in Alaska have leveled off, for now. They’ll creep up again next year, however, when the new federal Affordable Care Act kicks in.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Oil tax reform: Creating opportunity for Alaskans

Should oil tax policy be about more money for government spending or about more economic opportunity for Alaskans?

GUEST COMMENTARY: More deliberate approach needed on oil tax reform

Recently I’ve been quoted in the media urging the Senate to tap the brakes on Senate Bill 21, the Governor’s oil tax reduction bill.

With two weeks to go, Legislature gears up for final push

JUNEAU — The Legislature has a little more than two weeks to wrap up its 2013 session in Juneau.

Producers say Senate tax bill a big step, tweaks still needed

JUNEAU — Major North Slope producers say legislators are making big strides so far in making Alaska more competitive for new oil investment, but Senate Bill 21, which passed the Senate narrowly March 20, still needs some changes to make the state really attractive.

State commission starts planning Arctic future, influence

JUNEAU — The state legislature opened a new chapter in its efforts to prepare for its warmer future with the organizational meeting of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission in Juneau on March 23.
Jewell nomination advances after agreement on King Cove

Jewell nomination advances after agreement on King Cove

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Energy Committee on March 21 endorsed President Barack Obama’s nomination of Sally Jewell to be Interior secretary, moving her nomination to the Senate floor for an expected vote next month.

State insurance division to review rule driving up medical costs

The Alaska Division of Insurance will likely propose changes in a state regulation that requires insurance companies selling private health insurance policies to pay health care providers at the 80th percentile of customary and usual rates in an area.

DC circuit judge rejects Alaska challenge to roadless rule

Alaska’s challenge to the Clinton administration-era roadless rule in national forests was rejected March 25 by a federal judge, who said it came too late to be considered.

Archive »National Politics

Obamacare credits could trigger surprise tax bills

Millions of people who accept government subsidies to help buy health insurance next year could get stung by surprise tax bills later on. That's if they don't accurately project their income.

EPA takes aim at auto emissions, sulfur in gas

The Obama administration proposed new regulations Friday to clean up gasoline and automobile emissions, claiming the new standards would provide $7 in health benefits from cleaner air for each dollar spent to implement them. The costs likely would be passed on to consumers in higher gasoline and automobile prices.

Grant approved to reform addiction treatment

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The University of Iowa has been selected to work with medical providers around the country to reform how American Indians and Alaska Natives are treated for addiction.

Senate Dems vote to repeal part of health care law

WASHINGTON (AP) — It isn’t every day that more than half the Democrats in the Senate vote to repeal part of President Barack Obama’s health care law.
Heart repair breakthroughs replace surgeon’s knife

Heart repair breakthroughs replace surgeon’s knife

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Have a heart problem?
Health insurers warn of overhaul-induced sticker shock 


Health insurers warn of overhaul-induced sticker shock 


Some Americans could see their insurance bills double next year as the health care overhaul law expands coverage to millions of people.

Archive »Finance

US rate on 30-year mortgage slips to 3.54 pct.

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages crept closer to their historic lows this week, a trend that could help the housing recovery strengthen.

Japan central bank revamps policy to boost economy

Japan is taking aggressive action to lift consumer prices, encourage borrowing and help pull the world's third-largest economy out of a long slump.

Weak economic reports send stock market lower

Weak reports on hiring and growth at service companies dampened investor optimism on the U.S. economy Wednesday, putting the Dow Jones industrial average on track for its worst day in more than a month.

Stocks rise on strong auto sales, factory orders

The Dow Jones industrial average touched another record high Tuesday after reports on auto sales and factory orders provided the latest evidence that the U.S. economy is strengthening. Traders plowed money back into European stocks on optimism that the financial situation in Cyprus has stabilized after a tense, four-day holiday weekend.

Stocks dip after manufacturing growth slows

Stocks edged lower on Wall Street Monday after an industry group reported that U.S. manufacturing growth cooled in March and was weaker than economists had forecast.

US consumer spending, income jump in February

U.S. consumers stepped up spending in February after their income jumped, aided by a stronger job market that offset some of the drag from higher taxes. The gains led economists to predict stronger economic growth at the start of the year.

Archive »Editorials

GUEST COMMENTARY: Oil tax reform: Creating opportunity for Alaskans

Should oil tax policy be about more money for government spending or about more economic opportunity for Alaskans?

GUEST COMMENTARY: More deliberate approach needed on oil tax reform

Recently I’ve been quoted in the media urging the Senate to tap the brakes on Senate Bill 21, the Governor’s oil tax reduction bill.

Analysis: A ‘balanced’ budget is in eye of the beholder

WASHINGTON (AP) — When it comes to budgets, balance is in the eye of the congressional beholder.

FISH FACTOR: Halibut season off to a slow start: ‘Just not fun anymore’

It was unusually quiet on the waterfront as the halibut fishery got under way on March 23.
The Bookworm Sez: How to avoid the office dog days

The Bookworm Sez: How to avoid the office dog days

Last week marked the beginning of another sales contest.

Archive »Bulletin Board

BULLETINS 03/31/13

February unemployment 6.5 percent, Anchorage broadcaster seeks hearings on GCI deals, New UAA arena gains name...

Archive »Mining

With two weeks to go, Legislature gears up for final push

JUNEAU — The Legislature has a little more than two weeks to wrap up its 2013 session in Juneau.

Archive »Fishery Stories

Board adopts change to Kenai king escapement

The Board of Fisheries changed the escapement goal for late-run king salmon on the Kenai River March 21.

Board defines guide compensation, prohibits high-grading

Alaska’s Board of Fisheries took action on several proposals with implications for statewide fisheries at its Anchorage meeting March 19 to 23.

FISH FACTOR: Halibut season off to a slow start: ‘Just not fun anymore’

It was unusually quiet on the waterfront as the halibut fishery got under way on March 23.
Board takes up Adak crab, Tsiu River salmon fisheries

Board takes up Adak crab, Tsiu River salmon fisheries

Cook Inlet wasn’t the only regional issue the Board of Fisheries tackled at its statewide finfish meeting.

Archive »General News

NTSB begins review of Alaska helicopter crash

About 100 vehicles from police and fire departments escorted the remains of two Alaska State Trooper employees Wednesday as a federal probe was launched into the cause of the helicopter crash that killed them.

Alaskans set record in PFD charitable giving

Alaskans contributed a record-setting $2.4 million to charity through Pick. Click. Give.

NKorea refuses to let SKoreans enter joint factory

In past deadly confrontations between North and South Korea, a jointly operated industrial park stayed open, churning out goods.

2 troopers, injured man killed in helicopter crash

A veteran pilot whose name was synonymous with Alaska State Trooper wilderness rescues was at the controls of a helicopter that crashed Saturday night near Talkeetna, killing three people.

Alaska seeks to woo Colorado gun company

Alaska is making its pitch to woo a Colorado company that has threatened to leave that state over new restrictions on firearms.
Occupational health clinic in Anchorage ready for clients

Occupational health clinic in Anchorage ready for clients

Anchorage now has another option for occupational health service. Fairweather LLC announced the opening of its newest clinic March 21.