Active state Slope sales net $21.2M, NPR-A quieter

Interest was again high among oil and gas lease bidders for state acreage on the North Slope in Wednesday lease sales but that was not the case for the federally controlled National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

Winning bidders spent $21.2 million for 216,000 acres of state land and water across 119 lease tracts. The vast majority of that, $19.9 million, was for 179,000 onshore acres and the remaining $1.2 million was for 37,000 acres of state-owned, near shore waters of the Beaufort Sea.

AJOC EDITORIAL: GOP finally delivers on promise to Americans

Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain to development wouldn’t be necessary if only we could power our economy with Democratic hysteria.

The biggest outrage since the last outrage, of course, is the impending passage of a tax reform bill that should reach President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature before the end of the year.

With repeal pending, IRS will enforce mandate on 2017 taxes

Republicans in Congress are aiming to repeal the health insurance mandate tax penalty before the holidays, but the IRS still plans to enforce it when people file their 2017 returns next year.

Here’s the message from the IRS: “For the upcoming 2018 filing season, the IRS will not accept electronically filed tax returns where the taxpayer does not address the health coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act,” wrote IRS Spokesman Anthony Burke, in response to a question from the Journal.

AGDC gets interest from Tokyo, questions from lawmakers

Legislators got their first chance to publicly question Alaska Gasline Development Corp. officials about a recent agreement with Chinese companies to advance an LNG export project during a Dec. 4 hearing.

Meanwhile, AGDC executives in Japan were busy putting the finishing touches on the state-owned corporation’s latest pact to cooperate on developing the $43 billion Alaska LNG Project with potential customers.

Fairbanks workshop ponders faster internet solutions

Residents of 17 townships in Minnesota formed a cooperative — not so different from the old electric co-op model — and created RS Fiber to bring broadband to some 6,000 households.

Town voters agreed to fund RS Fiber’s $45 million network by bonding for seed money and borrowing from private investors, including local banks. Seven years later, they had fast, reliable broadband via, in some instances, towers built onto existing grain elevators and municipal water towers, Mark Erickson of Gaylord, Minn., told a gathering Dec. 2 in Fairbanks.

GCI, Alaska Communications weigh in on net neutrality repeal

While many are watching what the Federal Communications Commission will do in its upcoming vote on net neutrality, local carriers predict Alaskans won’t see much different in what’s already an “open internet” policy.

Christine O’Connor, the executive director of the Alaska Telephone Association, said the rules of net neutrality over the past two years caused confusion among Alaska’s nearly 20 large and small telecom member companies about what it was supposed to do.

Movers and Shakers for Dec. 10

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