Interior leaders talk progress on priorities after year under Trump

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke introduced himself and his department’s priorities to Alaskans in person last May when he said the state is a lynchpin to achieving American energy dominance.

Deputy Interior Secretary Dave Bernhardt and Assistant Secretary Joe Balash, a former Alaska Natural Resources commissioner, were back in Anchorage March 8 to report on the progress of Interior’s work during the first year of the Trump administration.

FERC sets December 2019 deadline for AK LNG review

Federal officials analyzing the plans for the Alaska LNG Project issued a timeline March 12 that would extend the review about a year beyond what state officials were hoping for.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Secretary Kimberly Bose signed off on the environmental impact statement schedule that calls for the agency to issue a Notice of Availability for the final Alaska LNG Project EIS by Dec. 9, 2019. The subsequent record of decision would then be made by March 8, 2020, within the required 90-day period after the final EIS is published.

Tax bill leads to rebates, $50M investment for Premera

Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska announced March 12 that the company will make a $50 million investments over five years in Alaska thanks to the tax reform bill passed by Congress in December.

The money will be spent to shore up the individual insurance market, improve access to care in rural areas and support local communities in their efforts to address behavioral health, Premera announced.

Movers and Shakers for March 18

House passes supplemental budget to cover some of Medicaid shortfall

The State of Alaska pays $12.5 million per week for its share of Medicaid expenses.

But in order for the Department of Health and Social Services to continue processing medical assistance payments through May 14, the department will require an estimated immediate $40 million in funds.

Another vacancy arises on Marijuana Control Board

The Marijuana Control Board needs yet another member for its public safety seat after Travis Welch resigned from the board before facing confirmation after losing his position as police chief of the North Slope Borough.

The process next is an online call for applicants and a look-back at past applicants who have sought to fill the five-member board’s public safety seat. State law requires the person be employed in that sector, which could be a firefighter, paramedic, village public safety officer or police officer.

Feds change course, pick Alaska’s choice for Sterling Hwy re-route

There finally appears to be a resolution to the saga over how best to avoid Cooper Landing.

Gov. Bill Walker was joined Wednesday in the Capitol by Kenai Peninsula legislators Sen. Peter Micciche and Rep. Gary Knopp, to watch DOT Commissioner Marc Luiken and Alaska Federal Highway Administration head Sandra Garcia-Aline sign a final environmental impact statement for the Cooper Landing bypass project and bring the project one big step closer to reality.


Subscribe to Alaska Journal RSS