Walker, AGDC sign gasline agreement with 3 China cos.

Gov. Bill Walker’s administration announced a big step forward for the $40 billion Alaska LNG Project late Wednesday in the form of a multi-level agreement with three Chinese mega-corporations to advance the project.

President Donald Trump and China President Xi Jinping attended the signing of the joint development agreement in Beijing, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

Walker said there is still work to be done before a final investment decision is reached but the agreement has the five key players to make the trans-Alaska gasline project go.

House sends crime bill back to Senate; budget hearings commence

The House made headway Nov. 7 on both of the agenda items on Gov. Bill Walker’s special session call

However, there still does not appear to be any interest from the Republican-led Senate Majority in approving the governor’s proposed employment tax, or any tax for that matter.

In the early morning hours of Nov. 7 the House passed Senate Bill 54 by a 32-8 vote with a bipartisan group of Fairbanks and Matanuska-Susitna area representatives voting against it after long days of floor sessions throughout the weekend.

Movers and Shakers for Nov. 12

Onsite consumption tops agenda for marijuana board

Proponents of legalizing public establishments for marijuana consumption are hoping the third time is a charm.

Onsite consumption leads the action agenda for the Nov. 14-15 Alaska Marijuana Control Board meeting in Anchorage at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center.

AJOC EDITORIAL: Trump administration breathes life into Alaska

A year ago to the day from this writing, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in a political upset for the ages that both Democrats and Republicans are still trying to come to grips with.

‘It’s hard to be bored’: Middle-school girls get taste of engineering

Kaitlyn Payne didn’t anticipate having a career as an ExxonMobil environmental engineer.

She never pictured an engineer’s job could entail detecting polar bears by radar or counting caribou population herds in Alaska via their “spectral signature.” That’s a new technology that avoids using more intrusive helicopter and airplane census.

Based on the size of the pixels, Payne tracks caribou populations counting calves versus adults.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Alaskans trapped in special session time warp

Alaskans could be forgiven for feeling like Phil Connors, the TV weatherman played by Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day, when it comes to the state’s response to the ongoing budget crisis.

The Legislature is once again back in session to consider Gov. Bill Walker’s proposal to impose a 1.5 percent tax on the wages of Alaskans earning $75,000 or more a year.

Sound familiar?

Report: Alaska tops nation in total fishing volume for 20th year

The annual report detailing national and regional economic impacts of U.S. fisheries totaled $9.6 billion in value in 2016 with Alaska as usual producing more than the rest of the nation combined.

Alaska produced 58 percent of all landings and for the 20th straight year brought in the highest volume, according to the 2016 Fisheries of the United States report by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Optimism abounds in advance of annual RDC gathering

There is plenty for the players of Alaska’s extraction industries to be positive about and that should translate into a cheery Resource Development Council for Alaska conference.

The annual gathering for some of the state’s largest industries will be held Nov. 15-16 as it usually is at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in Downtown Anchorage.

RDC for Alaska Executive Director Marleanna Hall said some of the good vibes are being sent all the way from Washington, D.C.

Trump requests fourth missile defense field for Fort Greely

FAIRBANKS (AP) — President Donald Trump’s administration has asked Congress to fund a fourth missile defense silo field at Fort Greely in Alaska.

Trump wrote a letter to Congress on Nov. 6 requesting $200 million to build the silo field, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

Fort Greely is home to most of the United States’ ground-based midcourse missile interceptors, which are designed to protect the United States by intercepting long-range missiles as they fly outside the atmosphere.

Search for new play leads Oil Search to Slope

The search for a new oil play took Keiran Wulff almost as far from his home as it could before he finally found what he was seeking.

The president of Sydney-based Oil Search Ltd. — a soon-to-be tenant on the North Slope — and Armstrong Energy CEO Bill Armstrong sat down with the Journal Nov. 6 in Downtown Anchorage to discuss their $850 million deal announced the week before.

Creditors still unpaid, court continues to probe Rogoff finances

Officials in the Alaska Dispatch News bankruptcy case probed further into former owner Alice Rogoff’s finances at a Nov. 2 bankruptcy hearing now on a search for other assets to turn into cash for creditors.

Progress on liquidating the assets not part of the $1 million sale of the ADN to the Binkley Co. has been slow due to the lack of assets to turn into cash, said attorney William Artus, who was hired to represent Nacole Jipping, the Chapter 7 trustee in charge of the liquidation.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Alaskans deserve results: the time to act is now

I read with some satisfaction — and disappointment — Senate President Pete Kelly’s recent opinion piece “The sky is not falling.” While I share his optimism regarding North Slope oil production, I am sorely disappointed that he continues to issue statements that rationalize ignoring our fiscal crisis.

Climate change vs. responsible development at Senate ANWR hearing

The U.S. Senate committee hearing held Thursday on the merits of opening part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to the oil industry mostly featured rehashed arguments on both sides of the debate but also highlighted the some of the dichotomies and contradictions underlying the debate.

GUEST COMMENTARY: The sky isn’t falling

About a week ago, Alaskans received some outstanding news. North Slope oil production is forecast to rise for a third consecutive year. Since 1988 was the last time this happened, it’s worth stepping back to take in the larger picture.

Because Alaska gets the bulk of its revenue from oil, increased production means the state has a lot more money in its future than the Gov. Bill Walker has been telling us. It also means Alaskans chose wisely when they voted to keep in place the oil tax reform known as SB 21 — but that’s a topic for another day.

Walker headed to Hawaii, China with Trump

President Donald Trump plans to meet with the governors of Alaska and Hawaii and Pacific U.S. territories amid ongoing tensions with North Korea.

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker told reporters that the meeting, scheduled for Friday in Hawaii, is expected to focus on Trump's upcoming trip to Asia and "Pacific theater issues" affecting the governors.

Walker, who is politically unaffiliated, has raised concerns with North Korea weapon's tests and suggested the strategic importance of having a naval base in Alaska.

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