Experts Say: Ballot Measure One Unworkable, Unmanageable, Unaffordable

Experts agree: Alaska’s fish habitat management model works
Randy Bates, Ed Fogels, Kerry Howard, Thomas E. Irwin, Bill Jeffress, Doug Vincent-Lang, Bob Loeffler, Ginny Litchfield, Slim Morstad, Marty K. Rutherford, Anchorage Daily News, September 29, 2018

We, the signatories, are Alaska fisheries managers, scientists, regulators and former state officials. We have spent our careers working on fisheries management, science and resource management. For more than 60 years, Alaska has responsibly balanced resource development and the protection of our state’s natural resources — including our fisheries. As topic experts, our interest in supporting that balance makes us question the viability of Ballot Measure 1. Ballot Measure 1 replaces Alaska’s scientific process for identifying, studying and permitting fish habitat with new and untested regulations. Today, when a project is on the horizon, we go out to the area in question and conduct numerous studies, including water turbidity, fish counts, escapement rates, temperature, water levels and so on. Multiple state and federal agencies collaborate to make this all happen. And when it comes time to evaluate a permit, the data collected is scrutinized and carefully considered before any decisions on how to move forward, or even if to move forward, are made.

Our Take:   10 experts who have intimate knowledge of how our current system works agree – this ballot measure is bad.

Siemens says it has new gas supply for Fairbanks LNG production
Alan Bailey, Petroleum News, September 30, 2018

During its meeting on Sept. 18 the board of the Interior Gas Utility in Fairbanks continued a discussion of a proposal by Knik Tribe and Siemens to build a new liquefied natural gas plant for an increased LNG supply for Fairbanks and the surrounding Interior. The board is figuring out how to further the objectives of the Interior Energy Project, an Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority project to enable an increased supply of affordable natural gas in Fairbanks. Kelly Laurel, director for energy and infrastructure for Siemens Government Technologies, told the board that, in a recent development, Siemens has an offer of a gas supply from a Cook Inlet gas producer, involving a long term fixed and competitive gas price.

U.S. and Canada Reach Trade Deal to Keep Nafta Trilateral
Jenny Leonard, Josh Wingrove, Jennifer Jacobs, Bloomberg, September 30, 2018

The U.S. and Canada have agreed on a trade deal that would save the North American Free Trade Agreement as a trilateral bloc, according to three people familiar with the matter. President Donald Trump has approved the developments and the expectation is that an agreement will be announced on Sunday night, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian officials are working on the final touches. U.S. and Canadian negotiators have been negotiating around the clock this weekend to make a Sunday midnight deadline that would allow the countries to sign the deal as the final act before Mexico’s outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto leaves office at the end of November.

From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:

OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY KEEPS INVESTOR PROTECTION IN NEW NAFTA DEAL: The Trump administration’s new NAFTA deal announced Sunday night provides a big win for the oil and gas industry, keeping in place investor protections for energy projects in Mexico.

The energy industry had worried that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer would succeed in his push to eliminate NAFTA’s Investor-State Dispute Settlement process, which allows businesses to take legal action through third-party arbitration if a foreign government harms their investment in that country.

Critics of the process say the settlement provision encourages U.S. companies to invest internationally and move jobs overseas.

Kudlow: No trade deal with China is ‘imminent’
Tae Kim, CNBC, October 1, 2018

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow says discussions with China over trade aren’t progressing. On Sunday, the U.S. and Canada reached a new trade deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. Kudlow was asked about the implications of the new deal to the trade conflict with China. “It sends an important message to China, where we’re trying to negotiate on trade, North America is together,” he said in a Fox Business interview Monday. But Kudlow said a deal with the Asian country is not close.

Conservative British politicians warn Russia over its military expansion in the Arctic
Reuters, October 1, 2018

Two top British politicians speaking at a political conference over the weekend said the nation would push back firmly against Russian military encroachment in the Europe and the Arctic. British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned Russia on Sunday that it would pay a high price for its actions if it sought to intimidate Britain and flout international rules. Britain has accused two men it says are officers from Russia’s GRU military intelligence service of carrying out an attack on a former Russian double agent and his daughter in Britain earlier this year using a military-grade nerve agent. British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson told the governing Conservative Party’s annual conference that Britain will be launching a new defense strategy in the Arctic to respond to Russia’s increasing military activity in new shipping routes in the region.