Friday’s Fast Five

Headlamp wants our followers to always be up to date with the developments in Alaska’s economy, politics, and industry. Check out this week’s rundown of the stories affecting you.

Top Story of the Week

This week, Gov. Bill Walker’s proposal to increase taxes on oil production and reduce tax credits for the industry as a whole was met with criticism from a House committee. The replacement legislation would equate to roughly $50 million in total savings. The savings and new revenue claimed in the original bill – $400 million in from the elimination of tax credits and $100 million in new taxes – is being questioned by the legislature.  A new fiscal note with more accurate numbers could appear in House Finance next week.

Top Reads of the Week

U.S. top court backs moose hunter in Alaska hovercraft case
Reuters, Lawrence Hurley, March 22, 2016
The Supreme Court on Tuesday sided with an Alaska moose hunter who contended the federal government overstepped its authority in banning hovercraft on National Park Service land in the northernmost U.S. state.

Judge: EPA ‘improperly’ withheld Alaska mining documents
The Hill, Devin Henry, March 22, 2016
A federal judge has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to give the court documents related to its consideration of a controversial mining project in Alaska, ruling he has “no confidence” in the agency’s ability to decide which documents should become public following an open records request.

Alaska fiscal forum focuses on working together
Fairbanks Daily News Miner, Robin Wood, March 24, 2016
A majority of participants at a Fairbanks economic forum addressing Alaska’s multi-billion dollar budget deficit seem to support both raising revenue through taxes and using part of the Alaska Permanent Fund to pay for state services, potentially putting them at odds with the Alaska Legislature.

Quote of the Week

“It’s a viable project at this point but we’ve got to get to a point where we know whether it’s really economical or not”— Sen. John Coghill, R-North Pole