Headlamp – BREAKING NEWS: Dunleavy is out, Huggins is in.

Governor’s race gets interesting. On the Rick Rydell Show this morning, former Sen. Charlie Huggins announced his run for governor. His wife, Becky Huggins, made the call on his behalf, since Huggins is hunting this week on a long-scheduled trip. Huggins has filed his letter of intent, which allows him to raise money and explore how strong support would be for his candidacy. Huggins is a Republican who served in the Alaska Senate, representing District E, the Wasilla area. He was Senate president during the 28th Alaska Legislature, with a caucus of 13 Republicans and two Democrats.

New owners for ADN. A federal bankruptcy judge on Monday approved the sale of Alaska Dispatch News to the Binkley family of Fairbanks for $1 million, the amount the Binkley family company has already loaned the news operation. The decision means Alaska’s largest newspaper and news website will avoid a sudden shutdown, and that the Binkleys acquire Alaska Dispatch News for what they’ve spent. “The balance of the purchase price is zero,” U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Gary Spraker said in an order signed Monday. In front of a packed downtown Anchorage courtroom full of lawyers, reporters and onlookers, Spraker said the sale price of $1 million was fair and reasonable, especially since ADN would be unable to continue operations otherwise. Headlamp again wishes the Binkley Co. well as they try to right the ship they’ve pulled off the rocks.

Second verse, same as the first. The Alaska Dispatch News will be able to stay in business under the new ownership of the Binkley Co. after a federal bankruptcy judge on Sept. 11 gave the go ahead despite concerns that the sale price of $1 million seemed a giveaway to those owed money from former owner Alice Rogoff. After hearing arguments lasting most of the day, Judge Gary Spraker of U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Division of Alaska, acknowledged the accelerated pace from filing to sale. Rogoff filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Aug. 12, contending she suffered a revenue shortage of $125,000 per week and didn’t have cash on hand to pay vital bills such as employee insurance premiums and the newspaper carriers that deliver the paper. She came, she saw, but certainly didn’t conquer. Instead, she left debts unpaid, While the deal has gone through, Headlamp would remind readers that Ms. Rogoff stiffed hundreds of creditors including Alaska businesses. Not what we would call neighborly.

One step forward for Alaska LNG? The state-owned Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) said it took a step forward in the development of its planned $40 billion LNG export project with the completion of the project’s capacity solicitation process. Alaska LNG project has three major components, a gas treatment plant located at Prudhoe Bay, an 800-mile pipeline to Southcentral Alaska with up to five offtakes for in-state use, and a natural gas liquefaction plant in Nikiski authorized to process 20 million tons of LNG per year. The capacity solicitation process that ran from June 15 through August 31 enabled AGDC to secure foundation customer status on the transportation and liquefaction system in an open and non-discriminatory process, said AGDC President Keith Meyer.

Tax cuts, job creation win Norway’s election. Norway’s tax-cutting Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg declared victory on Tuesday after a parliamentary election, narrowly defeating a Labour-led opposition with her promises of steady management of the oil-dependent economy. The win is historic for Solberg, whose supporters compare her firm management style to that of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, because no Conservative-led government has retained power in an election in Norway since 1985. “It looks like a clear victory,” for the center-right, a beaming Solberg told cheering supporters in Oslo just after midnight, following Monday’s voting.

New bill gives states control over oil and gas development. Rep. Liz Cheney is co-sponsoring a bill that would hand more control of oil and gas development on federal lands to the states, stoking fears from environmental groups that the range of access and protections from federal agencies is narrowing. The Federal Land Freedom Act allows states to prove they have the enforcement muscle and regulatory infrastructure to oversee oil and gas permitting, leasing and production on available federal land. The bill’s proponents, including the congresswoman from Wyoming, say states have faced a decline in leasing on federal land in recent years under the Obama Administration. The bill would reverse that trend.

First Reads:

Breaking: Charlie Huggins files for governor
Must Read Alaska, Suzanne Downing, September 12, 2017

Sale of Alaska Dispatch News to Binkley group is approved by judge
Alaska Dispatch News, Annie Zak and Michelle Theriault Boots, September 11, 2017

ADN sold after no other bidder surfaced
Alaska Journal of Commerce, Naomi Klouda, September 11, 2017

Alaska LNG export project wraps up capacity solicitation
LNG World News, LNG World News Staff, September 12, 2017

Norway’s right-wing government wins re-election fought on oil, tax
Reuters/Arctic Now, Henrik Stolen and Joachim Dagenborg, September 12, 2017

Cheney bill seeks to put oil and gas development in state hands
Casper Star Tribune, Heather Richards, September 10, 2017