Headlamp – “Don’t touch my PFD” may not be the majority view. Alaska population decline.

Poll: Most Alaskans understand or back reduced PFD
KTVA, Emily Carlson, July 24, 2018

More than half of Alaskans say they believe Alaska’s recent Permanent Fund dividend cuts were necessary, according to a recent poll. The Harstad Strategic Research poll was paid for by the Alaska branch of the AFL-CIO. The local union group supported current Gov. Bill Walker when he defeated Republican incumbent Sean Parnell in 2014. Less than half of the combined 51 percent majority which expressed backing for the dividend cuts said they supported them, according to the poll results

Our Take: Candidates in the 2018 election are being judged on this issue – from both sides – those who want the PFD “fully” restored and those who believe a reduction in the PFD is okay to sustain state government. AKHEADLAMP will remind both sides that the biggest issue the state faces is a spending problem – get that under control first, please.

A Closer Look at Alaska’s Labor Force
King Economics Group, Ed King, July 24, 2018

It is the population of an economy that provides the supply of labor and the demand for goods. If the population is declining, you can make a safe bet that the economy isn’t doing well. Many Alaskan’s have probably heard by now that Alaska’s population declined in 2017. If you haven’t, it’s true. Here are the population numbers going back to World War II. It’s subtle, but it’s there. Alaska’s population fell by about 2,700 people in 2017. It’s not nearly as noticeable as the post-pipeline-construction crash in 1977 or the 1980’s recession, but there is a story here.

Our Take: Are we there yet? AKHEADLAMP is –we are ready to hear about real solutions to the problems we are facing. A hint to incumbents – if you were part of creating the problem – you may have to work extra hard to convince us that you can now be part of the solution.  

From today’s Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:

ENERGY DEPARTMENT ALLOWS FAST APPROVALS FOR SMALL LNG EXPORTS: The Trump administration is planning to speed the approval process for projects to export small amounts of liquefied natural gas. The Energy Department issued a final regulation Wednesday that will enable the agency to automatically approve gas export applications if they are at or below 51.75 billion cubic feet of exports per year and are small enough to not need an environmental review.

‘Unleash’ energy: “The finalization of this rule will expedite the permitting of certain small-scale exports of natural gas,” Energy Secretary Rick Perry said. “The so-called ‘small-scale rule’ will further unleash American energy by reducing the regulatory burden on American businesses while also providing significant benefits to our trading partners in in the Caribbean, Central America and South America.”

Will hype on Chinese and Indian energy demand prove out?
Chron, James Osborn, July 24, 2018

If you listen to the oil executives much of that industry’s future is riding on rising energy demand in the developing world, where electrification rates are low, and income is rising. Some new analysis by the U.S. Energy Information Administration provides a new view of consumption in countries like India, Africa and China.

ICYMI: U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, yesterday chaired a hearing focused on the factors affecting global oil prices. During the hearing, Murkowski asked about a seldom-discussed topic that could have significant impacts in the near future: the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) low-sulfur standard for marine fuels, which is set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2020. Murkowski pressed the experts testifying at the hearing on what the standard – commonly known as IMO 2020 – could mean for the shipping industry, farmers, truckers, railroads, airlines, and rural residents of states like Alaska, who frequently rely on diesel or home heating oil. You can watch the dialogue here.