Governors Update: Democrats Suddenly Have A Real Chance In Alaska
Perry Bacon, FiveThirtyEight, October 22, 2018
The governor’s news this weekend was good for the Democrats in two races — although nothing happened to dramatically alter our forecast, which already projected major gains by Democrats at the statehouse level. We estimated that Democrats were on pace to govern 194 million people when we launched our forecast last week — vs. 135 million for Republicans; that’s up to 197 million now. The big actual news — not just fresh polls — happened in Alaska. On Friday night, Gov. Bill Walker, an independent, suspended his reelection campaign and endorsed the Democratic candidate, former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, who has said he will continue the expansion of Medicaid in Alaska through Obamacare, a hallmark of Walker’s tenure. Republican Mike Dunleavy has been non-committal about continuing the program. All that said, the “Classic” version of our forecast now suggests Dunleavy has a 2 in 3 chance of winning, or 65 percent; Begich is a 1 in 3 underdog. That’s a huge shift: The model gave Dunleavy a 5 in 6 chance at launch and had him winning by about 12 percentage points on average. He’s up just 3 points now.
Our Take: Mike Dunleavy is a “NO!” on Ballot Measure 1. Mark Begich is a “YES!”. Nuff said.
New report compares Alaska’s recession to other energy-dependent states
Abbey Collins, Alaska Public Media, October 19, 2018
When oil prices sank three years ago, Alaska’s economy went in the same direction, falling into recession. And, while recessions in other energy-dependent states have come and gone, Alaska’s economy has yet to recover. In a new report, he found that, out of 13 historically energy-dependent states, six experienced economy-wide job loss as a result of oil price declines, starting in 2014. Out of those, Guettabi says North Dakota and Alaska are the only two that continue to be in recession. According to Guettabi, Alaska lost ground for 34 straight months — the longest recession in the state’s history. In that time, the state has lost between 12,000 and 13,000 jobs.
Mat-Su, Kenai boroughs continue sparring over LNG plant site
Larry Persily, The Alaska Journal of Commerce, October 20, 2018
The Matanuska-Susitna and Kenai Peninsula boroughs continue to file comments with federal regulators as they each defend their own community as the best site for the proposed Alaska LNG project’s gas liquefaction plant and marine terminal. The Mat-Su Borough on Oct. 16 asked that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) request additional information from the state team leading the development, the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. (AGDC), “so that the commission can perform an adequate alternatives analysis related to the proposed liquefaction facility.”
Alaska Federation of Natives Passes Resolution in Support of Gasline
Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN), Alaska’s largest statewide Native organization, today unanimously passed a resolution supporting an Alaska gasline project being led by the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC). The resolution, sponsored by the ASRC, CIRI, Doyon, and AHTNA Native Corporations, calls for AFN to work with AGDC “to ensure cooperation between Alaska Natives and their respective economic interests to provide to AGDC subject matter expertise and support services to advance” an Alaska gasline project. To read the full text of the resolution, click here.
Why Libya and Nigeria may decide whether oil takes another run at $100 a barrel
Tom DiChristopher, CNBC, October 22, 2018
Two OPEC members could soon determine whether oil prices spike back towards $100 a barrel — and those countries are not Saudi Arabia and Iran. With U.S. sanctions choking off Iran’s exports and Saudi Arabia hiking output to fill the gap, it’s crucial for other major producers to keep crude flowing in the coming months. That’s why many analysts are paying close attention to Nigeria and Libya, two nations heading into high stakes elections and where output has swung wildly in recent years. In Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, a change of leadership threatens to unsettle the current government’s arrangement with militants who wreaked havoc on the country’s oil output two years ago. In Libya, it’s uncertain whether elections meant to resolve a long-running dispute between rival governments will bring an end to more than four years of civil conflict that has frequently disrupted the nation’s crude exports.
From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:
SUPREME COURT PAUSES KIDS’ CLIMATE CHANGE SUIT BEFORE TRIAL: The Supreme Court on Friday night temporarily halted an upcoming trial on a climate change lawsuit brought by children against the U.S. government, after the Trump administration had sought to dismiss the case.
Chief Justice John Robert’s one-page order halted discovery and the upcoming district court trial in the case, scheduled for Oct. 29. He asked for a response from the plaintiffs in the case by Wednesday. The case involves 21 children who allege that government policy has exacerbated global warming and climate change.