Morning Headlamp — 48 hours left for OCS comments

One-two punch. KBBI reported on the threat facing Cook Inlet tax credits, specifically on the principal recipients of the program attempting to reconcile with the shifting fiscal landscape. Furie Operating Alaska and BlueCrest Energy are currently the two biggest recipients of the Cook Inlet tax credits. Their projects are already in production, with the bulk of their investment already made. Agrium has indicated an interest in reopening its Nikiski plant, but would need a large-enough volume for a long-enough contract at a price it finds amenable. Changing tax policy after companies have made investment decisions makes Alaska less competitive.  When will we ever learn? 

According to an Alaska Dispatch News commentary penned by Democratic candidate for the Alaska State Senate Tom Begich, Governor Bill Walker should accept the proposed budget bill and shake up the legislature. According to Begich, “The answer is to replace the leaders of the Republican-led majorities in the Senate and House if they won’t make the tough decisions. We need to elect leaders who can sit down in good faith and negotiate a path forward that is fair to all Alaskans.”  As a brand new candidate – Begich obviously doesn’t understand that the minority he is attempting to join is responsible for the budget standoffs – demanding that more money be added to an already bloated budget in return for their vote to fund the budget.  If Begich believes that tapping the oil industry for 65-90% of the revenue for the budget is “holding them harmless” – we suggest an economics lesson.

 Alaska Public Radio News covered HB 245, the bill that would cut Alaskans’ Permanent Fund dividend checks in half, and its path through the House Finance Committee. The House Finance Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the bill Tuesday morning, with public testimony scheduled for 5 p.m. Some lawmakers believe the bill will not make it out of committee.

Arc-tech. According to the Arctic Economic Council, tech industry experts, policy leaders and pan-Arctic residents will assemble in Barrow, Alaska in mid-July to discuss the critical need for high-speed broadband across the circumpolar Arctic. Other partners include the Iñuit Arctic Business Alliance (IABA) and Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC). Headlamp applauds the three organizations seeking to bring much-needed private investment to the Arctic—we only wish it was easier for Alaska’s energy producing community to do the same.

48 hours left! The comment period on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) outer continental shelf proposal closes on Thursday! Tell the BOEM what you think here.

 

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First Reads

Bill would remove Cook Inlet tax credits
Alaska Public Radio News, Jenny Neyman, June 13, 2016

Governor should accept budget bill, and Alaskans should change Legislature
Alaska Dispatch News, Tom Begich, June 13, 2016

Permanent Fund bill faces test in House Finance Committee
Alaska Public Radio News, Andrew Kitchenman, June 13, 2016

Ketchikan could see raise in sales tax cap
Associated Press, June 13, 2016