Morning Headlamp — AKLEG Willing to go into Legislative Overtime to Solve Fiscal Crunch

Still just talk. Alaska legislative leaders say they are committed to taking major steps to address the state’s multibillion-dollar budget deficit this year, even if that means working beyond 90 days. “Honestly, if it takes going over a little bit in order to do the right thing for the future of Alaska, personally, I’m prepared to do it,” House Speaker Bryce Edgmon told reporters two days before the scheduled 90-day session reached its midway point.

The challenge will be avoiding a repeat of last year, when gridlock prevailed. The Senate has said it hopes to lop $300 million off the budget for next year, and Senate Majority Leader Peter Micciche has said he’d like to see a focus on passing a Permanent Fund bill before delving into politically divisive topics, like taxes. “The important part, and the thing that heartens me, is, we have a very good dialogue going,” Edgmon said.

India seeking more oil. India’s energy minister announced a new round of bidding for upstream and downstream investments on Monday. “We want to increase our production. We want to invite investment,” said Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, the country’s minister of petroleum and natural gas, speaking at the annual CERAWeek conference in Houston. “I must tell you there was never a better time to be in India. I encourage both existing and new players to come forward and avail the opportunity,” he said in prepared remarks. As Headlamp repeatedly emphasizes, if Alaska doesn’t capitalize on East Asian energy markets…someone will.

 

First Reads

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