Morning Headlamp — Alaska can’t keep up with Russia without some help

Not done yet. According to a commentary from Rep. Mark Neuman in the Alaska Dispatch News, the legislature has in fact reduced the scope of state spending despite what many believe. According to Neuman, “The total operating budget was reduced more than 21 percent from two years ago — Alaskans told us to reduce the budget and we listened, to the tune of $1.16 billion. The operating budget comes in below the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Institute of Social and Economic Research model, which called for $4.5 billion. We’re investing $4.26 billion in the operating budget this year and will continue to work toward further reductions without sacrificing critical services Headlamp thinks the legislature protest too much. If the operating budget has truly been reduced by the amounts (all of them different) that the legislature and the administration are claiming, an itemized list of those reductions should be made public. Instead there are only convoluted budget documents used  by the state.Headlamp would like to see a simple list of each of the cuts that add up to the total being claimed. 

According to KBBI around 60 people attended an information session with BlueCrest Energy’s plans for oil production off of Anchor Point. Larry Burgess gave an overview of the company’s plans. From BlueCrest’s pad overlooking Cook Inlet, at Mile 151 of the Sterling Highway, it will directionally drill oil wells located 3.5 miles offshore in Cook Inlet and about 7,000 feet below the surface. First oil was produced from an existing well March 31, and BlueCrest is now sending 250 to 300 barrels a day in tanker trucks up the highway to the Tesoro refinery in Nikiski. Burgess, the Health, Safety and Environment manager for BlueCrest Energy, told the crowd the company wants to be a good neighbor.  Headlamp applauds BlueCrest for their efforts, and for sticking with the project in such an unstable fiscal environment. 

Keeping up with the Joneses. The Russian government has earmarked $20 million to build new vessels and technology for exploring Arctic shelf deposits. According to Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin, Russia’s goal is to reduce dependence on foreign equipment, including in the field of seismic studies. The country will need heat preservation technologies, new construction materials, and communication resources. Headlamp is honestly a little jealous that there are places that incentivize Arctic exploration. We only hope that our own government can see the value the Arctic presents.

If they only knew. On this day in 39 years ago, oil began to flow down the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. Headlamp wonders if they could’ve imagined the anti-industry policies they would encounter four decades later that would jeopardize the ability to keep  the TAPS filled with oil


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First Reads

Lawmakers have indeed cut the budget; here are the numbers
Alaska Dispatch News, Rep. Mark Neuman, June 20, 2016

Ninilchik Residents Present Fracking Questions
KBBI, Jenny Meyman, June 20, 2016

Russia earmarks $20 million to develop Arctic exploration technologies
Russia Beyond the Headlines, Victoria Zavayalova, June 20, 2016

39 years of oil flowing through Alaska
KTUU, Blake Essig, June 20, 2016