Morning Headlamp – EPA Delay – Music to Alaska’s Ears

EPA delay on methane rule. New EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has delayed implementation of a 2016 Obama rule related to methane. “American businesses should have the opportunity to review new requirements, assess economic impacts and report back, before those new requirements are finalized,” Pruitt said in a statement.

You can’t always get what you want…The differences of opinion between the House and Senate majorities on the big bills, broad-based tax, FY2018 operating budget, Permanent Fund draw, an oil tax and  tax credits are basic differences in political philosophy. The House majority is pushing for taxes to support current spending while the Senate majority is demanding less spending to promote industry investment and keep Alaska the last personal tax-less frontier. None of the major proposals from the House Majority have been received well by the Senate. Senate President Pete Kelly called the House’s income tax proposal “absurd on its face,” given the state is already in a recession.

When does the spend end? The Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly approved $500,000 in repairs to the Mat-Su port barge dock on Tuesday night at a meeting where the word “mothball” surfaced for the first time in reference to the future of the port on Point MacKenzie. Port officials say the short-term fix approved during the meeting will protect the dock eroded by swirling Knik Arm tides and currents. But another, more permanent fix estimated at as much as $1.9 million is still in the design stage. The borough already fixed the 16-year-old dock once, only to have those repairs fail again months later. Port MacKenzie runs at an average $600,000 annual net loss.

A New Cold War? Courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry you can now take a tour of Russia’s newest military base.  A virtual tour.

Russian LNG project attracts financing. An LNG project  in the Arctic, north of Russia, receives European support via financing according to Russian gas producer Novatek.

 

First Reads

Mat-Su to spend $500K on failing barge dock at largely unused port

Alaska Dispatch News, Zaz Hollander, April 21, 2017

Alaska Rep. Don Young files to run again in 2018

Alaska Dispatch News, Erica Martinson, April 21, 2017

Senate on offense to start overtime

Alaska Journal of Commerce, Elwood Brehmer, April 21, 2017

EPA chief delays methane rule at behest of oil and gas firms
APnews.com, Michael Bieseker, April 21, 2017

A new Cold War in the Arctic? Russia unveils virtual tour of new military base

Fox News, Jason Kopp, April 20, 2017

Russian gas project in the Arctic gets European support

UPI.com, Daniel Graeber, April 21, 2017