Morning Headlamp – Groundhog Day in Bristol Bay; Produce your own Package!

House Rejects Compromise. Following Gov. Walker’s attempt to bridge the gap between House and Senate budget proposals, House leaders shot back. In an evening press conference, Speaker of the House Bryce Edgmon, D-Dillingham, said the governor is on the wrong track with a proposal that would slash the state deficit from about $2.7 billion per year to about $300 million per year. He said the House Majority is continuing to champion a strategy that eliminates the entire deficit within three years. Unless the deficit is entirely eliminated, Edgmon said, Alaskans will continue to worry about how it will be balanced and what will need to be cut to make the budget balance.

Headlamp suggests the House Majority and Speaker Edgmon start listening to Alaskans. They don’t want an income tax and they don’t want a bigger budget. 

Groundhog day for mining. Critics of a copper prospect in the Bristol Bay region who fear it could become a smaller version of its neighbor, Pebble, have launched an early campaign to stop it. The Groundhog prospect follows the same geological belt that supports Pebble, the proposed massive open-pit gold and copper mine a few miles to the south. Unlike Pebble, an Alaska Native village corporation owns part of the Groundhog mineral claims on state land. The drilling for sample boreholes could start as early as this summer at the 40,000-acre prospect about 200 miles southwest of Anchorage. With the Pebble prospect seeing new life under the Trump administration, the Groundhog companies now have an exploration investor, Canadian mining company Quaterra.

 

First Reads

Opponents rally against copper prospect they fear could become another Pebble
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, June 7, 2017

House majority rejects Gov’s fiscal compromise
Alaska Journal of Commerce, James Brooks, June 6, 2017

Gov. Walker tells opponents of his compromise package, produce your own
KTOO & Alaska Public Media, Andrew Kitchenman, June 6, 2017

Shipping industry, Arctic nations launch new Arctic shipping forum
High North News, Elizabeth Bergquist, June 6, 2017

Norway says patrol plane in international airspace over Barents Sea was intercepted by Russian jets
Reuters, June 6, 2017