Republican Sen. Natasha von Imhof delivers stark assessment of governor’s proposed budget
Kristen Durand, KTUU, March 5, 2019
Changes are likely on the way as lawmakers consider Gov. Dunleavy’s proposed plan to implement an austerity budget to pay for full dividends. That’s the message from one of the key decision-makers in Juneau who made a stop in Anchorage Tuesday to talk about the governor’s budget that includes $1.6 billion in proposed cuts. “I don’t think really think we have a fiscal crisis, I think we have a priority crisis,” said Senate Finance Committee Co-Chair Sen. Natasha von Imhof, R-Anchorage at the Anchorage Downtown Rotary Tuesday. There, von Imhof presented a review of the budget and the budget process and heard from constituents. Sen. von Imhof laid out the choices faced by lawmakers: accept the budget as proposed, keep using the Alaska Permanent Fund to pay for state services, increase revenue through taxes, like an income tax or oil tax credit reform, or a combination of some or all of the available options. von Imhof noted that the Permanent Fund Dividend under the governor’s proposed budget makes up 37 percent of all general fund spending.
Our Take: The process is working. The legislature is reviewing the Governors budget and they will amend it. Headlamp hopes that the legislature spends the time to look for efficiencies that can be achieved and takes a hard look at what the state’s ROI is on the money they spend on ALL programs and services.
Is This The End Of Alaska’s LNG Ambitions?
Tim Daiss, OilPrice.Com, March 5, 2019
Alaska’s dream of building a massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal could be coming to an end. For years, former Alaska Gov. Bill Walker pushed the massive $44 billion capex intensive project as a way to offset decades of dwindling oil production in the country’s largest state. He even led delegations on numerous occasions to both China and Japan drumming up support for the project and looking to secure long term off-take agreements necessary to help the project reach the all-important final investment decision. However, Alaska’s new governor, Michael Dunleavy who took office in December, is taking a different approach to the project that was earmarked to send LNG cargoes to Asia-Pacific, a region that accounts for 72 percent of global LNG demand, with that amount projected to reach at least 75 percent amid more demand coming from China.
Our Take: Somehow the media missed the good news about the ASAP project on Monday and a permit achieved. “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Land Management signed a joint record of decision (JROD) for the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline Final (ASAP) Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) today. The record of decision is the last regulatory milestone before the Corps and BLM can exercise their federal authorities.”
From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO ELIMINATE FOSSIL FUELS: Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Tuesday a new campaign to eliminate fossil fuels, after forgoing a presidential run.
Bloomberg, a major financier of climate change activism, said that rather than joining a presidential field crowded with candidates vowing to tackle the issue, he could do more “organizing and mobilizing communities to begin moving America as quickly as possible away from oil and gas and toward a 100 percent clean energy economy.”
The new project, called Beyond Carbon, represents a shift for Bloomberg, who is best known for his work with the environmental group the Sierra Club on a campaign to eliminate coal.
Gas as a thing of the past: Although he has previously supported natural gas, which emits half the carbon as coal, as an alternative fossil fuel, Bloomberg said Tuesday gas should have a limited shelf life in favor of zero-emission sources such as wind and solar.
Bloomberg did not call for a specific timeline to eliminate fossil fuels, unlike the progressive Green New Deal, which pushes for 100 percent of U.S. electricity to be provided by “clean, renewable and zero-emission sources” by 2030.
Bloomberg also did not say how much money he would devote to the new Beyond Carbon effort
Our Take: We suppose that when you are a billionaire decreasing the quality of life for most other people while increasing their energy costs doesn’t really bother you. #moralcaseforfossilfuels
The Municipality of Anchorage is collaborating with UAA to create the Anchorage Climate Action Plan. They are seeking community input on their draft climate action plan.