New Senate majority leader on PFD;  Dark $ supporter of Stand for Salmon enters race.

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Sen. Hoffman Wants To Add PFD Formula To Constitution, Remove ‘Political Football’ From Campaigns
Anna Rose Macarthur, KYUK AM, July 6, 2019

The Alaska Legislature reconvenes on Monday, July 8 for a special session to decide the amount of this year’s Permanent Fund Dividend. Legislators will also have the opportunity to override or amend Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s vetoes, totaling about $444 million, that slash or eliminate funding for services across the state. Democratic Sen. Lyman Hoffman of Bethel serves as the Legislature’s most senior member and sits on the Senate Finance Committee. KYUK talked with Sen. Hoffman about his expectations for the special session ahead.

Our Take: Senator Hoffman was appointed as the new Senate Majority leader on Monday. He replaces Senator Costello who was with legislators in Wasilla. 

Billionaire anti-Trump activist Tom Steyer enters 2020 race with pledge to spend $100 million
Tucker Higgins & Brian Schwarz, CNBC, July 9, 2019

  • Billionaire activist Tom Steyer said Tuesday that he will run for president in 2020, entering the crowded Democratic field late in the race with a pledge to focus on climate change and reforming the political system.
  • In a video, the Democratic megadonor, who has funneled millions of dollars into pushing for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, reversed his decision announced earlier this year not to run.
  • Steyer’s entrance into the race is likely to shake up the primary field, in no small part because of the vast sums of money at his disposal. The former hedge fund manager will spend at least $100 million on his presidential campaign, spokesman Alberto Lammers said.

Our Take: Steyer was part of the “dark money” that was funneled into Alaska to support the job-crushing Yes for Salmon initiative that failed in November, 2018. 

Texas dominates U.S. oil production
Ben Geman, Axios, July 9, 2019

A new Energy Information Administration note explores how U.S. oil production sailed past 12 million barrels per day earlier this year — all thanks to Texas.

  • The big picture: Texas, North Dakota and New Mexico — which also includes some of the prolific Permian Basin formation that’s largely in Texas — form the center of the surge in production from onshore shale formations.
  • The chart also shows Alaska’s long-term decline in output.
  • By the numbers: Crude oil production in Texas jumped 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) between January 2018 and April of this year to reach roughly 5 million bpd.
  • Where it stands: The domestic surge isn’t stopping. But it appears to be slowing. The EIA’s most recent estimate is that U.S. crude oil production growth will be 1.4 million bpd this year and 900,000 in 2020, which is a lot, but not as large as last year’s jump.
  • What’s next: The next set of EIA 2019 and 2020 estimates arrives later today.