Monthly Archives: October 2009

Senate Proposes Energy Plan

The leaders of the state Senate Resources Committee today (Monday) opened a way for the public to participate in developing a statewide energy plan.

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Disaster Determination Speeds Up

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – NOAA – says its analysis of the state’s request for disaster assistance could be done in about another month.  The Department of Commerce last week said it does not expect to respond to the request until February at the earliest.

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Crisis in Oil: Frank Murkowski

Former Governor Frank Murkowski has begun a brief tour of the state to talk about what he sees as a pending crisis in the state’s reliance on oil – and its relationship to gas development.    He says oil production – and the use of the TransAlaska Pipeline — is dropping to dangerously low quantities.

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No Immediate Relief for Rural Alaska

Federal relief for Western Alaska residents is not on the way anytime soon.

More than two months after receiving news of the economic turmoil in Yukon river fisheries, the federal government has still not made any decision – for or against — the state’s request that an economic disaster be declared for communities in Western Alaska. Continue reading

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Rural Alaska is Not Satisfied

Frustration and anger of rural Alaskans at a legislative meeting in Bethel this week were directed at the Department of Fish and Game for its management of subsistence and commercial fisheries in Western Alaska this year that saw few openings in either category.  But the critics only touched one concern people have.

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New Energy for Cook Inlet

Cook Inlet Regional, Incorporated, today added another piece to help fill the long-term energy needs of the Railbelt. It uses Underground Coal Gasification – or U-C-G, a technology that turns coal into gas that’s ready to pump into the existing energy infrastructure – without mining.

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Coghill Gets Senate Appointment


North Pole Representative John Coghill has been chosen to replace Republican Gene Therriault in the state Senate.   Governor Parnell announced Coghill’s appointment in Fairbanks this afternoon.

I felt that Representative Coghill has some current and unique experiences. He’s a person of integrity. I’ve worked with him. I’ve seen him not only have and hold to his principles, but he’s able to listen to people of different views.  And he’s ready to treat people with respect and dignity.

Coghill is the current chairman of the House Rules Committee, a powerful position responsible for scheduling votes that  are scheduled on the House floor. Elected to the House in 1998, he previously served as Majority Leader. He is the son of former Lieutenant Governor Jack Coghill. The senate seat includes his own district in North Pole and the Valdez district.

The nine Senate Republicans still have to concur in the appointment. Coghill says he doesn’t foresee that as a problem – adding, “but you never know.” Asked about that, Coghill recognized that there are two separate sets of Republicans in the Senate – six are members of the Majority Coalition with Democrats, and four in an unrecognized minority. Both sets of Republicans must vote together on the appointment.

I have told people and indicated that the way the coalition is made up right now, I’m not particularly interested in joining that Coalition. But I’m not willing to say I won’t work with them either. So, I’m open to discussion, but I don’t anticipate joining the coalition at this point. There’s … mostly philosophically driven.

Coghill’s selection opens his House seat that Governor Parnell will have to fill by appointment. It also opens a restructuring of the House majority as members have to find a new Rules Chairman.


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