I didn’t see much worth reviewing during the past week. It was pretty boring, and I’d rather just skip over it. I pity those guys who have to watch the show and treat it seriously.
Here’s a complete list of capitol stuff this week.
A few things promise to be memorable, though. By that, I mean you might not sleep through them.
Monday’s House Floor Session will clean off the two bills that didn’t get to votes on Friday. HB36 says the military can use firing ranges without first having to get permission from the Department of Environmental Conservation. The way I read the law, they already have that exemption. What’s being added is the phrase “or service.” Is this saying “services” like the Alaska Peacemakers Militia can shoot what they want? I’m sure someone will ask that question on the floor and we’ll get it all cleared up.
It will also move along the governor’s bill that will allow cruise ships to dump their shit where I fish. The people said they didn’t want that a few years ago, and the cruise ships have done just fine being careful where they unload. I don’t know why this even came up. Maybe someone will ask that, too. I would hope that Speaker Mike Chenault will be a part of the opposition to this one. He’s quoted in Sunday’s Empire as saying, “the voters have spoken.” Of course he was referring to another ballot initiative, but let’s hear it for Democracy and the American way.
Monday afternoon, the House Resources will open consideration of Mike Hawker and Speaker Chenault’s bill (HB4) to build a gas line from the North Slope to South Central. It’s a good idea, although a lot of questions are still hanging around this one. Chenault hasn’t helped himself for the past couple of years by refusing to consider any options that might make it even better. Let’s see what the committee has to say before bringing up those old questions.
Later in the afternoon the Senate Resources Committee will hear from the public on a couple of bills that will allow various industries to have first call on any water in the state (SB26). It got a lengthy, yet superficial review on Saturday until the Chair Cathy Giessel said she wanted a sectional analysis of what the DNR wants with this thing. It’s worth watching this one to see if the department tries to snowball her again. Quote from DNR on why no public comment is needed: “that is there to save time and money for the applicant.”
Tuesday morning, the Senators looking at in-state energy solutions will hear from the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation and the Chenault-Hawker push for a gasline from the North Slope to points south. I hope sometime these guys take a fair look at the advantages of imported liquefied natural gas feeding SouthCentral and a pipeline from South to Fairbanks. Plenty of time, though, since DNR isn’t worried about it.
A free lunch will continue talk about this energy supply when the big shots from several public utilities talk about gas. Enstar has said it is ready to cover any shortages with imported LNG, and it will be interesting to see how long and how far this idea has spread. After all the time spent talking about projects, ideas and ego, there’s not a big reason to count on a legislative fix.
Still later, the House and Senate transportation committees will hear from some MatSu guys talking about their port. I wonder if they will push their offer to re-gift the ferry the state gave them. Next thing you know they’ll be asking for a bridge to downtown Anchorage.
Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee will take a look at the Stand Your Ground bill that allows people to kill each other (HB24). To my knowledge today there is no plan to expand it to let people set off recreational bombs. However, you have to watch.
Another free lunch on Thursday, as Heavy Oil Solutions LLC has a presentation on Super Critical Water Extraction and Refining. I have no idea what this is about so I hope I can catch it.
Friday’s for shootin’ as the House Judiciary Committee opens up the Speaker’s gun control bill – the one that allows the state guys to arrest federal ATF agents for enforcing any national gun laws. It still smells like treason to me – which kind of violates that silly “oath of office” thing that everyone took on Day One. I’ve been thinking recently about former Alabama Governor George C. Wallace standing in front some building at the University of Alabama making some lame claim about States’ Rights. He backed down when the federal troops showed up. Federal Troops are not especially good for tourism, you know.
That’s enough. Time for football.