HB4 gasline bill in the Senate
The State Senate continued work on House Bill 4 this week in the waning days of the legislative session. Public testimony on HB4, which authorizes a small diameter natural gas-only bullet line from the North Slope to the Anchorage area, was held Monday. Invitation only testimony was to be held Tuesday afternoon, after press time.
Rep. Eric Feige, who represents District 6 in the Alaska House, issued this written statement late Tuesday afternoon, April 2.
“It has been the overwhelming will of constituents in Valdez and along the Richardson Highway that I oppose HB4,” Feige’s written statement said. “It’s my firm belief that at a future date the corporate structure that will be created under the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation can be utilized to realize the state’s interests on a larger diameter line to Valdez, if it is financially prudent.”
In last week’s story breaking the news that HB4 had passed late Monday night, Rep. Neal Foster (D-Nome) was incorrectly listed as voting yes on HB4, along with Democrats Max Gruenberg and Scott Kawasaki. Foster, whose vast district encompasses much of the Richardson Highway in the Copper Basin to the east, actually voted against HB4.
Open Meetings Act training coming to school board
City Clerk Sheri Pierce will conduct training for the board of education on the ins, outs and how to keep in compliance with Alaska’s open meetings act.
The move comes after public pressure was put on the board with questions on whether or not the district’s governing body was in full compliance with the law. The training will be held Wednesday, May 1 at City Council Chambers. It is open to the public.
Feds question, release Kramer
James Kramer of Valdez, who was named in a federal theft charge against his sister, Lori Clum, was questioned then released by federal agents after he was named in one of Clum’s four indictments.
Family members say Kramer was not formally charged by the FBI.
Clum was arrested by the FBI in late March, charged with four federal theft charges stemming from her tenure as president of IRA council governing the village of Tatitlek.
Clum had also been recently charged by State Troopers with bootlegging alcohol in the village, and was in possession of narcotics and allegedly possessing firearms as a felon.
Helo 1 black box found after crash
(AP) Investigators have recovered a data recorder from the wreckage of a deadly state trooper helicopter crash east of Talkeetna.
Pilot Mel Nading, Trooper Tage Toll and snowmobiler Carl Ober died March 30 in the crash.
KTUU-TV reported that the crash is still under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. The data recorder will help them figure out what happened. It records images of the instruments in the cockpit as well as flight data.
NTSB investigators were initially unable to find the device and only recovered it after a second trip to the crash scene.
The state troopers were returning after rescuing the injured snowmobiler when the crash occurred.
The NTSB is expected to release a preliminary report on the crash this week.
ACES reform could cost $6 billion
(AP) The latest version of the proposed oil tax overhaul could cost the state up to $6 billion through 2019.
That analysis is based on a fall forecast for oil prices and production. A newer forecast was released Friday.
The fiscal impact would be greater than the version of SB21 that passed the Senate last month. That bill indicated the plan could cost Alaska between $4.5 billion and $5.8 billion through 2019.
The range for the latest version, which advanced from the House Resources Committee earlier this week, is about $5.7 billion to $6 billion.