Timber

Timber

USFS will now change roadles rule The U.S. Department of Agriculture will revamp the national forest “roadless” rule that limits timber harvesting in the 16.8-million-acre Tongass National Forest in southeast Alaska, senior officials told Congress. The plan is for an “Alaska special” roadless rules that would be more flexible than what applies nationally. Alaska Congressman Don Young has also included a provision for an Alaska-speci c rule in the national farm bill which is pending in Congress. The change comes…

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Petroleum

Petroleum

Doyon now drilling Nenana well Doyon Ltd. of Fairbanks started drilling at its latest Nenana Basin exploration well a few miles north of the city of Nenana. Cook Inlet Region, Inc. of Anchorage is a partner with Doyon on the well. The Nabors 105 drill rig is being used on the project. The target is the Totchaket East prospect, where Doyon’s 3-D seismic has indicated the presence of possible hydrocarbon uids, either oil or gas, between 4,500 to 9,500 feet….

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Health care

Health care

Health plan consolidation talks State administration of cials are talking with pub- lic employer groups, including unions, on the pro- posed state health trust and possible consolidation of health plans. There are about 100,000 people covered in about 100 different health plans partly or wholly funded by the state. “Stakeholder”consultations are expected to be wrapped up in six weeks, with reports and recommendations to the Legislature by January. The state’s health care tab across all programs is about $1.4 billion…

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Transportation

Transportation

Bering Sea traffic rules agreed Russian and U.S. maritime agencies agreed on a set of navigation rules for the constricted Bering Straits which have also now been adopted by the International Maritime Organization, so that they are recognized worldwide. Both Russia and the U.S. exercise jurisdiction over the strait, which separates far eastern Siberia from the western tip of Alaska. Ship traf c is increasing through the strait as Arctic waters become increasingly ice-free.

Energy

Energy

DOE new energy tech grants The U.S. Department of Energy will provide additional research funds toward two experimental new river- ow energy systems being developed in Alaska. These include a $2.3 million grant to Igiu- gig Village Council, in partnership with the Ocean Renewable Power Company of Maine, for continued work on a river current turbine system at Igiugig, and $1.3 million to the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) at University of Alaska Fairbanks, for work with Renergé,…

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Minerals

Minerals

Fort Knox Mine to see $100 million investment and expansion Kinross Gold Corp. announced June 12 a $100 million expansion of the Fort Knox gold mine near Fairbanks. The project will add approximately 1.5 million ounces of gold to the mine’s ultimate recov- ery and extend the mine life to 2030, Kinross said. Kinross described Fort Knox as one of its best-per- forming properties. The land that will be used for the expansion was formally owned by the federal government….

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State government

State government

Fiscal plan is signed – now comes the hard part Gov. Bill Walker signed the state budget and a bill allowing Permanent Fund earnings to used to help pay for it, a landmark diversification of revenue sources. Previously, oil and gas revenues, which are volatile, paid most of the budget. Standard and Poor’s Global Ratings immediately upgraded the state’s credit rating and revised its outlook for Alaska from negative to stable. The upgrade applies to state General Obligation debt, now…

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Economic Report 1-2018

Economic Report 1-2018

In this Issue: Governor button-holes producer on natural gas BP holds Prudhoe production level; overall slope is up 1.4 percent Energy Chugach/ML&P utility deal CIRI, Chugach in a tiff over wind Health care Ketchikan looks at cost transparency Alaska health plan signups rise Bonds to fund program; companies asked for discount State to accelerate oil tax credit obligation payoff Credits to be eventually paid anyway, but state could pay faster Incentives were aimed at attracting new explorers Business Intelligence $45…

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Fisheries

Fisheries

Copper River salmon a bust? Is the famed Copper River sockeye shery a bust this year, or are the sh just late? A third scheduled “opener” for the shing near Cordova was cancelled after the rst two openers were ops, with a frac- tion of the predicted sh netted. Fisheries experts think the salmon could be running later due to a cold spring and cool ocean temperatures, but they just don’t know. About 500 vessels were on hand for the…

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Economy

Economy

As recession eases, what will drive recovery? The recession is moderating but job losses continue. April wage and salary employment was down 1,200, or 0.4 percent. Retail, oil and gas, government and most other occupations registered declines, although smaller than in recent month. Construction and transportation were level with April, 2017, however, and health care showed continuing growth. At some point job losses will atten, but economists are now wondering what can restart growth? The losses of high-paying jobs in…

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