Elwood Brehmer

Study: Replacing aging North Pacific fishing fleet would cost $11.3 billion

Rejuvenating Alaska’s large vessel fishing fleet could be nearly an $11 billion boon for Outside shipyards, according to a new McDowell Group report.

Iin a study commissioned by the Port of Seattle and the Washington Maritime Federation, the Alaska-based research firm pegged $11.3 billion as the cost to completely replace the 414 fishing and processing vessels longer than 58 feet that participate in North Pacific fisheries off the coast of Alaska.

Murkowski: House chose party over energy policy

Sen. Lisa Murkowski accused House leaders of forgoing negotiations on her overarching energy policy bill to begin holiday celebrations early.

Still steaming more than a week after it became clear her signature piece of legislation would die in the lame duck session of Congress, Murkowski said in a Dec. 16 interview that House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, chose to adjourn the House Dec. 8 to attend a holiday party in New York rather than round up votes for final passage of the final House-Senate conference committee version of her Energy Policy Modernization Act.

Walker renews push to use Fund earnings to fill deficit

Gov. Bill Walker called for continued budget cuts, more state wage freezes, fuel tax increases and again proposed using Permanent Fund income to shrink Alaska’s $3 billion-plus annual deficit in his 2018 fiscal year budget package released Dec. 15.

The administration’s $4.21 billion fiscal 2018 operating budget plan would modestly cut unrestricted General Fund, or UGF, spending by $47 million over the current, 2017 fiscal year budget.

Permanent Fund starts fiscal year with 3.86 return

Alaska’s money managers are off to a solid start in the first months of the state fiscal year.

The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. announced Monday that it earned a 3.86 percent return, or $2 billion, in the first quarter of the 2017 fiscal year on its namesake fund, which had a total balance of $54.8 billion on Sept. 30. Of that, $9.7 billion was in the Fund’s Earnings Reserve account.

New House Resource chairs ready to take on oil credits, AK LNG project

The shakeup in state House control seemingly gave Gov. Bill Walker allies in leadership positions on fiscal issues, but the upcoming session will still be an uphill battle on the Alaska LNG Project.

Anchorage Democrat Reps. Andy Josephson and Geran Tarr will co-chair the House Resources Committee, the first stop for any oil and gas tax bills on their way through the legislative process.

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