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Managing AK Resources for the Benefit of all Alaskans: A Former DNR Commissioner's Round Table, Feb. 24

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Managing AK Resources for the Benefit of all Alaskans:
A Former DNR Commissioner's Round Table
Thursday, February 24, 12-1pm
Dena'ina Center
Forum: Members Free, Guest $30


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Commonwealth North will host former Department of Natural Resources Commissioners Harold Heinze, John Shively, and Judy Brady to address the membership at lunch on Thursday, February 24 from 12-1 at the Dena'ina Center. At Statehood, we were endowed with a rich abundance of natural resources to create a sustainable state. The Department of Natural Resources is tasked with managing both our assets and regulating the people we hire to monetize those assets. Incorporating our speaker's historical perspectives, we hope to analyze whether Alaska has responsibly balanced our conflicting roles for the long range sustainability of the State.

We also hope to incorporate their understanding as we address future Alaska needs such as decreased TAPs flow, mining prospects, dwindling oil investments, conflict with federal land and resource management, disappearing timber industry, uncertain gas prospects, or lack of a state fiscal plan.

This Forum developed from a Commonwealth North study "The Role of State Government" published in June 1997. In that report our members outlined the difficulties inherent in being both an owner and a regulator.

"State government's role as an owner of Alaska's vast resources means it holds the key to unlocking their development. Whether it is building the transportation infrastructure necessary to get products to market or approving permits to drill a well, all require actions by government agencies.

These more traditional funding and regulatory responsibilities are balanced against the State of Alaska's unique responsibilities of ownership. Alaska's state government represents the state's resource owners - Alaska's citizens. Representing the interests of owners means state government must have two different and often opposing public policy priorities - regulatory and ownership. Just like a corporation's responsibilities to its shareholders, Alaska's elected officials and policy makers are entrusted with getting the best return to the state from its assets. Revenues to the state could be one way to look at the state's "profit" by which to measure success. Using revenues alone, however, would be incomplete because the state also views job creation as a "return," especially in non-oil resource development.

The dual role of regulator and owner can often conflict. Regulators and employees with ownership responsibilities often work side-by-side in the same state agency, both reporting to the same commissioner who is charged with making both regulatory and ownership decisions. To minimize conflict, it is important clear assignment of responsibilities be made."



Commonwealth North, 711 M Street, Suite 104, Anchorage, AK 99501

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