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November 2016

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Alaska’s Road to Power from Power Generation

Members of the State of Alaska’s Legislature Resource Committee got the bad news August 24 when their energy consultant reported, “The Alaska LNG Project, in its current form, is one of the least competitive natural gas fields vying for large multi-year contracts with Asian cities.” The options appear to be to put more cash into LNG, through more State ownership, or bring the cost of investment down.

Alaska Railroad LNG Transport

As snowflakes fell on a late-September morning, an Alaska Railroad freight train pulled in to the Fairbanks station. Although it was one of the railroad’s five regularly scheduled freight trains to the Interior city, this train also carried some groundbreaking cargo.

Tolsona No. 1

Ahtna, Incorporated announced on September 29 that drilling had begun for the Tolsona No. 1 gas exploration well. While drilling an exploration well may seem like the beginning of the process, Tolsona No. 1 was the cumulative effort of eighteen months of work—which is a “very accelerated schedule,” says Ahtna Oil & Gas Development Manager Dan Lee. “Those things typically take years in the making, and we’ve condensed them down to a year and a half or so.”


As the relatively-new head of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA), John Springsteen is focusing on a number of important issues concerning mining and resource development: responsible resource development, access, and enterprise infrastructure.

Alaska Timber Industry Needs Increased Tongass Harvest

Alaska’s timber industry varies greatly by region within the state and there is great potential for growth of the industry. There are roughly 126 million forested acres in Alaska, but only about 14 million acres support fast-growing commercial timber.

Natural Resources are Foundation of the State’s Private Sector Economy

Alaska is one-fifth the size of the rest of the United States, with more coastline than all other states combined. This state contains immense natural resources, including minerals and offshore resources like oil and gas and seafood.

Hanjin’s Insolvency

As many readers are aware, one of South Korea’s largest shipping companies, Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd., has filed for bankruptcy. The insolvency of Hanjin, which is the world’s seventh largest container line, will have a significant impact on the global transportation and retail sector. Shippers, charterers, freight forwarders, motor carriers, terminal operators, and commercial retailers are now scrambling to reroute $14 billion worth of cargo, which is packed into 540,000 containers and loaded onto any one of Hanjin’s 141 vessels (some owned, some chartered).

You Should Care about Mining in Alaska

As a life-long Alaskan, I’m proud to call this state home and I’m equally proud to represent Alaska’s mining industry. As our state copes with a serious fiscal crisis, mining is one of the few industries with great potential for growth, which would mean more good jobs, more state revenue, and more diversity for Alaska’s economy.

Employee Engagement: Having Heart

It’s a privilege to be asked to write a column on the things I care about and the work I do in the world. My editor suggested a piece on employee engagement and how to create more of it. This is a topic and area that I work in a lot and am quite comfortable doing. I started mentally composing what I should say and how to make it interesting.

Alaska’s Economy

The foundation of Alaska’s Economy has not changed, even though economic circumstances world-wide have changed dramatically. The striking change in commodity prices worldwide has left state government with less money to spend, but it has not changed the competitive advantages that drive Alaska’s economy.


Vote this November in the General Election. Registered voters should turn out in force to make a difference with their votes. In the August Primary Election only 88,817 of 515,714 registered Alaska voters cast ballots—a 17.2 percent turnout. As an aside to contrast this year’s poor Primary Election participation, in Alaska’s 1992 General Election, 82.9 percent of registered voters cast ballots—the highest percentage of voters so far.
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