Inside/Outside morning news roundup for 12.16

  • Gov. Bill Walker’s dramatic spending cuts to the capital budget were yesterday’s story du jour. Read about those cuts here, here, and here. And keep in mind that those cuts to the capital budget were akin to sweeping off chicken feed compared to what’s coming in the operating budget.
  • Jeb Bush announced on Facebook that he is “actively” exploring a 2016 presidential bid. The Hill has the FB message, and writes about why he shouldn’t be discounted as a serious presidential candidate, even if he’s from Florida.
  • A two-day power meeting with the stakeholders to discuss Ambler Road begins today in Fairbanks. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner has the meeting’s details, back story, and the possible future of the 200-mile road. One thing is certain, the Juneau Empire reports that a study conducted by the Wilderness Society, the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service found little impact of Ambler Road on the caribou population.
  • Texas might be known for hearting God, high-school football and BBQ (not necessarily in that order), but their love for fracking seems to Politico as a relationship in decline.
  • Fairbanks  Daily News-Miner reports that Fort Greely will be receiving $50 million in federal funds for their ground-based missile defense system.

  • Spanish-based Repsol, the independent company that is going gangbusters on the Slope, has agreed to buy Talisman Energy, Canada’s fifth-largest independent oil producer, for $13 billion.
  • The Dispatch covered the Anchorage School Board meeting where they approved two separate resolutions targeted to help ASD charter schools.
  • GOP Sen.-elect Dan Sullivan got the committee assignments that he wanted. The phrase floating around Sen. Murkowski and Sullivan’s offices is “divide and conquer.”
  • The old business adage, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying,” also holds true in politics. The World News reports that Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid is dying before she even officially begins because she is her own worst campaign enemy.
  • The Huffington Post writes about Kansas GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder, the man behind the Wall Street bailout provision that has angered many Americans. It appears that since the omnibus spending bill was passed, Yoder has gone underground, perhaps pulling a Mark Sanford.
  • In Democratic news: Elizabeth Warren is serving as a lightening bolt in a well-documented inner party fight to the death. As for the GOP: Sen. Ted Cruz is reigniting the GOP’s civil war, according to Politico. The Hill wonders where Hillary is in all of this.
  • Congress watchers from the right, left and center are asking: Is Ted Cruz Harry Reid’s Secret Weapon? Read about that here.
  • Pot smoke, ugly Christmas sweaters and lots of booze. All the elements to another exciting Loose Lips.
  • Here’s the way an LA Times column starts: “Is there a company in America more in need of adult supervision than Uber?” It gets worse.
  • David Garth, the Svengali behind modern America’s political ads, has died. He is remembered by the New York Times (and many other media outlets) as a fierce competitor and for being relentlessly loyal to his clients.  Robert Redford modeled the media hustler character in his film “The Candidate” after Garth.

bye bye begich

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14 thoughts on “Inside/Outside morning news roundup for 12.16

  1. Lynn Willis

    It isn’t just fifty loads a day of LNG that is the problem, it is 50 loads a day, every day, of a single critical commodity over a route that is hardly as developed as the Parks Highway. Over time you will experience degradation of your transport ability due to mechanical failure, labor relations and other variables. How many vendors with available vehicles, drivers, and maintenance facilities do you have to support the Anchorage -Fairbanks corridor as compared to the Dalton Highway route? Fairbanks also has alternative rail service which is not an available option for commodity delivery from the North Slope. Fairbanks has some infrastructure flexibility to absorb the retail commodities that support the community yet how much unique storage capacity can you afford to absorb delivery delays of LNG?
    The commodity you are transporting makes the difference. That is why coal, bulk fuels, and commodities such as cement and wheat move by rail over distance. A truck load of retail goods to Fairbanks is worth considerably more than a truck load of mineral ore or LNG and the profit margin allows the recipient to effectively utilize trucks . Rubber tires on pavement simply are not as efficient as steel wheels on steel rails which is why railroads are doing well.

  2. PSC

    I Want to compliment Amanda on her blog and include all you people who reply . Amanda attracts a uniquely intelligent and interesting group of followers. I learn something every day from reading; then I learn more by reading the responses . Thank you Amanda. Thank you repliers.

  3. birchstick

    Here here. People’s hysteria over Ebola is ludicrous, and linking that to others’ political fortunes is even more ridiculous.

  4. Not so fast

    More Americans will die from gunshot wounds than Ebola in 2014.

    In 2014, one person in America died of Ebola, meanwhile roughly 11,010 have died from a gun-related homicide. Also note, this number only includes gun-related homicides and not suicide by gun or accidental shooting. Regardless of how you feel about gun control, guns seem to have a bigger impact on national public health than Ebola.

  5. Andy Oilman Scott

    Groovy Gas Dude,

    1. The politicians are stuck on stupid, spendaholics end up in bankruptcy.
    2. I will compare my IQ with yours any day, I will also take a UA any day…you??
    3. DUI’s and MADD has severely curtailed drinking, some folks ruin all the fun.
    4. Back to school? A mind is a terrible thing to waste on psychobabble pablum.
    5. Permaculture? I have naturally curly hair because oilmen are manly men.
    6. Some of the most successful private sector businesses are energy related.
    7. I agree that thorium energy production is the better way to go.
    8. Hanford is a classic example of big brother being lazy, hence no containment.
    9. Yep, it’s nice to be in the 1% successful crowd, be sure to take your Prozac.

  6. AH HA

    @Lynn, Why would fifty loads a day be untenable? I’ll bet that right now Fairbanks receives more than fifty truckloads of freight a day… between the grocery stores and the two Fred Meyers and the Super Wal-Mart….

    According to Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association,right Now a semi truck can operate for about $1.03 a mile.

  7. Alaska Cod Piece

    How disheartening it is to learn that Senators Murkowski and Sullivan are boasting about a ‘divide and conquer’ attitude. That includes using strategies to gain and maintain more power by breaking up other groups into smaller pieces and then taking control of those pieces one by one.

    So much for working together to build alliances and move forward on behalf of the American people. Partisan politics at its worst with the (un) dynamic duo of S&M.

    I’ve heard that Dan will be involved in the Commerce fisheries committee. Maybe for starters he’ll learn the difference between a salmon and a codfish.

  8. Crude is Rude, Gas is Groovy

    Yes Lynn… A railroad to Deadhorse is a great idea to return the state to sound financial footing.
    In 1970-Fairbanks many of us were discussing the merits & possibilities of extending AKRR 500 miles north. We detailed a lot of drawings about how to build a rail-tunnel thru several locations in Brooks Range. There’s a repairable big-bore tunneling machine abandoned under Seattle right now, it could be had for a song.

    A railway thru Anaktuvuk Pass is possible without building a tunnel..
    and in 1970 we discussed the merits of delaying need of a 3-mile long Atigun rail tunnel by using two railways tied together by a short truck relay route.
    ….many logistics plans do pencil out favorably if you’re from the old-school breed like me.
    We do have good geopolymer technology that can build cost effective floating railroad-beds across soggy boggy permafrost tundra.

    A properly managed AKRR could replace TAPS as Alaska’s main economic backbone..
    ..and hauling LNG on AKRR is just the beginning.
    Walker&Mallott could make $20billion/yr with a properly run railroad, air transport, & marine shipping enterprise operating in a cooperative public/private partnership where Alaska maintains 51% ownership & focused steady leadership to make the big-picture infrastructure work perpetually.

    I do have a biz-plan for flying LNG worldwide..
    this is not a new idea, but new progress in this area make LNG-Aerofuels a huge opportunity for Alaska Air, ALASKA, & all other global air-cargo operations.

    goog: boeing sugar freeze
    goog: boeing pelican

    ……..Alaska needs it’s own fleet of LNG delivery ships if it seeks to make a big LNG export project profitable, why not use big whopper air-cargo delivery of LNG to premium markets worldwide, instead of using big expensive slow moving ships ??

    Big Central CRUDE Oil is Stuck on Stupid..
    the entire bigoil industry is dominated by dumb dinosaurs..
    this entire sector of American & global culture & society needs to permanently walk-away from the cocktail lounge & go back to school….
    …BigOil needs to learn about PERMACULTURE
    BigOil is doomed to fail as an Energy Company
    BigOil is terribly inefficient, and is nearly as big a mess as stupid NukePower…
    …in 1959 I knew Hanford was doomed to another 100 years of corporate failure,
    and now Fukushima,
    are 99% of humans a failed species ???
    …I’m always hopeful Alaska can lead the way.

  9. Jason B

    I love reading how you hypocritical Alaskan conservative socialists like to try to denigrate everything moderates try to do to make this country a better place for all and to have a chance at some measure of success. Conservative red states get the greatest amount of federal aid, have the worst economies and the worst health problems. It’s amazing how comfortable you are in your own lives yet want to make it as miserable as possible for anyone that is not lucky enough not to have born a WASP. Turn off the FOX and experience the real world!

  10. Lynn Willis

    All the mineral wealth in the Ambler Region must get to markets. How much of this resource is bulk commodity that requires further processing? Any plans to build smelters or other facilities to concentrate the product near the Ambler Mining District? Absent some other economic benefit, why build this 200 mile Ambler Mining District Road West from the existing Dalton Highway? If after traversing the road with a truck load of ore, ore concentrate, or perhaps even finished product, you have reached is an intersection near Wiseman which is about 250 miles North of Fairbanks. By the time you reach Fairbanks haven’t you consumed all the value of your cargo in transportation costs alone and you still are 350 miles or more from a seaport. I assume very valuable commodities like Gold will have been flown to market.
    Of course this is the same mentality that assumes Fairbanks can be supplied with LNG by truck over the same Dalton Highway 414 miles from the North Slope. This would require an estimated 50 tank truck trailers a day according to the State Representative I asked (I do hope he was wrong yet he thought it was a viable plan). Imagine the logistic burden of say 48 truck deliveries per day. That would require a double tank trailer delivery (2 x 24 =48) arriving in Fairbanks every hour of every day of the year over the road where they film “Ice Road Truckers”
    Wouldn’t a railroad to most economically move bulk product directly to a port location make more sense? Same could be said about using rail to transport LNG from Cook Inlet.
    Stupid is sometimes possible; however “stupid” is very expensive compared to “smart” and we simply cannot afford stupid any longer.

  11. Crude is Rude, Gas is Groovy

    IMHO: Less than $50/bbl crudeoil is the best thing that’s ever happened in Alaska…
    …it’s time for a Paradigm Shift.

    Too bad Alaskan’s couldn’t figure out how to shift a paradigm before the 1989 oilspill…
    …maybe they thought a paradigm was similar to a Paragon Transmission and couldn’t find the parts diagram to see how it worked ??

    I wish Walker/Mallott the best of luck, it’s wonderful to see Alaska experiencing the joys of finding true personal growth while walking with Walker thru the Wilderness.

  12. Begich the true liberal

    Begich voted yea on the confirmation of Dr. Vivek Murphy for Surgeon General. Unfortunately, he was a founder in 2008 of a group called Doctors for Obama, and has been an outspoken political advocate of Obama care and gun control — than his medical experience. With America facing the challenge of Ebola and other serious health challenges, it’s unfortunate that the President chose a nominee based on the candidate’s political support instead of a long career delivering patient care and managing difficult health crises. It also proves Begich voted with Obama the vast majority of the time.
    This is why we voted Begich out of out office, because he is a true liberal.

  13. AH AH

    So the cuts to the Capitol budget were “dramatic” even though they only amount to a 10th of a percent of what will need to be cut to balance the budget.

    “Walk back” Walker is going to have to cut a hell of a lot more if he expects any support in raiding the permanent fund

  14. Miz

    I’m going to love watching AK Dems slowly distance themselves from Walker through social media. There is a love fest going on right now but I’ll be watching to see what the one issue is that flips them and suddenly has the AK Republicans claiming Walker as one of their own.

    Has Walker already fixed the National Guard or are we back to sweeping the Guard’s problems under the rug again becasue election season has passed?

    Bye-bye Begich. I love it!

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