Big Lake, Alaska and The Susitna Valley News, Weather, Events, And More

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Friday, January 19 2018 @ 12:11 PM AKST


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Governor Signs LNG Agreement with REI, Inc

EconomyDecember 23, 2014, JUNEAU – Governor Bill Walker at noon Tuesday will take an important step forward in securing Alaska’s energy future by signing a liquefied natural gas agreement with Japan-based Resources Energy, Incorporated.

“I look forward to signing this memorandum of understanding with Resources Energy, Incorporated,” Governor Walker said. “This agreement is an extension of Alaska’s longstanding partnership with Japan in energy markets.”

After the 2011 earthquake in Japan shut down the Fukushima nuclear power plant, several Japanese prefectures are looking to replace nuclear energy with liquefied natural gas supplies. Resources Energy, Inc., chose Alaska as the preferred source of LNG for Japan. The state has provided LNG to Japanese markets for more than four decades.

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New Alaska Minimum Wage Effective Feb. 24

EconomyAlaska’s minimum wage will increase to $8.75 an hour on Feb. 24, which is $1 more than the current $7.75. An estimated 16,000 Alaska jobs currently pay $8.75 or less.

While the voter-approved Ballot Measure 3 called for a Jan. 1 increase, in accordance with the Alaska Constitution the effective date is 90 days after the Nov. 26 certification of election results by the Division of Elections–Feb. 24.

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Walker Asks Alaskans to Help With Budget

EconomyGovernor Bill Walker and Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott began their term with a budget challenge of an unprecedented magnitude.

“I’m confident that together, we Alaskans can manage our way through it,” Governor Walker said. “We need to develop a smart plan so that our children and grandchildren can have stability 30 years from now. My team and I have rolled up our sleeves to work on the budget in almost daily meetings. We want a plan in place that will not just get us over the hump now, but provide a strong future for decades to come.”

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Independents making headway with Cook Inlet, North Slope developments

Economy(Anchorage, AK) – Independent oil companies are boosting oil production in Cook Inlet and a new independent-led project on the North Slope is beginning to take shape, with royalty incentives playing a role in both cases.

A recent trend of increasing offshore oil production from Cook Inlet continued in the third quarter of 2014, resulting in both higher royalty rates and payments to the State of Alaska.

Cook Inlet offshore oil production increased from 13,677 barrels per day (bpd) in the second quarter of 2014 to 15,486 bpd in the third quarter. This increase reflects an ongoing upward trend in Cook Inlet oil production over the past two years.

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Report suggests more copper exploration potential in western Alaska Range

Economy(Fairbanks, AK) – The Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys (DGGS) has released a pub­lication highlighting new radiometric age data for plutons and alteration associated with copper, molybdenum, and gold mineralization in the western Alaska Range northwest of Anchorage. The area is being actively explored by a number of mineral companies. Some of the new ages are much younger than any other age of mineralization previously recognized in the region and potentially open new targets for exploration in this part of the state.

The data and report, DGGS Raw Data File 2014-21, can be downloaded at no charge from the DGGS website at

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Alaska Led Nation in September Job Creation

EconomyOctober 21, 2014, Anchorage, Alaska - The State of Alaska gained nearly 3,000 jobs in the month of September, according to job figures released by the U.S. Department of Labor today.

“Alaska added more jobs per capita in September than any other state,” said Governor Parnell. “I hear it from people across the state that our policies are working. The results show more than 16,000 jobs have been created since I became Governor and more than 2,000 new businesses now are up and running in the city of Anchorage alone. New investment and greater opportunities mean that Alaska is on a path to prosperity that is creating a brighter future for Alaskans.”

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Unemployment rate at 6.8 percent in September

EconomyAlaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.8 percent in September, unchanged from August. The comparable national rate was 5.9 percent.

Alaska’s not-seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 5.9 percent in September, down from August’s 6.2 percent. The lowest rate in the year typically falls in September, as school resumes and summer economic activity hasn’t fully tapered off.

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Governor Announces Career Opportunity

EconomyOctober 16, 2014, Anchorage, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell today announced a new collaboration between the State of Alaska, Microsoft Corporation, and Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Central Council) to help prepare Alaskans for careers in information technology (IT).

“We are pleased to again partner with tribes and the private sector to bring greater opportunity to Alaskans in new ways,” Governor Sean Parnell said. “Career and technical certificates can be earned in a year or less, which will help to bring skilled Alaskans into the workforce quickly after high school.”

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Governor Parnell Announces Appointments

EconomyOctober 15, 2014, Anchorage, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today announced appointments to the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation Board of Directors, Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation Board of Directors, Alaska Municipal Bond Bank Authority, Alaska Royalty Oil and Gas Development Advisory Board, Board of Forestry, and Marine Transportation Advisory Board.

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Alaska Not Number 1 – in Work Comp Rates

EconomyJUNEAU, Alaska

For the first time since 2002, Alaska’s workers’ compensation premium rate rankinghas dropped significantly in the biennial Workers’ Compensation Premium Rate Ranking published bythe State of Oregon.

“Alaska no longer has the highest workers’ compensation premium rates in the nation,” Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Dianne Blumer said. “Over the past few years, the Parnell Administration has worked with the Alaska Legislature and other stakeholders to help Alaska business owners hold the line on costs.

“This effort to contain costs and lower the frequency of injuries has helped to keep Alaska’s premium rates from going up–more money is staying in business owners’ pockets.”

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Unemployment rate at 6.8 percent in August

EconomyAlaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.8 percent in August, up three-tenths of a percentage point from July. The comparable national rate was 6.1 percent.

Alaska’s rate had held relatively steady at around 6.5 percent since early 2013. It’s too early to tell whether August’s uptick signals a new trend.
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Governor Issues Statement on BP Announcement

EconomySeptember 15, 2014, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell issued the following statement after learning BP Alaska would reduce jobs as a result of Hilcorp’s acquisition of BP assets on the North Slope.

“I’m extremely disappointed in this action. No one likes to see jobs reduced, and I am especially concerned about the disruption for families who work in the energy sector. When I spoke with BP Alaska President Janet Weiss today, she assured me that BP remains on track for the new rigs planned for the North Slope and for new investment promised to Alaskans.”

Alaska oil and gas jobs are currently at an all-time high of 15,000.

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Positive News on Alaska Job Growth

Economy Governor Sean Parnell issued the following statement after learning Alaska added almost 1,700 jobs between the first quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014.

“We are building on a rock-solid economic foundation, which creates more opportunities for Alaskans,” Governor Parnell said. “Our economy is showing broad growth, across the energy, mining, tourism and service industry sectors, leading to steady job growth.”

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Alaska up 1,700 jobs in first quarter 2014

EconomyJUNEAU, Alaska—Alaska added almost 1,700 jobs from the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014, according to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

“For the first quarter of 2014, Alaska posted average monthly employment of 322,565 compared to the first quarter of 2013 that came in at 320,870,” Labor Commissioner Dianne Blumer said.

Oil and gas jobs increased by 189, manufacturing added 602 jobs, retail trade added 760 jobs and construction added 1,098 jobs. Federal government jobs decreased 825 and transportation and warehousing was down 245 jobs.

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Cook Inlet oil royalties on the rise

Economy(Anchorage, AK) – The State of Alaska is receiving higher royalty rates—and payments—from several Cook Inlet oil fields due to recent increases in oil production.

“Increased capital investment in the Cook Inlet fields has yielded higher employment, longer-term natural gas security, and increased oil royalty revenue to the Alaska Permanent Fund,” said Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Joe Balash.

The uptick in oil production, and royalty payments, is due to new investment at several of the inlet’s legacy assets. For example, oil production from Hilcorp Alaska’s Trading Bay Unit Monopod Platform, is approaching 2,900 barrels per day (bpd), up from 820 bpd for the first quarter of 2013, and production from Cook Inlet Energy’s Osprey Platform has increased from 226 bpd to 1,221 bpd in the same time frame.
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