Senator Mark Begich is introducing a bill that would grant the state a share of revenues from offshore drilling.
The concept is nothing new. The Alaska delegation has long sought the chance to reap royalty payments from oil producers drilling off Alaska’s shore.
Senator Begich’s bill would grant the state 37.5 percent of the royalty bids. Right now, the federal government collects the entire sum.
He says the state needs to be rewarded for assuming some of the liability.
“We know already after this first season, season and a half of exploratory drilling in the Arctic, there is impact,” Begich said. “Housing costs have gone up, water and sewer is reaching capacity in some of the communities along the coast because there are so many new people there.”
“There’s a lot of impact, and we get not one penny from outer continental shelf development.”
Of the money the state would collect, 40 percent would go to the state, 25 percent to local governments, another quarter to Alaska Native corporations and 10 percent directly to tribes.
The numbers vary from past revenue sharing bills, but Senator Begich says he’s willing to change numbers to assure the delegation presents one plan.
- Alaska’s largest ferry will be down for repairs longer than expected. Another ship will fill in, but it’s smaller and some travelers will have to make other arrangements.
- Alaska’s oldest Native organizations are trying to attract younger members. That and other issues are on the table at the ANB-ANS Grand Camp Convention Oct. 5-8.
- As the air gets colder and the days shorter, the Skagway tourism season is coming to a close. Overall, tourism staff says this summer was a success. The last cruise ship of the season has come and gone and shop owners around Skagway are preparing for winter, cleaning up and closing their doors. The streets that were recently busy with visitors are quieting down.
- These are the days when a president turns to thoughts of legacy. As the months tick down on this Administration, President Obama has created a marine national monument off new England and last month vastly expanded one near Hawaii. Alaska interest groups are working to get his attention, too. Some want him to take bold action in the 49th State before he leaves office, and others are urging him to resist those calls.