A joint session of both houses voted 31-27 to confirm Hopkins to the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation board.
The debate reveals a deep divide among lawmakers over how to respond to low oil prices – and the resulting state budget gap.
The concept arose from a concern over Senate Bill 210, which would reduce the amount that municipalities receive in revenue sharing.
North Slope oil producer Caelus Energy announced Friday it will lay off 25 percent of its 80-person workforce and suspend drilling at the Oooguruk oil field, potentially affecting hundreds more contractor jobs.
The Senate Resources Committee questioned whether Hopkins and other board members have the experience needed to make important decisions about the proposed AKLNG pipeline.
The Department of Revenue estimates the committee’s version of House Bill 247 would save the state roughly $160 million over the next three years. That compares with $1.175 billion in savings under Walker’s proposal.
The Department of Revenue released a forecast today showing the state will bring in $800 million dollars less in oil revenue this year and next than the department projected in the fall.
The bill would trim the amount of tax credits paid to companies operating in the Cook Inlet.
Some lawmakers are questioning whether the fund, now worth $900 million, should be committed to benefit only about one in nine Alaskans.
Alaska Oil and Gas Association President Kara Moriarty told the House Resources Committee that companies can’t afford higher costs when oil prices are low.