Gov. Michael Dunleavy was elected on a pledge to cut the state budget. But his proposal still finds room for budget boosts for a handful of items, from state courts to oil tax credits to a Denali State Park visitors center.
Throughout the hearing, an organized group of opponents from communities across the state provided much of the public testimony against development in the refuge, holding up bandannas and signs that said: “Defend the Sacred: Protect the Arctic.”
The National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska is a hot area for oil development right now. But don’t count on new production there to bail out the state budget any time soon. That’s the takeaway from a previously unpublished, two-month-old analysis drafted by former independent Gov. Bill Walker’s administration.
A two-page letter from Dunleavy last month charges French with “neglect of duty and misconduct,” and levies five charges to justify the governor’s bid to remove French from chairmanship of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.