Alaska gas prices dip slightly
Average retail gasoline prices in Alaska have fallen 2.1 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.98 per gallon, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 398 gas outlets in Alaska. This compares with the national average that has fallen 5.7 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.50 per gallon.
Including the change in gas prices in Alaska during the past week, prices yesterday were 5.3 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 5.0 cents per gallon lower than a month ago.
Americans tell EPA to Stop the Pebble Mine
More than 360,000 Americans urged the EPA to save 14,000 American jobs by protecting Bristol Bay, Alaska from the construction of a massive open-pit gold and copper mine that would threaten the nation’s salmon industry with up to 10 billion tons of toxic waste.
The EPA asked for Americans’ views of the project as part of its scientific assessment of the impacts of large-scale mining on the environment and the people living in Bristol Bay.
The process ended June 30, and a preliminary tally reportedly shows 68 percent of 527,192 submissions during the second round of public comment support EPA’s findings and urge federal protection for Bristol Bay’s unmatched fishery resources and fishing economy.
Murkowski’s ‘Smart Snacks’ goes nationwide
The United States Department of Agriculture issued the final rules of implementing Senator Lisa Murkowski’s legislation providing healthier food and beverages inside schools nationwide.
The “Smart Snacks in Schools” program will take effect in the 2014-2015 school year. Within the program, all foods sold in schools during the school day reflect the best nutritional science while adding common-sense requirements and flexibility.
The new rules also improve the quality of food options available in school vending machines.
Governor wins support on ESA resolution
The nonpartisan Western Governors’ Association recently approved a resolution sponsored by Gov. Sean Parnell regarding the federal Endangered Species Act. Parnell has fought to ensure the ESA is used only to protect species threatened with extinction, and not as a tool to prevent responsible resource development.
The WGA resolution identifies a number of important concerns with the ESA and how federal managers apply the law. Among these issues are decisions by federal managers to list healthy species for protection, based on long-term climate change modeling predictions, and how federal agencies have expanded the definition of “critical habitat” areas for special protection.
The resolution also asserts that federal agencies fully consider scientific research conducted by state agencies. A copy of the resolution is available at:http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell_media/resources_files/esa_070113.pdf
Gov. Parnell signs Pro-Alaska Legislation
Governor Sean Parnell signed legislation on June 26 designed to help Alaska businesses operate more efficiently by lessening regulatory burdens.
Senate Bill 83 corrects inequity in a statute that imposes unreasonable interest payments on contractors.
SB 63 requires Alaska’s Division of Elections to use a competitive bid process to contract for printing of election ballots and award the contract to the lowest bidder.
House Joint Resolution 6 urges the Bureau of Land Management to work cooperatively with the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and use the best practices when work is performed on legacy well sites. It also urges the BLM to open new areas of NPR-A to responsible oil and gas leasing.
Senate Joint Resolution 3 urges Congress to pass legislation to open a portion of Alaska’s coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration and development.
Senate Joint Resolution 8 supports the continued and increased exploration, extraction, processing and production of rare earth elements.
Senate Joint Resolution 10 promotes Alaska’s international interests, fundamentally American interests, by urging Congress to take a leadership role in guiding international Arctic policy through our nation’s diplomatic, military, and economic means.
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