Gas prices fall
Average retail gasoline prices in Alaska have fallen 3.6 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.85/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 398 gas outlets in Alaska. This compares with the national average that has fallen 4.2 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.38/g.
Including the change in gas prices in Alaska during the past week, prices yesterday were 28.0 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 11.1 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 21.4 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 41.9 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.
Nikiski contender for liquified natural gas
The companies seeking to advance a multibillion dollar natural gas pipeline project in Alaska have a leading contender for the terminal site where gas would be liquefied and shipped to Asia, signaling that a decades-old dream could still become a reality.
Exxon Mobil, BP, ConocoPhillips and TransCanada Corp. announced Monday that the Kenai Peninsula town of Nikiski is the leading contender. Senior project manager Steve Butt said there are three or four other sites are still being considered — he declined to identify those — but said Nikiski has the land needed for the plant and the companies know they can route a pipeline there. Land acquisition work is underway.
A liquefied natural gas plant operated in Nikiski for decades and provided exports to Japan. But ConocoPhillips and its then-partner announced plans to close the plant in 2011, citing market changes. Sporadic shipments continued until ConocoPhillips decided earlier this year not to renew its export license.
The state has asked ConocoPhillips to reopen the mothballed site and apply for a new license to provide an incentive for petroleum companies to explore and invest in Cook Inlet.
Butt said the liquefied natural gas plant envisioned as part of the pipeline project would be 16 or 17 times larger than that plant.
Pebble people laid off after Anglo pulls out
The group behind the proposed Pebble Mine is laying off workers after one of the partners in the controversial project pulled out.
Pebble Limited Partnership spokesman Mike Heatwole declined to say how many workers and contractors will be affected. He says Pebble had 70 to 80 full-time workers before the layoffs began last week.
Last month, Anglo American PLC announced that a subsidiary was withdrawing from the project, leaving Canada-based Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. as the sole owner.
Heatwole said this remains an important project for Alaska and that Northern Dynasty is looking for additional partners to keep the project moving forward.
Pebble had hoped to move into the permitting phase this year. Heatwole couldn’t say whether that would change.
BBB sick of ‘Obamacare’ schemers
The Better Business Bureau is warning Alaskans about an increase in fraudulent activity related to the launch of the Affordable Care Act. The open enrollment period began Oct. 1, and scammers understand that many Americans are confused about their rights and responsibilities with the new program.
BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington prescribes the following:
1. Don’t pay for free advice; trained and certified helpers are not allowed to charge for their services.
2. Hold onto current insurance cards; coverage will continue and there is no need for special new insurance or Medicare cards.
3. Learn the difference between medical discount plans and health insurance plans; discount plans alone will not satisfy the law’s minimum coverage requirements.
4. Hang up on “government officials” who call, text or email to “verify” personal information; government agencies will never make these types of requests.
Don’t give out personal information. Never give personal information to unsolicited callers; avoid sharing Social Security Numbers, birth dates or medical information.
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