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Alex DeMarban

With the first ballots sent and preparations for the Nov. 4 general election in full swing, a district chairman in the Alaska Republican Party filed a lawsuit in state Superior Court in Anchorage challenging the emergency regulation that permitted the “unity” ticket of Bill Walker and Byron Mallott.

The Sept. 2 regulation, promulgated by Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and the Division of Elections, should be nullified, the suit claims, because no emergency existed and the rights of primary-election voters have been violated...

Alex DeMarban

A delegation of state officials and BP executives spent four days in Asia last week meeting with utilities and others entities that could one day be involved in buying natural gas from the massive Alaska liquefied natural gas project that continues to advance but remains years from reality.

The trip to China, South Korea and Japan -- the world's largest LNG importer -- included cabinet members Joe Balash and Angela Rodell from the administration of Gov. Sean Parnell, as well as Dan Fauske, head of the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., and Janet Weiss, regional president of BP Alaska...

Alex DeMarban

Gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker says Gov. Sean Parnell is wrong to accuse him of wanting to delay progress at ExxonMobil’s Point Thomson project, a field that sat undeveloped for decades but is now less than two years from production.

Walker, owner of Anchorage law firm Walker & Richards, filed a lawsuit in 2012 challenging a settlement between the state and Exxon and partners that essentially created a development plan behind closed doors. Walker argued that the deal illegally sidestepped legislative and public input and gave away the state's power to ensure the field would be fully developed for the benefit of Alaskans...

Alex DeMarban

Oil giant BP will cut close to one-fifth of its Alaska workforce of employees and direct contractors as a result of the sale of a chunk of its Alaska assets to Hilcorp, the company announced Monday.

The reduction consists of 200 individuals, primarily BP employees, who have been offered jobs by Hilcorp, as well as an additional 275 employees and direct contractors who have not been offered positions, said Dawn Patience, a spokeswoman with BP Exploration Alaska...

Alex DeMarban

A self-described free-market think tank that publishes the earnings of thousands of public employees in Alaska is not so open when it comes to disclosing its financial supporters -- including the conservative Outside group that has funneled large grants its way.

One of the values of the Alaska Policy Forum is not disclosing donors, but the source of its limited money is less important than the group's focus on transparency in government, fiscal accountability and school reform, said David Boyle, executive director...

Alex DeMarban

Alaska’s giant LNG project took another step forward Friday, with participants submitting a formal request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to pave the way for an environmental review required for federal approval of the project.

The request was called a “major milestone” in a press release sent by project lead ExxonMobil. The regulatory agency approves LNG terminals and will coordinate various government entities in the project.

Such coordination will be critical for a project that will be the largest ever permitted under the National Environmental Policy Act, said Steve Butt, Alaska LNG’s senior project manager and an ExxonMobil employee...

Alex DeMarban

Gov. Sean Parnell’s re-election campaign mistakenly sent a fundraising email to an unknown number of state employee inboxes on Thursday, prompting the state Department of Administration to quickly notify all 18,000 employees that using state resources for “partisan political purposes” is illegal.

But the email did not violate the law, said Paul Dauphinais, executive director of the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

“It was not sent from a state email. If it were, that’s potentially a different issue,” he said, adding that APOC staff met quickly after learning of the email...

Alex DeMarban

Moody’s Investors Service has given a thumbs-up to the August decision by Alaska voters to keep the oil-tax system known as the More Alaska Production Act in place.

One of three ratings agencies covering the state of Alaska, the New York firm said the decision to reject Ballot Measure 1 in the Aug. 19 election, which would have repealed MAPA if passed, was a “credit positive” for Alaska.

The update issued by Moody’s on Thursday is not a credit-rating action. But it shows the state’s credit rating is being maintained, said David Jacobson, a spokesperson at Moody’s...

Alex DeMarban

Targeting what he believes is corruption in the state Legislature, political activist Ray Metcalfe has filed an application with the Alaska Division of Elections to launch a new citizen initiative aimed at stopping lawmakers from voting on bills that help their donors, their employers and others.

The last initiative Metcalfe launched -- the proposed repeal of the oil-production tax cut known as Senate Bill 21 -- touched off a massive battle with industry and the state’s largest oil producers, which funneled millions of dollars into campaign efforts to stop it.

Senate Bill 21 is expected to remain in place. Ballot Measure 1, voted on this month, is failing by what its supporters have said is a decisive margin...

Alex DeMarban

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan is demanding that Democratic incumbent Mark Begich remove a hard-hitting TV ad that Sullivan calls “shameful and deceitful.”

But the Begich campaign isn’t budging. It says Sullivan is to blame for a light sentence given to a sex offender who, shortly after he left prison, was charged with killing a couple and sexually assaulting their toddler granddaughter and an elderly woman.

In the TV ad, retired Anchorage police Sgt. Bob Glen points to the Anchorage apartment where Jerry Active allegedly committed the attack after he broke into the couple’s home in May 2013...

Alex DeMarban