Chair of Alaska oil and gas commission steps down for out-of-state position at refinery

The head of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, an agency that oversees drilling and production in Alaska, is stepping down this week after three years on the job.

Jeremy Price said in an interview on Wednesday that he plans to move out of Alaska and be the public relations manager for HF Sinclair at a refinery in Anacortes, Wash., where Alaska North Slope crude oil is processed.

Price, who grew up in Alaska on a homestead outside Fairbanks, has worked for the late Rep. Don Young and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, as well as the American Petroleum Institute, an industry trade group, and the Alaska chapter of Americans for Prosperity, which has focused on reducing government regulation and other conservative issues.

Price served as Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s deputy chief of staff until the governor nominated him in 2019 to serve on the commission. Price replaced former commissioner Hollis French, whom the governor fired. Price was reappointed in 2021 to a six-year term.

Price, who said he earned $140,000 annually at the commission, submitted his resignation letter to the governor on Sept. 12.

“During my time at the commission, I focused on updating and streamlining policies, where appropriate, modernizing AOGCC’s authorizing Statute, and being responsive to industry concerns while still holding them accountable,” Price wrote in the one-page letter.

Price, 43, said a one-year ban under Alaska ethics law designed to prevent a former senior public officer from engaging in lobbying in Alaska will not be relevant in his new position because he won’t be lobbying elected officials in Alaska.

“The reason I decided to take the opportunity was because it was a good opportunity to focus on downstream (oil and gas) issues, after I’ve been working on upstream issues (at the commission),” he said.

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Alex DeMarban

Alex DeMarban is a longtime Alaska journalist who covers business, the oil and gas industries and general assignments. Reach him at 907-257-4317 or alex@adn.com.