Alaska News Nightly: November 14, 2007

The Senate take its time on the oil-tax bill. Plus, the Bush administration comes out against Don Young’s ANCSA land bills and an entangled humpback is freed in southeast. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Senate takes it slow
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The Senate Finance committee this morning got underway considering the details of the various elements of the oil tax bill that’s the subject of the special legislative session. The House passed its version of the bill Sunday night, but the legal paperwork took two days to get in a printed version for members and the public to look at. As the differences between the House and Senate versions appeared, critics saw the delay might not have been necessary.

Young’s ANCSA land bills get little support from the President

Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
The Bush Administration gave the cold shoulder to several Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act land bills by Congressman Don Young at an ‘Alaska Day’ hearing today in Washington, D-C.

White House Science Advisor on the hot seat over climate change
Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
President Bush’s top science advisor got caught between conflicting views about what’s causing climate change and what should be done about it when he testified before Ted Stevens and other members of the Senate Commerce Committee today. John Marburger director of the White House Office of Science and Technology, was there to defend how the federal government’s climate change science program is being run.

Global warming will raise state’s infrastructure costs
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Climate warming will add significantly to the cost of maintaining infrastructure in the State. That’s the message from Peter Larsen, an Anchorage economist who led the development of a University of Alaska Institute for Social and Economic Research model for how warming will impact Alaska’s roads, airports and other public buildings.

Little change in western Steller sea lion population
Casey Kelly, KMXT – Kodiak
The western population of Steller sea lions in Alaska has grown relatively little in the past three years. That’s according to new numbers released by the National Marine Fisheries Service this week. The agency will keep protections in place for the marine mammals, which have been on the endangered species list since 1997.

Invasive spieces take center stage in Fairbanks

Ben Markus & Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The 2007 Alaska Invasive Species Conference was held yesterday in Fairbanks.

Humpback freed in Frederick Sound
Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg
Local volunteers freed a small humpback whale entangled in some fishing gear in Frederick sound and the Wrangell narrows yesterday. Four Petersburg residents were out for most of the day trying to free the animal…and were able to cut it loose.