Alaksa News Nightly: February 22, 2008

The Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority presents its plan for getting gas to markets in Alaska.  Meanwhile, Governor Palin heads to Washington, DC.  Plus, remembering southeast lumber legend, Buster Benson. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

Individual news stories are posted in the Alaska News category and you can subscribe to APRN’s news feeds via e-mail, podcast and RSS.

Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority presents plan
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority – established by voters in 2002 – last night  presented its plan for getting gas to markets in Alaska. Chief Executive Officer Harold Heinz said the project would be cheaper and quicker – and would deliver a low-cost fuel supply to most Alaskans.

Valdez resident disputes Exxon’s numbers

Amy Bracken, KCHU – Valdez
Earlier this week, Exxon turned in its final brief to the high court in the Exxon-Valdez case. The document focused on three main areas: maritime precedent, the clean water act, and finally, an argument that Exxon has already forked over plenty. Exxon attorneys write in the brief, “The 3.4 billion dollars Exxon has already paid is enough to deter anyone from doing anything.” But one local has done the numbers and says Exxon has paid nowhere near that sum.

Group asks court to review previous decision
Paul Korchin, KNOM – Nome
An environmental law group wants the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to revisit its ruling in favor of the Rock Creek gold mine, northwest of Nome.

Governor Palin goes to Washington

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Governor Palin begins a series of meetings in Washington DC this weekend – set up as part of the National Governor’s Association’s Winter meeting. She says she will meet with the Secretary of the interior Dirk Kempthorne and then attend meetings of the Association’s Natural Resources Committee, of which she is the vice chair. The state’s role in Energy matters is the principal topic
of the meetings. Palin says she is also set up to meet with Senator John McCain, who is the Republican frontrunner in the Presidential campaign.

Pebble Mine contributes to sustainable fisheries fund
Eileen Goode, KDLG – Dillingham
The group working to develop the Pebble mine announced today it’s contributing $5,000,000 to the Bristol Bay Sustainable Fisheries and Communities fund.

New energy company planning development on Kenai peninsula
Mike Mason, KBBI – Homer
A small independent oil and gas company is moving forward with plans for a possible oil development on the lower Kenai peninsula.

Alaska tribes get favorable ruling from court
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
District court judge Timothy Burgess decided in favor of Alaska tribes today when he issued a decision saying tribal courts have equal footing with state courts in Native adoption proceedings.

Mat Su fishers unhappy with lack of action by Board of Fisheries
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
Matanuska Susitna Borough leaders  say they are disappointed in the recent action of the Alaska Board of Fisheries regarding Upper Cook Inlet salmon stocks.  Earlier this year, the Borough had issued a resolution asking for state support for an increase in chum, sockeye and coho salmon in Valley river systems. But a slate of proposals aimed at putting teeth in that resolution failed to gain fish board approval.

Famed southeast lumberman, Buster Benson, passes away
John Hunt, KHNS – Haines
A long time Haines lumberman passed away earlier this month following surgery in Anchorage. Buster Benson ran mills in a number of locations around Haines over three decades. In the area, his lumber was commonly referred to as Buster-wood or Buster-board.