Alaska News Nightly: June 12, 2008

Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Irwin rejects Exxon Mobile’s latest plan for development of Point Thompson. Plus, Legislators taking public testimony in Fairbanks hear from supporters of the All-Alaska Gasline. Also, would you swap your PFD for cheap energy? Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Irwin rejects Exxon Mobile’s latest plan for Pt. Thompson
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Irwin has again rejected Exxon Mobile’s 23rd plan for development of Point Thompson.  The state moved to take back the North Slope leases in 2007. Exxon Mobile sued and Judge Sharon Gleason directed the DNR’s oil and gas division to take part in a hearing to allow Exxon Mobile to argue why they should be allowed to keep the leases.  A 23rd plan was submitted and rejected in April. Exxon Mobile filed a request for reconsideration in May.

All-Alaska gas line supporters weigh in with Legislators
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Legislators in Fairbanks considering Governor Sarah Palin’s  bill that would license a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to North American markets today heard from proponents of an All-Alaska gas line.

Enstar looks at building gasline to Southcentral
Mike Mason, KBBI – Homer
The largest utility in the state is examining its options for building a nearly 700-mile natural gas pipeline to bring natural gas from northern Alaska to Southcentral Alaska.

Chena Hot Springs owner suggests swapping PFD’s for cheap fuel

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Fairbanks business man and alternative energy advocate Bernie Karl is pushing a plan that would allow Alaskans to swap their Permanent Fund Dividend checks for cheap fuel.  The owner of Chena Hot Springs Resort says he was in Juneau last week talking with state legislators about the idea. Karl says the PFD money and additional funds from the state would be combined to purchase and refine oil that would be sold to Alaskans at a cut rate.

US House questions EPA on proposed vessel-discharge regulations

Libby Casey, KUAC – Washington, DC
The Environmental Protection Agency will propose general permits next week to regulate the discharges that commercial and recreational vessels release into the water. Today  the US House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment took testimony from the EPA, and raised questions about how far the permits would go – and whether they would be hard for commercial fishermen to follow.

The struggle to keep Alaska’s lakes and rivers pollution free

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Alaska is recognized for its pristine lakes and rivers, but even in the last frontier, not all waters are pollution free.  Streams that pass through urban areas can suffer the same plight as those in cities anywhere.

Australian sailors seek Northwest Passage
Anne Hillman, KIAL – Unalaska
A 10-meter long Australian sailboat and her crew are passing through Unalaska this week on their journey through the Northwest Passage and on to Mars–sort of.

Seattle chef puts Stikine River Kings on the map

Lisa Phu, KSTK – Wrangell
Duke Moscrip has helped make Stikine River king salmon part of the Seattle dining experience. His six restaurants in the Puget Sound area – all named Dukes Chowderhouse – feature Stikine kings in dishes like blueberry and goat cheese salmon. Recently, Moscrip and a few of his staff spent some time in Wrangell getting an education on how Stikine kings are caught and processed.