Alaska News Nightly: December 15, 2009

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Outgoing Pipeline Coordinator Calls for End to State Battles
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Urging lawmakers to put an end to what he calls a civil war within state government, outgoing gas pipeline coordinator Harry Noah on Tuesday called on lawmakers and the executive branch to make decisions on the future of Alaska’s energy.

Irwin Defends Gas Line Projects
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Commissioner of Natural Resources Tom Irwin addressed some of the same issues as Harry Noah in the afternoon session of the committee meeting. Irwin defended the AGIA project and TransCanada and Exxon’s role in the design of that pipeline.

Shell’s Arctic Plans Draw Lawsuits
The Associated Press
A coalition of environmental groups and Arctic communities has filed a second lawsuit aimed at blocking a Shell Oil subsidiary from drilling in the Beaufort Sea. The group sued Tuesday, hours after a group that helps manage Eskimo whaling in Alaska filed a similar lawsuit. Both suits aim to block plans by Shell Gulf to drill two wells off Alaska’s north coast.

SE Juvenile Center Listed in Capital Budget
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
Once again, a major renovation for a Southeast juvenile detention center is a top priority in the governor’s capital budget. But the long-sought Johnson Youth Center project has been there before and never made it out of the legislative process.

Murkowski Wants to Limit EPA’s Clout on Greenhouse Gasses
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
enator Lisa Murkowski is again trying to limit the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate greenhouse gasses. Last week the E-P-A issued findings that carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gasses endanger public health. That determination allows the agency to move toward regulating emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Young Discounts Copenhagen Talks
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Alaska Congressman Don Young (R) says the United Nations Climate Change Conference going on in Copenhagen is nothing more than hype, and won’t accomplish anything.

State Wants to Clean Up Guide Business
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The state is trying to clean up the big game guiding industry in Alaska. The Department of Natural Resources has proposed a program that would limit the number of guides allowed to work on state managed lands.

New Group Formed to Promote Cruise Industry
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
A new group has formed to promote cruise ship tourism within Alaska. The organization wants to convince the public that the industry is an important part of the statewide economy. But its main focus is to change taxes and environmental regulations on the big ships.

Providence Medical Center to Host Hanukkah Celebration
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
This evening is the fourth night of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of Lights. It’s an observance that’s thousands of years old, but in Anchorage the Hanukkah celebration is marking a local first.