New Parnell Administration Aiming to Grow Economy

Photo and Story by Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Governor Sean Parnell spoke to the Resource Development Council in Anchorage Thursday morning. Marking his first large public appearance since winning the election, Parnell seemed excited and energized to talk about resource development in Alaska, as well as introducing some of his new cabinet appointees.

Parnell said his administration, along with the legislature had changed the investment climate to create incentives for exploration business. He said an announcement Wednesday showed how tax changes in the state resource system can help grow the economy.

Parnell said studies in the Outer Continental Shelf area of the Arctic have been conducted by Shell and others for years and more would be needed before actual development happened in those waters. He said the state can’t let the federal government continue to say no to OCS development.

Governor Parnell also announced the first of his selections to head up his cabinet positions. He listed each person’s accomplishments first. His pick to head up the Department of Natural Resources is current Attorney General Dan Sullivan.

Parnell chose Mark Lukin a current deputy in the department as the new commissioner for the Department of Transportation, highlighting his experience in national management and the military.

Parnell said he’s calling on Cora Campbell to be acting commissioner of Fish and Game. Denby Lloyd is resigning on Dec. 1. Campbell is currently the Governor’s representative on the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council.

Parnell says he wants to see more integration of fishery research in the future.

Parnell said he wasn’t singling out Fish and Game, saying state government departments often work in silos.

Parnell chose former Murkowski administration communications director Becky Hultberg to head up the department of Administration. Susan Bell will stay on as commissioner of Commerce and Economic Development. Parnell said he hopes to announce more appointees early next week.

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