Alaska Gov. Dunleavy picks top deputy, former oil industry lobbyist to chair state oil watchdog

Alaska GOP Gov. Mike Dunleavy has named a former oil lobbyist who currently works as his deputy chief of staff to chair the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the public agency that acts as a watchdog over the state’s oil industry.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks at a news conference at his Anchorage office on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. (Photo by Nat Herz / Alaska Public Media)

Dunleavy announced Tuesday afternoon that he’d named Jeremy Price to the commission seat reserved for a member of the public; two other seats are set aside for a geologist and petroleum engineer.

Price has been an aide to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and U.S. Rep. Don Young, both Republicans. He’s worked as an employee and lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute, an industry advocacy group. And before taking his job in Dunleavy’s administration, he ran the Alaska branch of Americans for Prosperity, the free market conservative grouop funded, in part, by the billionaire Koch brothers.

Price replaces Hollis French, a former Democratic senator who Dunleavy fired from the commission.