Here’s the audio of my floor speech:
Here’s the video of my floor speech:
Well, I’m glad that’s over – now we get to start all over again in the Senate. Last night my colleagues in the House saw fit to pass House Bill 9, a bill I sponsored along with Rep. Mike Hawker to advance the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation’s efforts to secure their Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline plan to deliver our North Slope gas for our homes and businesses.
And here’s the release our Press Office sent out following the 27-12 vote:
Here is a text copy of the response to Port Authority lawyer Bill Walker’s criticism of House Bill 9, my bill (along with Rep. Mike Hawker) to help the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation get closer to delivering Alaska’s gas to Alaskans.
We distributed this to House members yesterday. Our responses are in red with Mr. Walker’s comments in black.
Bullet line and House Bill 9: TWO WRONGS DON’T MAKE A RIGHT
But HB 9 stands on its own right.
It is common knowledge amongst the vast majority of Alaskans that the contract under AGIA with TransCanada (and now Exxon) to spend $500 million of Alaskans’ dollars to permit a gas line to take Alaska’s gas into Canada was a huge mistake. While this contract with TransCanada passed the legislature by a small margin, I am sure that if that vote were taken today, it would receive very few if any votes at all. So what are we doing to rectify this costly mistake?
There’s more than two decades of Finance Committee Co-chairs in that picture. Thanks to Bill Stoltze and his staff for coming up with the idea. If you’ve spent any time on the fifth floor of the Capitol on the House side you may have noticed the image my staff made of the Finance Co-chairs that hangs outside the committee room. Well, here’s even more.
(L-R) Back row: myself, Gene Therriault, Eldon Mulder, and Kevin Meyer; Front row: John Harris, Bill Stoltze, Al Adams, Bill Thomas, Mike Hawker, Bill Williams, and Lyman Hoffman.
I had the chance to sit down and visit with U.S. Rep. Don Young this afternoon. He met with House members to talk with us about issues in Washington, D.C., and ask us about issues we face in our districts. It’s always nice to be able to meet with members of our congressional delegation when they stop in Juneau or back home on the Peninsula.
I had the opportunity last night, along with my friend and co-sponsor of House Bill 9 Mike Hawker, to present our bill before the Legislature’s Joint In-State Gas Caucus. We walked members through the bill and spoke alongside the group we created through my HB 369 to develop the line, the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation.
Thanks to the Caucus and House Co-chair Mark Neuman for giving us the time and platform, following the bill’s first hearing in House Finance yesterday morning.
We had two motives last night: to provide an overview and answer any questions from members as best we could, and also to try and put to rest misinformation and arguments that, frankly, don’t do any of us any good.
We’ve attached a piece of my speech to this post, along with the words of Sen. Charlie Huggins.
I encourage you to listen to the piece and to read the detailed report from AGDC if you have any questions. Find the report at http://www.gasline.us.com.
We shouldn’t have to spend our time chasing down and refuting bad information; we should focus on moving forward with the only viable project to deliver Alaska’s gas to Alaskans.
As we resume session down in Juneau, I thought it’d be a benefit to cover some of the topics that will be weighing heavy throughout the Capitol hallways: education funding, oil taxes and the gas pipeline.
First off, though, thank you to everyone who came out for our constituent meeting, and thank you as well to the commissioner of the Department of Transportation, Mark Luiken. It was nice to be home, and see all of you who are interested in what is happening with the Legislature and the state.
The big issues are the same as the beginning of session and have already been covered on my blog in the past. It’s important to get our thoughts and positions on the record as we get ready to tackle these, and provide you with reasoning or ideas.
Here’s a look, then, in no particular order:
House Speaker Mike Chenault talks about the House Majority’s leadership regarding education funding during the weekly press availabilities at the Capitol. Chenault describes special education funding, vocational funding and forward funding education.
House Speaker Mike Chenault addresses misinformation regarding his House Bill 9, In-state Gasline Development Corporation during the weekly House Majority Press Availability Monday at the Capitol. The proposed pipeline does not bypass Fairbanks like certain legislators are trying to make the media believe.
House Speaker Mike Chenault lays out the proposed timeline for the Senate’s oil tax reform bill, Senate Bill 192. Chenault states that the House will have a good public process on the bill and take as much time as needed to craft a bill that will lower taxes and stop the declining oil production during the weekly House Majority Press Availability at the Capitol.