From Senator Jesse Kiehl <[email protected]>
Subject Welcome to the Real Deal With Kiehl!
Date April 2, 2022 2:44 AM
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About Time About Time April 1, 2022 Dear Friends and Neighbors, It's April Fools Day*, but with the budget picking up speed in the Senate and bills on the move, it's been a busy week. Read on for the latest on legislation and your last chance to testify on this year's budget! *This newsletter edition is certified at least 99% prank-free. I was honored to speak at today's 'Go Blue' rally for child abuse awareness and prevention. Quick Time A pair of quiet little twin bills with big impacts flowed out of the Senate Resources Committee this week. They won’t make the news. But they deal with some risky business, they’re important, and I think they're about to move pretty fast. When a company develops Alaskans’ oil, it pays various taxes. But as the resource owner, Alaska also keeps a certain amount, called our royalty share. It’s usually about 1/8 of what gets pumped. Mostly we take the value of that oil. That is, we have the industry sell it for us and cut us a check. But some we sell ourselves. It’s called taking the royalty in-kind. Way back in the go-go days of peak production, the state occasionally sold a tankerful when we saw an opportunity. That takes a lot of folks carefully watching the oil markets, and we don’t have as many tankerfuls of royalty oil to work with as we used to. So these days the only way we sell our royalty oil in-kind is through contracts with in-state refineries. That has great potential, both good and bad. Alaska refineries create Alaska jobs by processing resources here. They support other businesses with a local supply of jet fuel or diesel. And if we get the finances right, we make a little more money than we would tankering those barrels out of Valdez to some place on the West Coast. But the government selling directly to specific companies can go very wrong. It's part of how Russian oligarchs got so rich and powerful. As did Fujimori in Peru. And Suharto in Indonesia. And... you get the idea. So Alaska law requires a public process (see ~three hours of it here) and written findings, followed by the legislature passing a bill to approve each contract. SB 239 and SB 240 give the green light to sell about 4.5 million barrels of oil per year (each) to Marathon and PetroStar. The refineries would get most of the oil they need to do their business. They're happy, because they'd get it for a couple of dollars per barrel cheaper than if they had to ship it in from Outside. At the same time, the contracts net the state about a dollar more per barrel than we get when tankers carry our oil down south. Why not try to come in just a penny or two below the delivered cost of crude from Texas? Because the markets for price and delivery of oil fluctuate, and we're competing with the North Slope producers. Bargain too greedily, and Alaska ends up getting less for our royalty oil. Most of the terms in these contracts are fair to both sides. Several favor the state. There's a grand total of one provision I still have questions about, but even that isn't a major element of the deals. On the whole, these two contracts are an example of the Department of Natural Resources doing a fair, thorough, careful job getting Alaskans the maximum benefit from some of our oil. Thanks to everyone who tuned in to our Town Hall last week. Rep. Hannan, Rep. Story, & I appreciated all your great questions. Special thanks go to Robin Brenner & Anita Evans who provided sign language interpreting! Time to Testify It's almost your last chance to testify on this year's operating budget. Want to tell the Senate about the importance of funding schools, fisheries, or healthcare? Think there's something the state should quit doing? Speak up! Our part of the state gets time to talk on Friday April 8 at 9 am. You need to sign up by or before 10:30 am. Come to the Senate Finance Committee Room on the 5th floor of the Capitol. Or, if you can't make it in person you can call from Juneau: (907) 586-9085. If your phone isn't Juneau-based, dial (844) 586-9085. Thanks to Sylvia Heinze & Team Rubicon for their extraordinary work helping folks in Haines who lost so much in the December 2020 slides. Rep. Story, Rep. Hannan, & I are grateful their work resumes this summer. Past Due For A Change This week the Senate passed Sen. Wilson's SB 174. The bill protects school kids and workers from discrimination based on natural hairstyles. Thought that was already covered by laws about racial discrimination? Think again. Right now in Alaska, a dress code can ban natural hairstyles. A policy that forbids afros or cornrows but allows beehives or braids isn't race-neutral. That's unacceptable and the bill to fix it passed the Senate resoundingly. At the same time, SB 174 lets employers and schools make rules that serve a genuine safety purpose. That just makes sense. I hope it speeds through the House this session. A Timely Fix We've got another good bill on the floor this coming week. Sen. Gray-Jackson's SB 80 adds mental health to Alaska schools' health education curriculum. It's past time we talk about the fact that health isn't just physical. The bill will benefit Alaskans for decades to come, but it's particularly timely after the past two years. The pandemic has been tougher on kids' mental health than most. Open, honest, factual info in school can only help. Plans for the Future With federal infrastructure money coming, the Department of Transportation is doing a survey on our infrastructure needs. This is your opportunity to tell DOT where we need better roads, harbors, airports, transit, and ferries. You can take the survey here. The deadline is April 8. All my best, Did someone forward you this newsletter? Did you fall into it through the series of tubes? Want more? SUBSCRIBE Events & Happenings Around District Q Juneau Promise Sunday, April 3rd there's a delicious halibut dinner fundraiser for Family Promise of Juneau—a great organization helping those most in need. And the dessert auction is going to be amazing! Alaska Folk Festival Don’t miss the 47th annual Folk Fest! It's just around the corner: April 4-10. Juneau Tax Aid AARP is hosting a series of free tax prep sessions at St. Paul’s Catholic Church—schedule an appointment and get some help getting your taxes in order! Juneau Weeds Join the Southeast Alaska Master Gardeners Association for their free “weedy” Wednesdays talk. They’ll provide some good tips and answer any questions! Juneau Science Leap into science experiments and stories at the Mendenhall Valley Library. It's all happening the rest of March and into April! Juneau Travel Fair A free, fun event April 16th connecting local tour operators with the community to learn about their businesses and see what the summer season has in store. Definitely worth it if you have guests coming! Haines Murder Agatha Christie’s play “A Murder is Announced” comes to the Chilkat Center the weekend of April 22nd. Haines Wine Tasting Mark your calendars for April 9th—Support KHNS public radio, have a great time, and try some excellent wines. Skagway Spring Festival The annual cabin fever reliever is Easter weekend! Get out and enjoy the fresh “spring” air during a weekend full of fun events for the whole family! Skagway Babies Stories, songs, and fun with Ms. Anna! The Windy Valley Babies get together every Wednesday in the library at 10 am. Skagway Teens Get out of the house and go to the library for a weekly night when your parents aren’t allowed to come bug you - Fridays at 6:30 pm! Skagway Folk Fest The Skagway Arts Council is hosting a one-day folk festival April 15. Sign up to play 3 tunes (or 15 minutes)—or just come enjoy the music! Skagway Winter Artwork Showcase your work from the past two years. Professionals and first time dabblers welcome! Submit your form by April 12 and your work by the 14th. Gustavus Cards Make some cards with Jenn—using stamp foam and suitable for all levels of crafting. Register now to join in the fun or master the art! Gustavus Teens Try the Wii, ping-pong, games, and more. Plus, there’s popcorn! It's all free and fun—stop by the Gustavus Community Center after school on Mondays. Is there an event in our district I should know about? Please call or email! Snail Mail? Alaska State Capitol Room 419 Juneau, AK 99801 Call: 800 550 4947 907 465 4947 Email Me! ‌ ‌ ‌ Contact My Staff, the people who power the work: Edric Carrillo 907 465 6419 [email protected] Cathy Schlingheyde 907 465 6827 [email protected] Senator Jesse Kiehl | Alaska State Capitol, Rm. 419, 4th Avenue & Main Street, Juneau, AK 99801 Unsubscribe [email protected] Update Profile | Constant Contact Data Notice Sent by [email protected]
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