What's New

Fiscal Policy Study Group
Alaska’s Fiscal Choices and Opportunities
 
Friday, November 8th
8am-9am
(doors open at 7:45am)
First National Bank Alaska Operations Center
1751 Gambell St
2nd floor
On Friday morning, Senator Natasha von Imhof and Representative Jennifer Johnston will discuss the State’s fiscal options in the next legislative session from their perspective on the House and Senate Finance Committees.

Energy Action Coalition
Interior Gas Utility Project Update
Friday, November 1st
noon-1pm

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union
500 W 36th Avenue

Room 201

(Google Map)

Dan Britton, General Manager of the Interior Gas Utility Project will give us an update on their efforts to provide low cost natural gas to the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

Date:
November 8th
Time:
noon-1pm
Location:
Petroleum Club of Anchorage 3301 C Street

Finally, Is It Time?
A Debate About Alaska’s Financial Future

Friday, November 8th
Noon-1pm
The Petroleum Club of Anchorage
3301 C St.

This program has sold out.

Video of the program will be available here next week.

Join a spirited discussion on whether the Permanent Fund should be constitutionally structured as an endowment and what it would mean to Alaska’s finances and dividend program going forward.

Debating the issue will be Ralph Townsend, director of UAA’s Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER), and Gunnar Knapp, ISER’s former director. Adding to the intrigue, they will draw straws at the debate to determine which side of the issue they will argue!  Scott Goldsmith, Professor Emeritus and former director at ISER, will moderate the discussion.

Plus, you will get to vote to decide the winning argument!

Background
The Permanent Fund was created by voters in 1976 and has matured over the past 43 years, growing much faster than expected. It is now a world-class fund, with investment opportunities that were not available during its formative years.

While the Fund is established in the Alaska Constitution, the annual draws are prescribed by two statutes. One statute uses earnings to calculate the annual dividend; another uses a Percent of Market Value formula to calculate an annual draw.  This earnings-based approach is counter to how endowments are managed. Nearly all endowment funds utilize an annual payout calculation based on the market value of the fund.

A statutory POMV can work for as long as there are sufficient realized earnings each year. If an endowment is constitutionally created, a more stable, reliable source of revenue will be available.

The constitution needs to be amended to change the Permanent Fund into an endowment, which will require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to place it on the ballot for a vote of the people.

Is it time for the Permanent Fund to become an endowment? That’s the question our speakers will help answer.

For background information, check out Commonwealth North’s report, At A Crossroad: The Permanent Fund, Alaskans, and Alaska’s Future which recommends a POMV payout mechanism first as a statute, then as a constitutional amendment.

Table sponsorships available.
For details, contact the CWN office at (907) 258-9522.

Register online or RSVP to (907) 566-2396

Thank you to our event sponsors!

Fiscal Policy Study Group
David Teal
Director of the Legislative Finance Division
 
Friday, November 1st
8am-9am
(doors open at 7:45am)
First National Bank Alaska Operations Center
1751 Gambell St
2nd floor
On Friday morning, David will walk the study group through the “Fiscal Summary,” which is compiled by the Legislative Finance Division, to learn where the current year (FY 20) budget and revenues settled after actions by the Legislature and Governor.
This briefing will help provide context for the study group’s November 8th meeting with Senator Natasha von Imhof and Representative Jennifer Johnston about their respective finance committee’s work next session.

Energy Action Coalition

New North Slope LNG Export Project

Mead Treadwell, Chairman and CEO, Qilak LNG

David Clarke, President, Qilak LNG

Friday, October 25th

noon-1pm

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union

500 W 36th Avenue

(Google Map)

Mead Treadwell and David Clarke of Qilak LNG, will brief us on week’s announcement to bring Alaska LNG to market by export from the North Slope.

According to Wednesday’s press release:

“Alaska-based Qilak LNG Inc. (“Qilak LNG”), a Lloyds Energy company, announced today that a Heads of Agreement (HOA) has been entered into with ExxonMobil Alaska Production Inc. regarding the potential supply of natural gas from the Point Thomson field to Qilak LNG’s proposed Alaska North Slope liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project (Qilak LNG 1 Project). The HOA foresees ExxonMobil providing at least 560 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of natural gas to Phase 1 of the Qilak LNG 1 Project, based on the design concept of offshore liquefaction and loading, and icebreaking LNG carriers, to export 4 million tons per year (MTPA) of LNG over a 20-year term.

The Qilak LNG 1 Project would deliver on Alaska’s long-held goal of commercializing North Slope natural gas,” said former Alaska Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell, Chairman and CEO of Qilak LNG. “With this HOA and our recently completed pre-feasibility study, Qilak will now begin extensive feasibility efforts, including preliminary permitting, with a target of reaching Final Investment Decision (FID) by 2021.””

 

Join us for details and discussion of this important project.

Fiscal Policy Study Group

State Retirement Systems

First National Bank Alaska Operations Center

1751 Gambell Street

(Google Map)

Friday, October 11th

8am-9am

Cliff Groh, in collaboration with UAA’s Institute for Social and Economic Research, published a paper on the State’s Public Employee’s Retirement System and the Teacher’s Retirement System on how the State is managing these retirement systems and the options for funding future liabilities. Cliff will present his paper as we begin our understanding of PERS/TRS and best practices for managing the State’s debt and future obligations.

Download the PowerPoint here

His paper can be found here

History and Options Regarding the Unfunded Liabilities of Alaska’s Public Employees’ and Teachers’ Retirement Systems

Click here for a summary.

Energy Action Coalition
Marathon Petroleum Corporation
Casey Sullivan
Government and Public Affairs Manager
Friday, September 27th
noon-1pm
Alaska USA Federal Credit Union
500 W 36th Avenue
 
On Friday, Casey Sullivan, Government and Public Affairs Manager at Marathon Petroleum Company, will brief us on Marathon’s projects in Alaska and its plans for the future.
Marathon has made a number of acquisitions in Alaska including the site of the former Flint Hills refinery in Fairbanks, and the former Tesoro refinery in Nikiski after a the purchase of Andeavor which acquired the refinery in 2017. Marathon also took ownership of the former ConocoPhillips LNG plant in Nikiski when it purchased Andeavor.

CWN Food Security Study Group

Personal Use of Alaska’s Wildlife

Wednesday, September 11th

Alaska Village Initiatives
1577 C St
Suite 304

8am-9am

Wednesday morning, Tom Harris, CEO of Kniknatnu, Inc., and former CEO of Alaska Village Initiatives, will continue our study group’s discussion about the State’s food policy as is relates to cultural and personal use of Alaska’s wildlife resources by rural and indigenous Alaskans. Tom will discuss policies other states have implemented with private landowners that have increased wildlife resources and positively impacted food security in those states.

This is part of a series of meetings we are hosting on the personal use of Alaska’s wildlife resources as we work toward developing public policy recommendations for enhancing food security for Alaskans.

Fiscal Policy Study Group

State School Bond Reimbursement

First National Bank Alaska Operations Center

(Google Map)

Friday, September 13th

8am-9am

On Friday, Nils Andreassen, Executive Director of the Alaska Municipal League, will give presentation about the role of the State’s school bond reimbursement program and its impact on the finances of local governments.

Nils’ PowerPoint can be downloaded here.

 

This program is part of our ongoing series to understand the State of Alaska’s debt management and to identify potential policy recommendations.

Date:
October 2nd, 2019
Time:
6pm-9pm reception at 5:30pm
Location:
Dena'ina Center
2019 Walter J. Hickel and William A. Egan Awards Gala
Honoring Admiral Thomas Barrett & John Sturgeon
 
The Dena’ina Center
October 2nd
6pm-9pm
Reception begins at 5:30pm
Business Attire
Commonwealth North continues our tradition of honoring outstanding Alaskans and policy-makers with The Walter J. Hickel Award for Distinguished Public Policy Leadership, and this year we introduce the William A. Egan Distinguished Alaskan Award. These honors go to policy influencers who have led and added clarity to public policy issues in Alaska and the Nation. This year, we will honor Admiral Thomas Barrett, President, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, with the Hickel Award; and John Sturgeon with the Egan Award. John will be the first recipient of the Egan Award for his dedication to conservation, wildlife and resource development issues, and his historic U.S. Supreme Court journey to reestablish Alaska’s right to manage its own waterways.
 
The evening will include great food, drinks, entertainment, and a look back at their contributions to Alaska.

Former recipients of the Hickel Award include: Walter Hickel, Ted Stevens, Jay Hammond, Don Young, John Katz, Willie Hensley, Lisa Murkowski, Tony Knowles, Frank Murkowski and Jim Jansen.

If you would like to sponsor a table or be recognized as a contributor, contact Jim Egan at (907) 258-9524, or exec@commonwealthnorth.org.

Thank you to our generous sponsors!

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Commonwealth North
PO Box 240668, Anchorage AK 99524
Tel: (907) 276-1414   Fax: (907) 276-6350
info@commonwealth.org