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KNBA News - Gasline Dev. Corp president resigns; Marijuana use okayed in some pot retail stores

Nov. 23, 2015

Dan Fauske resigns as president of state gas line corporation

By Rachel Waldholz, APRN - Anchorage | November 21, 2015

Dan Fauske has resigned as president of the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC), which represents the state in the proposed $45 to $65 billion project to bring natural gas from the North Slope to Cook Inlet for export.

The resignation was announced at an early morning meeting of the AGDC board on Saturday, and accepted in a unanimous vote.

The board had gathered for a final vote to authorize the buyout of TransCanada from the Alaska LNG project. That buyout passed 6-0, with no discussion.

Fauske gave no reason for his departure in his resignation letter, dated Friday. But in a press conference Saturday afternoon, Gov. Bill Walker said he had made it clear he wanted new leadership at the corporation — someone with more natural gas experience.

Fauske’s resignation came a day after the governor removed the board’s chairman and replaced another member.

Fauske’s resignation is effective Jan. 1, but he will take personal leave until that date. Board vice chairman Dave Cruz said he will serve as acting president of the corporation until an interim replacement can be named.

Cruz is now the only remaining board member originally appointed by Parnell. He was reappointed by Walker in September.

The board postponed a second vote scheduled for Saturday, on whether to continue the Alaska LNG project for another year. 


Marijuana Use in Some Retail Pot Stores

Associated Press

The board writing rules for Alaska's recreational marijuana industry voted to allow some retail pot stores to permit on-site consumption, a first among the states that have legalized the drug. The initiative legalizing recreational pot use by those 21 and older …  banned public consumption but didn't define the word "public." The board amended the definition of "public" to allow for consumption at certain stores. The 3-2 decision Friday by the state Marijuana Control Board followed a public comment process in which the issue was a hot topic.


Charges Dropped Against Southeast Subsistence Fishermen

Associated Press

Charges against three Southeast subsistence fishermen have once again been dismissed. In an opinion issued Friday, the Alaska Supreme Court found that because the regulation used to cite the men was not created according to law, it was unenforceable. The decision could have a major impact on Department of Fish and Game bag limits across the state. 


Adapting to Climate Change

By Tim Ellis, KUAC - Fairbanks

John Holdren is President Obama’s science adviser, and he says it’s no longer realistic to focus only on mitigating the causes of climate change – efforts such as limiting carbon emissions from fossil-fuel combustion. “No matter what we do in that space, we cannot stop climate change in its tracks,” said Holdren. “It’s already having significant impacts. Those impacts will grow, and we need to be prepared for that.”

Holdren and many others say society must now also emphasize the importance of adapting to the new normal that includes droughts, floods and powerful storms.

“People have realized that we need an immense amount of both mitigation and adaption, preparedness and resilience,” said Holdren.

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker Advisor Craig Fleener welcomes the federal government’s focus on adaptation and resilience.

“That is a very high priority of ours: To find a way to adapt to the climate change – climate impacts that we’re experiencing,” said Fleener.

But he says the feds must adapt emergency-response policies to handle the slowly unfolding disaster of climate change under way in the Arctic.

“You’ve got loss of life, loss of property, and cultural catastrophe taking place,” said Fleener.

Holdren agrees more must be done. He says it’s only been a few years since governments included adaptation and resilience into their climate-change response plans. He says even environmental groups, which have long been reluctant to embrace adaptation, now also are agreeing it’s needed.

“Ten, 15 years ago, there was a fair amount of opposition to thinking about adaption, resilience and preparedness, out of fear that it would distract attention from the overarching importance of
mitigation,” said Holdren.

That’s true, says Elisabeth Dabney, the executive director of Fairbanks-based Northern Alaska Environmental Center. But she says adaptation policies for the Arctic must address the well-being of mainly indigenous peoples who live in areas directly impacted by climate change.

“… To mitigate its effect on coastal communities, Interior communities; how it deals with water, subsistence and traditional ways of life,” said Dabney.

Dabney says the center’s now working on a policy that would formally outline its position on adaptation.