BY ELWOOD BREHMER
ALASKA JOURNAL OF COMMERCE
There is plenty for the players of Alaska’s extraction industries to be positive about and that should translate into a cheery Resource Development Council for Alaska conference.
The annual gathering for some of the state’s largest industries will be held Nov. 15-16 at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in Downtown Anchorage.
RDC for Alaska Executive Director Marleanna Hall said some of the good vibes are being sent all the way from Washington, D.C.
Last year’s conference convened shortly after President Donald Trump was elected and while there was anticipation about what a Trump White House would mean for Alaska businesses, no one knew quite what to expect.
“There’s some optimism out there and a lot of it is coming from the changes in the energy outlook for America; it’s coming from opportunities to revise and revamp federal regulatory processes and a lot of it is coming from the top down,” Hall said.
“It’s good to see that because instead of spending a lot of our energy pushing back against new bureaucracy we’re making changes to streamline processes that are in place already.”
Additionally, the Department of Natural Resources revealed a couple weeks ago that it expects North Slope oil production to continue to rise over the coming year; oil prices have jumped back to more than $60 per barrel of late and Congress, led by the Alaska delegation, appears as close as ever to opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration.
The conference will close with a message from the leaders of Stand for Alaska, the political action group formed to oppose a ballot initiative aimed at strengthening state permitting requirements for salmon habitat they believe could prohibit projects both large and small in the state.