Chmielowski sails through legislative interviews - Must Read Alaska
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Friday, September 24, 2021
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Chmielowski sails through legislative interviews

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Newly appointed Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission member Jessie Chmielowski flew through her interview with both the Alaska House and Senate Resources committees on Monday, and received no apparent opposition from committee members.
She had been appointed to the seat that is reserved for a petroleum engineer. The committees referred her to their respective floors with a recommendation to confirm.
Chmielowski has replaced Cathy Foerster, who has retired after 14 years on the commission.
Meanwhile, Hollis French has until March 30 to appeal his dismissal to the Alaska Superior Court. Since that’s a Saturday, he’ll likely appeal the decision on Friday.
French occupied the AOGCC position reserved for a member of the public. That seat is currently vacant. French had been appointed by former Gov. Bill Walker as repayment for dropping his candidacy for lieutenant governor in 2014, so that Walker could form up a no-party ticket with Byron Mallott.
The agreement required French to drop his position as lieutenant governor nominee from the Democrat ticket, and lieutenant governor candidate Craig Fleener had to to drop from Walker’s no-party ticket.
French was dismissed last month from the AOGCC by Gov. Michael Dunleavy for poor attendance at work. That seat remains vacant, pending the expected appeal.
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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Jessie Chmielowski must have a squeaky clean past. It’s amazing the libs didn’t find anything to protest! A little unreal actually. Nice to see this go through without a hitch. As far as Gunny French goes: WTH? I hope he does appeal so that it can be engrained in him one more time that he must actually show up to work to get paid. Perhaps in the appeal, they can give him the bill for paid hours not worked. It’s on nearly the last day to apply for a PFD so I hope he isn’t too busy. #multitasking

  • Dunleavy should get rid of the Commission altogether. He has a whole Department of Natural Resources and this work fits in that department. Basically, he is going down the same path as Walker with over-spending, using the excuse that this position and commission is needed when it is not. Over-spending was this commission that is not needed to manage the resources of the State of Alaska in Oil and Gas. So far, the commission just pulls money out to pay people that sit, do nothing, collect pay and have a great social life at the expense of the people of the State of Alaska. Fraud, Waste and Abuse was the agenda of the Walker Administration. Now, Dunleavy is carrying on the tradition. Get rid of the Commission altogether. There is no excuse for Dunleavy to purport his budget and let this continue. Put this work in the Department of Natural Resources where it belongs.

  • Every state that has a significant oil industry has an equivalent government body that does the functions of the AOGCC. Whether it is the Railroad Commission in Texas or the Division of Oil and Gas in California or an equivalent body in another state, they all serve a very valuable function…conservation of resources, prevention of waste, protection of people and the environment, and what are called “correlative rights”. It is a vastly different function than is addressed by the Department of Natural Resources. We need the AOGCC.

  • Get RID of this office as it is now…. The body of professionals as AOGCC is no different than the corrupt Walker group and is one and the same.. The Department of Natural Resources is the right and best place to account for the resource management to the State of Alaska residents. It should have an accountability that is in step with a change of government and the budget Plan put to the people of the state. It needs to go with the FRAUD, WASTE and ABUSE of Walker and his cronies. AOGCC is just a step away from the former administration and is a huge drain on budget. Now we have all been led down the path of a new Governor that changed to Republican Ticket for election purposes. So, its time to shut up and put up!!! So far, Dunleavy has been on a one way track of potential destruction of his commitments to the residents for support and election. AOGCC is one of the wasteful elements that has proven to go nowhere and will go nowhere in the future. Take a look at the poorly managed Railroad Commission or Ports and Harbors or Port of Anchorage. Not accountable, just waste. Dunleavy was elected to move to a healthy change and it appears that is not going to happen with the same junk dumped on the state residents.

  • Cathy Foerster is an old ARCO Alaska friend of mine. She was on the AOGCC for 14 years, and was head of the AOGCC since 2012. I have known her since 1992, when she came to Alaska and we both worked Prudhoe Bay for ARCO. She is smart and as honest as they come. Any suggestion of improper behavior or her being a Walker crony is complete crap. She was a diligent public servant. I wish Cathy nothing but the best in her retirement. Hollis French is a cheap politician and a farce, and should refund the salary he fraudulently took from the State of Alaska. If someone can’t tell the difference, they are truly blind.

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