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Lawmakers meet privately, pledge confidentiality on LNG project

Alaska lawmakers, legislative staff and gas line consultants attended private meetings and signed confidentiality agreements about the Alaska Liquid Natural Gas project. Alaska Dispatch News reports the private meetings were held Friday and lasted more than two hours.

U.S. District Court Judge H. Russel Holland Monday put a temporary hold on the EPA's 404(c) process on the Pebble Mine, a process that allows EPA to restrict or prohibit projects that could have adverse effects on fishery areas. EPA's February decision to initiate the process was based on a Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment it completed in January.

The Pebble Limited Partnership contends that while EPA was developing that assessment, it violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which ensures advisory committees are objective and accessible to the public.

Teams buoyed by hope, sense of new beginnings despite state's finances

This weekend, Walker-Mallott transition teams met at the University of Alaska Anchorage campus. Some 230 Alaskans were grouped by topics such as oil and gas, education, fisheries, fiscal policy and health care. Their task was to work toward consensus on goals, priorities, and recommended actions for incoming Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov.-elect Byron Mallott.

Sen. Mark Begich makes land trade for an Arctic port a high priority

Earlier this week, Sen. Begich conceded he lost the election, but for now, until Jan. 3, he's still a U.S. Senator, and he's back in Washington.

BP sells four oil fields

BP's sale of four North Slope oil fields involves laying off 275 workers and transfer to Hilcorp or early retirement of another 200 people. BP Alaska operations president Janet Weiss says the company will focus on Prudhoe Bay and a major liquefied natural gas project.

U.S. Sen. Begich back in Washington

Sen. Mark Begich concedes race to Dan Sullivan

Nov 18, 2014

Sen. Mark Begich concedes, lagging by 6,211 votes with few ballots left to count

Walker leads with 4,634 more votes than Parnell

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell has conceded in the state's gubernatorial race. He issued a statement Saturday, after the Associated Press named Bill Walker the winner Friday evening. A count by the Division of Elections Friday showed Walker with 4,634 more votes than Parnell. About 10,000 absentee ballots remain to be counted.

Parnell wrote on Facebook Saturday he'd met with Walker and offered him office space to help with the transition. Walker is scheduled to be sworn in on Dec. 1.

Advertising time went for as much as $35,000 for a 30-second spot during the NFL game

More than $57 million was spent on Alaska's U.S. Senate race. Of that $17 was spent came out  of candidates campaign chests. The rest was spent by PACs, and of that, about a third went out of state for Internet ads, robocalls, and mailers. Most of the rest went to local television stations. Stations are required to give candidates their lowest rates. For instance, one candidate paid $450 for a 30-second spot on Anchorage TV news.

With 30,000+ early and absentee ballots still to be counted, the two men in the lead for U.S. Senator for Alaska -- Dan Sullivan -- and for Alaska Governor -- Bill Walker -- are taking steps toward assuming office. Yesterday Sullivan left for U.S. Senate organizational meetings in Washington, D.C. Walker and his campaign partner Byron Mallott have announced their transition team co-chairs: former state Sen. Rick Halford, and Alaska Federation of Natives co-chair Ana Hoffman of Bethel. The Division of Elections will resume tallying votes on Friday, and continue into next week as needed.

With 30,000 votes yet to be counted, AP says Begich cannot overcome Sullivan's lead

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