Alaska News Nightly: July 15, 2008

Exxon Mobil says there’s no reason for it to pay interest on oil-spill punitive damages. Meanwhile BP unveils a new directional drilling technology and a Yakutat lodge rises from the ashes. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Exxon Mobil argues against paying interest on punitive damages
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The Anchorage Daily News is reporting that Exxon Mobile corporation says it should not have to pay $488 million in interest on the punitive damages awarded for the company’s role in the 1989 Prince William Sound oil spill.

Exxon Mobil says it intends to develop Pt. Thompson

Associated Press, Anchorage
Exxon Mobil has also said it intends to move ahead with work at the disputed gas field known as Point Thomson.    The company has hired contractors with plans to begin work on the oil and gas field that the state of Alaska wants to take back.

BP unveils new directional drilling technology

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
British Petroleum has announced it will begin developing the Liberty oil field using new drilling technology that BP Alaska spokesman Steve Reinhart says will enable the company to drill the world’s longest directional wells.

House takes up Palin energy rebate

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Anchorage
The one-time, twelve hundred dollar resource rebate Governor Palin has proposed sharing with all Alaskans is not based on financial or geographic need for the money.   A House committee this morning  learned it is based on the state’s revenue.

Can Alaska be a national leader in energy efficiency?
Laurel Price, KUAC – Fairbanks
With oil prices hovering in record territory, it isn’t easy to think about facing the upcoming Alaskan winter.  But one Fairbanks homebuilder says there’s reason to be optimistic – that Alaskans are in a position to lead the country towards a better, brighter, more energy-efficient future.

Anchorage announces plan for a jointly owned new power plant

Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich has unveiled a plan where Municipal Light & Power and Chugach Electric Association would combine efforts to construct a new power plant, as well as create a new alignment designed to save rate payers money.

Monegan firing still causing ripples

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The firing of Public Safety commissioner Walt Monegan continues to draw reaction.  Monegan says he’s not sure why he was fired, and Public Safety Employees association director John Cyr says his union didn’t see it coming either.

KUIU timber sale goes back to the future
Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg
A proposed U.S. Forest Service timber sale on Northern KUIU Island in Central Southeast focuses on areas where road building and logging have already taken place. That’s an approach spelled out in this year’s revision of the Tongass Forest Plan.

Yakutat lodge returns from the ashes
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Yakutat
A Yakutat lodge damaged in a fire last year is almost done rebuilding. The September blaze destroyed the Leonard’s Landing restaurant, one of only a few public eateries in Yakutat. The burned building also housed offices, storage and a number of rooms for lodge staff and guests.

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