August 30, 2000 --- Vol. 6, No. 41August 2000

AOGCC moving downtown

A contract was awarded Aug. 30 to K2B Partnership for new quarters for the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Elayne Janiak of the Department of Administration said the commission will be moving in December to 333 West 7th Ave., a building behind Nordstrom.

Janiak said the initial firm term for the contract is nine years, with option periods. K2B Partnership will be doing renovations to the building which has been empty.

AOGCC regulatory cost charge hearing planned for October

The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission plans to mail out notices of its proposed fiscal year 2001 regulatory cost charge Sept. 5 and to hold a hearing on the proposed charges Oct. 17. These dates are not yet official -- the commission will publish a public notice for a comment period and the hearing once it has received final fiscal year 2000 spending numbers from the state.

The amount the commission includes in its regulatory cost charge is the Legislature's authorized budget amount for the fiscal year, minus a federal program grant, minus the expected amount from drilling permits and minus any amount remaining from the previous fiscal year's budget. The commission said it expected to have final spending figures from the state by Sept. 5.

At an Aug. 30 meeting, Commissioners Dan Seamount and Cammy Taylor also voted to increase the amount deducted from the cost charge for an estimated number of drilling permits to be issued in the fiscal year from $10,000 (based on an earlier estimate of 100 permits) to $15,000 (based on 150 wells) because of increased activity.

The regulatory cost charge is billed to Alaska oil and gas field operators. Estimated amounts for the first quarter have already been billed.

Governor names Pat Pourchot as Natural Resources commissioner

Gov. Tony Knowles named Pat Pourchot as commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources Aug. 29. Pourchot succeeds John Shively who resigned in July effective Sept. 8 to spend more time with his family.

Pourchot has been Knowles' legislative director for the past six years.

Born in Illinois, Pourchot earned his Masters in Public Administration in management and natural resource policy from Harvard. He came to Alaska in 1972 as a natural resource specialist for the U.S. Department of Interior and later worked as a legislative assistant on resources and the environment for Sen. Mike Gravel; land manager for the Alaska Federation of Natives; staff assistant to the state Senate resources committee; and as resource manager for the NANA Regional Corp.

Pourchot was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1984 and served two terms, followed by one term in the state Senate where he served as chair of the state affairs committee and co-chair of the finance committee. After eight years in the Legislature, Pourchot served as executive director of Commonwealth North, an Anchorage-based bi-partisan public policy group. Knowles named him as his legislative director shortly after taking office in December of 1994.

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