23 February 2007

The Inducements

I commented last week that Governor Palin seemed to be putting the cart before the horse by telling us about the requirements before the inducements of her new Alaska Gasline Inducement Act.

Now we hear about the inducements. One caught my eye:

The AGIA requires that state gasline permits and authorizations be expedited. It makes no sense to push so hard for a gasline, only to have the project stalled in the regulatory process with complicated and uncoordinated state and federal permitting processes.
It caught my eye because those pesky regulatory processes have reared their heads in Nome recently with our own Rock Creek mine. Good forbid we should have a "complicated" process that exists to, you know, protect our environment and way of life. Hate for that to get in the way.

The workforce development "inducement" seems uncontroversial. Having the state put "skin in the game" could be a bit more controversial (the debate on this matter kind of got overshadowed by the tax freeze debate last year but some I think I heard some lawmakers express concern about it). I wonder, though, if these inducements are enough for any company to want to take this project on. That, I suppose, is the 64-thousand dollar question.

On another note, ain't it convenient that the Palin Administration has to release its list of 150-million dollars in cuts by Thursday? Then, conveniently enough, AIGA arrives on Friday to sweep all that nasty news of budget cuts off the front pages. Nothing like controlling that news flow as much as is humanly possible.

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