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April 25, 2013


The House will consider legislation regarding privatization of the nation's helium reserves. The Senate will continue consideration of interstate tax legislation.  


capital Baucus Retirement Could Put Landrieu in Top Energy Spot. The musical chairmanship game set off by Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus' retirement could put one of the Democrats' biggest oil and gas industry boosters in charge of the Energy panel - and simultaneously improve her re-election chances. Louisiana Democrat Mary L. Landrieuis currently third in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee's pecking order, following Chairman Ron Wyden of Oregon and South Dakota's Tim Johnson, who is also retiring at the end of his term. Wyden is next in line for the Finance Committee gavel in the 114th Congress - an opening on one of the most powerful committees in Congress that could be hard for the tax policy technocrat to pass up.Roll Call 



"State of the Air 2013" Report Finds Anchorage's Air Quality Health and Fairbanks' Air Failing. The American Lung Association's "State of the Air 2013" report  finds the air quality in Anchorage, and nationwide, continues the long-term trend to much healthier air. The Fairbanks North Star Borough remains a notable exception showing high levels of short-term and annual particle pollution. Fairbanks is the 11th-most polluted city for short-term particle pollution and tied as the 18th-most polluted city in the nation for year-round levels of particle pollution. Particle pollution levels can spike dangerously for hours to weeks on end (short-term) or remain at unhealthy levels on average every day (year-round). Anchorage Daily News


Flush with $95 Million, Mega-Dam Project in Alaska Advances. Fresh funding will allow a state agency to continue moving forward with plans to build what would be the second-tallest dam in the country, just behind California's 770-foot Oroville dam. Proponents of the Susitna-Watana Hydro project in Southcentral Alaska pushed hard during the recent legislative sessions to funnel money toward the mega project. They were able to secure further state investment during a session in which lawmakers approved a cut to state oil revenue worth about a billion or more per year. Despite the state's shrinking revenue expectations, the Susitna dam project received $95.2 million in Alaska's most recent capital budget, which totaled $2.2 billion, down nearly $1 billion from the previous year. Alaska Dispatch


arcticcouncil The Arctic Council Needs to Open Up. [Opinion] The Arctic Council is under increasing pressure. Set up as an intergovernmental forum to promote cooperation among Arctic states, the Council is failing to adequately accommodate rising interest from outside the region. As a result, it is no longer the only Arctic forum in town. On 15 April, the President of Iceland,