Power The Future Energy Hour Recap: DEC Commissioner Jason Brune

Power The Future Energy Hour Recap: DEC Commissioner Jason Brune

July 16, 2020

Every Tuesday night from 5:00-6:00 PM local time, Alaska State Director Rick Whitbeck hosts the “Power The Future Energy Hour” on KNVT (92.5 FM, 1020 AM and online at 1020KVNT.com).  The show (also replayed during the same hour on Saturday night) is heard throughout Southcentral Alaska communities, and acts as a recap of Power The Future activities in Alaska, as well as an opportunity to hear from various members of Alaska’s energy community.

Since the show’s inception in January 2018, it has had dozens of guests, including members of Congress, Alaska’s Governor, Lt. Governor, State Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners, members of the Governor’s leadership team, executives from organizations throughout Alaska who fight for jobs, opportunities and progress alongside us (The Alaska Support Industry Alliance, Resource Development Council, Alaska Oil & Gas Association, Alaska Miners Association and others), state legislators from both parties who have a role in energy policy as part of their legislative duties and executives from many of Alaska’s leading resource development projects (both current and potential).

Our guest this week was Alaska’s Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Jason Brune.  Brune has visited the Energy Hour four times since being chosen for his role in the Dunleavy Administration.  Brune spent the first few minutes piggy-backing on the discussion from segment two, during which Rick and his colleague, PTF Western States Director Larry Behrens, spoke about the new PTF study, The Fight For Rare Earths.  Brune talked about the wealth of possible rare earth prospects throughout Alaska, as well as the chance to continue to responsibly develop minerals including copper.  This led to a discussion on Pebble, which should be receiving its final EIS notification next week, and record of decision within 60 days.

The second segment with Commissioner Brune was spent on how DEC has transitioned its on-site inspections from in-person to via technology during the COVID-19 pandemic.  They recently used cell phone video capabilities to inspect both a fish processing plant and the Pogo Mine for DEC compliance, and that success will allow them to stay up-to-date on their necessary inspections in the coming months.  Further discussion focused on DEC’s involvement with the commercial fishing industry, and how waste release from boats and crew threaten fishing waters and shorelines if environmental regulations around dumping and discharge are not strictly followed.

Brune has a mantra that he uses – TGDL – Think Globally, Develop Locally – that helps drive his team’s success in overseeing the balance of Alaska’s stringent environmental stewardship with responsible resource development.  He is a wealth of information every time he appears on the Energy Hour, and we look forward to having him on the show again soon.

Guests in upcoming weeks will include lawmakers, industry executives and senior-level government officials, as well as experts on Alaska’s resource economy and our budget.

If you’re not listening to the show live, feel free to catch the replay on SoundCloud.  You can catch this week’s show here.  Feel free to reach out to us at Rick@PowerTheFuture.com if you have ideas for future shows!