Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy introduced Monday that he has appointed a longtime political ally to move the state company that regulates oil and fuel operations in Alaska.
Brett Huber Sr., a former senior coverage adviser and once-campaign supervisor to the governor, will function chair of the Alaska Oil and Gasoline Conservation Fee beginning on Monday, the governor’s workplace introduced.
Huber will occupy the general public seat of the three-member board.
“With Mr. Huber’s huge data and background in useful resource improvement in Alaska, I’m proud to nominate him on this position,” Dunleavy mentioned within the assertion. “I stay up for watching his efforts to guard public curiosity and do what’s finest for Alaska and her folks.”
Huber mentioned in an interview on Monday that he views his position as defending hydrocarbons that belong to Alaska and its residents.
“I take it severely and I love to do my homework,” he mentioned. “I’ll have a possibility to be taught, I’m sure. There are nice skilled workers there with years of expertise and I’m wanting ahead to going there.”
The Alaska Oil and Gasoline Conservation Fee is a quasi-judicial regulatory company oversees oil and fuel drilling and manufacturing in Alaska. Key roles embody reservoir depletion and investigations of spills and leaks.
The chair of the fee is paid $150,000 yearly.
Huber moved to Alaska in 1984 from Colorado and earlier in his profession designed and put in geomembranes, resembling artificial liners, for Alaska oil and fuel operators, the assertion from the governor’s workplace mentioned.
For a lot of his profession, Huber additionally labored for state lawmakers and the Legislature.
In 2018, Huber was Dunleavy’s marketing campaign supervisor, and later served because the governor’s senior coverage adviser and communications director.
Huber left direct state employment final yr, as a substitute signing a consulting contract with the governor’s workplace and likewise turning into concerned in Dunleavy’s reelection efforts.
His work was a part of an an ongoing criticism earlier than the Alaska Public Workplaces Fee, introduced by two watchdog teams. The criticism alleged coordination between the governor’s official marketing campaign and an unbiased expenditure group, which is unlawful underneath state regulation.
The elections fee in October declined to take motion earlier than the November election and mentioned in a two-page order it didn’t discover “additional proof of coordination” between Dunleavy’s reelection marketing campaign and the third-party group supporting Dunleavy. Huber had served for a time period as marketing campaign deputy treasurer and was additionally a marketing consultant employed by the third-party group.
Huber on Monday maintained he hadn’t damaged marketing campaign guidelines and the criticism by no means supplied proof exhibiting he was concerned in coordination. “It was a marketing campaign tactic,” he mentioned of the criticism. APOC workers couldn’t instantly be reached on Monday.
Huber will fill the remaining 4 years of the general public seat on the fee that was beforehand occupied by Jeremy Worth, who left the oil and fuel regulatory company in September to work as a public relations supervisor for HF Sinclair at a refinery in Anacortes, Wash.
Worth additionally had shut skilled ties to the governor, having labored as a former deputy chief of workers for Dunleavy till the governor nominated him to the oil and fuel conservation fee in 2019.
The governor nominates members of the board to six-year staggered phrases.
The fee has seen substantial change in latest months. The governor in September appointed Greg Wilson, a former ConocoPhillips petroleum geologist, to the seat held by a geologist. Wilson changed longtime commissioner Daniel Seamount.
The third seat centered on petroleum engineering is occupied by Jessie Chmielowski, who was appointed by Dunleavy in 2019 and is a former petroleum engineer for the Bureau of Land Administration.
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