Election Day

“I Voted” stickers and ballot envelopes from 2018. News-Miner file photo

A Libertarian candidate’s departure from the primary race for Alaska governor may improve the party’s chances in the general election. A gold exploration company that digs Fairbanks wants take its company public — in Australia. And Alaska has the dubious ranking of topping the nation in cyber crimes per resident.

There’s more news in “Five Things to Know.”

And then there were five

Alaska’s Libertarian Party announced that Roman Shevchuk has ended his brief bid for governor. Shevchuk’s departure from the primary race leaves one Libertarian candidate for governor: William “Billy” Toien.

Shevchuk’s decision may give the Libertarian candidate left in the race a chance to advance under Alaska’s new system of ranked choice voting. In the Alaska primary, all registered candidates will appear on a single ballot. The top four vote-getters move on to the general election.

The Libertarian Party was asked if Shevchuk’s withdrawal will make it easier for Libertarian William Toien to be a top finisher in the primary, since two Libertarians will no longer split the party vote.

Paul Robbins, communications chair for the party, responded: “It might, but it is important to note that Roman Shevchuk was the only candidate in the gubernatorial race endorsed by the Alaska Libertarian Party.”

With Shevchuk dropping out, there are now five announced candidates: They are Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy; Republican Rep. Chris Kurka; Les Gara, a former Democratic state lawmaker; Toien, the Libertarian activist; and Bill Walker, the former Alaska governor, who is not affiliated with any party.

The Libertarian Party believes that ranked choice voting will indeed give the party a higher profile and more opportunities in elections.

“We campaigned in support of Ballot Measure 2 because ranked choice voting eliminates the pressure voters faced to pick the lesser evil,” Robbins said. “Alaskans are now free to rank the candidate they want first, without fear of the ‘wasted’ vote the old system perpetrated.”

“And open primaries makes sure it’s the people [chosen who] make it to the general election. Instead of candidates and parties having to meet the previously arbitrary requirements Democrats and Republicans put in place to keep out competition, the top four will be chosen by the people,” Robbins said.

Gold mining company may go public

Felix Gold, which has a focus on the historic Fairbanks Mining District, has started the process of becoming a publicly traded company on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Millrock Resources of Canada announced that Felix Gold filed a prospectus with the Australian exchange. The goal is to have company shares available for public trading in January 2022.

Gregory Beischer, Millrock’s president and CEO, indicated that 2022 exploration efforts by Felix Gold will include the Grant Mine area. Felix Gold has an option to purchase a 100% interest in the mine, according to Millrock Resources.

The gold exploration plans were disclosed in a Globe NewsWire report about the initial public offering.

“Depending on the concurrent capital raise, Felix Gold would have between $10 million and $13 million [in Australian dollars] in their treasury, with much of that funding to be directed to exploration of the mineral claims that have been contributed by Millrock and/or staked or acquired by Felix Gold in the Fairbanks Mining District,” Millrock Resources told the Globe NewsWire.

“Millrock will receive Felix Gold shares with an initial value ranging between approximately $1.7 million and $1.9 million [in U.S. dollars],’’ Beischer estimated.

Alaska’s cybercrime problem

Alaska leads the nation with the highest level of cyber crimes per resident, according to TechTarget, a business-to-business support company in the IT industry.

According to TechTarget, the states reporting the most cyber crimes per resident are Alaska, New Mexico, California, Washington and Nevada.

Across America, cyber crimes accounted for more than $3 billion in losses in 2020, a figure that has doubled in a decade.

There were nearly 5 million reports of cyber crimes across the U.S. in 2020. Over the past year, cyber criminals have stolen billions of dollars from pandemic recovery efforts as well as from state unemployment systems, the report said.

In 2021, the state of Alaska reported major cyber breaches of the Alaska courts system and at the Department of Health and Social Services.

Keeping hackers from the energy supply chain

The U.S. Department of Energy is seeking consultation on cybersecurity issues and other challenges in the energy sector supply chain.

The Energy Department has put out a request for information (RFI) to assure that America’s energy sector industrial base is resilient and competitive while meeting economic, security and climate objectives, according to DOE.

The deadline for the RFI is Jan. 15, 2022, with online submissions preferred.

The RFI seeks input from stakeholders involved in the supply chains of energy and energy efficiency technologies. This may include industry, researchers, academia, local governments, labor organizations and the public.

The DOE’s goal is to strengthen the digital components of the energy sector supply chain and industrial base against tampering and threats, according to Industrial Cyber.

Will oil reach $150 per barrel?

The world still runs on fossil fuel, even with oil supply and investment constraints, a global financial analyst said.

Chris Wood, who heads global equity strategies at Jefferies, predicted that oil prices may reach $150 per barrel as businesses rebound from the worst of the 2020 pandemic.

“In a really fully reopened world, the oil price could go to $150 dollars because the supply constraints are dramatic,” Wood told CNBC.

Investment in fossil fuels has dropped even though the industry supplies 84 percent of the world’s energy, Wood said.

“The issue for me is not the oil price, the issue is the pandemic. The oil price is going to go higher in a fully reopened world because nobody’s investing in oil but the world still consumes fossil fuels,” Wood said.

Contact Linda F. Hersey at 907-459-7575 or at lhersey@newsminer.com. Follow her at twitter.com/FDNMpolitics.

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