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Northern Gas Pipelines, (Alaska Gas Pipeline, Denali - The Alaska Gas Pipeline, Mackenzie Valley Gas Pipeline, Alaska Highway Gas Pipeline, Northern Route Gas Pipeline, Arctic Gas, LNG, GTL) is your public service, objective, unbiased 1-stop-shop for Arctic gas pipeline projects and people, informal and rich with new information, updated 30 times weekly and best Northern Oil & Gas Industry Links on the Internet.  Find AAGPC, AAGSC, ANGTL, ANNGTC,  ANGDA, ANS, APG, APWG, ANGTA, ANGTS, AGPPT, ANWR, ARC, CARC, CAGPL, CAGSL, FPC, FERC, GTL, IAEE, LNG, NEB, NPA, TAGS, TAPS, NARUC, IOGCC, CONSUMER ENERGY ALLIANCE, AOGA,AOGCC, RCA and more...

2009 LINKS: FERC Reports to Congress, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7....; USGS Arctic Gas Estimates; MMS hearings: RDC, Our NGP, AJOC, DH, ADN, KTUU; Enstar Bullet Line: Map and News Links; ANGDA; Alaska Energy Forum; Prosperity Alaska

2008 LINKS: Shell Alaska OCS Study; Mackenzie Gas Project EIS; Join the Alaska Gas Pipeline Blog Discussion; Governor Sarah Palin's AGIA Links; 2007 ACES tax bill links; Department of Revenue 2007 ACES tax documents;  2007 ACES tax Presentations; 2007 ACES tax news; Alaska Gas Pipeline Training and Jobs; Gas Pipeline and Economic Development; Andrew Halcro; Bjørn Lomborg; FERC's Natural Gas Website Links

WASHINGTON: Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Act; History of H.R. 4; DOE Energy Bill Position, 6-02; Daschle-Bingaman Energy Bill (Alaska, Sec. 1236 & tax credit, Sec. 2503 & H.R. 4 Conferees), Tax Credit; See amendments, "Energy Policy Act of 2002";  "Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Act of 2001 (Draft)" & Background Paper, 8-9-01;Alaska Legislature Joint Committee position; Governor's position; Governor's 10-Point Plan; Anadarko Analysis; U.S. Senate Energy Committee Testimony, 10-2-01 - text version;  U.S. Senate Energy Committee Testimony, 9-14-00; Report on the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Act of 1971, prepared by staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 1-18-01

ALASKA: 1-23-03, Governor Frank Murkowski's State of the State Speech; 2002 DRAFT Recommendations to 2003 Legislature; '02 Alaska Legislation; Alaska Highway Natural Gas Pipeline Policy Council; Joint Legislative Gas Pipeline Committee; 9-01 Alaska Models: Canadian Routes, LNG, GTL; HR 4 Story; Cook Inlet Supply-Demand Report: AEDC; Commonwealth North Investigation & Our Article; Report: Backbone; Legislature Contacts; State Gas Pipeline Financing Study; 5-02 Alaska Producer Update; Kenai: "Oil & Gas Industry Issues and Activities Report, 11-02"; Alaska Oil & Gas Tax Structure; 2-27-02 Royalty Sale Background; Alaska Gas Pipeline Office opens, 7-01, and closes, 5-02; Betty Galbraith's 1997-1998 Chronology Our copy.

CANADA: 1-10-03, "Arctic Gas Pipeline Construction Impacts On Northern Transp."-Transport Canada-PROLOG Canada Inc.-The Van Horne Institute;Hill Times Reports, 8-30-02; 9-30-02, Cons. Info. Requirements; CBC Archives, Berger Commission; GNWT Economic Impact Study, 5-13-02; GNWT-Purvin & Gertz Study, 5-8-02; Alberta-Alaska MOU 6-02; Draft Pan- Northern Protocol for Oil and Gas Development; Yukon Government Economic Effects: 4-02 & PPT; Gas Pipeline Cooperation Plan Draft & Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board Mackenzie Valley Pipeline MOU Draft, 6-01; FirstEnergy Analysis: 10-19-01; Integrated Delta Studies; National Post on Mackenzie Pipeline, 1-02;Northern Pipeline Act;  Haida Nation v. British Columbia; Indian Claims Commission; Skeena Cellulose decision -- aboriginal consultations required, 12-02; Misc. Pipeline Studies '02

COMPANIES: Alaska Gas Producers Pipeline Team Newsletter, 7-27-01; APG Newsletter: 5-02, 7-02 & 9-02; ArctiGas NEB PIP Filing Background; NRGPC Newsletter: Fall-02;  4-02 ArctiGas Reduces Field Work; BP's Natural Gas Page; Enbridge Perspective; Foothills Perspective; Williams Perspective; YPC Perspective, 7-02

 MEDIA REFERENCE: Alaska Journal of Commerce; Alaska Inc. Magazine; Anchorage Daily News; Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; Fairbanks Daily News Miner, Juneau Empire; Northern News Services; Oil & Gas Reporter; Petroleum News Alaska; Whitehorse Star, etc.

EXTENDED CONFERENCE NEWS: Alaska Support Industry Alliance, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Canadian Institute, Insight Information, Inuvik Petroleum Shows, International Association of Energy Economists, Resource Development Council for Alaska, Ziff Energy Group











Northern Gas Pipelines: Please scroll down for July 2009 news

(Note: For Archives and Current News Going Beyond 7-2009, Please Visit Our New Website:

Alaska OCS Court Ruling Favorable

31 July 2009 6:23am

Liberal.  With even Indian and Northern Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl admitting there was nothing new in the Conservative’s latest Northern Strategy re-announcement, Larry Bagnell (NGP Photo, with author), Liberal Critic for Arctic Issues and Northern Development cautioned Canadians not to be fooled by more Arctic promises still not kept. “Stephen Harper made a grand list of promises to northerners to get their votes but he’s never apologized for breaking them,” said Mr. Bagnell. “Northerners are tired of being used for photo-ops by a do-little government when they see few signs of progress around them.”     Pipe China.  The conversation in this town of 3,500 in the Western Arctic should be about aboriginal self-sufficiency, environmentally responsible Northern development and a new clean-energy storehouse with immense potential. After all, the proposed $16.2-billion Mackenzie Valley natural-gas pipeline project was supposed to be under construction by now. Instead, the talk is about the regulatory bungling, federal government inaction and fading industry interest in what would be one of Canada's largest infrastructure projects. Meanwhile, a new threat has emerged: Big gas discoveries in shale rocks that are cheap and closer to customers, making the pipeline an even tougher proposition by the time all hurdles are cleared, perhaps two years from now, perhaps longer. "The Mackenzie pipeline appears to be frozen, not just in the ground, but in red tape," Floyd Roland, N. W. T. Premier, said at last month's Inuvik Petroleum Show, reflecting the dark mood, despite the 24-hour daylight embracing this community on the shore of the majestic Mackenzie River.

    *    The Alaska Attorney General's office reports this good news:


Federal Court Issues Another Favorable Ruling on OCS Development
Anchorage, Alaska– A federal appeals court has issued a favorable ruling for the State of Alaska that allows a continuation of data-gathering activities for oil and gas development in the Chukchi Sea.

Regulatory Commission Should Know When to Hold 'em, Know When to Fold 'em, Know When to Walk Away and Know When to Run

30 July 2009 9:05am

(Today's blog is still under construction but here it is as we develop it for your better understanding of the emergencies that might confront Alaskan consumers this winter.  -dh)

In yesterday's blog, we urged the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) to repudiate its chaos-causing, 2006 rejection of the APL-5 Enstar-Marathon long-term gas supply agreement, to fall back on its 2001 Unocal gas supply agreement approval precedent as an appropriate 'standard of review' and to reasonably and timely approve current and future gas/power supply agreements between utilities and gas/power providers on a case by case basis. 

Your author was tied up with conference calls yesterday but a loyal reader briefed us on the RCA public meeting.  To set the stage, readers should know that RCA deliberates on three three types of matters that are organized into 'dockets': 'P' Dockets deal with pipeline matters adjudicated under AS 42.06; 'U' Dockets deal with utility matters (AS 42.05); 'R' Dockets are rulemaking dockets wherein the RCA exercises its quasi-legislative power to promulgate regulations which have the force of law.  Regs become part of the body of law after public hearings and public adjudication whereas 'P' and 'U' dockets are adjudicated in secret after a full due process proceeding.  'I' Dockets are informational or investigative in nature and designed to organize input from the public to commissioners in an effort to help them decide whether to proceed with a rulemaking, to open an 'R' docket.  Yesterday, the Commission's public meeting dealt with two 'I' Dockets that concern our gas pipeline readers.  Finally, we remind readers that this blog is based on accuracy and we always invite additions or corrections.  You may, of course, comment on the blog but, in addition, feel free to send us your addition/correction directly and we shall modify our original report accordingly:


1.     I-09-007.  Pricing Regs.  The Commission acted to move its technical conference to the latter two weeks of August or the first two weeks of September and authorized Chief Judge David Lawrence (NGP Photo) to poll potentially interested parties on the preferred meeting dates.
2.     I-09-009.  Railbelt Utility Contingency Planning.  [It is worth reading the transcript on this one.] 
a.     ENSTAR's Mark Slaughter (NGP Photo) reported on contingency planning among Railbelt electric utilities on how to handle deliverability emergencies.  Utilities are working on an agreement to reflect procedures to be adopted.  Various coordinated actions are being considered, including public service announcements encouraging conservation (turn down the thermostats); ENSTAR curtailments; brownouts; shifting to back up sources of generation (diesel).  Though individual utilities have contingency plans, it is not clear that there is a detailed, omnibus plan on what happens in the event of winter energy shortages.  Producers are not party to the agreement.  Slaughter will provide his statement and draft agreement to the Commission.  No ENSTAR interruptible sales customers remain.  Some discussion involved the taking (borrowing) of gas from interruptible transportation customers.  The first step would be for Chugach Electric (CEA) and Municipal Light and Power (ML&P) to terminate economy energy sales to Fairbanks, requiring GVEA to shift to more diesel and coal reliance.  Next in line is alternative fuel source (diesel) for Southcentral electric generation.  ML&P has current, installed capacity and could take a truckload an hour from Tesoro's Kenai refinery. Commercial customers go next could be curtailed and utilities could first request that they reduce load (i.e. turn off heated sidewalks, reduce thermostats in stores, etc.).
b.    Commissioner Kate Giard expressed concern about lack of action by electric utilities.  She observed that there has been not much progress since January.  She expected to see a plan at today’s presentation.  Utilities are bordering on being irresponsible in preparing for the situation.  ENSTAR is leading the parade and she is not sure where the electric utilities are.  RCA needs to step up its level of monitoring.
c.     Chairman Bob Pickett observed that utilities have requested to come before the Commission at second public meeting in August to provide status of each utility’s contingency plan.


1.  The RCA Should Not...

...become any more involved in gas and power supply negotiations than is absolutely necessary.  The RCA does not have jurisdiction over natural gas producers like Marathon, Chevron and ConocoPhillips.  When it attempts, as it has since its disastrous denial of the 2006 APL-5 contracts, to manipulate the market price of natural gas, it succeeds only in confusing the marketplace.  To successfully manipulate price, it would have to grasp jurisdiction to regulate the producers.  This would be necessary in order to determine their 'just and reasonable costs of production' in order to then 'allow' the utilities to pay producers a price that 'allowed' them to recoup 'a return of and on their investment'.  If Alaska seduced itself into this sort of socialized regulation, one could predict the gradual then accelerating exit, over a very few years, of producers subject to RCA jurisdiction.  Sure, well-intended Commissioners might think, "I've got to do something to keep the price of gas/power down."  But such good intent places the price of energy above the importance of the long term supply of energy.  In the long run, when Commissioners try to manipulate what cannot be manipulated they produce both shortages of energy and higher energy prices for consumers.  When I served on the Commission and dissented against the majority's rejection of APL-5, it was with the conviction that, "The RCA should regulate what it must and deregulate what it can".  My dissent came with conviction that the majority's decision would threaten consumer energy supplies, and it has.  I knew that consumer prices could increase more than the APL-5 approval would have allowed, and that is happening.   I believed that any logical reading of the record would lead to a conclusion that rejection of APL-5 would bring chaos to the Alaska energy marketplace, put the economy of Alaska at risk, put the lives of consumers at risk, and deter investment in energy for Alaska consumption.  Maturity and judgment should have taught decision makers by now what it did not earlier teach: sometimes the best action to take is less action.  Sometimes less is more.   Restraint does not always signify weakness; sometimes it reflects wisdom.

2.  The RCA Should know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away and know when to run.

  • Hold 'em. 
    • Make sure utility gas and power supply agreements don't have egregious errors.  Then, use the Unocal 2001 precedent to timely approve these agreements between willing parties.  Finally, encourage and support utilities in their quest for long term supply agreements for gas and power and don't punish them when they do produce such agreements.  This change in attitude by the RCA could largely remove the threat of catastrophic energy disruptions in the future.   It would also provide producers with some evidence that clarity and reason were returning to the Alaska investment climate.
    • Go ahead and make sure utilites have coordinated emergency plans that apply in any circumstance, ranging from gas supply disruptions, earthquakes, volcanoes, etc.
    • But since emergencies are now imminent, the RCA should look into its own emergency procedures, if it has any.  For example, it should assign one Commissioner to oversee a function within the Consumer Protection office to develop contingency plans and respond to utility emergencies.  Frequently, the major challenge of temporary power outages is lack of timely, accurate public information.  The RCA could establish emergency contact procedures with each utility in the state and roll into action when consumers experience utility emergencies, such as power or gas supply disruptions.  It should have close and continuing contact with the state's Homeland Security operations and with each municipal and borough emergency office.  News media and talk show hosts should have a one-stop-shop abililty to contact the RCA for any utility related emergency in the State and the RCA should be able to immediately respond by telephone and Internet.   (P. S. What is the RCA's plan for coordinating utility emergencies and public information if its own employees are caught, powerless, at home and the office has no power?)
  • Fold 'em.  Resist the seductive temptation to over regulate as in the 2006 rejection of the APL-5 ENSTAR-Marathon gas supply agreement.  Regulatory commissions are created to regulate monopoly utility and pipeline activity as a substitute for competition.  But Cook Inlet gas producers and Cook Inlet Region Inc.'s Fire Island wind production are not within jurisdiction of the RCA.  While that fact may cause anguish to some commissioners, they should take a deep breath and accept the fact that their utilities will negotiate the best deals they can with gas, wind, geothermal, tidal or any other type of gas or power producer.  If commissioners do not know when to fold 'em and are seduced by the desire to exercise power over the production of power, they will end up hurting the consumers and utilities they are pledged to properly regulate.
  • Walk Away.  The RCA currently deliberates over whether to not more strictly regulate gas supply agreements.  It better walk away.  If it doesn't, it will add confusion to the marketplace and further deter producer interest in meeting utility needs.  If they don't walk away now, they will become more guilty than APL-5's rejection has already made them, perhaps transforming today's difficult energy supply challenges into tomorrow's catastrophe.
  • Run.  If the RCA does not run from the temptation to over regulate, it will be run out of town by citizens, legislative bodies or other elected leaders.  Its attempt to manipulate unmanipulatable costs will be seen by more and more citizens as the principle cause of Southcentral Alaska's iminent energy crisis.  For the last several years, utilities have come perilously close--on the coldest, darkest winter days--of shutting down.   What are the effects of 'shutting down', even for a few days?  Well, if there is insufficient pressure in ENSTAR's transmission and distribution pipes, pilot lights will fade as air begins to fill the vacuum once filled by pressurized gas.  Utility experts will have to come to each home and business to relight pilot lights once the system is repressurized.  If the Southcentral electric utilities, that rely largely on natural gas for electric power production, have insufficient gas, the gas turbine-powered generators begin to shut down.  Even if there is enough natural gas for residences, lack of gas for the electric utilities causes natural gas furnaces to lose their electric powered pumps and blower units.  Also, if electric supply is erratic, electric motors can be ruined as can computers.  Gasoline and air pumps can't operate.  How would such events affect homeowners...retail services...hospitals...police and fire...Elmendorf and Fort Richardson...other government theaters...traffic lights...real estate sales...airports?  You say, "Well, some of these have generators."  Perhaps.  But not all have generators and some generators are calibrated to use natural gas and not liquid fuel.  Generators have limited capacity.  Refineries that provide liquid fuels for home and business generators are somewhat dependent, are they not, on secure supplies of electricity and natural gas?  The bottom line is that disruption of natural gas supplies is unacceptable.  Since the RCA cannot but confuse the situation, it should recompose itself more as a 'supportive regulator' and retreat from its 'patronizing and overreaching regulatory posture'.

RCA Tackles Southcentral Alaska Gas Supply Contract Issues Today

29 July 2009 7:33am

 Regulatory Commission of Alaska.  Today the Commission's hearing room should be full as all those interested in the failing, Cook Inlet natural gas supply scenario will convene to discuss whether the Commission should open a Regulations Docket addressing pricing provisions in natural gas supply contracts.  We w


Gas Pipeline and Regulatory Commission of Alaska and NARUC and Oxford Club Updates ...

28 July 2009 8:52pm
...will begin showing up Wednesday afternoon following a number of meetings and conference calls.     -dh     PNA via ADN.   North Slope production dropped 17 percent from May to June as the trans-Alaska oil pipeline took its first planned summer timeout for maintenance work June 20-21. North Slope production dropped below 300,000 barrels per day over that weekend.      *         Calgary Herald by Kelly Cryderman

Coming Home With Reports for You

27 July 2009 6:46am

Friends:  Today your author finishes a two day seminar in Victoria with the Oxford Club following last week's meeting with the the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.  This afternoon, the Victoria Clipper (fast ferry) will deliver me back to Seattle and early Tuesday Alaska Airlines will return me to Anchorage.  You'll have gas pipeline reports by Wednesday and reviews of this trip.   -dh


Alaska Pays Oil Companies - NARUC Commissioners Urge Stability in Water Fracturing Policy

23 July 2009 6:11am

ADN via PNA by Wesley Loy. The state paid $193 million in cash over the past year to oil and gas explorers in exchange for tax credits they had accrued for making investments in the state, the Department of Revenue said.     *    Oklahoma State Regulatory Commissioners succeeded in urging their colleagues yesterday to adopt a resolution ... (story coming)


NARUC Continues: Harbour Gives Moratoria Report

20 July 2009 11:03pm

Yesterday, NARUC President Fred Butler (NGP Photo-l) opened the summer meeting in Seattle by introducing Clearwire CEO Bill Morrow (NGP Photo) to discuss his company's, "Cutting Edge Broadband Technology" in partnership with such giants as Cisco. 

Butler then invited 'host' Commissioner Pat Oshie (NGP Photo) of Washington State to moderate a panel discussing their, "Shared Energy Vision for North America - Regulations, Markets, and the Environment."  Panelists included FERC Chairman Joh Wellinghoff, Mexico's Energy Regulatory Commission President, Francisco Xavier Salazar Diez de Sollano (NGP Photo); Canadian National Energy Board Chairman Gaetan Caron (NGP Photo); Canadian Gas Association President and CEO Michael Cleland (NGP Photo), Thomas Skains, American Gas Association Board Chairman; and Duke Energy's Chairman, President and CEO, Jim Rogers (NGP Photo).  


Dave Harbour Addresses Regulatory Commissioners in Seattle; Much Action Back Home and in Canada!

20 July 2009 1:04am

Energy Regulators from the U.S., Canada, Mexico and beyond meet for the NARUC summer conference in Seattle today and NGP Publisher Dave Harbour addresses luncheon gathering.

This morning at the Westin Hotel, assembled commissioners--including members of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska--are hearing FERC Chairman, Jon Wellinghoff, Mexican Energy Regulating Commission President, Francisco Xavier Salazar Diez de Sollano, and Canadian National Energy Board Chairman Gaetan Caron (NGP Photo, 9-07, middle, with Alaska Revenue Commissioner Pat Galvin  (left) and Dave Harbour) discuss energy policies at the gathering of some 800 Commissioners, staff , and other attendees.

NARUC Commissioner Emeritus Dave Harbour of Alaska is co-hosting a luncheon sponsored Pete Slaiby at Anchorage Chamber 4-20-09 NGP Photo by Dave Harbourby the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) on whose advisory board he serves.  Harbour will present CEA President David Holt, Shell Oil's Alaska Manager Pete Slaiby (NGP Photo, 4-09) and Alaska Airline's Scott Ridge discussing the impact of energy policy on the Nation's consumers.

Tomorrow, Harbour will address NARUC's Gas Committee on the subject of technical studies sponsored by NARUC.  Harbour is former Co-Vice Chairman of the NARUC Gas Committee and former Chairman of the Gas Committee of the Western Conference of Public Utility Commissioners.


Petroleum News Alaska: Prince William Sound Regional Advisory Council seeks John Wesley Loy by Dave Harbour 1-23-09 Alliance MeetingDevens' replacement (We're glad to see former ADN reporter Wesley Loy (NGP Photo) reporting, and wish him well in what we know will continue to be a stunningly successful career).   Legislature issues RFP for study on Alaska natural gas tax policy.  Kitimat LNG project moves forward, by Gary Park.  Former Premier Peter Lougheed wants to moderate oil sands tempo, by Gary Park.


ADN by Kyle Hopkins.   The Fish and Wildlife Service says no deal after years of study and negotiations -- not to mention 100,000 public comments as environmental groups nationwide and some nearby villagers protested potential drilling in the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge. But there's a twist. The Fairbanks-based Native corporation that pitched the swap, Doyon Ltd., may be happy to see it die.


Prentice is outraged and hopeful at Mackenzie project progress

19 July 2009 11:41am

Financial Post by Juliet O'Neill Environment Minister Jim Prentice has condemned as "outrageous" the tripling of the time and cost to $18.6-million of an environmental review of the largest construction proposal in Canadian history -- the Mackenzie Valley gas project.


7-17-09.  KTUU by Rhonda McBride (NGP Photo).  Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell (NGP Photo) has quite a resume when it comes to oil and gas. As a legislator, lawyer, lobbyist and lieutenant governor he's been on different sides of the issue.  As Sarah Palin passes the torch to Parnell, he promises to carry on her oil and gas policies aimed at giving the state more control of the industry.        *      ABC News.   Sarah Palin (NGP Photo) wrote an op-ed in today’s Washington Post attacking President Obama’s plan for a “cap and trade” system on carbon emissions as an “enormous threat to our economy".   "It would undermine our recovery over the short term and would inflict permanent damage,” Palin writes.        *        Andrew Halcro (NGP Photo) on Cap and Tax.     *         OCS.  Below, see how three responsible organizations are continuing to engage in the OCS domestic energy issue.  It is a matter of economic life or death for Alaska now and the rest of America in time.  We had better not let foolish policies deprive us of the opportunity to produce our own significant wealth.  Rather, we can and should stimulate the economy with REAL wealth while creating hundreds of millions of new jobs.  More below...   -dh      *       Calgary HeraldThe results of British Columbia's drilling rights sale on Wednesday were released Thursday and total $38.3 million - a massive drop from more than $175 million bid for natural gas prospects in the northeastern part opf the province in June.  B. C., meanwhile, has raised $284.7 million. On Wednesday it sold 21 parcels covering 56,804 hectares at an average price per hectare of $675.


1.  American Solutions, Newt GingrichOver one year ago this week, President Bush lifted a decades old executive ban on offshore drilling. Unfortunately, the Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar (NGP Photo-r) has used his position to not only prevent any additional offshore drilling in the US, but also pulled the drilling leases for 77 potential domestic drilling sites in Utah.

2. The Consumer Energy Alliance, on whose advisory board I sit courtesy of its president, David Holt, urges the government on behalf of consumers to develop America's own energy sources.  This will keep more dollars in America's economy, fight inflation, support the dollar's value, produce hundreds of thousands of high-paying American jobs, create additional millions of manufacturing, service, transportation and other types of jobs, provide billions of dollars of tax and royalty income to state and Federal governments, reduce government subsidy payments and make the country less vulnerable to energy supply disruptions

3.  Resource Development Council for Alaska Jason Brune (NGP Photo) says on our own Alaska website that, "Non-development interests have launched a nationwide effort to convince Secretary Salazar that no OCS development should occur off Alaska’s coast. How RDC members and their associates and friends respond to this challenge could well determine Alaska’s economic course for decades to come. A recent study by Northern Economics and the University of Alaska Anchorage reveals that OCS development has the potential to sustain Alaska's economy for generations."

7-16-09.  The Alaska Standard by Richard Peterson (NGP Photo, 1-01).  Perhaps a different approach is needed to get Alaska North Slope gas (hydrocarbons) to lower 48 energy markets (in a different form, i.e. transportation fuels) while also supporting a bullet line through Fairbanks to Anchorage sooner than later.  Alaska Natural Resources To Liquids (ANRTL) a long proponent of the F-T process to develop Alaska resources and reduce U.S. dependence upon imported crude oil ....    *     Wall Street Journal.  Alaska Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell said Thursday that he met with executives of Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and TransCanada Corp. (TRP) to talk about progress on TransCanada's proposed natural gas pipeline.  The discussions came a little more than a week before Parnell is scheduled to be sworn in as Alaska's new governor.     *     BC Local News by Arthur Williams Enbridge vice-president of community and aboriginal affairs Roger Harris was in Prince George on Wednesday to provide an annual update on the project to the Prince George Chamber of Commerce.  “We will file this year. I don’t think we’ve landed on a specific date, but I suspect it will be this fall,” Harris said.  The 1,150 km pipeline would run from Kitimat to Strathcona Country, Alta. just outside Edmonton. 

7-15-09.  Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell (NGP Photo) appeared before the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Monday along with other members of the business community.  Parnell briefed members on his succession plansBill Popp (NGP Photo), President of the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, briefed members on findings of the "Anchorage Industrial Land Assessment", providing a sober outlook on Anchorage's capacity for expansion.  Assembly Member Debbie Ossiander (NGP Photo-r) addressed the extensive history of Anchorage land planning and community development efforts.  Anchorage Real Estate broker and ADN columnist, Chris Stephens (NGP Photo-lower left) provided additional reason for concern, citing other factors which disqualified 'available land' from practical industrial or commercial use.  One could conclude from these presentations that as Anchorage looks to an uncertain future, the challenges are many and some revolve around land availability.  If a gas pipeline and/or OCS development proceed, community leaders will face a shortage of developable land in this land-locked economic capital of America's largest state.  If a large project does not come, a bigger burden of government cost will fall on a smaller cohort of business taxpayers whose opportunities for expansion may be more economically feasible in Seattle than Anchorage, particularly those involved in distribution activity.  -dh (Event photos below.)       *     UPI-dot-com Bud Fackrell, president of Denali, writes in the Anchorage Daily News that his company has made "significant progress" on the Alaskan gas pipeline despite the economic recession.     *    China View.  A recent report concluded that violent acts against Canada's oil and gas industry will likely continue in the future, but the disruptions will unlikely happen in an organized way unless separate groups come together, a local daily reported Tuesday.  The report from the Canadian Defense and Foreign Affairs Institute was sponsored by Nexen Inc., an energy company based in the Canadian western city of Calgary, the Calgary Herald reported.     It was completed before the pipeline owned by Calgary-based energy giant EnCana in western Canada was hit by two bombings in four days early Tuesday morning. However, author and political scientist Tom Flanagan says his conclusions still hold true.    *    Calgary Herald by Dan Healing Who knew that Peter Lougheed was in the commodity price forecasting game?  In a speech aimed frequently at the the out-of-towners at  the 18th Convocation of the International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences at the Westin on Tuesday morning, the former premier of Alberta said oil prices will jump, if not back to the all-time high of $147 US per barrel hit last summer.     *     AlaskaA U.S. District Court judge has granted the motion by the State of Alaska to intervene in a case in which the Native Village of Point Hope seeks to rescind dozens of leases issued by the federal government under an off-shore oil and gas lease sale conducted for federal waters in the Chukchi Sea.  When the state’s motion was filed last month, Attorney General Dan Sullivan underscored the need “to vigilantly safeguard and defend Alaska’s interests, particularly as they relate to economic opportunities for Alaskans and the balance of state and federal rights and responsibilities.”  For further information please contact Steve DeVries (NGP Photo) at (907) 269-5100.    (Comment:  Here we find the State of Alaska struggling to maintain its ability to economically survive, through the fine work of its new Attorney General and one of the State's brightest legal studies, Steve DeVris.  Their efforts on behalf of all citizens are being challenged by a handful of coastal residents who are even more dependent on oil and gas activity than urban residents, because of their local budgets which depend on taxation of Arctic oil and gas property.  Yet they and certain extremist environmental organizations hold the state's economy hostage through divisive and unnecessary litigation.  Now comes our new U.S. Senator, Mark Begich, who argues that Federal Law should establish an Arctic Regional Citizens Advisory Council -- further frustrating reasonable economic development -- because these selfsame northern coastal residents need a 'voice' in Arctic oil and gas development.  Baloney.  The Northern coastal residents are not without voice and power.  They are great landowners and corporate shareholders by virtue of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.  Their corporations receive taxpayer subsidized, 8(a) set aside Federal contracts.  State and Federal welfare programs in the area are ubiquitous.  All onshore oil and gas property in the coastal areas--whether used for on- or off-shore activity--is subject to local, borough property taxes.  Oil and gas funds employment, schools, public safety and more.  In fact, Oil and Gas funds the very 'Culture' so prized by Arctic residents.  The Northern Boroughs and villages themselves receive various Federal and State subsidies.  Without Alask oil and gas activity--which is now declining--the Arctic would be an economic wasteland.  And yet, some of these selfish, local interests continue with outside environmental, orchestrated help to seek additional advantage with lawsuits and with new, Senator Begich-sponsored legislation.  This is too much.  This is economic suicide.  This madness must stop.  And, it will stop: either because wise and disciplined leaders stop it before further damage can be done to the U.S. and Alaska economies, or when the result of the madness brings our society--including the selfish perpetrators--to its knees.  -dh)

7-14-09.  Former Assembly Member Allan Tesche (60, NGP Photo) passed away today following heart surgery in Houston.  Here is the ADN Story.  But here is a story that is less known.  I first met Allan in 1965 at Los Alamos High School, high on a hill above San Ildefonso Pueblo in New Mexico, somewhere between Taos and Santa Fe.  He was a well known student leader and I was the new English teacher in town.  The 1966 Yearbook pictures Allan (NGP Photo) as a member of the Senior Executive Committee and comments that, "The last year of their high school career proved to be as memorable as the previous two had been for the seniors of Los Alamos High School.  Next to Allan's Yearbook portrait, his quote reads, "I am a firm believer in freedom of the press."  His credits included: "Boys' State Alternate; Class Treasurer; Highlands Day; Homeroom Volleyball; Lookout Editor; Student Council; Topper Revue." One of the most pictured and publicized students in the yearbook because of his boundless energy and accomplishments, Allan was featured for his work as editor of the School Newspaper, The Lookout.  The entry explained that, "The Lookout entered its second year of offset printing with great success.  ...Al Tesche broke an all female precedent by serving as the paper's first male editor."  Allan and I said, "hi" to each other in the halls, but otherwise had fairly little interaction that year.  Who would have known that, later in our careers, we would both settle in Anchorage, remember our 1960-era years with shared nostalgia, trade sentiments about our experiences with heart surgery and vigorously debate every sort of local public policy issue.  Allan and I weren't in the category of close friends, but I think he genuinely enjoyed our occasional conversations and meetings as much as I did.  Or, at least I hope he did.  God bless you, Allan; rest in peace as my warm memories follow you along with those of countless fellow citizens.      -dh  (Note: Occasionally, your author reverts to a point of personal privilege when a friend or associate passes on, whether or not that person was active in the world of Northern Gas Pipelines.  NGP Photo, LAHS, 11-08. ADN Link)

7-13-09.  (Weekend and Monday News & Comment).   PNA Cook Inlet Region Inc. said June 30 that it has received key permits for a proposed wind farm on Fire Island near Anchorage.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved permit applications for Wind Energy Alaska’s Fire Island wind farm and related electricity transmission infrastructure and the project is on track for startup in 2011, CIRI said in a statement.  The wind farm will provide commercial-scale renewable power in Southcentral Alaska.  (Comment:  This little wind project will be a historic diversification of energy supply for South Central Alaska.  We refer to it in this gas pipeline web page because of the extremely interesting focus it places on Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) decision making re: natural gas and electricity projects.  The RCA has broad powers under AS 42.05 to consider electric utility power sales agreements and gas utility supply agreements.  In late 2006 the RCA rejected a contract presented to it by Enstar, for Marathon-supplied gas through 2016.  Had that contract been approved, South Central consumers would likely have enjoyed both lower gas prices than they will be paying and a more secure supply.  But the RCA majority departed from a 2001 Commission precedent and rejected the 2006 contract.  I first dissented from the majority on its fundamental decision and dissented again when the majority of commissioners rejected a petition for reconsideration.  In my dissents, the bad outcomes I projected are pretty much evolving.  On 2-23-09, in a speech to the International Association of Energy Economics, and on 12-9-08 in another to the International Law Seminars Energy Symposium, I summarized the unavoidable, negative effects of too much regulatory interference with natural gas supply contracts.  Today one might further wonder that if the RCA could reject the price per energy unit presented in the proposed 2006 Enstar contract--jeopardizing citizen gas supply as early as this winter--how could it with consistency approve an alternative energy supply source that may be more expensive?  How could it approve a North Slope gas supply from a bullet or spur line that could be more expensive that that 2006 Marathon contract it disapproved?  I suspect that if the matter of a sale of wind-generated electric power from CIRI to Chugach Electric Association or other Southcentral electric utilities comes before the RCA, proponents will argue, "Well, spending more per British Thermal Unit for Fire Island wind power is worth more to consumers than spending less for natural gas for Enstar because wind is 'clean' energy, the 'favored' fuel of the future, and it helps us diversify our energy sources."  At least, that's what I might try to argue if I were CIRI, dodging various logic-created traps along the way.  But I truly think that ratepayers would vote--were they given the vote--to have more Beluga plant-supplied electricity powered by natural gas than electricity powered by Fire-Island wind unless the wind source were cheaper.  But that would require an electric company to obtain gas with RCA approval when RCA has not been willing to approve contracts in the last half-dozen years that might have represented a price higher than the weighted average of existing gas sources.  On 1-9-09 CIRI's highly articulate Wind Energy Alaska project manager, Ethan Schutt (NGP Photo), addressed the International Association of Energy Economists.  He described the project and various regulatory challenges with the FAA and Corps of Engineers.  He noted that final permitting and power supply agreements should be completed this year with construction and commissioning to occur next year.  The PNA story suggests CIRI and its Wind Energy Alaska partner, EnXco, have competently executed their plan so far.  So this story is good news, but goes to show that all of these energy projects are related in small or big ways.  The best way to have them all thrive and benefit ratepayers is to let the private market control the outcomes and choose 'winners' and 'losers'' whenever possible; otherwise, consumers will inevitably lose.  After all, Alaskans know better than most that bureaucratic manipulation of the free enterprise system has produced mostly failed results over the years.  We must also hope that the RCA will re-embrace its 2001 Unocal gas supply agreement (GSA) position that, "The GSA is a commercially negotiated agreement.  We will not speculate whether a better agreement could have been obtained by ENSTAR, with Unocal or with another potential supplier" (RCA Order U-01-7(8) at 4).   -dh    P.S.  With a 1.5 MW capacity per turbine, and 150' blades set on a 264' tower if the FAA approves, 20 to 36 of these units does not make for a 'little' wind project as stated in my opening, except when one compares it to Chugach Electric's total installed capacity of over 530 Megawatts.  -dh)   *     ADN When he takes over for Gov. Sarah Palin, Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell (NGP Photo, 5-09 with newly reappointed AOGCC Commissioner John Norman - left) faces a tough but manageable assignment. Tops on his to-do list: follow through on Gov. Palin's progress toward a natural gas pipeline, sharpen the focus of state energy policy, build a sustainable budget despite declining oil revenues and stake out some initiatives of his own in fields like domestic violence and health care.     *   Forbes.   Gov. Sarah Palin's unexpected midterm departure should not affect the project she touted as one of her primary successes, a massive natural gas pipeline, according to state lawmakers and sources in the industry.    *   FNM and AP, by Dan Joling.  "This project will be successful depending on the economy of building it, the fiscal certainty associated with it and the gas markets," said Marilyn Crockett (NGP Photo with author, 6-08) executive director of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association.   ... Former House Speaker John Harris, R-Valdez, said the state process for encouraging a pipeline can continue without Palin.  "I don't think it will make any difference," said Harris, who will challenge Palin's successor, Lt. Gov. Parnell, for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2010.  Spokesmen for two pipeline proposals said they will continue preliminary work with an eye to seeking commitments from producers for pipeline space next year.  "Our plans haven't changed," said Tony Palmer, TransCanada's vice president of Alaska development.  "We remain on track to hold our open season next year," said Dave MacDowell, spokesman for Denali-The Alaska Gas Pipeline. "Everything we're doing is focused on that important milestone."  ... State department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Irwin (NGP Photo, 6-09) said Palin provided good leadership to get a project to this point. Alaska has major producer interested in the state's abundance of cleaner energy that will reduce America's dependence on foreign oil with a structure that will encourage more exploration.      *      ADN by Elizabeth Bluemink Just as the prospects for the Alaska gas line seem to be growing brighter, new drilling techniques have unlocked vast pools of natural gas all over the Lower 48, from Texas to Pennsylvania. For now, demand isn't keeping up. Prices have swooned and drill rigs are idling.      *     CBC News Someone deliberately set the explosion that damaged another EnCana gas pipeline in northeastern B.C. early Wednesday morning, RCMP investigators say.

7-10-09.  Calgary Herald by Dan Healing Canada's future is intertwined with development of northern Alberta's oilsands, then-prime minister Jean Chretien said, as he helped announce more than $5 billion in new and previously pending oilsands projects.  "`It's fantastic because we have more oil here than in Saudi Arabia. So for the security of the nation, it's something,'' Chretien told 1,800 community residents, oil industry representatives and politicians packed into the local curling rink.       *     Robert Steven Duncan (EIA) In 2006, Canada produced 19.3 quadrillion British Thermal Units (Btu) of total energy, the fifth-largest amount in the world. Since 1980, Canada’s total energy production has increased by 87 percent, while its total energy consumption has increased by only 44 percent.  Almost all of Canada’s energy exports go to the United States, making it the largest source of U.S. energy imports.   

7-9-09.  Companies and MarketsAlaska Highway Gas Pipeline Project: Denali’s Competitive Advantage over TransCanada.  Two pipeline entities, TransCanada and a newly created pipeline company, The Alaska Gas Pipeline LLC (Denali) are into a race to build and operate a natural gas pipeline from North Slope to the Alberta Hub, where the gas can be sent to various North American markets. TransCanada is an independent pipeline company with a vast existing network in Canada. TransCanada builds and owns hydrocarbon transmission lines in Canada and the United States. For the last few years a researJay Ramras by Dave Harbourch study and work have been carried out by the company to construct the Alaska Gas HighwayCraig Campbell - 12-2002 Appointment Ceremony by Dave Harbour Pipeline. The Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA), which was unveiled on March 2, 2007 for the development of Alaska gas resources by offering incentives to companies that produce gas resources and companies that can build a pipeline in a state. TransCanada received the license from AGIA along with a $500 Million state subsidy.     *     House Majority.  The House Judiciary Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Lieutenant Governor-designee Lt. Gen. Craig Campbell (NGP Photo-r) Monday, July 20, 2009 in Fairbanks. The hearing, which will be teleconferenced and carried by KTOO's Gavel-to-Gavel, will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Fairbanks Legislative Information Office, Room 380. The Fairbanks LIO is located at 1292 Sadler Way.  "The Governor quit and went fishing," Judiciary Chair Jay Ramras, R-Fairbanks, said. "Governor Palin failed to leave specific instructions, so the Legislature is stepping in to bring order to the constitutional chaos she created."     *      AP via ADN by Dan Joling.  The Center for Biological Diversity gave a 60-day notice that it will sue the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to consider the effects of pesticides on polar bears, a threatened species, and their Arctic habitat.  Spokeswoman Rebecca Noblin said the poisoning of the Arctic is a silent crisis that also threatens Arctic people. ... Natalie Dawson, a biologist with the group's Anchorage office, said the pollutants accumulate in plankton at the bottom of the food web. Fish eat plankton, seals eat thousands of fish and polar bears eat hundreds of seals.  The lawsuit will take aim at the more than 1 billion pounds of pesticides used in the United States to control weeds, insects and other organisms.

7-8-09.   Oilweek For the sixth time in nine months, and the second time in three days, a bomb has exploded near EnCana´s natural gas pipeline in northeastern British Columbia.  The blast early Saturday morning took place less than a kilometre from where EnCana workers were trying to cap a gas well damaged in an explosion Thursday.   "Our crews were at the wellhead site, where they were working to stop the gas leak," EnCana spokeswoman Rhona DelFrari said from Calgary.  ... RCMP spokesman Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said the EnCana crew, as well as a nearby resident, reported the explosion.  ...   EnCana has offered a $500,000 reward for information and set up a special phone line for the bomber to call them but so far it hasn´t rung.  Meanwhile, EnCana is maintaining bolstered, 24-hour security along the pipeline. But DelFrari admitted there´s no way to ensure the bomber doesn´t strike again.  "Let´s face it, it´s hard to patrol hundreds of kilometres of pipeline and we have about 150 wells in the Dawson area," she said.  (Note:  Northern pipeline operators everywhere, take additional precautions in this age of eco- and Islamic terrorism.  -dh)    *     CBD Conservation organizations and a western Colorado county today filed a legal challenge to a Bush-era plan that designated energy corridors that promote coal-fired and other fossil-fuel power plants. Instead of building new electric lines and transmission towers to connect areas high in solar, wind, and geothermal energy, the Bush plan envisioned building them to existing or proposed dirty coal plants.   (Note how headline writer inserts bias into the report, "dirty coal plants".    Eco-journalistic terrorism.  -dh)     *     Media Newswire The developing natural gas industry in Pennsylvania will create jobs and offer opportunities for local residents who seek training and industry experience, according to the Marcellus Shale Workforce Needs Assessment released on Tuesday, June 23.

7-7-09.  Report: Yesterday the Anchorage Chamber focused on Alaska's oil and gas industry.  Chairman-Elect Tony Izzo (NGP Photo-r), one of Alaska's leading energy experts himself, introduced Mort Tony Izzo - Chamber Chairman - 7-6-09 by Dave HarbourPlumb (NGP Photo-r with brochure) of First National Bank of Alaska who provided Chamber members with two, excellent new publications of a coming four part series.  These first two, include: "Alaska's economy is like a three-legged stool" (31% Petroleum, 35% Federal government and 34% all other sectors), and Dr Scott Goldsmith at Chamber 7-6-09 by Dave Harbour"There's a good chance your job depends on petroleum" ("We can trace a third of all Alaska jobs directly to petroleum.").  The to-be-announced parts 3 and 4 of the series will deal with how the Alaskan economy survives challenges such as declining oil production.    Izzo then introduced retired University of Alaska-Anchorage Economist, Scott Goldsmith (NGP Photo-l), to present, "How Petroleum Has Transformed the Alaskan Economy".  THIS PRESENTATION SHOULD BE UPDATED ANNUALLY AND SHOWN TO EVERY ALASKAN GOVERNOR, COMMISSIONER, LAWMAKER, MAYOR, ASSEMBLY, TEACHER AND SCHOOL CHILD (GRADES 5-12).  Click this link to see the slides, read the presentation, listeMort Plumb at Chamber on 7-6-09 by Dave Harbourn to his audio as you read...and actually watch Dr. Goldsmith answer a question (Click on Izzo clip.  I have to comment here that it is truly illustrative of our modern society's chaos that one of us could conceive of the question asked in the video clip.  The person, presumably knowing that Alaska is 90% dependent for its operating funds on oil, asked, "What should we do to replace oil?"  Shouldn't an intelligent question be, "What should we do to encourage the exploration and development of more oil?"  Anyway, you'll hear Dr. Goldsmith give a proper, rational answer.  -dh  *  Furthermore: For those who value their jobs in Alaska or hope that continuing prosperity here follows their children into other generations, this should be a family education piece.  We've reported quite a lot recently on the economic travails of Inuvik and other Northern Canadian peoples resulting from a chaotic regulatory process.  And, we've reported on the challenges faced by Alaska OCS exploration, ANWR exploration and other legal and regulatory challenges to projects.  Dr. Goldsmith's presentation can be viewed either as, "Here is your life with petroleum," or, "Here is your life without petroleum".  His Alaska case history is universal enough that it can be absorbed as relevant by citizens of this or other natural resource provinces, at other times and with respect to other projects.  -dh)   *  KSDP, Sand PointSenate Energy Chair Lesil McGuire today said her first priority as president of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER), will be jump-starting a Northern Pipeline Coordinating Council (NPCC), to research and help resolve cross-border route, regulatory, workforce and supply issues that could slow construction of the Alaska North Slope natural gas pipeline.   *    Independence Day Report:  A wonderful 4th of July it was, in Anchorage, with breakfast and family activity on the park strip followed by the annual small town parade at 11.  My favorites in the parade were crab fisherman Phil Harris, Mayor Dan Sullivan, Senator Mark Begich and marchers for Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) jobs and 'Gas Pipeline Supporters'. 

7-6-09.  ADN.  What was supposed to have been a day trade turned into a headache for Rep. Jay Ramras (NGP Photo) last week, when Conservatives 4 {Governor Sarah Palin, NGP Photo} blogger Rebecca Mansour took him to task for aRep Jay Ramras by Dave Harbour 5-09 $172,000 investment in BP.Governor Sarah Palin by Dave Harbour 5-09 Ramras, a critic of Palin's Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA), bought the stock in 2008 about a month after voting against awarding the AGIA license to TransCanada, a pipeline company. ... Last week he bought 5,000 shares in TransCanada to balance his holdings in BP and blunt the attacks of those he called "terrorist bloggers." (As of Thursday, he said, he had a negative position in both.) "Where do you draw the line?" he asked.   (Comment.  Jay, you are dedicated and good at what you do in the Legislature and in business.  Where do you draw the line?  You invest in things the Legislature cannot be perceived to affect.  Try DSU, or BIIEX, or GOLDX, MOS or RIG....  You have a long career as both a respected business leader and statesman.  Don't give your opponents excuse for criticism as they will have plenty of reason to attack you on the merits of issues alone.  Hang in there; you are among the best and the brightest.  You care about Alaska and her future.  Forego the borderline trades.  Of course you have no intent of profiting from your Legislative duties.  Make sure there that everyone also has the PERCEPTION that you are always on the right track as well!   The lower road may not be illegal but for those in the spotlight the high road is the only road.  -dh     *     Alaska Gas Pipeline Blog.  Bit of a shocker. I hope this means the business climate in Alaska improves for construction of the Alaska Gas Pipeline. 

7-2-09.  Calgary Herald by Claudia Cattaneo.  The conversation in this town of 3,500 in the Western Arctic should be about aboriginal self-sufficiency, environmentally responsible Northern development and a new clean-energy storehouse with immense potential. After all, the proposed $16.2-billion Mackenzie Valley natural-gas pipeline project was supposed to be under construction by now.  Instead, the talk is about the regulatory bungling, federal government inaction and fading industry interest in what would be one of Canada’s largest infrastructure projects.        *       Much coming later in the day.  Canada Day yesterday: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  Anchorage Mayor Sullivan has energy priority.  A new Arctic Regional Advisory Council draft from Senator Begich........

7-1-09.   Commentary: Yesterday, the Resource Development Council for Alaska held its annual luncheon.  (Watch here for a coming audio link.)  I'm guessing that 800 people filled that 600 person Howard Rock Ballroom at the Sheraton.  Having forgotten to make a reservation, to my delight Brad Keithley, a friend and attorney, called to say he had an extra seat at his table.  What a pleasure it was to be there, too.  My kind of people.  Hard working entrepreneurs, business folks who realized where real wealth comes from: not from subsidies, grants, donations and taxes on others.  RDC President Rick Rogers first introduced Senator Mark Begich (NGP Photo-l) who proficiently discussed his Alaska natural resources agenda.  He also referred to a, "letter to the editor" connected with his remarks on OCS and an upcoming visit of Senators led by Barbara Boxer.  I was pleased that the Daily News had teed up the issue of a proposed "Arctic Citizens Advisory Council" with its readers in its Sunday Editorial, and followed that with my Op-ed piece on the same subject yesterday morning.  I'm pretty sure that nearly all 800 attendees had read both Senator Begich's Yin and my Yang.  Many came to me expressing appreciation for my position.  I won't go into details about the 5 minute exchange Senator Begich, his Chief of Staff David Ramseur (NGP Photo-l below) and I shared afterward, because it was personal and not completely relevant.  The bottom line is that, 1) I would not change the Op-ed piece I wrote, except for a devious little typo, and 2) we agreed to stay in touch on this and other issues and I don't expect the good relationship we've shared for over 20 years to suffer from yet another policy disagreement between us.  Here are some other highlights of his presentation:  1) energy bill: "Senator Murkowski worked hard to make sure it contained some Alaska provisions."  2)  environment: "There is no question that Alaska sees the impact of climate change; Alaska is 'ground zero' from that perspective".  3)  On upcoming visit of his colleague Senators: "What we have to do is get the Senators up here.  They nay not be in line with us on ANWR," but he emphasized that they could be on other issues.  "As these Senators come to Alaska," he said, "I'm going to need your help," again referring to a 'letter to the editor'.  4.  Gas Pipeline.  "I'm very pleased to see TransCanada and ExxonMobil getting together as well as the Denali progress.  You'll hear talk a lot about gas in the Senate because I want that to be the agenda."    The Keynote Speaker, David Lawrence (NGP Photo-r above) Exploration EVP of Royal Dutch Shell, gave perhaps the best oil industry, corporate-level speech I've heard in the last 10 years over multiple Federal and State venues.   Lawrence announced the company would be building an icebreaker for Shell's Arctic work and introduced the builder, Gary Chouest (NGP Photo-r), who delivered a personal appraisal of the oil industry's impact on Louisiana--from a shrimp fishing family and business perspectives.  Back to Lawrence's comments.  They are important for the candor and Alaska investment and the raw courage they represent in today's climate of politically orchestrated sound bites.  I think our NGP readers will find these highlights motivating if not inspiring: 1) Alaska's responsibility and opportunity: "The role Alaska has played and the role Alaska WILL play on resource development and the future of energy is unquestionably larger than any other state, and frankly most countries. So, yours is an enviable place in the world".  2)  Alaska's Choices.  "It is not a question of oil and gas versus renewables, or renewables versus biofuels, or biofuels versus oil and gas. It is not a matter of OR at all.  It’s a matter of AND – we need all of the above."  3)   Alaska's relationship with renewables.  "Optimistically, we believe renewables could provide around 30% of the world’s energy by the middle of this century, up from 3% today.  But where will the other 60- 70% come from?  Places like Alaska, we hope. Why – because the resource base is huge – another potential Gulf of Mexico scale resource...."  4)  Alaska is 'Ground Zero'.  "Unfortunately, Alaska, particularly the offshore, is ground-zero in the misguided effort to put us in an ‘”either / or world “ - where fossil fuels play no role in the bridge to an energy future.  For economic progress, revenue generation, jobs, energy security AND protecting our environment, it all needs to come together – oil and gas, renewables, biofuels, CO2 management – a world of AND."  5)  On environmental opposition.  "Five of the largest environmental groups in the world have become rooted in Alaska....  Their strategy is simple: form local partnerships where possible to lend a “face” to the fight against energy development. Pure numbers are not important here but names are and that was never more evident than in April when the Washington D.C. Circuit Court ordered the Department of Interior to vacate its approved 5-year OCS leasing plan.  The plaintiffs in that case include at least three international environmental groups and one local indigenous group. That local group might be hard-pressed to fill a table at this luncheon.  That table could influence an outcome for a country that already imports 60% of its oil how quickly that number will grow to 80%. And that table in the back could drive the US Federal Treasury, (which could use some cash right now), to refund over $10-Billion in lease bonuses because of a 5-year OCS leasing plan that was, in layman’s terms, voided on a technicality."   6) Comparing today to the TAPS, 1970s-era atmosphere.  "Imagine, for a moment, how drastically different Alaska would look today if not for a pipeline project that, in reality, was made possible by one vote. One vote changed the energy landscape in and outside of Alaska for decades. Fortunately, that vote was in favor of a project that was one of the most significant of its time. But had that vote gone against the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, the U.S. would still be getting its 700-thousand barrels a day. It just wouldn’t be coming from Alaska – where environmental and safety standards are the most stringent in the world."   -dh.

SPECIAL, OP-ED, 6-30-09 ADN by Dave Harbour. draft legislation circulating for comment as part of his five "Arctic Climate Change Initiatives." Sen. Mark Begich proposed adding a new layer of regulatory complexity to the already demanding federal regulatory system. The draft bill would establish, "an Arctic Regional Citizens' Advisory Council (RCAC) to encourage citizen engagement and oversight of the effective and safe development of Arctic energy resources."  Sound reasonable?  It's not.  Alaska has other advisory councils, created at different times for different purposes with different missions (See OPA 1990), as the Daily News noted in its Sunday editorial. But this particular advisory council, as proposed, could delay Alaska prosperity, worsen the existing regulatory structure and increase costs to consumers and taxpayers.  ...  Instead of creating another layer of complication, let's consider adopting legislation that expedites the permitting and legal processes, as Congress did in the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Act of 2004. There, judicial review is limited and a federal coordinator is named to improve efficiency of the regulatory process.  ("Fair and Balanced": See ADN's Pro-RCAC editorial, 6-29-09, below.)

7-13-09 Chamber Photos:

Brian Wenzel

David Stahl




David Taylor

Karen Jordan







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