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      This is your public service 1-stop-shop for Alaskan and Canadian Arctic energy commentary, news, history, projects and people. We update it daily for you. It is the most timely and complete northern energy archive anywhere — used by media, academia, government and industry officials throughout the world. Northern Gas Pipelines may be the oldest Alaska blog; we invite readers to name others existing before 2001.  -dh


November 2010 Archives

Alaskans Rallied for Chukchi and State's Future - Persily Beats Gasline Drum on Peninsula

30 November 2010 9:17am

New Chukchi Comments

New Chukchi Comments From NGP Readers:

Representative Mike Hawker (NGP Photo-r)

Mary Ann Pease (NGP Photo-r)

Will Chinn, Price-Gregory

Representative Bob Lynn (NGP Photo-below)

Yesterday was the announced deadline for public comment on the Mike Hawkergovernment's Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Chukchi Sea.  We received some new comment today (left column) and you can see those who commented yesterday, here.  We also know that hundreds of 'comment cards' reflected Alaskans' support for Chukchi development though we fear that the enormous, grass roots network mobilized over the years by environmental activists could have produced tens ofthousands of comments from around the country.  Too bad comments weren't restricted to Alaskans.  We'll report the final results when they are in.  Meanwhile, if several of you still want to comment, email a fax or document expressing your support for Chukchi development to BOEMREAKPublicCommen@boemre.gov, as we understand the agency (BOEM) has extended the deadline by a day.  -dh

Bob LynnPeninsula Clarion by Michael Armstrong.  What would have to happen to make the Alaska natural gas pipeline a reality?That's the $26 billion question Alaskans have to ask if they want the state's long-hoped for project to get built. Tuesday night at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center, Larry Persily (NGP Photo), federal coordinator for the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects, spoke at a town meeting to update Homer on the pipeline.

Today You Will Change The Course of Alaska's History and America's Recovery

29 November 2010 4:51am


See Our Editorial in This Morning's Standard, Our Warning (P.10) in Petroleum News Alaska's Annual Explorer's Magazine, and Advice from Shell's Pete Slaiby

Dear Reader: Today, November 29, 2010 is the deadline the federal government has established for giving your opinion on Sean Parnellwhether the Chukchi Sea Lease Sale process should go forward.  (Send us your Comments and we'll post them here.)  SecretaryKen Salazar Ken Salazar (NGP Photo-r), the Obama Administration and their activist allies have done everything possible to delay/derail this process.  Alaska Governor Sean Parnell's (NGP Photo-l) Administration has consistently defended the state against Federal overreach.  Sidelining energy exploration in and around Alaska will terminate the State's potential for economic survival for the many reasons we have discussed here over the last two years.  Eliminating Alaska's energy contribution to the Nation will disrupt the recovery, endanger national security, further debase the currency and export hundreds of thousands of American jobs--along with our national wealth--to countries that are committed to resource development.

Don't think you don't know enough to comment; you do!  If you've already commented, distribute these links to friends and family.  Ask your elected officials: legislators, mayors, assembly members if they've commented.  Have your say by using one of these websites:

1.  Consumer Energy Alliance, and

2.  Resource Development Council for Alaska

Below, we note a few of the comments readers have provided us.  Send us more and we'll post them!  We also have evidence that thousands of Alaskans and friends throughout America are commenting--both for and against Alaska energy!  What shall it be?  What say you?


Dave Harbour

Sample Chukchi Sea Comments For Your Reference:

Citizen Kaye Laughlin

Charles P. Thomas, PhD.  TiorCo

Steve Borrell, P.E., Alaska Miners Association

Citizen Rick Braun

Jim Gilbert, Udelhoven Oil Field Services

Senator-elect Cathy Giessel, Alaska State Senate

Dave Harbour, Northern Gas Pipelines Publisher

Doris Hugo-Shavings, a tribal member of the Inupiat Community of the Arctic

Representative Craig Johnson, Alaska State House of Representatives

Carl Portman, Resource Development Council for Alaska

Governor Sean Parnell's Moritorium Position and State Oil and Gas Director Kevin Banks' testimony

Representative Bill Stoltze, Alaska State House of Representatives

Mayor Dan Sullivan and Stacy Schubert, Municipality of Anchorage

Senator Gary Wilkin, Alaska State Senate (Retired)

Kate Williams, Alaska Oil and Gas Association

Other Alaskans we observed testifying at a November 9, 2010 BOEM hearing included: Tom and Sam Maloney, Steve Pratt, Len Horst, John Shively, Dave Chaput, Ted Danson, Paula Easley, Jeanine St. John, Tom Hendrix, Maynard Tapp, Rebecca Logan, Joe Hegna, Jim Udelhoven, Sami Glascott, Vince Beltrami, Barbara Huff, Kurt Jackson, Keith Silver, Christine Klein, Chris Warren, Aves Thompson, Jeff Jones and many others!  (See our 11-9-10 event photos.)


24 November 2010 8:53am

George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation

("WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour....")

Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation

("...Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.")

Johnny Cash's Thanksgiving Prayer

("Join Hands and Thank the Creator....")

COMMENT:  Tomorrow I join you in giving thanks for God's magnificent blessing on this land and people.  The 'hope and change' I hope readers join me in praying for is:

hope that our Heavenly Father enables us to overcome the damage being done to our State and Union by those who stray so far from the founding principles of the country, and

change...radical change...back to our constitutional principles and protections erected on that rock-solid foundation: the Christian faith of our fathers.

Below, I share with readers a historical review of America's Thanksgiving provided by historian, Newt Gingrich.  If Americans do not come to our senses, and if we reject this history, heritage, culture and Christian commitment, we thereby abandon freedom's foundation and inherit the wind which blows us unprotected, in unpredictable directions to uncertain ends.  

Happy Thanksgiving.  -DH


The very first "thanksgiving" was celebrated in 1619, one year before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth by another group of English settlers. The event was held on the banks of the James River at what is now Berkeley Plantation, the birthplace of Benjamin Harrison, signer of the Declaration of Independence and father of the ninth President of the United States, William Henry.

Most Americans, however, remember that the Thanksgiving Day tradition was modeled after the 1621 event in Plymouth, Massachusetts where fifty Pilgrims and ninety Wampanoag Indians feasted for three days. The Pilgrims were indeed thankful for friendship and a bountiful harvest. In the previous year, half of the Pilgrims had starved to death. A Patuxet Indian named Squanto came to their rescue helping them to survive in the New World.

Throughout our history, Americans were called hundreds of times by their leaders to days of fasting and prayer and subsequent days of thanksgiving often by local officials and governors.

The first Thanksgiving Proclamation was issued by the Governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts on June 20, 1676. The council wanted to offer thanks for a series of victories in the ongoing "War with the Heathen Natives" setting apart the 29th of June as a "day of Solemn Thanksgiving and praise to God for such his Goodness and Favor."

But it was President George Washington at the request of the Congress, who on October 3, 1789 issued the first national Thanksgiving Day Proclamation from New York City. Setting aside November 26, the proclamation stated that "our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experience."

Washington issued his second Thanksgiving Day Proclamation in 1795. Presidents Adams, Jefferson and Madison all issued proclamation calling for a day of Thanksgiving.

But few Americans gathering this week with family and friends for the feast know about the woman most credited with making Thanksgiving Day a national holiday.

Born Sarah J. Buell on October 24, 1788, in Newport, New Hampshire, it was Sarah Josepha Hale's persistent petitions that brought about the holiday. She sent hundreds of letters to politicians including five presidents imploring them to institute a national day of thanksgiving.

Buell became one of the most influential women in the United States as the editor of the most widely circulated women's magazine called Godey's Lady's Book. She also penned "Mary Had a Little Lamb," the most-well-known poem in American history.

But it was not until 1863, when Abraham Lincoln received her letter in the midst of the Civil War that the New England tradition would become a national one. "If every state would join in Thanksgiving," she wrote, "would it not be a renewed pledge of love and loyalty to the Constitution?" Lincoln agreed.

He set apart the last Thursday of November as a day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens." He called upon Americans "that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union."

Lincoln would issue three more Thanksgiving Proclamations from the White House. Subsequent presidents issued similar proclamations but the states chose different days for the thanksgiving observance. It was not until 1934 that Franklin Delano Roosevelt said that to “set aside in the autumn of each year a day on which to give thanks to Almighty God for the blessings of life is a wise and reverent custom, long cherished by our people." In 1941, the Congress made the third Thursday of November an official national holiday.


-Newt Gingrich


Last North Aleutian Basin Leases Dropped -

23 November 2010 8:02am


UNALASKA, AK (KUCB) The last of the active North Aleutian basin natural leases have been dropped. Hewitt Mineral Corporation let go its four leases in October, two years after Shell relinquished the 33 leases it possessed.  Hewitt's leases covered over 22,000 acres on the Alaska Peninsula. The company had hoped to develop a liquefied natural gas plant on the peninsula as well as a pipeline. But a number of challenges have caused Hewitt to release its stake, says company president William Dolman.  "Shell released theirs a couple of years ago, and we wanted to stay with it and see if there was any interest outside of Shell that could also join us.  And we did our due diligence as far as interest on the Peninsula and got into negotiations with a few companies, but it never panned out."


Alaska Governor Shuffles Cabinet - Mackenzie Decision Closer

19 November 2010 7:27am

Dan SullivanGovernor Sean Parnell (NGP Photo-r) chose the Resource Development Council for Alaska forum yesterday to announce a shuffling of his Cabinet.  Among the changes described were his appointment of Attorney General Dan Sullivan (NGP Photo-l) to the post of Natural Resources Commissioner.  We'll have a very complete review of the RDC conference for readers on the Monday posting, along with many photos of speakers and trade show vendors.  Meanwhile, here's a brief ADN story by Becky Bohrer.

RDC Conference Continues With Canadian - US Government and Industry Leaders

18 November 2010 6:59am

Back in Anchorage for RDC from Atlanta and NARUC - Barrett to Head Alyeska

17 November 2010 7:20am

The Annual Conference of the Resource Development Council for Alaska opens today in Anchorage to what we expect to be a standing room only audience.  Scroll down to read our commentary which debuts today in a special insert produced for this conference.  By Saturday, we'll also complete our NARUC entry in yesterday's posting.  -dh

ADN by Elizabeth Bluemink.  Tom Barrett (NGP Photo coming), 63, is scheduled to begin working at the company, which operates the 800-mile trans-Alaska pipeline, on Jan. 1.  Barrett is taking the helm at a time when the pipeline faces a major turning point: As oil production from the North Slope oil fields is dwindling, the pipeline company has been cutting costs, relocating employees and studying how many years longer it can continue to operate the pipeline without a major new infusion of oil.

Feds Assault Alaska's Economy - Canada Moves Closer to Mackenzie Pipeline Approval - Arctic Source for Terrorism? - NARUC Hears Consumer Messages

16 November 2010 4:04am


Alaska: A Brave New World for Explorers and Producers


Dave Harbour

For: Petroleum News Alaska: A review of federal policy assaults on Alaska's economy....

CBC.  The proposed $16.2-billion Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline is a step closer to reality after the federal and Northwest Territories governments agreed Monday with most of the recommendations set out by a review panel last year.  ...  "Should the [project] proceed, it will do so within a responsible environmental stewardship framework," federal Environment Minister John Baird said in a release     *     (Comment:  We appear to be at Step 3 in the overall regulatory process, wherein the National Energy Board (NEB) will consider the new evidence and provide a final decision, and reasons therefore, to the Cabinet.  The Federal government could still disapprove the project.  However, we believe it unlikely that the Cabinet would move against an NEB decision falling in either direction.  Overall, we are hopeful for our dedicated Canadian friends who--having endured an almost endless regulatory process--are now close to grasping an economic victory from the jaws of nearly defeated, tenacious critics.. While the overall regulatory process has been continuously extended and enlarged to accommodate more and more 'stakeholder' voices over the past decade, we are fans of the dependable, timely decision making process employed by the NEB.  Consequently, we anticipate an early end to the Mackenzie Valley Gas Pipeline Application drama and the beginning of a more hopeful construction permitting process -- assuming that market dynamics and the patience of investors still wish to free the stranded gas volumes of Arctic Canada.  -dh)

Alaska Dispatch.  Newly declassified intelligence assessment raises the spectre of the North as a conduit for international or domestic radicals.

(8:00 a.m. note: A few minutes ago on CNBC, former Shell President John Hofmeister accused the federal government of encouraging a 'starvation' of hydrocarbon due to federal regulatory policies that are resulting in less production of oil and gas.  "We need more access toward hydrocarbons", he said.  "I don't know that the Administration either understands or cares about the inability of industry to obtain permits."  He said  practical every day people need energy and this administration is looking about how to satisfy some constituents but ignoring gulf coast residents.  "i think it is wrong and I will keep talking about it," he said.    Thorugh his own lense he is validating the Obama Administration's 'death by a thousand cuts' campaign we have been revealing for the last year and a half.-  dh)

NARUC Gas Committee Hears From Consumers


(Note: As always, we invite input from those featured on our pages to provide us with additions/corrections to our stories or to stories with which we link.  We strive to properly reflect the views of citizens.  -dh)

Yesterday in Atlanta's Omni Hotel, NARUC Gas Committee Chairman Tim Simon (NGP Photo-above, with FERC Commissioner Marc Spitzer) of California introduced the Committee's Co-Vice-Chairs: Commissioner Colette Honorable (NGP Photo-l) of Arkansas and Commissioner Matt Baker (NGP Photo-r) of Colorado.  Simon then drew attention to a resolution naming former Chairman O'Neal Hamilton (NGP Photo-below, right, with Tennessee Commissioner Eddie Roberson looking on) "Chairman Emeritus".  Simon also complimented Hamilton for his many accomplishments including the Moratoria study and organization of the consumer panel, a verthat y brief summary of which appears below.  Note that these panel members provide critical services to a majority of America's residential, corporate and governmental consumers.

Chairman Simon turned the meeting over to Louisiana Commissioner Jimmy Field (NGP Photo-l) who emphasized the importance to national defense and a recovering economy that decision makers forge a sustainable energy policy.  After offering several personal observations he introduced panel members:

Costantinos Apostolakos (NGO Photo-l) is General Manager, Fuel Supply Chain Management for Delta Airlines.  He acquainted commissioners with the heavy reliance of America's airline and air cargo businesses -- along with consumer travel and shipping costs -- on fossil fuel prices.  He encouraged commissioners to keep in mind that energy regulation seems to be turning into a process for taxation rather than for provision of adequate supplies of energy at reasonable prices.

Jim Tramuto (NGP Photo-r) is Vice President......





Commissionners Focus On Consumer Energy Isssues

15 November 2010 3:22am

At 9 a.m. today,  Members of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) will focus on consumer energy issues, hearing from companies and organizations serving virtually all American citizens, companies, governments and utility rate payers.  The forum will occur in NARUC's Gas committee agenda.  

While the program today was organized under the leadership of  the Committee's Chairman, Commissioner O'Neal Hamilton of South Carolina.  Yesterday, NARUC honored Hamilton as 'Chairman Emeritus' in conjunction with California Commissioner Timothy Simon's appointment as Gas Committee Chairman during the coming year.  Commissioners Colette Honorable of Arkansas and Matt Baker of Colorado will serve as Gas Committee Co9-Chairmen (i.e. a position once held by your author).

9:00 AM

- 11:45 AM    Committee on Gas International BC
             » Show/Hide Details

9:00 AM How Current and Proposed Energy Policy affects American Consumers/Ratepayers 
This panel consists of senior representatives of key consuming organizations representing the majority of U.S. energy consumers. Their objective will be to assist commissioners in understanding how current and proposed energy policies affect American consumers/ratepayers.
Moderator Hon. James M. Field - Commissioner - Louisiana PSC
Panelists Constantinos Apostolakos - General Manager, Fuel Supply Chain Management - Delta Air Lines 
Ford West - President - The Fertilizer Institute 
James A. Tramuto - Vice President, Government and Regulatory Stategies - Southwestern Energy Company 
Dr. David E. Dismukes - Professor & Associate Director, Center for Energy - Louisiana State University 
Richard McMahon - Executive Director-Energy Supply - Edison Electric Institute 
Kenneth S. Bromfield - U.S. Commercial Director - Energy Business - Dow Hydrocarbons and Resources, LLC


Point of personal privilege (with NGP photos):  I was both honored and delighted yesterday (Sunday, November 14, 2010), to spend five minutes with Dr. Charles Stanley in his office before the 9 a.m. service at his First Baptist Church of Atlanta.  We discussed faith, photography and his visit to Alaska next year.  His 'Veterans Day' sermon also focused on the types of love, including agape.  I don't regard Dr. Stanley as a preacher but as one of my lifelong teachers.  His gentle and astute analysis of agape shed light on some of its characteristics, including selflessness, forgiveness, understanding and lack of conditions.  Contributing to the poignancy of the day was the pleasure of having Kifle Donni, my taxi driver, accompany me to the service.   It was a very moving experience for this student.  -dh



11 November 2010 6:06am

About Tuesday Night's Federal OCS Hearing In Alaska

(Written on the road: Atlanta, Ga. - See our photos below and the Alaska Journal of Commerce Story.)

Commentary:  NGP Readers know this webpage is non-partisan.  We encouraged all democrat and republican elected officials by personal email to weigh in at the BOEM hearing Tuesday (Scroll down for details).  Alaska news media publicized the event.  As if explanation were needed, we repeated in these pages and in our emails the reasons why approval of OCS exploration of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas can be safely done and must be done to save Alaska's economy.  We made a point that with an Obama administration determining much of Alaska's future it is especially important for elected officials of his party in Alaska to defend Alaska's interests to him. 

The bad news is that we didn't see any republican or democrat member of Alaska's Congressional Delegation at the hearing.  We saw only one Mayor from Alaska represented and no other local elected officials--though Anchorage Assemblyman Chris Birch has a near-perfect federal hearing attendance record.  We saw few elected officials of the state and NO democrats were among them.

The good news was very good.  The room was crowded.  Most were pro-OCS.  We think most were NGP readers.  Most of the testimony favored expedited OCS exploration.  Governor Sean Parnell has been stalwart in defending Alaska against federal overreach and sent his Oil and Gas Director, Kevin Banks.  Mayor Dan Sullivan attended a required Assembly meeting but sent his Governmnet Relations Director, Stacy Schubert.  Anchorage's Republican Representative Craig Johnson delivered a stirring, extemporaneous argument justifying expedited federal approval of OCS activity, as did Representative Bill Stoltze of Eagle River.  Senator-elect Cathy Giessel attended and provided written testimony (below).  The AFL-CIO, Teamsters, Alaska Support Industry Alliance, Alaska Trucking Association, several Alaska Natives, private citizens, scientists, media representatives and economists appeared along with the Resource Development Council for Alaska.  Citizen Rick Braun offered the only testimony of the evening to elicit an expemporaneous, thundering ovation from the crowd.

We still think elected officials who are democrats might care enough to comment and herewith invite, beg, plea, emplore them to join with republicans who did not weigh in and submit written comments to the BOEM now.  Send a copy to us and we will post it here.


From: Cathy Giessel < cathy@giessel.org> 

Date: November 10, 2010 4:48:45 PM AKST 
To: boemreakpubliccommen@boemre.gov
Subject: attn: Chukchi Sea Draft SEIS 
Dear Sirs, My name is Cathy Giessel, Alaska State Senator-elect, but, more importantly, a lifelong Alaskan.  I was born in the Territory of Alaska and there are four generations of my family living in our state today. 
I have watched our economy change over the years from before statehood until now.  The vibrant economy we currently enjoy is based on the development of our vast natural resources. 
 I am advocating that the OCS lease sale 193 be affirmed as held in 2008.  Rescinding those leases would destroy Alaska's economy and Alaskans' future in this wonderful state. 
 I enjoyed hearing the testimony from my fellow Alaskans of native ancestry.  I have spent several years working for the North Slope Borough School District and I am concerned about the future for the young people of our rural communities.