April 2012 Archives
We added a new Sub-Tab, above, under 'Archives' for "Northern Gas Pipeline History". It provides historical perspective from the Canadian Broadcast Corporation, the Alaska Gas Pipeline Federal Coordinator's office and from our own magazine and newspaper articles. -dh
TODAY IN ANCHORAGE, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich (NGP Photo) is hosting an Arctic Deepwater Port Roundtable discussion with Alaskans to discuss how increased marine traffic and economic opportunities in the changing Arctic will create a need and demand for an Arctic port in Alaska. In the discussion with representatives from federal agencies, Alaska Native Corporations, and the shipping industry, Sen. Begich will outline some of the work he has done as chair of the Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard, consideration of the Fiscal Year 2013 budget and future budgets as additional authorizations will be needed from Congress to move forward on Arctic infrastructure. The roundtable is scheduled for Monday, April 9 from 3 to 4 pm at the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) Atrium, 311 Providence Drive, on the campus of UAA.
The LegHead Report by Maggie Wall. If Alaska legislators want to see a natural gas pipeline built, it’s time to get a project on its way. That was the gist of House Speaker Mike Chenault’s (NGP Photo) comments to the Alaska House last week where he gave an impassioned speech in support of House Bill 9 which he sponsored to move a gasline forward.
Juneau Empire by Pat Forgey. Alaska will bring in more than $10 billion in oil revenue during the current fiscal year, as record high oil prices continue to pump money into state coffers. That’s a billion dollars more than was projected during the Department of Revenue’s last forecast, and $2 billion more than was brought in last year.
Globe and Mail (4/7/12) reports: The debate about climate change and its impact on polar bears has intensified with the release of a survey that shows the bear population in a key part of northern Canada is far larger than many scientists thought, and might be growing…The number of bears along the western shore of Hudson Bay, believed to be among the most threatened bear subpopulations, stands at 1,013 and could be even higher, according to the results of an aerial survey released Wednesday by the Government of Nunavut. That’s 66 per cent higher than estimates by other researchers who forecasted the numbers would fall to as low as 610 because of warming temperatures that melt ice faster and ruin bears’ ability to hunt. The Hudson Bay region, which straddles Nunavut and Manitoba, is critical because it’s considered a bellwether for how polar bears are doing elsewhere in the Arctic. (More below)
Personal Comment: Once again we draw attention of our readers to the Kentucky Derby occurring this year on May 5 at Churchill Downs. We have covered the Derby in previous years and following this year's event will be releasing thousands of race, fashion and behind the scenes photos (Dave Harbour World Photography Samples) for editorial and art use and for creation of a wonderful, new coffee table book. Astute readers know that this magnificent event is unrelated to Northern Gas Pipelines--though we value it for being one of the Nation's enduring cultural and iconic celebrations culminating in the "Greatest Two Minutes in Sports". We'll bring you more in May! -dh
Alaska Dispatch by Andrew Halcro (NGP Photo-L). Last Friday Governor Sean Parnell announced the three major oil producers on Alaska's North Slope will come together to study an LNG line for export to Asian markets. Does that mean our ship is about to come in?
ADN by Tim Bradner (NGP Photo). Gov. Sean Parnell deserves a pat on the back for bringing to closure the contentious Point Thomson gas field lawsuits. Those were big clouds hanging over a major North Slope gas project. Point Thomson has almost one-fourth of the gas reserves on the Slope, and resolving uncertainties over its ownership is necessary for an eventual gas project.
ADN by Steve Haycox (NGP Photo). 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the establishing of the Alaska Territorial Legislature.
AP by Becky Bohrer. The state of Alaska may decide this week to give TransCanada Corp. permission to shift its attention to a building liquefied natural gas pipeline, capable of facilitiating overseas exports.
AP by Becky Bohrer. A Senate plan representing a structural shift in Alaska's oil tax system wouldn't effect the kind of meaningful change....
On Tuesday, Alaska Commissioner of Natural Resources Dan Sullivan(NGP Photo) addressed a group sponsored by Northrim Bank. Yesterday morning, Sullivan spoke to the Resource Development Council for Alaska. Since the messages are similar, we will provide readers with a brief report of the Tuesday presentation later this morning....
|Bloomberg by Colin McClelland. Canadian natural gas rose as U.S. nuclear generation climbed from near a 10-month low and cooling demand approached double normal levels in parts of the South.|
Comment on Federal Actions: Congressman Doc Hastings' (NGP Photo) office has been relentless in its effort to stop the Obama White House's end run around Congress' intent and authorizations. One of the flagrant abuses of of the President's office has been created by Executive Order without Congressional mandate or budget approval. This presumptuous and treacherous action is misusing existing agency personnel and budgets to create a nightmarish web of new regulations and prohibitions affecting the use of our oceans, the watersheds feeding them and on-shore activity adjacent thereto. In short, Obama would Zone America as the White House sees fit. He plans to fully implement the plan in the next few weeks. Combined with the Obama administration's other assaults on Alaska's economy, this particular initiative could signal serious if not mortal blows to Alaska's various oil, mining, tourism and commercial fishing industries. Thanks to the diligence of Doc Hastings, this job- economy- and freedom-killing initiative may be short-lived. He is now attempting to forbid using federal budgets established for other purposes to be misdirected to the ocean zoning effort. Since Alaska has most of America's coastline, this presidential assault on free and traditional uses of our oceans and waterways would have a greater impact on Alaska than any other state or region. Accordingly, Chairman Hastings' labors are more beneficial to Alaska than to any other single state or region, though his own tidewater state of Washington (depending on Alaska as it does) will also be an important recipient of the Chairman's effort. See the Chairman's latest actions below to defend America against Presidential overreach. -dh
- House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) sent a letter yesterday to Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (KY-05) asking that each appropriations bill include language to prohibit the use of funds for the implementation of President Obama’s ocean zoning and National Ocean Policy.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, the Natural Resources Committee held an oversight field hearing Anchorage, Alaska on, “Alaska’s Sovereignty In Peril: The National Ocean Policy’s Goal to Federalize Alaska.” The hearing focused on how President Obama’s plan to mandate ocean zoning through implementation of the National Ocean Policy threatens Alaska’s sovereignty and economic livelihood. “Nowhere in the United States will the effects of the National Ocean Policy be felt to the extent that it will in Alaska. The reach of this ‘ocean’ policy will stretch throughout the entire state and affect almost any activity that requires a federal permit. As we will hear from our witnesses today, the State’s economic vitality is a direct result of our ability to use our natural resources. Any new federal initiative that affects our ability to use these natural resources will cost jobs,” said Rep. Don Young(AK-At large). (Complete story below.)
House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) yesterday issued the first subpoena to the Department of the Interior for documents related to a more than year-long investigation into why an Obama Administration report that recommended a six-month drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico was edited to make it appear as though the moratorium was supported by a panel of engineering experts when in fact it was not.
House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) released the following statement after Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced a new electronic lease sale tracking system for onshore federal oil and natural gas production. “Better government efficiency is certainly positive, but the real problem over the past three years of the Obama Administration isn’t slow computers but policies that punish and discourage American-made energy on federal lands."
ADN by Richard Mauer. JUNEAU -- A new version of the Senate's oil tax bill showed up in the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday, offering more money to producers when oil prices are high than the state's current tax regime. (Our comment on State Senate Inaction: It's a little late to be introducing a whole new tax reform bill near the eve of adjournment. The Senate would have been better advised to work on the tax reform bill passed by the House last year, HB 110. Hearings will occur tomorrow and the Senate Finance Committee plans more "work" on it over the Easter weekend. Assuming it passes the Senate, it then goes on to the House which one assumes will not concur. That either kills the 2012 tax reform effort or results in an 11th hour, end-of-session conference committee along with a significant amount of last minute horse trading and a chaotic, unpredictable outcome. We can only surmise that while a majority of Senators and House Members were happy to enact Alaska's predatory and overreaching production tax after brief deliberation in 2007, Senate leadership has used "thoughtful deliberation" as an excuse for delaying action on tax reform for over two years, now. Meanwhile the Trans Alaska Pipeline System throughput decline continues, introducing the historical specter of Nero frantically fiddling while Rome burns. Our position: it doesn't matter who sponsors a bill or what its number is. What matters is that it holds promise for reversing the TAPS decline. Last year's House bill offers that promise. This year's Senate bill is, so far, the mere illusion of a promise that has consumed untold productive hours of public and private time as the production decline continues. -dh)
Consumer Energy Alliance News Clips:
Readers living in Anchorage should put tomorrow, April 4, 5 p.m. on their calendars for a, "Public Rally For Fair Trials and Justice for Senator Ted Stevens(NGP Photo), at the PenAir Hangar, 6100 Boeing Avenue. Enjoy the Rally, BBQ, good times. Sign an open letter calling for government accountability and reform at www.alaskansforjustice.com.
News Miner/AP by Becky Bohrer. This could be the week the Senate releases its long-awaited oil tax plan.
|Those living in Anchorage should put Wednesday, April 4, 5 p.m. on their calendars for a, "Public Rally For Fair Trials and Justice for Senator Ted Stevens (NGP Photo), at the PenAir Hangar, 6100 Boeing Avenue. Enjoy the Rally, BBQ, good times. Sign an open letter calling for government accountability and reform at www.alaskansforjustice.com.|
First thing Monday morning, 7 a.m. Alaska Time, I'll be appearing on Dan Fagan's television show to discuss the nuances of gas pipeline announcements Friday from Governor Parnell's office and from the three major Alaska North Slope Producers. Readers might be able to view live here, online. -dh
CBC News. The federal budget, released Thursday in Ottawa, Canada contains some of the biggest cross-country cuts since the 1990s. Old age security eligibility will be raised to the age of 67, the penny will be phased out, and about 19,000 public sector jobs will be cut over the next three years. The budget also includes several plans for the country's North. Among the most notable plans is $225 million to repair harbours across the country. Included in that money is a plan to "accelerate" the construction of the harbour in Pangnirtung, Nunavut, in Canada's eastern Arctic, which was originally announced in 2009.
Over A Thousand Alaskan Citizens -- Not Elitists -- Sent A Powerful Tax Reform Message To Juneau Last Week.
The Alaska Dispatch writer used innuendo to attack a decent gathering of Alaskans.
But innuendo aside, what’s wrong with anyone wearing a tie or high heels? And what’s wrong with an ‘Oil Company’ audience, even if this wasn’t one? Heck, every Alaskan should give thanks to the Good Lord daily for the miracle that is oil and for the abundance of it that is found in Alaska. After all, our Constitution is based on resource development. And—something the Dispatch writer may not have been told--without the Swanson River Oil discovery in 1957, Governors Egan and Hickel, Bob Atwood and their colleague lobbyists would not have been able to convince Congress to successfully pass and President Eisenhower to sign the Alaska Statehood Act in 1958.
“Oil fuels our economy," said Steve Robustellini, event speaker and resident of Port Lions, Kodiak. “It provides the funding for our schools, communities and infrastructure. I left a dying timber industry when I moved my family from California 12 years ago. I have seen the consequences of lost revenue from an industry that is the lifeblood of a state. It is not so much about ‘Big Oil’ as it is about Alaska, its people and communities. We need a globally competitive tax structure and long-term sustainability.” (Here is the link to his prepared speech for NGP readers.)