From Governor Parnell's Office. Following the close of the first session of the 28th Alaska Legislature, Governor Sean Parnell (NGP Photo) today thanked legislators and highlighted the successful passage of many of his key priorities to improve Alaska. Reforming Alaska’s oil tax structure, providing cheaper energy to Interior and rural communities, reducing payroll tax increases, exercising fiscal restraint, and protecting Alaskan families led the governor’s agenda this session.
The Alaska House just concurred with Senate changes to HB4, intrastate gas pipeline enabling legislation! -dh, 12:10pm
Calgary Herald by James Wood. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Thursday that Ottawa and Alberta are taking a “Team Canada” approach when it comes to getting the controversial Keystone XL pipeline approved by the United States government. And he offered some praise for Premier Alison Redford, who has returned from a two-day trip to Washington D.C. where she touted the environmental record of Alberta and Canada — along with the merits of Keystone, a cross-border pipeline proposed by Calgary-based TransCanada which is intended to ship oil from northern Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast.
US Upstream by Tonya Zelinsky. The recent decision makes the AGDC a stand-alone corporation, giving it the tools to move forward on its plans for the US$7.5-billion Alaska Stand-Alone Pipeline (ASAP), which would connect North Slope gas with Alaska tidewater.
Senate panel advances in-state gas line - San Francisco Chronicle - ... on a bill aimed at advancing an in-state natural gas pipeline. The Senate Finance Committee advanced its version of HB4 Thursday. It contains provisions that supporters say the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. needs to get a project to an open season
Energy issues on floor of House, Senate; committee tables oil tax - Alaskajournal.com - In the Senate, a bill making changes to statutes governing an in-state gas pipeline project will be voted on. House Bill 4 makes technical changes in laws governing the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., the state corporation formed to pursue an in ...
Bill to shift Knik bridge construction to AHFC doesn't move - Anchorage Daily News - Costello's amendment creates a new public corporation inside AHFC, the Knik Crossing Development Corp. That follows the model for the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., created by Fauske inside the AHFC when he picked up that project in 2010.
Resource Development Council for Alaska (RDC) Urges Oil Tax Reform Support As Legislature Moves Toward Adjournment!
Senate Finance Committee Released Oil Tax Reform Bill Yesterday.
RDC issued the following call to action yesterday:
Robert Dillon (NGP Photo) of Senator Lisa Murkowski's Energy Committee sends us the following note which should once again demonstrate to Alaska lawmakers that Alaska's energy reserves are not unique and must be competitive if Alaska is to prosper. -dh
ICYMI: The scientific body responsible for evaluating our nation’s recoverable natural gas resources this week released a report showing future gas supply estimates increased by 22.1 percent since 2010 to a total of 2,688 trillion cubic feet.
Tonight Is Another Big Night, For Those Who Care About Alaska's Economic Future!
The Government Gas Pipeline
Late yesterday, we followed the Senate Finance Committee review of the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation's answers to questions about the pending, HB4 that would expand AGDC's powers and infuse it with operating capital. (Watch the video. Photo: House Speaker Mike Chenault.)
We have always supported the concept of this project as an insurance policy for Interior and South Central Alaska electric power and space heating consumers. This is because Cook Inlet gas supplies are dangerously low, a fact exacerbated by a regulatory decision six years ago (i.e. which has likely cost ratepayers over $.5 billion in unnecessary natural gas expense since then.)
Enstar, the local gas distributor, has worked hard to safeguard its customers from gas shortages. It has aggressively pursued more gas supply contracts, built a gas storage facility and investigated new gas supplies--from Prudhoe Bay to potential gas imports. Still, during a cold winter the actual deliverability of supply could push available supplies beyond the breaking point. Every year, the threat of a gas shortage grows.
The AGDC project involves a 737 mile pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to Southcentral Alaska, after winding its way by Fairbanks.
The lion's share of its right of way work is done and its engineering work is moving steadily toward a potential 'open season' wherein those interested in the gas can bid on pipeline capacity to move purchased gas.
While a government owned pipeline concept is controversial, running out of natural gas is unacceptable. If sufficient new gas reserves are proven to exist in Southcental Alaska, the AGDC project could be terminated. But if there is no AGDC insurance policy and more gas is not found, the old cliché about, "freezing in the dark", comes to mind.
During the hearing yesterday, several witnesses distinguished themselves. The HB 4 sponsors are House Speaker Mike Chenault (NGP Photo, above) and Representative Mike Hawker (NGP Photo with Rena Delbridge). Hawker thanked Senators for their complete hearing of the issues while Chenault described the compelling need for the project to safeguard citizens. Hawker's staff executive, Rena Delbridge, artfully briefed the committee on all current issues related to the bill before them. Frank Richards, representing AGDC, offered highly credible, technical briefings and responses to questions.
As our readers know, we have followed Arctic gas pipeline issues for many decades. We have seen many projects come and go.
We briefly worked with AGDC and continue to believe that the project is closer to becoming reality than any of its cousins for several reasons:
This is not a case of a heavy handed government saying, "We are going to create a gas pipeline bureaucracy come heck or high water".
Rather, this is a case of government exercising its proper role of protecting citizens.
Our hat is off to the dedicated public officials who have developed the vision, protected and remained focused on the mission and worked so hard to so successfully overcome political technical and financial obstacles.
At this writing, HB 4 hasn't received final approval. We expect it will. When it is the law of the land, the citizens will have been well served.
To NGP Readers:
Here are Consumer Energy Alliance's earlier comments on the EIS, for your reference.
CEA's general concern is that the proposed mitigation measures will limit OCS exploration activity without any significant benefits for the local marine mammals.
NMFS should focus on cooperative mitigation measures with companies – such as Shell’s efforts to suspend operations in the Beaufort during whaling season – as opposed to broadly limiting activity.
Note: this is the kind of comment opportunity that badly needs elected officials from throughout Alaska submitting comments for the record. Otherwise, the record will not be balanced nor will it reflect the opinion of Alaska's elected leaders.
A big, export gas project, which could provide royalties and taxes to Alaska, must also be understood in context of today’s Alaska in-state gas competition. (Continued on Monday....)
Valdez Star by Lee Revis. ... Taylor Bickford of public relations firm Strategies 360 has also begun preliminary work for the city (Valdez). Bickford gave the council a briefing on a community meeting in Seward he attended that was hosted by members of the ASAP project team.
“There was quite a bit of misinformation that was put out,” Bickford told city officials.
His criticisms of the ASAP presentation included, but was not limited to, what he described as giving the impression to attendees that the ASAP line was actually in full-swing, and virtually unstoppable; glossed over the fact that prices for many Alaskans purchasing the gas would actually cost more than current supplies; and giving the impression the MVP project is not actually feasible. He also said Valdez as a city was portrayed as greedy.
(Comment: we struggle to understand how the above "impressions" are evidence of "misinformation". -dh)
Seward Phoenix Log by Heidi Zemach. A spokesperson for the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. gave a compelling argument in Seward Feb. 26 for the proposed Alaska Stand Alone Gas Pipeline and its positive implications for Seward. The in-state pipeline project, dubbed ASAP, is currently in its design and engineering phase and is sometimes referred to as the “bullet line.’ ... The pipeline would require more than 337,000 tons of steel which could potentially be shipped through the port of Seward, said AGDC spokesperson Leslye Langla (NGP Photo). They’re seeking a year-round, ice-free harbor with a friendly environment. Several other Alaska ports also are interested in this aspect of the project, she added.
Point of Personal Privilege, another accolade for your author's father: The Sultan of Turkey Slams: Colonel Dave Harbour ...
Huffpost British Columbia. Premier Christy Clark says she has been working with B.C. media mogul David Black on his proposal to build a massive oil refinery near Kitimat on the north coast.
See the Video: Yesterday's presentation to the Resource Development Council for Alaska on the Endangered Species Act in Alaska by Geoffrey Haskett, Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.