Now in its second decade, the Inuvik Petroleum Show or “IPS” takes place every June in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. Host to over 500 participants including delegates and exhibitors from across Canada and beyond , this three day tradeshow and conference is a must-attend event for the oil and gas sector. (NGP Photo: author chaired 2002 oil & gas presentation. Don't miss local restaurant specialties, surf and turf: musk ox and char! The nighttime sing-alongs in lounges and friendly locals will make the trip memorable!)
|North Slope Borough and ConocoPhillips develop Alaska North Slope emergency response transportation process to safeguard village residents. (Photo: NSB Mayor, Charlotte Brower)|
Supporting Both Academic Freedom and The Right to Criticize Academic Activists
Last Thursday, University of Alaska - Fairbanks (UAF) Chancellor Brian Rogers (NGP Photo) addressed members of the Alaska Support Industry Alliance in Anchorage on the subject of the University's Fairbanks coal fired power plant. (We have an interesting personal story to tell here for readers who may be interested.)
Following the presentation, a member asked Rogers about the policy of professors signing a controversial letter/petition "applauding" the EPA's assessment of a proposed Pebble mine project (here) -- while identifying themselves with the University (For those interested, we explain the controversy here). Rogers said that of the many who claimed a University of Alaska relationship, less than half were actual university professors. The rest had honorary titles or persons who might have taught a class one time and one signer who was not affiliated with the University at all.
We have written extensively on the subject of the Pebble project's constitutional right to file for permits to operate on state leased lands--and the catastrophic effect on the public interest were activist organizations and federal agencies to preempt that project before it is availed the guaranteed right of due process. We think the rule of law evaporates if due process can be denied in this case and that determined activism will have precedent for stopping all natural resource, construction, agricultural, industrial, or housing projects anywhere in America. We also believe the EPA, with support from its supporters, has attacked the Constitution and Sovereignty of the State of Alaska by denying due process to a project lawfully granted leases on Alaska state lands. And, we think that a citizen can personally oppose the Pebble project for any reason but strongly support our call to protect "due process".
- Integrity. Having served as a university vice president, a high school and university English teacher; a regulatory commission chairman; a spokesman for oil, gas, mining and pipeline companies; an Army officer and a Washington Post newspaper delivery boy, I would never have thought of hiding behind some supposed, "Free Speech" defense while trumpeting a political viewpoint and pretending to represent my employer. Professors, like others, who use their official affiliations to give credence to their personal, political convictions have deviated from science and fact into the world of politics--at the expense of their own reputations and that of the institution(s) they presume to represent. On the other hand, we respect the integrity of some signers of the attached letter who represented themselves as retired or who did not otherwise use current state or university titles to enhance the impact of their petition signature. While we may oppose their politics, we do not criticize those who exercised their freedom of speech to sign the political petition--only those who seek to enhance their importance at the expense of their claimed affiliation. (I have to insert that it seems really amazing how some Academics can so blithely create a double standard. When one of them publishes a research paper, the "Academy" is expected to "peer review" it, to vigorously test it for scientific validity. But when a politician writes a letter on an environmental subject, a professor who works every day demanding peer review of scientific methodology, doesn't hesitate to sign his or her name ... even while invoking the unapproved use of his institution's name ... even when he or she has a degree totally unrelated to the letter/petition subject ... and even when he or she has not necessarily ever studied the topic in greater detail than skimming the contents of the biased letter/petition. In my farewell remarks before the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, I identified this same difficulty with other 'professionals', like regulators.)
- What's a governor to do? Some suggest that university systems throughout the country are heavily influenced by leftist professors. In fairness, others deny the allegation. In any case, one observes that money motivates much human action, including the actions of professors. Accordingly, one almost always finds it useful to "follow the money". If, as UAF professors have testified, Alaska Arctic OCS oil, gas and other human development should be suspended for a decade or so, until they get funding to complete a base line inventory of Arctic coastal and ocean ecology, one sees at least one motivation for professorial researchers who oppose development. It takes a great deal of money to prove or disprove the thesis that development should be permitted. One can, therefore, sympathize with excellent university leaders going back to Dr. William Wood, and more recently, Brian Rogers, Generals Mark Hamilton and Tom Case and Pat Gamble. How do they keep peace in the academic family and run an institution by taking a stand against activist professors who advocate under cover of university titles -- and who, presumably, are inculcating their own version of "Science" to impressionable students? Furthermore, the University of Alaska some years has leveraged about $6 in research grants from outside sources for every $1 of Alaska budget contributions. This has brought in hundreds of millions of dollars to the Alaska university systems and those benefiting from them. This gives incentive to professors to support federal government and private granting agencies politically. It gives perverse incentives to administrators to support professors who bring home the grant bacon. In turn, Legislators' constituents and campaigns are partly funded by such activity. And, what's a Governor to do?
- What we can do? We note that several of the letter/petition signers profess to represent Alaska's private university, Alaska Pacific University (APU). APU thrives on private contributions, particularly those originating from natural resource extractive industries and those affiliated or doing business with them. We note that if University of Alaska and Alaska Pacific University professor advocates named in the letter/petition got their way, there would be no money in Alaska to support either a public or a private university. Therefore, truly, we also observe that while we do not oppose a professor's right to speak against Alaska's economic survival, we do not have to pay for his or her right to do so. What can we do? We can tell the public and private institutions when they come calling for donations that we do not support their anti-development activist professors whether they officially or unofficially represent the institution. We can say, "Not this year". We can suggest to Legislators and the Governor when university lobbyists go to Juneau that we do not want to give them funding for research that produces armies of Academics intent on destroying the economy. We can say, "Not this year". Lastly, we can be a little more courageous about telling it like it is. All of us have the freedom of speech. If someone or some institution is contributing to the economic death of Alaska, each one of us has the right if not the responsibility to object. Right?
Personal comment: During the Great Eastern Blackout of 2003 your author was taking courses at the University of Michigan in Lansing on principles of utility and pipeline, economics and regulation. On the late afternoon of August 14, classmates (NGP Photo, 8-8-03) were walking from the parking garage to our graduation dinner/ceremony when the lights all over town began going dark as the sun began to recede. Everywhere ... except where we were, in the middle of the University Campus. Ironically, a day or two earlier, campus guides had taken us on a University tour, including a detailed briefing of the University's coal fired power plant. The University was quite comfortable with having this facility on campus because as our guide said, "we can use the grid in an emergency, but if the grid has an emergency, we remain independently powered." So on the related question of whether or not the University of Alaska should maintain an ageing coal fired powered plant on its far north Fairbanks campus, we would say: "the rationale for doing so is compelling, especially in view of the fact that the Campus is close to a nearly infinite supply of coal!" -dh
Q. Why is it so controversial for University of Alaska and Alaska Pacific University Professors to 1) sign this attached letter/petition, and 2) to do so while using their own university titles, presumably without permission from their universities to do so?
A. The letter/petition is controversial because professors advocating the EPA position are supporting a major violation of the American Constitution and of the rule of law; because they are doing so with the presumed support of the institution whose name they boldly use without approval; and, as Alaska educational service providers, the unlawful practice they condone erodes the economy of Alaska upon which their own and other great and small institutions and enterprises survive.
As we have explained, we support the Constitution's guarantee of free speech. We further support the freedom of all citizens, including professors, to 'petition their government'. We also agree that, citizens have the right to personally support and/or express opinions for or against projects, such as the proposed Pebble Mine in Southwestern Alaska.
However, we also embrace other, traditional principles:
- When an institution depending on public financing, permits activities designed to harm the public, the public has the freedom to withdraw financing of that institution.
- When employees act against the interests of the employer or taxpayers, they may be censured or dismissed if they use unapproved titles, resources, time and affiliations of the employer.
- When America's rule of law is threatened, all Americans are threatened and those threatening it, even while engaged in the act of speaking freely are subject to criticism and censure.
- With freedom comes responsibility.
- Those endangering the public interest must be willing to accept responsibility for loss of public support.
Note: Some of Alaska's most influential leaders whose businesses and eleemosynary activity would be harmed by liberal and/or misguided professorial activism serve on the Alaska Pacific University Board of Trustees and the University of Alaska Board of Regents. We sympathize with these public spirited, well intended citizens -- many of whom are dear and respected friends -- who also face difficult challenges when overseeing the policies of their institutions.
"I will observe a caution that I have for my colleagues regarding NARUC and urge them to watch the organization closely. Look, the job of regulatory commissioners is to carefully adjudicate proceedings based on a legal record with an absence of tainting, tarnish, bias. But somehow, when finding themselves in a public setting like a national organization, commissioners are sometimes led or tempted by a siren call of some group of Commissioners that wants the rest to take political positions based, not on a record, but on the emotional issue du jour. And that is inappropriate in my view. NARUC--just like a local Commission--ought to be taking positions based on a record even though it is a modified record."
As our faithful readers prepare for tonight's State of the Union Speech, we also await rationale justifying the continuing overreaching jurisdiction of the White House. Please review our editorial written two years ago. We briefed readers on a big change: this president was altering the authority to take over the economy. Former administrations planned to exercise broad economic powers only in the face of a national emergency. The current White House added a provision enabling it to take dictatorial powers in 'peacetime' as well. Perhaps a reading of our Executive Order analysis in combination with a hearing of tonight's speech will keep us all up to speed. -dh
Globe and Mail: On Validea.ca, investors can analyze 1,000 Canadian stocks through 12 different guru-based models and get individual reports on each company. Globe Investor has a distribution agreement with Validea.ca. Try it.
Gavel/APRN by Alexandra Gutierrez. It took Gov. Sean Parnell three years to get his oil tax overhaul through the Legislature. Now, the goal is to pass a bill setting the terms for a massive natural gas pipeline in 90 days. Hearings on the project started today, and a half dozen more are scheduled through this week alone.
The gasline bill that Gov. Sean Parnell (NGP Photo) produced Friday is long and detailed. So detailed in fact that the title alone takes up two pages.
The bill is slated to be heard in the resource and finance committees in both chambers, as well as the House Labor & Commerce Committee.
Watch the committee meeting:
See the original article
Our dearly departed friend, Mark Singletary.
Marcus K. "Mark" Singletary
1929 - 2014 | Obituary | Condolences
Marcus K. Singletary, who loved adventure, learning experiences and new interesting locations, has made the greatest and glorious journey to join loved ones who have preceded him. Mark passed away at home in Granbury on Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, after a brief illness of cancer. Memorial service: After interment in Austin, Mark's life will be celebrated with a service at 2 p.m. Thursday at First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth with the Rev. Lamar Smith officiating. Memorials: For those wishing to remember Mark and in lieu of flowers, memorials may benefit The Herbert F. and Vivian Singletary Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Law in care of the University of Texas Law School Foundation, 727 E. Dean Keeton St., Austin, Texas 78705; the Salvation Army in any city of choice; the Hamilton General Hospital Healthcare Foundation, Box 788, Hamilton, Texas 76531; or a charity of choice . Hook 'Em Horns! Born to Vivian and Herbert Singletary in Henderson on March 30, 1929, Mark graduated from South Park High School in Beaumont, Texas, attended Lamar University in Beaumont and received a bachelor of business administration from the University of Texas at Austin. Upon an honorable discharge from the United States Air Force, Mark entered the University of Texas School of Law from which he received his LLB (now doctorate of jurisprudence) in 1956, at which time he became associated with the former law firm of Tilley, Hyder and Law in Fort Worth. In February 1957, Mark and Shirley Tompkins were married at University Methodist Church in Austin. Interested in pursuing a career in energy and corporate law, Mark joined Honolulu Oil Co. in Midland in 1959. When Honolulu was sold, Mark chose to return to Fort Worth with Sinclair Oil and Gas Co. for which he continued to work in Tulsa, Okla., and New York. Shortly after Atlantic Richfield Co. purchased Sinclair and during the period energy companies were striving to obtain permission to construct the Trans-Alaska pipeline, Mark assumed the position of division attorney and lobbyist for ARCO in Anchorage and later held legal and governmental affairs management positions with ARCO in Denver, Colo., and Dallas. He was a member of the Texas, Oklahoma, New York and Alaska Bar associations. Mark volunteered his time to various community and civic organizations, including the Salvation Army which he served on its advisory committee in Anchorage, Denver and Austin. After retiring from ARCO, Mark and Shirley moved to Lakeway, where Mark cheered long and hard for the Texas Longhorns at football games, enjoyed playing golf, reading and traveling. After a few years, there was need for a new experience in his life and he began ranching on a small ranch near Hamilton, raising "pasture art longhorns." Mark and Shirley moved from Lakeway to Hamilton and resided there for several years before moving to Granbury. Mark was preceded in death by his parents, Vivian and Herbert Singletary; brother, Jerry Singletary; brother-in-law, Paul Brown; other relatives; and good friends. Survivors: His wife of 57 years, Shirley, son, Dan Sumner Singletary; son, Clay Stuart Singletary; grandchildren, Samantha Joy Singletary and Austin Marcus Singletary; sister, Jane Brown; brother, Don Herbert "Tony" Singletary and wife, Raynell; and sister-in-law, Mary Lynn Singletary. Many loving nieces and nephews, their families and all of Mark's good friends will miss him.
Published in Star-Telegram on Jan. 28, 2014
CBC News. TransCanada investigating cause of pipeline blast.
|Parnell's LNG project challenged by rival Walker and some ...Anchorage Daily News - Sean Parnell's newest proposal for bringing Alaska's North Slope natural gas to commercial markets finds a biting .... Sarah Palin's gas line legislation, ExxonMobil's Marty Massey testified "we are willing to take geologic risks, we are ...|
Point of personal privilege: ADN, Now in its 25th season of hosting concerts, plays, musicals and other spectaculars in its three main halls, the PAC has undergone regular renovation and repair over the years, most famously a $5 million roofing job needed to fix leaks in 2005. No one likes seeing a play with water dripping over their heads.
Likewise, no one wants to hear a concert accompanied by the hum of fans or other equipment. Everyone expects bathrooms to work. The seats mustn't wiggle and the air should be neither too hot nor too cold, nor should it smell funny. The house lights should go down when the stage lights go up. Set changes, curtain action and such should go so smoothly that you don't notice them. What patrons are paying for is to notice nothing, in fact, except the musician, actor, dancer or singer they've paid to see -- in as much comfort as can be reasonably expected.
To make that happen requires an efficiently operating infrastructure that few ever see. The ACPA occupies a city block, stands 200 feet tall and extends more than two storeys under the ground. Perhaps two-thirds of its space -- backstage, mechanical, storage, dressing rooms -- is out of view from the public areas.
"It's a very complicated and interesting building," said ACPA President Nancy Harbour (NGP Photo) as she took a reporter on a behind-the-scenes tour this month.
|Globe & Mail by Jeffrey Jones. Imperial Oil Ltd. told regulators the estimated cost of its long-delayed Mackenzie Valley Project has surged more than 40 per cent to at least $20-billion since its last tally almost seven years ago, and that it has no idea when North American gas markets might turn around to rescue the project from limbo. (See our related commentary)|
In Tomorrow's Commentary, We will Bring Readers Our Historic Gas Pipeline Christmas Commentary: "All I Want For Christmas"
On Christmas eve, we remember how our friend, Bill Tobin (NGP Photo), used to include this Christmas Tree every year on the Anchorage Times editorial page, courtesy of Publisher Bob Atwood. We appreciate the editors of the the Anchorage Daily Planet for carrying on the tradition and reprint Bill's Christmas Tree below as a tribute to our great Alaska predecessors and as a commitment to honor and propagate their pioneering spirit.
Editor's note: Each Christmas over the years, veteran Alaska newsman Bill Tobin offered his own Christmas tree to readers. In his memory, we offer it today:
We Once Again
Decorate A Little
Tree To Say Thanks To
All Of You Who have Blessed
Us With Your Friendship Over
More years Than We Care To Count.
More And More We
Have Come To Realize
That The World Is Filled
More By Goodness Than It
Is By Evil, And That A Smile
Goes Much Farther Than A Frown.
It's Better To Light
One Little Candle Than
It Is To Curse The Darkness,
And That Mostly Has Been The
Mission Of This Little Corner Of The
Times For All These Years That We Have
Been Enriched By The Opportunity To Be
With Faithful Readers, Week After Week.
We Have Offered Here
The Holy Prayer Of St. Francis
Of Assisi, And With Joy We Do So
Again, In Hopes It Reflects Simple Ways
We Each Could Help Build A Better World:
An Instrument Of
Your Peace. Where There
Is Hatred, Let Me Sow Love;
Where There Is Injury, Pardon;
Where There Is Doubt, Faith; Where
There Is Despair, Hope; Where There Is
Darkness, Light; And Where There Is Sadness,
That I May Not So
Much Seek To Be Consoled
As To Console; To Be Understood
As To Understand; To Be Loved As To
Love; For It Is In Giving That We Receive;
It Is In Pardoning That We Are Pardoned, And
It Is In Dying That
We Are Born
- William J. Tobin
Anchorage Daily Planet Editorial: We can highly recommend a recent editorial in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner to provide a clear explanation of the difference between Alaska’s old, failed tax system – Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share – and the new reform that tax-and-spend advocates are pushing to get rid of without even understanding what they are trying to do.
December 6, 2013, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell has ordered all state flags to be lowered to half-staff on Saturday in commemoration of Pearl Harbor Day. (Here is the personal tribute we wrote a year ago.) -dh
Thanksgiving, 2013, "Thank You, Father"
Many of our readers know of the Pilgrims' first celebration of Thanksgiving. Some have also toured Mount Vernon and Monticello, General Lee's home in Arlington National Cemetery and the Ronald Regan Presidential Library in Simi Valley and consider Abraham Lincoln the acknowledged father of America's Thanksgiving Day. One is amazed at how much these leaders accomplished, and how much hey had in common--a deep faith in their Creator.
Your author and many readers believe America today requires valiant and inspired leadership to rescue the Founders' nation from depravity, insolvency, incompetence, suicidal economics, political and military vacillation, unsustainable populism, corruption, dictatorial government overreach and an almost irreparable loss of freedom.
We believe that the essential ingredient a saving leadership will possess is an unshakeable relationship with the God of our fathers. The leader who will save America from decline and eventual dissolution will share the faith of those noted above and many others.
We provide the few links above for those wishing to refresh their knowledge of where the greatness of America originated.
For years -- on this day -- I have reviewed Washington's and Lincoln's words and been both admonished and encouraged.
In rereading them again today, I am also frightened that not enough of our leaders and fellow citizens take direction from the almighty God of our fathers and so many dear mothers.
I fear America's spiritual decay is accurately reflected in the shallow term shouted gleefully to coworkers by many who left their offices early yesterday, "Hey, have a great turkey day!"
If we fail to worship our Creator, give Him proper thanks and even acknowledge his existence how can we expect Him to protect us, guide our progress, lead our people and ultimately gather us in His eternal presence?
And if we give more honor to "Turkey Day" than to the God who guided our great leaders of the past, how can we expect the American experience to end well?
Together, then, let us focus on Him today as we begin our Thanksgiving feasts with, "Thank you, Father...."