Dan Fagan (NGP Photo) has asked your publisher to be on his show this morning at 7 a.m. Alaska time with co-host Elizabeth Giordano. For those interested, we'll try to find a podcast to post later. -dh
See our earlier commentary regarding the Alaska Northern Waters Task Force: Now for our current update and opinion: Alaska's legislature appears to overreach its constitutional authority by establishing an entity, under its own aegis, with a mission to represent the state on many Arctic matters/issues. We believe this is the proper role of the elected Governor and his cabinet, not legislative appointees. Nevertheless, a task force, more fully described in our earlier commentary, successfully recommended approval during the last session of an "Alaska Arctic Policy Commission". The activities of this peripatetic commission will be little influenced by the Governor and members of his Administration (i.e. both the Administration and environmental community will each have one appointed member). Today, as noted in the Roger Marks column below, the confusion and conflict over Alaska's unstainable tax and spend policies are dividing our people. In addition, we now see prospects for a chaotic management issue arising as an independent, legislatively appointed ambassadorial group seeks to represent Alaska to the world in spite of whatever policy the Administrative branch of government has established as 'the State's policy'. We predict that the major contribution of this Commission will be to inject more uncertainty into the plans of potential and current Alaska natural resource investors. Without more, massive natural resource development, the Trans Alaska Pipeline System's chances for an extended life are doomed. Here is the latest news release from the legislature and here is more on the resolution creating the Commission. (We always invite additions or corrections to facts presented; we'll also reprint reader reactions which may be sent here.) -dh
(The following opinion is no doubt supported by Obama's blocking of the Keystone XL Pipeline. -dh) Calgary Herald Opinion by Ted Morton (CH Photo). Today, the alignment of Alberta’s energy policies and the principle of provincial rights is less certain. The same principles that animated Lougheed’s defense of Alberta’s energy sector have become a potential liability: the threat by British Columbia to block any new bitumen pipelines to the West Coast. These proposed pipelines are critical to opening new Asian markets and reducing Alberta’s debilitating and expensive dependence on a single customer—the United States—for our oil and gas exports.
ADN Opinion by Roger Marks (NGP Photo). My father used to tell a joke: A man is down to his last $10. He goes to the track and puts all his money on the horse with the longest odds. The race starts and his horse is dead last. The man drops to his knees and starts praying to God. As he prays the horse starts to gain. The more he prays the more the horse gains. By the home stretch the horse is well ahead. At that point the man stands up and says, "Thanks, God. I'll take over from here." The "It's Our Oil" perspective, which advocates retaining the current production tax, ACES (Alaska's Clear and Equitable Share), is like this gambler. ... Oil investment has soared worldwide in recent years, but has been lethargic on the North Slope, despite abundant reserves. It is hard to see how staying the course, the "I'll take over from here" attitude, will benefit the state in the long-run. Like the horseplayer, once you succeed it is easy to forget the actual source of your prosperity.