GAS PIPELINE NEWS: Today, July 30, from 1-4 p.m. in the Anchorage Legislative Information Office, Room 220, 715 W. 4th Avenue, the Legislature's Joint "In-State Gas Caucus" is hosting a meeting of state, federal and industry officials to hear updates on efforts to monetize the state's natural gas and Point Thompson resources.
Here's another deadline today. Alaska's Lower 48 brethren by the hundreds of thousands have helped with comments on our issues and the Keystone XL Pipeline directly affects national defense as well as Alaska's security. The Obama Administration has stalled the project as it has our Beaufort and Chukchi OCS projects and a comment period for Keystone XL expires today. Once again we urge elected officials, citizens and companies to weigh in if they have not. Here is general background on the project from Consumer Energy Alliance. Here's how to comment (Change the draft any way you wish.) Here's a recent letter from Resource Development Council for Alaska. Here are some letters from various officials. Here is our earlier comment on the importance of public official involvement. -dh
Calgary Herald by Deborah Yedlin. If you want to do the equivalent of waving a red flag in front of a bull to an Albertan, just utter the words, "fair share". But that's exactly what the B.C. government did on Monday, when it outlined the five thresholds that must be met for the Enbridge Northern Gateway oil pipeline to proceed. Most Albertans will recall the last time a politician used the words "fair" and "share" together. It was former premier Ed Stelmach's misguided royalty review and it all ended very badly. (Note: Certain elements of the Alaska government constantly use the term 'fair share', as though the state were not already taxing oil companies like modern-day highway robbers. One would think Stelmach royalty experience would have rubbed off on both Alaskan lawmakers and Premier Christy Clark. -dh)
Vancouver Sun by James Wood and Chris Varcoe. As Alberta and British Columbia rumble in Canada’s newest energy war over the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal, echoes of pitched jurisdictional battles of the past ring out.
Speaking of 'Fair Share' adherants, Alaska Senator Bill Bill Wielechowski said in a release last week
that, "Second Quarter 2012 Earnings Report Shows ConocoPhillips made $551 Million in Alaska." Since we have Wielechowski's complete release linked above and do not have such a link for Giessel, we reprint her release as we received it. Here is a PNA story.
For Immediate Release: July 26, 2012
GIESSEL CAUTIONS CAREFUL LOOK AT CONOCO SEC FILING
After colleagues rushed proclamations, Senator wants focus on actual facts and consequences before passing judgment on ACES
Thursday, July 26, 2012, Anchorage, Alaska – After reviewing the press releases and background documents, State Senator Cathy Giessel cautions taking fellow Senator Bill Wielechowski’s proclamations about ConocoPhillips’ latest Securities Exchange Commission filings with a heaping tablespoon of salt.
“Perhaps he should consider reading glasses,” Giessel, R-Anchorage, said. “The asterisk and small print on Alaska in the segment highlighted by his press release shows that the low-balled 35 percent number doesn’t factor in property taxes or severance tax, which pushes their effective tax rate under ACES closer to 64 percent. If you add in our royalty charge, you’re up around 70 percent. That’s a significant difference, and a big deal.”
“Careful attention to detail is important when scrutinizing a data-packed document like an SEC filing. The Senator needs to read the fine print carefully and not rush to judgment,” Giessel said. “This is of paramount importance to the health and financial well-being of our state and Alaskans deserve better than rash comments that are misleading.” During this year the company is on track to pay the State nearly twice what it will keep in profit from its Alaska business” she added.
The filing further shows that through the second quarter the company invested $2.9 billion in capital projects in Alaska, the Lower 48 and Latin America . Only $388 million of that in Alaska. “$2.5 billion in American spending NOT taking place in Alaska,” Giessel said. “The money’s going south, where companies see the most upside. Obviously, they don’t see that in Alaska under this tax regime.”
The filings also show that they’ve underspent their Alaska budget for last year. “That’s worrisome in and of itself,” Giessel said. “There’s a huge disparity between Senator Wielechowski’s reported ‘facts’ and the context and content. Despite what he would lead you to believe, these filings don’t offer ‘proof’ that ACES is working. What the filings show is that ConocoPhillips is focusing more and more outside of Alaska, and if that’s the Senator’s definition of “working” – sending money and assets away – then I for one will work even harder to make us more competitive.”
The Consolidated Income Statement filing can be viewed at http://www.conocophillips.com/EN/investor/financial_reports/earnings_reports/Documents/2Q12.pdf