8-27-12 Alaska's Governor Accuses Obama Administration of Hurting Alaska's and America's Economies
Last Friday Governor Sean Parnell (NGP Photo) wrote the Chairmen of the Senate and House committees responsible for energy and natural resource policy. He said:
"At a press conference recently, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar blamed Shell Oil for the delays in drilling exploration wells in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. This premise is patently false. The attachment clearly displays a pattern of federal obstruction designed to prevent development of Alaska's abundant resource base. Decisions by the federal administration have negatively impacted Alaska's economy and, in fact, the entire nation. Repeated federal actions have led to countless delays, as every lease sale proposed in the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) has been canceled by the Obama Administration, with the exception of one, which was delayed. At this critical juncture, Alaska is prepared to supply our nation with employment as well as a secure source of domestic energy, only to be thwarted repeatedly by federal actions designed to impede our progress. Evidence shows the
|INVESTORS HUB. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Wednesday his government may contribute to the funding of a proposed pipeline to carry natural gas from the arctic through the Mackenzie Valley in Canada's north. "Because of the underdeveloped nature of the infrastructure, the government has provided some fiscal support to proponents to compensate for that, and that package of support is on the table," Mr. Harper told reporters in the Northwest Territories. Mr. Harper added that the pipeline would have to have a commercial basis. "The proponents themselves have to make decisions as to whether the projects are commercially viable," he said.|
blame lies not with industry, but with the Obama Administration's agenda to prevent oil and gas production on federal lands." (Here is the .pdf). (Commentary: We note that the Governor could have listed many contemporary examples of precisely how actions by Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the EPA, BLM, the USFWS and U.S. Coast Guard have more directly delayed Arctic exploration and development in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, America's National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, and the Congressionally-designated oil and gas exploration area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Governor is not exaggerating to say that the Obama Administration has created a, "pattern of federal obstruction designed to prevent development of Alaska's abundant resource base." -dh)
Alaska Dispatch by Alex DeMarban. With Arctic riches beckoning as the ice cap crumbles, world and local leaders eyeing the risks and rewards of development in the fragile high north gathered under one roof this weekend for a conversation on possibilities that seem as vast as the region's frigid ocean itself.
LA Times: Shell seeks more time to drill exploratory well in Chukchi Sea. With its bid to launch offshore drilling in the Arctic Ocean running up against a deadline to protect against sea ice, Shell Alaska has requested an extension in its window for drilling in the Chukchi Sea. Peter E. Slaiby (NGP Photo) , vice president of the Alaska venture, said Sunday that the company has proposed extending the time allowed for drilling in the Chukchi by slightly less than two weeks beyond the Sept. 24 deadline set by the U.S. Department of Interior to allow time for cleanup of any oil spill before the onset of winter sea ice. Meeting with reporters at an Arctic Imperative Summit here, Slaiby said the company’s latest models for forecasting the onset of winter sea ice now show the first freeze-up occurring somewhat later than originally envisioned when federal officials imposed their initial deadline for ending operations in the Chukchi
Sea.Houston Chronicle: Isaac shutting down production, refineries likely next. Energy companies intensified their efforts to evacuate workers from the Gulf of Mexico, as companies continued shutting down production. The trend is likely to continue Monday with refinery operations also being suspended. BP said Sunday it had suspended production at all of its operated production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, as it and other energy companies scramble to get ready for Tropical Storm Isaac to blast into the Gulf. The storm was moving across the Florida Keys and toward the Gulf Sunday afternoon, and several of the leading storm-tracking models show a westward shift, with a growing consensus that it will strengthen into a hurricane over the next few days.
Fresno Bee: America makes choices for wrong reasons. As gas prices climb back toward $4 a gallon, the Obama administration -- facing a tough re-election campaign and rising Middle East tensions -- is once again considering tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. For years, administrations have bought and stored oil for emergencies, in fear of a cutoff of imported oil, as happened during the Arab embargo of 1973-74. But since 2009, the U.S. government has declared most federal lands off-limits to new oil and gas exploration -- despite vast recent finds of energy and radically new means to tap it. President Obama also canceled the most vital sections of the Keystone pipeline, a proposed conduit from the Canadian oil fields into the heart of the oil-consuming U.S., while preventing production on existing oil and gas reserves in northern Alaska and offshore. In the midst of a crop-killing drought, we are diverting about 40% of our shrinking corn crop to produce high-cost ethanol fuels.
Oil Price: Dipping into US Strategic Oil Reserves: A Speculator's Bonanza. The White House is keeping the rumor-mill afloat with hints that it may draw from US strategic oil and petroleum reserves, watching the market respond on the speculation with a slight fall in oil prices, but this is just a testing of the waters. America has a 696-million barrel Strategic Petroleum Reserve stored away in underground salt caverns in two US states, Texas and Louisiana, in the event of an energy supply emergency. It may sound like a lot, but when you consider that the US imports over 300 million barrels of oil and petroleum products monthly, the buried reserves are meager. So when mainstream media starts reporting about “anonymous White House sources” hinting that President Obama is considering releasing oil from the reserve, you have to wonder why. Most likely, they are just testing the potential public response to this.
Houston Chronicle: Steffy: Romney plan based on fable of energy independence. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney rolled out an energy plan that bears one disturbing similarity to the Obama administration's. It's rooted in fantasy in the one area that matters the most: domestic oil and gas production. Not surprisingly, Romney's plan is heavily focused on fossil fuels, with only token mentions of alternative energy. It calls for more drilling both onshore and off. While President Barack Obama has struggled to create demand for alternative fuels - a strategy of "pulling" the country toward something it might not otherwise embrace - Romney is trying to "push" what we already have.
Washington Post: Alaska pursuing unconventional shale oil development to fill its pipeline. Canada may have its Albertan oil sands, and North Dakota has its Bakken oil formation. But don’t count Alaska out when it comes to producing unconventional oil. Alaska, which has fallen behind North Dakota in oil output and whose Prudhoe Bay oil fields are waning, is exploring the possibility of extracting oil from the source rock on the state’s North Slope. The state has leased more than half a million acres of its land to exploration companies, and even some environmentalists believe that the shale oil development could be the best way to increase output with relatively modest damage to the environment.