By Marie H. Buchinski, Kelsey J. Drozdowski, and Celeste M. Hutchinson
In Canada, the federal, provincial and territorial governments have assumed a role in the development and operation of various energy projects, particularly those that have the potential to impact the environment. This separation of jurisdiction between the levels of government, arising in part from the division of powers under the Constitution Act, 1867
, has demonstrably contributed to regulatory delays regarding project approvals because of the sometimes difficult task of coordinating the review of the project amongst the levels of government, and even within one particular level of government.... *** NNS
by Guy Quenneville
. In what the GNWT is calling "a big step forward," the NWT Chamber of Commerce has successfully pushed three key NWT infrastructure developments with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, which will now lobby for those projects - as well as reforming the NWT regulatory regime - with the federal government. (Alaska could learn from their NWT neighbors. -dh)
Last week I wrote about Federal threats to Alaska's economy and America's way of life...and how you can join me in acting to stop the threat.
This week my corporate, government, education, Alaska Native, youthful, disabled and retired friends should be feeling a certain presentiment, a foreboding coolness in their bones: and it is not the chill of winter...yet. I'll explain.
Don't you agree it is indisputable that TAPS throughput is declining toward zero at a rate of about 4-7% per year? And, our State's operating budget is rising and almost totally dependent on oil and gas tax and royalty revenue? And, without ANWR, without a big new discovery, without a gas pipeline in the next few years and without a miracle, Alaska will be facing an economic meltdown...unless we experience a dramatic, successful OCS exploration program, with a 37.5% revenue sharing provision like Gulf of Mexico states enjoy?
Here's what might be causing those chills, that sense of foreboding: two Federal actions whose comment periods close in a week could shut down that OCS potential, leaving Alaska high and dry, half depopulated and destitute within a decade. One envisions the once proud, independent 49th State becoming a ward of the Federal government before its 60th Anniversary.
Yesterday, I sent a personal email like this to every member of our Legislature, our Governor and our Congressional Delegation (NGP Photos: Governor Sean Parnell and Senator Lisa Murkowski (above), Senator Mark Begich (above-r) and Congressman Don Young (r)). It will be interesting to see who responds. Meanwhile, anti-domestic energy advocates are sending comment letters in by the hundreds to these agencies.
If you agree with me, it is essential
that you add your TWO brief letters (email format) to the record of these TWO PROCEEDINGS AS INDICATED BELOW (Scroll down under the 'Read More' link). Then copy your letter into the comment section below...or email it to me
. (NGP Photos, reader Mary Ann Pease
the Alliance's Graham Smith
, who just dispatched a letters)
Keeping the faith for a prosperous Alaska!
If I were in a hurry, here are the sort of brief notes I would email in BY FRIDAY:
Mr. Michael Weiss
Deputy Associate Director, Ocean and Coastal Policy
Council on Environmental Quality
722 Jackson Place, NW
Washington, DC 20503
RE: Need for Oceans Policy to Safely Balance America's Economic Needs & Environmental Concerns
Dear Mr. Weiss:
I am writing in strong support of an oceans governance policy that successfully recognizes the importance of striking a balance between the protection of our oceans and their economic uses, particularly where responsible energy production is concerned.
The oil industry has demonstrated that it can operate in this climate safely and does so as well as or better than it is required to do in any other region of the world. Alaskan and U.S. regulatory structures are already responsible and effective, if not extreme and harsh.
Accordingly, I urge that in pending Oceans Policy development you assure that the energy industry has full access to the national waters surrounding Alaska and the rest of the country, confident that existing regulatory regimes will assure the proper exploration and development of oil and gas here, both within Federal and State jurisdictions.
To disallow or impede energy development would be to threaten the livelihood of Northerners, to cause the withering of Alaska's economy and to adversely affect the American economy at a time when a robust economic recovery is required.
2. To EPA Regarding Clean Air Act Permit for Shell Oil's Operation of the Frontier Discoverer Drillship and Fleet, Deadline: October 20, 2009 (Next Tuesday).
Shell Chukchi OCS Air Permit
ATTN: Pat Nair, Permit Writer
EPA Region 10
1200 6th Ave, Ste. 900
Mail Stop: AWT-107
Seattle, Washington 98101
Dear Ms. Nair:
With this letter I urge the EPA to timely approve and not further delay issuance of Shell's air permit for operation of the Frontier Discoverer as soon as this Winter in the Chukchi Sea.
The oil industry has demonstrated that it can operate in our Northern climates safely and does so as well as or better than it is required to do in any other region of the world. Alaskan and U.S. regulatory safeguards are already responsible and effective, if not extreme. If this permit is not issued, a $2.3 billion investment in Alaska's Federal OCS could be in jeopardy. The oil and gas we could have obtained there, will be imported from areas with less rigorous environmental regulation at a cost of up to 35,000 jobs per year with massive negative impact on Alaska's economy, our balance of trade and our Nation's security.
Accordingly, I urge that you promptly issue the appropriate air quality permits to Shell. I urge you to be mindful of the value most Alaskans and Americans place on the energy industry having full access to the national waters surrounding our country, including Alaska. We are confident that existing regulatory regimes will assure the proper exploration and development of oil and gas off Northwestern Alaska, both within Federal and State jurisdictions.
To disallow or impede energy development through delay or denial of these air quality permits would be to threaten the wellbeing of Northerners, to cause the withering of Alaska's economy and to adversely affect the entire American economy at a time when a robust, healthy economic recovery should be encouraged by the Obama administration.