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
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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
Last week, we reluctantly took a stand, criticizing the action of a Member of Alaska's Congressional Delegation. We said, We do find it unsettling that a Member of Alaska's Congressional Delegation -- or any Member of Congress -- would become a Member of Congress, swear to uphold the Constitution, and then deny the due process guarantees .... How could any lawmaker or administrator of law try to deny protections of the law and Constitution to any citizen?
Energy Daily. A court decision regarding offshore oil and gas leases off the coast of Alaska could hinder oil giant Shell's plans to drill in the Chukchi Sea.
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.
ADN. Gov. Sean Parnell on Friday introduced legislation to move ahead on his proposal to make the state a financial partner with Alaska's oil producers and pipeline company TransCanada in a liquefied natural gas project.
The state already has signed commercial agreements with the industry players, and Senate Bill 138 aims to put that framework into law.
The 49-page measure calls for a new subsidiary of the public Alaska Gasline Development Corporation to own shares in an LNG plant and marine terminal proposed for Nikiski where the liquefied gas would be shipped out on tankers to Asia. But the state may not end up owning a piece of the pipeline itself.
Petroleum News, by Kristen Nelson. Alaska Legislature gaveled in Jan. 22. In Gov. Sean Parnell’s state of the state address Jan. 23, and the Democratic response which followed, gas pipeline issues were highlighted as significant for the session, and party lines on the issue appeared drawn.
A Pebble Tossed In The Pond...
...does it simply produce ripples--or a tsunami threatening to ruin the rule of law?
Ibrahim was the Lebanese cab driver who picked my son and me up at Washington's Reagan International Airport yesterday and gifted us with his view of America.
We have not criticized Begich or anyone else for not personally supporting a particular natural resource project.
We do find it unsettling that a Member of Alaska's Congressional Delegation -- or any Member of Congress -- would become a Member of Congress, swear to uphold the Constitution, and then deny the Federal due process guarantees of the Fifth Amendment (i.e. closely related to the Fourteenth Amendment protections applying to the states). How could any lawmaker or administrator of law try to deny protections of the law and Constitution to any citizen?
Among other ways, due process is attacked when a regulatory agency acts to prevent a lawful lease holder of state (or federal) land with the right to create a plan and apply for state and/or federal permits even before a legal record has been created to justify any regulatory action.
Those wishing to not see a project like Pebble develop -- including a U.S. Senator -- are bound under the Constitution to became a party to a legal proceeding, argue their case and hope that the final decision based on the legal record and merits of the case falls in their favor. And, if it doesn't, due process allows for any party to appeal to a higher tribunal.
We find it equally offensive and likely an impeachable offense that the President would support the EPA's effort to deny due process to the lawful lease holder of Alaska state lands.
Other citizens are also concerned about this violation of a Constitutional guarantee:
Former Executive Director, Alaska Miners Association, Steve Borell (NGP Photo) points out that the EPA's attack on Pebble more resembles the act of a Banana Republic than the United States.
As we crossed the Potomac, driving by the Lincoln, Jefferson and Washington Monuments we asked our new friend when and why he came to America.
He had been a doctor decades ago and with other educated citizens in the 1980s spoke out against heavy handed government treatment of citizens. He was appalled at Syrian influence and violence in his country and over time his voice and that of other Lebanese patriots resulted in their expulsion or escape from the country.
"There are hundreds of thousands of us all over the world, working hard in our new lands. Lebanese expatriates in Africa are among the wealthiest on that continent. Many of us chose America because of its freedom," he said.
He double-parked in front of our rented townhouse on C Street NE, a few blocks from the capital.
The huge snowstorm had left the ground blanketed in sparkling whiteness and as other cars went around us, we continued to talk.
"In Lebanon," he said, "the politicians tried to divide the people--the Sunnis the Shiites and the Christians--so that they could control them. I don't blame the politicians as much as I blame the people for being so stupid, so gullible."
I asked if he didn't sometimes feel like going back to help his people. "No way", he said. "Here, we may not like one another sometimes, but we still live together. We have whites, blacks, Asians, and immigrants from every place, much more diverse than Lebanon, but we have the rule of law. If you step over the line, the law will get you. Over there, terrorists step over the line every day and the law does not stop them. Ordinary people have freedom here; most other countries do not."
"The one thing America has done better than other countries is protect ordinary citizens with the law," he concluded. While we spent less time discussing rule of law in America, he also expressed displeasure with politicians who used wealth, religious, political or racial issues to divide and conquer citizen support here.
We took Ibrahim's cell number, paid him and agreed to call him for other rides while we were in town.
In these pages over the years -- especially over the last five years -- we have mourned over America's diminishing "rule of law" which, as Senator Tom Coburn recently put it, is increasingly becoming "rule of rulers". (Note: In the right hand column we have a Google search engine confined to our own thousands of pages. Search for 'due process', 'rule of law', or 'let me count the ways'.)
We have seen the rule of law debased by Administration regulators who settle with environmental litigants with an alarming trend of "wink, wink, nod, nod" settlements. The conflict of interest is jaw dropping when one witnesses settlements between social activists who sue and former social activists hired by the Administration to regulate. A "sue and settle process" has in many ways replaced or hijacked "due process", a foundation of our Constitution and of the rule of law. The new process erodes Constitutional protection for all citizens while enriching and further encouraging other citizens to disrupt lawful activities with frivolous but lucrative lawsuits and other delay tactics.
One might say, "Well, Dave, if there truly is something bad going on here, why wouldn't a company just sue the government?" Good question. Answer, companies find it unsavory and bad business to sue their regulators, generally. The thinking is that while one has to compromise principle, it's cheaper for the shareholders to quietly pay the settlement blood money today and satisfy the regulators and litigants than to upset them just prior to the initiation of some new project requiring their support.
That is why it is so important for citizens to become aware of what is happening to their country's eroding status as a world icon for due process, fairness and citizen protections under a rule of law.
If regulators and their allies can stop a lawful lease holder, like the Pebble Project (which has leased Alaska land) from filing permit applications, receiving a fair regulatory hearing of issues, and being able to appeal a fully adjudicated issue, we have truly lost freedom.
And if we let our hard won and dearly protected Constitutional freedoms erode into the deep space of history, will there ever again be a place for the Ibrahims of a lawless world be able to seek asylum and peace? Indeed, as our own freedoms recede, what options to American citizens have?
Tomorrow, we'll have another cab ride with our Lebanese friend and will ask him these questions.
Maybe Ibrahim, as one who has suffered so much to obtain what we have so callously taken for granted, can shed new light on why American citizens must resist attacks on our Constitution as if our families depended on our courage, insight and action.
Maybe our humble cab driver, named after the great prophet, Abraham, can lead us to a better understanding of the future awaiting us all.
And maybe we'll all come to better appreciate the tsunami-like impact on one's homeland that could begin with a pebble's splash, a landslide, a distant earthquake or the slow collapse of a great country's rule of law.
... (more coming)...