Alert and Apology
1. We observe a tendency of some elected officials to require that projects be built their way when an alternative might be to create a more attractive investment climate.
We urge readers to consider the damage being wrought on Alaska's and the Nation's economy by a White House condoned perversion of natural resource permitting processes. For Federal leaders to proclaim support for economic recovery and then to act against economic recovery imperils our civilization. Here is the latest example--along with the united front displayed by Alaska's leaders.
"Miss a day and miss a lot."
Northern Gas Pipelines is your public service, objective, unbiased 1-stop-shop for Arctic gas pipeline history, projects and people, informal and rich with new information, updated daily. Here is the most timely and complete gas pipeline news collection anywhere. Northern Gas Pipelines might be the FIRST Alaska blog. Does anyone know of an older one (pre-2001)? -dh
Tom Brennan Urges Legislature To Heed Declining Throughput Reality 07 February 2011 8:04am
Anchorage Daily Planet by Tom Brennen (NGP Photo) Throughput in the trans-Alaska pipeline has been going down ever since that fateful day when I unwittingly announced that the North Slope oilfields had peaked out. I'm hoping the Legislature will soon reduce oil taxes and get the industry exploring again to flatten the production curve and keep the oil flowing. Otherwise I'm afraid somebody will blame it on me.* * * Shell Oil's announcement that it won't be drilling in the Beaufort Sea this year was no surprise - they just ran out of time. It's frustrating since the problem is being caused by government stalling, motivated by environmentalist agitation. Keep your fingers crossed for next year. That was just one option for getting new oil into the pipeline. The other is new exploration and production likely to come from reducing oil taxes.
We Ask: How Could Any Gasline Possibly Be Built Without "Help" From Politicians? 04 February 2011 5:20pm
We lament the current travail borne by our friends in Egypt and Jordan, and pray for them. (NGP Photo: Nubian, Arabic teacher, upper Nile -- and our guide and Facebook friend weeping for joy at a special moment. January 2010) -dh
Journal of Commerce by Tim Bradner (NGP Photo). Alaska legislators say they're frustrated with lack of progress by TransCanada Corp. in securing shipping contracts for a planned $40 billion-plus Alaska natural gas pipeline, and some are arguing for terminating the state's contract with the pipeline company, under which Alaska is paying a $500 million subsidy to the project.
San Francisco Chronicle/AP by Becky Bohrer. Alaska lawmakers introduced legislation Friday to abandon a centerpiece of former Gov. Sarah Palin's (NGP Photo) administration: a state-sanctioned effort to advance a major natural gas pipeline.
Alaska Leaders Rally In Support of Delayed Alaska OCS 04 February 2011 3:48am
Comment: Northern Economics and the University of Alaska's Institute of Social and Economic Research have quantified the economic effects of Alaska OCS exploration and development programs. In effect, the economists demonstrated the dangerous economic impacts of government permitting delays. At a time when the Nation needs economic recovery and Alaska desperately needs predictable Trans Alaska Pipeline throughput, federal government permitting delays are inexcusable. -dh
ADN by Richard Mauer. Peter Slaiby (NGP Photo), Shell Alaska's vice president, said at a news conference in Anchorage that the decision to forgo exploratory drilling off Alaska's Arctic coast this summer means a loss of about 800 jobs. Shell's decision also sets back the day when the company's offshore production could begin to help refill the trans-Alaska pipeline as output declines from aging North Slope oil fields, Slaiby said -- assuming Shell's exploratory program leads to development. ... "In Shell's global energy view, only urgent and timely action on the permitting and regulatory issues will preserve an offshore Alaska for 2012," Slaiby said. ... Shell's announcement was followed with sharp rebukes to the EPA by elected Alaska officials, though none addressed the fact that the EPA initially approved the permits. "This is just another delay resulting from the federal government dragging its feet, killing jobs and making us even more reliant on oil from the Middle East and elsewhere," said Gov. Sean Parnell (NGP Photo-r). "Shell has spent more than $3 billion and been ready to put Alaskans to work for the last few years but because of an inefficient bureaucracy and an overabundance of unnecessary regulations, they still have not been able to drill a single hole," said U.S. Rep. Don Young (NPG Photo-l), R-Alaska. "Considering how any attempt at project development is shut down by the EPA, they sure aren't interested in jobs for Alaskans."
Fargo Valley News Live. Sen. Mark Begich (NGP Photo-r), D-Alaska, blamed the Obama administration and the EPA. "Their foot dragging means the loss of another exploration season in Alaska, the loss of nearly 800 direct jobs and many more indirect jobs," Begich said. "That doesn't count the millions of dollars in contracting that won't happen either at a time when our economy needs the investment."
The News Tribune. Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo) said actions taken by the Obama administration will result in higher gasoline prices and a loss of jobs and revenue. "We talk a lot about the economy, but rarely do our actions match our rhetoric," she said. "That's unfortunate."
Apology - Shell Drops 2011 Beaufort Program 03 February 2011 4:44pm
Today we issued an email alert and, while we used spell check on the body of the editorial, we stupidly left typographical errors in the email subject line; we misspelled the President's name and the word 'government'. For that and all our other failings, we deeply apologize. -dh (See our email editorial comment below.)
New York Times, by Phil Taylor. Royal Dutch Shell PLC this morning announced it is postponing plans to drill for oil this summer in seas off Alaska, citing continued uncertainty over whether it would receive federal permits.