Comment: While Alaska has world class resource potential and wealth (as noted below), its unbridaled spending has called fiscal solvency into question, as noted above. We are compelled to ask almost every day on this web page in many different ways: "Will Alaska's leaders be wise and decisive enough to balance long term spending with resource development income? And...will Alaska's elected leaders think of themselves more than the debt-inheriting generation that follows them?" -dh
Seattle Times by Howard Bernton. During the last year, some 400 workers at a shipyard on Seattle's Harbor Island have been installing new diesel engines, welding bulkheads, painting and tackling other tasks to prepare the Kulluk, a Shell Oil rig, for drilling holes this summer in the sea bottom off Alaska's North Slope. The refurbishing of Kulluk and other Shell work done in the Pacific Northwest has pumped some $200 million into the local economy, according to company officials. This could be the launch to what may be a decade of exploration and development of offshore oil fields in Arctic waters. "It's the first new maritime-associated industry to start to emerge in Puget Sound in decades, and we're just thrilled about it," said John Lockwood, a senior adviser at Vigor Shipyards, which landed the oil-rig work at Harbor Island.
While lower fuel costs should certainly come as welcome news, the “unlikely” victory comes in the form of a small desert reptile. This week the U.S. Department of the Interior announced that it will not list the dunes sagebrush lizard as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act, and will instead cooperate with oil and gas producers to advance conservation plans and ensure the vitality of the species. Had the federal government advanced plans to list the species, significant amounts of energy production in the resource-abundant Permian Basin in New Mexico and Texas would be inaccessible to producers and consumers alike.
At barbeques, church gatherings and beach weekends this summer, North Carolinians will likely be faced with a new topic of conversation – the potential development of the state’s onshore natural gas resources. This discussion has some residents concerned about the consequences of development and others looking forward to its potential benefits.