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Today Is BOEM's Comment Deadline - Canada Seeks To Resolve Arctic Boundaries - Does the Alaska Legislature Seek To Attract or Distract Oil and Gas Investors?

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO COMMENT.  HERE'S THE BACKGROUND AND HERE'S HOW TO COMMENT.  THE VOLUME OF CITIZEN COMMENT IS IMPORTANT; ELECTED OFFICIAL COMMENT IS CRITICAL

 

1.  The U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) hosted a public meeting in Anchorage toMichael%20Bromwich%20-podium-%20by%20Dave%20Harbour%20-%208-27-10%20140%208-26-2010%2011-05-23%20AM%208-26-2010%2011-05-24.jpg150discuss the Obama Administration’s offshore oil and gas drilling ban.  BOEM Director Michael Bromwich (NGP Photo-r) didn't announce the time or place of the meeting until a few days before, took no public testimony and refused to grant legislators' requests to be heard.  He conducted the Anchorage and other meetings similarly, as we reported.  You will find the official BOEM information on these forums here.  While the forums have been open to the public, members of the public were only permitted to comment by way of comment cards completed at the forum, submitted online or sent in by mail. Click here to submit a comment online. The comment period closes TODAY, September 17, 2010. (Photo-l, the Resource Development Council for Alaska's Jason Brune attends Anchorage event and urges attendees to fill out comment cards.  If you haven't, click above to submit a comment.  -dh

2.  IF YOU WERE AN OIL AND GAS INVESTOR WOULD THIS ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE ACTION BE ATTRACTIVE OR DISTRACTIVE?  IF YOU WERE A STATE WHOSE ECONOMY WAS 1/3 SUPPORTED BY OIL AND GAS AND YOUR STATE OPERATING BUDGET WAS 90% DEPENDENT ON OIL PRODUCTION, WOULD YOU SEEK TO ATTRACT OR DISTRACT OIL AND GAS INVESTORS?  Read about this upcoming -- interim -- legislative meeting and ... you be the judge:

Alaska Northern Waters Task Force.  Friday, October 1, Anchorage Legislative Information Office, Room 220, 8 a.m.  We editorialized on this new administrative agency created -- not within the Administration but within the Legislature. We believe that this 'harmless' task force is the first step toward passage of SB 4 (See our editorial), supports Senator Mark Begich's RCAC concept and seeks to have the Legislative Branch unconstitutionally usurp Administrative Branch responsibilities.  What say you?  -dh

3.  Calgary Herald, by Randy Boswell.  Recent efforts by Canada and other polar nations to avoid Arctic territorial conflicts got a major boost on Wednesday with the signing of a "historic" agreement between Norway and Russia establishing a new offshore boundary in the long-contested waters of the Barents Sea.  ... The ongoing thaw in relations among the Arctic's five coastal states -- Canada, Russia, Norway, the U.S. and Denmark -- was also in evidence in recent weeks when Canadian and American officials met in Ottawa for talks aimed at resolving a 40-year-old dispute over the maritime boundary in the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska and the Yukon.  ...  Disputes over offshore boundaries in the Arctic had become more pronounced earlier in the decade as melting polar ice began fuelling visions of increased northern shipping and potentially lucrative oil and gas development.  But after a Russian scientific team planted a flag on the North Pole sea floor in 2007 -- a purely symbolic act that nevertheless ignited outrage in Canada and elsewhere -- northern governments began moving to tone down the belligerent rhetoric and seek to reassure international bodies such as the UN and European Union that Arctic territorial issues could be worked out peacefully and without intervention by outside organizations.  The Barents Sea dispute was a particularly significant one because both Russia and Norway had been coveting possible petroleum deposits in the area of overlapping claims.  (We must opine here that every single Obama Administration action affecting Alaska has been negative to Arctic Oil and Gas exploration and development, from ANWR to NPR-A to Beaufort and Chukchi; from ESA to EPA, from USFWS to NOAA; from Salazar to Bromwich and from the Corps of Engineers to BOEM to White House Ocean Policy to Walrus to Beluga to Polar Bear.   Many of Alaska's own governmental actions have been a distraction if not a disincentive to oil and gas investment.  Meanwhile, adjacent Arctic countries are moving forcefully in to fill the leadership void, resolving border disputes that will later lead the way to accessing wealth producing Arctic oil and gas reserves.  We remind gentle readers that this trend carries with it other implications dealing with national defense and economic strength.  -dh)

Dave Harbour, Publisher, Northern Gas Pipelines

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