Creators of AGDC Respond to Gov's Board Appointments
Chenault, Hawker urge thorough review of qualifications
Thursday, February 19, 2015, Juneau, Alaska – House Speaker Mike Chenault and Representative Mike Hawker, architects of the legislation creating the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, urged a diligent review of the qualifications of three new board members appointed today by Gov. Bill Walker.
The three appointees are former state Senator Joe Paskvan, a Fairbanks lawyer; former state Senator Rick Halford of Dillingham, a retired pilot; and Hugh Short of Bethel, a businessman and former mayor.
AGDC board members are appointed by the Governor and serve at the Governor’s pleasure, but must be confirmed by the Legislature. In January, Walker fired three key board members with significant expertise in advancing Alaska’s interests in a large natural gas pipeline and LNG project.
“As with any appointments subject to legislative confirmation, we’ll conduct a thorough examination of these new appointees, their experience, and their qualifications,” Chenault, R-Nikiski, said. “We went to great lengths in the legislature to ensure that AGDC would be as far removed from politics as possible, having learned from past projects that real success is built not on hopes and dreams, but on technical, commercial, and financial know-how, with decisions driven by economic realities and not by politics.”
“It is a daunting task to replace the unparalleled expertise the original board members brought to AGDC,” Hawker, R-Anchorage, said. “In appointing AGDC’s inaugural board, the former administration publicly solicited applications, received nearly 100 responses, and selected the candidates with the greatest possible skills and experience to shepherd the state into its new role as a natural gas development partner with the private sector. I look forward to hearing from the administration the nature of its process used in these appointments, and better understanding the source of each candidate’s qualifications.
“AGDC’s original board members, some with international pipeline expertise, were a tremendous asset to AGDC,” Hawker said. Along with directing the organization, the public members added value by serving on subcommittees along with AGDC staff on commercial, engineering, and governance topics.
AGDC is not the only state corporation/entity to require specialized expertise in board members. The Alaska Aerospace Corporation, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, and Alaska Railroad Corporation statutes all require certain qualifications in board members. In the case of AGDC, the presence of two cabinet-level commissioners on the board, not their designees, is designed to ensure the board as a whole considers the broader interests of the state and of all Alaskans in directing the organization.
The three fired AGDC board members were:
- Al Bolea of Big Lake, brought insights into governance and the oil and gas industry through his former roles as a BP executive; chairman of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, and CEO of Dubai Petroleum in the United Arab Emirates.
- Drue Pearce of Anchorage, brought a wealth of expertise in federal rules related to permitting, a deep history of Alaska oil and gas development, and a comprehensive understanding of Alaskans’ needs through her former roles as a state senator; the Department of Interior’s Alaska advisor; and the federal coordinator for Alaska natural gas transportation projects.
- Richard Rabinow, of Texas, brought decades of experience in major pipelines, through his former work as President and CEO of Longhorn Pipeline Partners; as President of Exxon Mobil Pipeline Company; chairman of the Association of Oil Pipe Lines; and membership on the TransAlaska Pipeline System Owners Committee.