Rally The Troops TODAY!

One of Alaska’s most dedicated pioneer patriots, and a dear friend (Photo, Carl Portman), has written us this heartfelt CALL TO ACTION.  PLEASE RESPOND AND MEET TODAY IN DOWNTOWN ANCHORAGE if you are in the state’s largest city.  If not, register your opinion by commenting at the Department of Interior link found here, today, before you forget!  -dh


As a lifelong Alaskan raised in Fairbanks, I flew up to the “Golden Heart City” yesterday to present personal testimony supporting proposed lease sales on the coastal plain of ANWR.  The hearing was painful and did not represent the view of a majority of Alaskans. Hundreds attended the packed hearing at the Carlson Center and we were outnumbered 50-1 in testimony, despite efforts to rally our friends.

I arrived 20 minutes after the doors opened at 3:00 p.m., more than three hours before public testimony was to begin. I signed up to testify, but learned I was number 52 on the list of those wishing to speak, yet very few people were present. Apparently, most opponents to the lease sale arrived early by bus, signed up, left, and returned promptly by 6:30 (One hopes the enviro-activist commenters did not recruit visiting scientists noted in the right column.  -dh). They totally monopolized the hearing. Unfortunately, I did not get an opportunity to testify as time ran out.

This evening in Anchorage we have another chance and it will be all hands on deck! We cannot be complacent. It is absolutely critical we have a strong showing at the Dena’ina Center. We must not allow a repeat of Fairbanks in Anchorage today. I encourage ALL caring Alaskans to come early to the convention center ahead of the 3:00 p.m. opening to get in line. Return at 6:30 to express your support for the proposed lease sales. Please do not allow the opposition to speak for you! I plan on arriving no later than 2:30, if not earlier, then return to the office after signing up.

I know we all have busy schedules, but this is our one opportunity to express public support for responsible energy development on the coastal plain.

Format for the meeting:

  • Open house starts at 3:00 p.m. (Sign up to testify at this time)
  • BLM presentation at 4:30 p.m.
  • Invited speakers at 5:00 p.m.
  • General public comments at 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Public testimony, limited to three minutes, will be first come, first serve. Please arrive early to obtain a comment card issued by BLM and then come back and testify. The comment cards do not guarantee folks will be given a chance to speak, but those with cards will be given priority. Please do NOT lose your card!


Main points:

  • The area considered for leasing was specifically set-aside in ANILCA for future oil and gas development.
  • International agencies forecast that over 50% of the globe’s energy will still come from traditional sources of oil and gas in the next three decades.
  • Industry has a strong track record of responsible development, and has continued to make strides to reduce its footprint.
  • The lease sale is the first step in a very long process. Lease sales do not guarantee development.

Please read the full alert at http://www.akrdc.org/action-alert-anwralert with additional points to consider for your comments. I hope to see a strong turnout of our board at this evening’s hearing at the Dena’ina Center!

Carl Portman
Deputy Director, Resource Development Council for Alaska

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Can Alaska Academics be Impartial?

We could show you numerous responses to our editorials — written by a socialist, anti-oil industry professor during business hours.  We witnessed UAF professors attend an Obama era social event sponsored by BOEM in Anchorage.  We have seen participants in the Enviro-Governmental-Business cabal coordinating press conference activity with a former Secretary of Interior’s staff.  We believe there is reason to urge our Congressional Delegation to be leery about engaging in policy discussions with University of Alaska professors, though we are hopeful that the majority of those thought leaders adhere to logic, intellectual integrity and the Scientific Method rather than political sophistry.

We therefore applaud our Congressional Delegation for its initiative…while hoping our readers keep the reality of academic prejudice in mind as they review the Op-ed piece below.  -dh

Let’s make Alaska home of the next big idea

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski

By Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Secretary Rick Perry

May 29, 2018

Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Northern Gas Pipelines photo by Dave Harbour

Over the next few days, the University of Alaska will host a unique event that brings dozens of the world’s best and brightest scientists to Fairbanks. Known as National Lab Day, this forum will provide an incredible opportunity for Alaskans to form new partnerships with the individuals who run our nation’s premier research institutions.

If national parks were America’s best idea, National Labs were our smartest. From their founding more than 70 years ago, the laboratories now affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy have been engines of remarkable scientific achievement. Breakthroughs in renewable energy, the worldwide web, satellite technologies and safe drinking water are just a few of the many innovations to emerge from the likes of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge and Sandia over the years.

Today, the highly educated scientists at DOE’s 17 National Laboratories located across the country are searching for solutions to our most complex energy and environmental challenges. Once a year, the leaders of these labs hit the road together to discuss their work and find new collaborators. This year, Alaska is the lucky beneficiary. And in many ways, it’s a perfect match.

Alaska can be a significant asset to the labs, particularly in light of the state’s nearly unlimited resource potential. The methane hydrates beneath the North Slope could be the next shale gas. Advanced micro-reactors could provide cheap, reliable power to remote villages and military bases. Countless rivers, lakes and miles of coastline make Alaska a perfect test site for hydropower and marine hydrokinetic projects. The state is also home to a vast mineral base that can be responsibly developed to provide raw materials needed for those technologies and more.

The National Labs will find willing and creative partners all across Alaska. Over 200 remote communities and villages rely on diesel generators for local power and heating, but high fuel costs eat up household budgets and depress local economies. Alaskans also face receding sea ice, melting permafrost and other environmental changes that threaten both ways of life and critical infrastructure. These challenges are driving real-world innovation, whether through energy storage, wind, hydropower, biomass or nontraditional renewables on the microgrid scale. Working with the labs will kick these efforts into overdrive, and help Alaskans commercialize innovative technologies that can be used here and around the world.

To learn more about those challenges and opportunities, earlier this month, we traveled together in Alaska. The resourcefulness and ingenuity of Alaskans was clear to see, from the oil pumps at Prudhoe Bay to the energy flywheel in Kodiak. What’s more, we saw that by working together, we can create a brighter future for all Alaskans, and all Americans.

While there are no National Laboratories in Alaska, the state itself is a living laboratory. That’s evidenced by the more than 70 communities that are integrating renewables into their power generation. Alaska’s hybrid systems now comprise about 12 percent of the world’s renewable-powered microgrids. The Department of Energy last year recognized the state as a global leader, awarding a large grant to a consortium that includes Cordova to continue this pioneering work.

The seeds of lasting partnership are already in place. The University of Alaska Fairbanks received a grant last year through the ARPA-E program to study how sugar kelp farms could produce biomass and biofuels. UAF has also forged ahead on unmanned aerial vehicles through its Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration, which holds great promise for monitoring pipelines and wildlife in the harsh Arctic environment.

National Lab Day is an opportunity to further those partnerships, while building new ones that will bring additional benefits to Alaska long into the future. The conference begins tonight with two public events on the UAF campus — a walking tour of 11 scientific research facilities, followed by a series of TED-style talks on energy and related challenges.

The event continues tomorrow and Thursday at UAF’s Engineering Learning and Innovation Facility with plenary sessions focused on the basics of National Labs and what it takes for collaboration to succeed. And it wraps up on Thursday, with panel discussions on everything from natural hazards to our changing Arctic.

If you go, you’re guaranteed to meet some brilliant people. You’ll learn that Alaska is a living laboratory. That it is the best place in the world to prove a concept. And, thanks to events like this one, it may very well be home to the next big idea.

Lisa Murkowski is a U.S. Senator representing Alaska and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Rick Perry is the secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy.