Charisse Millett, Alaska Legislator, Representative, Orphan Wells, BLM, Abandoned Wells, Dave Harbour PhotoCommentary: Alaska Legislator, Representative Charisse Millett (NGP Photo-r), Cathy Foerster, Chairman, Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, AOGCC, Orphan Wells, Abandoned Wells, BLM, DOI, IOGCC, Photo by Dave Harbourwill testify Thursday that the Bureau of Land Management fails to meet environmental standards required of private industry and citizens.   She will be joined by Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC) Chairman, Kathy Foerster (NGP Photo), whom we credit — along with her commission colleagues — with bringing the matter of abandoned, government legacy wells to public attention.   We acknowledge that previous administrations, the U.S. Navy and others share blame for littering Alaska with spent oil and gas exploration material and equipment and devoting little attention to legacy wells, regulated by the AOGCC on state as well as federal lands.  But for the current administration to move so slowly to properly deal with legacy wells using a specious, "We haven’t been funded" argument, is reprehensible.  Meanwhile, the hypocrisy is not lost on us that tomorrow U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson will join Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent and Mexican Environment Secretary Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada in New Orleans, La. for the 19th Annual Council at the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) session.  -dh

MEMORIES: 7-10-08, this day four years ago.  


The call-in number to join today at 10:00 a.m. via teleconference is 1-800-315-6338.   When asked for the code, dial in AK1 #.
Following the press conference, a copy of Governor Hickel’s Press Release will be e-mailed.  __________________________________________________
Former Governor Walter J. Hickel (NGP Photo) will hold a press conference today, Thursday, July 10th on the gasline decision being addressed by the legislature in special session.  The press conference will take place Thursday at 10:00 a.m. at the Hotel Captain Cook, 3rd floor conference room, above Fletcher’s.
Governor Hickel is opposed to granting a license to TransCanada to build a cross-Canada pipeline and strongly favors a state-owned All-Alaska gasline from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez. He believes it is essential that the State, representing all Alaskans, maintains control of North Slope natural gas which is located on State lands and is owned in common by all Alaskans.   Governor Hickel will make a statement at 10:00 a.m. and welcome questions. Other supporters of his approach will also attend.  For more information, pleasecall Carole Chambers at 343-2201.


Petroleum News by Eric Ledji.  Executives at Apache, a large Houston-based independent, said they believe there is as much oil still to be discovered in the Cook Inlet basin as has been produced in the 55 years since the first discovery well.  To justify that enthusiasm, Bedingfield offered a glimpse of the ambitious three-year, 3-D seismic program Apache is conducting in the Inlet. He showed investors a strip of data manipulated just enough to keep competitors from recognizing the location.  

Australian Climate Madness (7/9/12) reports: “Erica Maliki and her family were burying her father-in-law at Springvale Cemetery when she was told the price per burial plot had increased because of the carbon tax.”

Politico (7/10/12) reports: “The clock is ticking, but energy industry insiders can’t seem to agree on how much time utilities really need to meet EPA’s mercury and air toxics standards — and some companies have been slow on the draw.” 

CONTACT:      Rep. Charisse Millett, 907-250-1693
Millett to Testify to U.S. Senate Energy Committee on Neglected BLM north slope Legacy oil and gas Wells
July 12 testimony alongside AOGCC’s Foerster to highlight environmental damage and ask for more funds for proper well disposal and clean-up in the NPR-A
Monday, July 9, 2012, Anchorage, Alaska – Alaska Rep. Charisse Millett, R-Anchorage, will testify before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee this Thursday to shed more light on the lingering problem of the unplugged and environmentally harmful exploratory oil and gas wells drilled by the federal government within the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska.
“It’s shocking, first off, that the wells have been shoved from the governments’ conscience,” Millett said. “We’ve asked, legislatively, through a resolution that passed unanimously, for the federal government to do its job and clean up and shut in its own wells properly.  I’m grateful to the Committee for this chance and to Senator (Lisa) Murkowski for helping to get this issue before Congress.”
Millett sponsored House Joint Resolution 29 during the past legislative session, asking the BLM to plug the wells properly and reclaim the lands as soon as possible. The U.S. Navy and U.S. Geological Survey drilled 136 wells in Northern Alaska over the span of five decades, beginning in the mid-1940s, which are now abandoned. Only nine have been properly plugged and reclaimed by the BLM.
“Our state has adopted strict environmental regulations – holding industry to a higher standard than any other regime. The federal government needs to adhere to those standards and appropriate the money and workers to solve this huge and ongoing environmental crime,” Millett said. “If the mess in NPR-A was perpetrated by a private company you can bet the federal government and environmental NGO’s would be running to court as fast as they could.”
Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission Commissioner Cathy Foerster will join Millett at the hearing. Officials from the BLM and Dept. of the Interior will testify on behalf of the federal government. Testimony will be limited to five minutes, with all presenters testifying, before proceeding to a general question-and-answer session with committee members.
For more information, and to watch the hearing live online, go to
Images from the latest trip to survey the derelict wells, along with a PowerPoint and prior report, can be found at
“The images are truly shocking,” Millett said. “The federal government should be ashamed. Oil seeping onto marshland and tundra, greenhouse gases venting into the air, missing wells, endangerment to wildlife, drinking water and potential harm to the residents that live near these wells; it’s all so very troubling and shocking. Hopefully our testimony will lead to action and a plan for remediation.”
WHO:              Rep. Charisse Millett, R-Anchorage
                        Commissioner Cathy Foerster, AK Oil & Gas Conservation Commission
WHAT:            U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
                        Hearing on Oil Well Remediation in NPR-A
WHEN:           Thursday, July 12, 2012 – 9:30 a.m. EDT (5:30 a.m. AKDT)
WHERE:         Dirksen Senate Office Building – SD 366
                        Washington, D.C.
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