(Note: as we have observed for about 15 years, now, Alaska and its natural resource based Constitution and economy face two major opponent groups: 1) Alaska based environmental and social activists (primarily democrat operatives), and 2) Washington D.C. activists (Primarily a progressive democrat administration supported by a well organized environmental/socialist political network).  Today’s report reflects the continuing work of the Alaska Support Industry Alliance and the state’s Congressional delegation to fend off Alaska’s federal adversaries.  -dh)

Rebecca Logan -tilt-r- by Dave Harbour - Mayors Charity Ball-2

Rebecca Logan, General Manager, Alaska Support Industry Alliance, NGP file photo by Dave Harbour

Date: July 5, 2016 | Live on Twitter: @AKAlliance

The Alaska Support Industry Alliance’s General Manager, Rebecca Logan, and members of the Board participated with other Alaskans in a Washington, D.C. fly-in to encourage the Obama Administration to retain the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas lease sales in the Department of Interior’s forthcoming 5-Year Lease plan.

Kevin Durling with Petroleum Equipment and Services, Tom Walsh with Petrotechnical Resources of Alaska’s Tom Walsh and Logan joined in agency meetings with members of Congress and a Roll Call Policy Briefing on the issue.

The key points emphasized were:

  • Native communities overwhelmingly support offshore oil and gas development in the Arctic
  • Offshore development plays an essential role in the economy of Alaska
  • Offshore development plays an important role in ensuring America’s future energy security
  • Offshore oil and gas resources in the Arctic can be safely developed using existing, proven technology
  • Removing the Arctic from the lease sale will not end offshore development in the region. Other countries will continue with their own programs regardless
  • Offshore development plays a crucial role in underpinning the United States’ national security in the Arctic
  • Offshore development will help to build out the critical infrastructure within the Arctic, including supplementing the Coast Guard’s search and rescue capability
  • Excluding the Arctic from the leasing round today will restrict decision-making tomorrow.

Summary of Meetings:

Tommy Beaudreau, NGP file photo by Dave Harbour

Tommy Beaudreau, DOI Chief of Staff. NGP file photo by Dave Harbour

Department of Interior:  Tommy Beaudreau, Chief of Staff; Abby Hopper, Director of BOEM; and Janice Schneider, Assistant Secretary of the Interior.   Major take-away: The Assistant Secretary indicated it was “problematic” that the Department of Interior wasn’t “hearing more from industry” with regards to the plan. Industry has provided a large amount of written testimony and public comment regarding the plan, so it was unclear why DOI felt they weren’t hearing enough.

Department of Energy: Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall’s Chief of Staff, Tim McClees; Deputy Secretary Sherwood-Randall’s Senior Advisor, Mark Davis; Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas, Neelesh Nerukar; Director, Environmental Science and Policy Analysis Office of Fossil Energy, Nancy Johnson.

Major take-away: Oil and Natural Gas Division filed comments in support of retaining the leases.

US Senate:

Angus King, I-ME
Claire McCaskill, D-MO
Martin Heinrich, D-NM
Tom Udall, D-NM
Maria Cantwell, D-WA


Policy Briefing Breakfast hosted by Roll Call
Participants: Senator Lisa Murkowski; Senator Jeff Merkley, D-OR; General Joseph Ralston, Former Supreme Allied Commander, NATO; Leah Donahey, Senior Campaign Director, Alaska Wilderness League; Rosetta Alcantra, President, E3 Environmental LLC.

Major take-away: Alaskan voices are being overshadowed by outsiders who do not have Alaska’s best interests at heart. Senator Merkley is adamantly opposed to any activity in the Arctic and was frequently inaccurate with his descriptions of what is happening in Alaska. The representative from the Alaska Wilderness League (headquartered in Washington, D.C.) confirmed that their support of the elimination of the lease sales and the corresponding job loss and negative economic impact was their only plan for Alaska – they had no plans for replacing jobs and economic activity, just hopes that renewable energy jobs would develop in the next 20 years.