Obama’s Relentless Attack on Alaska


Dave Harbour

The Obama administration continues its relentless attack on Alaska’s economy.  

Late yesterday, we heard of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s (NGP Photo) not very well disguised effort to close down America’s national petroleum reserve to petroleum exploration and his continuous attack on Shell Oil’s highly professional, rigorous and patient effort to please regulators after having paid billions in lease payments and other exploration preparations.  We have continually warned fellow citizens to be aware of the steady focus of the Obama – enviro – activist cabal to close down responsible resource development in Alaska.  We have specifically warned that the while the Administration says positive things about energy exploration in Alaska, its passive-aggressive personality permits it to then quietly assure that a combination of privately coordinated lawsuits, regulatory roadblocks, permitting delays and bureaucratic malfeasance result in no new industry jobs or projects in Alaska.  Even though America’s wealth, national security, balance of payments deficit, employment and environmental safeguards would all benefit from proper exploration in Alaska, every single administration effort over the last nearly 4 years in Alaska has been designed to kill the state’s economy and deal a series of mortal blows to the country’s economy as well.   (Links here and here).  The Administration’s defiance of basic fairness is only overshadowed by its flagrant abuse of ‘due process’ and its unforgivable attack on America’s reliance on the ‘rule of law’.   -dh  (Senator Lisa Murkowski reaction.  Senator Mark Begich reaction.  Alaska Representative Charisse Millett also criticizes the Administration for blocking National Petroleum Reserve development while refusing to clean up its legacy well messes.)

Point of personal privilege.  About 30 years ago, Doyon Native Regional Corporation executive Morris Thompson called me.  We had first  become acquainted in 1972 while he served as Area Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs for Alaska, partly responsible for successful execution of the Alaska Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA, 1971).   I developed and marketed ANSCA’s world wide Native enrollment program for him, under the supervision of Ad Guru Con Murray, after having recruited as spokesmen, Chief Dan George, Jay Silverheels and Cher Bono.  

"I’ve got a fellow in town from Kotzebue," Dave, "who wants to run for the Alaska Legislature.  Can you come over and meet him?"  Turns out that Morris’ friend, Al Adams (NGP Photo), was born the same year as I and the three of us hit it off right away.  As Atlantic Richfield Company’s Director of Government Relations at the time, I supported his business philosophy, his love of Native culture, his good nature and honesty.  We didn’t always agree, but we always knew where each other stood on key issues.  Al passed away yesterday (8-13-12), preceded by the passing of our friend, Morrie in 2000.   I am honored to have had Al and Morrie as friends and look forward to seeing them on the other side.  -dh 


U.S. Interior Secretary Fails to Address Legacy Wells, Locks Up More NPR-A Land
(ANCHORAGE) – Today Rep. Charisse Millett, R-Anchorage issued thAlaska State Representative, legislature, Charisse Millett, National Petroleum Reserve, orphan wells, salazare following statement onU.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s decision to lock up about half of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska from future oil and gas exploration.
“This illustrates how poorly the administration in Washington D.C. understands what is needed to get the national economic recovery back on track and create good paying jobs,” said Rep. Millett. “Meanwhile, Alaskans are still waiting for the Interior Department to formulate an aggressive cleanup plan for the Legacy Wells, wells Secretary Salazar and his bureaucracy are responsible for cleaning up.”

The 23.5 million acres in NPR-A were deliberately set aside for oil and gas exploration and is a key component to increasing oil production in the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.
The Legacy Wells pose an immediate threat to wildlife and groundwater. The Bureau of Land Management, an agency within the Interior Department, is capping and cleaning the wells at the rate of maybe one or two per year. Nearly a hundred well sites remain to be capped and remediated more than 30 years after the federal government’s drilling program stopped.
Legacy Wells were the subject of a U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing last month. Representative Millett traveled to Washington D.C. to testify to before the committee about the wells and the resolution.
A copy of the resolution and photos of the Legacy Wells are available.  For more information, please contact Representative Millett at (907) 269-0222.