Calgary Herald by James Wood.  Premier Alison Redford’s brief visit to Vancouver Tuesday had no time for diplomacy as Alberta and British Columbia remain at odds over the Northern Gate-way pipeline proposal.

Alaska’s Economic Focus: TAPS and Spend


Dave Harbour

We have pointed out that the single economic focus of Alaskans and all Vote No On 2Americans interested in energy security should be the improved throughput of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS).  

America’s energy lifeline once transported over 2 million barrels of crude oil/day to the Lower 48, 20% of America’s domestic supply.  Alaska was the largest oil producing state.  Thirty years later TAPS is 2/3 empty and depleting at a 6% annual rate.  Alaska first lost its production record to Texas and this year North Dakota began producing more oil than the 49th State.  Alaska’s economy is over a third dependent on TAPS activity and the state operating budget counts on it for 90% of its revenue.  Elected leaders have done virtually nothing to curb a voracious and addictive spending habit that requires more and more natural resource revenue.   Indeed, Alaska is in a precarious economic situation, just a step away from financial disaster.

This coming winter will see more threats to continued, smooth operation of the aging, TAPS facility as cold weather seeks to mix and vex wax and water and corrosion threats, barely held at bay to date by dedicated TAPS professionals.   -dh

New life for TAPS requires massive, new throughput from state lands and/or from federal lands.  As we have seen this week, the Obama-enviro-cabal is doing everything possible to block new troughput from federal lands.  State lawmakers have diminished appetite of oil company investors for state leases by cranking up the tax burden, making Alaska uncompetitive in the international energy marketplace, discouraging more throughput from state lands.  

Now comes a voters initiative which would transfer much of Alaska’s natural resource policy power from the Executive and Legislative Branches of government to unelected bureaucrats.  And yes, as always, there is something that can be done.  Alaska residents can vote on this destructive, anti-constitutional initiative.  Here is how. 

So Alaska’s primary focus today must be on encouraging more state and federal land exploration and development throughput for TAPS.  But the statesmen among us, if there are any, must know that sustaining prosperity requires more mature tax and spend discipline than human nature likes. 

Sacrificing for future prosperity ultimately benefits the next generation at the expense of this one, and is sometimes called, "enlightened self interest".   However, that ethic requires one to believe that, "It is better to give than to receive," rather than the intuitive, selfish reverse.

See reader comments here:


    8-15-12.  Right on target, as usual, Dave.  Thanks for the article and I have mailed to others…..But when your audience is continually sent up to date information that we are fighting the Administration, the environmentalists, the anti-development groups, foundations giving money to anti-Alaska groups (non-profits) and the largest newspaper working together to make Alaska a federally controlled State regulated and controlled so investors will go elsewhere, I wonder where the “fire in the belly” pro-development Alaskans are and are we going in fighting back…..I would start by asking all to stop advertising in the ADN and stop buying the paper….go to email news or small conservative papers or the Wall Street Journal or USA Today even though they are liberal to a degree….but push back financially on the ADN.   
    It seems we all attend all the right meetings and listen to the proper speeches, as well and give money to fight propositions that will further kill our Oil and Gas and Mining industry but none wish to be in the front lines to turn this state around like they have  done in North Dakota…  We need new faces in DC and Pro-Development in Juneau supporting our Governor……The Union Leaders, Oil and Gas Leaders and Mining should Hold a “pro-Development large scale Demonstration on the Park Strip and one in Fairbanks, saying we are tired of the anti people and non-profits and the News Stories and get our State back to work……..If we do not do something dramatic and vote in the right people who knows if TAPS will be operating in 5 years or less…….??   Thanks for all you do Dave…’re a true Alaskan!      -pr


 Politico’s “Morning Energy”: CEA to host Pittsburgh Summit **Article mentions CEA.  The Consumer Energy Alliance will announce today that it will host the 2012 Pennsylvania Energy and Manufacturing Summit on Sept. 10 in Pittsburgh — where ME is willing to bet natural gas may get a mention or two. Besides the usual contingent of lawmakers and industry officials, representatives from the Obama and Romney campaigns will attend as well. 

House Committee on Natural Resources Press Release: Gas Prices Rise as Obama Administration Continues to Block New Offshore Energy Projects – David Holt recently wrote an article for FuelFix discussing the Obama Administration’s hold up of Shell’s drilling operations in the Arctic. Shell Oil and Gas Company still hopes to drill exploratory wells off the coast of Alaska despite excessive government red tape delaying its efforts. After seven years of planning and more than $4 billion in spending on leases, permits and studies, the company has seen its July 1 target start date come and go as permits from the Interior Department, Environmental Protection Agency and the Coast Guard continue to be held up in the permitting process.
USA Today: 2012 gas prices head for record – Gasoline prices are up sharply in the past month on surging crude oil costs and refinery woes, and now are likely to make 2012 the costliest year ever at the pump. Nationally, gasoline averages $3.70 a gallon — up 30 cents since mid-July and is now higher than year-ago levels in 39 states. Prices are likely to continue climbing through August, with little relief until after Labor Day.
Houston Chronicle: Survey says voters back offshore drilling – Roughly seven out of 10 voters support changing U.S. policy to allow more oil and natural gas development along the nation’s coastline, according to a new Harris Interactive poll released today. That matches the level of support for offshore drilling that was documented by other polls conducted before the Deepwater Horizon disaster two years ago briefly turned some Americans off to the idea.
Lincoln Journal Star: Rural Poll shows support for Keystone XL pipeline – Most rural Nebraskans favor building the Keystone XL pipeline but think it should be built on a route that avoids the Sandhills and the Ogallala Aquifer. That’s the tone of 2,323 mailed responses to the most recent Nebraska Rural Poll. The latest findings from the poll, now in its 17th year, were unveiled Tuesday by the Center for Applied Rural Innovation at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in cooperation with the Nebraska Rural Initiative.
Houston Chronicle: Big Oil raises voice as election nears – With less than three months until Election Day, the American Petroleum Institute is stepping up its advertising in key battleground states with a goal of making sure voters are thinking about energy policy when they head to the polls. The new round of print and online ads by Big Oil’s top trade group will target voters in Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia – battlegrounds that could help determine who lives in the White House for the next four years. American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard said the group wants to encourage a “realistic, robust debate” about energy issues – and get politicians to commit to substantive action.