Is Alaska’s Governor pro-development…but only as long as his state government calls the shots and does the developing?   (Below we find the Governor’s confusingly supportive actions.  In the right column, we find more substantive actions contributing to a loss of investor interest and a more dangerous economic climate.)  -dh

Alaska Governor Bill Walker. Northern Gas Pipelines Photo by Dave Harbour

Our commentary: Below, we have the appearance of a governor supporting federal energy access programs.  But then you notice such minor expressions of support for natural resource development alongside anti-free enterprise acts (i.e. right column).  You may conclude that while Alaska’s governor wants more federal territory to develop in Alaska, he wants the state government to do the developing as opposed to free market investors.   But how could any reasonable American leader want to follow in the footsteps of Hugo Chavez?  We’ll leave that question for our discerning readers to ponder in the days ahead and then clarify for us.  -dh

Feds seek more reasonable access to public lands

Walker lends support to Trump in lawsuit over Arctic drillingThe Beaufort Sea, one of the areas the Trump administration would like to re-open for oil drilling.

State Files Motion in Support of Arctic Outer-Continental Shelf Leasing

 August 31, 2017 ANCHORAGE — The State of Alaska has filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit regarding access to globally important oil and gas resources in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas on the Arctic Outer-Continental Shelf (OCS).

In April, the President signed an order reopening the Chukchi Sea OCS and portions of the Beaufort Sea for potential exploration. The prior administration had withdrawn the entire Chukchi OCS and the vast majority of the Beaufort OCS from the Department of Interior’s 2016 5-Year Offshore Leasing Plan. This matter is now in court. The State’s motion seeks to intervene in support of the President’s April order.

“In filing this motion, our objective is to make sure that the State of Alaska has future development opportunities in the Arctic OCS,” said Governor Bill Walker. “State agencies routinely balance environmental conservation and protection with responsible resource development, and the Arctic OCS is no different. This gives the state a unique stake in the outcome of this litigation, and puts us in the best position to defend those interests.”

Alaska’s oil and gas resources can contribute significantly to meeting future U.S. energy needs; estimates by the U.S. Geological Survey and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management indicate as much as 40 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable conventional oil and more than 200 trillion cubic feet of conventional natural gas lie in the region. OCS production would also help boost throughput in the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, and increase state revenue and jobs.

“Federal law recognizes that input from coastal states is the cornerstone of access to these resources,” Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Andy Mack said. “Access to them should not be limited without consultation with the state and local governments.”

Other references:

Tillerson proposes scrapping Arctic and climate envoys
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wants to do away with special envoys focused on the Arctic and climate change, as part of his effort to overhaul the State Department.

Commentary: Yesterday Was A Historical Milepost In Alaska’s History!


Did Alaska’s government take action resulting in the departure of some producers?

From Alaska Headlamp, comes this mention of one of our earlier editorials: Alaska’s Government Gas Pipeline/LNG Project Still Treads WaterNorthern Gas Pipelines, Dave Harbour, August 21, 2017

Gasping for air. In spite of low prices and unprecedented competition in the gas/LNG industry, Alaska’s government subsidized North Slope gas monetization project continues to tread water, shall we say, “gasping for air.” It seems to be awaiting a life-saving miracle as it responds to regulatory questions, keeps staff and contractors employed and manages ‘marketing’ offices in Tokyo and Houston. 

State rejects ExxonMobil plan to expand oil production at Point Thomson.  On Tuesday, the Walker administration denied a proposal by ExxonMobil Corp. to expand oil production at the Point Thomson field…

Alaska LNG Project Subsists On Subsidies

Either Way, Alaska’s Investment Climate Is Damaged