The Hill Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) called the Democratic plan to scrap tax breaks for the big five oil producers to pay down the deficit “laughable” …. 

Wall Street Journal (5/11/11) reports: The U.S. approved a Royal Dutch Shell PLC plan to drill for oil in five locations deep under the Gulf of Mexico…. The drilling "would not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment," according to a press release from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement…Marvin Odum, president of Shell’s U.S. subsidiary, said the company was "pleased" with the news.  (Perhaps a good sign for Shell’s shallow water programs planned next year for Alaska’s Chukchi and Beaufort seas.  -dh)

Commentary by Tim Bradner (NGP Photo).  State senators are blowing smoke in a claim that they need to wait until "studies" commissioned by the Legislature are finished before acting on Gov. Sean Parnell’s bill to modify state oil production taxes, a leader in the state House has charged.  Meanwhile, state senators continue an attack on Gov. Sean Parnell’s bill to modify the state’s oil production tax. Even though the bill, House Bill 110, is tucked away in the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee until next year and is not before the Legislature in its special session, several senators have gone public recently with continued criticism.


Commentary: Yesterday, we gave links to new national interest in Alaska’s great oil and gas potential and its sagging production (Scroll down for WSJ and Barron’s stories).  Later in the day, Governor Sean Parnell (NGP Photo) asked Congress for an energy plan that benefits Alaska and the nation.  See his letter here.  -dh  Following is more information which accompanied the release:

“I remain focused on more oil production from Alaska, and TAPS is a critical component of our nation’s energy security infrastructure,” Governor Parnell said. “The federal government can play a critical role in ensuring the viability of TAPS for decades. I am asking for congressional support for this aggressive policy to trigger the creation of tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in revenue, while lessening America’s dependence on foreign oil.”    Highlights of Parnell’s proposed federal legislation include :

  • Requires the Secretary of Energy and the Secretary of the Interior to outline a plan to achieve the objective of one million barrels of oil per day carried by TAPS from the Alaska North Slope; 
  • Recommends streamlining the federal authorization and permitting process; 
  • Time limits for agencies to process authorizations and permits where no time limits currently exist; 
  • Recommends shortening some existing time limits for authorizations and permit processing; 
  • Recommends streamlining existing review process; 
  • Recommends financial and other incentives for the development of Alaska North Slope reserves; and 
  • Recommends opening current off-limits areas to exploration and development.
Governor Parnell has also requested support from President Barack Obama, whose goal is to reduce the nation’s oil imports by one-third by 2025. In a letter written to the president last month, Governor Parnell urged that the president support Alaska’s goal of increasing the flow of oil through the Trans Alaska Pipeline System.
During recent testimony before the U.S. Congress, Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan requested that Congress adopt as a national priority Governor Parnell’s goal of one million barrels of oil per day through TAPS.
“The state of Alaska is moving forward with several policy initiatives to increase Alaska oil production,” Sullivan said. “Although ambitious, one million barrels per day is achievable because the North Slope of Alaska remains a world-class hydrocarbon basin that is still relatively unexplored. The federal government needs to partner with the state in achieving the governor’s goal.”