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2009 LINKS: FERC Reports to Congress, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7....; USGS Arctic Gas Estimates; MMS hearings: RDC, Our NGP, AJOC, DH, ADN, KTUU; Enstar Bullet Line: Map and News Links; ANGDA; Alaska Energy Forum; Prosperity Alaska

2008 LINKS: Shell Alaska OCS Study; Mackenzie Gas Project EIS; Join the Alaska Gas Pipeline Blog Discussion; Governor Sarah Palin's AGIA Links; 2007 ACES tax bill links; Department of Revenue 2007 ACES tax documents;  2007 ACES tax Presentations; 2007 ACES tax news; Alaska Gas Pipeline Training and Jobs; Gas Pipeline and Economic Development; Andrew Halcro; Bjørn Lomborg; FERC's Natural Gas Website Links

WASHINGTON: Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Act; History of H.R. 4; DOE Energy Bill Position, 6-02; Daschle-Bingaman Energy Bill (Alaska, Sec. 1236 & tax credit, Sec. 2503 & H.R. 4 Conferees), Tax Credit; See amendments, "Energy Policy Act of 2002";  "Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Act of 2001 (Draft)" & Background Paper, 8-9-01;Alaska Legislature Joint Committee position; Governor's position; Governor's 10-Point Plan; Anadarko Analysis; U.S. Senate Energy Committee Testimony, 10-2-01 - text version;  U.S. Senate Energy Committee Testimony, 9-14-00; Report on the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Act of 1971, prepared by staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 1-18-01

ALASKA: 1-23-03, Governor Frank Murkowski's State of the State Speech; 2002 DRAFT Recommendations to 2003 Legislature; '02 Alaska Legislation; Alaska Highway Natural Gas Pipeline Policy Council; Joint Legislative Gas Pipeline Committee; 9-01 Alaska Models: Canadian Routes, LNG, GTL; HR 4 Story; Cook Inlet Supply-Demand Report: AEDC; Commonwealth North Investigation & Our Article; Report: Backbone; Legislature Contacts; State Gas Pipeline Financing Study; 5-02 Alaska Producer Update; Kenai: "Oil & Gas Industry Issues and Activities Report, 11-02"; Alaska Oil & Gas Tax Structure; 2-27-02 Royalty Sale Background; Alaska Gas Pipeline Office opens, 7-01, and closes, 5-02; Betty Galbraith's 1997-1998 Chronology Our copy.

CANADA: 1-10-03, "Arctic Gas Pipeline Construction Impacts On Northern Transp."-Transport Canada-PROLOG Canada Inc.-The Van Horne Institute;Hill Times Reports, 8-30-02; 9-30-02, Cons. Info. Requirements; CBC Archives, Berger Commission; GNWT Economic Impact Study, 5-13-02; GNWT-Purvin & Gertz Study, 5-8-02; Alberta-Alaska MOU 6-02; Draft Pan- Northern Protocol for Oil and Gas Development; Yukon Government Economic Effects: 4-02 & PPT; Gas Pipeline Cooperation Plan Draft & Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board Mackenzie Valley Pipeline MOU Draft, 6-01; FirstEnergy Analysis: 10-19-01; Integrated Delta Studies; National Post on Mackenzie Pipeline, 1-02;Northern Pipeline Act;  Haida Nation v. British Columbia; Indian Claims Commission; Skeena Cellulose decision -- aboriginal consultations required, 12-02; Misc. Pipeline Studies '02

COMPANIES: Alaska Gas Producers Pipeline Team Newsletter, 7-27-01; APG Newsletter: 5-02, 7-02 & 9-02; ArctiGas NEB PIP Filing Background; NRGPC Newsletter: Fall-02;  4-02 ArctiGas Reduces Field Work; BP's Natural Gas Page; Enbridge Perspective; Foothills Perspective; Williams Perspective; YPC Perspective, 7-02

 MEDIA REFERENCE: Alaska Journal of Commerce; Alaska Inc. Magazine; Anchorage Daily News; Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; Fairbanks Daily News Miner, Juneau Empire; Northern News Services; Oil & Gas Reporter; Petroleum News Alaska; Whitehorse Star, etc.

EXTENDED CONFERENCE NEWS: Alaska Support Industry Alliance, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Canadian Institute, Insight Information, Inuvik Petroleum Shows, International Association of Energy Economists, Resource Development Council for Alaska, Ziff Energy Group











Northern Gas Pipelines: Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Related Events

2002 Events

George Vakalis, 2002-03 Chairman, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce (NGP Photo)

Eric Britten, 2001-02 Chairman (NGP Photo)



12-17-02.  Yesterday, U.S. Senator Ted Stevens met with a crowded Fourth Avenue Theater assembly of Chamber members and told them what they needed to hear.

"I am grateful for the honor of serving you," he began.  "Following this reelection, I shall return to Washington as Senior Senator, Senate President Pro Tempore and Chairman of the Appropriations Committee."  Alaskan audiences are never bored by Stevens' speeches, as he focuses on topics of current interest from the viewpoint of a key, Washington decision maker.  Yesterday, his laser vision focused on gas pipeline, ANWR and issues concerning all Americans.  (Also, see ADN article by Ben Spiess)

"Most of us would like to see the gas pipeline constructed and ANWR opened," he said.  He reviewed historical justification for Alaska's positions on the issues. In Territorial days, the Fairbanks Women's Garden Club had supported approval of Public Land Order 82, creating the Arctic National Wildlife Range.  "The order specifically allowed oil and gas development in such a way that the fish and game would be protected," he said. 

He recalled that the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANSCA) required in section 17(D)(2) that the Federal government identify lands that would have to be reserved (preserved).  He said Federal withdrawals were subsequently made in 1980 even though Alaska had not completed selection of its 103.5 million acres of statehood withdrawals and the Alaska's Native corporations had not completed their 40 million acres of selections.  At the same time, the 1980 legislation converted the Arctic National Wildlife 'Range' designation to the more restrictive 'Refuge' designation, still leaving 1.5 million acres on the Northern coast for further evaluation of oil and gas potential. 

Stevens attributed much of today's opposition to economic development in Alaska to an extreme environmental movement.  That movement ignores environmental progress and raises a significant amount of money based on Alaska issues.  He said most of the funds raised are used against Alaska.  "Few people realize that today we have cleaner air than 20 years ago," he said, "more trees than 100 years ago and cleaner waters than 30 years ago."  He said that in 1996 corporate America spent $8 billion for environmental restoration and protection.  He expressed disappointment in the New York Times editorial policy, which formerly supported responsible ANWR development, and now opposes it.  "It's odd to see what 20 years can do to the position of a great institution like the New York Times," he said.

He added that if President Bill Clinton in 1993 had not vetoed Congressionally approved ANWR legislation, the state would not be facing the current economic crisis.  (Photo: Accompanying Senator Stevens, George Lowe, Legislative Director)

Stevens emphasized the importance of gas pipeline passage to the state and nation.  "A gas pipeline will cost $20 billion to build," he said, "will be longer than the Great Wall of China, require more steel than can be produced by all North American steel mills and can employ over 400,000 people to build.  I urge you," he said "to be one of those who help us move forward..., who believe that 'now is the time'".

Stevens closed by repeating a concept often used by former Governor Wally Hickel (NGP Photo, w/Stevens), who originally appointed him to the Senate.  "Alaskans don't look into the future and see what is impossible," he said, "but to define what is possible."

During a question and answer period, your author asked Stevens (Photo, after meeting): "If it would not betray your strategy, what process do you envision in the new Congress for Alaska gas pipeline and ANWR issues?"  Stevens quickly responded, "It does betray our strategy and I'm not going to discuss it at this time."  Stevens smiled and the audience applauded.  He then elaborated, stating that, "It's the toughest strategy we've been called upon to employ since statehood."

Chairman George Vakalis asked Stevens other questions requested by the audience:

  • On leading democrat candidates for President.  "Senator John Kerry is probably our worst enemy regarding gas pipeline and ANWR issues."

  • In Iraq.  "The solution is for the world to come to know how evil the regime is and for the world to be united in seeking a change.  I think the U.N. is now awakened.  Sixteen times, Iraq has broken UN resolutions.  Sadam Hussain is firing on our pilots on almost a daily basis.  I do not think we will have war; but, I think we must be willing to go to the brink of war to convince him."

  • On the economy.  "If we can be spared another 9-11, I believe we can begin experiencing a recovering economy next year based on true corporate values and efficiency."

  • On relationship with Governor Frank Murkowski.  "Frank, Don Young and I share a number of visions.  Our hope is to modernize transportation in our state (i.e. Southcentral Alaska 'beltway' and access from Anchorage across Knik and Turnagain Arms)."

9-23-02.  BALLOT INITIATIVE NO. 3.  Today, Chairman George Vakalis, moderated presentations both for and against Ballot Initiative No. 3, first introducing Northern Gas Pipelines’ Dave Harbour to provide an objective briefing on the initiative itself.  (Note: in the near future, we shall be providing readers with an editorial opinion on this issue.  -dh)  Scott Heyworth spoke in favor of the initiative and Larry Houle opposed the initiative.  Readers may find Harbour’s briefing outline here, covering purpose, organization and mission of the “Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority”, which the initiative would create.

As organizer of the citizens’ initiative responsible for the ballot measure, Scott Heyworth (NGP Photo) addressed the Chamber first.  He reminded the audience that more than 40,000 citizens signed the initiative, advocating an LNG-pipeline project, “to keep the jobs and revenues within Alaska and within America.  In addition, the potential for value added processing of Alaskan gas into petrochemicals should also be within Alaska, not in Canada or Chicago,” he said.  Heyworth said North Slope gas has been stranded for about three decades and, “…the oil companies seem no closer to building a gasline than ever.  They all seem to have different worldwide agendas and can’t seem to work together to develop Alaska’s North Slope gas.  Exxon wants to go Over-the Top”, he said.  “Conoco-Phillips wants the Highway route.  BP doesn’t even want to build it at all because it is too costly. “  Addressing current incentive legislation in Congress, benefiting the Alaska Highway Pipeline Project, Heyworth said, “The All-Alaska project asks for no incentives, no loan guarantees, and no Federal handouts.”  Obtain the complete text of Heyworth’s remarks here.

Larry Houle, General Manager of the Alaska Support Industry Alliance (NGP Photo), began by asking members, “why would the State’s largest and only trade association of oil and gas workers be opposed to this Initiative?”  In answer, Houle said his organization, “… wants a gas pipeline and that is the basis for our opposition to this Initiative.   This Act cannot do what it Sponsors suggests; that is to finance, construct and maintain an economically viable state-owned pipeline from the North Slope to tidewater.  In fact, we believe this ‘single-project Initiative’ if passed will be a deterrent, perhaps the single biggest obstacle to getting Alaska’s North Slope natural gas to market.”  Houle then cited several reasons supporting his position: “1) The Initiative, specific to an LNG project to Prince William Sound, has already been determined to be non-economic and, 2) The Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority, a public corporation, is not the proper role for government….  He said an Alaska Department of Revenue analysis, “…has determined that…Alaska LNG cannot compete in either the Asian or California market.”  Obtain the complete text of Houle’s remarks here.

9-17-02.  Yesterday, Chamber Chairman George Vakalis introduced this week's keynote speaker, saying it was Governor Tony Knowles' (NGP Photo) farewell presentation to the Anchorage Chamber after 8 years in office.  While Knowles is deeply involved in final Congressional activity affecting the outcome of gas pipeline and ANWR policies, he is also rushing to complete longer term building and highway plans with assistance from Transportation and Public Facilities Commissioner Joe Perkins and transition plans for a new administration.

The author rose with Susan Knowles (NGP Photo-above), Special Assistant Mike Abbott (NGP Photo-l), AHFC Executive Director Dan Fauske (NGP Photo-r), Gas Pipeline Advisor Ken Freeman and other Chamber members giving Knowles a standing ovation for his service, following a presentation outlining his accomplishments.  While roads, schools, subsistence, welfare reform and other similar issues interested the audience, for Northern Gas Pipeline readers the salient points were:

  • On the state's fiscal crisis, Knowles observed, "Chamber members have been champions in their advocacy of a long-term fiscal plan that is necessary to guarantee the brightest future for Alaska."   In a speech balancing accomplishments with unrealized goals, Knowles said, "We’re on the verge of emptying our budget reserve savings account with no plan to balance the cost of services Alaskans need with available revenues. We heard a warning shot a couple weeks ago when the national bond rating agency - Moody’s - adjusted Alaska’s financial outlook.  It was an interesting report, because Moody’s gave Alaska’s economy high marks: 14 straight years of economic growth, record low unemployment and the nation’s 4th fastest growth in personal income. Moody’s outlook means wariness on the part of investors. We need a fiscal plan now...."

  • On gas pipelines.  "We all know there is no project that will bring more jobs to America and Alaska - from steel manufacturing, transportation, finance, engineering and construction - than the Alaska Highway Natural Gas Pipeline. To achieve Alaskans’ long-held dream of getting our huge reserves of natural gas to market, I have urged and prodded industry, spearheaded a diplomatic initiative with Canada and have gotten bipartisan support in Congress for this vital national interest project."  He said that moving Alaskan gas to market requires a national effort, that the state must move aggressively in three areas:

    • "First, Alaskans must continue working with the producing owners of the gas and with North America’s leading pipeline companies.  We all know the project must be commercially viable.  Alaska needs to be prepared to offer the incentives and fiscal stability necessary as industry commits to hiring Alaskans, using Alaska businesses, giving Alaskans access to gas and embracing the motto: Our way is the highway!

    • "Second, we will continue to work with project proponents to streamline the regulatory and permitting processes and acquire the necessary rights-of-way. Third, it is time for Congress to pass federal legislation that advances the Alaska Highway natural gas pipeline project and meets the nation’s and Alaska’s interests.

    • "Last week, the House-Senate Conference Committee on the energy bill acted on some provisions, but has yet to consider incentives to help make the project economically viable. Through John Katz and our Washington, D.C., operation, we will keep up the full court press for a natural gas project this year. There is no other project on the horizon that can bring the same level of benefit for Alaska and America." 

Readers may download Knowles' complete speech, here.  ADN report, by Doug O'Hara.

Following the meeting, the Author met with Transportation and Public Facilities Commissioner, Joe Perkins (NGP Photo, right).  Asked for his opinion of a 'Transportation Corridor' which could host a gas pipeline, a railroad, a highway,  fiber optics and other communications, Perkins said the concept "has merit", is "...not a theory" and mentioned the Trans Texas Corridor which we offer as a link, here.  -dh

9-10-02 Updates:  01:30 ET.  Steve Marshall (NGP Photo, 9-9-02), president of BP Exploration Alaska, Inc. addressed the Anchorage Chamber yesterday.  Saying his message mirrored a North Sea message BP Treasurer, Tony Hayward, delivered in June to the International Association of Energy Economists, Marshall pinpointed some of Alaska's key challenges: the need for regulatory and fiscal certainty and support for maximizing production from mature fields.  (Note: BP and other gas producers have consistently emphasized fiscal certainty as a pre-condition for construction of an Alaska gas pipeline.  He said the company was offering public officials in Alaska and Canada specific proposals for obtaining such certainty.  -dh)  He dismissed a myth that BP was diminishing activity in Alaska, saying this year's capital budget would hit $700 million.   "The 7 billion barrels of oil and gas resources in BP’s Alaskan portfolio – about a third of it proven and the rest of it still uncommercial – are the largest single source of already-discovered oil and gas in our entire global portfolio," Marshall said.  "We have high hopes for future satellite and viscous oil development on the North Slope. We’re investing hundreds of millions of dollars annually to transform that belief into new barrels, and with a stable tax climate, we’ll continue to invest aggressively in it."  He said the company would continue to increase community support activity and support local procurement programs.  The $5 million Alaska contributions budget will be the company's second highest.   Readers are welcome to download a copy of the presentation here.  -dh  Present at the meeting were Cordova Mayor Margie Johnson, Cheryl and Harold Heinze, the Sheraton Anchorage's Tanguy Libbrecht (NGP photos).

7-22-02: Yesterday, Michael Smith (NGP Photo), Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy for the U.S. Department of Energy spoke to the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce:  "Alaska – An Essential Component in America’s Energy Plans".  Governor Tony Knowles introduced Smith. The two had become acquainted during the time they served with the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission.  "As America's attention is focused on energy," Knowles said, "we are fortunate to have with us a professional who knows Alaska and who advises the Secretary of Energy."  Smith said, "The best energy policy is one that is diverse, dependable, technologically-advanced and  environmentally sound. The President’s charge to the Department of Energy is to promote energy conservation, repair and modernize our energy infrastructure, and increase our energy supplies in ways that protect and improve the environment."  Smith's energy demand projections were consistent with many recent industry projections.  "Estimates indicate that over the next 20 years, U.S. oil consumption will increase by 33 percent, natural gas consumption by well over 50 percent, and demand for electricity will be 45 percent," he said. "The natural gas sector is a great case in point. Currently, our nation consumes 23 TCF of gas per year. By 2010, we will need 30 TCF for our growing and expanding economy."  Smith said that Alaska is an important key to a major charge of his office: increased domestic energy production.  "You are at the top of our producing oil states and your natural gas reserves are immense. Much of the research in oil and gas technology conducted by my office is particularly applicable to Alaska as our nation meets the challenge to use technology to maintain and enhance the diversity of our supplies."  Smith energized his Alaskan audience while not compromising his Administration's natural gas position which opposes governmental route mandates and financial incentives.  During an extended question and answer period he made his support for ANWR clear.  "As your governor has said before, it's not a question of if ANWR is developed, but when."  The Administration, he said, is working hard to see an ANWR provision included in the final energy bill.  Your author asked about the current status of  Congressional / Administration negotiations on gas pipeline financial provisions.  "That is a minute to minute happening right now and I can only hope participants produce a bill the President can sign," he said.  Someone asked if he would recommend government support for an ANS gas GTL project should parties fail to develop a feasible pipeline project.  "There are 1,600,000 TCF of stranded gas reserves around the world." Smith added without specifically addressing the question, that new technology was making remote reserves more and more economically feasible and marketable.  Knowles presented Smith with a Byron Birdsall print, "The Dawn of a New Direction", which he said represented Alaska's confidence in Smith's leadership of U.S. fossil energy policy.  (Photo above: Jack Roderick-l & Larry Dineen-r enjoy the well attended luncheon.)  Our readers may download Secretary Smith's speech here.

7-15-02: Alaska Oil and Gas Association’s (AOGA) Kevin Meyers of Phillips Alaska, Inc., Steve Marshall (NGP Photo) of BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc., David Wight of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, Charles Pierce of UNOCAL Alaska, Jack Williams Jr. of ExxonMobil Production Company, Jeff Rose of EnCana Corporation and Ron Noel of Tesoro Alaska Company provided AOGA's annual presentation to the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce.   “A Transition Report on Alaska’s Oil and Gas Industry to the next Administration and the 23rd Alaska Legislature,” was this year’s topic. Below are some news summaries.  (NGP Photo-left: Wight, Chamber Chairman Eric Britten, Pierce and Williams.)

Below: various event snapshots reflecting--among other things--interest by elected officials/candidates in the program's theme.

Anchorage Daily News, By Wesley Loy-A cavalcade of oil industry executives on Monday urged the incoming governor and Legislature to erase the looming threat of higher taxes or royalties on oil and gas produced in the state. ... Charles Pierce (NGP Photo) vice president of Unocal Corp., suggested the new governor, to be elected in November, use his or her veto power to freeze oil tax and royalties for four years. That would make oil industry executives feel more secure about investing big dollars on Alaska projects, he said. ... The overall theme was an old one in Alaska. A large share of the state budget comes from taxes and royalties on oil and gas pumped from state lands. But in recent years, the gap between spending and available money has widened. And although oil production from the North Slope today is holding steady at about 1 million barrels a day, that is only half of what production once was. This year, lawmakers in Juneau weighed painful new income, sales and other taxes on Alaskans to close an expected budget gap of nearly $1 billion. Rumbling in the background was the possibility of jacking up taxes on oil. ...  Jack Williams, Alaska production manager for Exxon Mobil, also said the oil industry is concerned about regulatory delays, such as the time and effort needed to get permits for new projects.  He laid out plans for possibly developing the Point Thomson oil and gas field on the North Slope....  "I don't want to sound alarmist, but delays and uncertainty could very well kill this project," Williams said.

Alaska Oil & Gas Reporter, July 15 - Representatives of Alaska's oil industry, from EnCana Corp. -the new kid on the block to the state's biggest players - ExxonMobil Production Co. and Phillips Alaska Inc.- urged the next governor and Legislature Monday to refrain from considering oil and gas companies as sources of new taxes.  Alaska will elect a new governor and legislature in November. ..."Every year there's a run on the industry for new taxes," said Charles Pierce, vice president of UNOCAL Alaska. "The new governor should commit to freeze oil and gas taxes for the next four years. It would provide the foundation for me to sell more Alaska projects to my board of directors." ...As we struggle with the fiscal gap, it will be very tempting to come after the oil and gas industry with more taxation," said Kevin Meyers executive vice president of Phillips Alaska. "I can't stress enough how big a mistake that would be."  ... To succeed in Alaska, Jeff Rose (NGP Photo-r), senior vice president, offshore and new ventures exploration, for EnCana, said his company needs a stable fiscal regime, a predictable and reasonable regulatory process and access to land for exploration.  Jack Williams Jr., Alaska production manager for ExxonMobil, said expeditious permitting "is absolutely critical" to a 75,000-barrel-per-day gas cycling project planned for the Point Thomson Unit, which is estimated to contain 8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.  Operator ExxonMobil hopes to recover 400 million barrels of oil condensates at Point Thomson, sell the liquid hydrocarbons and re-inject the lean gas back into the reservoir. ... Even Steve Marshall (NGP Photo), president of BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc., raised the specters of fiscal and regulatory uncertainty in announcing a cost-reduction breakthrough at the giant Prudhoe Bay field where BP is the operator. ... "Prudhoe Bay's infrastructure will be vital for the next 20-30 years, but it must be competitive," Marshall said. "That means reducing costs and increasing efficiency."  (Check out the Industry Directory, a great new service at the Alaska Oil & Gas Reporter!)  EVENT PHOTOS: COMING....

7-18-02, Anchorage Daily News, AP-The president of Phillips Alaska Inc. said the company is prepared to begin the permitting process for a North Slope natural gas line if an energy bill passes Congress with two critical components.  Kevin Meyers (NGP Photo), president of Phillips Alaska Inc., made the comments Tuesday at a luncheon sponsored by the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and the Alaska Oil and Gas Association. That bill, which is under consideration by a joint committee of the Senate and the House, contains "certainty and expediency" for the regulatory and permitting process, Meyers said.  The bill also contains a natural gas price floor, which would mitigate the "substantial risk for fluctuations in future natural gas prices and potential cost overruns," he said.  Sen. Frank Murkowski, persuaded the Senate to put the tax credit in its version of the energy bill. The bill says gas producers from northern Alaska should get a tax credit when gas prices fall below $3.25 per million British thermal units at a distribution hub in Alberta, Canada.  When asked if Phillips was prepared to move forward with permitting the southern route without the participation of the other two North Slope gas owners, BP and Exxon Mobil, Phillips Alaska spokeswoman Dawn Patience told Petroleum News Alaska that Phillips was not prepared to comment on that at this time.  In addition to the price floor, the bill would prohibit construction of a pipeline along the northern route, through Canada.  Exxon Mobil spokesman Bob Davis said passage of a federal energy bill would not make a gas line from the North Slope economic. Davis said Exxon Mobil also wants flexibility in the choice of a route and is opposed to a gas price floor.  Dave Van Tuyl of BP, commercial adviser in the Alaska Gas Group, said it would take more than federal legislation to get the company to move forward with the project.  "While the proposed U.S. federal enabling legislation is one vital requirement, there are still three other elements required to justify moving forward with the project. And those other elements include further clarity and efficiency of the Canadian regulatory process, assurance of fiscal certainty here in Alaska, and, of course, confirmation that the project itself is commercially viable," Van Tuyl told Petroleum News Alaska.  Whether Phillips will get the legislation it favors remains to be seen.  Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham has said the Bush administration objects to the price floor. He also criticized language in the bill that prohibits a northern route pipeline.

6-28-02.  Lord John Browne (RDC Photo) Group Chief Executive, BP, addressed a large combined audience of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, Alliance and Resource Development Council for Alaska on a variety of oil and gas policy issues, including those related to an Alaska gas pipeline. See report and photo gallery and obtain speech download here.

1-8: Anchorage Chamber-Yesterday, Alaska Senate President Rick Halford and House Speaker Brian Porter told a crowded audience at the 4th Avenue theatre that while much has been done to repair Alaska's budget woes, more must be done.   Porter began by recounting the Legislature's recent accomplishments, including educational, welfare and tort reform, and engaging the State in a process of 'results based budgeting'.  Before introducing Halford, the Speaker took a poll of audience interest in contributing to the deficit with increased taxes on citizens and companies.  There was broad support for such action.  Halford passed out a 'fiscal gap' chart and said, "...we are hundreds and hundreds of millions in the hole (Obtain here).  The first thing to do when you're in that big a hole is stop digging."  Halford said the State's problems are not as big as they look and would have been a lot bigger if the Legislature had not taken the steps toward a more efficient government in recent years.  He said that the Legislature should look "department by department" for reductions, consider staff freezes and not approve the Governor's current request for a $200 million spending increase.  He said the biggest challenge was a huge "disconnect" with citizens.  "I don't believe they believe we have cut spending," he said.  "And, I don't believe they believe we have a fiscal crisis."  He reminded the audience that for 15 years the State has been within three years of fiscal crisis, but that the Legislature's spending restraint, Federal dollars and a growing budget reserve fund helped preserve continued spending.  "One good step..." he said, would be to let the people vote on a workable constitutional limit on government spending.  He was referring to legislation still pending from the last session which would authorize that vote and an earlier spending limit approved 20 years ago with such broad definitions that it realistically provides no limitation at all.  He said that on top of natural resources issues presently is that of the gas line and that, "we need to continue supporting efforts to approve a gas pipeline."  He concluded that the fiscal situation is, "not as bad as our fears or as good as our hopes.  We have become a little spoiled and we must deal with that."  Both speakers agreed that their seemed to be sufficient sentiment in the Legislature this session for continuing public funding for Arctic Power.  Chamber president, Eric Britten (Photo, with Speaker Porter-center-and Frank Dillon of Arctic Power-right) concluded the budget presentation, saying, "However you choose to eat the elephant, good luck!"  (ADN Story, by Tim Pryor-When asked in an informal poll, an apparent majority of diners at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon raised their hands in support of raising taxes and shrinking Permanent Fund dividends.)


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