Governor Palin Addresses Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission
AK Governor Sarah Palin addressed the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) earlier this week on balancing energy and the environment. She spoke about “Alaska’s ability to responsibly develop resources to meet state and national needs while reducing dependency on foreign oil.” Governor Palin is a past chair of the IOGCC, a position where she used and acquired much of her subject matter expertise on energy.
Photos courtesy of the State of Alaska Governor’s Office. Retrieved from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/photos.php
Governor Encouraged by U.S. Interior’s Move on Off-Shore Drilling
The Governor also expressed her satisfaction that “federal officials are seeking to limit the impact of a court ruling that puts off-shore oil and gas leasing and exploration on hold” (Court Ruling, 2009, Â¶1).
The Department of Justice has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for clarification that its April ruling on off-shore drilling does not invalidate existing leases issued under the 2007–2012 five-year program for the Outer Continental Shelf (Court Ruling, 2009, Â¶2).
In urging federal government lawyers to pursue that clarification, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar noted that the court’s action in vacating the program came two years after leasing began. Salazar said problems the court says it found with the Bush administration’s scientific and environmental analysis could be addressed going forward, rather than forcing the department to invalidate leases already granted and to develop an entirely new five-year program (Court Ruling, 2009, Â¶3).
“This action suggests that Secretary Salazar is attempting to eliminate confusion and uncertainty in the oil and gas industry, and this gives us hope that the Obama administration will take steps toward achieving energy independence for America,” the Governor said (Court Ruling, 2009, Â¶5).
Governor Palin noted that the U.S. Department of the Interior already has 487 leases in the Chukchi Sea. The U.S. Minerals Management Services estimates the value of the 1 billion barrels of oil contained therein to be $6.37 billion (Court Ruling, 2009, Â¶6).
Chugach Electric Association, ConocoPhillips Sign Gas Contract
Several Alaska state employees played a key role in mediating a contract dispute between the Chugach Electric Association and ConocoPhilips. “This will allow Chugach to continue supplying electricity to the Railbelt, as operations continue at the Kenai LNG plant” (Contract, 2009, Â¶5).
“[T]he Chugach Electric Association and ConocoPhillips have contracted to satisfy Chugach’s unmet natural gas needs into 2011. This resolves a dispute over the two-year extension of the export license for the liquefied natural gas facility at Kenai operated by ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil” (Contract, 2009, Â¶1).
“The contract, which was filed [May 13, 2009] with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, continues through 2016. It is intended to avert all of Chugach’s projected gas shortfall through June 2011, half of the shortfall thereafter through December 2015, and about 25 percent in 2016″ (Contract, 2009, Â¶3).
In signing the contract for 66 billion cubic feet of gas, ConocoPhillips has satisfied the final provision of the 2008 Kenai LNG settlement agreement among ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil, and the State of Alaska. Chugach Electric says that it will now withdraw its objection before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco (Contract, 2009, Â¶4).
The first item — addressing the IOGCC — is an accomplishment because Governor Palin addressed the commission she once chaired drawing on the breadth and depth of her experience gained since then.
Recall that Governor Palin testified before Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar regarding domestic energy production. Governor Palin’s Twitter page photo is from the image of her walking with Senator Begich and Secretary Salazar on the date of her testimony. The second item is a continuation of the work that began that day.
While Governor Palin herself did not mediate the Chugach Electric/ConocoPhillips contract, Alaska state employees did this work, which resolved a long-standing dispute which had made it all the way to the the U.S. Court of Appeals — the next court after that would have been the U.S. Supreme Court.
Singularly and collectively each of the foregoing accomplishment items further demonstrates the Governor’s commitment to U.S. energy independence and the national security and lower energy prices which result therefrom.
Chugach Electric Association, ConocoPhillips sign gas contract. (2009, May 12). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved May 14, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1845
Governor encouraged by U.S. Interior’s move on off-shore drilling. (2009, May 12). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved May 14, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1833