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Posts Tagged ‘AGIA’

Palin’s Pipeline: Onward and Upward

Posted by Adrienne Ross on July 30, 2010

By Adrienne Ross – http://www.motivationtruth.com


There’s good news today for Alaska and for all of America. “Palin’s Pipeline” is progressing. It’s been a long, drawn-out political battle, and Governor Palin was willing to fight that battle. She deserves credit for the victory. The Anchorage Daily News reports:

The proposed multibillion-dollar natural gas pipeline from the North Slope took a step forward this afternoon with the receipt of bids from potential shippers.

“The Alaska Pipeline Project can report that we’ve received multiple bids from major industry players and others for significant volumes,” said Tony Palmer, TransCanada Corp.’s vice president for Alaska projects, reading from a prepared statement. He declined to deviate from his text.

“We’re encouraged about the future advancement of the project if key conditions can be resolved,” he said. “Although we need to further assess the results, we’re encouraged by the bids received, the interest expressed in our initial open season and shippers’ willingness to take the ongoing steps needed to continue to advance the project.”

AGIA will go down in history as Governor Palin’s baby. Not willing to sit down and shut up, the Governor take on the big wheelers and dealers with one goal in mind–a natural gas pipeline. Progress has not come without ups and downs, however. C4P’s Doug Brady reported on one such up in an article called, “AGIA Moves Forward.” He wrote:

One of Governor Palin’s signature issues while Alaska’s chief executive was the AGIA pipeline project. Yesterday, in another major step forward, TransCanada, the huge multinational pipeline company who is partnering with ExxonMobil to put the plan into effect, formally filed their open-season plan to seek natural gas commitments for the multi-billion dollar project.

[…]

This is big news. The state of Alaska has been trying to get this project off the ground for decades. However, the project has been unable to advance due to a toxic combination of weak political leadership, corruption, and spectacular incompetence in Alaska’s legislative and executive branches. This changed dramatically with the gubernatorial election of 2006 and ever since Governor Palin and her team developed the AGIA plan the project has been moving inexorably forward.

However, roadblocks were erected. For example, I wrote about Rep. Mike Hawker’s barricade here, and R.A. Mansour wrote about Rep. Jay Ramras’s opposition here. Let’s not forget, while we’re at it, President Obama’s apparent desire to step in and take credit for it here.

Now it looks like we’re really moving ahead with this all-important, much-needed, long overdue project into which Governor Palin poured herself. This is a cause of celebration–again, not just for Alaska, but for the entire nation.

Doug Brady’s assessment several months ago seems even more fitting today as AGIA moves onward and upward:

That this project has progressed this far is a testament to the commitment Governor Palin and the pipeline team she assembled made on behalf of the citizens of Alaska. Indeed the entire country will benefit from this project as it will help move America in the direction of energy independence, despite the best foot-dragging efforts of the Obama Administration to continue our reliance on foreign sources of energy or unproven “green energy” schemes.

Whitney Pitcher has more on this success here.

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Alaska Rep. Mike Hawker Still Opposing Governor Palin’s AGIA Plan

Posted by Adrienne Ross on March 11, 2010

By Adrienne Ross – http://www.motivationtruth.com

On the heels of President Obama’s interest in either taking credit for or sabotaging Governor Palin’s natural gas pipeline comes more pipeline news. Today’s news appears to demonstrate more Alaska politics-as-usual–you know, the kind of nonsense Governor Palin fought hard to bring down in her beloved state. Representative Mike Hawker, House Finance Co-chair, has erected a roadblock by reducing the funding necessary for the natural gas pipeline project.

Pat Forgey of Juneau Empire reports:

Legislative opponents of Trans-Canada Corp.’s state-backed natural gas pipeline project stripped much of the money Gov. Sean Parnell has sought for the state’s role in pushing it forward from the budget adopted by the House Finance Committee on Tuesday.

Finance Co-chair Mike Hawker, R-Anchorage, acknowledged that it was a “substantial reduction” but said money could be provided later and was not an attack on the pipeline.

Now, why would Hawker feel the need to volunteer justification for his opposition, which even he terms a “substantial reduction”? Why the need to declare that he wasn’t throwing the pipeline under the bus? Perhaps he didn’t initiate that discussion. Perhaps he was asked. Would there have been good reason to question his motive in blocking the funding?

You betcha!

You see, Hawker has a history of opposing and downplaying Governor Palin’s AGIA plan. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane.

In June, RAM wrote a C4P article, “Mike Hawker, One Lucky Lying ‘Corrupt Bastard,'” in which she blew up Hawker’s spot.

RAM writes:

I’ve had just about as much as I can take of Rep. Mike Hawker (RINO-Anchorage).

Let me be blunt. He is a cynical and dissembling politician. He is a flat out liar.

He’s been carrying on and making a general ass of himself to the local and national media saying stupid things like this:

Anchorage Republican Rep. Mike Hawker, co-chairman of the committee that writes the budget, said TransCanada seems to be merely subcontracting some work to Exxon. “My take is what’s going on here is a completely overblown media circus,” said Hawker, whose wife works for Conoco in its Cook Inlet operations.

Overblown media circus? No, see, we’re talking about a natural gas pipeline that will be the largest private energy project in the world. We’re not talking about Troopergate.

Exxon is partnering – not subcontracting. There’s a big difference.

You just learned that Hawker’s wife works for Conoco, the company with a rival pipeline project in competition with Gov. Palin’s AGIA based pipeline, but let’s look a little closer.

RAM goes on to document Hawker’s corrupt history and even his bragging about it, for he coined the phrase “Corrupt Bastards Club,” of which he was a proud member. RAM doesn’t simply slam his character and leave it at that; no, she backs up her assertions with evidence. Included in that evidence are specifics of contributions and benefits he and other Alaska politicians received from VECO, an oilfield services company, ConocoPhillips (again, his wife’s employer and AGIA competitor), and others.

RAM quotes a Lori Backes article:

According to Alaska Public Offices Commission reports, the most prolific and consistent “investor” in Alaska politics is the oil industry; with the employees of VECO Corp. standing out as the single largest contributing block.

[…]

Rep. Mike Hawker, House Finance Committee member, Legislative Budget and Audit Committee: $8,050

[…]

One should note that these totals do not include Senate President Ben Stevens’ “consulting” contract with VECO, Rep. Meyer’s salary and benefits from ConocoPhillips; the salary, retirement and stock options to the Rep. Hawker household from ConocoPhillips or his own contract with ASCG, of NANA Corp., which has contracts for oil field services with VECO and BP, while he was involved in confidential discussions on the gas line contract. [emphasis added]

Fishy business? Was this a “corrupt bastard” living up to his self-profession?

You must read all of RAM’s article to get the full skinny on Hawker. Click here to access it.

Rep. Hawker’s own actions have created the distrust he faces, and it’s no wonder his motives are called into question now when he stands, again, against efforts to move forward on the pipeline. Governor Sean Parnell is committed to continuing the efforts of his predecessor, and look who’s still in the way.

How are legislators responding to this roadblock, and what does Hawker have to say about it?

Forgey continues:

House Democrats who had backed the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act under which Trans-Canada had won state support criticized the cuts as an attack on the gasline.

At a press conference Tuesday, House Minority Leader Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau, warned the Legislature could stall as pro-industry representatives attempt to reopen fights over gas pipeline and oil tax issues from the last few years.

“We’re headed for some kind of meltdown,” she said.

The money Parnell requested would have been used by the Departments of Law, Revenue and Natural Resources for the state’s role in moving toward a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission certificate for the Alaska Pipeline Project. The project is sponsored by Trans-Canada with partner ExxonMobil under AGIA. A competing pipeline sponsored by ConocoPhillips and BP also is in the works.

Hawker denied anything “skulduggerous” was happening in an attempt to stop the Trans-Canada effort to which he had earlier opposed. He said the move was a reaction to Alaskans who have let him know they wanted more scrutiny on the issue.

[…]

[Rep. Les] Gara warned that withholding the money sought by Parnell could delay the state’s ability to meet its commitments under AGIA and could weaken the state’s hand in forcing BP, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil to develop a pipeline.

“They’re not going to move ahead with a gas line on their own. We have to push them,” Gara said.

[…]

The Finance Committee also cut money for the Parnell administration to work on an in-state gas line to Southcentral after Hakwer [sic] questioned “the commitment of this administration in moving this project forward.”

Other legislative bills would take responsibility for in-state gas away from Parnell, and vest it elsewhere.

Gas pipeline funding, both for the in-state gasline and AGIA pipeline work, remains a priority for this administration and we will continue to work with both the House and Senate to restore full funding,” said Sharon Leighow, Parnell’s spokesperson.

Hawker said none of the cuts were in opposition to AGIA or in-state gas, but were instead a way to continue the discussion with the Parnell administration.

I’m not Hawker, and I can’t read his mind. The only thing I can read is his history, and there certainly seems to be a pattern in full-swing. Is he suddenly acting with pure motives, blocking funds only at the behest of concerned Alaskans, as he claims? You tell me: does that sound like the modus operandi of a member of the “Corrupt Bastards Club”?

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Has President Obama Seen Governor Palin’s Light–or Does He Want to Snuff it Out?

Posted by Adrienne Ross on March 11, 2010

By Adrienne Ross – http://www.motivationtruth.com

As the entire nation knows, Governor Palin has been a voice for energy independence for years. She has worked relentlessly to see a natural gas pipeline built that would flow resources from Alaska to the Lower 48.

After all of the governor’s hard work and unprecedented success in moving forward in this effort that would not only provide jobs and boost the economy, but would aid in national security–freeing America to rely on the resources God has given us, rather than foreign regimes that don’t like us–it seems President Obama has suddenly become interested in energy.

The president wants to take this effort to tap into Alaska’s resources to the next level, making it a White House executive office matter.

According to Juneau Empire, Mark Begich, the Democrat senator from Alaska, has “nominated legislative aide Larry Persily for the Obama appointment as federal coordinator. Persily has support from Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, as well.”

This begs the question: Has President Obama suddenly seen the light–or is he trying to snuff it out?

Writing for US4Palin, Gary reports:

At first glance, this looks good, right? Obama is finally realizing we need to develop our own resources, after loaning his buddy George Soros’ Brazilian oil company, Petrobas, ten billion dollars to drill offshore in Brazil. And maybe Obama is trying to steal Sarah Palin’s thunder here.

Unfortunately, I believe you’d be wrong, and I believe my colleague is, as well. I don’t think Obama is trying to steal credit for this deal, I think he is trying to kill it.

Frankly, when has Obama done anything to support energy development in America? On the contrary, Obama and his minions have openly worked to thwart any and all domestic development of natural resources.

So what’s the deal?

First of all, let’s face it, that’s how these Chicago thugs work, period. We see it every single day. They strong arm and attack their own people if the don’t tow the line. Ask New York Governor David Patterson how Obama’s gangster tactics work.

Let’s take a quick look at Larry Persily himself. Persily is a self described “blue-collar Chicago democrat.”

Please click here to read more of Gary’s article and learn more about Persily and his connections.

Do you smell something fishy?

Gary is not the only one who has taken note of this interesting interest the President of the United States has suddenly developed. Conservatives4Palin has also covered the story.

Mel Bryant writes:

Almost one year ago, C4P predicted that the president would eventually attempt to take over, and take credit for, Governor Palin’s work to get Alaska a natural gas pipeline.

[…]

After spending months attacking Palin and obstructing her legislative agenda, Persily got called up to the big leagues. Just like Kim Elton. Funny how that worked out.

Now the president’s looking to increase the power of Persily’s position.

[…]

It’s not a surprise that Obama might want to take credit for Palin’s gas pipeline. After all, as Palin has pointed out over and over, America needs a source of clean, reliable energy that comes from domestic sources, thereby increasing our national security. But AGIA needs the free market to work. Much as he may wish to claim credit, Alaska’s gasline should not become an Obama public works project.

Bryant breaks down Persily’s associations as well, also leaving one to ponder what is really going on? Read that article in its entirety here.

Smell anything yet? Apparently Denmark is not the only place where rotten things reek.

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Is Barack Obama Actively Trying To Kill Sarah Palin’s Natural Gas Pipeline?

Posted by Gary P Jackson on March 9, 2010

So I get an e-mail from a colleague concerned that Barack Obama may be looking to take credit for Sarah Palin’s signature achievement, the deal she put together with TransCanada and Exxon-Mobil to build a natural; gas pipeline from Alaska to the lower 48 states.

The gasline is something Alaskan’s have worked toward for 50 years. Building the pipeline, or at least starting the thing, has been a campaign promise made by pretty much every Gubernatorial candidate for decades.

Sarah Palin made the fulfilment of this half a century old dream a centerpiece of her administration. So important was this project to Alaska and Sarah Palin, on her very first day in office she started putting a team together and drafting the plan that would become legislation known as the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA) This was very popular legislation with only one legislator, Ralph Samuels voting against it.

For more background on AGIA, go here.

Link

This brings us to the story that appears in today’s Juneau Empire:

Obama to back Alaska’s effort to build gas line

Federal coordinator Larry Persily may have higher profile

By Pat Forgey | JUNEAU EMPIRE

President Obama plans to boost the effort to develop Alaska’s natural gas resources into the executive office of the White House, according to legislators who visited Washington, D.C., to discuss energy issued with other legislators.

Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, recently nominated legislative aide Larry Persily for the Obama appointment as federal coordinator. Persily has support from Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, as well.

He is now awaiting confirmation by the Senate, after having been approved by the Senate Energy Committee.

Senate Majority Leader Johnny Ellis, D-Anchorage, said a top Obama administration official, former Alaskan Pete Rouse, told Alaska legislators in Washington that Obama would be more than just verbally supporting the Alaska natural gas pipeline.

Mr. Rouse said the president was planning to elevate the Alaska gas line coordinator’s office effort into the executive office of the president once Mr. Persily is in place and is official,” he said.

After returning from Washington, Ellis told colleagues on the Senate floor Monday that Persily was likely to win confirmation and be well-placed to give Alaska’s views on the gas pipeline.

I guess the president is quite impressed with Larry Persily,” he said.

Persily declined to comment on the possibility of the elevation of the coordinator position.

The White House was pretty clear with me that I should not speculate about what that job may or may not be,” he said.

Rep. Berta Gardner, D-Anchorage, said the message she and others received from the Energy Council meetings was that Obama would raise the coordinator’s profile.

They want to boost his position, get him access to an executive committee on energy issues,” she said.

The president will be not just coordinating the pipeline project but actively pushing for it, Gardner said.

Rep. Craig Johnson, R-Anchorage, said there is a national consensus that Alaska’s natural gas needs to be developed.

There’s no doubt about that; Congress still considers the Alaska pipeline to be in the national interest,” he said.

Persily currently works for House Finance Committee Co-chair Mike Hawker, R-Anchorage, but has bipartisan support in the state as well as Washington, D.C.

I think we’re fortunate to have Larry there. He knows us; he knows our issues. I think he’ll be very good for the state of Alaska,” Johnson said.

Persily, a former managing editor of the Juneau Empire, also worked for former Gov. Sarah Palin as an associate director of the state’s Washington, D.C. office.

He in the past has served as editorial page editor of the Anchorage Daily News and as a deputy commissioner in the Department of Revenue.

He remains president of the board of Juneau’s Wildflower Court.

Two competing pipeline efforts are now underway, including the Alaska Pipeline Project, backed by the state under the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act and a joint effort – called Denali – by oil companies ConocoPhillips Co. and BP.

The charge of the federal coordinator is to push for a pipeline, but does not give preference to any specific plan.

At first glance, this looks good, right? Obama is finally realizing we need to develop our own resources, after loaning his buddy George Soros’ Brazilian oil company, Petrobas, ten billion dollars to drill offshore in Brazil. And maybe Obama is trying to steal Sarah Palin’s thunder here.

Unfortunately, I believe you’d be wrong, and I believe my colleague is, as well. I don’t think Obama is trying to steal credit for this deal, I think he is trying to kill it.

Frankly, when has Obama done anything to support energy development in America? On the contrary, Obama and his minions have openly worked to thwart any and all domestic development of natural resources.

So what’s the deal?

First of all, let’s face it, that’s how these Chicago thugs work, period. We see it every single day. They strong arm and attack their own people if the don’t tow the line. Ask New York Governor David Patterson how Obama’s gangster tactics work.

Let’s take a quick look at Larry Persily himself. Persily is a self described “blue-collar Chicago democrat.”

Persily is a journalist by trade having worked at the Anchorage Daily News as the editorial page editor, and the Juneau Empire. Persily has also contributed to the far left hate site, Huffington Post. The same Huffington Post that Alaska Mafia members Shannyn Moore and Jeanne Devon have contributed many a false story about Sarah Palin to.

For those that don’t know, Arianna Huffington, the publisher of the far left website, is close to Stewart Resnick, the billionaire owner of Roll Industries, and the guy who at one point was paying to keep dead beat dad Levi Johnston in the spotlight. Resnick’s wife Lynda is godmother to Arianna’s daughter. The Resnicks are huge donors within the democrat party.

Read more here.

While Persily has indeed worked for Governor Palin, he has also been a shill for the democrat party. Even though Persily denies it, he has penned multiple attacks on Palin at the Huffington Post.

Persily absolutely lost his mind when Sarah Palin took on Obama for “pallin’ around with terrorists,” a shot at Barack Obama’s close friend, domestic terrorist William Ayers, and his convicted felon wife, cop killer Bernardine Dohrn.

She yelled fire in a crowded theater. She really did, in some of her speeches –‘palling around’ with terrorists and some of the other slurs she was hurling in the way of Obama and the Democrats,” said Larry Persily, a former Palin staffer and Alaskan journalist.

Now I know that all of this is not enough to prove anything, but there is more. Much more.

One of the folks mentioned in this story is “former Alaskan” Pete Rouse. Funny thing, even though Rouse is a total creature of Washington, he still votes absentee in Alaska. There has been some controversy about this, you can read more here.

Of course, we don’t care how Pete Rouse votes, or where. What we do care about is the fact that Rouse, who was Barack Obama’s campaign chief-of-staff, and is now a senior White House adviser, is Obama’s point man for all the attacks on Sarah Palin.

We have written extensively about Obama and Rouse’s attempts to stop Sarah Palin. It was Obama and Rouse, through Rouse’s longtime friend former Alaska Senator Kim Elton, who ginned up the phony “Troopergate,” or as Sarah calls it “Tasergate,” affair. Obama himself called the Alaska Troopers Union within days of the announcement that Sarah was the Republican nominee

Although Sarah was cleared of any wrong doing by the personnel board, and members of this kangaroo court were admonished for hiding evidence that cleared Palin, as well as using the wrong statute to go after her, Obama still rewarded Kim Elton with a make-work job at the Department of the Interior. Classic Chicago pay-for-play.

Once Obama and Rouse shook off their failed attempt to harm Governor Palin, Rouse, along with Phil Monger and other assorted nerdowells formed what has come to be known as the Alaska Mafia.

With White House coordination, a group of bloggers, such as hate peddlers Shannyn Moore and Jeanne Devon were given prominent placement for their hit pieces over at the Huffington Post. The DNC’s “Official Blogger For Alaska” Linda Kellen Biegel, better knows as “Celtic Diva” was also involved in these efforts.

One of the projects, besides coordinating with other radical leftist bloggers, who continually fed lies to the media, was the recruitment of folks to continually file false “ethics complaints” against Governor Palin. These shenanigans would eventually cost Governor Palin over a half million dollars personally, and the Alaskan tax payers over $2 million.

Speaking of that, there is another close Obama staffer involved here. You remember Anita Dunn, the Mao Tse Tung loving Communications Director for the White House? The one Glenn Beck turned into a national punch line?

Well guess what….Dunn is an Alaskan as well!

Here’s her connection to this deal. Her husband, Robert Bauer, Obama’s White House counsel, is a partner at the prominent D.C. law firm, Perkins Coie, which also happens to be Obama’s attorney of record. Perkins Coie is the law firm the democrat party generally calls when they need help stealing elections as well.

What does this have to do with Sarah, you ask? Well, remember the half million in legal fees Sarah was stuck with as a result of defending herself against the phony complaints? Friends of Sarah started a legal defense fund to help her with these bills. Perfectly legal. Something many a politician has had to do.

Well, right on cue, one of the Alaska Mafia members filed a complaint against Sarah for having this fund. Of course, it was nonsense, but that’s how these evil people work.

As part of the “investigation” the State of Alaska hired a supposed “independent investigator” by the name of Thomas Daniel. Now there is nothing wrong with investigating things, in fact, no one would want it any other way. The problem is, there was a serious conflict of interest here. You see Mr Daniel has a day job as an attorney at…wait for it….Perkins Coie.

Here’s where it comes together. Even though under Alaskan law it is unlawful to discuss ongoing ethics investigations, Thomas Daniel, the so-called “independent investigator” let it leak that Sarah was about to face federal indictment for violations surrounding this legal defense fund. Of course, not only did Daniel, an officer of the court, violate Alaskan law, he was lying.

Like all of the other phony ethic complaints filed against Sarah, this one was dismissed as well. It was total BS. In fact, after Mr Daniel’s out and out lie surfaced, the FBI went on record as saying that there were no investigations concerning Governor Palin, never had been, and none were expected. This is something the FBI never does, by the way, but the lie by Mr Daniel, which was then broadcast by Obama’s plants over at the Huffington Post, and then picked up the worldwide media, was so egregious the agency felt they had to respond.

Why would Mr Daniel, an officer of the court, do this you ask? Why risk a his entire career?

Well, this all went down in August of 2009. In case you don’t remember, this is about the time Sarah wrote her famous “death panels” blog, and totally destroyed Obama’s momentum to enact his unconstitutional take over of America’s health care system. Momentum that Obama has never regained.

This was a completely transparent attempt to discredit Palin and her message. Of course like every other attempt Obama has made to hurt Sarah Palin, this failed because the truth quickly came out about Thomas Daniel and all of the tomfoolery going on.

Nothing happened to Mr Daniel for his lies or for his discussion of the matter, by the way. No doubt powerful friends of President Obama protected Mr Daniel from any consequences of his malicious conduct.

You can learn more about the Alaska Mafia, all of the phony complaints, Pete Rouse, Thomas Daniel, and a whole lot more by clicking here.

There was also a great video put together by Naked Emperor News detailing the connections between Obama, Pete Rouse, Phil Monger, and the rest of the Alaska Mafia, including Mafia members in their own words.

Jeanne Devon worked overtime fighting to keep this video off of any American video sharing sites like You Tube. Thankfully our friends at Canada Free Press have no qualms about hosting this highly damning video. Watch it here.

Look, I want to stress here that at this point, we aren’t really sure what Obama and his crew are up to, but if past is prologue, you can be pretty confident they are up to no good. There is absolutely a reason why this particular fellow, Larry Persily, was chosen.

Think about it, why would a “journalist” with ties to a far left hate website, that spreads lies about Sarah Palin on a daily basis be chosen as a “federal energy coordinator” and be given control of her signature achievement?

Sarah Palin is one of the most accomplished Governors in the nation. Her list of achievements are great, but the one thing that she really takes great pride in, is her and her administration’s incredible achievement in setting up AGIA and forging the deal with TransCanada and Exxon-Mobil. This is the largest construction project in North American history, and an achievement that any person would take great pride in. This gasline will go a long way towards making America energy independent.

We know that Sarah Palin is a force of nature, come campaign season she will be all over the country spreading her message of liberty, freedom, and common sense conservatism. Most people consider Sarah a front runner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, and a shoe-in to be the 45th President. What do you think the collapse of one of her signature accomplishments would mean?

Persily, who is openly hostile to Sarah Palin, will be in a position to effect the TransCanada deal.

This doesn’t pass the smell test at all. We are going to be looking into this a lot further, but for now we are cautioning readers to be on alert, and know that Obama, and his gangster regime are up to something.

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Sarah Palin’s Natural Gas Pipeline: A Dream Moving Forward As TransCanada Announces Open Season

Posted by Gary P Jackson on January 30, 2010

Sarah Palin, like all politicians, made many campaign promises when she ran for Governor in Alaska. Unlike many politicians, Sarah made good on all of hers. And while that is remarkable unto itself, no campaign promise made was more important to the Alaskan people than building a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to the lower 48.

So important, and so desired by the people, is the construction of this pipeline that promising to get it built was a staple on the Alaskan campaign trail for over 30 years!

As Sarah noted in her book, Going Rouge, An American Life on page 111:

Our campaign would focus on cleaning house in government and facilitating the private-sector development of energy resources, specifically ramping up production of America’s energy supplies and building the 3,000 mile, $40 billion natural gas pipeline that other administrations had been promising to build for decades. It could ultimately go from the North Slope to hungry Midwest markets out of a Chicago hub. No more time wasted recycling the same old arguments and excuses as to why it couldn’t be done. I was determined that Alaska was going to start contributing more to the nation.

If you notice, there is a very important element to Sarah’s plan for development: “facilitating the private-sector development of energy resources.” This is Sarah recognizing that in most cases government is not the solution to any given situation, it’s the problem. Politics had stood in the way of getting this pipeline built for over 30 years, so Sarah, using common sense, sought to have as minimal government involvement as possible, and maximum private-sector participation. A refreshing change of pace, and a model for all governments to follow.

On her very first day on the job as Governor, Sarah set the wheels in motion to get this project rolling. From page 125 of Going Rogue:

Ethics reform was already underway, with some lawmakers already under arrest, so to kick off the Palin-Parnell agenda, we started with the natural gas pipeline on our first day in office.

For Alaskans, the term “gasline” is as familiar as “irrigation” is to Californians or “Wall Street” is to New Yorkers. Except that Californians and New Yorkers already reap the benefits of these economic lifelines, while Alaskans have been waiting for more than fifty years to realize the benefits of the state’s vast reserves of natural gas. At least 35 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves lie untapped on the North Slope, and geologists say there are hundreds of trillions more both on- and offshore. Our oil and gas supplies would be enough to provide 10 years of total energy independence for the entire country.

Below Governor Sarah Palin Lt. Governor Sean Parnell and officials from TransCanada are seen at the signing ceremony where TransCanada was awarded the license to build the natural gas pipeline:

As one can see, the stakes are high, and the rewards, for the entire nation, substantial. After talking about the fact that heavy government interference, labor and environmental restrictions had driven producers out of the country and over to foreign supplies of oil and gas, Sarah Adds:

It was unfortunate that our government’s well-meaning polices had driven producers to other parts of the world where there were no restraint’s on their activities. That was no way to protect the environment or heat the economy.

With my background, I understood the concerns of all of the parties: as a free-market capitalist I understood the bottom line for the oil producers; as the spouse of an oil worker I understood the Slopers and their families’ reliance on oil jobs; as a mayor I understood the communities’ dependence on oil’s economic contributions; as a lover of the land I understood as well the environmentalists’ and Alaska Natives’ concerns.

Sarah goes into further details of her thought process in the book, including how CEO look to maximize profit for their shareholders, and how as CEO of Alaska, it was her job to maximize the benefits to the Alaskan people. I’ve found, over the last few years that many people don’t understand the unique relationship the people of Alaska, as well as the state government, all have with the oil companies.

In Alaska, the Constitution dictates that the oil, natural gas, and other energy resources belong to the people, the citizens of the state. So, just like anyone who buys shares in a publicly traded company, the Alaskan people are shareholders in the Alaskan energy business. As Governor, Sarah took many steps to maximize the values of those shares to the Alaskan people, just as any good CEO would do.

Much has been written about the processes of how the natural gas pipeline project came to be, but the bottom line is this: By creating a market driven process, with great emphasis on the private-sector, Sarah was able to move this pipeline project from 50 years worth of talk, to reality, in just a few short years. I suggest those who are looking for more detailed information on the process read Sarah’s book, and check out the archives at US4Palin, where editor and publisher Ron Devito has carefully documented the entire process.

In this video from Canadian TV Sarah discusses the processes as well as leadership:

OK, now that we have some of the background out of the way, let’s get to the latest updates on the process that will see the completion of the gasline by 2020.

From Yahoo Finance Canada:

CALGARY/ANCHORAGE (Reuters) – TransCanada Corp and partner Exxon Mobil Corp boosted their cost estimates for a planned line to carry Alaska gas to southern markets by up to 58 percent on Friday, as the two ready plans to sign up shippers for the massive project.

The companies said the cost of the 1,700 mile pipeline carrying at least 4.5 billion cubic feet of gas daily from Alaska’s North Slope to Alberta will range between $32 billion and $41 billion, up from a previous $26 billion forecast.

The line, mulled for more than a generation, would be among the largest and most expensive civil engineering projects ever undertaken in North America, requiring years of planning and construction and massive financing.

No matter how you measure it, the Alaska Pipeline Project would be an exceptional world leading project and one of the largest private investments in the history of North America,” Paul Pike, Exxon Mobil’s senior project manager for the line, said on a conference call.

For Alaska, which depends on oil for nearly all its state operating revenues, a natural gas pipeline is seen as economically crucial. North Slope oil production has dwindled to a third of the 2 million-barrel-a-day peak reached in 1988, and continues to decline.

Some political leaders hailed Friday’s announcement as a big step toward reaching the gas pipeline goal.

Bringing Alaska’s gas to market presents a tremendous economic opportunity for the state,” Alaska Governor Sean Parnell said in a statement. “Alaskans have waited 30 years to advance this project, and today’s news marks a significant milestone in achieving this opportunity.”

A smaller line, running from the gas fields of the North Slope to a separately built liquefied natural gas facility near Valdez, Alaska, would cost between $20 billion and $26 billion and could be built instead of the larger project if shippers chose the option.

The backers said their cost estimate rose over initial projections because of an extension of the line to the Point Thomson field on Alaska’s North Slope, an expanded gas-processing plant and more detailed engineering than first available.

OPEN SEASON PLANNED

The new estimate for the lines, which could be in service by 2020, came as the partners filed plans with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to hold an open season to attract potential shippers.

This open season will test potential customers’ interest in utilizing the Alaska Pipeline Project to transport their natural gas to market,” said Tony Palmer, TransCanada’s vice-president of Alaska development.

Calgary-based TransCanada is the state of Alaska’s preferred pipeline sponsor and holder of a state license under the Alaska Gasoline Inducement Act (AGIA).

It added U.S. energy major Exxon Mobil, one of the three major North Slope natural gas producers, as a partner to its proposal last year. The other two producers, BP Plc and ConocoPhillips are backing a rival pipeline plan of their own and Exxon itself has yet to commit its gas to the line.

However the two partners expect that they’ve squeezed the cost for shippers down, making their proposal attractive. They plan to a 20 percent capital risk in the project, reducing the costs needed to be covered by customers by between $6 billion and $8 billion.

As well, they’ve cut their planned return on equity to 12 percent instead of the 14 percent return TransCanada had forecast in its AGIA filing.

Including those cuts and other smaller factors, the partners expect shippers who commit during the open season will pay $500 million less per year on tolls than forecast in the AGIA application.

Assuming that FERC approves our plan as filed, and … the customers commit their gas in that initial open season, they will see lower tariffs,” Palmer said. “They will see lower tolls to their account on the order of $500 million per year.”

Still, the rival Denali project, backed by BP and Conoco, is going ahead as planned, with its own open season scheduled to launch in April.

I am confident that we will have an attractive commercial offer for our potential customers,” said Bud Fackrell, Denali’s president. “Today’s announcement by TransCanada and Exxon doesn’t change anything for us. We’re on track.”

TransCanada has offered BP and Conoco an equity stake in its project, saying the support of all three producers, as well as the state, is needed before its project proceeds. However negotiations with the rival producers have yet to take place .

TransCanada and Exxon filed plans for the open season with FERC, which has 90 days to approve the proposal. A separate open season will be staged for the Canadian portion of the line.

Along with Governor Parnell’s positive reaction to the news, Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski added:

This marks the first time Alaska has seen a major producer come together with a pipeline company to solicit binding commitments for the transport and delivery of North Slope natural gas to markets in the Lower 48.

The bottom line is this. While there is still some work to be done, Sarah Palin, as well as her capable administration, and the folks at TransCanada and Exxon-Mobil prove the point that private-sector, free market solutions to major issues just make sense.

The fact that this is a viable project, and a solid approach, is underscored by the existence of a competing project in the mix. In the end, everyone will benefit from this competition.

Once again Sarah Palin proves to be a visionary leader who uses common sense solutions to complex issues. Energy independence is both an economic and a national security issue. With the economy in a slump, and wages stagnant, a good reliable supply of cheap, clean, and green natural gas is essential. Using our own resources, rather than enriching nations, and leaders who may not like us very much, is vital.

This is something Sarah Palin has been talking about for years, and unlike most, has used her leadership qualities and negotiation skills to actually make something happen. This is what true leadership is all about.

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The Real Sarah Palin Story Of The Past Week: Energy Independence

Posted by Gary P Jackson on June 16, 2009

Quick, what was the biggest Sarah Palin story of the past week or so?

Was it her rousing introduction of Michael Reagan in Anchorage where she eloquently spoke of his father, President Ronald Reagan, and took on President Barack Obama, and his big government policies, head on?

Maybe it was her trip to Auburn, NY where she celebrated the life of former Secretary of State William Seward, in conjunction with Alaska’s 50th year of statehood, an event that saw Palin draw over 20,000 people. Seward is the one who pushed for the purchase of Alaska from Russia.

Palin gave a stem winding policy speech in Auburn that saw her again take on the current administration’s big government policies, it’s want to apologize for America when overseas, it’s military readiness, and foreign policy.

It could be the over $500,000 Governor Palin raised for several charities, including autism research and assisted living while in the state. You might even think that it was the crass and tasteless remarks made by a late night talk show host, aimed a Palin and her 14 year old daughter, and the ensuing calls for his firing and his show’s loss of sponsors.

All of these are big stories, for sure. But as usual, the real story got lost by the media.

While in Auburn, Governor Palin spoke at length about America’s need for energy independence and promised a huge bit of news would come out within the week concerning this..

And true to her word, in Dallas, Texas Governor Palin announced to the world of the huge progress on AGIA, the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act.

Governor Palin announced that in a historic agreement, Exxon-Mobil had joined with Trans-Canada to make what some have called a “pipe dream” a reality.

Audio of the announcement from Exxon-Mobil and Trans-Canada officials is available here.

For those not familiar, Alaskans have tried for over 30 years to build a natural gas pipeline from Alaska to the lower 48. Previous Governors have tried to make this happen, and Alaskans have went back and forth on how it should be done.

Governor Palin made this a centerpiece of her administration. Within weeks of taking office, the wheels were set in motion to get this done. The AGIA legislation was passed 57-1 through Alaska’s legislature.

Of course, there were plenty of critics, this was a big undertaking. At $126 billion, the 1712 mile pipeline is the largest infrastructure project in history.

Many thought that Governor Palin had just bit off more than she, or anyone else could chew. There were worries about the market for natural gas. But the demand for the fuel is expected to rise as much as 40 percent by the year 2030.

Obama administration officials who had nothing to do with this, like Energy Secretary Ken Salazar, have rushed to claim credit for all of this. A pretty good endorsement of Governor Palin’s efforts.

Investor’s Business Daily, gives high praise to Governor Palin, and points out that Exxon-Mobil has some very strict guidelines for investment. Their standards are high. Marty Massey, U.S. joint interest manager of Exxon Mobil Production Co. Had this to say about his company’s involvement:

“We evaluated all the options and it came down to our belief that this approach with TransCanada and Exxon Mobil was going to be the most successful project.”

Massey went on to say that Exxon might look at expanding it’s role in the project.

As the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act Trans-Canada and Exxon Partnership materials point out, this is a privately funded project. Which obviously makes this deal a win-win for the state. The purpose of AGIA is to protect the interests of the state of Alaska as the project moves forward.

The bottom line in all of this, is the pipeline will be built. Trans-Canada is one of the world’s most respected pipeline construction companies, and Exxon-Mobil is certainly a well respected oil and gas company.

For those that don’t understand the real impact of all of this, let’s talk about natural gas and it’s uses.

Natural gas is one of the cleanest burning fossil fuels we have. Most Americans use it every day. We heat with it. We cook with it. But there are other uses. One of the more promising uses of natural gas is as a leading motor fuel.

Compressed natural gas (CNG), along with propane, has been used for decades to power automobiles, trucks, and buses. In fact, many large and medium sized U.S. cities already have fleets of cars, trucks, and buses that are powered by CNG. The reasoning behind this, of course, is the fact that an engine that burns CNG instead of gasoline, will see some of it’s harmful emissions reduced by as much as 90 percent. And with the addition of the latest engine management computer technology CNG has never been a more viable fuel.

Something else that makes CNG so promising is the fact that diesel engines can be made to run on the fuel as well, greatly reducing their emissions. And while some may tout electrics as the future of the automobile, that technology, will not work on long haul trucks, the 18 wheelers you see every day as they haul goods all over America. The battery technology just isn’t anywhere close to making it viable for that application.

Even better, every single one of the Big 3: Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors build cars, trucks, and buses that run on clean burning natural gas, and have for decades. So it would be a no brainer to produce more vehicles to run on CNG. Honda is also building CNG powered versions of it’s most popular models that are available to Americans right now.

Many countries use CNG powered vehicles extensively for transportation.

There are even companies that make units that people can install in their home garages that compress the natural gas, and allow someone to refill their car at home.

As a 30 year veteran of the automotive industry, and a certified “car guy”. This writer is very excited about the possibilities of CNG.

Alaska has an estimated 200 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. That is enough to make America very independent when it comes to energy. And that’s the real story here. Once the pipeline becomes operational, in less than a decade, America will be more secure, and energy independent.

Texas oil billionaire T Boone Pickens has been advocating a plan for some time that would see much of America’s vehicles converted to run on CNG, and see wind and solar become a more prominent source of electrical generation. In the Pickens Plan, the wind and solar would replace the natural gas we are currently using to produce electricity, freeing it up for transportation use.

Natural gas is a real win-win for America. It’s very plentiful. We have more than the equivalent of all of the world’s oil reserves in American natural gas. Natural gas is a very clean fuel. The environmentalists like it. And, this is not some newfangled experimental fuel. We have used natural gas for a long time to cook and heat with, and automakers have built vehicles that use it as a fuel for almost a century.

If automakers were to convert much of their production to vehicles that run on CNG, it would be cost effective, as the technology is already in use, and proven, as compared to all of the billions that have been invested in technology that still hasn’t produced a practical mass production car that people will actually buy and can use for more than short trips to the store.

This announcement from Governor Palin is indeed big news. This is a game changing effort that will not only help make America energy independent, but has the potential to change every American’s lives for the better with a clean, American produced fuel.

The national security benefits in all of this should not be lost either. The less money we send overseas to purchase oil, the less money regimes that don’t necessarily like America will have. America sends nearly one trillion dollars a year overseas to buy crude oil.

Governor Palin has again lived up to her billing as an authority on energy. The Governor who previously was chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, as well as the chair of the National Governor’s Association Natural Resources Committee, and the Chairman of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, is uniquely qualified to lead on energy independence. And she is most certainly using her industry experience to move America in that direction.

Sarah Palin hit a grand slam home run last week. This will truly make America stronger.

Posted in Alaska, Alaska statehood, Barracuda, Conservative, Energy, Energy Independence, Environment, government control, Governor Palin, Governor Sarah Palin, influential people, Michael Reagan, natural gas, Ronald Reagan, Sarah Palin, Seward House, special needs, special needs children, William Seward | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »