Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ralph Samuels steps in "it" . . .

In an interview with the Frontiersman, gubernatorial candidate Ralph Samuels pretty much damaged his hopes for a successful run against incumbent Sean Parnell or fellow Republican Bill Walker.

In what has to be one of the weirdest statements of any candidate to date on resource development issues Samuels opined:

“A larger diameter in-state gas line running from the North Slope to Valdez presents problems and not enough room for future growth to make it worth the $20 billion investment. First, there is no LNG plant in Valdez, and the plant in Nikiski already has the permit to export the commodity.

Second, and more disturbingly the known reserves in Prudhoe Bay are large enough to supply the pipeline to Valdez with gas for 70 years. This means future gas development is no longer necessary to make the line to Valdez pay off. Why would you go explore for more? You don’t want the (Valdez pipeline) because that’s all you get.”
–Ralph Samuels 3/30/2010

I characterize this statement as weird, as this is the first time that any candidate has stated that too much gas is a problem. This is also the first time that any candidate has stated that having enough gas for a 70 year supply of gas to tidewater at 3 billion cubic feet per day is a bad thing.

Samuels’ statement means that his estimate of 70 years of jobs, industry from keeping our gas liquids in-state, and keeping the money and infrastructure in Alaska while exporting a reasonable volume of gas from the North Slope would be bad for an economy that is cooling with the continuing reduction in oil flowing through the Trans Alaska Pipeline.

How is this “long term thinking” on his part, much less demonstrating any business acumen?

It is obvious that Samuels ultimately favors sending most of the North Slope gas to Canada. He states:

“The gas supply on the North Slope is big enough to keep a bullet line operating without harming the prospects of a larger, out-of-state gas line.”

Looking at his list of contributors to his campaign is a list of whose who at Conoco-Phillips and Enstar.

Samuels is another of the give it all to the Canucks and to heck with Alaska and Alaskans. He intends to give Alaska’s resources away without demanding anything in return.
It is common knowledge that Conoco-Phillips/BP’s Denali project intends to supply gas to free Alberta tar sands oil at the cheapest cost possible, with Alaska’s gas liquids—propane, ethane, hexane, butane—going to Alberta’s petrochemical industry. Alaska would get the lowest price for its gas were Denali to happen.

The Valdez line option championed by Republican Bill Walker and mandated by Alaska’s voters in 2002 has all permits in place and the Environmental Impact Statements up to date for the LNG train and the impact of LNG tanker traffic in and out of Valdez and Prince William Sound. This is the only pipeline option for export of our gas to market that keeps the jobs for Alaskans, the infrastructure in Alaska, and our gas liquids for use in-state to build a petrochemical industry. AGIA and Denali, the other two export options benefit Canada, not Alaska.

Samuels’ record is as a 6 year legislator with 2 years as House Majority Leader. Samuel’s was a legislator who voted for the greatest increase in state budgets and a significant increase in the growth of State government. He lacks the credentials to qualify him as a fiscal conservative.

The problem with the bullet line from the North Slope to Port McKenzie in the Mat-Su Valley, is that 1. the route is not finalized, 2. any route being considered crosses 2 wildlife refuges, a federal national park, a state park, and 12 fish streams.

It took 8 ½ years for the Valdez line Environmental Impact Statement to be approved by the federal government. I guess Samuels figures he will just declare such done and that is all there is to the process?

The bullet line sounds like a great idea. Except, the cost of transporting the gas is figured on a volume basis. Further, the impact upon future development and exploration in Cook Inlet by 500mcf/da was unstated by candidate Samuels. In fact, he missed the boat regarding the ability to resolve the real problem with Cook Inlet gas supply.

The problem is the 10 years it takes to get a permit approved to do anything, and then the impact of further delays from specious litigation on the part of the environmental, no growth groups. The Alaska Regulatory Commission is a major impediment with respect to the time it takes to get any permits for exploration, development and improvements where Cook Inlet oil and gas are concerned.

Samuels is a walking statement for why it is necessary to reject the incumbents and prior and serving legislators this coming election. They are the problem, not any answer.

Alaska is in a very serious predicament financially and economically. Without a viable economy, which Alaska’s runs on oil and gas, there is no hope for our sons and daughters staying here. There will not be any jobs here for them, given Samuel’s lack of foresight and logic.

Look at Samuels’ website at . Please, if you can find one statement about any position, let me know! This guy evidently stands for . . . leadership? That’s all he says. He says nothing on the website about his positions for anything. And, he wants to be governor of Alaska?

Please be informed this election.

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