Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pac West Communications and AAE

Tired of environmentalists staking the high ground on protecting the fought-over Roan Plateau in western Colorado from natural gas development, the energy industry is firing back. But the insertion into the debate of the group Americans for American Energy (AAE) promises to pump up the rhetoric and turn up the heat on politicians who don't support natural-gas drilling in western Colorado. (

AAE's creation stemmed from a $3 million contract last year that Pac/West Communications, an Oregon-based consulting firm, had with the state of Alaska to educate Americans about oil drilling in Alaska's arctic refuge, or ANWR. Using Pac/West money, AAE became the message center for pushing Congress to approve opening up ANWR for drilling, according to the Anchorage Daily News. Sims said the money was a "contribution" to the group. (

The industry-funded nonprofit AAE says drilling the Roan would reap a windfall for the state -- over $1 billion in the first year of pumping alone. That’s well more than the Bureau of Land Management ever figured. (

But there’s a catch. Ask the group’s chief, Greg Schnacke, who left his post with the Colorado Oil and Gas Association to launch the organization, who conducted the study and Schnacke gets quiet. When the Denver Post asked, the paper reports, Schnacke protected his sources, “because they may bid on leases that will allow them to harvest natural gas” from under the Roan. (

But the question is: how did Pac West orginially obtain that $3 million no-bid contract? That will be examined in the next thread.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Book Recommendation

Check out 'The No Asshole Rule' by Robert Sutton, PhD -a professor at Stanford. In addition to the title of the book -the content is excellent. With Alaska being a magnet for asshole personalities, the well-functioning professionals here should find this book to be a useful tool in coping with their "special" co-workers.

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Purpose of the PPT

Assuming the purpose of the new PPT system is to encourage more production and generate more tax revenue for the state at higher prices, can someone explain why it needs to be "fixed" in the upcoming special session? In fact, the new PPT created nearly $1 billion in additional state revenue in Fiscal Year 2007 than the previous system would have. As such, I can only conclude the upcoming special session is yet another attempt by her highness to milk some "good-guy bad-guy" media for her own personal gain.

My suggestion is to look at lowering the taxes on Heavy Oil. Most of the remaining oil on the North Slope is in the form of known heavy oil deposits -not new deposits. And if we want to encourage new development of these known heavy oil deposits -there needs to be some incentives, which don't currently exist. Focusing on additional production through new exploration of new oil deposits is a lost cause -relatively speaking of course.