Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"Market Alaska;" a solution worth revisiting

I have been sniffing around about what was going on during the 1990s where Alaska's oil production curve had reversed and flattened for several years under then Governor Tony Knowles (D), Speaker of the House Gail Phillips (R), and Senate President Drue Pearce’s (R) leadership. Governor Knowles and the legislature in partnership with the oil industry increased oil production, and reversed the decline curved in the mid-1990s during the days of $9.00 oil. There was no partisan bickering during this time because Governor Knowles had vision, and understood that Alaska was "living on borrowed time."

Since 2006, Alaska’s oil tax debate has been nothing but partisan politics. There is a lot of rhetoric and talking points spewed with no forward thinking offering long-term solutions, or vision. Governor Tony Knowles clearly understood that the state of Alaska was in dire straights, and it was up to him, and his administration to think outside the box, and to rally all parties to a united win. This is called leadership that this state has been lacking since the Knowles administration, and yes he is a democrat. But, first and foremost Governor Knowles is an Alaskan who has rooted his family and businesses in this state, and continues to champion a “can do spirit” because he believes that Alaska is full of such great opportunity if we would just get out of our own way.

I do wish Governor Sean Parnell, and the Alaska state legislature would muster up some courage to lead and think about future generations when making decisions. I think it is time to take a look at the Knowles administration's model that was “Market Alaska,” where the administration and the legislature reached out to the oil industry because there was a shared understanding that Alaska’s future, and the oil companies’ futures were linked. "Market Alaska" resulted in increased oil production, and increased capital investment on the North Slope, and in the end all parties won. We need to be rallying for prosperity for the next generation of Alaskans, and spending less time trying to undermine their futures, and fighting about who is right. Our children deserve better.

April 7 Breakfast: Make Alaska Competitive Coalition - Part 2: Governor Tony Knowles from Resource Development Council on Vimeo.


Download the speech by Governor Tony Knowles to the Resource Development Council regarding the success of "Market Alaska" Listen here.  Since 2007, Alaska has been exploring for oil outside the North Slope which has resulted in additional jobs. However, with Alaska Clear and Equitable Share (ACES) oil tax policy, the increased oil exploration and increased jobs have not resulted in additional oil into the Trans Alaska Pipeline (TAPS), or increased tax revenue to the state. "Market Alaska" resulted in increasing oil production because exploration and development occurred in existing fields despite $9.00 oil. The speech given by Governor Knowles was filled with optimism, and he speaks of a shared commitment by all parties to move Alaska's forward.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Brene Brown: The power of vulnerability

You can save yourself years of therapy by watching these 20 minutes. Opening up your heart and being vulnerable does take courage, and there are no guarantees. So why not go for it, and open up your heart? You deserve and are worthy of love. My heart is open.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dear Alaskans, what did my children ever do to you?

Last Thursday, Rep. Charisee Millett, and Cathy Foerster, Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC) Commissioner testified to the US Senate Energy Committee regarding the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) abandoned legacy oil wells. I believe all Alaskans can agree that the federal government needs to clean up its mess. However, you as complacent citizens of this state are leaving my children a mess, which they will eventually have to clean up due to no fault of their own. I have some questions for you… where is your outrage? Where is your engagement? How do you look your children in the eye? What is your plan for 2014?

I ask you these questions because the state of Alaska is out of Hail Marys. Oil prices are dropping and it is pretty clear that you as citizens of Alaska enjoy spending my children’s future with little regard as to where the money comes from. I’ve been on the front lines trying to slam on the brakes before your entire world implodes. I’ve asked, and I’ve asked again for your support, and you continue to sit on the couch hoping for the best. Hope is not a strategy, and I cannot help you if you are not willing to help yourselves.

In 1986, Alaska’s economy crashed in 90 days, and the reason it crashed so fast was because the state had over built. The legislature over the past two years has passed capital budgets totaling in excess of 6.1 billion dollars. The dropping of capital dollars throughout Alaska has created false economies. In addition, these new buildings, and roads will eventually have to be managed and maintained by the state creating new operating expenses. This spending is a consequence of you believing that the state has an unlimited balance on its credit card. Unfortunately, the Governor, and the state legislature do not have the courage to tell you “no.” What you fail to understand is, that it is our children’s credit card that you are mortgaging your lavish spending on, and shame on you. Thankfully, oil prices are dropping and we can get back to reality.

Alaska is in the process of overbuilding, oil production is declining, a perfect storm is brewing, and what are you going to do about it? It is come to Jesus time, and the decisions you need to be making should be about what future do you want to leave your children, your grandchildren, and future generations of Alaskans. My children were brought into this world when oil prices were in their teens, and you as being complacent citizens are yanking their futures out of their hands, and I ask… what did my children ever do to you?

Audio of of this piece

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Alaska needs "mission critical" leadership NOW

Governor Sean Parnell has always been supportive of me, and all my outreach efforts to educate Alaskans about oil and gas, and the importance of oil to our state’s economy. He and his administration wanted to assist me more with Alaska Natural Resource Month. However, Alaska Natural Resource Month was not about the Governor, the oil industry, or those who support the oil industry. March was about ALASKANS, educators and our private sector coming together to celebrate our state’s natural resources and it was important that I do it with no money. I have worked my tail off to engage Alaskans, and I just wish the Governor, the legislature, and community leaders would help a gal out and lead.

My children need bold “mission critical” leadership now, because the state is already in the danger zone, and failure is not an option. At the end of August, Jim Posey, General Manager with Municipal Light and Power (MLP) will be deciding whether or not he will need to consider importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2014, and the importing of LNG will be doubling or tripling our utility bills. In addition, oil production through the Trans Alaska Pipeline (TAPS) will be well below 500,0000 BPD which means there will be many more challenges for operating TAPS safely, and ALL Alaskans need to be saying a prayer for TAPS everyday.

My children do to not need leaders who are scared of their own shadows. The state of Alaska by doing nothing in the interim other than initiating another RFP is not the answer. How many PAID non-Alaskan oil and gas consultants does it take to unscrew the mess that is Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share (ACES) oil tax policy? The question was not meant as joke.

I am tough on our state leaders because I believe they have it in them to lead. We have 710,000 sitting ducks waiting for someone to step up and guide us to the future, and move our state forward. We can do this.
Parnell administration seeks to hire oil taxes consultant
Audio of this piece:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

20 years of being Deborah "Brollini"

I have been Deborah "Brollini" for 20 years today. OMG. What am I going to do when I decide to remarry? Well I guess I can live with Deborah "Lochte," or Deborah "Clooney." haha. I have been blessed with a great provider and a father to my children, and despite it all we have remained very grownup, and remained focused on the best interests of our children.

Today, my ex-husband is my biggest champion. He recommended that I take time off from working after I was laid off from ANTHC, and through 18 months of not working I realized what I don't want to do. Not many divorced men would recommend that their ex-wives take time off. During this time it took my friends and mentors dragging me kicking and screaming to do what I'm passionate about, and I've never been happier. Van is one of the few who really gets me (with probably the exception of the late Bill Noll), and man did Van have his hands full.

Van while we were in college encouraged me to take on UAA all the way to the human rights commission, and that I push UAA to make certain there were checks and balances in place in regards to faculty, curriculum, and testing. Today, this professor will walk out of a room that I walk into, and so be it. It is called academic freedom, and I was happy to help the man retire. Van pushed me, and pushed me again to believe in myself and to take on liberal business faculty, and that I did. My old college pal Terry Smith, CFO with Carlile, will tell you that not a lot has changed since our days with the UAA School of Business, "the victims have changed." I am no longer taking on UAA business faculty. I'm taking on governors, legislators, Alaska Supreme Court justices, and the media. All in the name of the children born of this marriage.

How ironic, 20 years ago my ex-husband scored a trip to Prudhoe Bay and was telling everyone that he was taking his bride to Prudhoe Bay for our honeymoon. RED FLAG. RED FLAG. haha. He moved mountains to get me that trip, and I did NOT appreciate it at the time. However, I do today, and who would of thought that 20 years later that I would be in the trenches fighting to save the Prudhoe Bay oilfield. I'm always amazed at God's plan. He gave me a man who took me on a trip of a lifetime, and the experience has helped shape my children's tomorrow. That is pretty darn cool, and now as gal in the trenches, I am one of the few in the public who has a context of Prudhoe Bay.

It was a nice dream about forever, and the forgiveness of others is the greatest gift you can give yourself. Van and I may not have gotten to "forever," but we got as far as we could, and that is okay. It was not a healthy marriage and Van and I are both better off for ending it. The "forever" gig did not work out, and I am looking forward to finding a sweet, kind and educated man who can roll with the punches, and can be accepting of my energy, and my exhaustive mind that is going 100 mph all the time. Governor Sheffield believes I need to date a man who is Tier 1 (LOL), politically savvy, and who is blessed with patience (huh Governor?), because as he likes to say "Deborah you're a handful."

July 11, 1992, was a good day and worth celebrating. Alabama at our wedding.