Friday, June 2, 2023
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BP, and its money, will be missed


It is amazing to watch as the news that BP is planning to leave the state rattles through the nonprofit universe in Alaska.

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Over the years, you seldom heard anything positive about BP or the oil industry. Plenty of bad. Not much good. You rarely heard they annually gave millions of dollars to nonprofits – BP alone gave something like $4 million just last year – or loaned executives to them, or encouraged employees to pitch in and help in their communities.

BP generously supported more than 200 organizations across the state, gave earthquake aid, built a conference center and supported everything from the Alaska State Fair to the Fur Rendezvous to the Alaska Zoo. It funded scholarships and camps and the Anchorage symphony. The list is seemingly endless. In its 50 years in Alaska, it has been a generous corporate neighbor.

Now that it plans to pull up stakes for greener pastures, folks are starting to remember all that. The worries are that Houston-based Hilcorp, the proposed buyer, may not be so generous. It gave $315,000 to Alaska charities last year, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

But “$13.5 million has been donated by (its) employees to organizations across the United States, according to data on Hilcorp’s website. About 43 percent of that money, or $5.8 million, went to religious causes — by far the biggest donation category,” the newspaper reported.

If regulators agree, the company Alaska loves to hate, the company that for decades fed much of the state and paid for its government, is leaving. It will be missed.

And not only on the North Slope.

[Read more of the Anchorage Daily Planet at this link]

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Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. “It’s like rain on your wedding day…a free ride when you’ve already paid…”
    Isn’t it ironic?
    It seems it’s the same groups of people that bash the oil industry, that has their hands out for cash. They want to tax the tar out of them, vilify them, and then jump in line and see if the “next guy” will give them something. Always biting the hand that feeds them.
    If Hilcorp gives mostly to religious causes, I can’t wait to hear the chants on that. I don’t even have to say it. Readers here know the sound…..
    Isn’t it ironic?

  2. The Hilcorp website shows the employees supported religious-baed causes much of the time, (43 percent). That’s bad news for Alaska’s nonprofits who have never see a religious cause they liked or a far-left case they did not like. Welcome to the real world, Alaska nonprofit cabal.

  3. FYI….. How does a sponge work…they suck. Non-profits that maintains a financial income plan that is simply panhandling on another level might just be the loudest in expressing their concerns.I

    The public and businesses need to vet non profits before any donating. Often times non profits spend more on themselves than the project’s they claim are so dear to their hearts. Many do start non profits for personal financial gain and social “point”.

    There truly is are commonalities Between non profits and panhandling. Those donating are rarely respected.

  4. The $$$ that BP has donated in Alaska have been coming out of the excessive profits that BP has been making in Alaska. What better way to keep the masses quiet than to give them a few trinkets here and there… And that beautiful BP Energy Center – that was built on profits from Alaskan oil – a resource that is owned by ALL Alaskans and is supposed to be managed to provide maximum benefit to Alaska. Once Alaska receives full and fair market value for our oil, I daresay that we will have funds available for non-profits and will not have to depend on corporate largesse.

  5. “Excessive profits”!? What does that mean and who determines what is excessive…you? Extracting the oil that we all “own” is a risky, expensive, heavily regulated and equipment specific industry. The average person, or even company for that matter is nowhere near equipped to drill, transport, refine and market YOUR oil. The idea that you are somehow getting ripped off is a ridiculous tired argument. I have no doubt that if all the big excessively profitable oil companies left the state, you and all your oil would be wealthy beyond your wildest dreams…NOT!

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