During the public testimony at the Regulatory Commission of Alaska concerning the purchase of BP assets in Alaska by Hilcorp, Rick Whitback, representing Power the Future, gave the commissioners encouragement and a warning about the testimony that was going to be given by the environmental lobby over the next six hours.
Whitbeck’s 3-minute testimony upset the environmentalists who spoke after him, and during a break in the six-hour public hearing they could be heard cursing him with the F-bomb.
Those opposing the sale said they want to see Hilcorp’s financial details first to know if the company is wealthy enough to take over BP’s assets on the North Slope. One testifier, a former newspaper writer who is now with the left-leaning Alaska Grassroots Alliance, said Hilcorp should be required to build light rail from the valley in exchange for the RCA approval of the sale.
Here’s the testimony by Whitbeck, state director for Power the Future, that got the Left so distraught:
I appreciate the opportunity to put my comments on record. My name is Rick Whitbeck and I am a 35-year Alaska resident who serves as the State Director for Power The Future, a national non-profit focused on energy workers and their importance in national security, American energy independence and energy dominance, as well as employees’ roles in Alaska’s cornerstone industries.
Throughout this hearing, you are going to be inundated with the same drivel over and over. That some poll said that some number of Alaskans want Hilcorp to open its books – and you know what they say about polls – you can write one to obtain any result you want. You’ll also hear that Hilcorp isn’t worthy of carrying on the 50-year BP legacy in the state, for some litany of reasons. All of which are factually unfounded, but instead, based on an unhealthy and near-lunatic fringe level of anxiety and fear.
What these commenters really are deviously implying– on all accounts – is that in your role as Commissioners, you lack the objectivity, clarity of purpose and intelligence to do your jobs without this horde of angry, always-disenchanted malcontents besieging you with how to do it right. News flash. You’re good. They need to get over themselves. – Rick Whitbeck, Power the Future
The facts are clear. Hilcorp has complied with all legal requests from state and federal agencies to-date. They’ve opened their books to the extent required by law. They’ve provided written and oral testimony, business plans and content as requested.
What you won’t hear from these annoying critics is that Hilcorp is capable, ready and willing to take an asset that BP was looking to rid itself of, and enhance its future operations. This is a clear free-market win for Alaska – Hilcorp will run Prudhoe Bay and the other assets in ways BP didn’t want to going forward. They will keep employees working and keep families in Alaska. They will allow communities to have continued involvement from the hundreds of energy workers who make up large portions their very societal fabric.
Adding delays to this buy/sell process will add anxiety to employees who already have been under pressure for many months. Let’s have this process move forward, denying the dissident voices what they really hope to accomplish, which is having oil and gas stay in the ground, revenues failing to hit state and local coffers, and paychecks failing to be paid, without any regard for the families affected by their egregious actions.
Let’s go back and just ask the employees involved what they think of that above-mentioned poll. I know their answer. 100% of them will want to continue what they’re currently doing – safely, efficiently, effectively and responsibly developing Alaska’s oil and gas reserves, just under the Hilcorp banner.
Please consider the workers. They are Alaska’s greatest resource. They deserve protection from this mob of protestors who gnash their collective teeth, questioning your aptitudes, abilities and judgment, while having nothing factual to stand on.
The RCA is the ultimate authority deciding if a major portion of the sale of BP assets to Hilcorp can go through.
Over the hours of testimony, about 100 people spoke. During the first half of the day, the testimony swung in favor of the sale, but as the day wore on, the anti-sale group took over and won the day with more people either opposed to the sale, or saying there needs to be more information.