As oil prices continue to plunge, and as companies are reevaluating shale oil investments in the Lower 48, something seems to be working in Alaska. On Wednesday, the state accepted bids for 524,387 acres of land, and oil companies, most of them independents, spent $65.2 million on lease rights to that land. It was the richest bid since 1993. Dallas-based Caelus Energy and 70 & 148 LLC, a subsidiary of Denver-based Armstrong Oil and Gas, respectively bid on the most acreage and paid the most for acreage. Last year, a comparable lease sale drew in $5.1 million in bids. Many, particularly those who championed it and defended it, are attributing that success to the passage of SB 21.