Walker continues to be plaintiff in Point Thomson suit against state

During a gubernatorial forum on Oct. 31, which was moderated by Dan Fagan and me, then candidate Bill Walker said that he would drop his suit against DNR on Point Thomson if he were elected governor.

“You’ll drop the suit?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said.

Despite what he said at the forum, Walker has not dropped the suit, and is in “no hurry” to remove himself, he said through his spokesperson Grace Jang.

In 2012, Gov. Walker and his law partner Craig Richards, who is now his acting attorney general, filed a public interest suit against the state over DNR’s settlement with ExxonMobil over development of Point Thomson, a mammoth gas and condensate field on the North Slope.

Recently,  Walker gave Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott the authority to decide if Walker’s prior litigation against the state when he was a private attorney should preclude him from making decisions about those cases now that he’s governor. In a letter, Walker specifically mentions giving Mallott decision-making power over whether or not Walker should be involved in Point Thomson.

On Dec. 1, Walker and Richards filed a substitute of counsel motion. On Dec. 16, the Supreme Court granted the motion. The lawyer for the case is now Robin Brena, who is buying Walker’s and Richard’s law firm. Brena chaired Walker’s oil and gas transition-team committee.

The suit alleges that DNR should have had more input from the Legislature and the public before settling the plan of development for the field.

“I filed this as a public interest litigant. The deal was illegal then; it’s illegal now,” Walker said in a statement. “I’m exploring procedural options to substitute myself out with a potential new plaintiff. There’s no immediate hurry. I want to make sure the right thing is done in the interest of the people of the state of Alaska. This has nothing to do with stopping current activity on Point Thomson.”

The field sat undeveloped for decades. Over the years, the state has gone as far as to try to yank Exxon’s leases because of lack of development. Since the settlement, and as of April, Exxon has spent roughly $2 billion developing it. It’s expected to produce 10,000 barrels a day of liquids by 2016. The field contains a quarter of the North Slope’s known natural gas reserves and is expected to be pivotal in building the large diameter natural gas pipeline.

If Walker prevails, the project could be put on hold.

That a sitting governor would be suing the state might not be unprecedented, but it’s certainly unusual, and could lend itself to questions about conflicts of interest. For instance, in such cases, at least partial attorney’s fees might be granted to whoever wins the case. If Walker prevails, will he accept those fees for work that he’s done and for work that Brena will do? If the state wins, who will pay? Walker or Brena?

Will Walker be paying Brena for legal services on the case?

Walker, again through his spokesperson said that those details have yet to be worked out with Brena. “There has been no discussion of legal fees owed or due because nothing has happened at this point,” Walker said.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


70 thoughts on “Walker continues to be plaintiff in Point Thomson suit against state

  1. Anonymous

    PT is Walker`s personal interests?? you are kidding right? You don`t think billions at stake from a company with a serious lack of credibility in Alaska is in the state`s interest?? You need to study the legal history with all three of the majors on our slope.

  2. Anonymous

    Mark Twain you mean “conservative values” like this? http://mine-that-data-alaska.ghost.io/2014/07/16/state-of-alaska-officials-prohibited-from-making-misleading-statements-refuse-to-explain-more-production/

    “The official state position is that the state (and bond holders) should expect – and plan for – receiving $2.1 billion less oil production tax revenue annually under the More Alaska Production Act than it had under ACES.”

    “ Instead, Governor Parnell’s political allies have deployed a well-funded group of individuals and consultants to make claims about “more production.” The Alaska Department of Revenue cannot make misleading claims about “more production” without risking SEC violations, but an army of paid public relations consultants and media companies can – and they are. “

  3. Anonymous

    Hey Mark,..
    “This is the same man who sold his conservative values that got in the way of his selfish ambitions”. You mean conservative values like giving away two billion a year to pump the same oil leases they have been pumping for thirty years? You mean “conservative values like this?—The following 12 legislators all have four things in common: 1) Every one of them has taken more than $10,000 from VECO; 2) When VECO owner Bill Allen asked to be relieved of his requirement to register as a lobbyist, they crafted and passed legislation ending Allen’s requirement to register; 3) When presented with hundreds of pages of evidence of VECO’s bribery, each of them refused to respond; 4) When asked to admit or deny under oath whether or not they had taken advantage of the illegal polling, services that VECO Vice President Rick Smith admitted having provided to more than 100 of the company’s favored candidates, every one of the still seated legislators below refused comment.

    Sound off on the important issues at

    Rep. Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, $32,000; Rep. Ralph Samuels, R-Anchorage, $10,250; Rep. Mike Hawker, R-Anchorage, $21,350; Sen. Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage, $17,550; Sen. Lyda Green, R-Wasilla, $18,000; Rep. Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage, $23,350; Sen. John Cowdery, R-Anchorage, $45,200; Sen. Con Bunde, R-Anchorage, $18,650; Rep. John Coghill, R-North Pole, $10,480; Rep. Richard Foster, D-Nome, $16,750; Sen. Fred Dyson, R-Eagle River, $21,700; and Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, $14,275.

    Watch closely as they go to bat for everything VECO fought for – and remember them next election.

  4. Anonymous

    Here`s some reality for you FKS; http://mine-that-data-alaska.ghost.io/2014/07/16/state-of-alaska-officials-prohibited-from-making-misleading-statements-refuse-to-explain-more-production/

    “The official state position is that the state (and bond holders) should expect – and plan for – receiving $2.1 billion less oil production tax revenue annually under the More Alaska Production Act than it had under ACES.”

    “ Instead, Governor Parnell’s political allies have deployed a well-funded group of individuals and consultants to make claims about “more production.” The Alaska Department of Revenue cannot make misleading claims about “more production” without risking SEC violations, but an army of paid public relations consultants and media companies can – and they are. “

  5. Anonymous

    look folks.. you don`t give up your rights as a citizen when you are elected to office. And let`s give the new Governor`s policies a chance, like Parnell wanted us all to give BS21 a “chance” to reverse the decline and spur increased production to the tune of a “million barrels a day”.
    How`s that going for all you Parnell whiners?? We see that million barrels coming? Huh? We see the reversal of the decline?? NO?… hmm-mm I hope so, because losing 2 billion a year to tax cuts will really hurt if we continue Parnell`s policies..

  6. Anonymous

    Thank god we didn`t partner with him as well as Transcanada,..neither of which own any, nor bring any GAS TO THE AK LNG project!! So why are they equity partners???? I`d like the governor to answer that question with numbers to justify it. Remember “transparency”… it works both ways.. and more is better than less.

  7. Anonymous

    That is a state project approved by the voters,..not a Bill Walker project. It`s goals were and are logical and meet the common sense test.

  8. Anonymous

    Japanese just gave away their patents for hydrogen cars… a great step that will spur the greater use of gas as a base stock to extract possible hydrogen from water..? Hydrogen leaves only water vapor after burning.. can`t beat that technology with dilbit.

  9. Anonymous

    Come clean about what?..how the state is getting screwed with the illegal settlement terms? It`s pretty clear to an average discerning reader of the news..

  10. Anonymous

    it`s what it DIDN`T require that is the issue my friend. It didn`t go by state law and statute… there was a complete public lack of honesty and vetting and openness of the final proposed deal for one, and the ignoring of the constitutional checks before “deals” by a single;e elected official like this could be “concocted” and railroaded through with the worse vetting this Alaskan ever saw in our oil patch. Another reason I voted for Bill Walker and Byron Mallott. They are both statesmen from what I see, and are out to put Alaska first again at our state table. Their policies will be vetted I`m sure, and deserve that and a chance to make things better from the states position. There are 600 million barrels or more of gas liquids in PT. We shouldn`t be selling that valuable commodity for added and more hidden tax discounts within almost every piece of oil related legislation passed under Parnell`s watch. (like the hidden 40% cut from the famous 35% “base tax rate” Parnell sold naive legislators within BS21. With BS21 ALL oil on the slope. even that in the oldest producing legacy fields, will be taxed at that 40% rate. ALL OIL!! It`s time to stop giving away our resources like we did with “ELF”….

  11. Anonymous

    Walker got rid of Parnell. That alone bought him a lot of credibility with this voter. Some of the old guard still don`t like “transparency” and responsibility” I see…Will you allow that the Governor is now privy to much information that was not available to him prior?…will you allow that it is human to change your mind when uncovered facts are applied to the previous understanding? I would not get on the train attacking a new Governor before he has had a chance to put his policies into place and give them time and proper vetting,..if that can still be done with this BS21 gerrymandered legislature. Who`s left of the old CBC crowd??..you`d be surprised..http://juneauempire.com/stories/102807/let_20071028011.shtml

  12. Crude is Rude - Gas is Groovy

    Kent, I think Bill & Byron in the governor’s office is the best thing to happen in Alaska since Wally got re-elected…

    Bill Walker is trying to patiently hold his position on being our public interest litigant.
    His advocacy for making our NGL’s at Point Thomsen available for small pipeline transport to Fairbanks is admirable, and a very important step toward Alaska’s opportunity to develop a diversified sustainable broad spectrum economy.

    In 1970-75 Fairbanks when I was building houses and the haulroad,
    I designed a low-cost very efficient small diameter pipeline that was capable of moving 300,000 gallons of NGL’s [propane, ethane, butane] from Deadhorse to Fairbanks.
    This was a refrigerated reinforced polymer pipe,
    ahead of it’s time, but ready to go in 1976.

    Again now we have a good opportunity to do what Gov.Dalrymple has done for North Dakota this past year and establish a valuable in-state polyolefin industry that uses our NGL’s as feedstock…
    …this can turn Alaska’s budget crash around,
    don’t rock the boat !!

    Point Thomsen gas was NEVER “stranded gas”…
    that’s just a myth providing a tax-dodge from both the state and the fed-IRS.

  13. Kent

    This is a great article. The comments are very interesting. Some are very bright and well-informed (Jon K.), some dumber than cat shit (Forecast) and some crazy with hints of brilliance (Crude is Rude, Gas is Groovy). Others, frustrated and angry (Mark Twain).
    From my vantage point, it appears that Walker simply lied during the campaign for political expediency sake. As someone who voted for the new governor, I am somewhat chagrinned by this and hope that there is an explanation for his turn around. If there is, I hope that the Governor addresses the public, and soon, on this important matter of public policy. If not, I think the legislature needs to hold hearings to better understand and ascertain if the governor is living up to his fiduciary duty and oath of office. Right at this moment, he looks pretty vindictive, self-absorbed and self-serving.

  14. Mark Twain

    I remember that forum well. That you would believe anything Walker said prior to the election is laughable. This is the same man who sold his conservative values that got in the way of his selfish ambitions, sold his party, his running mate, threw the democrats and Sen. Hollis French and the voters who voted for him under the bus and ripped up the election process — all just to be king, sorry, governor. Walker was fueled by his hatred for Parnell and he’s been carrying a grudge since 2010. He said anything to get elected. He had no plan, no policies, not even any concrete ideas. “Everything was on the table.” He won because the democrats had no one to vote for. Only 2 of the stalwarts voted against this phony merger. And now, you’re wondering why he isn’t keeping his promise to you drop the suit against the state? You can’t be that naiive.

    That he filed substitutions of counsel proves he has no intentions of dropping it. It gives him distance from the case and he gets to pursue his litigation through the new owner of his law firm and lie about how it’s not his lawsuit anymore and therefore, he doesn’t have to keep his promise to drop it.

    That Walker gave Mallott the authority to decide if his CURRENT (not prior, as you indicated, because it it still on-going) litigation against the state “should preclude him from making decisions about those cases” also indicates that he wants to both sue the state and make executive decisions for the state. He doesn’t want to let go of his selfish ambitions. Now that he won the election, he has his eye on the prize of being both victor and king. If he wins his lawsuit, he will slap all of the voters — whether they voted for him or not — with a settlement judgment and collect from a state that is already suffering financial woes. If you’re not disgusted by this, Amanda, as a journalist/blogger who fawned over him during the campaign, I wonder what will disgust you.

    That you use such tentative and ambiguous language writing that his lawsuit “could lend itself to questions about conflicts of interest” is laughable! He absolutely has a conflict of interest! Which part of this do you not see as a conflict? He is asking Mallott to decide if there is a conflict because he knows he has a conflict of interest. He has to appear to have clean hands, even when he doesn’t.

    I’d say that the voters who voted for him got what they deserved, but unfortunately, that means those of us who didn’t, got what we didn’t ask for and certainly what we don’t deserve. He isn’t even ashamed of going back on his word. But, then, why would he? He’s done it before with his pesky personal convictions, his party, his running mate. Pride comes before the fall.

  15. Crude is Rude - Gas is Groovy

    Point Thomson & Exxon = Fukushima & TEPCO

    The lesson to be learned here is; “He who hesitates is lost”

    CLICK on my Nick^ for a link to real physical evidence backing my statements.

    After reading the comments below here I’d die laughing if Point Thomson burped a bunch of gas craters this next summer.

    The 350 sqmi Anaktuvuk River tundra wildfire in 2007 was just a natural telltale of greater events to come in the Nslope.

  16. Forecast

    Jon, you gotta quit making stuff up. Rule 9 ensured Alaska had the gas for a gasline. You missed the history- it was Walker, and Irwin who wanted the leases revoked because Exxon was warehousing the gas.

    Stunning how you defend Exxon. Are you a criminal defense lawyer?

  17. Jon K

    Forecast you also have your history wrong. The move to terminate the Point Thomson leases began in 2003-2004 under Irwin and Myers. Walker had nothing to do with this. They began the process by telling Exxon that it had to commit to development or lose the unit. Exxon said no. Myers then put the unit in default and said Exxon could cure the default by drilling one well. Exxon again said that it was not going to do anything, so Commissioner Menge terminated the unit in 2006.

  18. Jon K

    Forecast – hate to break it to you, but Walker sued the state in 2005 and lost. He wanted the state to force Exxon to blow down the field so it could sell the point Thomson gas to AGPA. Walker argued that the state was violating Art. vIII of the Alaska Constitution because it wasn’t forcing Exxon to blow down the field. In 2008 Walker also filed a brief demanding that Commissioner Irwin reject Exxon’s gas cycling plan – where Exxon would keep the gas at Pojnt Thomson and only produce the liquids – because Walker claimed that Point Thomson was a gas field and that the state must force Exxon to blow down the field and sell the gas. Again he argued that the state was violating the Ak constitution because it wasn’t forcing Exxon to blow down the field. In 2012, Walker reversed course and claimed that Point Thomson was an oil field and the state shouldn’t give Exxon the option to blow down the field.

    Post your email address and I will send you his briefs.

  19. Forecast

    Jon, you just make stuff up- here you go again. We are re- injecting nearly 9 BCF/D at Prudhoe Bay. Gov. Walker has NEVER suggested we blow down any field. We have plenty of gas for a mid sized project already- at the PBU.

    The initial litigation Gov. Walker filed had to do with the fact that Exxon had been- in violation of the leases at Pt. Thomson- warehousing the natural gas. Walker was absolutely right, Exxon was warehousing our gas. He stood up for Alaskans, doing as a private citizen what numerous governors should have done. It was that initial litigation that FINALLY began the effort to develop the field. Only problem is Exxon has lost that right (or should) due to its violation of the lease terms over 20 years.

    Since the lease terms were being violated by Exxon, revocation of those leases was the correct action. For a secret deal to have been cut with terms very different than the initial lease terms, Art. 10 of the Alaska Constitution was violated by Parnell- Sullivan. This is akin to having a public bid for a project where the winning bidder does not perform, and then gets a special, secret, better deal from the state when it litigates the revocation of the contract. No sane person would support that- except you, Jon.

  20. Jon K

    Forecast, you are going to have to do better than this.

    The settlement agreement requires
    Exxon to get the AOGCC’s permission before blowing down the field – the AOGCC is the agency with the primary authority to prevent waste. Moreover, the only way Exxon gets to blow down the field is if there was a major gas line to move the gas off the north slope – recall Walker sued the state in 2005 to force Exxon to blow down the field because he knew that you don’t get a Gasline without blowing down Point Thomson. Are you saying your man Walker was asking DNR to violate the constitution when he demanded that the state force Exxon to blow down the field?

    Exxon can also blow down the field and move the gas to prudhoe if it can show that the development will result in more oil being produced at Prudhoe than would be lost at Point Thomson thus there would be a net gain in oil production.

    You are also wrong on the disposal issue. The state lands were disposed when they were initially leased. DNR did not re-lease the acreage nor did it issue new leases when it settled the litigation because the leases and the unit were, according to Judge Gleason, still in force. Since there was no disposal of state resources this provision in the constitution simply doesn’t apply.

    Let’s count the ways in which you’ve been proven wrong: the settlement does include a definition section; nothing in state law requires public notice or legislative approval of a settlement agreement; Exxon cannot blow down the field unless it can prove to the AOGCC that the development will not result in waste; and there was no disposal of state resources since the leases were still in force, according to Judge Gleason, when the case was settled.

    Game , set, match.

  21. Forecast

    Among the really bad provisions of the giveaway of Pt. Thomson engineered by Sullivan Parnell:

    1. The dirty deal done in secret allows Exxon the other WIO to blow down the field instead of using gas cycling which has been shown to enable the recovery of the most gas and oil from a field. This one provision could cost Alaskans BILLIONS of dollars.

    2. Unconstitutional: The Public Notice Clause of the Alaska Constitution provides, “No disposals or leases of state lands, or interests therein, shall be made without prior public notice and other safeguards of the public interest as may be prescribed by law.” Alaska Const. art. VIII, § 10. Since no notice was offered, this was, after all, a secret, dirty deal, the public was kept in the dark.

    Bill Walker stood up for Alaska when he saw the magnitude of this illegal giveaway. The Corrupt Bastards Club can’t stand it. Even when Gov. Walker has no financial interest, and no authority over this case in any way. What a bunch of hooey.

  22. AH HA

    It would seem to me that The Alaska Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 1.11 (d) (2) (i) clearly applies to Governor Walkers Situation. See Below:

    2014 – 2015 Alaska Rules of Professional Conduct

    Rule 1.11. Special Conflicts of Interest for Former and Current Government Officers and Employees.

    (d) Except as law may otherwise expressly permit, a lawyer currently serving as a public officer or employee:

    (1) is subject to Rules 1.7 and 1.9; and

    (2) shall not:

    (i) participate in a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially while in private practice or nongovernmental employment, unless the appropriate government agency gives its informed consent, confirmed in writing; or

    (ii) negotiate for private employment with any person who is involved as a party or as lawyer for a party in a matter in which the lawyer is participating personally and substantially, except that a lawyer serving as a law clerk to a judge, other adjudicative officer, or arbitrator may negotiate for private employment as permitted by Rule 1.12(b) and subject to the conditions stated in Rule 1.12(b).

    (e) As used in this Rule, the term “matter” includes:

    (1) any judicial or other proceeding, application, request for a ruling or other determination, transaction, claim, controversy, investigation, charge, accusation, arrest, or other particular matter involving a specific party or parties, and

    (2) any other matter covered by the conflict of interest rules of the appropriate government agency.

    (SCO 1123 effective July 15, 1993; rescinded and repromulgated by SCO 1680 effective April 15, 2009)

    Rule 1.9. Duties to Former Clients.

    (a) A lawyer who has formerly represented a client in a matter shall not thereafter represent another person in the same or a substantially related matter in which that person’s interests are materially adverse to the interests of the former client unless the former client gives informed consent, confirmed in writing.

    (b) A lawyer shall not knowingly represent a person in the same or a substantially related matter in which a firm with which the lawyer formerly was associated had previously represented a client

    (1) whose interests are materially adverse to that person; and

    (2) about whom the lawyer had acquired information protected by Rules 1.6 and 1.9(c) that is material to the matter;
    unless the former client gives informed consent, confirmed in writing.

    (c) A lawyer who has formerly represented a client in a matter or whose present or former firm has formerly represented a client in a matter shall not thereafter:

    (1) use confidences and secrets to the disadvantage of the former client except as these Rules would permit or require with respect to a client, or when the information has become generally known; or

    (2) reveal confidences and secrets except as these Rules would permit or require with respect to a client.

    (SCO 1123 effective July 15, 1993; amended by SCO 1332 effective January 15, 1999; and rescinded and repromulgated by SCO 1680 effective April 15, 2009)


    [1] After termination of a client-lawyer relationship, a lawyer has certain continuing duties with respect to confidentiality and conflicts of interest and thus may not represent another client except in conformity with this Rule. Under this Rule, for example, a lawyer could not properly seek to rescind on behalf of a new client a contract drafted on behalf of the former client. So also a lawyer who has prosecuted an accused person could not properly represent the accused in a subsequent civil action against the government concerning the same transaction. Nor could a lawyer who has represented multiple clients in a matter represent one of the clients against the others in the same or a substantially related matter after a dispute arose among the clients in that matter, unless all affected clients give informed consent. See COMMENT [9]. Current and former government lawyers must comply with this Rule to the extent required by Rule 1.11.

    [2] The scope of a “matter” for purposes of this Rule depends on the facts of a particular situation or transaction. The lawyer’s involvement in a matter can also be a question of degree. When a lawyer has been directly involved in a specific transaction, subsequent representation of other clients with materially adverse interests in that transaction clearly is prohibited. On the other hand, a lawyer who recurrently handled a type of problem for a former client is not precluded from later representing another client in a factually distinct problem of that type even though the subsequent representation involves a position adverse to the prior client. Similar considerations can apply to the reassignment of military lawyers between defense and prosecution functions within the same military jurisdictions. The underlying question is whether the lawyer was so involved in the matter that the subsequent representation can be justly regarded as a changing of sides in the matter in question.

    [3] “Substantially related” is defined in Rule 9.1. As an example, a lawyer who has represented a businessperson and learned extensive private financial information about that person may not then represent that person’s spouse in seeking a divorce, because the matters are substantially related. Similarly, a lawyer who has previously represented a client in securing environmental permits to build a shopping center would be precluded from representing neighbors seeking to oppose rezoning of the property on the basis of environmental considerations; however, the lawyer would not be precluded, on the grounds of substantial relationship, from defending a tenant of the completed shopping center in resisting eviction for nonpayment of rent. Information that has been disclosed to the public or to other parties adverse to the former client ordinarily will not be disqualifying. Information acquired in a prior representation may have been rendered obsolete by the passage of time, a circumstance that may be relevant in determining whether two representations are substantially related. In the case of an organizational client, general knowledge of the client’s policies and practices ordinarily will not preclude a subsequent representation; on the other hand, knowledge of specific facts gained in a prior representation that are relevant to the matter in question ordinarily will preclude such a representation. A former client is not required to reveal the confidential information learned by the lawyer in order to establish a substantial risk that the lawyer has confidential information to use in the subsequent matter. A conclusion about the possession of such information may be based on the nature of the services the lawyer provided the former client and information that would in ordinary practice be learned by a lawyer providing such services.

  23. R2D2

    This is an important and substantive story. It concerns me considerably. While I’m not ready to cast dispersions or condeming our new governor, I am concerned and want answers to the questions raised in this article. Right now, I view the governor’s silence as unfortunate and culpable.
    Governor Walker needs to come clean with the public. He is no longer a private citizen nor a lawyer that can sue at will. He made a substantive comment that he would drop the Point Thomson suit during the election. Now, he has substituted counsel and remains the plaintiff. The opportunity for conflict, both real and preceived, is upon us. Governor Walker’s silence is a slap in the face to the state’s citizenry. Every hour he remains silent will suggest to me that something sinister and unethical is going on behind the scene. I am upset with the governor’s behavior.

  24. Jon K

    Forecast – you really don’t know what you are talking about. It’s not worth correcting your errors other than to point out that the state twice terminated the PT unit and Judge Gleason vacated the termination decisions. “Vacated” means she reversed the decisions and gave the unit and leases back to Exxon. The question posed to the state was whether to continue to litigate of reach a settlement that required Exxon to spend billions, provide more liquids into TAPS, jumpstart the LNG project, put much needed infrastructure on the eastern north slope, employ thousands of Alaskans, and get a ton of revenue for the state. No brainer.

    Why do you regularly make wild accusations without knowledge or facts?

  25. Crude is Rude - Gas is Groovy

    Alaskans are waking up now as regional leaders in the 21stCentury…
    Despite the fiscal trainwreck Bill&Byron have inherited in 2014,
    we also have marvelous opportunities if we act decisively & quickly.

    We not only are burdened with a $3.5bil crunch,
    we are also exposed to great risks as a large region on a sick planet…
    not just stuff like ebola,
    we are also battling an epidemic of GREED within a damaged environment…

    The “global warming” debate of sloppy use of our carbon resources unfortunately gives too much cover for the much more dangerous cataclysm of NASTY NUKEMESS.

    Fukushima is just the tip of the nukeberg,
    very few of you readers here seem to be aware of the many many other time-bombs of spent nukefuelrods and nukewaste inventories piled up worldwide…
    and our US-DOE’s desperate goofy attempt to provide permanent safe storage for this deadly toxic mess at places like Hanford & the failed WIPP/Carlsbad.
    ….this same league of failed-genius corporations responsible for the nuke failure also designed the TAPS crudepipe.

    enenews.com is justifiably shrill,
    but it gets right to the point & provides valuable info for your future survival.
    No matter if you’re rich or poor we are all suffering equal exposure to many thousand tons of nuke-toxins that didn’t exist 100 years ago until goofy humans began messing with it.

    ….a funny thing happened on the way to the DOE permenent nukewaste
    >>> Click on my Nick^ for an important link <<<
    Here & NOW I offer Exxon a trade; …if Exxon quits Pt.Thomsen and hands it back to 100% Alaskan Ownership, then I'll provide Exxon with the blueprints how they can easily become a $3trillion energy company and be hailed as National Heroes too.

    IMHO; TAPS is a box of bandaids built on stilts…
    …I helped build the haulroad,
    and since 1970 thought TAPS should have been built as a gasline, not a crudepipe.
    Big&Little-Oil (not just Exxon) has been sloppily wasting valuable gas worldwide trying to make quick cash EZ$$$ on the oil.
    Every carbon atom that has gone down TAPS since 1977 without being loaded with at least 3.5 hydrogen atoms has been a terrible waste of Alaska's resources.
    …yup, you chemistry buff know this would have made TAPS a gasline, not a cruddy pipe full of gassy runny messy dilbit.
    TAPS was not originally licensed by FERC to carry DILBIT,
    TAPS was licensed as a 150F heated heavy-crudepipe.
    I would like any of you oily-lawyers to show me the licensing documents that show that TAPS is LEGALLY carrying DILBIT.
    BP's refinery at Cherry Point WA blew-up burned & exploded because the Nslope Crude it was processing was jacked with too much miscible (missable) injectant [propane & butane].
    Nslope propane has been wholesaled out of CherryPoint Refinery for $1.21/gallon…
    …could Alaskan's buy their own Nslope-propane for $1.21/gal ???
    You can bet your greasy-soul to Pope Francis that opportunity was never offered.
    The gassy runny DILBIT is what made the EXXON VALDEZ oilspill such a horrid mess.
    At UAF in 1971 we discussed the eventuality of "not if, but when" a stuportanker will end up on the rocks, and BigOil's reps told us then that the crude was gonna be heated to 150F in TAPS-pipe then cooled inside the stuportankers before leaving the dock in Valdez…
    …does anybody reading here know what a "coiled-tanker" is ???
    …the crudeoil in the tankers were not supposed to leave the dock until after the crude had cooled to a viscosity rating of 15,000 – 20,000 centipoises, after the steam heating coils in the coiled-tankers were shut off.
    The crude in the 1989 EXXON VALDEZ tanker was supposed to have been too thick to rapidly gush out of a rip in the hull, and it was only licensed to be the kind of thick material that could be easily contained by floating spill-booms.
    …was this the stuff Dr.Riki Ott saw spilling out of the Exxon Valdez wreck in 1989 ??
    What spilled was too flammable & gassy for helicopters to safely hover over without causing risk of explosion.

    Siluria-INC. has demonstrated how easy it is to efficiently make gasoline from methane for less than $1/gal production cost.
    There is now a fundamental shift from crude to natgas worldwide as the preferred petrochem feedstock, and Alaska's love affair with CRUDE is on the rocks.
    …like I said in Fairbanks-1974 "TAPS should be built as a gasline, not a crudepipe".

  26. Anonymous

    The (not) economic analysis was pieced together by Team Department of Revenue with a frenzy of meaningless yet hypnotic PowerPoints created by staff who are hostile to the common resource ownership model.

    That staff should be named and shown the door under the new administration.

    It’s helpful to go back and watch the hearings from 2013.

    It was like watching a Monty Python skit.

  27. Anonymous

    You forgot that Exxon offered up 20% of Point Thomson to Putin, er… “Rosneft” as a hostage asset (a carrot to keep Vlad from expropriating Exxon’s assets in Russia).

    I’m sure Putin got a kick out of owning a piece of Alaska (again).

    Pay no attention to Jon K, he’s the pet of Dear Drue who’s been screwing Alaskans out of just about everything she can for decades.

    She’s got a sweet seat on AGDC and Jon K is her social media proxy (he clearly talks way too much to be any good at oil lawyering.)

  28. forecast

    Congrats to Ohio for now having three US Senators. Alaska now only has one. Part of the dirty Dan Sullivan giveaway of Pt. Thomson is the outside special interests bought him a seat in the US Senate.

    Quid pro quo.

    The Sullivan theft of a US Senate seat- paid for by the outside interests- is worthy of a book/movie.

  29. forecast

    Easy. Exxon had decades to develop the leases. Exxon lied again and again for over 20 years. Exxon was warehousing the resource. The Plans of Development offered by Exxon were fraudulent.

    Vacate the leases. By COMPETITIVE bid re-issue them to a honest partner that does not want to warehouse the resource. Rewarding those who have cheated us over decades is like letting a drunk driver drive your kids to school.

    When in doubt, refer to Art 8 of the Alaska Constitution that requires our natural resources to be developed for the maximum benefit of Alaskans.

    The CBC must have a little clique that they rely on to foster their agenda of screwing Alaskans- and they use this little blog as one method to do so.


  30. Anonymous

    Alaska was winning the case- no question about that. The only thing Alaska needed to do was a procedural hearing. That is what the last decision was about. Hold the hearing, and then terminate the leases.

  31. GA

    There’s another level to this: What’s the connection to Walker’s other favorite pet-project, the Port Authority?

    Don’t Walker and Richards have a vested personal financial interest in stopping Pt. Thompson?

    Who potentially benefits? The Port Authority? Who was the de facto CEO/attorney for the Port Authority? Wasn’t it Bill Walker?

    In other words: should we be fooled by “Walker was merely a hard working public interest litigant”? Wasn’t he trying to help his other client get a more lucrative deal?

    These are legitimate questions.

  32. Jon K

    Forecast throws around some heavy charges – the settlement was illegal, based on fraud, unconstitutional, dirty, etc. – but he / she hasn’t explained the basis for these accusations. The only basis for these claims, as far as I can tell, is that Forecast has said that there was no public input but there is no constitutional or statutory requirement to allow the public to weigh in on a settlement agreement. Forecast has also said that the settlement stunk because it doesn’t contain any definitions. This is verifiably false (see pages 5-15 of the settlement agreement) and just illustrates that Forecast makes stuff up. Shameless.

    Forecast, can you step up to the plate and back up your claims of illegality / fraud? How exactly was the settlement illegal? How was it “dirty”? What provision of the constitution did it violate? What exactly would you have done in the face of Judge Gleason’s 2010 decision reinstating the unit?

  33. DB

    What has happened to the much touted “transparency” that candidate Walker talked about. Sounds somewhat like the Obama candidate, doesn’t it? Everyone, Rs, Ds, Independents, should be very concerned about this. This is not a partisan issue. This is an integrity, character issue.

  34. WK

    Forecast – there is good news on the horizon for you. I’ve heard that the DOR is creating a coloring book expalining the state’s oil and gas tax policy. This will go a long way in helping you understand Alaska’s oil and gas tax policies. You have such a lack of understanding about ACES v SB 21 that you’re not worth engaging. However, I’d love to hear your argument(s) about constitutionality. Your explanation would be insightful (cough,cough).
    Dude, you are one small-thinking guy. Or stupid.

  35. WK

    I hope the Gov addresses this matter. To me, it smells to high heaven. If Mr Walker has an explanation as to why he changed his mind. He should disclose his thoughts, reasons and be open and transparent. Walker should answer the questions raised in this article.
    And if he doesn’t, I hope the legislature will hold hearings the first week of session. This is hugely problematic and is beginning to take on a smell that appears to be rotting by the minute.

  36. Snowflake

    Governor Walker and AG Richards are both attorneys. There certainly appears to be an ongoing conflict of interest. Has the ABA counsel weighed in?

    Doesn’t Governor Walker’s family work for the firm?

    What assets and personnel transfer to Robin Brena?

    What about prevailing party fees?

    Will the firm sale contract be disclosed to ensure that Attorney Walker or his family isn’t unjustly enriched?

  37. AH HA


    1. The suit is not yet settled.

    2. The legal business was sold with the litigation still pending and any legal fee and expenses still outstanding. This would have to have been a business consideration for the buyer and the seller when determining the value and selling price of the business. And of course one cannot escape consideration of the sellers new position… where he will directly effect the outcome of the litigation from the state’s side. Judging only by the number of appearances in court between first filing and appeal to the supreme court we are talking about a substantial amount of fee’s and expenses… probably many thousands.

    3. Governor Walker already provided legal services in this case, the bell cannot be un-rung.

    4. It does not matter that he has now sold his interest in the business, He not only represented, He was the sole appellant and cannot now have any involvement on the other side.

    5. The issue here is not the merits of the suit. What is of concern is does Walker now have a conflict? If he does, can he cure it? How?

    6. Regarding Mallott, It does not matter. The issue at hand is what the current Governor ought to do.

    7. No ‘keen’ legal mind here… I hire mine done. It’s just that when I do, I like em to be honest.

  38. Jon K

    Forecast – here is the other problem: Exxon was winning in court. The state terminated the unit twice – once in 2006 and then in 2009. Judge Gleason vacated the decisions and gave the unit back to Exxon.

  39. Jon K

    Forecast – the settlement was based on public comments and what was learned during public hearings. But more importantly there is NO REQUIREMENT in the constitution or in state law to get allow the public to comment on a settlement agreement or to get legislative approval. None.

    Who is feeding you all of this misinformation about Point Thomson?

  40. Shattered

    I have seen many many comments critical of our Governor’s course of action here. One thing to keep in mind, The Lieutenant Governor is not beholden to the Governor as the Attorney General is.

    I applaud Governor Walker for his course of action. Previous Governors have simply had the Attorney General determine that egregious conflicts of interest and/or inappropriate/unlawful actions were allowable.

    Not that it would eliminate any chance of corruption or or improprieties, but making the Attorney General an elected office or an office that is not beholden to another public officer would be a great improvement to the current arrangement.

  41. Forecast

    FKS, thanks for the laugh. “SB 21 did not give our resources away.”

    Please. Step away from the crack pipe- or vodka bottle.

    Tell us the projected severance revenue for FY2015. Then tell us the total credits- what they will cost Alaska. Then deduct the credits from the severance revenue.

    The magnitude of the theft of our oil is stunning.

    A clue, for you- the severance revenue is less than $500 million. Total. For the entire year. Tell us how Alaska is not going to go bankrupt with the unconstitutional giveaway?

  42. Shattered

    He’s got to go? That’s rich. And who pray tell do you think the Governor will be then? They don’t bring back the guy that came in second place in the election you know. It will be Byron Mallott. Is that what you want? Do you think Byron will be friendlier to the oil industry than Walker? Yea, I kind of doubt it. Be careful what you wish for.

    Your example is completely incorrect. At no time was he both Governor and Counsel for this case. Governor Walker filed for and was granted a substitute of counsel prior to assuming the office of Governor. He also sold his interest in the law firm that represented the suit. Therefore he was never representing both parties at the same time.

    What is the potential profit from this suit? What does Brena stand to gain? What are the damages that the plaintiff is seeking? Considering Governor Walker has a history of performing services pro bono publico, it is very likely that neither he nor his previous law firm realized any monetary gain from this suit. It is likely that Governor Walker stepping aside simply means that he won’t be performing any free legal services related to this issue.

    I haven’t reviewed this case and don’t know much more than what I have read in the news. My understanding is that this suit isn’t seeking any damages. It is asking the court to rule on the legitimacy of the agreement between DNR and the lessors involved in the Point Thompson leases. You know, what the AG should have been doing in the first place if the AG’s boss hadn’t been a former lobbyist for the oil industry. But I may be wrong about this.

    But it’s obvious from your previous post that you possess a keen legal mind and I didn’t have to tell you any of this.

  43. Keith Bradley

    I’ve been told that the 16% reduction comment was simply derived from the then $117/bbl breakeven for the budget and the then ~$100/bbl price of oil. Effectively, zero analysis went into it. It may be that the economic analysis is embarrassingly shallow while the legal positioning is well thought out. In other words – figure out how to assess blame and attempt to extract onetime funds rather than determine viable economic paths likely to create a stream of payments through development. Folks, what else would you expect from the mind of an attorney?

    Cheers! (making third tub of popcorn now)

  44. FKS

    Forecast, your comments are emotionally based and have little to do withj fact or reality. I’ve noticed that some others have taken you to task and have resorted to name calling as I can see their frustration with you. Most commenters on thjis site argue withj facts and passion. Unfortunately, you have only passion. 1) SB 21 did not give our resources away. We are getting more revenue as a result. The deficoit has everything to do with the price of oil. Obviously, you have no understanding whatsoever of tax policy, and 2) the previous AG you mentioned never raised an issue with Exxon or held their feet to the fire. Sullivan was the first who did.
    Why don’t you try to learn a little more about what the reality is.

  45. Tom Bodett

    Walker has always wanted his own gasline to come to fruition. This lawsuit was about stopping the current plan for his own personal gain. Nothing more and nothing less. Anyone who can’t see that is being incredibly naive.

  46. Forecast

    Jon, you are not telling the truth. There was ZERO public input when it mattered- BEFORE the crooked deal was filed with the court.

    Jon, maybe this is too much for you to understand, but when a corporation or individual cheats you- as Exxon did here- (and in many, many other instances) it should never be rewarded with access to an incredibly valuable resource.

    This is the sort of corrupt deal that Bob Bartlett warned Alaskans about in 1955. Outside corporations should not be allowed to determine when/if Alaska’s resources are developed. Allowing that outside control over our resources will leave Alaskans in poverty.

  47. Forecast

    The dirty deal done by Sullivan/Parnell was really bad. Exxon had lied to Alaska for decades about developing our resources at Pt. Thomson. Exxon has a history of lying. This is the same corporation that befouled Prince William Sound with crude oil. This is the same corporation that screwed Alaskans who were injured by the spill for decades. This is the corporation that put a drunk behind the wheel of a single hulled super tanker. This is a corporation that lied about its cleanup capabilities. This is the same corporation that filed fraudulent tariffs for shipments over TAPS. This is the same corporation that spiked Alaska crude with higher chain alkanes- stealing from Alaskans. This is the same corporation that has been warehousing our gas and oil for decades. This is what Exxon was doing at Pt. Thomson- warehousing our resources in violation of the contract they had with us.

    Lets review what happens in other countries when you get caught lying, cheating and stealing:

    Answer: You get kicked out.

    Other countries expect their lease agreements to be honored. When a “producer” does not perform, they are booted out. In Alaska the oil industry supports corrupt/stupid elected officials who will allow criminal misconduct to continue year after year after year.

    Walker had the guts to say “no”. Good for him. The dirty deal Exxon cooked up with Capt. Zero and the dirty Dan Sullivan was exactly what Alaska should not be doing with corporations that lie, cheat and steal from us. The AG before Sullivan knew this was a shitty deal and left. He would not sign off on something so improper.

    A lot of fraud is still going on today regarding this “development”. Equipment is rented from political fixers. The equipment is parked, unused. But the payoffs to the political insiders is made- without regard to whether the equipment is used or not. The fixers are (wink, wink, nod, nod) expected to support the crooks- like Parnell/Sullivan and others- so that Alaska does not have elected officials standing up for Alaska. Nope, they support the clowns that give away our resources. Same clowns that have given Alaska a $3.5 billion dollar deficit that is going to bankrupt our state.

  48. Platt

    Walker needs to realize that he’s Governor now. Pursuing his personal interests is a recipe for disaster. That’s what often puts elected officials in jails.

  49. Crude is Rude - Gas is Groovy

    Gov.Walker has been struggling for decades trying to accomplish for Alaska what Gov.Dalrymple has accomplished for North Dakota in just a few years.

    Click on my Nick^ for a link to the important webpage announcing North Dakota’s accomplishment.

    Mr.Forecast here & I are singing the same tune,
    the hairsplitting parsing of state constitutional language and historical process (& lack thereof) is the BS of legalistic contortionists (lawyers)…
    …IMHO; don’t worry about the documents and the claims,
    because the monetezation is not important,
    making 100% of Alaska’s resources available to Alaskans is what’s important,
    then what’s left over as surplus is fair game to be monetized.

    Joe Vogler & Wally Hickel stand behind me now on this issue,
    us 3 had a discussion about this years ago.
    What is RIGHT is the goal, not who wins the fight.

    Alaska can work miracles with proper leadership now,
    Pt.Thomsen light-alkanes NGL’s are a hi-priority feedstock resource for our ability to build modern AlaskaStyle infrastructure statewide.
    I support Bill&Byron’s efforts to make Alaska a big success in the 21stCentury.
    The Best Market for Alaska’s Gas is: ALASKA !!

    We need to quit bickering,
    another Great Alaskan Earthquake has happened in the last few months,
    we really do have a statewide emergency happening now.

    If all you cheechako foghorns moved back to L48,
    I’ll send you a gift more valuable than money; WISDOM.

  50. Clicker

    Whoa. I think you stumbled onto a mess the governor hasn’t began to think thru. This is a mess. This is a problem waiting to explode.

  51. Greg

    Forecast’s assertion that the PT deal is unconstitutional is nuts. Based on what? This is absurd and demonstrative of too many of Governor Walker’s supporters.
    I agree with L. Willis. He suggests that Walker owes the people an explanation to which I agree. Right now, it seems like something sleezy and orchestrated is going on between the Governor and attorney general. Come on Governor, do the right thing for Alaska.

  52. Lynn Willis

    Equivocation, vagueness, and parsing are the hallmarks of a modern politician. A simple “Yes” or “No” are responses seldom heard from politicians as are exact numbers such as “16%”. While circumstances may have forced a change in strategy by (then candidate and now) Governor Walker he owes us an explanation for this apparent reversal including addressing the points Amanda mentions. It will take a few minutes and be over.
    Otherwise he can use the delay, displace, and obfuscate tactic his predecessor used with the National Guard issue; however, that approach doesn’t appear to have worked as intended.

  53. Amanda Post author

    AH HA: I was told that Hammond and/or Egan might have had some suits against the state. I didn’t have time to look however, so I hedged.

  54. Jon K


    Prior to finalizing the deal, DNR did receive public input – there were three hearings held at DNR where the public submitted testimony, there were two public hearings at the AOGCC, and there were at least two hearings before the legislature.

    But perhaps more importantly there is no legal requirement that the AG receive legislative approval before agreeing to settle a case and there is no requirement that the AG put a settlement agreement out for public notice. Nor is there a requirement that DNR receive public comments on a plan of development.

    So how was this deal unconstitutional? And how exactly must the development at Point Thomson be stopped – what does this mean? What is it that you think should happen?

  55. Blue State Dreamin

    I hope and trust that Byron Mallott won’t allow himself to be used by Walker and Richards. They have set this up looking for cover from Byron.

  56. Truth Teller

    I’ve read that other reader’s have commented on Forecast’s lack of intellect to put it nicely. I now agree with the other commenters. :e doesn’t offer much. Still, that doesn’t negate his right to comment. The dumb, uninformed and small-minded have rights too.

  57. KP

    Look for precedent to Steve Cowper’s term and the mental health trust lawsuit. The lands issue was not settled during his term but he was actively involved in getting resolution moved forward.

  58. Forecast

    The unconstitutional deal Sullivan and Capt. Zero conspired to create behind closed doors and with no citizen input must be stopped. Since Gov. Walker has an obligation to uphold the Alaska Constitution he did as a private citizen what Capt. Zero failed to do.

    Gov. Walker has smarts, and guts. That’s why Wally Hickel endorsed- and liked Walker. Gov. Hickel would never have kissed Big Oil’s ass like Parnell did.

  59. AH HA

    Does he have a conflict? You bet your ass he does and if he can’t see it then he’s got to go. He is now a named party to both sides of the suit, has a constitutional obligation to the state and it’s people and has a implied business obligation to the plaintiff’s attorney that cannot at this point be cured. The plaintiffs attorney bought the firm and the potential profit from the pending litigation knowing that the seller (Walker) would be in a position to direct action or at least affect the outcome through the use of his new position as an executive for the respondent (the State).

    To bring it close to home, what would you do if you had hired an attorney to engage in a lawsuit on you behalf and later found that he also represented the party you were intent on suing?

    BTW: Amanda, your article leaves me with the impression that a sitting governor of Alaska has sued the state in the past. Such a case escapes my memory…Could you enlighten?

  60. Ron W

    Governor Walker’s track record of breaking campaign promises appear to be the norm, not an exception. From my perspective, he has real issues when it comes to his lack of integrity and keeping his word. I supported the Walker campaign because I was disappointed in the lackluster leadership of Governor Parnell. During the campaign, one of my co-workers and I would argue over the candidates, what they stood for and what kind of governor they would be. My friend said that Bill Walker’s platform amounted to nothing more than “lies and hating the oil industry.” Unfortunately, I didn’t believe it then and have since learned it’s true. In retrospect, I would rather have (Captain Zero)Governor Parnell back in office – – at least he was honest and valued his integrity. Why is Alaska saddled with such ineptitude and lack of character?

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