The Regulatory Commission of Alaska has extended public comment on proposals to transfer BP pipelines and other assets – including BP’s interests in the Trans Alaska Pipeline (TAPs) to Hilcorps. The new deadline is December 13, 2019. While BP and Hilcorp have negotiated this deal for more than a year, the RCA has made an inadequate effort to engage Alaskans to review and comment on the BP/Hilcorp proposal. This deal has significant implications for Alaska’s economy and our environment. Hilcorp has a long list of environmental and worker safety violations during its relatively short tenure in Alaska, and because it is a privately-held corporation, its finances are secret.
Talking Points – Comments Due Dec. 13:
— This is a major transaction that has sweeping implications for decades to come. BP is a well-resourced, multinational company, and because it’s a public corporation, Alaskans can see BP’s financials in quarterly filings. Hilcorp, on the other hand, is privately-held, and as a result, does not share its financial information. Hilcorp must be required to show Alaskans it has the financial wherewithal to take over BP assets, and it must report its Alaska-specific profits moving forward.
— Hilcorp’s business model focuses on cutting environmental and worker safety protections to increase profits from aging fields and equipment. Any final agreement for this transaction must include concrete oversight and enforcement provisions, included meaningful penalties for violations.
— Hilcorp will assume aging fields and infrastructure that some day will need to be decommissioned, removed and restored (DR&R). Any final deal must clearly spell-out Hilcorp’s ability to pay for its DR&R liabilities.
— As the effects of climate change accelerate in Alaska, so too will the costs of doing business on the North Slope and elsewhere. Furthermore, Alaska can no longer deny that its reliance on fossil fuels is aggravating our climate crisis. As a result, any final deal must include a concrete schedule for making any Hilcorp oil and gas production carbon-neutral, to offset the harmful effects of producing more fossil fuels.
— In light of Hilcorp’s consistent record of noncompliance in Alaska, and its business model focused on cost-cutting, the RCA should use its considerable discretion to install a citizen oversight mechanism into this transaction, similar to the Regional Citizens Advisory Councils (RCAC’s) in Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound.
You can also see Inletkeeper’s comments here.
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