Saturday, December 05, 2015

Alaska cuts loose incredibly expensive natural gas pipeline consultant.

Courtesy of Alaska Dispatch:  

A highly paid attorney who earned more than $850,000 working on Alaska’s proposed gas pipeline project no longer works for the state and is unlikely to return, Gov. Bill Walker said Friday. 

Rigdon Boykin, a commercial attorney, earned up to $120,000 monthly working as a negotiator for the state before his contract with the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. was terminated Nov. 30. 

Boykin was paid $750,000 by the corporation, plus another $100,000 by Walker’s office under a separate contract. 

In an interview Friday morning, Walker said the state had “changed up the team a bit.”

The article goes on to quote Walker's defense of Boykin's work, and his claim that the state "got it's money's worth" out of  Boykin


The evidence for that, according to Governor Walker, is a commitment from BP and ConocoPhilips that IF a pipeline were constructed they would negotiate sales of the gas. That's like promising to build a stable for my unicorn once I capture it.

Never gonna happen.

I have been hearing about this fabled natural gas pipeline for almost forty years now.

I have also heard that Jesus is coming back.

I assume both of these events will take place on the same day.

Our dearly departed friend Joe McGinnis wrote perhaps the definitive argument for why there will never be a gas pipeline in his article Pipe Dreams:

The first thing I learned about the pipeline was that the reason nobody had built it in 30 years was that nobody could have made any money by doing so. Here’s how it works: You decide to build a pipeline to carry gas from Point A to Point B, and you spend a couple of years scoping out a route and putting together a cost estimate. Then you have what in the gas business is called an open season, when you try to persuade whoever has gas to commit in advance to shipping it through your pipeline for, let’s say, 25 years. Once you’ve signed up your shippers, you go to a bank, and the bank loans you the money you need to build the pipeline. Once you have your financing, you go to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington and ask for a permit. They check your shipping commitments, your financing, and about a zillion other things, and if they like the way things look, they issue the permit. Then you build the line, and the gas starts to flow and keeps flowing for 25 years or more, and everybody makes a ton of money. 

But with natural gas selling for less than $2 per million British thermal units, or MMBtu—which it had been for about 50 years—there was no way to make money building a $40 billion pipeline to carry it all the way from the North Slope of the Brooks Range in Alaska to Chicago, or Green Bay, Wisconsin, or Burnt Chitlin, Louisiana. Only in the past 10 years did the price climb above $3 per MMBtu, the lowest possible number at which an Alaskan pipeline might be feasible, according to experts in the natural-gas sector. (After spiking to more than $12 last summer, by February gas was down to about $4.75.)

Currently natural gas prices are at around 2.8 and the market is essentially saturated, which means there is NO demand for more natural gas pipelines.

That is just a lie they tell to the Alaskan men, much like "Yes I think back hair DOES make you look sexy."

Well I for one am tired of hearing this particular line of bullshit, and now that I hear how much this Boykin guy earned from sitting on his ass thinking up reasons to get paid, I am even MORE tired of it.


  1. Anonymous9:04 AM

    Slow news day, huh?

    1. Anonymous9:31 AM


    2. Anonymous10:21 AM

      Hey MJS.. I heard Palin may run in 2036. Not too early to start a website! LOL!

  2. Anonymous9:04 AM


  3. Anonymous9:32 AM

    Thanks for this. Gryphen. Not a slow news day at all.

  4. Anonymous10:06 AM

    Calm down Gryphen, it's not like Alaskans paid him, the blue states that support Alaska paid him.

  5. Anonymous10:19 AM

    There goes Palins last chance at a legacy. She accomplished NOTHING as Governor. Way to go Mama Grifta!

  6. Anonymous10:22 AM

    Why is the pipeline so crooked instead of being laid straight?

    1. "A second challenge was Alaska's temperature, which ranges between -60 °C and 35 °C. Because the metals from which the pipeline is made expand and contract with changes in temperature, the pipeline had to be built to accommodate changes in length. The engineers estimated that a 304-meter segment of pipeline could shrink by as much as 0.3 meter in the coldest weather and expand by an equal amount during the warmest season. That doesn't sound like much of a change, unless you remember that the pipeline is nearly 1500 kilometers long! If the pipeline were straight, even a small change in each segment of the pipeline would be disastrous. The pipeline would either snap if it contracted too much or buckle if it expanded.

      To prevent the pipeline from breaking, the designers used a zig-zag configuration. These bends help relieve the effect of contraction and expansion."

      And, you could get the answer via Google faster than you can post here.

    2. Anonymous11:44 AM

      The pipeline is on skids when it crosses major faults, the largest of which is the Denali fault. The skids, which are coated with a teflon-type coating, allow the pipeline to move in response to earthquake-generated ground waves, rather than remain rigid and fail.

      The largest quake to date affecting the pipeline was the 7.9 2002 Denali quake and the photo shown above is the actual section of pipe affected by that quake. There was only minimal damage, and as the photo shows the skids worked as intended.

    3. Anonymous12:35 PM

      I kind of figured the OP was a joke question.

      It's pretty obvious why it's "crooked."

    4. Anonymous12:36 PM

      Thank you for that explanation, Liz.

    5. Anonymous4:36 PM

      I figured it was crooked in tribute to Sarah Palin.

  7. "The evidence for that, according to Governor Walker, is a commitment from BP and ConocoPhilips that IF a pipeline were constructed they would negotiate sales of the gas. That's like promising to build a stable for my unicorn once I capture it."


    So true, Gryphen. I worked for two Alaska Native Regional Corporations and my favorite CFO, whenever an "opportunity" like this was described, used to say, "That's like saying if I had ham and if I had eggs, I'd have ham and eggs. But I don't have ham and I don't have eggs . . ."

    There were, and are, many intelligent people who surrender critical thinking when over-paid consultants tangle the promise of future benefits in front of them. I sure wish they weren't in government . . . .

  8. Caroline in San Jose2:19 PM

    Pssst... Guys, the back hair thing is not exactly a lie. For lots of women, it depends how well we like the fellow sporting it. Don't rush out to get back hair extensions though. Fake back hair would *not* be sexy.

    1. Anonymous3:08 PM

      I just realized he said "back hair" and I thought he said "black hair" and I was trying to figure out why black hair was so bad! I guess if a guy has back hair, I don't know, if you like him otherwise then it's okay? I've never been around men with back hair but have seen them on TV? It would give you something to hold onto during sexy times, right? Just grab and hold on...kind of like "man reins".

  9. Anonymous4:56 AM

    Why did then Gov Sarah Palin and still today pushed for the Alaskan pipeline? What's to stop terrorists or homegrown disgruntled Alaskan pipeline or oil workers from putting holes in the 1500 kilometers long pipes and creating environmental catastrophes and ruining the last frontier for its two and four legged inhabitants?

  10. Anonymous7:53 AM

    Didn't Sarah say they broke ground on the Pipeline under her leadership all those years ago at her running mate acceptance speech? Man, the accomplishments she listed, she was the best 1/2 term CEO Energy Expert ever!


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