Bursting the bubble of Buccaneer’s dream

By Michael O’Meara
During an Oct. 25 public meeting at McNeil Canyon School, Buccaneer Alaska’s Mark Landt shared his dream for coming years: Strike it rich offshore and onshore; Drill more wells; Build roads and other infrastructure all over the West Eagle leases; Run a pipeline across the Anchor River toward Nikolaevsk; Keep East End Road busy with related truck traffic.
It was the single heartfelt response to questions during two nights of long overdue public meetings.
Someone at McNeil Canyon said Mark Landt’s dream was her worst nightmare. Most folks expressed misgivings during Buccaneer’s meetings — over the way industrialization would change our communities and over Buccaneer’s apparent incompetency and lack of candor.
Most questions went unanswered. Whatever the issue — from when the rig “Endeavor” might leave Kachemak Bay to where water for drilling West Eagle would come from — there was dithering and evasion.
Can it be that Buccaneer actually doesn’t know the answers, or was it just unwillingness to tell the truth?
Oil and gas is a risky business. It takes the best technology, know-how, preparedness and decisiveness in the face of the unexpected to avoid catastrophe. All seem beyond Buccaneer. That places everyone, from stockholders and workers to Kachemak Bay area residents, at unacceptable risk.
The Alaska departments of Fish and Game, Environmental Conservation, and Natural Resources are supposed to require oil and gas companies to comply with laws and regulations that reduce risk, protect our resources and avoid harm to local people.
Unfortunately, except for DEC’s refusal to let Buccaneer drill off Anchor Point on an upper Cook Inlet lease without a contingency plan, the agencies seem too timid to do their jobs. Instead, they’ve bent the rules and turned a blind eye to Buccaneer’s disrespect for the law.
Kachemak Bay, its watershed, and Lower Cook Inlet are uniquely valuable resources deserving of protection from pollution and habitat destruction. Our local communities and economy depend upon them. We count on state agencies to protect us from incompetent companies and ill advised resource extraction schemes. When officials fail to do their jobs, it’s up to citizens to organize, raise a fuss, and hold them accountable.

Michael O’Meara is a founding member of the Cook Inletkeeper, a board member and a longtime Homer resident who lived in Kachemak Bay when oil and gas development leases were sold here in the 1970s.

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Posted by on Nov 7th, 2012 and filed under Point of View. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

5 Responses for “Bursting the bubble of Buccaneer’s dream”

  1. david says:

    It seems the minority here are trying to sabotage the economic advantages for the majority that Buccaneer will bring into the region through well paid jobs and increasing gas supplies at a time when Cook Inlet production is plummeting….These are nothing more than scare tactics aimed at the general public by Michael Omeara……
    Buccaneer has taken significant time and spent significant money to ensure all requirements have been met to safeguard both its workers and the environment….. Yet the Author of this article has used this fact to suggest the company is not operating in the CookInlets best interests…

    • Chris says:

      That is so true David. It’s sad how close-minded some people are. The human race is all about taking risks to progress. Without risk you get no where. It’s also sad that these protestors mislead and lie about Buccaneer and any other business when they get scared. To say rules and regulations are being bent and laws being disrespected, is downright untrue and just about defamatory.

  2. just wondering says:

    It seems a few here are lying and work for this company.

    If you attended the meeting you would know that jobs will not be created here. They will be importing workers with 5 years experience.

    If you have been paying attention, you would realize we have natural gas all over the state and we are not running out if we don’t let Buccaneer drill here drill now.

    If you attended the meeting you would know that they consider themselves so responsible, when asked how they would pay for a spill, they said they wouldn’t have to because there wouldn’t be one.

    Everything said in this is absolutely correct and it is amazing that instead of refuting the facts of the irresponsibility of this company, shills for the company just keep threatening us ‘you’re going to run out of gas-you’re going to run out of gas’

    The scare tactics are on the side of the blatantly obvious shills, saying they are our only option for natural gas and without them the new gas line in Homer is useless. Just grow up. We are not children and we can see right through you.

    Without risks you get nowhere? That is just irresponsible and ridiculous. We are smart enough to lower the risks by taking recent history into account and not trusting corporations to look out for Alaska’s citizens best interest or the environment.

  3. david says:

    “They will be importing workers with 5 years experience.”
    Dont misquote the company, they said they would have at least 5 years of work for locals to be done on their leases in the Cook inlet….

  4. you lie! says:

    “they said they would have at least 5 years of work for locals to be done on their leases”

    That is NOT what they said.

    This is the problem, Homer Tribune. Why are we arguing over facts?

    You needed to go to the meeting and report what they said about jobs.

    Then you do research and see if they are telling the truth.

    Everyone in Homer should know now what they said about the jobs. Why am I having to tell people, and you are allowing these shills to continue lying?

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