Power The Future Energy Hour Recap: Dan Saddler and Mike Heatwole

Power The Future Energy Hour Recap: Dan Saddler and Mike Heatwole

August 26, 2020

Every Tuesday night from 5:00-6:00 PM local time, Alaska State Director Rick Whitbeck hosts the “Power The Future Energy Hour” on KNVT (92.5 FM, 1020 AM and online at 1020KVNT.com).  The show (also replayed during the same hour on Saturday night) is heard throughout Southcentral Alaska communities, and acts as a recap of Power The Future activities in Alaska, as well as an opportunity to hear from various members of Alaska’s energy community.

Since the show’s inception in January 2018, it has had dozens of guests, including members of Congress, Alaska’s Governor, Lt. Governor, State Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners, members of the Governor’s leadership team, executives from organizations throughout Alaska who fight for jobs, opportunities and progress alongside us (The Alaska Support Industry Alliance, Resource Development Council, Alaska Oil & Gas Association, Alaska Miners Association and others), state legislators from both parties who have a role in energy policy as part of their legislative duties and executives from many of Alaska’s leading resource development projects (both current and potential).

This week, we caught up with Power The Future’s founder and Executive Director, Daniel Turner in segment two.  As always, the focus was on national and international energy topics, starting with the clear differences between the Democratic and Republican National Conventions – their tone, tenor and messages to America.  We finished up the segment talking about Rick’s latest PTF blog post, noting some of the energy “wins” for Alaska under the Trump administration.

Following Daniel, Rick welcomed Dan Saddler, the Communications Director for Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources.  Dan provided a wealth of information on how DNR’s mission was unchanged – although its day-to-day work processes have been – as a result of COVID-19, and how the Department was working to move responsible development forward in our state.  We discussed how the Department had held its first online/virtual lease sale recently, and how it how technology was helping make things more efficient in DNR.  Finally, we heard updates on oil and gas, mining, timber and agriculture before the time for segment three ran out. 

The big news story from the past few days in Alaska’s energy community was a supposed “death knell” for the Pebble Mine.  The way the eco-extremists and mainstream media told the story, a letter that was supposed to come out on Monday the 24th would doom the project forever.  Our final guest of the night was Pebble Limited Partnership’s Sr. VP of External Affairs, Mike Heatwole.  We have had numerous Pebble stories and guests over the past 18 months, in part because of the significance of the project to Alaska. 

Mike set the record straight regarding Pebble’s demise. He noted that “the lights are still on at the corporate office, and I’m sure the lights are still on at the Army Corps of Engineers.”  Noting that nothing in the letter from the Corps surprised them, Heatwole assured listeners that Pebble would have a response to the Corps’ request for a revised mitigation plan in the next couple of weeks, and that they had every confidence their plan would pass Corps muster and lead to a final Record of Decision and federal permit approval.  That was encouraging news for all people who want to see Pebble succeed, and a big raspberry to those who parroted obviously erroneous talking points from anti-Pebble organizations, such as the NRDC and Save Bristol Bay.

Guests in upcoming weeks will include lawmakers (incuding Congressman Don Young, who will be taping a series of segments with Rick soon for playback throughout September!), industry executives and senior-level government officials, as well as experts on Alaska’s resource economy and our budget. You can click here for this week’s show, as well as nearly every media appearance by our team, hosted on PTF’s SoundCloud page.

Feel free to reach out to Rick Whitbeck at Rick@PowerTheFuture.com if you have ideas for future shows!