BP's Two Minute "Meaningful" Miracle

Maybe I’m a masochist because for two gruesome nights this week I listened for hour after hour as the Senate Resources Committee took public testimony on ACES reform. Citizen after citizen spoke. Very few had anything new to add. It was clearly just a contest of which side of the debate could mobilize more people to testify. Well, that and how many different faces Vinny-the-Union-Boss Beltrami could make at people who said things he didn’t like.

My unofficial pain-o-meter says there were more pro-reformers than status-quo types, but it wasn’t overwhelming.

The one thing that actually stood out to me was how many of the “ditch ACES” crew parroted the “we need MEANINGFUL reform” line. What exactly does “meaningful” mean in this debate? Where is that line? Some suggested “meaningful” had to include local hire considerations. Others introduced transparency into the discussion. Several felt the need to read off a laundry list of energy company abuses into the record. Heck, Vinny even brought in obtuse polling data. I'm not sure how polling data drives investment, but apparently Vinny does.

No one seemed interested in defining “meaningful”, but rather were content to make it clear they didn’t like what other side was proposing.

I really got the impression the entire debate had devolved from the Governor’s deliberate approach and Pedro Van Muers’ in-depth analysis into an overly complex intramural spitball match of “we’re the good guys, give us more” and “you’re the evil guys, we need to suck everything out of you.” Which side was which? I couldn’t really tell anymore.

Imagine then my surprise when BP made a presentation yesterday to that same committee, on that very point. It took less than two minutes. Two minutes, really? Nothing in Juneau takes only two minutes. Ok, insert joke here, ha.ha.ha.

More surprising than the length of the presentation was how brilliantly they were able to define what “meaningful” meant and then smartly decided to shut the heck up.

You can watch the presentation HERE. It is impressive

“Meaningful” means any change large enough to reasonably conclude it will drive investment decisions by the producers. BOOM…clean, clear, concise. They also showed in pretty compelling terms how the Senate majority’s bill failed to meet that definition. They did it in less than two minutes.

It is amazing how BP could do in two minutes what neither side in the debate was able to do in what felt like 8000 hours of testimony. Maybe those oil guys really do know what they are doing.