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      This is your public service 1-stop-shop for Alaskan and Canadian Arctic energy commentary, news, history, projects and people. We update it daily for you. It is the most timely and complete northern energy archive anywhere — used by media, academia, government and industry officials throughout the world. Northern Gas Pipelines may be the oldest Alaska blog; we invite readers to name others existing before 2001.  -dh

 

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8-3-15

03 August 2015 9:27am

Today's very relevant energy clips for NGP readers:

David Holt, Consumer Energy AllianceThe Maritime Executive: A Vote for Responsible Arctic Development *David Holt Q&A (NGP Photo)
Shell’s Arctic drilling is expected to begin soon. MarEx spoke to David Holt, President of the U.S. Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), to discuss what it means for Alaska and the nation's Lower 48 states.
 
Jobkeeper Alliance: Consumer Group, Organizations, Elected Officials and Regulators Voice Concern on EPA “Clean Power Plan” *CEA Mention
The American economy is literally energized by one of the world’s most complex and efficient machines – the nation’s electrical grid and its associated power plants.  Since Edison and the 1880’s, this interconnected grid has operated best through close-to-the-customer oversight at the state level.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is looking to federalize our nation’s energy policy through the burdensome “Clean Power Plan”.
 
Consumer Energy AllianceCEA, Organizations, Elected Officials and Regulators Voice Concern on EPA “Clean Power Plan”
The American economy is literally energized by one of the world’s most complex and efficient machines – the nation’s electrical grid and its associated power plants.  Since Edison and the 1880’s, this interconnected grid has operated best through close-to-the-customer oversight at the state level.
 
CEA’s The Energy Voice: Seasonal Factors Temporarily Drive down Diesel Costs
For the first time in six years, average diesel prices are cheaper than gasoline. But it’s not a trend that’s expected to last. The EIA reports that a confluence of factors are making average diesel prices drop below average retail gasoline prices starting in January, including “the typical seasonal demand pattern, which is strongest for diesel in the winter heating season and strongest for gasoline in summer, has been amplified by especially strong demand for gasoline in the United States and abroad.”
 
Associated PressObama to unveil final power plant emissions limits Monday; requires steeper cuts than expected
President Barack Obama will impose even steeper cuts on greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants than previously expected, senior administration officials saidSunday, in what the president called the most significant step the U.S. has ever taken to fight global warming. A year after proposing unprecedented carbon dioxide limits, the Obama administration was poised to finalize the rule at a White House event on Monday.
 
Wall Street Journal: Obama’s New Climate-Change Regulations to Alter, Challenge Industry
A new rule mandating the first-ever federal limits on power-plant carbon emissions aims to change the way Americans make and consume electricity, accelerating a shift already under way toward cleaner fuels, renewable energy and consumer-generated power.
 
ReutersWhat changes to expect from Obama's final Clean Power Plan
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will unveil as soon as Monday the final version of a sweeping - and controversial - regulation to cut carbon emissions from the electricity sector. In its initial version, the Clean Power Plan called for cutting the country's power plant emissions 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, setting different targets for each state.
 
ForbesEPA's Clean Power Plan Will Arrive Monday, Followed By Lawsuits
The Obama administration is expected to unveil its sweeping plan to restructure the electricity industry on Monday, including state-by-state, mandatory reductions in CO2 that can only be accomplished by shutting down more than a quarter of the nation’s coal-fired power plants. One thing it is sure to generate: Lots of fees for lawyers and lobbyists.
 
Fuel FixAspirations need to reflect reality
President Obama has just announced tougher emissions reductions for EPA’s Clean Power Plant regulation — 32% reduction from 2005 levels by 2030. Since actions have consequences, there are two simple questions that need to be answered to understand this proposal. The first is how the reductions are to be achieved. The second is what the economic consequences of trying to achieve them are.
 
BloombergObama Climate Rule Said to Shrink Difference in Goals for States
The Obama administration will reduce the differences among state goals in a landmark climate change rule, addressing complaints from states such as Arizona and Florida, according to people familiar with the plan.
 
BloombergObama to Boost Goal in Climate Rule with New Solar, Wind Push
The Obama administration on Monday will issue rules to cut carbon emissions from U.S. power plants, a move designed to secure the president’s legacy on climate and one which has already influenced the campaigns of those who want to succeed him.
 
Town HallUS nuclear operators try to save plants with carbon emission rule
 The U.S. nuclear industry has made a last-minute push to urge the Obama administration to protect the country's 100 nuclear units in its forthcoming carbon rule and prevent the early retirement of several plants.

Associated PressWith Protest Over, Shell Prepares for Arctic Ocean Drilling
Hours after a repaired Shell icebreaker eased past protesters in Oregon to join an Arctic drilling operation, the oil giant used other vessels in its flotilla to begin excavating off the coast of Alaska in hopes of confirming the presence of billions of barrels of crude below the ocean floor.
 
Associated PressLawsuit over lease for Shell Arctic drilling fleet rejected
A Washington state judge has rejected a lawsuit challenging the Port of Seattle's decision to lease one of its terminals as a home port for Royal Dutch Shell's Arctic oil-drilling fleet.
 
Forbes: Choose Shell over Greenpeace for Arctic oil
Greenpeace’s ongoing attack on Royal Dutch Shell is a concern for energy resource and thus human development around the world. It failed, but Greenpeace just tried to stop Shell’s icebreaker from leaving port in Portland, Oregon, in the hopes of blocking Shell’s drilling plans in the Arctic.
 
Reuters: TransCanada '100 percent committed" to Keystone XL project
TransCanada Corp, the Canadian company behind the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, remains committed to the C$8 billion ($6.2 billion) project, the company's head said on Friday, even as hopes fade for an approval by the Obama administration.
 
The Hill: Setting the record straight about Keystone XL
As a rancher from South Dakota whose land would be threatened by the Keystone XL pipeline, I hear a lot of claims about the project from TransCanada and politicians who want to see the pipeline built. They say they have worked with landowners and made agreements to build on our property. They say this will be the safest pipeline ever built. They say our families will benefit economically from having their pipeline built in our communities. It’s time to set the record straight.
 
Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Oil, gas money not swaying SD utility regulators
The decision whether to reapprove permits for the Keystone XL pipeline across South Dakota soon will lie with three state utility regulators.
 
Forbes: Energy Politics: Nothing Up Their Sleeves
In the summer of 1970, between my sophomore and junior years of high school in Richmond, Virginia, a federal court ruled that the city’s school system had to be integrated. This became known as “forced busing,” which meant, of course, “forced busing, but this time of whites”. For years afterwards, politicians in central Virginia were expected to denounce forced busing but not to actually do anything. One political commentator remarked on this type of stance as a particularly Southern type of political dishonesty, a meaningless posturing for votes.
 
USA TodayAmid oil downturn, silver lining for shale producers?
The slump in oil prices is more than a year old now, with bad news continuing for producers around the world, including those responsible for the shale revolution in the U.S.
 
CNBCOil prices to settle at $50 per barrel by 2020, analyst says
Oil producers' productivity and cost-reduction efforts may drive prices to settle at about $50 per barrel by 2020, said Michele Della Vigna, managing director at Goldman Sachs. He said, "Deflation is accelerating from a cost perspective. Efficiency is improving in all the mature regions and productivity is sharply improving in almost all the shale places in the U.S."
 
Platts: Feds lack urgency in permitting Atlantic offshore drilling
The Obama administration has acted too slowly in authorizing drilling in the Atlantic Ocean off Virginia's coast, approving only one of nine permits and expecting the earliest lease sale in the region in 2021, writes Gary Gentile. Exploration in the region has been hampered by a lack of offshore revenue sharing for nearby states, military exercises, environmental concerns and problematic oil spill prevention, among other factors. However, no progress can be made if regulators fail to issue permits so data can be gathered to determine potential reserves in the region.
 
UPI: House panels seek review of drillers' financial risk transparency
The Securities and Exchange Commission should reassess the financial risk disclosures by offshore oil and natural gas drillers, particularly those operating in Arctic waters, ranking members of the House Natural Resources and Financial Services Committees wrote in a letter to the agency last week. "Full disclosure of risk is essential to good decision-making by the public, and without it, our markets cannot function properly," Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif., said in a statement.
 
Oil & Gas Journal: Sen. Nelson to block bill expanding offshore drilling
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said last week that he will use all procedural means to block legislation that would lift the moratorium on drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico if the bill advances to the Senate floor. The legislation, which recently cleared the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, would also allow crude oil exports and provide offshore revenue sharing for coastal states.
 
The Oklahoman: Producers hope growing natural gas demand will strengthen prices
While most of the energy industry has been focused on low oil prices over much of the past year, natural gas producers are seven years into a bear market and have seen the price tumble another 28 percent over the past 12 months. Producers have some hope, however, that growing demand soon could lead to strengthening natural gas prices.
 
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: An energy bill worth passing: Sen. Murkowski's bipartisan effort would help Alaska, US
Sen. Murkowski’s bill, a bipartisan effort with Sen. Maria Cantwell, of Washington State, is a carefully calculated offering that steers clear of hot-button energy issues such as the proposed Keystone XL pipeline or the federal export ban on oil. While steering a bill to the middle sometimes cuts off useful proposals on both sides of the aisle, in this case Alaska’s senior senator has done good work. Her bill is a worthy one, and contains several components that would help Alaska and the rest of the U.S.
 
The Bakersfield Californian: HF foes, friends air differences
A small group of “fracking” opponents traded heated words with an even smaller number of oil industry supporters Saturday morning on the Panorama Drive bluffs in northeast Bakersfield, during an airing of differences over the controversial oil extraction technique.
 
NBC San Diego: San Diegans protest HF in California
Protesters gathered at the Ocean Beach Boardwalk Saturday to protest Jerry Brown’s support for hydraulic fracturing and other unconventional oil and gas extraction methods. The protest was led by the California based Courage Campaign, Californians Against Fracking and Rootskeeper.
 
San Diego Reader: Enviros to Governor Brown: stop HF
Environmental activists assembled by San Diego 350 gathered in Ocean Beach on Saturday morning to distribute petitions and create a mural the group hopes to send to Governor Jerry Brown in an attempt to lobby for an executive order banning the practice of hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as "fracking," within the state of California.
 
Daily Breeze: Enviro. group seeks injunction to stop HF in California
A national environmental organization went to court this week demanding an immediate halt to hydraulic fracturing and other intensive well-stimulation methods until California petroleum industry regulators can consider new scientific findings of troubling health and environmental threats.
 
Watchdog: Will EPA’s Clean Power Plan doom Colorado’s coal industries?
In May a district judge sided with the environmentalist organization, WildEarth Guardians, saying that the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) had erred in its review process for the Colowyo coal mine near Craig in Moffat County. With entire local economies based on coal production and coal-powered plant operations, the EPA’s clean power plan may result in the loss of thousands of jobs, and put an end to Colorado’s legacy as a coal-producing state.
 
Coloradoan: Let’s advocate for stronger safeguards
The Leagues of Women Voters of Larimer County and of Colorado have made extensive study of hydraulic fracturing in the past four years. Although fracturing has been around for decades, hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling only began in 1999. Intensive drilling for natural gas and oil started in the North Front Range in 2009 as a way toward national energy independence.
 
Colorado IndependentColoradans get ready for the Clean Power Plan
On Monday, the Obama administration and the Environmental Protection Agency are expected to finalize new clean air rules that environmentalists say will be a major step toward reducing global warming.
 
Public News Service: Push to ban HF in Mich. gains steam
Michiganders could have the chance to decide whether or not hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, should be legal in the state, if activists are able to collect enough signatures in the coming months.
 
Texas Tribune: Utilities Hope Texas Plays Ball on Clean Air Plan
President Obama is set to unveil the nitty-gritty of his sweeping, state-by-state plan to fight climate change Monday — his most determined effort yet to tackle the effects of global warming by reshaping the nation’s power sector.
 
Fuel Fix: Eagle Ford Shale tops Texas list of top crude, gas producers
Communities in the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas topped the state’s list of the top oil- and natural gas-producing counties in June, according to data released this week by the Texas Railroad Commission. Karnes County continues to pump more crude oil than any other county, with nearly 6.8 million barrels produced in June.
 
Midland Reporter-Telegram: New testing, measurement facility helps producers maximize value
In the current low oil price environment, oil and gas operators are looking to squeeze every cent out of their production, down to its very molecules.
 
San Antonio Express-NewsMexico’s need for pipelines luring Texas companies
San Antonio businessman Mike Howard began getting calls from old business partners south of the border soon after he set out to start his own pipeline company. Howard purchased a network of pipelines moving natural gas from South Texas’ Eagle Ford wells in 2011. Mexican businessmen, who knew Howard from his past job at a major energy infrastructure company, encouraged him to try to extend his network south of the border.
 
Morning Journal News: Shale play maintains a presence in state
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources reported five new horizontal drilling permits were issued in the Utica/Point Pleasant for the week ending July 25. There were four permits issued in Monroe County, all to Gulfport Energy Corp. for Washington Township and one in Carroll County to Chesapeake Exploration LLC in Orange Township. All five wells are in the permit stage.
 
Columbus Business First: Ohio's Harrison County 'truly the sweet spot' of Utica shale, Hess president says
Hess Corp. isn't do much drilling in eastern Ohio. But where it is – Harrison County – is prime real estate, President Greg Hill says. "We're going to continue in Harrison County and why do we do that? Because that's truly the sweet spot of the play," he told stock analysts Thursday when discussing the New York-based company's second-quarter earnings.
 
The Virginian-PilotCongress makes the wrong move on coal ash rules
Like everything else in Washington, clean water and soil - which in a saner time Republicans and Democrats unified to support - now reflect the city's reflexive, destructive partisan divide.
 
Philadelphia Inquirer: Severance tax on gas drillers makes sense for Pa.
If you have been following the political question of whether Pennsylvania should pass an extraction tax on natural-gas wells, here are five things to keep in mind.
 
The Times Leader: Pa.’s natural gas industry has caused a ripple effect of job creation
Three years ago, Tim Schoen was a sports reporter intern covering Penn State football games for the Altoona Mirror and on track to become a journalist. Today, Schoen is one of the thousands of Pennsylvanians employed in a job created indirectly by the Commonwealth’s developing natural gas industry.
 
Scranton Times-Tribune: Drilling for political cash brings gusher
The vast flow of natural gas out of the Pennsylvania ground has produced a trickle of public revenue relative to the value of the gas.
 
New York Post: Man sues accountant after losing property with HF revenue
A Broadway producer who says cash gives him the creeps claims he lost a Pennsylvania property, and its fracking rights worth a fortune, because his longtime accountant failed to pay taxes on the land. Chapman Roberts, a Broadway “composer, producer, and orchestrator of musical and theater shows” says he has a “phobia about handling money,” and relied on his CPA, Pierre Faustin, to manage his business affairs, file his taxes and pay bills, he contends.

 

8-2-15

02 August 2015 4:06am

 
 
Energy East pipeline will cost more than $12 billion, TransCanada says
For two thirds of the way, TransCanada aims to convert an underused natural gaspipeline and then build all new pipe through Quebeck and....
 

8-1-15 Navarre Gears Up For LNG

01 August 2015 4:11am

Petroleum News, by Steve Quinn.  Mike Navarre has two years to help the Kenai Peninsula Borough find its place and role in the prospective AKLNG project. The Democratic mayor understands those limits, yet he says he doesn’t want the borough to be caught off guard if the project gets under way when thousands of new workers descend....

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7-31-15

31 July 2015 1:26pm

Petroleum News by Alan Bailey.  A July 17 application by BP to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission for amendments to area injection orders for the Prudhoe Bay field marks a critical step toward the possibility of building a major gas pipeline for the export of natural gas from the North Slope. The application requests approval for an increase in the maximum amount of gas that can be withdrawn from the field and approval to inject additional carbon dioxide into the field reservoir.

Although huge quantities of natural gas have been produced from the Prudhoe Bay field along with oil over the years, most of that gas has been ....  (More)

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7-30-15 Murkowski's Senate Energy Committee Votes to Lift Crude Export Ban and Allow State OCS Revenue Sharing

30 July 2015 6:02pm

Overnight Energy & Environment

TONIGHT: YOU READ IT HERE FIRST!

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed major bills Thursday on lifting the crude oil export ban and its broad energy package.

The oil export bill would also increase offshore drilling and provide revenue sharing for neighboring states. It passed 12-10, along party lines.

"It's the result of collaborative efforts by members of this committee to boost offshore development, allow revenue sharing for coastal producing states and lift the outdated ban on crude exports," Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), chairwoman of the panel, said of the export and offshore drilling measure.

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7-29-15 EPA Continues To Amass Federal Power At Expense of Citizen Freedom

29 July 2015 1:28pm

 
Rebecca Logan, Alaska Support Industry Alliance, Waters of the United States, WOTUS, E&E News, Photo by Dave HarbourFrom our friend, Rebecca Logan (NGP Photo), General Manager, Alaska Support Industry Alliance:  
 
The new EPA rule on Waters of the United States (WOTUS) is perhaps the most critical issuing facing us today.  The article below gives a great perspective on why so many are concerned about the rule, and the rule-making process. 


Rebecca Logan
General Manager
Alaska Support Industry Alliance

Senator Lisa Murkowski, energy policy, Photo by Dave Harbour U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, (NGP Photo), today convened the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to continue consideration of the bipartisan Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015 with discussion on 20 additional amendments to the bill. In total, the committee has worked through 45 of the 94 amendments filed to the bipartisan legislation since the markup process began on Tuesday.

WATER POLICY:

Critics of new rule say Army Corps memos prove their case
Annie Snider, E&E reporter
Published: Tuesday, July 28, 2015
This story was updated at 9:31 a.m. EDT.
 
Congressional opponents of the Obama administration's water rule are arguing that newly revealed memos critical of the regulation from the country's on-the-ground experts at the Army Corps of Engineers confirm their argument that the rule is fatally flawed.
 
"While interspersed with staff recommendations and legal conclusions that I understand you wish to keep confidential and hidden from the American public, the facts in these documents support my conclusion, and the conclusion of the 30 states that have already filed lawsuits challenging the final [Waters of the U.S.] rule, that the rule is lacking factual, technical and legal support," Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman James Inhofe (R-Okla.) wrote to the political official who oversees the Army Corps yesterday.
 
Documents first reported by Greenwire yesterday show that leaders at the Army Corps, which is responsible for the lion's share of calls about which streams and wetlands fall under the scope of the Clean Water Act, fiercely disagreed with changes made in the final version of the U.S. EPA-Army Corps rule. At least two congressional oversight committees have also obtained copies of the memos.
 
The main thrust of the Army Corps' concerns was about new geographical limits set in the final rule that for the first time deemed some wetlands and ponds to be too far from the tributary network to warrant federal protection. But the memos also called out some changes in the final rule that the corps said went too far in claiming federal authority.
 
For instance, the corps' top environmental lawyer argued that language in the rule extending automatic protection to all wetlands and ponds within 1,500 feet of a larger covered water if they're also in that water's floodplain was too broad. The corps contended that 300 feet would be more defensible.
 
And the memos raised questions about the special approach the final water rule has regulators take when making calls about five categories of wetlands that are often seen as being too far from the river system to be federally regulated.
 
The approach taken under the final rule -- which would have the importance of such wetlands judged not in isolation, but in combination with other similar wetlands -- could easily be struck down in court, the corps legal analysis states.
 
In his letter yesterday, Inhofe used some of these newly revealed concerns from the corps to reiterate requests for information about how the rule's provisions were developed.
 
The corps memos, as well as other statements from the agencies, "confirm my suspicion that the determinations that purport to support expanded jurisdiction in the final WOTUS rule were not based on the experience and expertise of the Corps," he wrote.
House Transportation and Infrastructure
 
Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Chairman Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) also requested and obtained copies of the memos from the Army Corps.
In a statement to E&E Daily yesterday, he said the documents raise major concerns about the process by which the rule was developed.
 
"This information is extremely troubling, but I have to say I am not surprised," he said. "States, local governments, and other stakeholders opposed this flawed and biased rule throughout the rulemaking process. Their input and concerns were clearly ignored by the EPA, and now we have evidence they ignored their own federal counterparts."
 
Gibbs contended that the corps was "cut out" of the process by EPA.
 
"The EPA controlled the rule-making process to get the result it wanted: the ability to maximize the federal government's regulatory power over waters, wet areas, and adjacent lands," he said. "There is too much ambiguity in the rule to give federal regulators the discretion to do whatever they want and give activists plenty of room to create havoc."
 
The memos have come to light as congressional opponents of the water rule are attempting to block it legislatively.
 
The House has already passed a stand-alone measure to kill the regulation and has approved riders to two spending bills that would block its implementation.
But the real fight is in the Senate, where opponents are scraping to get 60 votes.
 
Inhofe's Environment and Public Works Committee approved the upper chamber's lead measure to scrap the rule,S. 1140, on a party-line vote in June. It is unclear if and when it might come up for a floor vote. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) signaled his interest in the issue this week when he filed a version of that measure as an amendment to the upper chamber's highway package.
 
Reprinted from E&E with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net
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