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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


Federal Obstruction

1-29-16 Climate Change Politics Vs. Energy and Prosperity

29 January 2016 9:07am

(Note to today's email alert readers.  A good friend wrote, "Why are you 'happy' to report on these stupid events?"  We said we were being facetious but glad it inspired him to write us!  :-)  -dh)


In addition to energy-threatening national policies (Column left), citizens must always be alert to dangerous political acts that repel local investment, job creation and overall prosperity.  We would be happy to quote any political party revealing such poor energy leadership.  Today we thank one party and two news organizations for shedding light on such poor leadership that Alaskan industry investment could be, in our opinion, discouraged for years to come.  -dh

Commentary: As the week ends, we bring our readers many of the latest links dealing with climate change activism and the threat it is to natural resource development and prosperity of energy producing nations, states and provinces.  Climate change strategies have resulted in disapproval of 1) the Keystone XL pipeline, and 2) the delay or death of Shell's Alaska exploration program, and 3) blockades of a number of Canadian pipeline and energy programs, and 4) attempts to kill the consumer friendly, North American "clean coal" industry, and 5) even a 'keep it in the ground' natural gas strategy--among many others.  

Video Introduction

See our evidence and follow the money and power: is Climate Change a strategy designed to kill capitalism?  -dh

Updated Links and Commentary: ​

Tip Of the Iceberg: The Climate Change Cabal Links

More 'killing capitalism' cabal links


Some say there is "scientific consensus" that 1) climate change is harmful, and 2) man made, and 3) that hundreds of billions of dollars transferred from developed to undeveloped countries via United Nations facilitators will improve climate change metrics.  If 'scientific consensus' exists, how could the impressive list of scientists below, and many others, demonstrate how the Climate Change narrative is a hoax?  Doesn't the five step scientific method suggest that a reasonably challenged hypothesis should be reexamined?                  -dh 

Washington D.C. and Ottawa administrations are drinking climate change Kool-aid.  Based on that philosophy they govern, legislate and regulate in ways that impoverish the lifestyles of their citizens and endanger the security of their countries while redistributing domestic wealth and power to foreigners.
Indeed, the Enviro-Industrial-Governmental Cabal has even recruited a number of oil companies into its devious plot to redistribute income and power at the expense of energy companies and their consumers. 
All we ask is that Northern Gas Pipelines' cadre of critical thinkers review these links and increase their specific knowledge of an ideology that cannot "save the earth", but which can certainly kill capitalism, freedom and their cherished culture.                -dh

Video Introduction:
Professor Ian Plimer, author of one of the most comprehensive books on climate change, addresses  the global-warming/climate-change narrative in this 15-minute video (Upper right column).
The video enables viewers to judge the validity of the climate-change, alarmist message simply by applying some common sense, critical thinking.
Professor Plimer gives us the reason why we must denounce projects to capture and store carbon dioxide (“CO2”) and projects conducted in an attempt to accelerate the natural sequestration of CO2.
Recognizing CO2's role in greening the planet, it would be reasonable to conclude that such projects could conceivably give mankind the power to transform the planet into a desert.
Furthermore, the history of the planet's decreasing store of CO2 clearly reveals the absurdity of the belief that we can stabilize the planet's ever-changing climate by restricting our emissions of CO2.


The Scientific Method

If 'scientific consensus' about 'Climate Change' exists, why do the scientists below, and many others, believe it to be a hoax?  Put another way, is the claim of 'consensus' in and of itself a hoax?  

Conspiring leftists would say, "You're overreacting.  You are paranoid.  The individuals below are wing nuts."  


If Leftists, to win an argument, must call names or demonize, are they really representing a scientific perspective, the SCIENTIFIC METHOD.   No.  As Professor Plimer, suggests in the video above, scientific methodology is not much enhanced by the rather subject concept of "consensus".  

We would add a lay opinion that the science we respect is about research, study, duplication of results, testing of hypotheses, peer review, open minded willingness to explore other, more promising hypotheses.   A seeker of truth, must be prepared for a hypothesis to be found illogical, incorrect.  Anyone who refuses to reconsider reasonably questioned hypotheses, resembles a sophist more than a truth seeking scientist; don't you think?    -dh


1-24-16 Pacific Legal Foundation Update

24 January 2016 7:40am

Pacific Legal Foundation Communication, Current Cases:

Thanks Dave. I enjoy reading your NGP alerts and all of us here think about the major issues there.  Thanks for providing a great service!

You may have seen that we have two cases accepted at the Supreme Court, including a Clean Water Act challenge.  I know several years ago we had a case in Fairbanks (permafrost = wetlands) against the Corps of Engineers.  In Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes, we represent a Minnesota peat mining business that has been raked over the coals by the Corps.  The feds issued a jurisdictional determination that they control the property. The legal issue in play for justices --- whether a property owner can directly challenge government in court when regulators label property as wetlands, subject to federal oversight.

Here’s our news release….





Robert L. Krauter

Chief Communications Officer

Pacific Legal Foundation

930 G Street

Sacramento, CA 95814

(916) 503-9032


1-23-16 Lisa Murkowski On Energy Policy - Sarah Palin On The Donald - DiCaprio And Trudeau

23 January 2016 9:38am

Robert Dillon, Senate Energy Committee, Communications Director, Photo by Dave HarbourYesterday was Robert Dillon's (NGP Photo) last day of service to Senator Lisa Murkowski's Senate Energy Committee.  He was thoughtful enough to share his news with regular correspondents and we pass it on, here, for some of you who know Robert well and wish to remain in touch with him.  (Other Murkowski staff changes noted here at APM.)  -dh

Senator Lisa Murkowski, Radio address, Photo by Dave HarbourWASHINGTON, D.C.In the Weekly Republican Address, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, discusses the Energy Policy Modernization Act, the first broad bipartisan energy legislation to be considered by the Senate since 2007

Trudeau, DiCaprio face-off over energy industry comments.  Calgary Herald.
Trudeau has promised significant action to reduce greenhouse gas ... the environmental efforts will break down resistance to new pipeline projects, ...
Sarah Palin, Copyright Dave Harbour 2008, Permission - 907-227-7110, Donald TrumpAn Alaskan's View of Palin's Trump Endorsement.  I was moderately surprised that Sarah Palin made an endorsement at all, but not ... way he was dealing with the oil companies and the proposed gas pipeline. ... As for the income tax, Alaska's state government is mostly funded by oil ... Not in any way Sarah Palin's fault, but her response was to blame PTSD ...

This bill ‘will help America produce more energy,’ Senator Murkowski says, ‘It will help Americans pay less for energy. And it will firmly establish America as a global energy superpower.’The Weekly Republican Address is available in both audio and video format and is embargoed until 6:00 a.m. ET, Saturday, January 23. The audio of the address is available here, the video will beavailable here and you may download the addresshere. A full transcript of the address follows: 


“Hi, I’m Lisa Murkowski. 


“I’m proud to represent the great state of Alaska in the U.S. Senate, where I serve as Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.


“And I’m pleased that just days from now, the Senate will consider broad energy legislation. 


“Following the passage of a highway bill, education reform, and many others, the energy bill promises to be our next bipartisan accomplishment on behalf of the American people. 


“It will also be the first major energy legislation considered on the Senate floor since 2007.


“It’s been over eight years, folks.


“Back then, we were living in an era of energy scarcity, with many afraid that America was running out of resources. 


“But since then, an energy revolution has occurred in our country.


“Newer technologies have allowed oil and natural gas production to soar on state and private lands, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.   


“On top of that, the cost of many other technologies – from solar panels to batteries for electric vehicles – has declined dramatically. 


“Unfortunately, the passage of time has also brought new challenges. 


“Our infrastructure continues to age. 


“Access restrictions, permitting delays, and other bureaucratic hurdles are sapping the competitiveness of our energy sector.  


“And President Obama has ignored the good work going on in Congress as he attempts to unilaterally recast our nation’s energy policy.      


“His gauntlet of burdensome regulations, many just beginning to take effect, threatens the affordability and reliability of our energy. 


“His policies are shutting down energy-rich states like Alaska.


“He rejected the Keystone XL pipeline on political grounds. 


“And then his administration imposed a moratorium on federal coal leasing. 


“Decisions like those cost us jobs.  They weaken our growth.  And they strengthen some of the world’s worst actors, at the expense of hard-working Americans. 


“There is a better path for our energy policy.  And under Republican leadership, Congress is taking it.


“While the President lifted sanctions on Iran, letting the regime sell its oil into global markets, we ensured American producers can do the same by repealing an outdated export ban that applied to the United States.


“Instead of standing in the way of new infrastructure, members of both parties have supported it. 


“And instead of relying on burdensome mandates and regulations, many of us have chosen to promote innovation.   


“But our work is hardly finished.  In order to truly protect our nation, we must do more to update our energy policies.


“That’s why I worked with my colleagues on the Energy Committee to develop a broad, bipartisan bill.


“It will help America produce more energy.  It will help Americans pay less for energy.  And it will firmly establish America as a global energy superpower.    


“We agreed to expedite liquefied natural gas exports to boost our economy and the security of our allies.


“We agreed to bolster our mineral security so that we don’t have to rely on foreign countries for the raw materials needed for everything from smart phones to military assets.


“We agreed to promote hydropower – not to mention geothermal and other clean, renewable resources.  


“We focused on innovation and efficiency – both of which lead us to a brighter energy future.


“We started to tackle permitting reform. 


“And we agreed to increase government accountability, and took steps to prevent another Solyndra.


“We did this by working together.  And our bill – the Energy Policy Modernization Act – passed our committee with strong bipartisan support. 


“It is our latest contribution to a better energy policy for the United States.  It is our latest effort to restore regular order.  And it will be on the floor, on the Senate floor, starting this week. 


“Thank you for listening.”


Today marks the end of my seven years serving as communications director for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and as spokesman for Chairman Lisa Murkowski. As I make my exit – in a snowstorm, no less – I wanted to take this opportunity to simply say thank you. I can’t thank you all enough for the kindness and generosity you’ve shown me over the past seven years. I feel blessed not only to have been a member of such a dedicated and talented staff, but to also have had the opportunity to get to know so many of you. 
I am leaving you in the capable hands of Deputy Communications Director Michael Tadeo. Michael can be reached at Michael_Tadeo@energy.senate.gov or (202) 224 5810
As for me, I’m not going far so please stay in touch. I am heading over to the DC office of the public policy and communications firm Strategies 360 starting Monday– unless it’s a snow day, of course. I will be just down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol so please stay in touch. My new work email is robertd@strategies360.com. My personal email is dillon@radillon.com and my mobile is (202) 288 7207
One final word of advice from an old Alaskan – Don’t fight the weather; just go out and enjoy the snow. But whatever you do – avoid the Beltway!

1-20-16 Supreme Court Hears John Sturgeon's Case Today

20 January 2016 11:32am

Supreme Court Hears John Sturgeon's Case Today

Arlon Tussing, Arctic Gas, NEB, Permanent Fund, Alcan, Marathon, Photo: Copyright Dave Harbour 2012, Photo: all rights reserved, Dermot Cole biographyWe just learned today of the passing of our longtime friend: Arlon Tussing (NGP Photo).  We thank Dermot Cole for his thoughtful biography and offer a few comments of our own, here.  -dh

Juneau Empire by James Brooks.  The state’s budget crisis​...

Here is our position on what adults owe the coming generations.  

We mention it here, because all policies of oil producing U.S. States and Canadian Provinces revolve around energy production and consumption.

...and, because we detest intergenerational enequity!                -dh

... isn’t a laughing matter, but a new group is trying to inject a little humor into the issue. For Our Alaska, which launched a Kickstarter fundraiser Monday, the goal is to reach younger Alaskans who might not initially care about arcane financial matters in Juneau.

The group is hoping to raise $10,000 to produce videos and a “Budget Balancing Game” to be distributed across the state. The project can be seen online at   https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ouralaska/funding-alaska


​Juneau Empire by Elizabeth Earl.  With the annual lease sale approaching and the Alaska LNG Project proposed to enter Cook Inlet, some groups are asking what oil and gas development may do to beluga whale habitat in the inlet.   

Today, our Joe Balash, John Sturgeon, U.S. Supreme Court, Photo by Dave HarbourWashington / Alaska friend, Joe Balash (NGP Photo) posted this very current Supreme Court report on his personal FB page, for which we are grateful:  "Joe BalashI didn't make it in until half way through the arguments .... the feedback I received, though, was that Matt Findley did a great job. Nearly the entire time was spent on the word "solely". When the NPS lawyer stepped up, it was pretty brutal. I think it is pretty clear that the court will strike the 9th Circuit's reasoning but it is unclear whether they will recognize any of the other arguments offered."

ADN by Erica Martinson. (See our commentary and links posted yesterday.

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a case Wednesday questioning whether the federal government has authority over navigable waters in Alaska's national parks -- a case brought by a moose hunter barred from using his hovercraft by the National Park Service.

The case is largely specific to Alaska, where the moose hunter in question -- John Sturgeon (NGP Photo) -- argues that a provision the 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act gives authority to the state to set the rules for waters in national parks. 

Sturgeon used his hovercraft on annual moose hunts in the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve for more than 15 years before he was stopped by three National Park Service employees in 2007 and told ....     


At one time (circa. 2001), we wrote this about Tussing: 

Educator, author, lecturer & consultant: Arlon R. Tussing, PhD. is an economic and policy analyst in the fields of energy, public utili­ties, the en­vironment, natural resources, national and regional economic development, and corporate and government finance.  You will see from his extensive bibliography that he is a prolific economic advisor, whose counsel--it may be easily presumed--has significantly affected history.  Click here for the bibliography, which we asked him to prepare for our original Northern Gas Pipelines website.  Send Northern Gas Pipelines a request here, for his resume and several important papers on northern gas pipeline issues.


1-19-16 Alaska Legislative Session Begins Today Amid Financial Crisis

19 January 2016 10:53am

John Sturgeon, Alaska Patriot, timber, supreme court, land access, hovercraft, Photo by Dave HarbourJohn Sturgeon (NGP Photo), Alaska patriot, seeks justice from the Supreme Court of the United States.


See Additional Alaska Headlamp Coverage Of Some Items Below

Of course, the price of oil and gas directly affects our energy constituencies in Alaska and Western Canada.  Here, our anonymous mid Atlantic energy consultant comments on yesterday's WSJ story 

Anchorage Daily Planet/News Miner, by Max Buxton.  

Misc. Comment: A friend of the Legislature tells us this morning that, "We think the governor has released his oil tax credit cut plan quietly and privately...but, in any case it won't get read across until tomorrow when the legislature is in session."

John Sturgeon, US Supreme Court, Hovercraft, Alaska access, timber, natural resources, ANILCA, Photo by Dave HarbourNot neglecting our seven years of Federal Overreach commentary, we celebrate the tireless lifetime of John Sturgeon's effort to support sustainable natural resource development in Alaska, consistent with the state's compact with the federal government.  

Here is the latest in his saga to defend Alaska's access to lands within its borders.  

A moose-hunter and his hovercraft tell the Supreme Court Alaska is different.                            -dh

Today is the first of what is expected to be at the very least 90 days of legislative action focused almost singularly on improving Alaska’s financial situation.

It can be near-impossible to stay up-to-date on the many twists and turns of the Legislature — even in a normal session — but with taxes, fundamental changes to the Permanent Fund and cuts to state operations, it’ll be more important than ever.

With the Senate set to gavel in at 11 a.m. and the House set to gavel in at 1 p.m., here’s a guide to keeping up with Juneau.

Straight from the source

Short of booking a constituent ticket to Juneau to see it in person, one of the best ways to keep up with the session is to watch Gavel Alaska’s exhaustive video coverage of the session.   (Full story here....)


Here is commentary, by our anonymous, Mid Atlantic energy consultant friend on this WSJ article by Mark Mills: After the Carnage, Shale Will Rise Again


BIO: Mark P. Mills is CEO of the Digital Power Group, an energy-tech consultancy and capital advisory.  He is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and a Faculty Fellow at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University.  He is as well a member of the Advisory Board of the Notre Dame Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Values.  He was formerly the co-founder and chief tech strategist for Digital Power Capital, a boutique venture fund, where co-founded and served as Chairman and CTO of ICx Technologies helping take it public in a 2007 IPO (later purchased by FLIR), and in addition served on numerous Boards, including as Chairman (and an interim CEO) of a lithium battery start-up.

He writes the Energy Intelligence column for Forbes and is co-author of the book, “The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, the Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy”

Note that the last book, ”The Bottomless Well” includes the notion “Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy” as its title. It is a maddening book, because one can read without ever knowing the logic that Mills was following. That is because the assumptions were included in the Foreword to the book (whoever reads the Foreword?).

In any event, Mills is very much an outside-the-box thinker, and usually very good at it. Few people will agree with everything he writes. However, he will make the reader think, and many people can be persuaded to agree with much of his analysis.

So it is with this piece. He is on a roll, in our mind, with his thoughts until the last two paragraphs. He gives a positive message for the domestic oil production business. We will leave it to you to read his suggestion, and decide whether Washington is really ready to take a courageous, forward-thinking, long-term approach to Energy Policy for the first time in history. And we wonder why we really need the government to get involved, in any event.

Probably the best thought we took from the article is the realization that as the shale properties strive to reduce the cost of crude oil production (well under way, to use a slight pun), the OPEC countries will slide toward the other end of the scale of marginal cost. This is not because the direct costs for the are so high, but because their economies are resolutely dependent upon a price in excess of $80/barrel to function as intended. It is this change of position that will set OPEC on its path to either changing their economies or cutting production significantly.

Bottom Line: We concur with the notion that crude oil will likely find its new “balancing point” in the $38-$48 range. The next struggle to watch  is how OPEC adapts to this price range. BTW, much of the recent discussion has involved  Iranian oil being released on to the market. The Iranians suffer as much as any OPEC country at this new level. Their oil fields are old, they need lots of work, and they have higher than average decline rates for Middle East fields. In addition, Iran has to import a significant amount of its refined products.


Calgary Herald:


1-15-16 Canada and Alaska Struggle With Conflicting Forces: Prosperity and Jobs vs. Nothing

15 January 2016 2:54pm

Commentary by Dave Harbour on the eternal struggle between wealth producers and wealth takers.

Canada struggles with the need for oil revenue countered by the political pressure to subjugate everything, and everyone, to the concept of global warming (excuse us....  "climate change").  See the articles below.

Alaska struggles are also between those supporting jobs, good faith and fair dealing with antagonists like a state senator who believes that in a low crude oil price environment gasoline prices should be lower in Alaska than they are.   (See today's robust, Alaska Headlamp editorial for commentary on this and much more....)

We wonder if some of our elected officials fully understand oil marketing economics.  We certainly don't and are, therefore, slow to express opinions about oil and gas marketing economics.

We do know, however, that Alaska refiners compete with Lower 48 refiners who must add the cost of transportation north to Lower 48 prices.  Counter-intuitively, that tends to set the general price ranges in Alaska.  If Alaska refiners were to increase their prices too much above that range, outside refiners would sell even more product in the state than they now do.

(The free market works, if we'll let it; and, when we occasionally find a bad actor, there will be evidence and a trial and punishment.)

We also know that costs to operate in Alaska are higher than most Lower 48 refining areas.  And we must not neglect the reality of a 3/4 empty Trans Alaska Pipeline System.  The shippers transporting via the remaining 1/4 capacity of TAPS also have to pay the cost of the 3/4 spare capacity.  

In recent years, populist legislators have called for audits of gasoline prices, proving that local Alaska fuel prices are not unreasonable.  

It would be nice for a change if public officials would do a little homework, visit refineries, talk with economists and use a little judgment before "calling for an investigation".  

This is typical behavior, however, of some.  That hostility toward anyone connected with the state's largest benefactor-investors does nothing to encourage more investment in oil, or gas, pipelines, or LNG export projects.  

In fact, hostility by elected leaders injects more uncertainty into Alaska as an investment destination.  

Let's think twice before making the statement ring truer and truer, that "Alaska is sometimes its own worst enemy."    -dh

Yeaaaa for the Calgary Herald Editorial Board!  dh

It would be tempting to crack a smile at Environment Minister Shannon Phillips’ speech to a Calgary oil and gas summit if the remarks weren’t so sad.

The NDP minister told the crowd that the government’s controversial climate change plan is essential, but — wait — she hopes it won’t be permanent. People have heard this sort of thing before. One can only imagine the naivete of Canadians who were assured that the imposition of income tax in 1917, to fund the First World War effort, was also only a temporary measure.

Phillips underestimates the intelligence of Albertans if she thinks (more....)

CBC.  Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr of Manitoba acknowledges there's considerable urgency to building new Canadian pipeline capacity to tidewater, even as new roadblocks continue to appear.

A B.C. Supreme Court ruling this week and discouraging signals from B.C.'s provincial government have further undermined the prospects of two proposed oil pipelines to the Pacific coast, just as Carr is taking part in intense briefings on his new portfolio in Justin Trudeau's Liberal government.

Carr's mandate includes expanding Canada's market access for oil and gas — a highly polarizing public policy debate — and his challenge comes amid a global oil glut that is cratering international prices and killing investment in Alberta's oilpatch.

The natural resources minister is also charged with re-tooling the National Energy Board (more....)

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