Petroleum News by Gary Park. Arctic Gateway, a sweeping initiative to explore ways to move oil and natural gas from Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Alaska to markets in the Asia-Pacific region, will likely be an underpinning of a standalone energy strategy being drafted in the NWT, said Industry Minister Dave Ramsay (NGP Photo).
Journal of Commerce by Tim Bradner (NGP Photo). On the Alaska LNG Project, another priority, Walker said: “We have met with — and probably again also in the next 30 days — the AK LNG sponsors. We have met with the ADGC (Alaska Gasline Development Corp.) leadership and some of the board members and some of the outgoing administration and had a debriefing with them,” Walker said in the briefing.
Calgary Herald by Mario Toneguzzi. A new RBC report says slumping oil prices will be a drag on Alberta’s economy in 2015.
Here's a rich source of information on energy regulation: The Cruthirds Report.
NAESB Board of Directors meeting – The North American Energy Standards Board held a Board of Directors meeting in Houston on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. There were 50 +/- folks in the room, as well as a large contingent on the phone. As noted in our last report, I was the featured speaker for the meeting and provided wide-ranging remarks on issues and challenges facing regulators and the industry. Topics ranged from the DOJ’s investigation of Entergy, the Georgia PSC’s $200+ million “gift” to the Southern Company’s shareholders in the Plant McIntosh affiliate abuse case, the sometimes corrosive political influence exerted by some incumbent utilities and the associated ethical challenges for regulators, and the dire need for better gas-electric process harmonization. Presentation.
The following Advanced Energy for Life article highlights the White House's illogical and harmful attack on America's Constitution. Meanwhile, keep our 2012 warning commentary in mind as you consider the nexus joining all of these overreach issues -- which provide pretext and precedent for omnibus federal control. -dh
In his Harvard days, Barack Obama studied under law professor Laurence Tribe. Perhaps the future President spent too much time at the law review and missed the part about limited powers. We say that because Professor Tribe delivered a constitutional rebuke this week to the Obama Administration that is remarkable coming from a titan of the liberal professoriate.
Mr. Tribe joined with the world’s largest private coal company, Peabody Energy, to criticize the “executive overreach” of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants. In joint comments filed with the EPA, the professor accuses the agency of abusing statutory law, violating the Constitution’s Article I, Article II, the separation of powers, the Tenth and Fifth Amendments, and in general displaying contempt for the law.
As Obama Champions Carbon Tax In Low Price Oil Era, Harper Turns Away From Carbon Taxing. (Note that in the same timeframe, the White House is illogically killing the Keystone XL project that would provide economic stimulus to both the U.S. and Canada. -dh)
Calgary Herald, by Stephen Ewart.
Sure it’s “crazy” talk, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper is actually being up front about his assessment of climate policy and the oil industry.
Agree with Harper or not, it’s a change from his government’s long history of over-promising and under-delivering on environmental policies and Canada’s global commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However blunt, the prime minister is being unusually honest.
He’s clearly backing away from earlier — always improbable — climate rhetoric.
With the oil price free fall threatening the $60 US threshold, Harper told the House of Commons this week he has no intention of imposing a carbon tax on a nationally important industry, even as Canada falls further behind GHG commitments and the next round of global climate negotiations kick off.
"Obama's Successful War on Conventional Energy Sources"
|WSJ Op-Ed by Congressman Kevin Cramer.
Pushback against the Obama administration’s complex Clean Power Plan—which would reduce carbon emissions from power plants by 30% in 2030 from 2005 levels—has mostly focused on its staggering cost. NERA Economic Consulting, for instance, estimates the plan will increase the nationwide average price of electricity 12% to 17% over 15 years. But a pair of recent reports present an even more ominous picture. Not only will electricity cost more, Americans might not be able to get it when they most need it.
The North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC), a regulatory authority that monitors the U.S. and Canadian power systems, released a study on Nov. 12 concluding that the long-term reliability of the U.S. grid in some areas is already at risk. Because of rapid shifts to renewable and natural-gas generation, combined with closures of coal-fueled power plants due to existing Environmental Protection Agency regulations, “reserve margins” in the Midwest, New York and Texas have reached dangerously low levels—meaning an increased likelihood of brownouts and blackouts in the coldest weeks of winter and the hottest days of summer.
We've chastised President Obama many times for failing to live up to promises he made when running for the office. So in fairness, we want to credit him for fulfilling one of them: his pledge to raise energy costs.
In early 2008, candidate Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle that "under my plan ... electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket."
Obama was referring to his plan to cap greenhouse-gas emissions, which would, among other things, effectively choke off coal as an energy source. He was just as fond of high gasoline prices, telling CNBC in June 2008 — as gas prices shot up to $4 a gallon — that he "would have preferred a gradual adjustment."
Six years later, and Obama has succeeded.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the energy price index has been higher than the overall Consumer Price Index since December 2010 — 46 straight months and counting.
Why the big reversal? Despite Obama's alleged "all of the above" energy policy, he's declared virtual war on conventional energy sources.
The Ambler road. The Juneau road. The Knik Arm bridge. The Susitna Dam. The Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline (ASAP), known colloquially as the “bullet line.” The large-diameter natural gas pipeline.
Alaska has no shortage of capital-intensive megaprojects in the works, but now the state is scrambling to find funds to cover the basic needs for state operating expenses. As oil prices continue to dip, the fortunes of Alaska’s megaprojects are waning precipitously.
SCROLL UP TO 12-12-14 FOR MORE ON THE SUBJECT OF WHITE HOUSE OVERREACHING AUTHORITY
|"Energy East Pipeline is Good For All of Canada." Editorial Board, Calgary Herald|
CBC News. Ontario's concerns about the proposed Energy East pipeline narrowed considerably following a meeting today between Premiers Kathleen Wynne and Jim Prentice of Alberta.
- Energy East, Alberta's Jim Prentice goes pipeline wooing
- Energy East pipeline 'advocates' targeted by TransCanada PR
- Saskatchewan premier concerned about Ontario, Quebec position on Energy East
Ontario and Quebec set out seven principles for the $12-billion pipeline project, which would carry western crude to refineries in eastern Canada, the most notable relating to the potential impact on the environment.
Bipartisan agreement has been reached on the natural resources provisions that will be included within this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The House-Senate agreement supports American job creation and economic growth through a balanced approach to improve the management of our public lands and natural resources while protecting treasured areas.
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo) this week announced a bipartisan and bicameral agreement to advance a package of lands bills focused on expanding economic opportunities in Alaska and other Western states and will be included within the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
“I am pleased that after weeks of negotiations, we have reached a bipartisan and bicameral agreement to advance this series of public lands bills,” Murkowski said. “We have worked hard to develop a balanced package that will increase resource production and provide new economic opportunities for western communities.”
For multiple Congresses, the NDAA has included provisions within the jurisdiction of the House Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee. This year’s provisions are included in Title 30 of NDAA, with the multiple sections reflecting individual bills, each of which has been subject to public review in the House or Senate, and the majority have already passed the House or Senate.
The bills in the agreement will create thousands of American jobs, cut red-tape to energy production on federal lands, boost American mineral production, protect multiple-use and public recreation on federal lands, convey over 100,000 acres of federal land for job-creating economic and community development, protect treasured lands through the measured establishment of locally-supported parks and wilderness areas, and provide new means to enhance private dollars to support America’s National Parks.
“As it has traditionally done, this year’s annual national defense bill contains natural resources provisions that are the result of a bipartisan agreement. Of great importance to the House is the inclusion of long-standing priorities and House-passed bills that have languished in the Senate. The agreement offers a balanced approach to public lands management, providing opportunities for new job creation and energy and mineral production, while simultaneously protecting special areas,” said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (NGP Photo).
Key highlights include:
Expanding American Energy & Mineral Production
- Boosts new oil and natural gas production on federal lands by reducing permit delays, providing regulatory certainty to American job creators, preventing the Obama Administration from increasing costs, and extending a successful pilot program that helps the Bureau of Land Management deal with a backlog of drilling permit applications.
- Responsibly facilitates several proposed mineral development projects, which includes allowing for opening up the third largest undeveloped copper resource in the world – supporting nearly 3,700 American jobs, creating $61.4 billion in total economic impact, generating nearly $20 billion in federal, state, county and local tax revenue, and producing enough copper to meet 25 percent of current U.S. demand.
Protecting Jobs and Multiple-Use of Federal Lands
- Reduces grazing permit backlogs and adds needed certainty to America’s ranching community.
- Updates fee structure to provide predictable, fair rates so families are not forced to tear down cabins they own in national forests.
Balancing Conservation Designations with Federal Land Conveyances
- Provides for over 110,000 acres of land to be conveyed out of federal ownership – to be utilized for economic development (including mineral production, timber production, infrastructure projects) and community development (ie, local cemetery, shooting range).
- Supports America’s National Parks by providing new means of enhancing private funding (through donor recognition and the issuance of a commemorative coin to recognize the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016) and by designating a select number of new park units that have strong local support.
- Designates approximately 245,000 acres of wilderness in specific areas with strong local and Congressional support. Nearly half of those acres are already managed as if it were wilderness due to its current status as a roadless or wilderness study area.
- Releases 26,000 acres of current wilderness study areas to multiple use.
- Protects private property owners by ensuring that no private property can be condemned.
ADN by Alex DeMarban. Gov.-elect Bill Walker (NGP Photo) on Monday began the thorny task of meeting with officials from the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., an entity he targeted during his campaign as ripe for cuts, with its high salaries and the state's dueling gas pipeline projects.
Western Canadian pipelines may be looking better but they, Keystone XL and Energy East still have their challenges. -dh
Three proposed multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas projects in northern B.C. have been awarded the environmental green light by the provincial government. The ministries of Environment and Natural Gas Development have now issued environmental assessment certificates for two pipelines and one export facility.
TODAY's Consumer Energy Alliance Energy Links:
New York Times: Its Grip on Oil Weakening, OPEC Will Meet on Prices
As oil prices continue to plummet, the once-dominant international cartel of producers is losing its sway over the global energy markets.
Reuters: U.S. House to hold hearing on oil export ban
A House of Representatives panel will hold a hearing on Dec. 11 to explore whether a decades-old law that prohibits the export of crude oil makes sense in an era of domestic energy abundance.
The Washington Times: Falling energy prices could cloud U.S. production boom: IEA
Falling global oil prices may be good for consumers, but pose new challenges for America’s producers, according to a new global energy survey issued this week by the International Energy Agency.
Oil & Gas Journal: EPA air proposals should recognize progress, API official says
The US Environmental Protection Agency should recognize progress that is continuing before it considers imposing costly new air quality requirements, an American Petroleum Institute official suggested.
The Wall Street Journal: What’s Wrong With Oil Transport by Rail
I recently sat down to dinner with a group of high-level agricultural sector leaders in Minnesota. Again and again, the conversation turned to an issue that’s at the forefront of these business leaders’ minds: the fact that railcars carrying crude oil are displacing cars carrying agricultural goods, resulting in massive delays in shipments of hundreds of pounds of food.
Pittsburgh Business Times: Shale wells become leading source of natural gas
Shale gas wells accounted for more natural gas production than any other type of well in 2013, marking the first year that has happened, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Washington Post: O’Malley report confirms that HF can be done “safely”
Outgoing Gov. Martin O’Malley says he is ready to allow drilling for natural gas in Western Maryland, but only if energy companies adhere to some of the most restrictive public health and environmental safeguards in the country.
Houston Chronicle: Oil price slump to force spending cuts, Moody’s says
As crude continues to slump with no end in sight, Moody’s Investors Services predicted that oil companies will slash their capital budgets 20 percent next year and possibly more if weak prices persist.
New York Times: A Potent, Overlooked Greenhouse Gas
Although methane emissions are also produced by landfills and agricultural operations, the easiest to control are the methane leaks that occur in the drilling and transmission of natural gas and, to a lesser extent, oil. These emissions are expected to rise substantially as industry continues to exploit old and new natural gas deposits through the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing.
Politico Pro Morning Energy: Industry Group Seeks To Toss Fourth Colorado Shale Ban
The Colorado Oil and Gas Association is going after the last voter-approved fracking ban that passed in the last few years, asking a state judge on Monday to invalidate a ban blocking fracking in Broomfield, a Denver suburb home to about 59,000.
Daily Camera: Boulder commissioners extend moratorium
Boulder County commissioners have officially extended the county's temporary moratorium on accepting new oil and gas development applications until July 1, 2018.On Tuesday morning, Commissioners Deb Gardner and Elise Jones adopted a resolution that follows the 3 ½ -year moratorium-continuation decision they and Commissioner Cindy Domenico made on Nov. 13.
State Journal-Register: State begins accepting shale applications
Companies can begin filing for hydraulic fracturing permits in Illinois, though it remains uncertain how soon the hotly debated oil and gas production technique might begin. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has posted permit applications online, spokesman Chris Young said Tuesday. Companies must register with the department 30 days prior to submitting the application.
Bismarck Tribune: State officials denounce New York Times report
State officials Tuesday denounced a months-long investigative report conducted by the New York Times that ran last weekend as being an inaccurate portrayal of how state has regulated the oil and gas industry in recent years.
NPR: Most natural gas now comes from shale
Most of the natural gas in the United States now comes from shale gas wells, according to information released today by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Seven years ago, shale made up just 8 percent of the overall gas production for the United States, but last year it accounted for 79 percent of production.
The Journal: Is the shale boom in Virginia in for a bust?
There is no business quite as boom and bust as the oil and gas industry. A trend develops, high prices seem to be the wave of the future, massive investments are made, and then oops, things change and for a little while at least it’s a bust. This has happened so many times that it’s possible to lose count.
Houston Chronicle: Lone Star College building 'rig' to train workers
On 18-acres of an old oilfield near Tomball, construction workers will soon begin to build a new rig, but they're not trying to strike oil. Instead, the steel tower and platforms will be the newest classroom of sorts of the Lone Star College system's oil- and gas- drilling training program, providing a hands-on experience for would-be roustabouts to hone their skills in darkness, rain and heat.
Texas Tribune: College Voters to Blame for Denton Ban
Did college students tilt the outcome of Denton’s vote to ban hydraulic fracturing? That question has stirred debate since the city – home to the University of North Texas and Texas Woman's University – became the first in Texas to ban the oilfield technique that sparked a drilling boom and spawned tension in some urban areas.
Dallas Morning News: Signs emerge that Texas oil boom could be slowing
The drilling boom that has resurrected Texas’ oil industry is showing signs of slowing down. In West Texas, where a new generation of wildcatters has turned Midland into a boomtown again, drillers are starting to pull back from marginal areas where prospects are less certain.
SNL: Lacking production, Mexico to be dependent on US gas for years, ex-official says
According to a former Mexican government official, the refusal of the state-run PEMEX Gas y Petroquímica to invest in natural gas drilling will make the country dependent on gas imports from the U.S. for a considerable time.
US Thanksgiving 2014: Americans Thankful For Plenty Should Be Thankful To Their Creator and Their Devout Predecessors! After reviewing thanksgiving devotions of America's presidents (Below) -- and considering today's challengs -- can we afford to be less devout? -dh
2. Abraham Lincoln's First Thanksgiving Day Proclamation This is the proclamation which set the precedent for America's national day of ... George Washington was the first president to proclaim a day of thanksgiving....
Drilling forecast calls for 10% activity decline in 2015
By Dan Healing, Calgary Herald November 20, 2014 ... 10 per cent decline in drilling activity in 2015 due to delays in takeaway pipeline construction, ...
Yahoo News. Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell (NGP Photo) conceded the gubernatorial race Saturday, issuing a statement a day after independent challenger Bill Walker (NGP Photo) was declared the winner.
Washington, D.C.; November 11, 2014: This week, Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) filed formal comments in opposition to a proposed new definition of the “waters of the United States” that are subject to federal regulation. PLF argues that the new rule, devised by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers, defines Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction so broadly that it could lead to practically unlimited expansion of federal control over property nationwide — going far beyond the boundaries on federal power that have been laid down by the U.S. Supreme Court.