Our Instinct: Conservatives Must Seize Opportunity To Save Alaska's Economy
|We admire Senator Lisa Murkowski's vigilance on Arctic exploration issues -- and the initiative of her committee's Communication Director, Robert Dillon. See TODAY'S COMMUNICATION AND VIDEO HERE.|
Many moons will come before Shell Oil and other producers, under the most agreeable circumstances, can find and commercially produce oil and natural gas from Alaska's Arctic reservoirs in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.
Any Arctic discovery and production may not likely come in time to ameliorate diminishing Alaska production that funds 90% of state government and over 1/3 of the state economy.
The impressive but modestly increased production within the onshore National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) is clouded by the Bureau of Land Management's decision to lock up half of its remaining potential and continuous/agenda driven EPA and Corps of Engineers efforts to deny and/or delay permits.
The federal bureaucracy opposes the 1980 intent of Congress and is acting illegally to manage a Refuge like a Wilderness. The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) re-categorized the Arctic National Wildlife Range (into a more restrictive "refuge"), but allowed a future Congress to approve oil exploration and production in a small sliver of the coastal plain of ANWR.
We know that even existing, high cost projects can be lost overnight with imposition of new or increased taxes.
Meanwhile, Alaska's North Slope oil production continues its slide downward exacerbating negative impact on Alaska state government revenue during this low oil price era.
This week we observe that (below) the Governor's reaction to an austere budget is not using his bully pulpit to convince democrats to join the republicans in voting to access billions stored in the 'Constitutional Budget Reserve' (CBR) savings account to balance the budget.
Instead, he is joining the democrats, browbeating the republican leadership to agree to increasing democrat-desired government spending as a quid pro quo to democrats agreeing on a super majority CBR vote.
Together, the Governor and democrats are pressing for more spending, not less, in today's austere fiscal environment.
And, they know exactly what they are doing. They are together trying to assemble popular support for increasing oil taxes during next year's legislative session, because 1) that would minimize the need for large spending cuts, and 2) THAT IS WHERE THE MONEY IS.
The problem with increasing the already high Alaska oil tax burden, is that it would discourage if not devastate oil industry investment that could otherwise produce a sustainable amount of future production and financial support for a moderate spending taxing authority.
Our instincts all point to the need for more effective communication.
Conservatives better become better communicators if they hope to explain why their tough approach on the budget is best for Alaska now and for future generations.
They could start by requesting editorial board meetings and giving reporters their personal cell phone numbers.
If they don't quit dodging reporters and don't become superior communicators quickly they will find that the current name calling will escalate. The Governor and democrats will likely initiate a summer program of constituent meetings around the state. They will probably ask folks how they think Alaska will solve its fiscal shortfalls.
Renewed demonization of industry and the legislature's republican leadership can easily be reignited; as could a new voters referendum.
And community organizers can produce crowds for constituent meetings and listening sessions that will demand, "Increase oil taxes"!!!!
Compelling conservative spokesmen need to articulate -- soon and often -- the wiser, approach to dealing with:
- budget shortfalls
- falling oil production
- bloated, unaffordable state budgets
- Federal government overreaching authority
- The future of Alaska's children.
But making silk purses out of sows ears requires a miracle. Our instinct further advises us that it is unlikely the republicans will successfully make the case for tax stability and fiscal restraint. If they wanted to or had the ability to, they would have been doing so every day and twice on Sunday for the last month.
While there are several very noteworthy exceptions, as a group the republican legislators are uncharismatic, unenergetic, unimaginative, uncompetive and rely on demographic majorities for reelection and support.
While there are many noteworthy exceptions, their democrat opponents are aggressive, young, seek out the media, and have fire in the belly.
As a group, democrats have the further advantage, as we've said, of believing and acting on the precept that, "The end justifies the means".
Political instinct teaches that democrats see a day ahead, when with aggressive and effective communications, they can seduce the entitlement generation into putting them into power throughout Alaska...and, indeed, the country. They've already done so within Anchorage city government.
And, for republicans with memory, that will have been an opportunity mis-handled THIS YEAR and countless opportunities lost for the remnants of future generations.
|ADN, by Dermot Cole.
A state plan aimed at speeding the transition to natural gas in Fairbanks reaches a key decision point Tuesday, with the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority scheduled to consider a $54 million investment to move the project forward.
The AIDEA board, set to meet in Anchorage, is to hear a report recommending the agency buy Pentex Natural Gas Company LLC, the parent company of the Fairbanks Natural Gas utility, for $54 million, with a closing expected by the end of July. The sale price would be reduced by about $15 million through the spinoff of the company’s Point MacKenzie liquefaction plant and other assets to Hillcorp later this year.
ADN by Dermot Cole. An annual multibillion-dollar debate between oil companies and local municipalities about differences in the taxable value of the trans-Alaska pipeline resumed in Anchorage Monday.
The oil companies argue the 38-year-old pipeline is worth $2.6 billion, while the municipal governments of the North Slope, Valdez and Fairbanks say it is worth about six times that much, in large part because billions of barrels of profitable oil remain to be pumped to Valdez in the decades ahead. The state is arguing for a value three times higher than that favored by the companies.
News Miner. Gov. Bill Walker on Monday vetoed much of the underfunded operating budget sent to him by the Alaska Legislature and warned state employees that 15,000 of them could be without a job on July 1 if the Legislature can't come up a fully funded budget.
Peninsula Clarion by Phuong Le. (Note our extensive coverage by scrolling down through last week's postings. -dh)
Neither a protest by hundreds of demonstrators nor a permit violation notice from the city will halt Royal Dutch Shell's use of a Seattle seaport terminal as it prepares for exploratory oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean, spokesmen say.
The violation notice issued Monday by the Seattle Department of Planning and Development said use of Terminal 5 by a massive floating drill rig was in violation of the site's permitted use as a cargo terminal. The 400-foot Polar Pioneer and its support tug Aiviq must be removed from the terminal or Shell's host, Foss Maritime, must obtain an appropriate permit, the city indicated.
Today's Note From Robert Dillon (NGP Photo), Communication Director, U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources:
There’s been lots of misinformation out there about what the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has said about the safety of offshore Arctic development in Alaska. Let the attached fact sheet from BOEM set the record straight – it is not accurate to say there is a 75 percent chance of an oil spill from Shell’s Arctic exploration. Period.
The fact is that Alaska has a long history of safe and responsible oil and natural gas production in the Arctic. Some 35 wells have been drilled in Alaska’s Arctic waters since the 1980s. But you wouldn’t know that by listening to the opponents of oil production who claim Arctic drilling can’t be done safely. Hogwash.
To date, Alaska has produced and shipped more than 17 billion barrels of Arctic oil through the trans-Alaska oil pipeline. We’re already producing oil from federal waters at the Northstar field, which was discovered in 1984 and has produced more than 150 million barrels of oil since 2001.
And our state – with an estimated 46 billion barrels of conventional oil reserves and 430 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves – has much more to offer the nation. Studies suggest that increased leasing and development in Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas and in Cook Inlet could, by 2035, create nearly 840,000 jobs, raise more than $200 billion in revenue for the government and increase U.S. energy production by 3.5 million barrels.
Even President Obama agrees that Alaska production is good for America: “I would rather us – with all the safeguards and standards that we have – be producing our oil and gas, rather than importing it, which is bad for our people, but is also potentially purchased from places that have much lower environmental standards than we do.” – President Obama, May 14, 2015.
Our friend, Julie Hasquet offers this heads up about the upcoming luncheon of the Alaska Oil & Gas Association (AOGA).
"This annual event is the best place to learn all of the latest information, facts & figures about what is happening in Alaska’s oil and gas industry. This year’s opening remarks are from U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and the keynote speaker is Adam Sierninski, Administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The 2015 luncheon is Thursday, May 28 at 11:30 am at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage. If you haven’t already, please take the opportunity to consider buying a table for you and clients...or individual tickets. You can register at www.aoga.org.
Published this morning: our MASTER RESOURCE Op-ed: "Seattle Hearing on Shell's Arctic Rig Docking: A Clash of Visions"
UN Climate Change Chief, Christiana Figueres: Against Capitalism and Against Shell's Arctic Exploration
|Investors Business Daily. At a news conference last week in Brussels, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism.
"This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution," she said.
Politico. United Nations climate change chief Christiana Figueres on Wednesday questioned the wisdom of Shell's quest to drill in the Arctic. "There is an increasing amount of analysis that points to the fact that we will have to keep the great majority of fossil fuel reserves underground (Note: one of the talking points in several enviro presentations in Seattle on Tuesday. -dh), and there’s increasing amount of analysis that points to the increased danger ... of high-cost carbon investments," Figueres, the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, told reporters.
Today we fearlessly define the role and character of 'useful idiots', expose their masters and shatter the innocence of those who continually ask, "why would they do that?"
As in the case of the Seattle hearing earlier this week, we often see the liberal element of our society acting in character: loud, defiant, rude, intolerant, highly emotional and quick to cite assumptions without much factual basis.
Above, we quoted Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change in connection with the Seattle hearing. She commented on Shell's exploration plan and her talking points mirrored those heard in the hearing
They will often demonize their prey and take illegal shortcuts as they pursue their ends via any means.
Who are the world's current army of useful idiots?
- These are the fresh faced, idealistic Australian "volunteers" who trespass on legal, oceangoing vessels to protest their oil exploration missions.
- These are the selfish who would print money to overspend now for their own comfort at the expense of their children who will pay the bill one unjust way or another.
- These are forest activists whose handiwork produces forest fires by politically fighting sustained yield forestry and who injure the loggers by 'spiking' trees.
- These are city park "occupiers" advocating anarchy while looting nearby stores and leaving piles of human waste and trash for honest citizens to clean up later.
- These are avowed socialists, advocating dictatorship and economic slavery by taxing a business to transfer wealth to, "green industry", true believers.
- These are politicians who have developed wealth transfer into a lucrative profession.
- These are litigants who would introduce a cake maker or photographer to bankruptcy or jail for politely declining to support a wedding ceremony.
- These are atheists, secularists and alternative religious fanatics who would erase the Christian heritage of America by forcing removal of all reference to Christ from public dialog and public places.
- These are global warming (a.k.a. "climate change") devotees who use devious techniques with religious fervor as a means to achieving their end -- eliminating opposition.
- These are those whose livelihood is based on creating racial or gender or religious or patriotic mistrust, bias and unrest where there was none.
- These are politicians advocating a weaker military and a more robust welfare state.
- These are school administrators who don't support teachers attempting to enforce order in a classroom and teachers who infuse their own liberal philosophies into lesson plans of every subject, from physics, to biology, English, history, economics and political science.
- These agitators will oppose without meritorious argument the construction of major projects, such as the Keystone Pipeline.
- These geniuses will burn to the ground the only pharmacy or convenience store in a ghetto to protest the lack of jobs in the ghetto.
- These will picket or boycott a restaurant whose management proclaims devotion to Christian values.
- These will picket and interrupt commerce and traffic in support of a government-ordered "Minimum Wage" as thousands of entry level, teen aged employees and senior citizens face layoffs, restaurant closings and non-human automation.
- These will support amnesty for trespassing, criminal, disease carrying and otherwise illegal aliens whose own countries would incarcerate or execute Americans who attempted illegal entry...and whose immigration programs are only open to healthy investors, fixed income retirees or professionals with talents to offer.
- These are those who are quick to criticize and demonize America's founding Christian principles while demeaning those who might in any way criticize an alien religion that is abhorrent to America's constitutional values and the intent of the country's founders.
- These others would wrap their climate change/global warming vocations/avocations in a mantel of religious fervor, absent the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient Creator, of course.
- These are the ones who would use, not their own, but taxpayer dollars to subsidize unqualified homebuyers or uneconomic green company supporters in return for political support.
- These are that flank of the movement that would disarm America as the bureaucracy gains power.
Most of these seem highly dedicated to some cause.
All are on a stage.
Their acting performances are near flawless, because they are not merely actors on this stage of life and political action: they are true believers: housewives, students, professors, retirees, group activists, religious activists, political operatives.
And most align themselves with the Democrat Party in the United States or, more honestly, with "liberal" or "socialist" or "communist" parties in other countries. (Some of us can remember having good friends and colleagues who labeled themselves, "conservative democrats". Try to find one now who will not vote lockstep with the mainstream democrats on most issues.)
To those controling these intricate productions, to those who write the scripts, choreograph the action, design preprinted picket signs, create and coordinate talking points with the democrat/socialist/environmental networks and finance the productions -- to those who manipulate them -- the real life actors are very useful idiots.
|Follow the money and power. The result of all of the misguided, unAmerican actions above is to shift money and power -- and votes -- from producers in a free society to beneficiaries of a fascist bureaucracy.|
Fate of the useful idiots may not be what they expected.
Tragedy might await useful idiots. When the manipulators achieve power through the labor of the many constituent groups, their faithful environmental or social or political advocates will be expendable.
This is because following the accumulation of complete power, the liberal idealists, the useful idiots, will have no option but to support and vote for the fascist manipulators. Just ask liberal minorities how their brothers and sisters in Chinese or ISIS territory or Cuba are treated. And how did they fare under Roman, Turkish, Nazi, Soviet, Russian, Pol Pot or Boko Haram rule?
If useful idiots in America reflect on this history, they would join Christian prayer groups. They would carry the American Flag in parades, promote the Constitution and eject leftist philosophies whose end can only be to enslave the idiots who enable it.
Which of the countries hyperlinked above would provide the security, safety, rule of law, freedom, true hope and opportunity enjoyed by our past generations?
But what about mainstream, traditional, conservative, patriotic America in a fascist environment?
Those opposed to the manipulation will have already been dealt with: forced into bankruptcy, intimidated, monitored, investigated, jailed, or otherwise neutralized. It is now happening before our eyes.
The IRS abuses us, is not punished and its offenders given princely retirements and bonuses. The VA abuses veterans, is not punished and its offenders given princely retirements and bonuses. The Attorney General selectively enforces the law and encourages racial strife. The White House co-habits with tax cheats and employed one as Treasury Secretary. And, so much more....
I am often amazed when the federal government denies a permit, promulgates a terrible new regulation or vetoes a logical law that some of my friends still ask in wonderment: "Why would they do that?"
I always suggest that friends might find the answer by considering the manipulators of that result to be very smart, logical and serious. One should then consider the movement of money and power in connection with that particular issue and suddenly the very clear but evil strategy is revealed.
What is that mysterious cabal of government, environmental and corporate manipulators?
She is certainly one of the manipulators, using her "climate change" position of authority in the United Nations to disseminate global warming/climate change propaganda used by her faithful followers.
One guesses that the desirable end result of her work would be to put the UN firmly in charge of its various world units in a new world order -- though other world dictators might have a more selfish reason for bringing down the world's largest free economy.
In any case, we refrain from speculating further as to precise plans.
All we have to go on now is what we believe in a court of law to be a powerful case of circumstantial evidence, combined with the occasional admission such as that of Ms. Figueres, quoted above.
However, when we note the dozens of White House visits of some of the favored ones noted column right; when we note lack of prosecution of guilty allies; when we note the use of federal power to attack political opponents; and, when we see before our eyes the long tradition of due process fading into history: then, we know change is on the way. No, change is here.
And we know for certain that such change does not bode well for freedom, constitutional principals, the rule of law, free enterprise, traditional values, our Christian culture, our history, our Founders' dreams, our childrens' hopes and opportunities, peace in the world, or security at home.
What is the solution?
Already, we see change is inevitable. The question is how extreme will it get.
When the majority of Americans vote for the sort of change described herein --and they have -- change has already occurred.
When great companies like Wal-Mart and General Electric have already laid tribute at the alter of various politically correct, carbon tax, climate change, socialist and/or environmentally extreme NGOs -- change has already occurred.
When the military's traditions have been emasculated, Bibles banned, Christianity abused, General and Flag officers replaced with agreeable operatives in uniform -- then we know change has already occurred.
When we see an Administration that backs down from a red line in Syria, how can we expect for it to support allies engaged in Asian island disputes with China; with mano a mano disputes between Russia and NATO allies; with the Iranian fleet testing our Yemen resolve; with Middle Eastern jihadists threatening our Israeli, Jordanian, Saudi and other allies; with jihadists establishing training camps throughout the United States; with Russians taking more and more command of Arctic resources and waterways?
What is the solution; what should we do?
Well, the thing the United States of America is not doing as a nation and the majority of its people are not doing as individuals, is kneeling before our Master and Creator, vowing allegiance, requesting forgiveness, giving thanks, asking for guidance and protection as his children.
The most important thing we could do are those things listed above. Our Founders did and were led to miraculous victory--not unlike Joshua of old.
By taking the same approach, we expose ourselves and our Nation to a state of grace, to the unequaled power of our God. We will be led to elect good people to public office and to find hope where now there is only the specter of disaster, destruction. That is the solution.
We will keep faith with our Founders who, in turn, found God's guidance and protection real, everlasting and irreplaceable. And they warned future generations that only by continued allegiance to the creator and the founding principles could we hope to see the nation survive future challenges. That is what we should do.
Yes, this webpage is about energy. But energy is a part of and will be controlled by the big, orchestrated changes now occurring. Presently, those changes do not look well for a free and productive private sector. And while we do not have ministerial training, we would be compelled by history and logic to this conclusion -- even were we not compelled by faith.
Unless we face the major issue -- reliance on Holy God -- no industry, no state, no employment, no nation, no family, no future is secure from the dedicated and evil networks organized against and poised to change our way of life.
In that somber change, sadly, we can believe -- unless we are willing to change ourselves.
Will the Seattle Port Authority’s Independence Survive Mayor Murray’s Political Influence?
In other news today:
Seattle has long been critical of Alaska while not hesitating to reap her wealth.
But we are shocked at this action, this "strange new danger" of a Mayor attempting to block interstate commerce for admitted, political reasons. It resembles the President's rejection the the Keystone Pipeline for similar political reasons, though the project had State Department support.
The mayor used a convoluted "climate change" rational to thwart a decision of Seattle's "independent" Port Authority to accommodate vessels bound for oil and gas exploration in the Alaskan Arctic.
While Shell and its contractors may well have a backup plan to use another port, many Alaskans consider it in their interest to challenge this decision for broader reasons.
The respected Resource Development Council for Alaska has urged its members to provide input to Seattle Port Authority Commissioners and has noted that, “… it creates uncertainty and sends a signal to maritime companies that a lease with the Port may be targeted by special interests and local politicians in the eleventh hour, even as vessels are en route to the region.” The Alaska State Chamber of Commerce and Alaska Support Industry Alliance have also encouraged their members to communicate with Port Commissioners.
|See this excellent CNBC review and background piece by AP writer, Dan Joling.|
The federal government sold oil and gas leases to Shell Oil and the project moves slowly forward only as regulators grant permits. The application for permits and the granting or denial thereof is part of America's Constitutional system of due process. Due Process is one of many Constitutional principles and legal protections which we sometimes think of as, "the rule of law".
On a local level, Shell Oil's contractor contracted with the "independent" Port Authority for seaport services. The actions of the mayor--in addition to confounding local due process and threatening the entire success of the Arctic exploration project--could have unanticipated effects on Seattle:
- The Mayor's use of the permitting process to forward an admitted, political agenda could affect the credit rating of the Port of Seattle, which was created to be an "Independent Agency". We believe the city’s credit rating could also be exposed, with local tax impact.
- The Mayor's interference with the independent Port Authority's process could result in loss of the short summer exploration season in the Arctic; one can only imagine the hundreds of millions of dollars of loss the Mayor could be responsible for causing many entities in Seattle and beyond.
- Politically motivated action by the mayor (i.e. "To prevent the full force of climate change, it's time to turn the page on things like coal trains, oil trains and oil drilling rigs."), could impact the Port Authority's revenue by making the agreements it enters into with revenue paying customers of the seaport, the airport and other entities less reliable.
- Should the Mayor's position stand, potential investors might decide to invest in other jurisdictions. Existing investors may decide to "get out of Seattle while the getting is good". Rating agencies, we believe, will calculate this new era of risky, local government activism into their rating calculations.
- Much of Alaska's tourism and commercial fishing activity is staged or supported from Seattle. But Alaska public services from airports to seaports to health facilities to public transport and education are heavily subsidized by Alaska's 90% oil-funded budget. Lacking the significant support of the oil industry, it is unlikely that tourism and commercial fishing entities would enjoy the same quality of shore-based support they now receive.
- Alaska’s government and 49th State companies could consider the various Port of Seattle services too risky when large capital losses may occur as a result of changing political sentiments.
- Will a revenue change cause the Authority to ask for more taxes within its jurisdiction? Could revenue bond coverage requirements be threatened, leading to technical if not actual defaults? Does this sort of political interference by the City endanger the legal basis of the independent Port Authority and make it and the city subject to lawsuits from existing bondholders? (Note: Stock market analysts and rating agency specialists are always watching. We believe it likely that City and Authority bond counsel may already be receiving queries from New York and San Francisco.)
This week U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan questioned the Administration's usurpation of Congressional authority
The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) has served Alaska, the Pacific Northwest and the entire country well for nearly 4 decades.
It is now 3/4 empty and in danger of shutting down during the next few years.
TAPS can only continue if new, Alaska North Slope (ANS) oil sources are developed. Ironically, rich new sources of billions of barrels of potential oil and gas reserves surround the 800 mile long TAPS’ ANS entryway.
Some of that potential is on state land, subject to Alaska's own rapacious appetite for taxes and high per capita spending. Most of the adjacent oil potential is on federal land surrounding Prudhoe Bay. The Obama administration has taken action to lock up billions of barrels of potential oil reserves, preventing its access to TAPS.
In a US Senate hearing this week, Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan questioned the administration's overreaching executive action to manage as wilderness, a small section of ANWR that Congress dedicated to oil and gas production (See video above).
The BLM has taken action to block oil and gas development within half of the adjacent National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska while promoting that it is making much of it available. The Interior Department and EPA have caused unwarranted delays in Shell's access to its federal leases in the Arctic.
While Seattle's economy continues to benefit from Alaska's diminishing energy wealth, Alaska is more dependent on that one source of income than any other state. Its state operating budget is 90% dependent on TAPS, for it makes possible the collection of oil royalties, a production tax, a property tax and state income taxes. Alaska's entire economy is over 1/3 dependent on TAPS and would be a mere shadow of its former self without TAPS.
Without TAPS and the potential oil reserves it could transport from adjacent reserves in the OCS, NPR-A and ANWR, tens of thousands of jobs could be lost while American consumers would continue paying more for imported oil. Also lost: countless billions spent with suppliers, service companies and manufacturers throughout the country-- and additional billions paid in federal and state taxes.
And with the future of TAPS in question, how likely is it that Alaska's monster gas reserves can be developed and transported to market?
Over the last half dozen years we have documented a pattern of federal assault on Alaska resource development in particular. When Congress approved Alaska’s Statehood Act in 1958 and President Eisenhower signed it early the next year, all were aware that Alaska’s Constitution required the economy to be based on natural resource development.
Since then, there have been so many assaults on that constitutional foundation that many wonder if the state has the ability, now, to maintain a sustainable economy. Many assert, in fact, that the federal government has broken the statehood compact which consisted of the Act, the Alaska Constitution and a statewide plebiscite.
The current administration is now well known for actively violating the "rule of law" in many instances, which we have also documented (1, 2, 3, 4). The pattern of federal overreach and lawless behavior is a concern to all citizens and enterprises, including natural resource industries.
The Seattle Mayor’s political intervention into the Port Authority’s independent seaport management could set a strange and dangerous precedent for other cities and even states to use their regulatory powers for political purposes. That practice, in turn, could have a huge impact on the sanctity of municipal contracts, municipal bonding capability and reliability of interstate commerce.
Growing sentiment that the rule of law itself is under assault by government agencies overreaching their authority, is justified. (Note: "Rule of Law" is a little difficult for a layman to define. It is one of those concepts that, however it may be defined, is to us a symbol of confidence in a lawful, stable, systematic, open and fair system of governance.)
In simple terms, America – including our natural resource job and wealth producing industries – are losing trust in those responsible for independent, just and reasonable adjudication of complex issues.
Loss of trust results in higher risk. Higher risk means higher potential for default. High risk is one of an investors greatest concerns and could encourage one to begin considering how to export work to less risky areas.
Seattle is one of our favorite cities. All Alaskans have adopted it to one degree or another and all benefit from its supplies and services.
We wish Mayor Murray well in his decision making. We trust that with additional input his decisions will strengthen the reputation of Seattle as an investment destination and the Port Authority as an independent decision making body and reliable business partner. -dh
Finally, how is it logical for a politician to seek to address climate change by thwarting energy production in the most highly regulated, most environmentally focused country and state?
Wouldn't less production of oil and gas in Alaska -- like political blockage of the Keystone Pipeline -- merely trigger production abroad, creating greater environmental exposure and 1) less U.S. employment, 2) higher balance of trade deficits, 3) a lower level of national security, 4) less direct and indirect local, state and federal tax and royalty revenue, and 5) higher imported energy costs for American consumers?
Canadian Press (CBC). The first of three votes on a natural gas benefit offer worth over $1 billion has been unanimously rejected by a First Nation on British Columbia's northwest coast. ... more than 180 eligible voters at a meeting in Port Simpson stood up to oppose the plan to build a liquefied-natural-gas pipeline and terminal in their territory, said Lax Kw'alaams band member Malcolm Sampson.
Calgary Herald by Dan Healing. ...Calgary’s oil and gas industry Wednesday insisted the new NDP provincial government declare its intentions — and do it as quickly and as clearly as possible. Election pledges to raise corporate taxes, review royalties collected on petroleum production and withdraw support for oil pipelines to B.C. and into the U.S., were criticized during the election.... On the morning after the election, energy stock prices dropped as financial investors released reports warning the new government.... Gary Leach, president of the Explorers and Producers Association of Canada ..., said in an interview the NDP’s position on pipelines, for example, shows the party doesn’t understand the connection between market access, getting the best price for oil and the creation of wealth and jobs in Alberta.
Wall Street Journal, by LIAM DENNING. Even as oil rallies back above $60 a barrel, obituaries are being drafted. Oil majors face questions from shareholders concerned the threat of climate change means some of the reserves underpinning the companies will never be produced. In a recent report, HSBC urged investors to plan for this risk of “stranded assets.”
RDC Action Alert:
Support Shell’s Use of Terminal 5 at Port of Seattle
In a politically motivated effort to hamper Arctic offshore oil and gas development, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is pressuring the Port of Seattle to pause and reconsider plans to use Terminal 5 to support the staging of Shell’s Arctic exploration equipment. Shell will be using space at Terminal 5 over the next two to four years for seasonal staging and maintenance of its fleet. However, Mayor Murray and the Seattle City Council is moving to block Shell and scuttle the port’s lease with Shell’s partner, Foss Maritime.
If the city’s move to derail the lease is successful, such action would set a dangerous precedent and send a message that Seattle is closed to business. Furthermore, it creates uncertainty and sends a signal to maritime companies that a lease with the Port may be targeted by special interests and local politicians in the eleventh hour, even as vessels are en route to the region.
Since 1987, Shell has successfully drilled 11 wells offshore in the Alaska Arctic. With today’s even stricter safety standards and regulation, exploration can and will be done safely.
Support Foss Maritime's Lease of Terminal 5 and its efforts to create jobs and make upgrades to the Port. This lease and the necessary upgrades support offshore drilling in Alaska, which will directly benefit Washington’s economy. Tell Port of Seattle Commissioners to uphold their decision to support Puget Sound’s maritime industry.
Call the main switchboard and ask for the Commission at (206) 787-3000.
Send letters to:
Port of Seattle Commissioners
P.O. Box 1209
Seattle, WA 98111
Points to consider for your comments:
- The port made the right decision to support the maritime industry, local trades, and businesses by approving Foss’s lease of Terminal 5. Foss has also agreed to pay for much needed port upgrades, making this a no-cost proposition for taxpayers. The project is an important job generator. Foss Maritime’s work at Terminal 5 has already put 417 people to work in Port Angeles and Seattle – supporting more than 1,000 jobs for the Puget Sound region.
- For Seattle to remain a thriving and viable maritime city, it cannot continue to set a hostile tone toward the port, the maritime sector, and Alaska, one of its most important trading partners.
- The maritime industry and the port must have regulatory certainty at all levels of government to maintain global competitiveness and protect middle class jobs at the core of the industry.
- The port is focused on key trade, transportation and travel in the Pacific Northwest, supporting diverse industries and running efficient operations, while improving and protecting Puget Sound’s multi-billion dollar economic relationship with Alaska.
- If the port’s lease with Shell and Foss Maritime is blocked, it would set a dangerous precedent targeting fossil fuel industries and tarnishing the reputation of Seattle’s port.
- Alaska and Puget Sound share a dynamic and diverse economic relationship strengthened by air and sea shipping, seafood, petroleum, and tourism. Alaska’s contribution to the Puget Sound economy accounted for 113,000 jobs in the region and $6.2 billion in labor earnings in 2013.
- Oil and gas production is the foundation of Alaska’s economy. Arctic oil development has the potential to refill the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System and sustain the state’s economy through much of the 21st century. A strong Alaska economy will greatly benefit the Puget Sound region.
- Of all cargo movement between the Port of Seattle and Alaska, 80 percent is transported north. Large projects in Alaska, including new mining and oil and gas operations, directly benefit both the Alaska and Puget Sound economies in multiple ways.
- Alaska supplies nearly half of all crude oil refined in Puget Sound. An estimated 12,000 Puget Sound jobs and $780 million in labor earnings are connected with refining Alaska oil.
- Offshore development in the Alaska Arctic has the potential to be a significant contributor to our nation’s energy security, as well as a significant source of long-term jobs for Americans. It is estimated that economic activity from the development of Arctic energy resources would create an annual average of 54,700 jobs nationwide with a cumulative payroll of $154 billion over the next 50 years.
- 35 exploration wells have been drilled offshore in the Alaska Arctic. In 1964, Shell was the first operator to install a platform and produce hydrocarbons in Cook Inlet, and since 1987, Shell has successfully drilled 11 wells offshore in the Alaska Arctic. With today’s even stricter safety standards and regulation, exploration can and will be done safely.
The EPA wants to redefine ‘the waters of the United States’ to mean virtually any wet spot in the country.
Earlier this year the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers proposed a rule redefining the “waters of the United States” that are subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act. The two agencies recently finished collecting public comments on their draft rule and are deciding how to proceed. Their best course is to abandon the rule or anything like it. Here’s why....
Thirty years ago President Ronald Reagan visited the Holocaust Memorial at the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp in Germany.
He spoke (Note: See video, after brief ad) of unspeakable crimes against humanity and asked his audience to resolve, "Never Again".
Switch now to a fanciful world that is present day America. Citizens focus on leading normal lives while abnormal world events portend tragedy, including:
- Rising Islamic terrorism, both domestic and worldwide emasculates the argument that Islam is a religion of peace and specifically targets America
- North Korean nuclear threats
- Dangerous disputes involving China, Japan and other South China Sea territorial jurisdictions
- Iranian nuclear ambitions, including regional and then worldwide hegemony
- Russian aggression highlighted by military incursions into Alaskan air space, threats to Ukrainian sovereignty.
- Russian and Chinese involvement with and support of Iran on a variety of issues ranging from UN politics to oil exports to nuclear decisions.
- Weak American leadership highlighted by political leaders giving military withdrawal notice dates to the enemy; empty threats targeting aggressors; weak international negotiations that contribute to a growing impression that the United States is becoming a ''paper tiger".
NOTE TO ALASKANS:
Alaskans and companies depending on Alaska face a double risk: 1) hostile federal natural resource policies upon which the state is dependent, and 2) a sometimes hostile state Administration and minority of legislators who seek to dictate how investors employ their assets; and, who overspend; and who are currently seeking to remedy overspending by imposing additional predatory taxes on natural resource investors after their investments have been made. Alaska has definately not discovered public policy nirvana, wherein:
Meanwhile, the Administration that has given up leadership of the free world, by "leading from behind" does not hesitate to take hard-line, non negotiable administrative and regulatory actions against its own people, actions that weaken America from the inside, including:
- Irresponsible rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline
- Significantly reducing energy access to millions of acres of federal lands,
- Rule of law violations, including EPA prejudging of Alaska's world class Pebble gold mine
- Improper coordination with environmental activists and unconscionable support for lavish government "sue and settle" payments to environmental lawyers pretending to be opposing litigants in court cases against agency actions
- Opposition to other heavily regulated oil & gas and mining projects throughout the United States, using wealth destroying tactics involving duplicitous regulation of the Endangered Species Act, Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act (Note: "Mining" includes coal mining. Coal provides about 40% of America's electric power generation. Along with Hydro and Nuclear energy, coal is the lowest priced power generation source for consumers. The current Administration has undertaken a "war on coal", requiring that America's biggest source of electricity be produced by more expensive sources of power generation. The increased energy prices resulting from this policy will dramatically increase consumer costs throughout America with debatable results due to advanced technology. Note also the EPA's effort to nationalize regulation of the oil & gas fracking phenomenon which the states have successfully regulated within their own borders for decades.)
Question: Why would we be hearkening back to the Holocaust and discussing failing American leadership when our primary focus is northern gas pipelines and other North American energy projects and policies?
Answer: For almost two centuries oil, gas and mining have been the basis of wealth creation in the United States -- augmented by forest products, agriculture, commercial fishing, transportation, communications, important service and retail enterprises, manufacturing and other economic pursuits depending on oil, gas and mining. Without those three basic natural resource industries, America would be only a shadow of its current self, perhaps resembling a third world country.
Dictatorships require a suspension of citizen and corporate freedoms to freely impose their will on those private interests. Socialist dictators like Hitler organize to be and remain elected. Communist dictators seem most often to take power by force and often maintain it via corrupt election systems. Socialists and communists, from a citizen viewpoint, share a common result: absolute dictatorship. America's elected leadership, abetted by unelected bureaucrats has sought to establish unilateral policy by executive action, boldly taunting the Congress and Judiciary. As a result, due process, the rule of law, and three equal-but-independent branches of government and Constitutional guarantees are all at risk.
With domestic deterioration of freedom, comes government control of the means of production, societal controls, political power at the cost of future prosperity. The oil, gas and mining industries are so controlled by bureaucratic regulation right now that, in effect, those companies seem to report to government agencies as much or more than they report to shareholders.
Continued deterioration of freedom brings corruption and mismanagement of the energy industry as Venezuela, Argentina, Russia and now Brazil and China have amply demonstrated. Incompetent health care rollout, SBA conference follies, IRS abuses of citizens and leaving our fighting forces to die in Benghazi gives lie to the Administration position that, "we leave no man behind".
Such is the result of dictatorship: inefficiency, abuse of power, over regulation, over taxation, corruption and the eventual destruction of a country's independence, economy and/or individual freedoms.
President Reagan urged the world to "never again" allow a holocaust like the one developed by Adolph Hitler's dictatorial administration.
Reagan's world remembered that without a strong and resolute America the results of WWII, Korea and the Cuban Missile Crisis would have been much different. On the contrary, Viet Nam should have taught many generations of Americans -- including this one -- that irresolute leadership prolongs the agony of war without achieving the desired outcome.
Does today's world remember the faith and fights of our fathers and mothers? Not if you ask Cuban refugees and Columbian leaders who are amazed that the U.S. Administration would provide massive benefits to a country that still denies freedom for its citizens and supports communist guerilla activity in South America.
These days it seems that United States citizens live in an alternate universe surrounded by threatening chaos:
- Islamic terrorism, murders and torture are epidemic.
- Strong but evil-intended nations are undertaking probing tactics to determine America's weaknesses.
- American leadership has weakened the military, making the prospect of standing off two or more belligerents at the same time dangerously perilous...not to mention three or more.
- Meanwhile, American leaders have attacked the economy from within:
- They are printing unearned dollars in such volume that economic chaos, the loss of reserve currency status and violent inflation can only be steps away.
- Our leaders are blatantly weakening our basic industries -- oil, gas and mining -- dangerously reducing the supply of wealth from those and other energy/materials dependent sectors.
- The Administration has created a wealth distribution, crony capitalistic system. The system involves taxing productive industries to support political allies and/or uneconomic enterprises, including inefficient alternate energy businesses; free cell phones for some paid for by other phone users; FCC power grabbing control of the Internet without Congressional approval; sole source contracts, etc. that will cripple economic recovery if its other failings don't do so first.
- The Administration coddles law breaking Black Panthers and minority offenders hurt or killed by law enforcement, while remaining silent when white citizens are killed by minority criminals or police (i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).
- New health care, financial services and student loan bureaucracies, among a legion of others, have swelled federal payrolls at the expense of private employers and privately employed, taxpaying citizens. Meanwhile, friends of the Administration and federal employees who evade taxation march on, unpunished.
The U.S. leadership is rapidly destroying American culture, American values and future hopes for a prosperous, secure country in two ways,
First, its poor international leadership is providing opportunity for bad actors to threaten or consume weaker countries which are American allies; and, second, its poor domestic leadership is threatening the fabric of the economy with over regulation, over taxation, unenforced immigration policies, giving lip service to opposing professionally organized social unrest, etc.
For those Americans still enjoying a fanciful world in an alternate universe, we have a heartfelt plea.
As we engage in weekend parties, tail gate BBQs, athletic events, local politics and hobbies of every description...let's take time to teach our children about America's history, dangerous current events and how great civilizations have fallen due to internal corruption and irresponsible tax, spending and regulatory policies. And let's teach them how our predecessors built the country and defended it, with great sacrifice, for our use today.
Can we also be mindful that with Constitutional protections, courage, freedom, patriotic commitment and firm leadership America can reclaim a vibrant energy industry, a secure national defense and a prosperous future?
In this way, today's terrorism, modern holocausts, and territorial disputes can be extinguished or peacefully resolved as we recommit ourselves to see that murderous world malaise happens, "never again".
|For those new to Northern Gas Pipelines, the author of today's commentary is Dave Harbour, Publisher. Harbour is Commissioner Emeritus of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and has supported programs of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission for years. Accredited as a public relations professional (APR) by the Public Relations Society of America, he has served as an external and/or government affairs manager for two pipeline companies and an Alaska North Slope oil producer. He is a former university vice president, construction company owner and Infantry Army officer. He is former president of the Alaska Press Club and National Bald Eagle Foundation and past Chairman of the Alaska Council on Economic Education and Anchorage Chamber of Commerce. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of his readers, public service sponsors or past affiliations.|
ExxonMobil's Rex Tillerson Compliments Canadian Regulatory System, Chastises U.S. Administration (i.e. ...with good reason, as we have documented herein. We would also observe that many U.S. and many Canadian decisions affect citizens of the other country, their economy and their very lives. Therefore, as each others' largest trading partner, we should always be aware that our decisions encompass much more than simply "our" economy or "our" politics. Tillerson is right. From personal knowledge we are very familiar with NEB and FERC energy regulatory systems along with state and provincial systems. Sometimes the US way is to be emulated and sometimes the Canadian practice is superior. The trick is for government, like industry, to borrow best practices from one another--and treat each other like the North American family that we are. In the case of the Keystone XL matter, our leadership clearly mistreated our brothers and sisters north of the border. D'accord? -dh More below.) Story: Deborah Yedlin, Calgary Herald; Photo: Calgary Herald/F. Carter Smith, Bloomberg.
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, (NGP Photo), highlighted the importance of reauthorizing and modernizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Act so that it reflects the changing needs and evolving viewpoints about conservation in the 21st century. The LWCF was enacted 50 years ago to increase recreational opportunities for Americans. Since then, it has been used to acquire more public lands even though there are insufficient means to maintain lands already owned by the federal government.
“I strongly believe that conservation in the 21st century must include taking care of what we already have – what we chose to conserve first – instead of simply pretending that ‘more is always better,’” Murkowski said. “As we look to reauthorize LWCF, I believe that it makes sense to shift the federal focus away from land acquisition, particularly in Western states, toward maintaining and enhancing the accessibility and quality of the resources that we have. This is the best way to put our nation’s recreation system on the path of long-term viability.”
Murkowski, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, pressed the administration on its use of LWCF for only a land acquisition fund rather than using the LWCF to also maintain public lands.
- EID-National: EID set to testify this morning before House Science Committee, releases report on dubious science behind NY HF ban (link)
- EID-Marcellus: PA DEP finds methane emissions plummet as natural gas production ramps up (link)
- EID-Ohio: Belmont County selected for new ethane cracker that will create thousands of great jobs (link)
Thanks to Shale, a New Balance of Power in the World. NY Times. The United States is overtaking the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries as the vital global swing producer that determines prices. That remarkable change has been building since 2008, as American shale fields accounted for roughly half of the world’s oil production growth while American petroleum output nearly doubled. And shale production methods have proven highly adaptable to market conditions. Not coincidentally, nearly all the advantages of the price swing are moving in Washington’s direction. Most American consumers and industries have benefited from a sharp drop in gasoline prices and other energy costs. And abroad, the economies of oil-producing adversaries like Russia and Venezuela are reeling.
Energy In Depth investigation takes on science behind N.Y. HF ban. Politico, sub. req’d. As its Western director prepares to testify before the House Science Committee today on hydraulic fracturing, Energy in Depth is releasing a white paper that accuses New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration of falling to “political pressure from a well-funded, well-organized network of foundations and activist groups opposed to shale development” in imposing a fracking ban in December. NOTE: View the complete report here.
Beware, 'local control' really amounts to drilling ban. Houston Chronicle, EID’s Steve Everley. For several years now, anti-fracking groups have lobbied for "local control" in cities and towns across the country. They claim to support "reasonable" regulations, but in reality, these groups want to ban oil and gas drilling everywhere.
Drilling on federal lands could get more expensive. Oil & Gas 360. Dan Naatz, senior vice president of governmental relations and political affairs for the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), pointed out the inconsistency in a recent press release. “At a time when the price of oil has dropped about 50% over the past seven months and coupled with new federal regulations for onshore producers, the Obama Administration’s proposal to increase onshore royalty rates will ultimately result in fewer American jobs, less energy production, and hurt our nation’s energy security.”
Can this oil baron’s company withstand another quake? Bloomberg. Steve Everley of Energy In Depth, a research group, says, “If you shut down [wastewater] disposal, you’re effectively shutting down production.”
Oil, gas mining operations cited in Okla., Texas earthquakes. NewsMax. Energy in Depth said "several issues in the paper raise questions about its conclusion," and it "appears to suffer from some modeling flaws," and points out studies from the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Research Council and the Environmental Protection Agency, which indicate that very few oil and gas operations have been implicated in earthquake activity.
Oil and gas activity to blame for quakes? Houston Business Journal. Steve Everley with Energy In Depth wrote a blog poking holes in SMU’s research, saying a pressure change of 5 pounds per square inch was being blamed for the quakes. That’s about the pressure of an inflated football. It also doesn’t account for the permeability of the soil, said Everley. “While the SMU study released today appears to suffer from some modeling flaws, those issues should not overshadow the fact that the research team has provided all of us with a valuable tool for better assessing induced seismicity,” Everley said in his blog.
Gas activities 'most likely' caused Texas quakes. KETR. Energy In Depth on Tuesday praised the researchers for developing a model that “provides greater understanding of the conditions that can ultimately lead to induced seismicity.” But on its website, it added that “several issues in the paper raise questions about its conclusion.” “The concerns we’ve identified in here are in the spirit of constructive collaboration,” Steve Everley, the group’s spokesman, said.
HF can build an economy. Southern Illinoisan, EID’s Seth Whitehead. If fracking is so bad, why are people flocking to North Dakota at the same alarming rate folks are leaving Illinois? The reason is simple: People go where the jobs are – and North Dakota has plenty thanks to fracking.
U.S. HF costs falling fast, may keep fields in play. Reuters. U.S. oil and natural gas companies have pushed down costs of fracking a shale well faster than expected, and if the trend holds up it could allow producers to keep working in oilfields that just months ago looked uncompetitive after the oil price crash.
Oil slump may deepen as US shale fights Opec to a standstill. Telegraph. The US shale industry has failed to crack as expected. North Sea oil drillers and high-cost producers off the coast of Africa are in dire straits, but America's "flexi-frackers" remain largely unruffled. One starts to glimpse the extraordinary possibility that the US oil industry could be the last one standing in a long and bitter price war for global market share, or may at least emerge as an energy superpower with greater political staying-power than Opec.
U.S. oil industry’s battle cry: exports now! Wall Street Journal. American oilmen have seized on one solution to their financial woes in the face of low oil prices: They want to export U.S. crude oil. Soon.
Half of U.S. HF companies will be sold this year. Bloomberg. Half of the 41 fracking companies operating in the U.S. will be dead or sold by year-end because of slashed spending by oil companies, an executive with Weatherford International Plc said. There could be about 20 companies left that provide hydraulic fracturing services, Rob Fulks, pressure pumping marketing director at Weatherford, said in an interview Wednesday at the IHS CERAWeek conference in Houston.
Romania signs agreement with Bulgaria and Greece on natural gas network. Business Review. On Wednesday, Sofia hosted a meeting on the construction of a gas corridor that will interconnect natural gas networks in Romania, Bulgaria and Greece, with a capacity of 3-5 billion cubic meters per year. Romania was represented by Mihai Albulescu, state secretary at the Ministry of Energy, Small and Medium Enterprises and Business Environment.
Could massive EU-US trade deal be extended to Israel? Electronic Intifada. Israel enjoys an extremely close trading relationship with the EU. A deal approved by the European Parliament in 2012 paves the way for Israel to be integrated into the Union’s single market for goods and services. The idea that Israel would be eligible to join TTIP is being mulled over by the cognoscenti in both Brussels and Washington.
Europeans fight U.S. trade deal with fear of HF Under Eiffel Tower. Daily Beast. It will afflict Europe with American abominations on an almost Biblical scale: cheap and dirty food, toxic waste, mind-numbing movies and television, gas-guzzling cars, all while scrapping healthcare and erasing labour rights. That, at least, is how angry European activists are painting a planned trade deal between the European Union and the United States. A legion of horrors has been evoked about an agreement known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, which is currently under negotiation.
Fifth of Labour and Lib Dem candidates pledge to defy party line on HF. Guardian. More than one in five Liberal Democrat and Labour election candidates have pledged to oppose fracking in defiance of their parties’ promises to foster the industry during the next parliament.
Noble agrees to upgrade Front Range equipment. Summit County Citizen’s Voice. But this week, the company agreed to clean up its act by upgrading equipment in an effort that could cost as much as $60 million, according to the EPA. Noble alos agreed to pay about $13.45 million in fines and other environmental improvement projects in the region that will help reduce air pollution along the Front Range.
MSU power plant to swap coal for natural gas. State News. On April 8, MSU announced the university will move toward completely cutting the use of coal at the MSU Power Plant by the end of 2016. This decision is partly in response to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations launched in 2014, officials said.
HF wastewater well application approved. KOTA. A Nebraska agency has given the green light to a controversial fracking wastewater disposal well project in KOTA Territory. The Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission voted in favor of the plan by Terex Energy Corporation to inject wastewater from fracking operations in nearby states.
Commission approves HF wastewater application. Star Herald. On Wednesday, the Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission approved the Terex application to allow the injection of up to 5,000 gallons per day of fracking wastewater into an abandoned oil well in Sioux County.
Final HF report being printed, DEC chief says. Poughkeepsie Journal. A several-thousand-page document that will lay out the rationale for prohibiting fracking is "being printed as we speak," state Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens said Wednesday. That report, known as the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement or SGEIS, has been nearly seven years in the making and will pave the way for Martens to issue an order keeping large-scale fracking from moving forward at the current time.
Trucked natural gas to replace scrapped pipeline. Rutland Herald. A New York paper mill is slated to receive truckloads of compressed natural gas beginning next month as a workaround for a canceled underground gas pipeline. According to NG Advantage, the Colchester-based gas transportation company behind the semi-truck delivery route called a “virtual pipeline” by the company, the switch from fuel oil to North American natural gas is expected to save International Paper Company’s Ticonderoga, N.Y., paper mill about 32,000 gallons of oil every day. Deliveries to Ticonderoga are scheduled begin in May.
Radioactive gas pollution? WV Public Broadcasting. A new study of a radioactive, carcinogenic gas has grabbed the attention of news outlets and both pro and anti-fracking groups alike. The study published earlier this month says increases of radon gas in people’s homes in Pennsylvania coincide with the horizontal drilling boom. Some geological researchers in the region are skeptical while others aren’t at all surprised.
West Virginia natural-gas complex is put on hold. Wall Street Journal. Two Brazilian companies are putting on hold plans to build a multibillion-dollar natural-gas refining complex in West Virginia, a project that was supposed to give an economic boost to a state reeling from the faltering coal industry.
Belmont County named site for possible multibillion-dollar ‘cracker’ plant. Columbus Dispatch. It is not every day that elected officials from Appalachian Ohio get to announce the possibility of a multibillion-dollar development. So Belmont County leaders had reason to enjoy news yesterday that a planned ethane “cracker” plant is envisioned for a site near the Ohio River. And they hope the news will be followed in about a year with a firm commitment by developers to build the project. NOTE: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and Cleveland also report
Group pushes for county home rule, injection well ban. Athens News. A group of anti-fracking activists announced Tuesday they will be circulating petitions to turn Athens County into a charter government and ban the dumping of oil-and-gas hydraulic fracking waste, as well as use of water from sources in the county, for fracking activities, on the November ballot.
Conferees get warm feeling from natural gas. San Antonio Express-News. The blue flame of natural gas glowed at a Houston energy gathering Wednesday, where producers touted the fuel’s virtues, including low prices that present both a challenge to the industry and testament to its success.
Small earthquakes in Dallas-Fort Worth area linked to HF. Realty Biz News. Clusters of small earthquakes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are likely caused by nearby natural-gas drilling, suggests a new study by researchers at Southern Methodist University and the U.S. Geological Survey.
We will also be interested in the messages given by BP's Robert Dudley and these CERA Week speakers, among many others:
NARUC's Colette Honorable
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski
ConocoPhillips' Ryan Lance.
Daniel Yergin, CERA