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Northern Gas Pipelines is your public service 1-stop-shop for Alaska and Canadian Arctic energy commentary, news, history, projects and people. It is informal and rich with new information, updated daily. Here is the most timely and complete Arctic gas pipeline and northern energy archive available 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 suggest others existing before 2001.

 

Federal Obstruction

10-14-14 Dandelions and Energy - National Poll Supports Offshore Oil & Gas

14 October 2014 6:07am

National Poll Supports OCS O&G 

Today's Commentary: Energy, Daisies, Dandelions, Poppies and Bureaucracies

Janet Weiss, BP Alaska, Oklahoma State University, Hall of Fame, Dave Harbour PhotoThe College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology at Oklahoma State University inducted five industry leaders into its Hall of Fame last Saturday including 1986 Chemical Engineering graduate,  Janet Weiss (NGP Photo) now President of BP Alaska.

More....

CEA POLL SHOWS MAJORITY SUPPORT IN KEY STATES FOR OFFSHORE DRILLING: 

Consumer Energy Alliance voter polls conducted in three states with pivotal U.S. Senate races finds strong support for allowing oil and natural gas drilling in U.S. waters inside the Arctic Circle. The poll finds Alaska, Georgia and Louisiana each have  close races for U.S. Senate that will indicate the direction of federal policy towards offshore energy.  More.... 

*     *     *

Also...see our recent commentary on the effect of the Senate races on Alaska energy policy.  -dh

 


How Government Deals With One Invasive Species, The Dandelion

by

Dave Harbour

(Point of personal privilege)

Dandelions, invasive specie, public monies, bureaucratic bungling, wasted tax dollars, Photo by Dave Harbouro, Federal Highway Dollars, public landscapes, poor maintenanceThis is, admittedly, a pet peeve.  The only way I could relate the dandelion invasion to our study of energy, is to make a point that bureaucracies will never be as efficient with public dollars as citizens are with family dollars.  

invasive species, dandelion, daisies, poppies, public rights of way, landscaping, bureaucratic bungling, Photo by Dave HarbourAs a homeowner, I go out and dig up every new dandelion.  My wife plants a wonderful array of floribunda alaskana every spring.  Church volunteers cull dandelions and cultivate daisies.  

But government cultivates dandelions and kills desirable species while simultaneously holding 'Invasive Species Workshops'.  

This morning I provided a comment to Alaska Business Monthly regarding an upcoming 'Invasive Species Workshop' listed on its Industry News page.  I don't know if the organizers will make a dent in the invasion of unwanted species next year.  They do justify spending public money on workshops and publications and 'public outreach' -- which incrementally increases the demand for higher taxes.  So, hopefully, the effort will produce cost-effective results.

Meanwhile, with a little common sense, at no additional cost and without workshops government planners could significantly slow the spread of one invasive species, the dandelion.

In our primary area of interest and expertise, energy, one notes that with North Dakota oil and gas production being on mostly private property, it flourishes (Also note Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, etc.).  But in federal areas, bureaucracies stop production before it begins while cultivating their own, invasive bureaucratic growth.  For example, observe the gold plated offices, in Anchorage, inhabited by Department of Interior agencies along with their hundreds of employees, including huge public relations staffs.  And, what is their demonstrated, primary role: stopping human activity in a state whose Constitution requires development of natural resources.

The invasive dandelions of government are protected while entrepreneurial daisies and poppies are cut down and eventually culled out of existence.

To continue this little allegory, below we reprint for your information and, perhaps, entertainment, "A Dandelion Story", slightly modified for our readers.

P.S.  If Invasive Species Workshop participants do make a dent this coming year in stopping or slowing the growth of invasive species -- particularly the dandelion invasion -- we will look forward to receiving information from them and including it in our searchable archives.  We know these public employees are well intended and we look forward to hearing about their results. 


Commentary for readers: Alaska Business Monthly (as modified)

A government-sponsored "Invasive Species Workshop" will occur October 28-30 in Anchorage (www.alaskainvasives.org).

Anchorage School District Headquarters, Cultivate Invasive Specie, Dandelion, Dave Harbour Photo, ASDGovernment agencies have generally ignored the invasive species 'elephant in the room', the ubiquitous dandelion.

From public rights of way, dandelion seeds attack neighborhood lawns and establish beach heads throughout our wilderness.

We plant daisies and poppies in the rights of way to meet beautification / landscaping / environmental standards for federal dollars. But the folks who make the plans don't maintain the projects.

Then, dandelions invade. The dandelions are first to pop up in May and early June. Smart maintenance managers could mow then, before yellow dandelion flowers go to seed and before delicate poppy and daisy heads pop up.

But no. Maintenance managers allow the dandelions to flower then go to seed, just as the wonderful poppies and daisies are coming up in mid to late June. The street/highway maintenance managers then send out the lawn mowers to cut down the dandelions just as they are going to seed, spreading the invasive seed, while simultaneously cutting off the heads of daisies and poppies before they can develop seeds.

Most summers there is a bumper crop of dandelions in August. Simultaneously, a few remaining daisies and poppies try again to propagate--just in time for the 2nd mowing.

At the forest edge of East Northern Lights Blvd. in Anchorage, where mowing does not occur, the daisies flourish and dandelions are sparse.

East High School, Cultivate Invasive Specie, Dandelion, Dave Harbour Photo, ASD

Where the miscoordinated mowing occurs, the expensively planted daisies and poppies die off for lack of progeny while the invasive dandelions multiply with help from street/highway maintenance managers.  

​Other government agencies also cultivate the invasive species in this way.  The Anchorage School District, with its own thoughtless mowing practices, is a major cultivator of invasive dandelions whose seeds invade nearby neighborhoods throughout the city.

Invasive specie, Alaska, Dandelion, street maintenance, Dave Harbour Photo

It seems that an "Invasive Species Workshop" goal should be to "pick the low-hanging invasive fruit". By simply changing the mowing schedules, maintenance managers could cheaply and efficiently accomplish two goals:

1.  They could restrain the propagation of the most invasive of plant species, while

2.  simultaneously protecting taxpayer landscape investments intended to beautify public rights of way and other government properties.

Respectfully,

Dave Harbour

Ref: http://tinyurl.com/mktjs5v, http://tinyurl.com/qbpuhve, http://tinyurl.com/k7ubpdg 


 

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(STILLWATER, Okla., October 13, 2014) – The College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology at Oklahoma State University inducted five industry leaders into its Hall of Fame on Saturday, Oct. 11. More than 250 people were present at the ConocoPhillips Alumni Center to recognize the achievements of those extraordinary individuals.

Hall of Fame inductees included Debbie Adams (’83 Chemical Engineering), Harold Courson (‘52-‘55 Engineering), Jeff Hume (‘75 Petroleum Engineering Technology), David Timberlake (‘65 Architectural Engineering) and Janet Weiss (‘86 Chemical Engineering).

These distinguished professionals were honored by OSU for their exceptional leadership and contributions to advancing the fields of engineering, architecture and technology.

Debbie Adams currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Phillips 66 based in Houston, Texas. After graduating from OSU with her chemical engineering degree in 1983, she began her career in oil and gas as a process engineer with Conoco. She worked in several capacities for the company, including roles that took her to Sweden and England after the 2002 merger that created ConocoPhillips. During the most recent transition that resulted in the formation of Phillips 66, Adams was named the President of Transportation and promoted to Senior Vice President. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees and Board of Governors for the OSU Foundation.

Harold Courson attended the engineering program at Oklahoma A&M from 1952-1955 before leaving to pursue the oil and gas drilling business. He purchased speculative gas leases in the Texas panhandle and founded Courson Oil and Gas in 1960. His company drilled two of the first horizontal wells in the early 1970s, one of which is still producing today. He has served three terms as Mayor of Perryton, Texas, and is currently the Chairman for Courson Oil and Gas, Inc. and Natural Gas Anadarko Company. Courson was one of 100 recognized as a History Maker of the High Plains by the Amarillo Globe-News.

Jeff Hume is a 1975 Petroleum Engineering Technology graduate who began his career prior to his time at OSU. Immediately following high school, Hume worked as a roustabout in the oil fields outside Enid. He soon realized his passion for the industry and came to Stillwater to obtain his degree. Since that time, he has been a leader for Continental Resources, Inc. for more than 30 years. Hume is a registered professional engineer and member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. He is currently the Vice Chairman of Strategic Growth Initiatives for Continental Resources, Inc.

A 1965 Architectural Engineering graduate, David Timberlake received his degree and joined the Army Corps of Engineers before transitioning to the private sector. In Washington D.C., he worked in structural engineering and construction inspection for government buildings. There he met an influential colleague who led him on the path to founding his own company — Timberlake Construction. The company has built structures in 48 of the 50 states and its founder currently serves as Chairman and CEO.

Janet Weiss brought her love for math and science, especially chemistry, to OSU when she enrolled in the Chemical Engineering program. Her father, Dr. Franklin Leach, was a professor of biochemistry at OSU, so Janet grew up gaining a love for learning from her father and the university. She graduated in 1986 and began her career at ARCO, where she moved through the ranks. For the past 14 years, Weiss has worked for BP, and she has been a leader in the oil and gas industry. She currently serves as President of BP Alaska and is a published author on the Kuparuk River Field. Weiss is an active member of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association Board, University of Alaska Fairbanks Advisory Board and the Anchorage United Way Board.

Following Saturday’s ceremony, the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology has recognized 101 Hall of Fame inductees.

For more information on the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology at OSU, visitwww.ceat.okstate.edu 

Categories:

10-13-14 Federal Policies Undermine Alaska's Enormous Energy Potential

13 October 2014 5:46am

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Communications Director, Robert Robert Dillon, Communications Director, Senate Energy Committee, Alaska, Federal Overreach, New York Times Article, Photo by Dave HarbourDillon (NGP Photo), wrote us this morning, "The New York Times recently ran an article with a headline pronouncing the “end” of Alaska’s energy boom. The reporter focused on how economic anxiety is affecting the state’s Senate election, but in doing so, missed a critical point about Alaska’s “dwindling” production: the main reason it continues to fall is because the federal government refuses to allow access to the vast resources on federally controlled lands."  Here is the NYT article, by Kirk Johnson.  Below is Dillon's full response which we recommend to all of our readers.  -dh

Response To NYT Alaska Energy Article

by

Robert Dillon

Today's Other Energy Links:

CBC.  A meeting report between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and new Alberta Premier Jim Prentice, "...Prentice campaigned on that experience and has highlighted the importance of market access for Alberta oil during his time as premier so far."


World Energy News.  Russia's state-controlled gas company Gazprom may drop its Vladivostok LNG project in Russia's Far East in favour of pipeline gas supplies to China, the firm's Chief Executive Alexei Miller told reporters ... (today). ​

Fairbanks News Miner Op-Ed by Bruce Campbell.  ...no one has done more to impede and slow the development of Alaska’s natural gas than (Bill) Walker. If this is his idea of “support,” voters need to be wary of his claims to “support” any issue....


Huffington Post.  Outside super PACs have played a major role supporting Sen. Mark Begich (D) as he faces a tough re-election race against former Alaska Natural Resources commissioner Dan Sullivan (R). (We recently analyzed the effect of this race on energy policy.  -dh)

We certainly accept the premise of the New York Times article. Falling production is provoking economic anxiety, bordering on an economic crisis, in Alaska. Yet, it is also completely unnecessary, because there’s plenty of oil in Alaska.  In its Annual Energy Outlook for 2014, the Energy Information Administration estimates that Alaska – alone – has 38 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil. Some of that oil is located on state lands, in the form of reserves at existing fields.  But the lion’s share is in the Outer Continental Shelf (23 billion barrels), the non-wilderness portion of the Arctic Coastal Plain (over 10 billion barrels), and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (roughly 1 billion barrels).

It’s also important to keep in mind that whenever Alaskans are actually allowed to look for oil, we tend to find more than expected.  So in a massive state with huge swaths of land that remain unexplored, 38 billion barrels could ultimately prove to be an underestimate.  Certainly, that was the case with Prudhoe Bay, which is now at 17 billion barrels produced and counting.       

For today’s purposes, though, we’ll stick with EIA’s number: 38 billion barrels of oil.  How much is that, exactly?  Well, if produced at a rate of 1 million barrels per day, Alaska’s oil would last for 38,000 days – or about 104 years.  If production is allowed to reach even higher rates, Alaska could have enough resource in the ground to replace nearly 30 years of oil imports from OPEC or more than 50 years of oil imports from the Persian Gulf.               

The problem is that the federal government, which controls more than 60 percent of the land in Alaska, has repeatedly blocked efforts to develop our resources.  Despite President Obama’s willingness to take credit for rising production on state and private lands in the Lower 48, his real record is best revealed in places like Alaska.  He and his administration have repeatedly denied access to promising lands; blocked or delayed the approval of roads and bridges needed so that production can begin; and issued regulations that fail to hold up in court.

It’s usually more instructive to judge someone by their actions rather than their words, and the Obama administration is no different.  The administration has now locked up half – more than 11 million acres – of the NPR-A, an area explicitly reserved for energy production.  The administration is “revising” the management plan for the Arctic coastal plain; most interpret that as a plan to lock the area up as wilderness after the election, even though Congress has repeatedly rejected bills seeking the same. The administration is also rewriting its rules for offshore exploration in Alaska and subsequently delaying efforts to return to an area that was safely explored and successfully drilled more than 20 years ago. 

President Obama is not pursuing an “all of the above” strategy in Alaska.  Instead, his administration’s restrictions are now inducing levels of economic anxiety in local residents that the New York Times has deemed worthy of the national spotlight.  We appreciate the coverage, but what we’d really like is a president and a Senate that will work with us to solve the problem – by producing more of Alaska’s energy. 

Categories:

10-11-14 "Can You Trust The US?"

11 October 2014 5:48am

WSJ Opinion: Can You Trust The US?

Our Saturday Commentary:

Americans cannot trust the US Administration (e.g. Alaska and Lower 48 Federal Land Restrictions and Poor Energy Policies, Eric Holder Malfeasance; Misapplication of ESA, CWA, CAA; IRS; NSA; VA; AP; EPA; Benghazi; Ebola; Sickening Open Border Policy; Prisoner Trade: One Traitor for Several Terrorists; Fast and Furious; Obamacare Lies; US Marine Rotting In Mexican Jail; Cowardly 'Red Line' Syrian Policy, Unsustainable National Debt, Emasculation of Military Strength, Pro-Muslim bias, Anti-Israel bias, Failure To Save America's ISIS-slaughtered Kurdish allies, Alliance With Senate Democrats To Kill All Pro-Job, Pro-Economy House Bills, etc.).  

It's not only Americans.  The U.S. and Canada are each others' largest trading partners.  A big difference between the two countries now is that Canada has a decisive leader in Prime Minister Stephen Harper.  The U.S. has a weak, inexperienced, indecisive, incompetent, socialist leader focused only on transforming the successful democratic model which was the United States.  The cost to American jobs and the U.S. economy by the White House refusal to approve TransCanada's Keystone XL Pipeline is huge.  

Part of the cost is the cost in loss of trust.  Since Canada cannot trust its historical, best trading partner, its Prime Minister has no choice but to explore other markets for Canada's products and natural resources -- including Oil Sands oil.  Our compliments to Harper for his insight, initiative, wisdom and courage.

Shame on America's elected chief executive for ruining America in so many ways.  Let me count the ways, which since 2012, have multiplied....   -dh

 

Categories:

10-8-14 How can low oil prices produce world chaos?

08 October 2014 2:52am

Oil & Energy by Dr. Kent Moors.  How Falling Oil Prices Could Trigger an “Unpredictable and Dangerous Mess”


Yesterday, ConocoPhillips announced that it has completed five-year, Alaska North Slope contracts with URS Corporation, CH2M HILL, and ASRC Energy Services.  See the full news release details here.


From the office of House Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (NGP Photo) comes this alert of interest to most natural resource companies doing business in Alaska and the American West.  We feature it in this Northern energy webpage because it demonstrates the broad, deep and dangerous reach of Obama administration agencies in their zeal -- without scientific justification -- to shut down natural resource exploration and development in America...and many other business and recreational activities as well.  -dh

Release: "House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings along with 17 Members of Congress sent a letter to the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Dan Ashe, urging the Service to extend the comment period for the proposed critical habitat designation of the western yellow-billed cuckoo. This proposed listing, driven by a 2011 court mega-settlement and not by sound science, would have devastating negative effects on small businesses, farmers, ranchers, forest management, and American energy production in nine states throughout the West."

Categories:

10-7-14 Historic Northwest Passage of Canadian Cargo Successful!

07 October 2014 2:26am

Alaska Support Industry Alliance Announces Board Changes in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Kenai


Mining and Arctic Shipping Historic Voyage: What does it portend for more Alaskan and Canadian natural resource shipping and markets?  

Could Russian chess players be the ultimate winners?

by

Dave Harbour

Former Alaska Mining Association Executive Director Steve Borell linked us today with this mining.com story:

According to the 70-year old shipping company (i.e. FEDNAV) the MV Nunavik will be the first vessel to carry a cargo of Arctic origins the full length of Canada’s Northwest Passage from Baffin Bay through the Bering Straight.

The ship is loaded with a cargo of nickel concentrate from Nunavik’s Deception Bay destined for the port of Bayuquan, northern China.

How do we know the current location of the Nunavik and her crew as we write this.  FEDNAV has provided this helpful webpage.  Join us and follow her to China!


You, too, can traverse the great Northwest Passage, in the summer of 2016.

The MV Nunavik successfully completed the Northwest Passage portion of its historic voyage a few days ago.  

Then, it survived Typhoon Phanfone as it passed through the Bering Strait and the International Date Line.  

As this is written, it carries its massive nickel concentrate payload past the Kamčatka Peninsula, then will head south of Sakhalin Island. 

Follow its progress here as it approaches its destination at Bayuquan.

What does this voyage mean to future natural resource transportation from Arctic areas?

  • FEDS QUERY ENERGY FIRMS AHEAD OF EXPORT RULINGS

    The U.S. Commerce Department has taken a small step toward resolving some two-dozen pending requests to export lightly processed oil this summer, asking energy companies to fill out a one-page questionnaire about their plans, sources familiar with the document told Reuters.

    The nine questions may help the department map out a further easing of the four-decade old ban on crude exports.

    One envisions massive new ice-breaking, cargo carrying ships competing for the Alaska and Canadian Arctic trade -- a vast new industry.

  • One can also envision the requirement for more military assets in Alaskan and Canadian Arctic areas, to protect resource development and national sovereignty.  Prime Minister Harper has recognized this responsibility though America's president has not.  This is particularly important in view of Russia's new imperialism being exercised in Europe and its massive Arctic natural resource investments (i.e. like this) now moving at full speed without the level of environmental safeguards which exist in North America.
  • NWT Premier Bob McLeod (NGP Photo) has recently envisioned another way to Bob Mcleod, NWT Premier, Northwest Passage, natural resources, oil and gas, Dave Harbour Photoavoid Western Canadian and Lower 48 pipeline project opposition: move the resource down the Mackenzie River Valley to Inuvik and access international energy markets via the Arctic Ocean.

    Oil companies making discoveries in the arctic may well find better economics by shipping oil or LNG directly from offshore production platforms to Asian markets.  Part of the economics of TRADITIONAL oil, gas and mining involves a hostile and uncertain onshore regulatory environment (e.g. EPA's unconstitutional project preemption; White House's Keystone XL Pipeline approval recalcitrance; Washington opposition to ANWR, full use of NPR-A; arbitrary and capricious use of ESA and CWA.)  On the US side, pipeline impediments come largely from America's own federal government and a coalition of environmental groups which actually make money by litigating, protesting and stopping (i.e. and often settling with a cooperative, federal agency defendant) such wealth producing projects.  On the Canadian side, environmental extremism is as challenging as down south.  But much of the pipeline and other natural resource project delay has originated with the country's now well established court precedent of the concept of, "Duty to Consult".  While coordinating with stakeholders is a logical requirement of development, the concept can also be misused.  Put another way, it can be used to stop development permanently or until a developer is willing to pay what the stakeholder wishes.  New waterborne transportation concepts may or may not ultimately be immune from similar exploration, production and transportation delays in Arctic offshore areas.  We encourage all Arctic developers, particularly those in Canada, to become very familiar with Bill Gallagher's review of such issues.

  • Oil, gas and mining companies could be providing new employment and opportunities to hundreds of service companies and manufacturers.  The opportunities could involve ports, service boats, heavy equipment and operators, catering services and so much more.
  • If the Obama Administration is successful in fully implementing its "Ocean Policy" -- without Congressional authority and without designated Congressional budget support -- it could seek with environmentally extreme allies to shut down the oceans to economic enterprises.  In effect, this vast new administrative power could allow the opportunities presented by the current Northwest Passage voyage to be neutralized -- at least within waters controlled by the U.S.
  • Our readers are familiar with another obstacle to a free use of the Northwest Passage and related on- and off-shore Arctic resource development.  A non-U.S. Senate approved treaty between President Barack Obama and and President Vladimir Putin establishing a Beringia relationship between the two countries.  Note that while Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper has sought to reaffirm and reinforce Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic, President Obama's agencies and environmental allies and President Putin have similar interests: stop U.S. energy development in the Arctic.  Meanwhile, Putin is aggressively developing Russia's Arctic energy resources with considerably less delay caused by political opposition, environmental concerns and litigation.  Sadly, America's current leaders know and care more about organizing political allies than playing chess in real life -- where, in absence of a 'stalemate', the outcome is always one winner and one who has lost everything.

Stay tuned....


Alliance Announces Board Changes

Last week the Alaska Support Industry Alliance held its Annual Meeting & Board Elections at Anchorage's Captain Cook Hotel. Dave Lawer passed the reins to incoming Board President Kevin Durling and 7 slots on the Alliance Board were filled.  (Here is the Alliance webpage link.  Those exploring the webpage will note the Alliance's active involvement -- along with the Resource Development Council for Alaska and a number of active Chambers of Commerce and other organizations -- in policy issues affecting jobs and economic health of the state.  -dh)

Four incumbent board members were reelected to three year terms:

  • Bryan Clemenz, CH2M Hill
  • Krista Gonder, Alaska Tags & Titles
  • Mark D. Nelson, ASRC Energy Services
  • Pete Stokes, Petrotechnical Resources Alaska

The membership also elected three new board members:

  • Adam Crum, Northern Industrial Training
  • Wyche Ford, Fluor
  • Ben Schoffmann, Kakivik Asset Management LLC & CCI Industrial Services, LLC

The Kenai Chapter of the Alliance also voted to make Scott Davis of Davis Block and Concrete their representative to the statewide board.

Additionally, both the Kenai Chapter and the Fairbanks Chapter of the Alliance elected new Chapter Boards.

Fairbanks:

  • Ken Hall, President (Lynden)
  • Joane Johnson, Vice President (Pacific Alaska Freightways)
  • Lee Petersen, Secretary (Fairbanks Fuel)

Kenai:

  • Tim Musgrove, President (Rain for Rent)
  • Ben Cruz, Vice President (Cruz Companies)
  • Fran McCampbell, Secretary (Total Office Products)

    As always, since accuracy is our goal for this northern energy archive, we invite readers to send us additions or corrections to our postings.  -dh


     

Categories:

9-25-14

25 September 2014 6:20am

WSJ: Alaska's Lessons For The Keystone XL Pipeline


IOGCC's Gerry Baker reminds readers to register for the Columbus, Ohio meeting just weeks away.  

Sister organization, NARUC, reminds us of its 126th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, coming in November.  


Resolutions of both organizations go to State and DC Policy makers so energy company participation is mission essential.  -dh

TODAY'S GASLINE MEETING IN FAIRBANKS: The Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline (ASAP) Community Advisory Council will hold its monthly meeting on September 25, 2014 from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm in Fairbanks. The meeting will be held at the Fairbanks Pipeline Training Center located at 3600 Cartwright Court.  The meeting is open to the public.  

Our readers may teleconference via this toll-free number 855-212-0212, meeting ID #:450-839-914.   Find more information on the ASAP project webpage.


Jim Prentice, Premier, Alberta, Globe & Mail Endorsement, Dave Harbour PhotoGlobe & Mail Editorial Support For Jim Prentice (NGP Photo).  When your predecessor lost her job by getting a lot of small things wrong in the most counterproductive way possible, it’s easy to engineer a change in direction. That fleet of private government planes whose flights of fancy grounded Alison Redford? Announce you’re selling them. The big cabinet that bugged voters? Cut its size. That partisan, paranoid plan to change the province’s license plates by removing the long-standing tag line “Wild Rose Country”? Ditch it. Jim Prentice did all of the above in his first days as Alberta’s new Progressive Conservative Premier. Not bad.


TODAY'S CONSUMER ENERGY ALLIANCE ENERGY NEWS LINKS:

Alaska Dispatch News: Shell, ConocoPhillips plead with White House for flexibility in Arctic drilling safety measures
Oil companies hoping to find crude under Arctic waters north of Alaska are imploring the Obama administration to ensure new rules governing drilling in the region don’t force them to stash emergency equipment nearby or block them from using chemical dispersants to clean up any spills.

 
BuildKXLNow.org: Railing Against Keystone XL is Running Over Midwestern Farmers
Willie Nelson and Neil Young, boosters of America’s farmer, will take the stage on Saturday in Nebraska to oppose a pipeline that would help solve a major problem for farmers.  A rail-jam caused by a spike in oil by rail shipments is delaying midwestern farmers from moving their harvest to market.

Sioux City Journal: More tickets available for anti-pipeline concert
Several hundred additional tickets are available for this weekend's Willie Nelson and Neil Young concert organized by opponents of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
 
Yahoo Finance: Why Canadian crude exports to the US are on a high
According to Statistics Canada, energy product shipments—including bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands, the world’s third-largest oil reserve—are the largest component of Canada’s exports. Canada’s largest pipeline company—Enbridge Inc.—is also undertaking a multi billion-dollar expansion program across all of its export network. The program will boost capacity.
 
Reuters: Harper says U.S. will approve Keystone XL pipeline eventually
Logic dictates that the United States will one day approve the northern leg of TransCanada Corp's controversial Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told an audience of executives in New York on Wednesday.
 
TD Waterhouse- Market & Research: Philadelphia energy firms seek rail line changes to boost Bakken crude
Philadelphia-area energy officials are in talks with the local commuter rail agency to increase access to a three-mile stretch of rail near the city's airport to allow for greater shipments of Bakken crude oil, people familiar with the talks told Reuters.
 
Dallas Business Journal: Why stagnant oil and gas prices don't worry T. Boone Pickens
U.S. oil and gas prices are lower than shale producers would like right now, but famed Dallas energy financier T. Boone Pickens told a Houston audience that he sees the American energy boom continuing for many years to come and maybe another three decades or so.
 
Houston Chronicle: Pickens expects cheap natural gas for the foreseeable future
Texas energy financier T. Boone Pickens, an advocate for natural gas as a transportation fuel, says he expects it to stay cheap - good news for drivers who adopt it as an alternative to gasoline and diesel but not necessarily for producers. "I don't think I'll ever see $10 gas," said Pickens, 86, during a Houston panel discussion this week hosted by the law firm Winston & Strawn.
 
Associated Press: GE to give Penn State $10 million for gas drilling center
Penn State University said Wednesday that General Electric Co. will give the school up to $10 million to create a new center for natural gas industry research. Penn State President Eric Barron said in a statement that the center will produce tangible benefits to the industry, to communities that are affected by drilling or related activity, and to consumers.
 
Reuters: Henry Hub, king of U.S. natural gas trade, losing crown to Marcellus
For nearly a quarter-century, traders around the world have looked to a spot in Louisiana for the best price of U.S. natural gas. Now they're looking east. The Henry Hub in southern Louisiana, which connects to more than a dozen on- and offshore pipelines from Texas and the Gulf of Mexico, has been surpassed as the most active place for trading physical U.S. natural gas by hubs in shale-rich Pennsylvania.
 
ABC Denver: Shale panel begins study on land-use issues
A commission assembled by Gov. John Hickenlooper to study land-use clashes between Colorado's energy industry and homeowners will meet for the first time. The 21-member panel is charged with issuing recommendations to lawmakers next year on how to deal with conflicts arising from hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.
 
The Times: Senate candidate makes pitch to LSUS students
This state should be teeming with dollars,” Maness said. “The oil and gas industry has been so restricted at the federal level that it can’t get the job done because it’s too expensive in a lot of cases, especially up here with Haynesville Shale operations. It’s because of over regulation.”
 
Capital New York: If Democrats take majority, Senate would take up HF bills
A number of bills to restrict fracking in New York State could make their way to the Senate floor if Democrats win control of the upper chamber in November. The state has had a moratorium on fracking for six years. At the same time, Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered the state health department to study the health risks of fracking but has not said when, or if, the study would be released.
 
Albany Times Union: Propane storage urged in caverns
The state's propane industry is pushing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to clear the way for a long-planned underground natural gas and propane storage facility in the Finger Lakes region near Watkins Glen. Speaking at the annual conference of the New York Propane Gas Association in that city, President Rick Cummings said safety concerns, voiced by the region's wine and tourism industry, are unfounded and urged the state Department of Environmental Conservation to issue permits.
 
Philadelphia Inquirer: Gas industry wants final word on word
The Marcellus Shale industry is trying to reclaim a word that has become one of the most effective weapons of natural gas foes: Fracking. The Marcellus Shale Coalition, which opened its annual conference Wednesday in Pittsburgh, is launching a campaign aimed at countering the negative connotations associated with fracking, the term derived from the gas-extraction technique of hydraulic fracturing. NOTE: The Tribune-Review and the Pittsburg Business Times also report.
 
Associated Press: Gas drilling public health risks get an airing
Garrett County residents are getting a chance to hear about the potential public health risks of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in their region. The local health department is hosting a presentation Thursday night on a study conducted by the University of Maryland School of Public Health.
 
Columbus Business First: ‘Crippling penalties’ urged for drillers not disclosing chemicals
Commissioners in Portage County, which is just west of some of the big Utica shale counties in eastern Ohio, say they’re concerned about nondisclosure. The county has 18 active underground injection wells and eight more permitted. Ohio hosts 205 injection wells, where drillers in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays dispose fracking-related waste.
 
Valley Biz: Eagle Ford Shale Business Boom
The Eagle Ford Shale oil boom is bringing a lot of new jobs and businesses to deep South Texas. New hotels, restaurants, stores and big city chains are coming to small towns on rural highways.
 
Times Online: Speakers: Shale support could decide White House, Congress
Attendees of the first full day of the annual Shale Insight conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center found themselves treated to a gas and oil industry pep rallyWednesday, coupled with predictions of who will be elected the next president of the United States.
 
National Geographic: The U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard: It’s Not Just for Ethanol Anymore
The debate surrounding ethanol and federally mandated targets for its production tends to dominate the conversation about the United States’ Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). But the Environmental Protection Agency recently issued a tweak to the RFS that also deserves attention.
 
Journal Advocate: EPA power plant rule a bad deal for everyone
It is virtually impossible to overstate the importance of readily available access to safe, affordable and reliable energy to individual prosperity and economic well-being. Energy impacts nearly all aspects of life, from the gasoline pumped into cars to the electricity needed to power factories and industries.
 
Smart Grid News: Up or down? The impact of EPA’s Clean Power Plan on electric rates
Last week we pointed you to an article by the Environmental Defense Fund suggesting that the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan could lead to lower electric bills. So it's only fair that we point you to an article by a respected energy management expert that reaches a different conclusion. Quick summary below, but click through to the full post for the nuances.

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