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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

8-16-14 Open Offshore Production

16 August 2014 1:39pm

More than 125,000 US Consumers Say Open Up New Offshore Areas for Energy Production

More than 125,000 US consumers support of a robust offshore energy development program.  Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) and its partner organizations have submitted these comments to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) just before the end of the comment period on a new five-year offshore energy leasing plan. 


American consumers overwhelmingly support a commonsense energy policy that includes expanding access to offshore areas where responsible exploration for oil and natural gas can be done. In all,128,042 comments were garnered on behalf of CEA, including:

  • 31,325 from consumers in the Gulf Coast states
  • 41,753from consumers along the Atlantic Coast 

In the federal government’s current leasing program, only the western and central portions of the Gulf of Mexico and some limited areas off the Alaskan coast are available for leasing. Altogether, 87% of offshore areas have been closed off from energy development.


The U.S. Outer Continental Shelf has more than 6,200 active oil and gas leases covering approximately 34 million acres. These leases produce 18 percent of domestic oil production and 5 percent of domestic natural gas production. But these areas hold an estimated 89.93 billion barrels of oil and 404.52 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that have yet to be tapped.


8-13-14 EPA's Alaska Hearings Began Yesterday

13 August 2014 8:49am

Alaska Miners Association Summary of Yesterday's Meeting

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ADN by Lisa Demer.  The fight over the proposed Pebble Deantha Crockett, Alasaka Miners Association, EPA, Overreach, Pebble, 404B, preemptive action, rule of law, due process, Photo by Dave Harbourmine came to the Egan Center on Tuesday at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s public hearing before a crowd of hundreds, some holding salmon cutouts or wearing anti-Pebble stickers and others with red stop signs saying “Hands off Alaska.”     ***     Deantha Crockett, executive director of the Alaska Miners Association (NGP Photo), told EPA that she fields calls regularly from potential financiers wondering whether it’s safe to invest in mining here.

“And I don’t know what to say to them,” she said.

Her organization has repeatedly urged EPA to allow Pebble to move through permitting.

“I am discouraged and can only expect that our pleas for science and law will again be ignored.”

(See one of our earlier comments on EPA overreach and the Rule of Law.  If EPA gets away with violating Constitutional due process guarantees by preemptively blocking this project, it can preemptively block any federal, state, local government or private project in the nation or offshore within national waters.   Below is th Alaska Miners Association summary of yesterday's hearing.  -dh)


AMA Members:


Yesterday, EPA held its first of a series of public meetings on the Proposed Determination Pursuant to Section 404c of the Clean Water Act for the Pebble Deposit Area, in Anchorage.

The hearing lasted around five hours, with approximately 125 people signed up to testify.  Testimony began with Tom Collier, CEO of Pebble Partnership, who urged the EPA to wait for their mine plans to be submitted; and at that time, allow a lengthy public comment process and project evaluation.  State of Alaska Attorney General Mike Geraghty powerfully stated that we should not be afraid of the existing permitting process and we should not be afraid of evaluating projects through science.

From elected officials and the public at large, AMA would specifically like to thank the following members for their testimony:

Senator Cathy Giessel, Representative Pete Higgins, Alicia Amberg, Martha Anelon, Trefon Angasan, Chris Birch, Jason Brune, Bill Ellis, Howard Grey, Marleanna Hall, Mike Heatwole, Josie Hickel, Bill Jeffress, Roger Jenkins, Josh Kindred on behalf of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, Sean Magee, Rob Retherford, Rick Rogers, Randy Ruedrich, John Shively, Lorali Simon, and Dennis Stacey.  In addition, we appreciate those who stuck around for several hours but didn't get the chance to testify, including Kati Capozzi, Rebecca Logan, Rachael Petro and Andy Rogers. 

(Note: If I missed you on this list, I am responsible for the omission, and I'm truly sorry!  Please let me know if I missed you.)

I provided testimony on behalf of AMA, and noted that we have previously submitted, five different times, our concerns with the flawed assessment and the abandonment of the permitting process, and that our concerns have never been heard or addressed.  I also noted that AMA receives calls frequently about the investment climate in Alaska, and it has changed drastically and negatively as a result of this process.

We posted many quotes from these testimonies on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  You don't have to be on Facebook to view them; just click here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alaska-Miners-Association/266705696777643?ref=hl 


News articles: 




You can still comment!

Finally, I know that a large majority of you are outside of Anchorage or could not be a part of yesterday's hearing.  You can still comment!  With our Federal Oversight Committee, we will be developing lengthy and technical comments on behalf of AMA and will submit them by the September 19 deadline.  We encourage you to do the same!  See how here: http://www2.epa.gov/bristolbay/public-involvement-bristol-bay-404c-process#comments


Thank you very much for your involvement in this critical issue!

Deantha Crockett
Executive Director
Alaska Miners Association
(907) 270-9234 direct
(907) 563-9229 main
(907) 317-6323 mobile
121 W. Fireweed Lane, Suite 120
Anchorage, AK 99503

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11 August 2014 5:37am

Wall Street Journal by Cassandra Sweet and Jim Carlton.  In U.S. Energy Boom, Alaska Is Unlikely Loser.  former Dominant Oil Player Losing Out To Places Like North Dakota.

Note: The Resource Development Council for Alaska (RDC) urges our NGP readers in Anchorage to attend and testify at an EPA Public Hearing TOMORROW.  We and RDC believe that any project in Alaska should be vetted through existing permitting processes, and be properly evaluated through the National Environmental Policy Act.  Public testimony will be limited to two minutes per person, with tribal elders (i.e. Why not ALL ELDERS; is this discriminatory?) and elected officials invited to testify first.  Public comments are planned to be selected at random.  

Note that in the past we have seen federal tribunals like this allow 'tribal elders' and environmental activists to exceed the 2 minute limit by over 20 minutes while making sure other witnesses were held strictly to the limit.  -dh

Please see attached for RDC’s alert or view it online (http://www.akrdc.org/alerts/2014/epaproposeddeterminationalert.html).  Also attached is an alert from http://www.AKStopEPA.com.

Here is our Friday editorial on this subject: "Is The Federal Government Destroying America's Economy?"



8-7-14 NIMBY and "palpable tensions" among stakeholders

07 August 2014 4:46am

A Fairbanks columnist (i.e. below) admits a conflict of interest -- then opposes a pipeline gravel site possibly needed for a gas pipeline that could lower Fairbanks consumer energy costs.  

It is a classic example of NIMBY, "Not In My Back Yard".  We do not suggest it is improper for a columnist to pen commentary.  Neither do we proclaim NIMBY to be a 'bad' thing.  We do suggest NIMBY is a reality upon which pipeline 'stakeholder relations' professionals must concentrate.  

There is a palpable tension among various special interests: affected neighbors, consumers-at-large, pipeline engineers, local and state politicians and the ticking clock which calculates rising costs of delay just as surely as it tells the time.  -dh

Fairbanks News Miner by Kris Capps.  Two areas in the borough are being considered as possible material sites, or gravel pits, for an in-state gas pipeline, and the Denali Borough wants to know what residents think about it.  ...  In the interest of full disclosure, readers should know this is my neighborhood, and I own a home on Karma Ridge.  ... The thought of our one-lane neighborhood road becoming a major route for truckloads of materials causes me great concern.

Doc Hastings, Natural Resources Committee, EPA Overreach, Dave Harbour PhotoYesterday, Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (NGP Photo) sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers voicing strong concerns over the Corps’ settlement this week with Columbia Riverkeeper, a group that for years has sued the federal government and favors removal of Northwest dams. The settlement, which involves payment of over $140,000 in taxpayer-funded attorneys’ fees to the plaintiff, would vastly expand the regulatory authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over Army Corps’ dam operations nationwide. These dams, especially those in the Pacific Northwest, are the major source of clean, renewable electricity, irrigation, flood control, and navigation.

“Incredibly, I understand that no one other than U.S. Department of Justice or Army Corps lawyers were made aware of the terms of this sweeping settlement before it was finalized, and signed by a judge.  Like an increasing number of the Obama Administration’s ‘sue and settle’ agreements over the past few years, this settlement was negotiated behind closed-doors by the Justice Department with a litigious group without consultation or input from those most directly impacted,” wrote Chairman Hastings in the letter. Of great concern is the likely precedent that this decision could have relating to the EPA’s enforcement of the Clean Water Act, relating to the operation and maintenance of federal and non-federal dams, irrigation and maintenance of a vital navigational link on the Columbia and Snake Rivers in Washington, Idaho and Oregon. This comes amidst the EPA’s hugely controversial ‘Waters of the U.S.’ proposal, which could shut down a host of water development projects and make it easier for litigious groups to sue to block them. I would request an immediate and thorough explanation of the Army Corps’ rationale and details of its actions relative to this settlement, not just to Congress, but also to all affected state, local tribal and other stakeholders that have an interest in the Army Corps’ dam operations nationwide.”



27 July 2014 5:32pm

ADN Op Ed by Paul JenkinsWhile the Environmental Protection Agency pursues its dubious war on the proposed Pebble mine project, and the end-justifies-any-means crowd applauds, we should be asking: Which project is next and how far will we allow this federal agency to exceed its lawful authority?


7-18-14 Fairbanks LNG Project Briefing Last Night

18 July 2014 6:01am

AP by Becky Bohrer.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ... proposing restrictions that would essentially block development of a massive gold-and-copper prospect ...
ADN by Sean Cockerham.  Supporters of the embattled Pebble Mine project in Alaska are making a desperate effort in Congress and the courts to keep it alive ...





Below is last night's report on the Fairbanks LNG project briefing and here is the link to Tuesday's meeting in Anchorage.  -dh

Alaska LNG Project, Steve Butt, ExxonMobil, Photo by Dave HarbourFairbanks News Miner by Matt Buxton.  The man in charge of the Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas Project—the oft-called "landmark" project to commercialize North Slope natural gas for in-state and export—is careful about how he talks about the multi-billion project.

First and foremost, Project Manager Steve Butt (NGP Photo) wants people to know that it's not a pipeline project, like natural gas projects before, but a fully integrated system that includes just about everything on either side of the 800-mile pipeline.

"This isn't a pipeline project, it's a LNG project," he said Thursday at the News-Miner prior to a town hall meeting at Wedgewood Resort later in the evening. "It's much more than a pipeline. The 800-mile pipeline is a super important part, but it's only a part."
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