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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.  -dh

 

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6-7-15 Oil Taxes Approach the Alaska Political Spotlight Again

07 June 2015 3:43pm

Comment.  Readers can be sure that when Alaska's governor calls a summit on the state's fiscal situation, the outlook for oil and gas investors becomes less certain.  (See ADN story, column left)

This is because the natural course of politics is to tax entities with the most cash and fewest votes and protecting large voting blocks of beneficiaries.

For example, the capital intensive oil industry employs very few, highly skilled masters of technology to produce great wealth.  Other industries, like commercial fishing and tourism are people intensive; they employ huge armies of mostly lower skilled workers --voters-- that produce insufficient tax revenue to fund the education, airports, social services, roads, docks and seasonal unemployment costs associated with their vocations.

So when the Revenue Commissioner talks about "changes" to an oil and gas tax regime that was reformed by the Legislature two years ago, then withstood a voters initiative to repeal the reform last year, investors must calculate a higher risk factor into their ongoing investment decisions -- including big projects like gas pipelines.

The way it will likely happen is that politicians will say, "...the fiscal crisis affects everyone and everyone will have to contribute a 'fair share' to the solution." What follows will be fairly insignificant spending cuts and modest tax hikes affecting large groups and proposals for more significant tax increases affecting oil and gas investors.

If it rolls out any other way, it will be a first for Alaska.

Alaska's deplorable fiscal crisis is decades old and self imposed by politicians and greedy constituents; it was not caused state's small cadre of highly efficient wealth producers. 

Yet we can expect in coming months misleading and demonizing rhetoric aimed at those investors to justify taxing them more; the rhetoric will also serve to cover the derrieres of the real culprits -- Alaska's current and past political bosses.  

-dh

ADN by Dermot Cole and Nathaniel Herz.   ...

“We’re going to have taxes that impact individual Alaskans. We’re going to have to look at changes to oil and gas taxes. We’re going to have to look at strategic use of our legacy assets,” (Revenue Commissioner Randy  Hoffbeck) said, referring to the Constitutional Budget Reserve, the Permanent Fund and other accounts.  

Hoffbeck said oil and gas tax changes could be part of the solution but “I don’t want anybody to misinterpret this as saying, ‘It’s time to go after the oil companies again.’  

“Is there room to modify oil and gas taxes? To make them more efficient, to make them work better, generate more incentives for investment, while still being fair? I think that’s an honest intellectual discussion that we need to have.”


More on gas pipeline from Petroleum News: 

Chenault bullish on LNG progress, prospects - 06/07/2015 House Speaker Mike Chenault has been busy dealing over the budget impasse that's approaching its fifth month. But the Nikiski Republican hasn't lost sight of recent significant oil and gas developments, be it repairing the Dalton Highway, protests from Washington state and Seattle politicians over S....


 

Categories:

6-5-15

05 June 2015 7:33am

What America's Decline in Economic Freedom Means for Entrepreneurship and Prosperity 

Why did the U.S. economy recover so slowly from the 2008 recession? What lessons have economists learned that can encourage economic growth in the future? A new book, comprised of five essays by noted U.S. economists, connects the dots between the role entrepreneurs and small businesses play in growing an economy, how high levels of economic freedom increase both the quantity and quality of entrepreneurship, the decline of economic freedom in the United States since 2000, and how the decline in economic freedom explains the sluggish economic recovery.Read more.

Government employees in Canada paid 9.7% more than comparable employees in private-sector
Government employees in Canada receive higher wages and likely more generous non-wage benefits than their private-sector counterparts, finds Comparing Government and Private Sector Compensation in Canada Read more

 

Governments missing the mark on energy and environmental regulations
Policymakers have encumbered Canadians with superfluous and needlessly costly environmental regulations that do little to improve the environment, concludes The Principle of Targeting in Energy and Environmental Policy Read more

 

6-4-15 Perry Announces For President Putting Energy Reform As A Top Priority

04 June 2015 9:58am

Rick Perry, Governor, Texas, Candidate, President, Copyright Dave Harbour 2011, Photo by Dave Harbour, IOGCCCommentary: Today, Governor Rick Perry (NGP Photo) announced his candidacy for president.  His message embraced a reversal of most Obama-era policies--especially those involving energy.  He said, "There is nothing wrong in America today that a change in leadership will not (correct)."  (Full Video Below)

We hope that is so; if it is to be so, it will take the sort of passion, commitment, experience and determination reflected in his remarks today.  

Yesterday a dear friend on Facebook posted an editorial about 'unaffordable housing costs and stagnant wages'.  It sounded to me like the article was a pretext to more massive wealth transfer from the producers to the beneficiaries of our welfare society.  We too lament the predicament of many but went on to offer this analysis (edited), with which my FB friend agreed:

Government increases costs of regulation for 20 million small (not to mention large) businesses causing an export of jobs and wealth, then taxes at an excessive rate, then borrows $18 trillion from our children, and then says to all businesses: "now we will force you to pay more per hour for your employees whether their skill, education or the value of the job itself merits more compensation or not."
 
American citizens are no longer masters of their government, but indentured to it. The generations since WWII have -- intentionally or not -- given away a large portion of the freedom inherited from our ancestors that led to the most successful, free country in history.
 
High housing costs and "stagnant" wages are not the cause of our economic malaise, but a symptom of it.
 
An answer to today's morass of economic malaise is not to increase the army of bureaucrats; it is to cut taxes , trim regulations and undertake massive tort reform to reduce everyone's hidden costs and create more private sector jobs.
 
The answer is not more government subsidized programs today, financed by our kids tomorrow. The answer is not more minimum wage projects that kill small business growth (LAX, SEA).
 
The answer is us: self reliant citizens who would rather do without than subject our children to a crushing, impossible debt burden acquired by selfish generations of parents.

We add this little information box because we believe it is relevant to Governor Perry's comments today.  -dh

This is not an endorsement of this particular candidate for we have also been inspired by the announcements of other candidates.  And we have also been impressed with the commitment of some other candidates who rely on a rededication of America to the 'rule of God', which we believe to be indispensable to the survival and prosperity of the American experiment.  

But we heard nothing today that would discourage our eventual support.

He said that, "Energy is vital to our economy."  Among the more specific energy statements he made were the promises that on the first day in office he would freeze any Obama administration pending regulations; approve the Keystone pipeline; and, authorize the export of natural gas to European allies to free them from dependence on Russian supply.

From a national defense perspective he sent a message to Russia's Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, "If energy is to be used as a weapon, America will have the largest arsenal."

"During my 14 years as governor," Perry said, "Texas companies created almost 1/3 of all new American jobs.  In the last 7 years of my tenure Texas created 1.5 million new jobs.  Without Texas America would have lost 400,000 jobs."  

We note that those are impressive facts and accomplishments, not merely promises.

He added that during his governorship, Texas was an engine of growth because under his watch, the state 1) controlled taxes, 2) focused on reasonable regulations, 3) invested in an educated work force, and 4) stopped frivolous lawsuits (See our related comments, left column).

He said that Texas enjoys the country's second highest high school graduation rate, the highest graduation rate for black and Hispanic students.

Texas led nation in exports, he said, provided historic tax relief and balanced its budget for 14 years (though, in fairness, one notes that while the federal government can avoid balancing the budget by printing money, states cannot print their own currency and must balance their budgets).  

In these pages we have lamented the current administration's departure from the rule of law.  Perry emphasized the value of maintaining law and order.  He recalled that when President Obama refused to control the border, he activated the Texas National Guard.  The policy worked.  He added, "If you elect me your president I will secure that border.  Homeland security begins with border security".   

In order for America's energy industry to thrive, the country must be protected.  Perry pledged to do that.  He said that the most basic compact between the President and the citizens is to keep the country safe.  He said that a great lesson of history is that strength brings peace and order while "weakness and vacillation" invite chaos and conflict.  

Perry is a longtime states rights advocate and a former Chairman of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, IOGCC.

-Dave Harbour


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave Harbour, publisher of Northern Gas Pipelines, is a former Chairman of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, a Commissioner Emeritus of NARUC, and NARUC's Official Representative to IOGCC. He is also past Chair of the Alaska Council on Economic Education, former Chair of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, and past President of the American Bald Eagle Foundation.  A former Army officer, Harbour has directed external affairs operations of major oil and gas companies, served as a university vice president and been CEO of several small businesses.  Harbour is also Chairman Emeritus of the Alaska Oil & Gas Congress and past President of the Alaska Press Club.

 

 

Categories:

6-3-15

03 June 2015 6:30am

TODAYThe Environmental Protection Agency released the final version of a new rule that will dramatically increase the agency’s power, and will devastate Americans’ ability to use their own property and their own water."


Pedro van Meurs Mexico Meeting This Summer 


National Energy Board Staffing


Dan Joling, AP, Shell Oil, lawsuit, Arctic, Photo by Dave HarbourAP/ADN by Dan Joling (NGP Photo).  Ten environmental groups Tuesday sued a federal agency over its approval of a plan by Royal Dutch Shell PLC for exploratory petroleum drilling off Alaska's northwest coast.

Comment on Arctic exploration.  We have the highest regard for Shell, its employees and its dedication to the Arctic drilling project.  

The company has spent now over $7 billion on leases, permitting, community relations, technology and logistics, etc. and labored against continuous obstruction by the EPA and environmental groups, among others.  

In our heart of hearts, we believed that when the Federal government gave one of several required go-ahead to the project this year, it was true to its philosophy and strategy of 'damning Arctic energy work by faint praise."  That is, we believe that this duplicitous administration that would preemptively stop a state mining project on state lands (i.e. Pebble); and delay or kill the eminently reasonable and economically important Keystone XL pipeline; or lock up half of the nation's Alaska petroleum reserve; or manage the 1002 ANWR area as wilderness without Congressional approval; or use financial resources from over a dozen state agencies to implement a non-Congressionally approved 'oceans policy would not give up opposition to Shell's Arctic project without a strategy.  

We believe that the recent, highly organized enviro spectacle connected with Shell's use of the Port of Seattle and another lawsuit attack (AP story above) could be giving the administration comfort that they can claim, "We support an all-of-the-above energy program", knowing that plans are in progress for stopping or delaying the project yet again.  Even the U.S. Senate democrats are organizing against Shell's investment and plans.   Would they do this without the administration's acquiescence?  

While we have sometimes been wrong in connecting the dots, in the case of this administration we have documented a pattern of violations of due process (i.e. rule of law) which threatens our economy, our national defense, our civilization and our childrens' futures.  

We hope we are wrong this time.  We hope that Shell's ongoing challenges are merely gnats that can easily be swatted away.  

We hope that, contrary to evidence, the administration is not -- in this case -- working behind the scenes with enviro-extremists to cripple due process and America's reliance on the rule of law embedded in our Constitution.  

But EPA's WOTUS rule, subject of today's news, gives us -- not cause for confidence in our government -- but reason for a heightened state of alarm.  -dh  

 

 


Pedro van Meurs, Mexico, leasing terms, Alaska, Photo by Dave HarbourThe subject is not Northern, but this Mexico opportunity will surely interest many of our North American readers.  Furthermore, Pedro van Meur's (NGP Photo) workshops always produce insight into how the various jurisdictions approach leasing, regulatory and taxation issues.  This is why we monitor his meeting schedule....  -dh

  FURTHER SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN SHALLOW WATER REGIME  
 
     
     
     

On May 29, 2015, CNH unveiled further significant modifications to the shallow water terms.  

On May 12, 2015, the initial terms for onshore blocks were also announced.

At the same time, the terms for the areas allocated to PEMEX are also known.  

This means that we now have considerable information about Mexican petroleum terms. 

On June 15 – 16, 2015 in Mexico City we will have a work shop providing an independent analysis and evaluation of these offshore and onshore terms.  This work shop will be beneficial for all those interested in investing in Mexico’s petroleum industry.

Click here  for more information about this work shop.

Best regards,
Pedro van Meurs
President, Van Meurs Corporation
PO Box CR-56766 # 1261
Nassau, Bahamas

 

 

 

For Immediate Release:                            Contact: Emily Schillinger ~202.224.6441

June 3, 2015                                              Emily_Schillinger@Barrasso.Senate.Gov

 

Barrasso Highlights How the Final

WOTUS Rule is Even Worse Than Draft Rule

Calls for Passage of Bipartisan Federal Water Quality Protection Act

 

Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso’s speech.

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent release of the final “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule.

 

Barrasso also highlighted his bipartisan legislation, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S. 1140). The bill would direct the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to issue a revised “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule that protects traditional navigable water from water pollution, while also protecting farmers, ranchers and private landowners.

 

Excerpts of his remarks:

 

“Last week, our nation observed Memorial Day –we paid tribute to the sacrifices that so many Americans have made to preserve our freedoms.

 

“Also last week, while members of Congress were back home, the Obama administration snuck out a new rule that takes away freedom—it takes away freedom from Americans all across the country.

 

“The Environmental Protection Agency released the final version of a new rule that will dramatically increase the agency’s power, and will devastate Americans’ ability to use their own property and their own water.

 

“With this rule, President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency overreaches and ignores the American people.

 

“The rule is an attempt—an attempt to change the definition of what the Clean Water Act calls ‘waters of the United States.’

 

“There is bipartisan agreement that Washington bureaucrats have gone way beyond their authority with this new regulation.

 

“They’ve written this rule so broadly – and with so much uncertainty – that it’s not clear if there are any limits on this agency’s power.

 

“Now I agree with what the chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee has to say—he wrote it in an op-ed that appeared yesterday.

 

“The Senator from Oklahoma, Senator Inhofe, Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee wrote: ‘Not only does this final rule break promises EPA has made, but it claims federal powers even beyond what EPA originally proposed a year ago. This will drastically affect – for the worse – the ability of many Americans to use and enjoy their property.’ 

 

“Then it defines tributaries to include any place where you can see an ‘ordinary high water mark’ or what looks like it was once the bank of a creek, a creek body of water. What looks like—not what is—but what looks like.

 

“Under the rule, the Environmental Protection Agency can regulate something as ‘waters of the United States’ if it falls within a 100-year floodplain of a navigable water. Not navigable water today, but anything within a 100-year floodplain of a navigable water.

 

“The rule says the agency has to find a ‘significant nexus’ to navigable water.

 

“So what’s a significant nexus to the EPA? Well, the agency gets to make up its own definition.

 

“They say it includes something as simple as finding that the water provides ‘life cycle dependent aquatic habitat’ for a species that spends part of its time in a navigable water. 

 

“All of these terms are things that Washington bureaucrats are defining for themselves.

 

“They decide for themselves that they have the authority.

 

“So let’s say your property is within 4,000 feet of anything the Environmental Protection Agency decides is a tributary, and your property has a natural pond – or some standing water after heavy rain.

 

“And let’s say a bird that spends part of its life on the Colorado River decides to hang out near that natural pond, or that standing water that occurred on your property after it rained. 

 

“Under this new regulation, the Environmental Protection Agency now has the power to regulate what you do on that land.

 

“It’s bad enough that this administration has taken this extraordinary step. It’s bad enough that it tried to sneak out its rule hoping that nobody was paying attention over the Memorial Day time at home.

 

“There are now reports that the Obama administration may have broken the law. 

 

“Here’s what the New York Times reported on May 18, under the headline, front page of the New York Times, ‘Critics Hear E.P.A.’s Voice in Public Comments.’

 

“This was an article, front page New York Times, about the public comments that government agencies have to collect when they propose new regulations like this one they’ve done on the waters of the U.S.

 

“The comment period is supposed to be an opportunity for people who might be harmed by the rules to have their say.

 

“Well, according to this front page article in the New York Times, the Environmental Protection Agency has twisted the public comments requirement into its own private government funded spin machine.

 

“The article says: ‘In a campaign that tests the limits of federal lobbying law, the agency orchestrated a drive to counter political opposition from Republicans and enlist public support in concert with liberal environmental groups and a grass-roots organization aligned with President Obama.’

 

“This government agency ignored negative comments by Americans who were concerned about the law, who were hurt by the law.

 

“Then it used taxpayer dollars to lobby liberal groups ‘to flood the agency with positive comments,’ that’s not me, that’s what’s written in the New York Times.

 

“These were the same phony, ginned up comments it used to justify the dramatic overreach of its new regulations.

 

“It’s incredible, it’s unacceptable, and I believe, it’s illegal.

 

“The Environmental Protection Agency would rather skew public comments in its favor, than acknowledge the real concerns that Americans and members of Congress have with this destructive rule.

 

“These are the concerns of farmers, of ranchers, of hard working families, small businesses across the country.

 

“There was an interesting column in U.S. News and World Report last Friday.

 

“The headline was ‘Stop Terrorizing Main Street.’

 

“The column talked about the damage that all this red tape can do to small businesses.

 

“It says: ‘when the EPA jumps up and yells ‘boo,’ entrepreneurs cringe. They withdraw. They feel anxious and reconsider plans to start or expand a business. This is bad for our economy.’

 

“Well, I believe they’re exactly right.

 

“That’s what Washington does with the uncertainty and the overreach of rules like this one.

 

“It’s bad for the economy –it does nothing to improve the quality of our water, or the quality of our life.

 

“There is universal agreement in this country that we should protect America’s navigable waters.

 

“There is also bipartisan agreement on the best ways for Washington to help do that.

 

“This isn’t just Republicans against President Obama.

 

“This is Republicans and Democrats working to protect America’s waterways – and President Obama working instead to expand the power of unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats.

 

“Here’s how the newspaper The Hill reported it last Thursday, with an article headlined ‘Democrats buck Obama on water rule.’

 

“The article says: ‘Dozens of congressional Democrats are joining Republicans to back legislation blocking the Obama administration’s new rule to redefine its jurisdiction over the nation’s waterways.’

 

“It’s talking about my bill, a bill called the Federal Water Quality Protection Act.

 

“The bill has 30 co-sponsors in the Senate – Democrats and Republicans alike.

 

“A similar bill in the House actually passed with the support of 24 Democrats and every Republican.

 

“So what does the administration have to say to the dozens of Democrats in Congress – the 24 Democrats who voted against the administration? To the millions of Americans – who are concerned about this new regulation?

 

“According to the article in The Hill, President Obama’s top environmental adviser said, this is of the Democrats who voted for this, ‘The only people with reason to oppose the rule are polluters...’

 

“So the president believes that the 24 Democrats that voted to support, and the Democrats in the Senate who voted to cosponsor my legislation, are polluters who want to threaten our clean water.

 

“That’s what the White House thinks of these Democrats in Congress.

 

“That’s what the White House thinks of anyone who dares to suggest that this rule is bureaucratic overreach. Such arrogance.

 

“Well, there are a lot of Americans – Democrats and Republicans – who are not going to be intimidated by the Obama administration’s power grab, or its name-calling.

 

“The Obama administration has ignored the strong bipartisan consensus against this rule – and it’s once again, taking its own, radical approach.

 

“Instead of moving forward with a rule that fails to represent the interests of many Americans, we should act immediately to pass this bipartisan Federal Water Quality Protection Act.

 

“This legislation says Yes to clean water – and No to extreme bureaucracy.

 

“It will protect America’s waterways, while keeping Washington’s hands off of things that it has no business regulating.

 

“The Environmental Protection Agency would have to consult with the states –to make sure that we’ve got the approach that works best everywhere, not just the approach that Washington likes best.

 

“They would not be able to just listen to the echo chamber of phony comments concocted by their own lobbying campaign.

 

“Now this bill gives certainty and clarity to farmers, to hardworking ranchers, to small business owners and their families.

 

“It makes sure that people can continue to enjoy the beautiful rivers and the lakes that should be preserved and protected.

 

“This bipartisan bill protects Americans from runaway bureaucracy—unaccountable, unelected.

 

“It restores Washington’s attention to the traditional waters that were always the focus before.

 

“The American people don’t need more bureaucratic overreach. We don’t need more red tape.

 

“Congress should act immediately to stop this outrageous regulation before it goes into effect.

 

“The Senate should take up and pass this bipartisan Federal Water Quality Protection Act.”

###

 

 
 
National Energy Board can't afford the calibre of staff it needs,pipeline group warns
CEPA represents natural gas and oil pipeline companies across Canada, while the NEB is 90 percent funded by levies on the industry.
Categories:

6-2-15 New Alaska North Slope Discoveries!

02 June 2015 9:32am

Rebecca Logan, Alaska Support Industry Alliance, Armstrong, North Slope Discoveries, Dave Harbour PhotoNEW Alaskan Discoveries Are Significant: See TODAY'S NEWS!  (Note: we thank Rebecca Logan {NGP Photo}, Alliance General Manager, for alerting us to this important announcement!)


Robert Dillon, US Senate Energy Committee, Lisa Murkowski, Keystone XL, Photo by Dave Harbour

Keystone XL Commentary by Robert Dillon (NGP Photo), U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee


TODAY'S RELEVANT ENERGY LINKS, COURTESY OF CONSUMER ENERGY ALLIANCE


 
 
British Columbia's energy projects lure companies stung by Alberta downturn
Still, all of the LNG terminals proposed for the British Columbia coast remain in the planning stage while gas and crude- oil pipeline projects face ...
 
 
Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion could cost Canada $22.1B, says SFU study
"Investing some $20 billion in potentially empty pipeline space imposes a very large cost on Canada, to the oil and gas sector, to the Canadian public ...
 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, June 10, 2015, at 11:00 AM, in room 1324 Longworth House Office Building, the Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs will hold a legislative hearing on the following bill:

  • H.R. 2387 Don Young, Alaska Congressman, Native veterans, Photo by Dave Harbour(Rep. Don Young, NGP Photo), To amend the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act to provide for equitable allotment of land to Alaska Native veterans.

 

 

 
 
 
 

Armstrong Announces Significant Discoveries on the North Slope of Alaska

June 02, 2015 07:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--70 & 148, LLC (Armstrong) announced today the successful completion of the 2014/2015 winter campaign.

“These new discoveries show the immense potential that still exists on the North Slope of Alaska”

Two Nanushuk wells were tested this year, including the Qugruk 8 (Q-8) vertical well, which tested a small portion of the net pay zone and flowed 30 degree API gravity crude at rates of up to 2,160 barrels of oil per day (BOPD). The Qugruk 301 (Q-301), two miles north of Q-8, tested a 2,000 foot horizontal lateral. The well flowed at tubing constrained rates as high as 4,600 BOPD with minimal bottom hole pressure drawdown.

In the East Alpine field, two new penetrations were completed in the Alpine Formation, adding to the previous two penetrations. Three of these wells have encountered oil productive Alpine sand in excess of 95 feet thick at a depth of 6500 feet with porosities ranging from 15% to 25%. Well control and seismic data indicates the oil pool covers an area in excess of 15,000 acres.

The successful drilling program is the result of a joint exploration effort underway since 2012. Repsol operates the consortium and holds a 70% interest, Armstrong holds a 22.5% stake and GMT Exploration Company has 7.5%.

The activity to date since the beginning of exploration has resulted in the discovery of several oil fields on the North Slope of Alaska. All 16 wells (including sidetracks) drilled by the consortium have found hydrocarbons, most with multiple pay zones. In the Nanushuk reservoir, the consortium has drilled seven appraisal wells to date and has proven an oil pool that covers more than 25,000 acres, at a depth of 4,100 feet, with an oil column of 650+ feet, and up to 150 feet of net pay with an average porosity of 22%.

Although additional drilling is needed to confirm the ultimate size of some discoveries, this season’s results justify moving forward with development, and two of the fields are in the process of being permitted for development -- one in the Nanushuk and another in the Alpine Fm.

“These new discoveries show the immense potential that still exists on the North Slope of Alaska,” said Bill Armstrong, President of Armstrong Oil & Gas. “We strongly believe that there are many great conventional oil projects yet to be found and developed in Alaska, and with the passage of the More Alaska Production Act (SB 21), the state has encouraged new drilling and future developments.”

 
 
 
 
 
TODAY'S RELEVANT ENERGY LINKS FROM CONSUMER ENERGY ALLIANCE....
 
Washington Examiner: Offshore drilling would continue under most 2016 hopefuls
A May poll of South Carolina voters by Consumer Energy Alliance, a coalition of business and energy industry groups, showed 63 percent supported Arctic drilling compared with 32 percent who opposed it. Eighty-five percent of the Palmetto State voters polled said energy issues will play an important role in the 2016 election.
 
Associated Press: Things to know about the Calif. oil spill
The May 19 spill occurred along the same stretch of Santa Barbara County coast as the devastating oil platform blowout in 1969 that galvanized the environmental movement. While the impacts of the latest spill have been far less severe, the episode has angered conservationists and residents who lived through the earlier disaster.
 
Los Angeles Times: Santa Barbara fisherman files suit against oil pipeline company
As Santa Barbara fisherman is suing the Texas owners of the oil pipeline that ruptured last month, spilling up to 105,000 gallons of crude along the coast near Refugio State Beach, for economic damages.
 
Huffington PostOpinion: U.S. needs to back oil, gas boom to strengthen job market
Federal leaders should support the oil and natural gas boom and ease the permitting process for infrastructure projects to continue bolstering the nation's strong job market, writes Sean McGarvey, president of North America's Building Trades Unions and chairman at the Oil and Natural Gas Industry Labor-Management Committee. Energy infrastructure expansion could add jobs and generate savings for the nation with about $1.14 trillion of investments through 2025, McGarvey notes, citing the American Petroleum Institute. "The family-sustaining jobs that the boom is creating are exactly the type of jobs we need to rebuild the great American middle class," he writes.
 
National Journal: EPA Climate Plan Sent to White House for Review
The Obama administration has teed up a busy summer on climate change, with the final review of its tentpole climate rule swinging into action.
 
The Hill: Obama climate rule nearly complete
The Obama administration is conducting the final review of its controversial rule to limit carbon emissions from power plants. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said it is putting the regulation into the final review process after receiving the texton Monday from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
 
The HillFrench official says climate deal should bypass
 

The French foreign minister said Monday that any international deal that comes from a climate conference in Paris this winter should be written so it avoids needing ratification by Congress. "We know the politics in the U.S." Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said, the Associated Press reports. "Whether we like it or not, if it comes to the Congress, they will refuse."
 
The HillKansas governor signs bill to comply with power plant rules
Kansas will formulate a plan to comply with the Obama administration's climate rule for power plants despite ongoing opposition to it within state government. Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill last week directing the state's Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Corporation Commission to work on a strategy to meet the goals of the Clean Power Plan, which looks to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
 
E&E News: FERC commissioner says EPA carbon rule may usurp state powers
States complying with U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan run the risk of ceding jurisdiction over energy policy decisions to the federal government, according to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member Tony Clark.
 
Breaking EnergyFERC Advances Reliability Safety Mechanism in Final Clean Power Plan
On May 15, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) provided the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a letter signed by all five Commissioners that details its role in implementing a Reliability Safety Valve (RSV) in the proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP). The CPP proposal, issued on June 2, 2014, aims to reduce power sector emissions by 30 percent by 2030 relative to 2005 levels. It provides state-specific, rate- or mass-based targets to reduce power plant carbon dioxide emissions and guidelines for state plans to meet the targets.
 
Bloomberg: Global oil companies refocus businesses, promote gas
Royal Dutch Shell, Total and other global oil producers said Monday that they are collaborating to encourage the use of natural gas as an alternative to coal. The companies are increasing their gas production to levels greater than those of their oil output as they refocus their businesses on gas.
 
Reuters: The U.S. oil HF’s dilemma: crouch or pounce?
U.S. shale oil producers, having weathered the worst price plunge in their industry’s brief history, now face a dilemma: whether to stay in a defensive crouch after slashing their rig fleets, or start drilling more wells to capture a partial recovery in prices.
 
Financial PostThe great HF revolution paradox
One of the great paradoxes of the fracking revolution is that its “father,” the late George P. Mitchell, was a fan of sustainable development. This might not quite rank with cotton manufacturer Friedrich Engels supporting Karl Marx, but it comes pretty close. That’s because if sustainability has one key tenet, it is that the fossil fuel industry must be killed to save the planet. Instead, fracking has revitalized it.
 
OilPrice.com: Why natural gas may become the fuel of choice in this coal state
Kentucky has long been a coal state, and as such has consistently resisted efforts by the federal government to limit greenhouse gas emissions from its coal-fired power plants. Nevertheless, Kentucky may end up complying with the new rules by default.
 
Environmental Leader: HF Drives New Water Management, Treatment Technologies
As the water footprint created by hydraulic fracturing and directional drilling continues to grow in the US, water management issues are projected to become more challenging, Industrial WaterWorld reports. Fortunately, technical advancements and new initiatives are beginning to address water access, reuse and recycling issues.
 
Roll Call: Dems should back offshore drilling expansion
Democratic members of Congress should stop using false arguments to rationalize restrictions on offshore oil and natural gas production and exploration, and instead overcome "the Arctic myth" and expand access to such activities, writes Randall Luthi, president of the National Ocean Industries Association. He notes that contrary to the beliefs of some lawmakers and groups, knowledge has been developed for decades on "nearly every aspect of the Arctic seascape" through technologies and research funding from the industry and federal regulators.
 
Bloomberg: Corn Ethanol Is Worse Than Keystone
For years, environmental activists have opposed the Keystone XL pipeline, claiming that development of Canada’s oil sands will be “game over for the climate.” But if those same activists are sincere about climate change, why aren’t they getting arrested outside the White House to protest the use of corn ethanol?
 
International Business Times: HF Resumes in Denton
Natural gas drilling is starting up again in Denton, Texas, despite the city’s 7-month-old ban on hydraulic fracturing. Vantage Energy resumed operations Monday at its Denton well just weeks after Gov. Greg Abbott passed a law prohibiting cities from banning fracking on their home turf. Three activists were arrested at the drill site Monday morning after attempting to block an access road.
 
VICE News: Denton, Texas Banned Fracking — But the Drillers Are Back
In November of last year, voters in Denton, Texas sent the oil and gas industry packing, passing with a 58 percent majority a referendum banning fracking within city limits. But now the frackers are back. Last week, Colorado-based Vantage Energy began operations — legally.
 
NBC DFW3 arrested in Denton HF protest
The return of fracking came with protests and arrests in Denton. On Monday morning, three members of the Denton Drilling Awareness Group, also known as Frack Free Denton, were arrested by police on criminal trespassing charges.
 
Fierce EnergyDOE driving tribal clean energy in Alaska
The Department of Energy (DOE) is giving select Alaska Native villages assistance to implement President Obama's Climate Action Plan through the Alaska Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team (START) Program, which provides federally-recognized Alaska Native corporations' governments with technical assistance to accelerate tribal clean energy projects and initiatives.
 
FuelFixNew lawsuit filed against seven-year-old Arctic drilling auction
A 2008 government sale of Arctic drilling leases to Shell and other companies is set to face fresh scrutiny in the federal courts, with a dozen environmental and Alaskan groups preparing to file a new challenge to the auction.
 
Associated PressCelebrity make splash with Calif. drought awareness
Cher, another Malibu resident, has also let her grass go brown and has talked about the water shortage on Twitter. In a post last month, she complained California used fresh water for fracking. "We’re in a catastrophic drought, water means life??" she wrote. "We can’t drink oil."
 
Associated Press: HF halt sought in N.W. New Mexico
Environmental groups Monday renewed their call to end hydraulic fracturing in northwestern New Mexico as part of an ongoing battle over oil and natural gas development and the protection of cultural and archaeological sites. The groups delivered a letter to the Bureau of Land Management in Farmington, saying increased development has led to more truck traffic and dozens of new well pads during the last year, and that is harming the region that includes Chaco Culture National Historical Park.
 
E&E NewsCourt keeps activists out of HF lawsuit
The Colorado Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld a lower court's decision that the grass-roots group East Boulder County United had no legal right to intervene in a lawsuit between the Colorado Oil and Gas Association and the Front Range city of Lafayette, which passed a fracking ban in 2013.
 
Post IndependentNo oil and gas in North Fork Valley
Most here feel that oil and gas development simply does not fit into the lands where we live, grow our food, have our businesses and recreate. If oil and gas development is to happen in some places, we need to see other places removed from the threat of it happening there in the future. We want to have a say and direct input into how, where, if and when this activity occurs.
 
Associated PressNatural gas drilling on upswing in Lincoln Parish
A Texas energy company has purchased or leased about 71,000 acres in and around Lincoln Parish, where it is operating as many as eight rigs with plans for perhaps 10 more by the end of the year. The News-Star reports Memorial Resource Development Corp. of Houston is drilling for natural gas and natural gas liquids.
 
Morning Journal News: Drilling severance tax off the budget table, House speaker says
Any plans to raise the state tax on shale gas production and earmarking some of the proceeds for counties impacted by the drilling boom appear to be on hold, at least for now. That was the message delivered by someone who should know - Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger - who was among state legislators attending a forum held Monday and hosted by state Rep. Tim Ginter.
 
Columbus Business FirstOhio shale gas production up in 2015, but growth slowing
Natural gas production increased more than 11 percent during the first three months of 2015 compared with the previous three months. Gas production had increased by 25 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the third, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
 
American City Business JournalsOhio shale gas output rose 11% in Q1, regulator says
Natural gas production in Ohio's Utica Shale in the first quarter rose over 11% from the previous quarter to 183.6 billion cubic feet, according to the state Department of Natural Resources. The figures indicate a slower output growth than that of the fourth quarter of last year, when production increased by 25% from the third quarter.
 
Pittsburgh Post-GazetteAnalyst: Proposed Pa. severance tax would be highest among gas-producing states
Pennsylvania would have the highest severance tax rate among seven natural gas-producing states if it adopts Gov. Tom Wolf's proposed severance tax on shale gas production, state Independent Fiscal Office Director Matthew Knittel said Monday at a joint hearing held by state Senate committees on environmental resources, energy and finance. The tax rate for both value and volume of output should average about 7.3% after the end of the decade, Knittel said. He added that about 80% of the tax would be paid by consumers outside of the state.
 
Patriot-News: Pa. severance tax would be highest among natural gas states, report says
Gov. Tom Wolf's proposed severance tax would take Pennsylvania from last place to first among major gas-producing states in taxing the extraction of natural gas, according to the Independent Fiscal Office. In testimony before a Senate committee Monday, IFO Director Matthew Knittel said the effective tax rate after all state taxes are accounted for would be 7.3 percent. Neighboring states like Ohio and West Virginia levy taxes of 0.8 and 5 percent, respectively, while Texas' taxes range from 3.1 to 3.5 percent.
 
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Proposed severance tax would be paid by out-of-state consumers, agency says
Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed severance tax on shale gas would shift Pennsylvania from having the lowest to the highest effective severance tax rate among seven major gas-producing states, but most of the tax likely would be paid by out-of-state consumers, the head of Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office testified on Monday. Matthew Knittel, director of the non-partisan office that provides budget analysis, gave the new assessment of the tax during a joint hearing of the state Senate’s energy and finance committees.
 
Patriot-News: HF, severance tax issues will dominate Senate hearings
Questions about how Pennsylvania regulates and taxes the natural gas industry will dominate two Senate hearings, including the vetting of Gov. Tom Wolf's environmental secretary pick. On Monday, the Senate Environmental Resources & Energy committee will scrutinize the governor's proposed 5 percent tax on natural gas drillers. The following day, the same panel will consider the nomination of John Quigley to run the Department of Environmental Protection.
 
Legal IntelligencerWolf creates natural gas pipeline task force
Pennsylvania is missing an even bigger opportunity for a return on Marcellus Shale drilling due to an inadequate system of pipelines, business officials have repeatedly said. Now Gov. Tom Wolf has formed the Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force to help coordinate thousands of miles of additional pipeline needed to take advantage of all the markets for the shale gas.
 
Associated PressVa. panel recommends new HF regulations
A Virginia advisory panel is recommending that energy companies disclose the chemical ingredients they use in horizontal fracking, a type of natural gas drilling that has spawned environmental concerns. The proposal is among 14 recommendations that have been sent to Gov. Terry McAuliffe for review.
 
Charleston Daily MailDavid McKinley: Connecting the dots on regulations
Too much of anything is a bad thing. If you plug too many appliances into an outlet, it will blow a fuse. If you overload a boat, it will sink.
 
Orlando Sentinel: Advocate: Fla. can lead on energy
Central Florida faces stronger storms and population surges due to global warming, an advocate warns. Florida trails the nation in promoting renewable energy, says an advocate for more action on climate change. Promoting renewable and more-efficient energy won't kill jobs — it'll create them, and advocate says.

 


Keystone Commentary and Status Report

by

Robert Dillon

U.S. Senate and Natural Resources Committee

Keystone – Four (More) Months and Counting

Just wanted to bring to your attention that today marks four full months since the State Department’s deadline for interagency comments on the Keystone XL pipeline.

We’re sure that like all of us, you’re shocked – shocked! – that the project remains stranded in completely arbitrary regulatory purgatory.  And by that we mean, not shocked in the slightest.

In mid-January, during the Senate debate on bipartisan legislation to approve the cross-border permit for this long-delayed pipeline, the State Department announced a deadline of February 2 for interagency comments on whether it would be in the national interest. 

The Washington Post reported that as a result of this “tight deadline” the Department was “picking up the process where it suspended it last spring.”  And the State Department confirmed on February 4th that it had received comments from all eight relevant agencies.   

So, what has happened over the past four months?  By all appearances, a whole lot of nothing. The State Department could have spent two full weeks on the comments submitted by each agency. (We wish we had that sort of time to meander through our daily work.) Yet Keystone XL remains in limbo due to an administration that won’t make a decision.

The Keystone XL pipeline’s cross-border permit has now been stranded for more than 2,447 days and counting. The president has dismissed the project as a “single oil pipeline.” And the Quadrennial Energy Review spent hundreds of pages diagnosing our nation’s energy infrastructure needs and challenges. 

Somewhere along the way, you’d think that President Obama would make a final decision on Keystone XL, instead of validating the Senate’s decision to start the 114th Congress with a bipartisan bill on this subject. You’d think thepresident would recognize the project’s potential for job creation in a still-struggling economy. 

You’d think he would recognize that pipelines are a safe, clean, and efficient option for transporting the energy that America needs in an increasingly unstable world. But at four (more) months and counting, you’d be wrong.

CNN: As Keystone vote looms, it's crunch time for federal agencies to weigh in

By Kevin Bohn, CNN

Updated 1:28 PM ET, Sun January 18, 2015

Washington (CNN) – With the Senate expected to vote soon on the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline, the State Department is now giving eight federal agencies two weeks to weigh in on it.

The State Department on Friday notified those agencies have only until February 2 "to provide their views on the national interest with regard to the Keystone XL Pipeline permit application," a department official told CNN Saturday, adding that the department "continues its review" (More....)


 

 
Categories:

6-1-15 Interior Needs Inspector General

01 June 2015 11:29am

TransCanada reaches deals with three more BC First Nations forpipeline
According to the project website, the 900-kilometre pipeline is expected to deliver natural gas from Hudson's Hope to the proposed Pacific NorthWest ...

Majority Leader, Chairmen Bishop, Chaffetz, Calvert Urge President to Nominate Permanent Inspector General at Interior

 

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – For more than six years the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) has been without a permanent Inspector General which has

“reduced the Department’s efficiency and deprived taxpayers from fully realizing the benefits of a strong inspector general,” according to key lawmakers in the House. 

 

Today, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop, Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, and Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Chairman Ken Calvert, sent a letter to President Obama urging him to nominate a permanent inspector general at DOI. 

 

“The Department’s last permanent inspector general left on February 23, 2009—more than six years ago.  Since then, the office has been managed by an acting inspector general whose tenure has been the subject of recent, significant congressional oversight and controversy… Because acting inspectors general are inherently less independent than their permanent counterparts, however, stakeholders do not have full confidence that their work is credible.  Additionally, some acting inspectors general are candidates for the permanent job, which creates an incentive to conduct less aggressive oversight of the administration.  In any event, taxpayers suffer the consequences.” 

 

Full text of the letter can be found here.

 

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