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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.



03 April 2014 4:04am

We're en route from Ecuador to Alaska.  Here are relevant Consumer Energy Alliance clips

Townhall: The Russian Bear and the American Pipeline *Michael Whatley Op-Ed
If there were any doubt about the importance of pipelines to national security, it ought to have been erased by recent events in Crimea and Ukraine as the Russian Bear has pawed away the former from the latter. Europe is vulnerable because 16% of its natural gas comes through Ukraine. It is a powerful reminder of why the Keystone XL Pipeline is critical to our own national security.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The shale economy 
Late last year, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court made headlines with a 4-2 decision to strike down several key provisions of the Keystone State’s Marcellus Shale gas development law, known as Act 13. Washington County’s Robinson Township recently announced that it intends to withdraw from a joint lawsuit against Act 13, which prompted Supreme Court action in the first place.

Consumer Energy Alliance’s The Energy Voice: Jacksonville Can Benefit from Natural Gas Renaissance
CEA President David Holt discussed the future of natural gas development in Florida with the Jacksonville Florida Chamber of Commerce.
BuildKXLNow.org: Middle East Oil Imports Reduced by 40%
The U.S. reliance on overseas energy has long been a national security concern. Writing at TownHall.com, CEA’s Michael Whatley breaks down why it is so important for the United States to move ahead with building the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Canada Free Press: U.S. Now World’s Top Energy Producer - China Now Top Energy Consumer
Not long ago the United States was labeled as being the world’s greatest energy hog and the accompanying criticism from our world neighbors was we weren’t producing enough for our own needs let alone any production for export to other energy needy countries.
Investor's Business Daily:  Fracking is making the U.S.
Fracking is making the U.S. an energy leader again as natural gas and oil thought unrecoverable are tapped. A new Census Bureau report shows it's also altering where Americans live. Oil and gas-rich areas near the Great Plains and states like Texas, La. and Miss. along the Gulf Coast were among the fastest-growing regions last year, the report said.
Wall Street Journal: Winter Cold Takes Toll on Fracking
The European Central Bank goes into a policy meeting Thursday faced with a decision whether to take interest rates into negative territory because of the warning signs of deflation – most recently seen in Wednesday’s producer prices index report.
Investor's Business Daily: U.S. Should Produce And Export More Petroleum Products
America's crude petroleum export ban is an antiquated byproduct of the 1973 Arab oil embargo. Repeal is long overdue. Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has sent U.S. oil, natural gas and propane production soaring. Natural gas output is up 36% since 2005. Oil output is expected to increase another 780,000 barrels per day in 2014 and reach 9.6 million daily by 2019. The U.S. is now importing half of what it did in 2005.
Wall Street Journal: Oil Boomtown Williston, N.D., Looks for a Stable Future
This oil boomtown, known for its brawling roughnecks and their spare living conditions, is starting to smooth off its rough edges. But not all of them. Muddy pickup trucks still jam the streets, but they drive past recent additions to town, including more than a dozen new restaurants like Buffalo Wild Wings. Subdivisions are springing up along the hills and a $73 million recreation center opened last weekend.
The Hill: GOP seeks to tie Keystone, gas exports to jobless benefits bill
Senate Republicans want the Keystone XL pipeline and natural gas exports to ride the coattails of unemployment benefits. Republican Sens. John Hoeven (N.D.), John Barrasso (Wyo.), and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) on Tuesday proposed an amendment to the jobless aid bill that finds a path forward for Keystone and expedites natural gas export applications.
Reporter-Herald: Fracking vote has council support
That's the timeline that the Loveland City Council gave Tuesday in directing city staff to move forward in the special election process, while also supporting potential negotiations with advocates and opponents of a fracking moratorium ballot initiative. The proposed ordinance submitted by advocacy group Protect Our Loveland would ask voters whether or not to impose a two-year moratorium of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, within city limits while impacts of the process of human health and property values are studied.
CBS Denver: Gardner Challenges Udall On Fracking
Republican Rep. Cory Gardner is challenging Democratic Sen. Mark Udall to disavow efforts to rein in the controversial procedure known as “fracking.” Gardner is running against Udall. The congressman’s campaign demanded Tuesday that Udall oppose efforts to ban fracking in Colorado.
Greeley Tribune: Energy Pipeline: Fracking debate bubbles to the political surface
While two cities in northern Colorado face lawsuits over fracking bans and moratoriums that voters passed last fall, an even larger debate over fracking is beginning to brew at the state level. In the last three months, two groups have announced intentions to gather signatures to put anti-fracking measures on the state ballot in November. One would give cities and towns more control over oil and gas drilling inside their borders. The other would give local governments the power to restrict oil and gas as well as other industrial activity now permitted by state law.
FuelFix: Marcellus strategy paying off for gas producers
The Marcellus Shale is starting to prove that, given time, its proximity to the East Coast can make it profitable for those who got in early, according to a Moody’s report issuedTuesday. “Marcellus’ size and geographic location near the high-demand U.S. Northeast and Midwest markets give gas producers there a distinct advantage over their competitors elsewhere in the US,” Moody’s wrote.
San Francisco Bay Guardian: Billionaire helps poke holes in oil industry's argument for drilling Monterey Shale
“We’ve been told that there’s a great oil boom on the immediate horizon,” billionaire investor and Pac Heights resident Tom Steyer noted at the start of a March 27 talk in Sacramento. But Steyer (who has pledged to spend $100 million on ad campaigns for the 2014 election to promote action on climate change) wasn’t there to trumpet the oil industry’s high expectations. Instead, he introduced panelists who dismissed the buzz on drilling the Monterey Shale as pie-in-the-sky hype.
The Sacramento Bee: Refinery plans to ship 100 train cars of crude oil through Sacramento
A Bay Area refinery’s plan to run up to 100 train cars of highly flammable crude oil daily through Sacramento is prompting a late push by area leaders to protect cities on the rail line. Sacramento officials say they only recently learned that a proposed rail terminal at the Valero company’s refinery in Benicia could dramatically increase the number of trains carrying crude oil through the region, including through populated downtowns. They say they are scrambling to fashion a joint statement to Valero officials expressing concerns.
The Denver Post: Colorado legislative committee OKs oil and gas health impact study
A plan for a detailed analysis on the potential health impacts of oil and gas development on the Front Range was approved Tuesday by a state legislative committee. The analysis, to be done by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, will cover six Front Range counties and cost an estimated $700,000.
MLive: Lt. Gov. Brian Calley signs law offering incentives for enhanced oil recovery at Western Michigan University
With half a million linear feet of core samples as a backdrop, Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley signed a package of bills into law Tuesday that provides incentives for an oil recovery method that retrieves more oil and natural gas from existing wells while sequestering carbon dioxide deep underground. Western Michigan University's Michigan Geological Repository for Research and Education, where Public Act 82 was signed, is part of a regional partnership set up by the federal government to study carbon capture and sequestration. Since 2011, it also has been home to the Michigan Geological Survey.
The Robesonian: Energy companies want OK for natural gas pipeline to NC
Duke Energy Corp. and Piedmont Natural Gas Company Inc. said Tuesday they want to invest in a new natural gas pipeline into North Carolina that can deliver more of the cheap fuel to customers and especially to new power plants run by the country’s largest electricity company. The two Charlotte-based companies said they are shopping for proposals to build a pipeline that could start delivering fuel to Duke’s electric power plants and other businesses beginning in late 2018. The companies expect to select a proposal by late this year.
News-Journal.com: Texas produces 36 percent of U.S. crude
Texas is producing about 36 percent of the country’s crude oil — three times more than any other state, according to the latest monthly figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Texas pumped nearly 2.9 million barrels of crude daily of the 7.9 million barrels produced nationwide in January, the latest month for which figures are available. The Gulf of Mexico produced about 17 percent, the second-largest portion, followed by North Dakota with about 12 percent of the U.S. crude. California and Alaska rounded out the top five crude-producing areas, each home to about 7 percent of the nation’s oil.
Star-Telegram: Worker shortage endangers growth from gas boom
Chevron Phillips Chemical, preparing to break ground on the first U.S. ethylene plant since 2001, says a lack of skilled labor is the biggest threat to the manufacturing expansion spurred by cheap natural gas. Chevron Phillips’ ethylene and polyethylene plastics plants will cost $1 billion more than the original $5 billion estimate, primarily because of higher labor costs, Chief Executive Officer Peter Cella said Tuesday. The projects will need 10,000 construction workers and will create 400 permanent positions, he said.
Washington Examiner: EPA sends proposed emissions rule for existing power plants to White House
The Environmental Protection Agency sent an anticipated greenhouse gas emission rule for existing power plants to the White House for federal review Tuesday, a move that would round out a cornerstone of the president's climate agenda. The EPA sent the rule to the Office of Management and Budget for review. The agency plans to finish the rule by June 2015.
Natural Resources Defense Council (blog):  New Study: Overlooked Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Benefits Put Money in Californians' Pockets
Despite the foot-dragging and dire predictions from California’s oil lobby, the state’s groundbreaking Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) is reducing carbon pollution and will save consumers $837 million per year by 2020 as a result of increased diversification and competition of fuel suppliers, according to a study published this week.


02 April 2014 6:33am

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) today released a report demonstrating that the Department of Commerce retains the power to modernize its regulations and allow condensate exports.  

The report contains more than 40 pages of Commerce Department decisions from the 1970s and 1980s on expanded exports of residual fuel oil, petroleum coke, butane, specialty naphtha, and other petroleum-related products.

Fairbanks News Miner by Matt Buxton.  Mayors from communities along the route of a proposed natural gas pipeline still are wary about the project’s impacts despite Gov. Sean Parnell’s creation of a project review board.

E&E News (4/1/14) reports: A federal court in Washington, D.C., today upheld a pair of sweeping 2011 settlements between the Obama administration and environmental groups over the streamlining of endangered species decisions, concluding that a homebuilders coalition lacked standing to challenge them. It marked the fourth time in a row federal courts have determined groups have no basis for challenging the legal agreement signed with WildEarth Guardians and the Center for Biological Diversity.



01 April 2014 5:15am

Fairbanks News Miner.  House Speaker Mike Chenault on Monday said he plans to propose allowing out-of-state residents to serve on the board of directors of a corporation that could play a key role in a major liquefied natural gas project in Alaska.

In a memo to lawmakers, Chenault, R-Nikiski, said he will offer the amendment to SB124, a bill to extend the sunset date of the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, during a House Rules Committee hearing Thursday. Chenault said he would have preferred to find another bill or to attach the amendment to SB138, which is aimed at advancing the gas project. But with lawmakers scheduled to take up the confirmation of board appointees next week, he said that precluded use of SB138, which is still working its way through the committee process.

Alaska Gasline/LNG Project To Start Construction July 4; Thousands of Jobs Available

In Surprise Move Anticipating Fall Elections, Obama Approves Keystone, and ANWR Exploration

Calgary Herald.  Apache Canada Continues to Sell Assets

Governor Proposes Refinery Incentives

Governor Sean Parnell yesterday proposed incentives to encourage refineries to produce a​nd sell more refined petroleum products in Alaska. The governor’s incentives package follows extensive work with Interior lawmakers to find ways to ensure Alaska’s refineries thrive.

“A healthy refining industry in our state benefits Alaskans in many ways, including jobs and economic opportunity, as well as refined fuels for use in our homes and businesses,” Governor Parnell said. “By creating a more favorable tax climate, we have the opportunity to keep an industry strong that provides jobs for Alaskans, adds value to Alaska’s oil, secures our military’s source of fuel, and helps make Alaskan resources accessible to Alaskans.”

Governor Parnell’s proposal offers new tax credits to in-state refiners for infrastructure upgrades and investments that target higher production, the development of low sulfur fuels, and the expansion of storage capacity.

Specifically, the proposal:

  • • Allows an in-state refinery tax credit against state corporate income tax liability for qualified infrastructure expenditures and allows a credit based on volume refined.
  • • Allows a lessee selling oil to an in-state refinery to use its contract price to determine the royalty value owed the state.

Alaska’s refineries in Valdez, North Pole and Nikiski employ hundreds of Alaskans producing gasoline, diesel, commercial and military jet fuel, home heating fuels and kerosene. Alaska refiners’ customer base includes Alaska residents, the Department of Defense, the Alaska Railroad, commercial airlines and Alyeska Pipeline Service Company.

“Refineries provide good jobs and opportunities for Alaskans, and it is in the State’s interest to incentivize refineries so that Alaskan fuels are available to Alaskans as inexpensively as possible,” Governor Parnell added.

The value of the governor’s proposal could result in tens of millions of dollars toward a healthy in-state refinery industry. The incentives can be offered as amendments to pending legislation.


April Fools Day!   Gotcha!   :)    -dh Commentary



31 March 2014 5:34am

Kenai Peninsula Clarion Editorial.  Sean Parnell, Alaska, Governor, Municipal Advisory Council, gas pipeline, Photo by Dave HarbourLast week, Gov. Sean Parnell created a municipal advisory board to weigh in on issues surrounding a natural gas pipeline project that could eventually tie communities together from Prudhoe Bay to Nikiski (i.e. See News Miner Story).​  While it’s laudable that the governor chose to allow several of those communities to weigh in — representatives from North Slope, Fairbanks North Star, Denali, Matanuska-Susitna, and the Kenai Peninsula Borough will be able to weigh in — we find other parts of the pipeline development process to be troubling.   More....

Latest On the Enviro-Industrial-Governmental Cabal

Powerline Blog, 2-27-14.  

But the UN climate body now says it is no longer so certain. The second part of the IPCC’s new assessment report is due to be presented next Monday (I.E. TODAY) in Yokohama, Japan. On the one hand, a classified draft of the report notes that a further “increased extinction risk for a substantial number of species during and beyond the 21st century” is to be expected. On the other hand, the IPCC admits that there is no evidence climate change has led to even a single species becoming extinct thus far. . .

The draft report includes a surprising admission by the IPCC — that it doubts its own computer simulations for species extinctions. “There is very little confidence that models currently predict extinction risk accurately,” the report notes. Very low extinction rates despite considerable climate variability during past hundreds of thousands of years have led to concern that “forecasts for very high extinction rates due entirely to climate change may be overestimated.”


3-30-14 Dr. Milton Byrd

30 March 2014 3:54pm

Milton Byrd, Photo By Dave HarbourPoint of personal privilege.  Last week I spoke of the passing of a dear friend, Dr. Milton Byrd (NGP Photo).

Today I was moved by a greater fullness of his life than I had been aware, thanks to an obituary provided by his loving family.

 For example, I knew of only one of Milton's educational positions and accomplishments before his move to Alaska.  

Yet, in my defense, how would I know of every accomplishment of a truly private and serious man who seemed always engaged, not with the past, but on the next project in Alaska's future.  

I also learned that while my father, Col. Dave Harbour, had been an Air Force fighter pilot in New Guinea during WWII, it turns out Milton was there with the U.S. Army...for the same, dangerous years.  

I wish we had spent more time comparing notes.  But I am also thankful for the time we did have working in parallel on many projects mentioned in the narrative below.

I'll miss you, Dear Friend, as many do, and we all join in thanksgiving for having known you.  -dh

Anchorage Daily News Obituary, Today, 3-30-14:

Dr. Milton Byrd

Physically spent but mentally alert, Milton Byrd, 92, accepted his fate with the words, "It's time to complete the cycle." Within a few hours, on March 6, 2014, he died peacefully in Las Cruces, New Mexico. 

Milt was born January 29, 1922 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was a graduate of Boston Latin School, a traditional classical high school, and received both his A.B. Cum Laude in 1948 and his M.A in 1949 from Boston University. He then left Boston to study at the University of Wisconsin, where he received his Ph.D in American Studies in 1953. In 1961 he was awarded a Carnegie Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship for the study of University Administration at the University of Michigan. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and an honorary member of Phi Delta Kappa. 

He married Susanne J. Schwerin of Sheboygan, Wisconsin on August 30, 1953.

Between 1942 and 1946 he served in the United States Army Air Corps as a meteorologist in the Philippines and New Guinea. 

Milt began his academic career at Indiana University in 1953 as a faculty member in the humanities. From 1958-1962 he was on the faculty at Southern Illinois University, Alton, where he became Associate Dean of Instruction and helped oversee and direct the construction of a new library. He was Vice President for Academic Affairs at Northern Michigan University from 1962-1966. As President of Chicago State University from 1966-1974, he oversaw the creation of a new $65 million campus. He met with and managed large crowds during highly sensitive political environments and campus strikes. Ultimately he converted a neglected and despondent municipal college into a thriving urban university. He was Provost of Florida International University from 1974-1978. There he planned and implemented a second major campus. He served as President of Adams State College, in Alamosa, Colorado from 1978-1980, before joining the American Association of State Colleges and Universities in Washington, D.C. as Senior Consultant. He also served as a member of their Board of Directors. He liked to boast that he never sought tenure.

In 1981 Milt and Sue moved to Anchorage, Alaska. Milt left the academic world to become Vice President for Corporate Development at Frontier Companies of Alaska, a company that provided transportation, civil construction and oil field services for the large oil companies on the North Slope.

With the development of the word processor and limited training opportunities for its use, and with academia still in his blood, Byrd resigned from Frontier in 1985 to found Charter College. He opened the college with seven students and a faculty and staff of eight in September 1985. When he retired as its president in 2005, Charter College had become a fully accredited four-year college with a faculty and staff of over 70 and a student body of over 700. He was President Emeritus until his death.

Dr. Byrd, as many addressed him, served on numerous boards and civic organizations. Four successive governors - Tony Knowles, Frank Murkowski, Sarah Palin and Sean Parnell appointed him to the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education. He served on the Commission from April 1994 to October 2013, the longest tenure served in Commission history. He sat on a number of Committees and served as Vice Chair of the Commission. 

He was active in many organizations in various capacities. In Alaska he served on the boards of the Alaska World Affairs Council and the Support Industry Alliance and was a past President of each. He also served on the board of Commonwealth North. He was formerly Vice President of Common Sense for Alaska, Inc. and on the board of the Resource Development Council of Alaska.

He was a member of the Alaska Community Foundation, the Anchorage Rotary, the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, the Alaska Press Club and the Advisory Committee of the College of Arts and Science at the University of Alaska at Anchorage. 

During his long academic career and prior to coming to Alaska, he was President of the Florida Association of University Administrators and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. He was a member of the Chicago Council for Urban Education and the Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities; 

He wrote with Arnold L. Goldsmith a Publication Guide for Literary and Linguistic Scholars, published in 1958.

Milt was a generous contributor to a number of Anchorage organizations and supported many of their projects. Among them are Anchorage United Way, Anchorage Rotary, Commonwealth North, The Support Industry Alliance, The Anchorage Museum, The World Affairs Council, The Alaska Community Foundation and The Salvation Army. Contributions in his memory may be made to any of these or personal favorite organizations.

Milt was an avid reader with a particular interest in American and world history. He was an eternal optimist - his glass was always full. He enjoyed a good lecture and when necessary was prepared to engage the speaker. He also enjoyed traveling, cruising, swimming, walking and seeing a good movie. He particularly enjoyed engaging his children in substantive discussion or debate. He never raised his voice, but quietly and logically presented his views while carefully placing all of his facts into historical perspective. They enjoyed that exchange and cherish those memories.

Milt's younger sister, Frances Sanderson preceded him in death.

He is survived by his wife, Sue, of 1122 Golf Club Road, Las Cruces, NM 88011, three children: D. Toni Byrd of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, Leslie G. Byrd of Apex, North Carolina, and David T. Byrd of Hudson, New York, one grandson, Gabriel A. S. Byrd of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania and one sister, Thelma Sterling, of Monsey, New York. 

A celebration of Milt's life is scheduled for Sunday, June 29, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. at the Petroleum Club, 3301 C Street # 120, Anchorage, Alaska, 99503. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/adn/obituary.aspx?n=milton-byrd&pid=170...

Read more here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/adn/obituary.aspx?n=milton-byrd&pid=170410132#storylink=cpy


28 March 2014 10:30am

Roger Marks, alaska gas pipeline, Photo by Dave HarbourJuneau Empire.  Roger Marks (NGP Photo), a petroleum economist in private practice, gives the House Resources Committee his evaluation of Senate Bill 138 and the associated proposed North Slope natural gas commercialization proposals at the Capitol on Thursday.

Lisa Murkowski, Senate power, energy natural resources, interior department, Photo by Dave Harbour, Sally JewellNational Journal.  Two facts should keep Interior Secretary Sally Jewell awake at night.

First, if Republicans win the Senate, Alaska's Sen. Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo) will wield tremendous leverage over Jewell's department. She would lead both the Energy and Natural Resources Committee that oversees the department and the Appropriations subcommittee that controls its budget.

Second, Murkowski is utterly furious with the Interior Department these days.




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