Our Instinct: Conservatives Must Seize Opportunity To Save Alaska's Economy
|We admire Senator Lisa Murkowski's vigilance on Arctic exploration issues -- and the initiative of her committee's Communication Director, Robert Dillon. See TODAY'S COMMUNICATION AND VIDEO HERE.|
Many moons will come before Shell Oil and other producers, under the most agreeable circumstances, can find and commercially produce oil and natural gas from Alaska's Arctic reservoirs in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.
Any Arctic discovery and production may not likely come in time to ameliorate diminishing Alaska production that funds 90% of state government and over 1/3 of the state economy.
The impressive but modestly increased production within the onshore National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) is clouded by the Bureau of Land Management's decision to lock up half of its remaining potential and continuous/agenda driven EPA and Corps of Engineers efforts to deny and/or delay permits.
The federal bureaucracy opposes the 1980 intent of Congress and is acting illegally to manage a Refuge like a Wilderness. The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) re-categorized the Arctic National Wildlife Range (into a more restrictive "refuge"), but allowed a future Congress to approve oil exploration and production in a small sliver of the coastal plain of ANWR.
We know that even existing, high cost projects can be lost overnight with imposition of new or increased taxes.
Meanwhile, Alaska's North Slope oil production continues its slide downward exacerbating negative impact on Alaska state government revenue during this low oil price era.
This week we observe that (below) the Governor's reaction to an austere budget is not using his bully pulpit to convince democrats to join the republicans in voting to access billions stored in the 'Constitutional Budget Reserve' (CBR) savings account to balance the budget.
Instead, he is joining the democrats, browbeating the republican leadership to agree to increasing democrat-desired government spending as a quid pro quo to democrats agreeing on a super majority CBR vote.
Together, the Governor and democrats are pressing for more spending, not less, in today's austere fiscal environment.
And, they know exactly what they are doing. They are together trying to assemble popular support for increasing oil taxes during next year's legislative session, because 1) that would minimize the need for large spending cuts, and 2) THAT IS WHERE THE MONEY IS.
The problem with increasing the already high Alaska oil tax burden, is that it would discourage if not devastate oil industry investment that could otherwise produce a sustainable amount of future production and financial support for a moderate spending taxing authority.
Our instincts all point to the need for more effective communication.
Conservatives better become better communicators if they hope to explain why their tough approach on the budget is best for Alaska now and for future generations.
They could start by requesting editorial board meetings and giving reporters their personal cell phone numbers.
If they don't quit dodging reporters and don't become superior communicators quickly they will find that the current name calling will escalate. The Governor and democrats will likely initiate a summer program of constituent meetings around the state. They will probably ask folks how they think Alaska will solve its fiscal shortfalls.
Renewed demonization of industry and the legislature's republican leadership can easily be reignited; as could a new voters referendum.
And community organizers can produce crowds for constituent meetings and listening sessions that will demand, "Increase oil taxes"!!!!
Compelling conservative spokesmen need to articulate -- soon and often -- the wiser, approach to dealing with:
- budget shortfalls
- falling oil production
- bloated, unaffordable state budgets
- Federal government overreaching authority
- The future of Alaska's children.
But making silk purses out of sows ears requires a miracle. Our instinct further advises us that it is unlikely the republicans will successfully make the case for tax stability and fiscal restraint. If they wanted to or had the ability to, they would have been doing so every day and twice on Sunday for the last month.
While there are several very noteworthy exceptions, as a group the republican legislators are uncharismatic, unenergetic, unimaginative, uncompetive and rely on demographic majorities for reelection and support.
While there are many noteworthy exceptions, their democrat opponents are aggressive, young, seek out the media, and have fire in the belly.
As a group, democrats have the further advantage, as we've said, of believing and acting on the precept that, "The end justifies the means".
Political instinct teaches that democrats see a day ahead, when with aggressive and effective communications, they can seduce the entitlement generation into putting them into power throughout Alaska...and, indeed, the country. They've already done so within Anchorage city government.
And, for republicans with memory, that will have been an opportunity mis-handled THIS YEAR and countless opportunities lost for the remnants of future generations.
|ADN, by Dermot Cole.
A state plan aimed at speeding the transition to natural gas in Fairbanks reaches a key decision point Tuesday, with the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority scheduled to consider a $54 million investment to move the project forward.
The AIDEA board, set to meet in Anchorage, is to hear a report recommending the agency buy Pentex Natural Gas Company LLC, the parent company of the Fairbanks Natural Gas utility, for $54 million, with a closing expected by the end of July. The sale price would be reduced by about $15 million through the spinoff of the company’s Point MacKenzie liquefaction plant and other assets to Hillcorp later this year.
ADN by Dermot Cole. An annual multibillion-dollar debate between oil companies and local municipalities about differences in the taxable value of the trans-Alaska pipeline resumed in Anchorage Monday.
The oil companies argue the 38-year-old pipeline is worth $2.6 billion, while the municipal governments of the North Slope, Valdez and Fairbanks say it is worth about six times that much, in large part because billions of barrels of profitable oil remain to be pumped to Valdez in the decades ahead. The state is arguing for a value three times higher than that favored by the companies.
News Miner. Gov. Bill Walker on Monday vetoed much of the underfunded operating budget sent to him by the Alaska Legislature and warned state employees that 15,000 of them could be without a job on July 1 if the Legislature can't come up a fully funded budget.
Peninsula Clarion by Phuong Le. (Note our extensive coverage by scrolling down through last week's postings. -dh)
Neither a protest by hundreds of demonstrators nor a permit violation notice from the city will halt Royal Dutch Shell's use of a Seattle seaport terminal as it prepares for exploratory oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean, spokesmen say.
The violation notice issued Monday by the Seattle Department of Planning and Development said use of Terminal 5 by a massive floating drill rig was in violation of the site's permitted use as a cargo terminal. The 400-foot Polar Pioneer and its support tug Aiviq must be removed from the terminal or Shell's host, Foss Maritime, must obtain an appropriate permit, the city indicated.
Today's Note From Robert Dillon (NGP Photo), Communication Director, U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources:
There’s been lots of misinformation out there about what the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has said about the safety of offshore Arctic development in Alaska. Let the attached fact sheet from BOEM set the record straight – it is not accurate to say there is a 75 percent chance of an oil spill from Shell’s Arctic exploration. Period.
The fact is that Alaska has a long history of safe and responsible oil and natural gas production in the Arctic. Some 35 wells have been drilled in Alaska’s Arctic waters since the 1980s. But you wouldn’t know that by listening to the opponents of oil production who claim Arctic drilling can’t be done safely. Hogwash.
To date, Alaska has produced and shipped more than 17 billion barrels of Arctic oil through the trans-Alaska oil pipeline. We’re already producing oil from federal waters at the Northstar field, which was discovered in 1984 and has produced more than 150 million barrels of oil since 2001.
And our state – with an estimated 46 billion barrels of conventional oil reserves and 430 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves – has much more to offer the nation. Studies suggest that increased leasing and development in Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas and in Cook Inlet could, by 2035, create nearly 840,000 jobs, raise more than $200 billion in revenue for the government and increase U.S. energy production by 3.5 million barrels.
Even President Obama agrees that Alaska production is good for America: “I would rather us – with all the safeguards and standards that we have – be producing our oil and gas, rather than importing it, which is bad for our people, but is also potentially purchased from places that have much lower environmental standards than we do.” – President Obama, May 14, 2015.
Our friend, Julie Hasquet offers this heads up about the upcoming luncheon of the Alaska Oil & Gas Association (AOGA).
"This annual event is the best place to learn all of the latest information, facts & figures about what is happening in Alaska’s oil and gas industry. This year’s opening remarks are from U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and the keynote speaker is Adam Sierninski, Administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The 2015 luncheon is Thursday, May 28 at 11:30 am at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage. If you haven’t already, please take the opportunity to consider buying a table for you and clients...or individual tickets. You can register at www.aoga.org.
EIA launches redesigned International Energy Portal
Today, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) launched a redesigned International Energy Portal to improve access to international energy data and trends in global energy markets.
"With most of the future growth in energy consumption expected to occur outside of the United States and with increasingly interconnected world energy markets, a clear perspective on the international energy landscape is critically important, and EIA's redesigned International Energy Portal makes it easier to gain insight into global energy developments," said EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski.
From our Energy Information Agency mail TODAY:
Earlier we commented that the 'Usefull Idiots' motivated by idealism are used by manipulators desiring power would use any means to attain their end. Here is TODAY'S Seattle Times report of how the illegal protesters are violating laws and trespassing. We await word of who funds and organizes the Seattle community of organizers, most of whom slink under the "broad tent" of democrats though in similar organized protests like "occupy" they have more specifically identified themselves as anarchists, liberals, socialists, communists, community activists, etc.
Is a major manipulator and funder of the Ferguson riots, George Soros, also behind Seattle? We'll undoubtedly find out as the dust settles.
LNG Links Courtesy of Larry Persily:
First Nation rejection forces Petronas to find Plan B for LNG terminal
(Globe and Mail; Canada; May 13) - Pacific NorthWest LNG is scrambling to come up with a Plan B after the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation soundly rejected the Malaysian-led project’s $1 billion offer aimed at securing support for a liquefied natural gas terminal proposed near Prince Rupert, B.C. The company said project leader Petronas and its five Asian partners are willing to make changes. A key option is to relocate a planned suspension bridge and trestle the First Nation said was too close to the environmentally sensitive salmon habitat in Flora Bank, part of the Lax Kw’alaams’ traditional territory.
“It’s about doing the right thing,” Pacific NorthWest LNG president Michael Culbert said May 13. The overwhelming opposition by Lax Kw’alaams members in three rounds of voting illustrates the many hurdles — from aboriginal criticisms to environmental concerns — that even the most prominent project among 19 LNG proposals in British Columbia must clear before becoming reality. The lure of the money, which would have been spread over 40 years, was not enough to overcome the Native group’s concerns.
One possible change for Pacific NorthWest is to move the planned suspension bridge and trestle farther away from Flora Bank. The bridge would support pipelines moving LNG from the onshore plant to a deep-water berthing site for carriers to load up. While the Petronas-led group’s defeat does not sound the death knell for B.C.’s fledgling LNG industry, it is a warning that aboriginal people will vigorously defend their traditional territory against projects that they believe would place fish stocks at risk.
First Nation chief says environmental protection must be guaranteed
(Globe and Mail; Canada; May 17) – An aboriginal leader in British Columbia said First Nations will continue to oppose oil and gas developments even if it means rejecting billion-dollar pay-outs — until environmental protections are guaranteed. Setting a high — if not impossible — bar for corporations such as Pacific NorthWest LNG, which is trying to move ahead with a liquefied natural gas terminal, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip said a community vote to reject the development was a clear sign that both business and government must reject their “gold rush mentality” for a more sustainable approach.
“Our elders remind us that money is like so much dust that is quickly blown away in the wind,” said Chief Phillip, “but the land is forever.” Last week, the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation members overwhelmingly rejected an offer of more than $1 billion in cash, plus more than $100 million in Crown land, in exchange for supporting the Pacific NorthWest LNG terminal near Prince Rupert. The First Nation contends the project would endanger the habitat of juvenile salmon in Flora Bank, which falls in their traditional territory.
“The traditional way of life of the Lax Kw’alaams people and, most importantly, the delicate marine ecosystem that upholds and has upheld their culture for thousands of years, is not for sale,” the chief said. First Nations are also speaking, he said, for “British Columbians who are not willing to accept any unnecessary risks for the interests of transnational corporations and their profits.”
Delays will keep Australia LNG off the market, says Wood Mackenzie
(Wood Mackenzie; May 14) - The first cargo from the world's inaugural coal-seam gas-to-LNG train was delivered at Queensland Curtis LNG in January 2015 and much more capacity is under construction around Australia, but delays in several liquefied natural gas export projects in the country will mean that 11 million metric tons less LNG than expected (about 520 billion cubic feet of gas) will be produced between 2015 and 2019, according to global energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie.
The coal-seam gas projects in particular will soon be tested, Wood Mackenzie said, and of particular concern is how each operator will ramp up a significant volume of gas in a very short time. “The most productive wells will supply the first train of each project, but risk remains around the deliverability and consistency of the following supply tiers that will feed the second trains.”
BG has managed the first train at its Queensland project well so far but a key uncertainty is the speed and consistency of the ramp-up of the gas supply to the second liquefaction train, Wood Mackenzie said. “About 1,000 wells will need to be drilled each year to maintain momentum, but the ability of operators to manage this activity as well as operate an LNG plant has not yet been tried.”
Australia’s Woodside signs up to buy LNG from Corpus Christi plant
(The Australian Business Review; May 14) - Woodside Petroleum will proceed with a 20-year deal to purchase 850,000 metric tons a year of liquefied natural gas (about 40 billion cubic feet of gas) from Corpus Christi Liquefaction, a subsidiary of Cheniere Energy. The deal was first announced last year, but was dependent on a series of conditions including construction of two production units at the Corpus Christi project in Texas. Cheniere has given the go-ahead to start construction of the first unit.
The plant is planned to include up to three LNG trains and produce 13.5 million tons of LNG annually. Despite a sharp fall in oil prices since the deal was first flagged in mid-2014, Woodside said there are no changes to the terms outlined at that time. Woodside will pay Cheniere 115 percent of the monthly Henry Hub price for gas acquired to fulfill its contract (the 15 percent add-on is to cover gas used in the liquefaction process), plus $3.50 per million Btu for liquefaction, storage and loading. (That equates to $4.35 Australian at May 15 exchange rates). Woodside will handle shipping.
The terms are in line with contracts signed by other Corpus Christi customers. The 20-year agreement includes an extension option of up to an additional 10 years and a mechanism that gives Woodside the option to forgo deliveries with sufficient notice, though it would be required to pay Cheniere the $3.50 per million Btu charge even if it doesn’t use its reserved plant capacity. Cheniere expects Corpus Christi to start up its first train in 2018. Cargoes to Woodside from the second train are expected in 2019.
Texas LNG developer denies he was advised against sales to Chinese
(Reuters; May 15) - The head of Freeport LNG said May 15 that the U.S. Department of Energy had not advised against inviting Chinese investment in the company's export plant under development in Texas, a contradiction of claims that he made a day earlier. Michael Smith, CEO of privately owned Freeport LNG, which plans to open its Texas plant in 2018, said he misspoke May 14 in an interview with Reuters when he said the department had warned against Chinese investment for political reasons.
The department "in no way" advised Freeport LNG on what customers, or sources of foreign investment, it should choose, Smith said. "I regret having inaccurately described the DOE as having advised us as such," he said. Smith said May 14 the advice had lead him to turn down Chinese buyers of LNG. "We were advised by the DOE to be careful who our customers were, because this is very political," he said then, calling the prospect of Chinese interest in a major U.S. export project "a political hot potato.”
Smith was not available for further comment May 15. A department spokeswoman said May 15 it did not advise Freeport against sending LNG to Chinese customers or inviting Chinese investment. Customers from across the world have signed up to buy future shipments of U.S. LNG. However, despite growing gas demand in China, no Chinese companies have signed up for U.S. exports directly. Some cargoes of U.S. LNG could end up on China’s shores, but only through secondary deals.
Spot-market LNG price in Japan averaged $7.60 in April
(Reuters; May 14) – Average liquefied natural gas spot prices for buyers in Japan fell to a two-month low in April, trade ministry data showed May 14, in another sign of slack global demand. Spot LNG contracted in April for delivery to Japan averaged $7.60 per million Btu, down from $8 a month earlier, less than half the level of a year ago, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said.
Tokyo started surveying spot LNG prices in March 2014 to add transparency to the market amid concerns over rising fuel costs in the wake of the shutdown of nuclear plants in 2011. The average spot price is calculated on about 10 percent of the nation's LNG purchases. The trade ministry survey looks at samples of fixed prices for LNG sold to power companies and utilities among others, and excludes spot deals linked to benchmark prices such as the U.S. natural gas Henry Hub index.
Texas LNG hopeful contracts for FEED work
(Houston Chronicle; May 16) - Even though the first federal permitting request was just submitted in late March, NextDecade is already moving forward with early contracts to build its $8 billion Rio Grande LNG export project in Brownsville, Texas, near the Mexico border. NextDecade has contracted with CB&I (formerly Chicago Bridge & Iron) for the front-end engineering and design and to determine the project’s engineering, procurement and construction terms. The terms of the deal are not being released.
NextDecade’s Rio Grande liquefied natural gas project includes building as many as six liquefaction trains and two marine jetties. NextDecade also would build a 130-mile pipeline from Brownsville to a pipeline hub near Corpus Christi. Shaun Davison, NextDecade project director for North America, said the front-end engineering and design is conducted in part to provide the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with “extremely detailed” project plans.
The FEED work goes in conjunction with NextDecade entering the pre-filing process with FERC in March, he said. The goal is to submit the draft plan to FERC in October and then submit the final report and plans in January 2016, he said. The venture is being primarily sponsored thus far by Jamie Dinan-founded York Capital Management. Other financing is in the works, but NextDecade executives are remaining mum for now.
U.S. will likely need to review gas exported through Canada, Mexico
(Platts; May 13) – U.S. gas exports to North American Free-Trade Act countries Canada and Mexico intended for commercial re-export as liquefied natural gas to countries that lack a free-trade agreement with the United States will likely require approval from the U.S. Department of Energy, a department official said. Deputy Assistant Secretary Paula Gant of the Office of Oil and Natural Gas spoke at an LNG conference May 12 in Austin, Texas.
Responding to questions from a panel moderator, Gant declined to elaborate, citing the agency's policy on public comments regarding commercial applications for U.S. gas exports that are under review. Gant's comments bear directly on several LNG export projects currently under consideration for Eastern Canada and Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. The export terminals would likely rely on U.S. natural gas delivered by pipeline across the border to feed the LNG plants.
Japanese shipyard will build LNG carriers to serve Louisiana project
(TradeArabia News Service; May 14) - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has won an order for two next-generation liquefied natural gas carriers to be built in a Japanese shipyard for delivery to Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line). The vessels are scheduled for completion and delivery in 2018. They will be put into service for transporting LNG from Sempra Energy’s Cameron LNG project under construction in Hackberry, La. Mitsubishi Corp. is a partner in the Cameron project, as is NYK.
The carriers on order feature a new design of a dual-fuel (diesel or natural gas) engine that will power a steam turbine to drive an electric propulsion motor, also capturing and utilizing waste heat in the power system. The vessels will measure almost 965 feet long, 160 wide, with a draft of 36 feet. Each will be capable of carrying almost 3.5 billion cubic feet of gas as LNG. The new ships will be capable of passing through the expanded Panama Canal that is expected to open for traffic early in 2016.
Anadarko selects engineering contractors for Mozambique LNG
(Bloomberg; May 17) - Anadarko Petroleum has selected a group of engineering contractors including Chicago Bridge & Iron for a potential $15 billion liquefied natural gas project in Mozambique. CBI’s joint venture with Japan’s Chiyoda and Italy’s Saipem will work on the onshore project that includes two liquefaction trains with 6 million metric tons of annual capacity each, Anadarko said May 17. The decision is a significant step toward reaching a final investment decision, Anadarko CEO Al Walker said.
Anadarko said it will make a final investment decision by the end of 2015. Construction plans also include LNG storage tanks, condensate storage, a multi-berth marine jetty and associated utilities and infrastructure. The company has secured non-binding long-term off-take agreements for more than 8 million tons a year of LNG from potential customers and is making progress in turning these into binding sales-and-purchase deals, Walker said. It’s also getting letters of intent from lenders for project financing.
Anadarko will work on a development plan to submit to the government in the coming months, Walker said. As much as 75 trillion cubic feet of gas may lie in the Area 1 prospect off Mozambique’s shores, according to Anadarko and its partners developing the discovery. Anadarko and Eni are operators in Areas 1 and 4 of Mozambique’s Rovuma Basin, home of the world’s largest gas find of the past decade.
India offers power generators subsidy to use more LNG
(The Financial Express; India; May 13) - The lowest subsidy requested by India’s power generators to use more imported liquefied natural gas in their power plants was about 3 cents per kilowatt hour. A government auction ended May 13 to determine the subsidy required to entice generators to use more LNG and help ease electricity shortages. Eight power generators bid in the tender, representing almost 4,900 megawatts of generation capacity that is running far below capacity because of domestic gas scarcity.
According to a senior Power Ministry official, this round of bidding was for more than 300 million cubic feet of gas per day that would be needed to fuel the stranded gas-fired plants during June-September this year. Overall, 31 power stations in India with a combined capacity of 14,305 megawatts are languishing because of a lack of gas.
Power companies seeking the least financial support to reach an electricity tariff of about 8.5 cents per kilowatt hour won the auction. The government also is asking LNG importers and transporters to reduce their marketing and operational costs.
India may look to renegotiate sales price of Qatari LNG contract
(Interfax Global Energy; May 15) - India’s largest liquefied natural gas importer could seek to renegotiate the terms of its long-term supply deal with Qatar this year. Petronet LNG’s 25-year, 7.5-million-tons-per-year contract with Qatar’s RasGas has provided the bulk of volumes delivered to India since 2004, and has typically been competitive with alternative fuels and cheaper than spot LNG — but not lately.
The free-on-board price for RasGas contract volumes to India was fixed at $2.50 per million Btu from 2004 to 2008, before oil indexation was gradually introduced between 2009 and 2013. Oil indexation of 12.67 percent (meaning a Japan Crude Cocktail price of $100 a barrel would produce an LNG price of $12.67 per million Btu) took effect from the beginning of 2014, with prices peaking at $13.60 toward the end of the year. Since then, the RasGas contract has been slow to reflect the sharp drop in global oil prices.
The contract includes a price ceiling and floor based on a 60-month average of oil prices, effectively preventing any significant downward adjustments in the short term to reflect the recent decline in crude oil prices and reducing the competitiveness of Qatari LNG under the contract. Spot LNG prices as low as $7 have reduced India’s appetite for its contract volumes, with a significant decline in demand for Qatari LNG and deferral of at least 10 contracted cargoes from RasGas during the first quarter of this year.
Takeover of BG Group puts Shell in middle of East Africa LNG
(Bloomberg; May 12) - Shell’s $70 billion takeover of BG Group will put Europe’s largest energy company in the middle of East Africa’s race to export natural gas and is set to boost the chances of Tanzania becoming a major LNG supplier. Shell’s acquisition would include BG’s stakes in three blocks off the coast that contain one-third of Tanzania’s estimated resource, and may give the East African nation an edge in the race to export liquefied natural gas from the region over neighboring Mozambique.
Shell has “strong expertise in working with governments and has also displayed strong appetite for risk, deploying new technologies,” said Dolapo Oni, head of energy research for Ecobank Group. “These attributes could benefit the Tanzania LNG project and give Mozambique much-needed competition for the limited investment dollars available globally for these sort of projects.” Statoil and partner ExxonMobil also have blocks in Tanzania, while Eni and Anadarko plan developments in Mozambique.
Producers holding leases in the two countries are working out whether to invest amid indications of the start of a worldwide LNG glut. New export projects in Australia and Papua New Guinea are starting to push out proposed projects as demand weakens, Genscape, which provides energy- and commodity-market data, said last month. In addition, Tanzania and Mozambique have yet to finish regulations for gas development and production, which are needed before any final investment decisions are taken.
Pennsylvania company plans second LNG plant for local market
(Philadelphia Inquirer; May 15) - UGI Energy Services is doubling its capacity to produce liquefied natural gas in Pennsylvania, aiming to capture a bigger share of an alternative-fuel market. UGIES, a subsidiary of UGI Corp. of Valley Forge, Pa., announced May 15 it plans to build a $60 million plant in northeastern Pennsylvania to produce up to 120,000 gallons of LNG a day from 10 million cubic feet of Marcellus gas.
It will be the company’s second LNG production plant. UGIES also plans to build storage tanks with a total capacity of about 280,000 gallons, said Matthew Dutzman, vice president of business development. Traditionally, utilities have used LNG as a means to store gas for high-demand winter days, known as "peak-shaving." LNG is now experiencing growth in demand as a cleaner-burning, less costly alternative to diesel.
UGI, which operates three Pennsylvania gas utilities, has operated an LNG plant in Temple, Pa., since 1972. That plant was recently expanded to produce up to 120,000 gallons a day.
Vancouver regional council will oppose oil pipeline expansion
(Mission City Record; Mission, BC; May 15) - The Metro Vancouver regional district will formally oppose Kinder Morgan's proposed twinning (capacity expansion) of its Trans Mountain oil pipeline after a vote of the board May 15. The decision came after the release of a new projection of the environmental impact of an oil spill and a report from the City of Burnaby warning it could not contain a major fire at the tank farm near the pipeline terminal.
"If there is a serious or catastrophic incident at the tank farm we are incapable of being able to control that," Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan told the board. "The more we learn about it the riskier it gets," Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said of Kinder Morgan’s proposal to expand its pipeline for moving Alberta oil sands production to the West Coast for shipment overseas. Other directors cited the Coast Guard's deficient response to the relatively small spill of fuel oil in April from a freighter in Vancouver harbor.
Not all directors supported the motion. Belcarra Mayor Ralph Drew and Langley Township Council Charlie Fox both opposed it, warning that if Kinder Morgan's pipeline push is stymied, large volumes of oil may end up rolling through B.C. on trains, at much greater risk to the environment and communities. "The oil is going to come to the coast one way or another," Drew said. "If it doesn't come by pipeline, it's going to come by rail car. And nothing scares me more than unit rail cars coming down the Fraser Canyon."
New York protests continue against offshore LNG import terminal
(Newsday; May 16) - A long line of opponents to a proposed offshore liquefied natural gas import project off Long Beach, New York, joined hands at the water's edge May 16 to symbolize their determination to keep the ocean unspoiled. "It's just the idea of a natural gas port in this beautiful, pristine place," said Johanna Mathieson of Long Beach. LNG carriers would connect to an offshore buoy and pipeline system to deliver their cargos.
Federal officials are reviewing plans for the Port Ambrose terminal sought by Liberty Natural Gas. The governors of New York and New Jersey both hold veto power. Company officials have said the terminal would curb seasonal spikes in fuel prices in the region. "Port Ambrose is needed, is safe and will reduce energy costs for New York consumers," company chief executive Roger Whelan said in a statement.
Opponents counter that renewable energy such as an offshore wind farm proposed in the same area is far less polluting and will not speed global warming. Finn Hinke, 43, of Long Beach cited the need to protect "our coastlines and our environment and all the waters." The protesters’ column stretched about 200 yards. Several protestors raised concerns about safety. "How could you ever think of putting a port out there with the storms we have?" asked Judy Weitz, 65, of Long Beach.
Commentary: Earlier this week we gave credit to the useful idiots of the country by respecting their devotion as true believers in however climate change is defined today. We also pointed out that one of the world's most respected climate change leaders admitted that her work was not so much about the environment as about destroying capitalism. The story below describes the thought process, or lack thereof, of a graduate student from Olympia who drove to Seattle to protest the world's reliance on oil. And he brought others with him. -dh
Seattle Times by Coral Garnick. Conrad Ely brought a kayak and canoe with three of his friends from Olympia. He is pursuing a master’s degree in environmental studies program at The Evergreen State College in Olympia and drove up Saturday to join the demonstration and show his opposition to oil dependency.
“I think our resources should be spent on finding alternatives rather than on finding oil,” he said after unloading his supplies and signing a waiver upon arrival at Seacrest Park.
(Comment: We believe an interesting environmental studies masters thesis could focus on the fossil fuels and mined minerals that compose Mr. Ely's Kayak, clothing and the car/fuel that carried him from Olympia to Seattle; then, using scientific methodology, determine how he would maintain his lifestyle and future career without them. -dh)
U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo), Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Tim Scott, R-S.C., this week each introduced separate proposals to increase energy production on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and increase revenue sharing with states that support offshore energy production activities.
These targeted bills reflect the priorities of their sponsors. Murkowski’s bill would focus on Alaska’s OCS while Cassidy’s bill would focus on Gulf Coast States and Scott’s bill would focus on the Atlantic OCS. The proposals are:
· S. 1278 (Murkowski), the Alaska Outer Continental Shelf Lease Sale Act
· S. 1276 (Cassidy), the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act
· S. 1279 (Scott), the Southern Atlantic Energy Security Act
“Alaska’s natural resources are vital to our prosperity, and sharing a portion of the revenues with producing states is a matter of simple fairness,” Sen. Murkowski said. “With exploration proceeding in the Chukchi, and the Alaska offshore emerging as a key part of our national energy security, it is critical that we allow state and coastal communities to invest in workforce development, science, and the infrastructure necessary to bring these vast resources to market.”
“Developing oil and natural gas resources in the Gulf of Mexico could create more than 200,000 jobs, add more than $18 billion per year to the U.S. economy and strengthen our national security,” said Sen. Cassidy said. “What is there to oppose? It’s time for everyone to get on board.”
On Tuesday, May 19, Murkowski, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will hold a hearing on these bills along with 23 other pieces of energy supply legislation. This hearing marks the third of four that Murkowski is holding to consider legislative proposals for the broad energy bill she is assembling. That effort will pull together legislative proposals under four general titles – efficiency, infrastructure, supply, and accountability.
Published this morning: our MASTER RESOURCE Op-ed: "Seattle Hearing on Shell's Arctic Rig Docking: A Clash of Visions"
UN Climate Change Chief, Christiana Figueres: Against Capitalism and Against Shell's Arctic Exploration
|Investors Business Daily. At a news conference last week in Brussels, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism.
"This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution," she said.
Politico. United Nations climate change chief Christiana Figueres on Wednesday questioned the wisdom of Shell's quest to drill in the Arctic. "There is an increasing amount of analysis that points to the fact that we will have to keep the great majority of fossil fuel reserves underground (Note: one of the talking points in several enviro presentations in Seattle on Tuesday. -dh), and there’s increasing amount of analysis that points to the increased danger ... of high-cost carbon investments," Figueres, the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, told reporters.
Today we fearlessly define the role and character of 'useful idiots', expose their masters and shatter the innocence of those who continually ask, "why would they do that?"
As in the case of the Seattle hearing earlier this week, we often see the liberal element of our society acting in character: loud, defiant, rude, intolerant, highly emotional and quick to cite assumptions without much factual basis.
Above, we quoted Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change in connection with the Seattle hearing. She commented on Shell's exploration plan and her talking points mirrored those heard in the hearing
They will often demonize their prey and take illegal shortcuts as they pursue their ends via any means.
Who are the world's current army of useful idiots?
- These are the fresh faced, idealistic Australian "volunteers" who trespass on legal, oceangoing vessels to protest their oil exploration missions.
- These are the selfish who would print money to overspend now for their own comfort at the expense of their children who will pay the bill one unjust way or another.
- These are forest activists whose handiwork produces forest fires by politically fighting sustained yield forestry and who injure the loggers by 'spiking' trees.
- These are city park "occupiers" advocating anarchy while looting nearby stores and leaving piles of human waste and trash for honest citizens to clean up later.
- These are avowed socialists, advocating dictatorship and economic slavery by taxing a business to transfer wealth to, "green industry", true believers.
- These are politicians who have developed wealth transfer into a lucrative profession.
- These are litigants who would introduce a cake maker or photographer to bankruptcy or jail for politely declining to support a wedding ceremony.
- These are atheists, secularists and alternative religious fanatics who would erase the Christian heritage of America by forcing removal of all reference to Christ from public dialog and public places.
- These are global warming (a.k.a. "climate change") devotees who use devious techniques with religious fervor as a means to achieving their end -- eliminating opposition.
- These are those whose livelihood is based on creating racial or gender or religious or patriotic mistrust, bias and unrest where there was none.
- These are politicians advocating a weaker military and a more robust welfare state.
- These are school administrators who don't support teachers attempting to enforce order in a classroom and teachers who infuse their own liberal philosophies into lesson plans of every subject, from physics, to biology, English, history, economics and political science.
- These agitators will oppose without meritorious argument the construction of major projects, such as the Keystone Pipeline.
- These geniuses will burn to the ground the only pharmacy or convenience store in a ghetto to protest the lack of jobs in the ghetto.
- These will picket or boycott a restaurant whose management proclaims devotion to Christian values.
- These will picket and interrupt commerce and traffic in support of a government-ordered "Minimum Wage" as thousands of entry level, teen aged employees and senior citizens face layoffs, restaurant closings and non-human automation.
- These will support amnesty for trespassing, criminal, disease carrying and otherwise illegal aliens whose own countries would incarcerate or execute Americans who attempted illegal entry...and whose immigration programs are only open to healthy investors, fixed income retirees or professionals with talents to offer.
- These are those who are quick to criticize and demonize America's founding Christian principles while demeaning those who might in any way criticize an alien religion that is abhorrent to America's constitutional values and the intent of the country's founders.
- These others would wrap their climate change/global warming vocations/avocations in a mantel of religious fervor, absent the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient Creator, of course.
- These are the ones who would use, not their own, but taxpayer dollars to subsidize unqualified homebuyers or uneconomic green company supporters in return for political support.
- These are that flank of the movement that would disarm America as the bureaucracy gains power.
Most of these seem highly dedicated to some cause.
All are on a stage.
Their acting performances are near flawless, because they are not merely actors on this stage of life and political action: they are true believers: housewives, students, professors, retirees, group activists, religious activists, political operatives.
And most align themselves with the Democrat Party in the United States or, more honestly, with "liberal" or "socialist" or "communist" parties in other countries. (Some of us can remember having good friends and colleagues who labeled themselves, "conservative democrats". Try to find one now who will not vote lockstep with the mainstream democrats on most issues.)
To those controling these intricate productions, to those who write the scripts, choreograph the action, design preprinted picket signs, create and coordinate talking points with the democrat/socialist/environmental networks and finance the productions -- to those who manipulate them -- the real life actors are very useful idiots.
|Follow the money and power. The result of all of the misguided, unAmerican actions above is to shift money and power -- and votes -- from producers in a free society to beneficiaries of a fascist bureaucracy.|
Fate of the useful idiots may not be what they expected.
Tragedy might await useful idiots. When the manipulators achieve power through the labor of the many constituent groups, their faithful environmental or social or political advocates will be expendable.
This is because following the accumulation of complete power, the liberal idealists, the useful idiots, will have no option but to support and vote for the fascist manipulators. Just ask liberal minorities how their brothers and sisters in Chinese or ISIS territory or Cuba are treated. And how did they fare under Roman, Turkish, Nazi, Soviet, Russian, Pol Pot or Boko Haram rule?
If useful idiots in America reflect on this history, they would join Christian prayer groups. They would carry the American Flag in parades, promote the Constitution and eject leftist philosophies whose end can only be to enslave the idiots who enable it.
Which of the countries hyperlinked above would provide the security, safety, rule of law, freedom, true hope and opportunity enjoyed by our past generations?
But what about mainstream, traditional, conservative, patriotic America in a fascist environment?
Those opposed to the manipulation will have already been dealt with: forced into bankruptcy, intimidated, monitored, investigated, jailed, or otherwise neutralized. It is now happening before our eyes.
The IRS abuses us, is not punished and its offenders given princely retirements and bonuses. The VA abuses veterans, is not punished and its offenders given princely retirements and bonuses. The Attorney General selectively enforces the law and encourages racial strife. The White House co-habits with tax cheats and employed one as Treasury Secretary. And, so much more....
I am often amazed when the federal government denies a permit, promulgates a terrible new regulation or vetoes a logical law that some of my friends still ask in wonderment: "Why would they do that?"
I always suggest that friends might find the answer by considering the manipulators of that result to be very smart, logical and serious. One should then consider the movement of money and power in connection with that particular issue and suddenly the very clear but evil strategy is revealed.
What is that mysterious cabal of government, environmental and corporate manipulators?
She is certainly one of the manipulators, using her "climate change" position of authority in the United Nations to disseminate global warming/climate change propaganda used by her faithful followers.
One guesses that the desirable end result of her work would be to put the UN firmly in charge of its various world units in a new world order -- though other world dictators might have a more selfish reason for bringing down the world's largest free economy.
In any case, we refrain from speculating further as to precise plans.
All we have to go on now is what we believe in a court of law to be a powerful case of circumstantial evidence, combined with the occasional admission such as that of Ms. Figueres, quoted above.
However, when we note the dozens of White House visits of some of the favored ones noted column right; when we note lack of prosecution of guilty allies; when we note the use of federal power to attack political opponents; and, when we see before our eyes the long tradition of due process fading into history: then, we know change is on the way. No, change is here.
And we know for certain that such change does not bode well for freedom, constitutional principals, the rule of law, free enterprise, traditional values, our Christian culture, our history, our Founders' dreams, our childrens' hopes and opportunities, peace in the world, or security at home.
What is the solution?
Already, we see change is inevitable. The question is how extreme will it get.
When the majority of Americans vote for the sort of change described herein --and they have -- change has already occurred.
When great companies like Wal-Mart and General Electric have already laid tribute at the alter of various politically correct, carbon tax, climate change, socialist and/or environmentally extreme NGOs -- change has already occurred.
When the military's traditions have been emasculated, Bibles banned, Christianity abused, General and Flag officers replaced with agreeable operatives in uniform -- then we know change has already occurred.
When we see an Administration that backs down from a red line in Syria, how can we expect for it to support allies engaged in Asian island disputes with China; with mano a mano disputes between Russia and NATO allies; with the Iranian fleet testing our Yemen resolve; with Middle Eastern jihadists threatening our Israeli, Jordanian, Saudi and other allies; with jihadists establishing training camps throughout the United States; with Russians taking more and more command of Arctic resources and waterways?
What is the solution; what should we do?
Well, the thing the United States of America is not doing as a nation and the majority of its people are not doing as individuals, is kneeling before our Master and Creator, vowing allegiance, requesting forgiveness, giving thanks, asking for guidance and protection as his children.
The most important thing we could do are those things listed above. Our Founders did and were led to miraculous victory--not unlike Joshua of old.
By taking the same approach, we expose ourselves and our Nation to a state of grace, to the unequaled power of our God. We will be led to elect good people to public office and to find hope where now there is only the specter of disaster, destruction. That is the solution.
We will keep faith with our Founders who, in turn, found God's guidance and protection real, everlasting and irreplaceable. And they warned future generations that only by continued allegiance to the creator and the founding principles could we hope to see the nation survive future challenges. That is what we should do.
Yes, this webpage is about energy. But energy is a part of and will be controlled by the big, orchestrated changes now occurring. Presently, those changes do not look well for a free and productive private sector. And while we do not have ministerial training, we would be compelled by history and logic to this conclusion -- even were we not compelled by faith.
Unless we face the major issue -- reliance on Holy God -- no industry, no state, no employment, no nation, no family, no future is secure from the dedicated and evil networks organized against and poised to change our way of life.
In that somber change, sadly, we can believe -- unless we are willing to change ourselves.
Yesterday's Port of Seattle Testimony: News, our commentary below...
Commentary. We watched a "clash of energy philosophies" at yesterday's hearing online.
We drew three main conclusions:
1. Alaska witnesses. Many testified. All but one (i.e. a Mat-su area environmentalist who criticized Alaska's position on natural resource development) represented themselves professionally, presenting actual facts and history relating to the century-old relationship between Seattle and Alaska.
They also carefully briefed the commissioners on the importance of Shell's exploration, potential sustainability of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) and TAPS' impact on Washington state jobs and economic impact.
Alaska North Slope (ANS) Native leaders discussed the importance of properly developing oil in concert with subsistence and lifestyle values--and their successful history of working both with the oil industry and the Seattle Seaport.
Here is the testimony of Rick Rogers (NGP Photo), Executive Director of Resource Development Council for Alaska (RDC). He focuses on the economic "ties that bind" Alaska and Seattle together and the importance of the sanctity of contract law. A unique group, RDC represents forestry, commercial fishing, mining and other natural resource interests other than oil and gas.
We were particularly impressed with the calm and effective presentation Alaska State Senate Resources Committee Chairman Cathy Giessel (NGP Photo) made as first witness. Her diplomatic but firm recommendation that the Seattle Port respect its agreement to provide dockside support to Shell and its contractor Foss Maritime, set a positive tone for the whole day--and reflected credit on Alaska's government.
Another distinguished Alaskan, Paul Fuhs (Quoted in the Times article), spoke as a former mayor and current port manager, focusing on the credibility of the Port's decision process.
We believe the Seattle Times reporters featured his words, in part, because of his own credible testimony.
2. Anti Shell, anti fossil fuel witnesses were not credible but emotional pleas sometimes win debates.
The activist crowd represented several national and international environmentally extreme groups along with well intended but highly emotional local residents who focused on emotional techniques to generate support.
Some stood rather than delivered prepared presentations seated at the witness box.
Some sang an anti-oil song.
Some snapped their fingers after their friends testified.
Some applauded when the Chair asked that all witnesses be heard without interruption.
Some held up anti-oil signs as they testified.
Some brought children.
Some were foreign national environmentalists advocating more activism.
A socialist advocated denying Shell lease space, taxing the company and using the cash to create "green jobs" to replace all the carbon producing jobs that would be supposedly lost by refusing to allow the Seattle port to service Shell's fleet.
3. Education. The hearing should have been a 'wake up call' both for Alaska and the natural resource extraction industries in general.
It is apparent that many school teachers from K-12 through University worship at the "Global Warming Altar".
We detect this trend from having carefully listened to the words of local witnesses.
We support an atmosphere wherein parents and teachers encourage their children to engage in honest debate on all issues.
By our own observation -- confirmed by this hearing -- we are concerned that the religion of global warming takes no prisoners, does not tolerate debate, demeans and demonizes all opposition, believes the end justifies all means including violation of laws.
This growing new attitude of intolerant environmental activism seems to have spread like a viral gospel through the neighborhoods and politics of Seattle.
One indication of the virility of the environmental gospel is Monday's action by the Seattle city council.
It passed a resolution opposing Seaport services for Shell. It used embarrassingly flimsy rational that appeared to reflect much of the same emotional sentiment expressed by the environmental activists on Tuesday.
All of these anti free enterprise, anti fossil fuel allies seem to have been studying the same talking points and drinking the same Kool-Aid from the same communion table.
Religions have in common that they place the state of faith above worldly facts.
Let us propose this concept to our own faithful readers:
They have faith that what is man-caused can be man-controlled.
They believe that regardless of whether the rest of the world acts, America should act to eliminate use of fossil fuels in spite of economic, national security or even unintended negative environmental impacts.
And, they don't mind proclaiming that if they can use political pressure to stop Shell from using Seattle port facilities, this will somehow reduce carbon emissions.
But Shell will look for Arctic oil or not, depending on Federal permits. If the company doesn't find Arctic oil, the worldwide demand for oil will set a price that will provide the incentive to find it somewhere else...as America, Seattle and Alaska lose jobs and economic growth from our own domestic production.
We have observed natural resource hearings for 4 decades. Never has such a pervasive, activist, elitist, anti-civilization mentality so effectively pervaded our society.
If our civilization is to continue, our well-grounded public and private leaders need to wake up and undertake communication programs designed to better articulate the facets of free-enterprise, wealth creation, natural resource development, freedom and history to community members--young and old.
Such a new education movement could well begin in Seattle, anchor tenant of America's "Left Coast".
For every new generation of citizens and their elected leaders need to be reminded of how America became great because of wealth producing natural resources.
Our future generations of citizens also need to be taught how a country's greatness -- and perhaps its existence -- can fast disappear without the means to sustain a desirable way of life.
Seattle Times by Coral Garnick. Hal Bernton, Paige Cornwell, Evan Bush, and Daniel Beekman contributed to this story.
Shell Oil says its offshore oil rigs will arrive shortly on Seattle’s waterfront to prepare for drilling in Alaska, despite a Port of Seattle resolution Tuesday asking it to delay while the Port challenges a city ruling aimed at keeping the rigs out.
“Rig movement will commence in the days to come,” said Shell spokesman Curtis Smith in an email.
Paul Fuhs (NGP Photo), executive director of the North Slope Port Authority in Alaska, said before the meeting that rescinding the lease with Foss would be the equivalent of Alaskans telling Washington to “just shut down your Boeing plant and solve global warming with that.”
“Regardless of what the city (of Seattle) does, they cannot stop Shell from drilling this season,” said Fuhs, of the North Slope Port Authority. “The real damage that’s being done is to the credibility of the Port.”
Samples of the two types of witnesses: Resource Development Council for Alaska and A Gaggle of Grannies (a.k.a. "Raging Grannies")
12:58 PM: Just as Seattle port commissioners are about to start their meeting on the controversial Terminal 5 lease to Foss/Shell, we received ....
1:05 PM: The meeting has begun. Commissioner Stephanie Bowman is leading it; her co-president Courtney Gregoire is absent “for health reasons.” Bowman urges civility, saying her 70-year-old mom is in the front row so if you’re rude to the commission, you’re rude to her mom. This will start with public comment, and #1 is the one elected official Bowman has mentioned as being here – Alaska State Senator Cathy Giessel, who chairs....
#2 – a speaker who says he’s from a faith-based community: “Help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing....
#3 – Anthony Edwardson from Barrow, AK, chair of Arctic Inupiat Offshore, “asking the commission to honor (the lease). … We have partnered with Shell to be sure....
#21 – Zoe Buckley Lennox, an Australian who was one of the six Greenpeace activists who boarded the Polar Pioneer in the middle of the North Pacific, gets up to speak and gets an ovation of sorts ....
#31 – The Raging Grannies are speaking now, and the photographers are rushing to the front of the room. “We are imagining a future where people ....
Seattle Times Commentary by Denny Westneat: "A state mostly run by liberal Democrats for years continues to dodge the tough work required for the economy to grow greener."
The other day I was watching video footage of one of Seattle’s emerging leaders, City Councilman Mike O’Brien, as he was training to be a “kayaktivist” in opposing Shell Oil’s drilling rigs ….
He said something designed to be a rallying cry, but ….
“We’re protesting the idea of Arctic drilling … the idea that Shell Oil is going to bring its drilling fleet into Seattle and tie us up in their shenanigans up in Alaska,” O’Brien said to Q13 News. “We don’t want ….
But we’re already tied up in their shenanigans. The reality is Seattle is probably as hooked on Arctic crude ….For going on 40 years, Arctic crude has literally fueled the prosperous growth in….
U.S. Sens Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., along with 11 of their Senate colleagues today introduced the Energy Supply and Distribution Act of 2015 (S.1312). This bipartisan legislation would modernize federal energy policy by ending the outdated ban on crude oil exports.
Murkowski and Heitkamp were joined by Sens. Hoeven, R-N.D., Barrasso, R-Wyo., McCain, R-Ariz., Corker, R-Tenn., Alexander, R-Tenn., Risch, R-Idaho, Flake, R-Ariz., Capito, R-W.Va., Inhofe, R-Okla., Rubio, R-Fla., and Lankford, R-Okla. as cosponsors representing six committee Chairmen.
“America’s energy landscape has changed dramatically since the export ban was put in place in the 1970s. We have moved from energy scarcity to energy abundance. Unfortunately, our energy policies have not kept pace,” Sen. Murkowski said. “This legislation builds from bipartisan ideas, linking energy security and infrastructure to expanding exports and helping our allies. Our nation has an opportunity to embrace its role as a global energy powerhouse, sending a signal to the world that we are open for business and will stand by our friends in need.”
“The 1970s-era ban on exporting American crude oil is as outdated as the typewriters on which the policy was written. It’s past time for an upgrade,” said Sen. Heitkamp. “Senator Murkowski and I are working to change the trajectory – by doing away with this nonsensical, out-of-date ban on U.S. crude exports, we can fully harness our resources here at home, level the playing field in the global energy market, and support our energy security by making sure our allies get energy resources from us instead of volatile regions. In the coming days, I’ll introduce complementary legislation that will hopefully be combined with this bill to make sure our legislation to lift the ban is as strong and comprehensive as possible.”
“Lifting the decades-old law banning U.S. producers from selling their product on the world market will help produce more energy, grow our economy and create more jobs, both in North Dakota and across the nation,” Sen. Hoeven said. “In addition, according to the Energy Information Administration, removing the ban will increase the supply of oil on the world market, bringing the price of crude down globally, which will bring down the price of gasoline and other fuels for consumers.”
“For generations, Americans have been subject to the whims of OPEC and its impact on the world oil market. Americans pay more at the pump whenever the world’s supply decreases —whether that is a result of events close to home or decisions made on another continent,” Sen. Barrasso said. “Ending the ban on exporting crude oil will allow American producers to add to global oil supplies and help stabilize the world oil market. American exports will help us keep gasoline prices affordable while undermining the influence of oil-rich countries that don’t share our values or our interests.”
“Lifting this outdated ban to expand markets for U.S. oil products will provide economic and strategic benefits for our country,” Sen. Corker said. “Increasing U.S. supply on the world market will contribute to lower and more stable prices for American consumers, while giving our allies and partners alternatives to oil from places like Russia and the Middle East.”
“Today, America is in the midst of an energy boom, topping Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s leading oil producer. With this surge in production projected to continue, and U.S. refineries unable to process it all, producers should be permitted to sell it abroad,” Sen. Risch said. “A responsible update to our crude oil export policy, which this legislation represents, will be good for the economy and for American interests abroad.”
“It’s high time for the U.S. to reconsider policies that only serve to artificially constrain market access. I am pleased to join Sen. Murkowski in pushing for an end to the oil export ban,” Sen. Flake said.
“With the U.S. producing more energy than ever before, now is the time to lift the current ban on U.S. oil exports. The sooner Congress updates these outdated policies, the sooner American workers can start experiencing the benefits of an energy-driven economy,” Sen. Capito said.
“I am proud to support Chairman Murkowski's bill to lift the oil export ban. When producers can export everything from gasoline to jet fuel, it only makes sense that unrefined products should be exported too,” Sen. Inhofe said. “This bill would help provide energy security for our allies in Europe and Asia, as well as support job creation in the United States by encouraging greater production. Leading studies also show that this policy change will lower gasoline prices at the pump. This is the right thing to do - both for ourselves and our allies abroad.”
“Energy development has been a valuable part of the American economy for decades, even while unnecessary barriers have restrained its’ growth and limited jobs,” Sen. Lankford said. “The energy industry has been a bright spot through a recession, and its potential, specifically in the area of crude oil exports, is tremendous. This bipartisan Energy Supply and Distribution Act of 2015 is important for growing our economy, creating good-paying jobs, and unleashing a robust recovery. We actually have the capacity to produce enough resources to be a net exporter, yet are unable to do so due to an antiquated and outdated ban. We should take every advantage to export both our resources and our values to nations around the world.”
Murkowski, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has long supported ending the outdated ban on American crude oil exports. In March, the Senate energy panel held a hearing to examine the benefits of ending this outdated energy policy. Murkowski released a reportedly last year calling for the liberalization of America’s energy trade policies. The legislation introduced by Murkowski and Heitkamp and cosponsored by 11 of their Senate colleagues, furthers Murkowski’s commitment to modernizing America’s energy policies.
More information on S. 1312, the Energy Supply and Distribution Act, is available on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee website.