In Memorium


Governor Sean Parnell today ordered state flags to fly at half-staff on Wednesday, April 11, in honor and memory of Representative Carl Gatto (NGP Photo, many other poses to be added by the evening of 4-11-12) who passed away today. He was 74.
“Sandy and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Representative Gatto,” Governor Parnell said. “Alaska has lost a great public servant who will be remembered for his wit and wisdom, his commitment to education and veterans’ issues, and his unwavering support for the people of the Mat-Su. We will keep his wife, family, friends and colleagues in our thoughts and prayers.”


News Miner by Jeff Richardson.  Flint Hills Resources announced plans Tuesday to idle one of its two operating refinery units in North Pole, a move that will result in layoffs for roughly a quarter of its local employees.
National Post by Brent Wittmeier.  Wiebo Ludwig, known for decades for his confrontations with the oilpatch, law enforcement and the modern world, died on Monday at his remote farm in northern Alberta. He was 70 years old and had been diagnosed with cancer.
Fairbanks News Miner by Matt Buxton.  The second biggest state capital budget item for Fairbanks — $30 million for natural gas storage facilities — is on the chopping block, Sen. Joe Thomas said Tuesday.  That’s because the project, proposed by the Golden Valley Electric Association as part of its liquid natural gas trucking project, isn’t shovel-ready and the money could be better spent elsewhere, the Fairbanks Democratic senator said. 
(We broke the news in yesterday’s email alert (scroll down) about Marathon’s Alaska Asset sale.  Here is an AP/ADN story.)

Today’s Consumer Energy Alliance Links
Signs that gasoline prices may have peaked signal relief to both American drivers and President Barack Obama, who Republicans have tried to tie to a climb in the costs. Average prices at the pump have hovered at $3.92 a gallon this month, after an almost uninterrupted rise since mid- January. Some analysts now believe they’ll start to recede, as oil fell to a seven-week trading low on projections of slower demand and easing tensions over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
The Wall Street JournalGas Glut Rejiggers Industry
Plummeting natural-gas prices are pushing U.S. industries into virgin terrain, even beginning to dislodge cheap Western coal from its once-untouchable perch as the nation’s favorite fuel for power production. On Tuesday, natural-gas futures settled at $2.03 per million British thermal units—just a hint above $2, the lowest price since January 2002.
A solid majority of Americans are more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who supports developing more natural gas, boosting federal support for renewable-energy use and approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, a new poll found. According to a University of Texas energy poll released today, 61 percent of Americans said they’d be more likely to vote for a candidate who backs more natural gas, compared to 7 percent who said they’d be less likely.
Politicians on all sides of the nation’s energy debate can find things to ponder in a new poll that suggests Americans are inclined to develop natural gas resources and build a disputed oil pipeline from Canada, but also want the government to support renewable energy. According to a University of Texas energy poll released Tuesday, 61 percent of Americans said they’d be more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who backs more natural gas, while only 7 percent said such a candidate would be less likely to get their votes.
Marking the similarities between President Barack Obama’s time in office and former president Jimmy Carter’s is nothing new. But as of Monday, Obama has hit one more Carter benchmark – both saw gas prices double in their first term of office.
[See Where Gas Prices are Spiking the Most] In fact, while just barely, Obama has seen an even higher gas price increase than Carter dealt with under his administration.
A new poll shows continued discontent with President Obama’s handling of gasoline prices despite aggressive White House efforts to tout the administration’s energy policies. The Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that 62 percent of those surveyed disapprove of the way Obama is addressing prices at the pump, while 28 percent approve and 10 percent have no opinion.


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