Fairbanks News Miner/AP.  Just days after the Alaska Legislature lowered taxes on the oil industry, ConocoPhillips announced plans to boost investment on North Slope fields.  ConocoPhillips is planning to bring an additional rig to the Kuparuk field this spring and working with co-owners to fund a new drill site on the Kuparuk River field, the company said in a Wednesday announcement.

Ron Wyden, US Senator, confirmation of Dr Ernest Moniz, energy committee, oregon, Photo by Dave HarbourAccording to Energy & Natural Resources communications staff, Keith Chu,  Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (NGP Photo) today announced that the committee voted to favorably report the nomination of Dr. Ernest Moniz to serve as Secretary of Energy.  (You likely read it here first.)
“Dr. Moniz could become the first Secretary of Energy who, instead of having to confront energy shortages and scarcity, instead would oversee an era of abundant carbon-reducing natural gas and dramatic growth of renewable energy technologies,” Wyden said.
“From my experience working with Dr. Moniz, I believe he is more than up to the challenges that our country is going to face in this historic transition for our energy sector.”
The committee approved the nomination by a vote of 21 to 1. The nomination now goes to the full Senate for its consideration. 

Today’s Consumer Energy Alliance Energy News:


Forbes: Stubbed Toe? Blame Global Warming…or Fracking – On his blog at The American Interest, policy expert Walter Russell Mead posted a piece on April 14 titled “Stubbed Toe?  Blame Global Warming”.  In his piece he correctly points out that, whatever one personally believes about theories of anthropogenic “global warming”, the credibility of the movement behind those theories suffers greatly due to the actions of climate alarmists who regularly knee-jerk to attribute every severe weather event that takes place, and all manner of other, unrelated things, to global warming.
Bloomberg: Chevron Defies California On Carbon Emissions  –   Both Chevron and ExxonMobil help finance the Houston-based Consumer Energy Alliance, which runs ad and Web campaigns warning low-carbon mandates could cost hundreds of thousands of jobs. After the alliance lobbied in New Hampshire last year, lawmakers passed a law prohibiting the state from participating in any low-carbon fuel program without legislative approval.
Associated Press: Neb. Opposition Muted Ahead of Keystone XL Hearing – Supporters and opponents are expected to pack the State Department’s only hearing before Secretary John Kerry recommends to President Barack Obama whether to build the $7.6 billion Canada-to-Texas line. A recommendation by the department, which has jurisdiction because the pipeline would cross a U.S. border, is not expected until summer. A poll last year by the Omaha World-Herald showed Nebraskans support the pipeline by more than a 2-to-1 ratio, and the state’s governor and congressional delegation — all Republicans — have either backed the plan or relaxed their opposition.
Financial Times: US shale revolution backs bull case – The principal reason for their bullishness on the outlook for the US economy is the surge in oil and gas production from so-called “shale” deposits, which has in turn driven a sharp fall in US prices of both commodities relative to the rest of the world. US oil production rose to a 20-year high of 7m barrels a day in the final months of last year. US oil production rose to a 20-year high of 7m barrels a day in the final months of last year, while the country’s natural gas production has risen 20 percent in five years to a record high, according to the Department of Energy. The increase in output has led some observers to predict an imminent age of energy independence for the US.
Bloomberg (Op-ed by Michael Levi): More U.S. Oil Probably Won’t Destroy the Climate – No single action, even a big one, will make the difference when it comes to dangerous climate change. And the right U.S. actions can help build international support for cooperative efforts. Yet U.S. restraint is unlikely to influence other big oil-producing countries. Most of the biggest ones — including Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — depend on oil production for their survival. They can’t slash their production without risk to their economies.
POLITICO Pro: Ex-spill commission: Congress is failing – Three years after the BP oil spill ravaged the Gulf Coast, Congress has failed to take action to prevent another disaster, former members of President Barack Obama’s oil spill commission said Wednesday. “Three years have passed since the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon killed 11 workers and Congress has yet to pass one piece of legislation to make drilling safer,” former Florida Sen. Bob Graham, a former co-chairman of the commission, told reporters. The group gave much higher marks to the Obama administration and the oil industry, saying they have made huge strides to improve offshore drilling safety. But it cautioned that risks will continue to be a problem, especially as drilling moves into “harsher, less familiar conditions” like the Arctic.
Reuters: North Dakota crude output hits new high in February – Crude oil production in North Dakota, the No. 2 U.S. oil-producing state, hit an all-time high in February but will really accelerate in May after bad weather and road restrictions end, the state’s Department of Mineral Resources said on Tuesday. The recent oil boom from the exploitation of the huge Bakken formation that straddles the U.S.-Canadian border now has North Dakota forecasting production of 850,000 barrels per day (bpd) by early 2014.
Houston Chronicle: Energy Department won’t be rushed on export decision – The Department of Energy official in charge of deciding whether to allow exports of liquefied natural gas gave no indication Tuesday of how the department will rule, or even when a decision may be made. Christopher Smith, acting assistant secretary for fossil energy, was among the opening speakers at the 17th International Conference and Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas, which drew around 5,000 people to Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center.
Wall Street Journal: A Fishermen’s Ball Before Earth Day – Mark Ruffalo stars in big-budget action movies like "The Avengers," but he’s also developed a second career as an activist opposed to fracking. The actor was honored Tuesday evening at the Fishermen’s Ball hosted by Riverkeeper, a nonprofit watchdog organization that advocates for protecting the Hudson River and its tributaries, held at Pier 60. The event, held on a balmy, overcast evening at a space that showed off the river attendees were aiming to protect, raised over $1 million for the organization. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the organization’s attorney, attended, along with Yoko Ono, designer Nicole Miller and actress Cheryl Hines. Lyle Lovett performed.