Reminder to our Alaska readers: AOGA 50th Anniversary Conference – On May 25, the Alaska Oil and Gas Association will hold its 50th Anniversary Conference.  Aside from supporting our friends in the oil patch, the agenda holds some terrific energy speakers like Alex Epstein, author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, and so much more. More here! 

  “Wake Up Consumers: Government Regulation Is Making You Poorer!”

Commentary by

Dave Harbour

 “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Socialist.     

     Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Trade Unionist.

     Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew.

     Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”  -Pastor Martin Niemöller

Gregory Boyce BY DAVE HARBOUR NARUC LA 7-18-26_CR2

Gregory Boyce

Today, we remember meeting Gregory Boyce at a meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners in 2011.  At that time coal was the least expensive way to create electricity aside from legacy hydroelectric dams, and consumers received about 40% of total US electricity from consumer friendly, low cost coal fired power production.  Since then, coal use has become much cleaner, yet the federal government with its propensity for overreaching its jurisdiction (i.e. the EPA) has taken steps such as those described below to initiate a war on coal designed to actually kill that consumer-friendly source of power.

Aubrey McClendon BY DAVE HARBOUR NARUC LA 7-18-39_CR2

Aubrey McClendon

Unfortunately, some in the natural gas industry have joined the coal lynch mob purely to stimulate natural gas demand and profitability.  At the meeting described above, the late chairman of Chesapeake Natural Gas, Aubrey McClendon, argued against use of coal.

As chairman of the Western Association of Public Utility Commissioners Gas Committee, I frequently urged all energy industries to advocate their own benefits without imitating political negative campaigning techniques!  Why?  Because such in-fighting does not benefit or better protect consumers.

In the Paris climate change meetings late last year, twenty major oil companies joined in the war on coal. They piously called themselves the Oil & Gas Climate InitiativeOil & Gas Climate Change Initiative Logo.  We believed it to be yet another patently self serving, flanking attack designed to both reduce competition from coal while soliciting favor from environmental activists and lubricating access to United Nations “climate change” advocate countries like France, Germany, Canada and the United States.

One can expect that the price for oil company friendship with activists and politicians is money: grants, travel stipends, contributions, etc.  One can also expect that the environmental-governmental-industrial cabal will now exercise greater power over the public interest and consumer pocketbooks.

But what they get for their money and for foolishly putting their shareholder reputations on the climate change bandwagon could be: 1) increased funding for activists who will relentlessly move from attacking coal to attacking natural gas fracking and other projects; 2) losing support from traditional business and conservative political allies.

In short, “They came for coal, and no one spoke out for coal; then, they came for natural gas and oil and there was no one left to speak for them.”

“By coming for low cost natural gas fracking and lower cost coal, they came for the consumers — and and no one noticed.”

Meanwhile money flowed into climate change political and environmental activist war chests and salaries — enriching them at consumer expense.

Epilogue:  We have one last question for our readers.  If everyone ignores the slow destruction of coal; and if we stand by and let it happen to gas; then oil and mining and forestry and commercial fishing and the consumers; what chance do states, provinces and nations have to sustain prosperity of their natural resource-based economies?  Doesn’t this mean that all of the natural resource creators of wealth must continually reach higher environmental and technological standards while sticking together in the battle to do them all in, one by one, not fighting one another.  For the natural resource based economies must join with consumers everywhere to fight what amount to anarchist efforts that will deprive civilization of its basic, affordable fuels we depend upon to sustain the large, growing populations of the world.  -dh

Sally is coming down from her ivory tower to visit the people she is crushing.

Lisa Murkowski -cu-left- 5-17-10 - Chamber Cong Del - by Dave Harbour 190-1 4898x3265

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, NGP File Photo

The Hill (5/19/16) reports: “Miners and Western Republicans are lining up against the Obama administration and environmentalists in what some consider the next front in the “war on coal.” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced a three-year moratorium on new coal leases on public lands in January, launching a review that could potentially result in mining companies paying  higher rates. “It fits tidily into their overall view of coal,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the chairwoman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “You can call it a ‘war on coal,’ you can call it whatever you want. It is a policy directive coming out of this administration that says coal has no part in our country’s energy portfolio. I think that’s short-sighted and very unfortunate.” Administration officials held the first public meeting on the review on Tuesday in Wyoming, with four more to follow.”

The Stunning Effects Of Obama’s War On Coal

The Daily Caller by Andrew Follett.  President Barack Obama has followed through on his promise to “bankrupt” the coal industry, causing coal use to fall by 29 percent since 2007, according to a chart published Thursday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The huge decline in coal use is due to regulations by Obama’s Enviromental Protection Agency and cheap natural gas, which  “spurred increases in natural gas-fired power generation in several states, generally at the expense of coal-fired generation,” according to the EIA.

Coal use fell in every state but Nebraska and Alaska, devastating both the coal power and the coal mining industries, and even forcing Peabody Energy, the world’s largest coal company, to declare bankruptcy earlier this month. Other American coal companies have faced….

Some Connecticut customers paying more for electricity than they have to
April 21–A new report from Connecticut’s Office of Consumer Counsel says Connecticut residential electric customers who used third-party electric suppliers in 2015 to save money actually ended up paying more than they would have if they had continued to purchase their power through Eversource Energy or The United Illuminating Co. How much more? Try $58 million spread across tens of thousands …

The EPA funded experts agree with the EPA? What a surprise.

The Daily Caller (5/17/16) reports: “A free market legal group is suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for allegedly stacking a scientific advisory panel on air pollution with researchers who had received more than $190 million in grants from the agency. The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (EELI) is suing EPA on behalf of the Western States Trucking Association and Dr. James Enstrom, a retired University of California-Los Angeles epidemiologist who was blacklisted for challenging EPA claims about particulate matter. “The EPA has stacked the panel, which is required by law to be independent and unbiased, with researchers who have received over $190 million in discretionary grants from the EPA,” said Steve Milloy, an attorney with EELI, in a statement.”

The carbon tax is a bureaucrat’s dream.

The Energy Collective (5/19/16) reports: “On first glance, it might seem intuitive to impose a price on carbon where emissions are generated, from manufacturing facilities to power plants. But none of those point sources would be operating without the end-users of the goods and services that they produce. Consider windshield glass made in Ohio that’s exported to Michigan for assembly into automobiles, which get shipped to New York auto dealers. If responsibility for carbon emissions embodied in that glass — through its manufacture, assembly, and transport — is placed on the consumer, then a price on carbon would be imposed in New York…Using a data-driven carbon emissions accounting strategy that’s far more comprehensive than earlier analyses, Caron and his coauthors — MIT Joint Program co-director and Sloan School of Management senior lecturer John Reilly and Tufts University professor of economics Gilbert Metcalf — found that attributing CO2 emissions to states based on consumption rather than production vastly changes the total emissions for which they are responsible.”


ARE Coal Classic June 8

The Alaska Resource Education Coal Classic golf tournament is Wednesday, June 8 at Anchorage Golf Course. ARE would love to have your support through sponsorships, team signups, volunteers, prizes, and more. If you can help support this great cause please contact Michelle Brunner, Executive Director, at

Coal & Presidential Politics

Emotional unemployed W.Va. coal worker confronts Hillary Clinton ……/unemployed-w-va-coal-worker-confronts-clinton-o…  May 3, 2016 – Emotional unemployed W.Va. coal worker confronts HillaryClinton over comment about putting coal ‘out of business’. The inside track on …

CEA’s Michael Zehr Quoted in Transport Topics: On May 9th, Transport Topics quoted Michael Zehr in an article titled ‘Carbon-Based Fuels Face Growing Opposition, Lobbyist Says‘. The article discussed the state of energy policy and the direction it is moving. In reference to anti-energy opposition, Zehr was quoted as saying, “For the first time in history, a major national political party is openly and aggressively anti-fossil energy.”

David Holt

David Holt

CEA President David Holt Op-Ed Published in The Daily Caller: On May 12th, The Daily Caller ran CEA President David Holt’s editorial titled ‘‘Keep It In The Ground’ Won’t Save The Environment – Or Your Budget‘. Holt’s piece the Energy Information Administration’s recent report that fracking has saved consumers hundreds of dollars a year in direct and indirect energy costs and how the ‘Keep It In the Ground Movement’ stands to harm every American.