Globe and Mail by Josh Wingrove.  With high energy royalties and soaring land lease sales, Alberta inched closer to a balanced budget last year.The province’s fourth-quarter report for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, released Thursday, shows a total deficit of just $23-million on its $39-billion budget. It had been forecasting a $3.4-billion deficit.  The changes come as welcome news to Alison Redford’s government, which has been under fire from the official opposition Wildrose Party for not managing to balance the books even as the province is awash in energy wealth.  “We are all very fortunate to be in Alberta. Our economy is strong and our bottom line is healthy,” Finance Minister Doug Horner said in a statement.

Federal Gas Pipeline Coordinator article by Bill White (Photo).  Before the first cargo load of Bill White, Alaska Gas Pipeline, Federal Coordinatorliquefied natural gas could set sail from Alaska for Asia, the project’s export paperwork must be in order.  That paperwork would include a federal agency’s finding that exporting the gas would not harm the nation’s public interest. The Department of Energy already is pondering that question for Lower 48 projects as companies there push to export U.S. LNG.  The paperwork also would involve a step that applies only to exporting Alaska North Slope production as LNG: The president must declare that shipping the gas out of the United States won’t hurt U.S. gas supplies or the price U.S. consumers pay for energy.  Other federal and state authorizations would be required, of course.  ….

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