Breaking News: US resource development foe meeting secretly with Chinese?

Bishop, Westerman Probe NRDC on Relationship with China
House Committee on Natural Resources, June 5, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 5, 2018 –

Today, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) sent a letter to Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) President Rhea Suh seeking information on the nature of the organization’s relationship with the People’s Republic of China and clarification on its status as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. “The Committee is concerned about the NRDC’s role in aiding China’s perception management efforts with respect to pollution control and its international standing on environmental issues in ways that may be detrimental to the United States… “The NRDC’s relationship with China has many of the criteria identified by U.S. intelligence agencies and law enforcement as putting an entity at risk of being influenced or coerced by foreign interests… “The NRDC’s ability to work in China is dependent on the goodwill of the Chinese Government. The NRDC leadership regularly meets with senior Chinese and Communist Party officials.”

Our Take: The NRDC is no friend to Alaska resource development. Their involvement with senior Chinese and Communist Party officials could be harmful to Alaska in their efforts to export our resources to China.

China is Using This, Not Renewable Energy, to Replace Coal
Yahoo Finance, Maxx Chatsko, June 4, 2018

That’s because renewable energy is one of the least efficient ways to go about replacing coal consumption in a short period of time. Instead, China is hurriedly building natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) import infrastructure to replace coal in the near-term. In fact, the country is single-handedly shifting global markets, having imported 58% more LNG in the first four months of 2018 than in the year-ago period, with American supply playing a central role. Energy investors shouldn’t overlook the opportunities this creates.

Our Take: AGDC and Alaska LNG haven’t overlooked this opportunity. Dealing with China obviously adds a new type of risk. (read the story above)

Could China Save The U.S. Coal Industry?
Oil Price.com, Haley Zaremba, Jun 04, 2018

China may soon be buying a lot more coal from the United States as part of a larger plan to narrow its trade deficit with Washington, according to reporting by Bloomberg. The coal would largely be sourced from West Virginia in what would be a major boon for the state’s ailing economy. Last month China pledged to increase spending on U.S. energy and agricultural exports to begin reducing its merchandise trade deficit of $375 billion, in the interest of de-escalating the warning signs of a trade war of massive proportions. If coal makes up a significant portion of these purchases, it will be a big, unanticipated turnaround for West Virginia.

China’s demand for cleaner LNG fuels pipeline partnership, but is it a pipe dream?
KTUU, Blake Essig, June 4, 2018

A liquefied natural gas pipeline through Alaska has been talked about for decades, and while some have called the project a pipe dream, the proposal continues to gain traction as the result of a relatively new partnership forged between Alaska and China. As it stands now, 75 percent of the financing for the development of the roughly $43 billion gas line project would come from China, and once the project is completed, 75 percent of the pipeline’s capacity would be sold to China.

Our Take: Structuring the Alaska LNG project with China as the main financer and the main customer leads to many questions for Alaskans. What revenue will Alaska see from this project under this new structure? What changes for municipalities expecting large property tax payments? Could the state be left to simply selling their royalty gas with no other financial benefits? These are just a few of the questions to be answered in order for Alaskans to get on board with significant Chinese involvement.

From today’s Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:

FERC CHAIRMAN SAYS POTENTIAL ENERGY DEPARTMENT ACTION ‘NOT A DILEMMA’: Kevin McIntyre, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said Tuesday that Energy Secretary Rick Perry has the authority to act to save coal and nuclear plants, and conceded his panel of independent energy regulators would not necessarily have a role in approving or implementing an executive order.

“Under the law as it’s written and regulations of DOE there are scenarios that could develop that would not involve a rate proceeding before FERC,” McIntyre said at the EIA Energy Conference. “We are looking at those details now.”

What the law says: McIntyre was referring specifically to Perry potentially using Section 202(c) of the Federal Power Act.

FirstEnergy Solutions, an Ohio utility with coal and nuclear plants facing closure, has asked Perry to use that authority, which the Energy Department can invoke to order certain power facilities to stay open in a crisis.

McIntyre said if the Energy Department were to act using that law, regional grid operators would work with the plants to arrange a payment agreement. If the parties could not reach an agreement, FERC then would get involved to figure out a payment structure.

Previous rejection: FERC last year rejected a proposal from Perry to provide special payments to coal and nuclear plants.