First oil faster!  A kinder, softer Trump on climate change?

Oil Search pushes up production date for Pikka
Elwood Brehmer, Alaska Journal of Commerce, October 2, 2019

The company developing one of the largest oil prospects on the North Slope has applied with state regulators to change its plans and start producing oil a year early.  Oil Search Alaska submitted a modification to its July 2019 Plan of Operations for its Nanushuk project in the Pikka Unit on Sept. 26 with the Division of Oil and Gas. The amended plan calls for some changes to the layout and size of the project’s three drill sites near the Colville River delta and moving the tie-in pad that will connect to ConocoPhillips’ Kuparuk River Unit that will link the project’s pipelines to the rest of Slope oil infrastructure at a site that won’t interfere with existing operations.

 

From the Washington Examiner Daily on Energy:

WHAT TO MAKE OF TRUMP’S SOFTER TONE ON CLIMATE: President Trump and his White House are subtly shifting how they talk about climate change and environmental issues, even as they push ahead with boosting fossil fuel production and easing regulations.

Trump allies are noting the changes, which they say comes from pressure from his re-election campaign, which has noticed polls showing increasing concern about climate change and environmental protection, including among younger and suburban Republicans.

“The campaign is having some influence on the rhetoric coming out of the White House,” Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who led Trump’s EPA transition team, told Josh. “It’s in the direction of softening the rhetoric on some issues, including climate. However, I have seen no sign that any policies are being changed because of campaign considerations.”

The U.S. pledged Wednesday to work with Finland to help address challenges caused by the melting of sea ice in the Arctic, after a White House meeting between Trump and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö.

“The Arctic provides new economic opportunities, but environmental changes such as the diminishing of sea ice raise environmental concerns,” the statement said. “The United States and Finland share a commitment to clean air and water and environmental protection.”

The U.S. also pledged to help combat black carbon emitted from coal plants, which has contributed to warming of the Arctic.

Trump has shown a shift in tone in other recent circumstances, delivering a speech in July defending his environmental record, and referencing climate change when he toured flooding in Houston last month.

“There is a thread of thought in the campaign that the environment in general and climate as a subset of that needs to be addressed with more moderation,” Mike McKenna, a lobbyist who led Trump’s Energy Department transition team, told Josh, while noting there is an “internal bright line” that Trump won’t cross to moderate the substance of his policy.