Ten percent of the Alaska’s lawmakers say they are quitting or retiring
KTUU, Richard Mauer, May 16, 2018
Six lawmakers — ten percent of the Alaska Legislature — have announced they are retiring or quitting months before they would face voters, and the filing deadline for the next election is still more than two weeks away. Another five lawmakers are abandoning their seats in the hope that voters will send them to a higher office. A lawmaker, an aide and a political party official attributed the high number of departures to the lengthy special sessions over the past few years. They also said that the state’s budget deficit, and the need to find new revenue or cut the budget — or both — has made the job much more difficult. Angry Alaskans have accused legislators of “stealing” their Permanent Fund dividend, or worse.
Our Take: If you can’t take the heat…
Oil, natural gas industry spends billions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, report says
Washington Examiner, Josh Siegel, May 15, 2018
The U.S. oil and natural gas industry invested $108 billion in technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from 2000 to 2016, according to a study released Tuesday. The study, conducted by T2 Associates on behalf of the American Petroleum Institute, shows the balancing act sought by major oil and gas companies that are aiming to help combat climate change, even as they embrace the Trump administration’s “energy dominance” agenda supporting fossil fuels.
Our Take: The oil and gas industry talks the talk and walks the walk: “ between 2000 and 2016, there was a total U.S. investment of $597.8 billion in low-emission or zero-emission technologies, the study shows. Of that, the oil and natural gas industry spent $108.2 billion, compared with $143.6 billion invested by other U.S. industries combined. The federal government contributed $152.7 billion to the total.”
Exclusive: Conoco moves to sell North Sea oilfields: sources
Reuters, Ron Bousso, May 14, 2018
U.S. oil major ConocoPhillips is preparing to sell its North Sea fields as the company focuses on shale operations in its home market, industry and banking sources said. The disposal of Conoco’s North Sea assets after more than 50 years in the British offshore basin could fetch as much as $2 billion, but it was unclear how much of the portfolio would be put up for sale, the three sources said.
Our Take: Conoco is the latest major oil company seeking to exit the North Sea as production in the aging basin declines, other areas become more competitive and costs for dismantling aging infrastructure weigh.
EIA calls for rejection of Alaska LNG pipeline application
Hydrocarbons Technology, May 16, 2018
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has called for the rejection of Alaska Gas Development’s (AGDC) application to construct an 800-mile liquefied natural gas (LNG) pipeline and terminal in Cook Inlet, Alaska, US. During the construction stage, the AGDC project plans to carry out 101 days of pile driving in the Cook Inlet, as well as other noise-causing activities.
Our Take: At first blush, this appears to be the well-respected, non-partisan Energy Information Administration – FAKE NEWS! The Environmental Investigation Agency is an NGO founded by three environmental activists in the United Kingdom. Interesting to see them attacking a project in Alaska – and using an acronym that misleads people.
‘Impossible to Ignore’: Why Alaska Is Crafting a Plan to Fight Climate Change
The New York Times, Brad Plumer, May 15, 2018
In the Trump era, it has mainly been blue states that have taken the lead on climate change policy, with liberal strongholds like California and New York setting ambitious goals for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Now, at least one deep-red state could soon join them: Alaska, a major oil and gas producer, is crafting its own plan to address climate change. Ideas under discussion include cuts in state emissions by 2025 and a tax on companies that emit carbon dioxide.
Our Take: Governor Walker and Lieutenant Governor Mallott supported the recent decision by Congress to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration, a move opposed by environmentalists, stating, “The state will continue to be an energy producer for as long as there is a market.” Thankfully, the task forced removed this language from their document: “There is an economic and ethical imperative to pursue a transition away from a global dependence on fossil fuels.” Kudos to Kara Moriarty, president and CEO of AOGA for a reality check: “I think they need to be focusing on things that will actually have an impact,” and “Climate change is a global problem, so unless you’re talking about a global carbon tax, I’m not sure this would move the needle in a state with only 750,000 people.”
Lobbyist seeks to run for Juneau’s state senate seat
Juneau Empire, James Brooks, May 15, 2018
Longtime Juneau resident and AFL-CIO lobbyist Don Etheridge is running for the Alaska Senate seat representing northern Southeast Alaska. On Sunday, Etheridge filed a letter of intent with the Alaska Public Offices Commission, an act that allows him to begin fundraising for office. He confirmed his run for office in a Tuesday morning phone call with the Empire. “I’ve been lobbying now for almost 24 years, and I just wanted to do something different, and with the seat wide open, I figured why not?” he said. Don will run as an independent.
CINGSA plans backup systems
Peninsula Clarion, Ben Boettger, May 16, 2018
After losing some capacity in March to a sand-clogged well and failed dehydration unit, Cook Inlet Natural Gas Storage Alaska (CINGSA) is planning to spend an estimated $41 million to back up its ability to store and dispense the fuel gas that generates most of south central Alaska’s heat and electricity. On April 27 CINGSA officials asked the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) — the state agency that oversees utility pricing — to allow them to recover the project’s cost in future storage rates. If approved, construction could start in January 2019 and the new features could be operating at the end of that year, according to CINGSA’s petition.
Our Take: CINGSA is an important part of our reliability and $41 million injected in to the economy is good for all.