As the U.S. moves to open ANWR to drilling, Canada says ‘not so fast’
Alaska Public Media, Elizabeth Harball, May 3, 2018
Congress has voted to allow oil development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge but drilling opponents haven’t given up. As part of their strategy going forward, they’re looking beyond Washington, D.C. and across the U.S.-Canada border for support. Canada has a long history of opposing oil development in ANWR. That opposition comes down to the caribou.
Our Take: Canada should consider the facts before opposing responsible resource development. The herd and responsible development already co-exist. The Porcupine caribou herd reached a record high number of animals last summer. That’s according to a photo census conducted by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The herd has been growing at a rate of about 3 to 4 percent annually since 2010. As of this year, the herd reached an estimated 218,000 animals. That’s nearly 40,000 more caribou than were present during the herd’s last population peak in 1989.
Marathon CEO Doesn’t Expect Regulatory Issues With Andeavor Deal
Bloomberg, May 3, 2018
The CEO of Marathon Petroleum, Gary Heminger, sees his company’s plans to become the largest refining and transportation company in the nation as good for consumers and global demand for U.S.-made diesel and gasoline.
Our Take: Good for consumers: The merger would reduce costs by at least $1 billion, which is good for both the shareholders and consumers. Alaskans are a part of this deal!
Walker’s oil tax credit bond bill clears the House
KTVA, Steve Quinn, May 3, 2018
The credit program was originally designed to attract companies to Alaska to explore for oil and gas deposits. It worked both for the Cook Inlet and North Slope basins, but when oil prices dropped, the state slowed down repayments running up a sizable tab. The state could no longer afford the program and shut it down last year, but credits remained on the books. The legislature and the administration want to clear the books of the remaining credits.
Our Take: We agree with @RepJasonGrenn who said “Uncertainty around these tax credit payments has led to projects being stalled and credit being frozen.” HB 331 says let’s find a way to solve this problem and put Alaskans to work!
Kremlin prioritizes commercial considerations in Arctic safety dispute
High North News, Av Malte Humpert, May 4, 2018
The serious violation of Arctic shipping safety rules by Yamal LNG carrier Boris Vilkitsky last month has escalated a growing conflict about the regulation of and control over the Northern Sea Route (NSR). The widening rift involves Rosatomflot, operator of Russia’s icebreaker fleet, on one side and the Ministry of Transportation via its Northern Sea Route Administration (NSRA), on the other side. While the former aims to prioritize commercial considerations, the latter wishes to uphold existing safety standards along the route.
Our Take: Safety regulations and rapid economic development can co-exist and should.