House lawmakers step up probe on green groups’ international work
Reuters, Valerie Volcovici, June 20, 2018
U.S. Republican lawmakers on Wednesday stepped up their scrutiny of environmental groups’ work with foreign countries, requesting that the Center for Biological Diversity turn in a list of documents detailing their work with Japanese officials. It was the third action that Representatives Rob Bishop and Bruce Westerman have taken this month to put a spotlight on foreign governments’ relationship with green groups, who they allege can be used to influence U.S. policy or national security. Bishop heads the House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee and Westerman chairs the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. “The Committee on Natural Resources is continuing its oversight of the potential manipulation of tax-exempt 501(c) organizations by foreign entities to influence U.S. environmental and natural resources policy to the detriment of our national interests,” they said in a letter to the Center for Biological Diversity.
Our Take: Good.
Executive Order Regarding the Ocean Policy to Advance the Economic, Security, and Environmental Interests of the United States
Executive Orders, Land and Agriculture, June 19, 2018
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows: I am repealing and replacing bureaucratic overreach created by President Obama (Headlamp’s simplified version of the President’s Executive Order)
Our Take: This is great news for Alaska and America. Here are some bullet points from the White House Fact Sheet about what the EO does:
- Promotes a strong ocean economy by rolling back excessive and unnecessary bureaucracy
- Promotes expanded access by states, businesses, and the public to federal data and information, and maximizes taxpayer dollars by coordinating priority research
- Empowers states by eliminating duplicative federal bureaucracy and supporting appropriate federal engagement with Regional Ocean Partnerships, pursuant to the scope described in the order
- Directs Ocean Policy Committee to streamline federal coordination on ocean policy, with a focus on growing the ocean economy
State efficiency incentives averaged $24 per customer, ranged from $0 to $128 in 2016
Today in Energy, U.S. Energy Information Administration, June 20, 2018
Alaska is number 50 in energy efficiency customer incentives according to the Energy Information Administration. Most state reported spending supported residential and commercial energy efficiency: 43% of spending targeted residential customers, and 49% targeted commercial customers. The remaining 8% of spending targeted industrial customers. Average reported spending per customer varied by state, from $0 in Alaska to $128 in Massachusetts.
Shell sells $1.3 billion of oil and gas assets in Norway, Malaysia
Reuters, Ron Bousso and Nerijus Adomaitis, June 20, 2018
Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) announced the sale on Wednesday of oil and gas assets in Norway and Malaysia for over $1.3 billion, bringing it closer to a target of $30 billion in disposals by year-end. The Anglo-Dutch company agreed to sell to OKEA, a Norwegian producer backed by private equity firm Seacrest Capital, its 45 percent interest in the Draugen Norwegian offshore field and a 12 percent in the Gjoa block for a total of $566 million, the two companies said. Earlier, Shell announced the completion of the sale of a 15 percent stake in Malaysia LNG (MLNG) Tiga to the Sarawak State Financial Secretary for $750 million.
OPEC Races for Oil Deal as Iran Strikes More Conciliatory Tone
Bloomberg Markets, Laura Hurst , Javier Blas , and Grant Smith, June 20, 2018
OPEC officials meeting in Vienna raced to salvage an oil-production deal on Wednesday after Iran said it was likely to reject any agreement that raised output from the group. With two days before OPEC ministers formally meet in Vienna to decide on policy, delegates were in closed-door talks to find a way to boost production and ease consumer anxiety about high oil prices. Making his first comments after arriving in Vienna, Saudi Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih said “of course” there’ll be a deal this week.
Our Take: Does it really matter if Iran objects to increasing output? Read the next story…
China has an Iran oil lever over Trump and it’s all playing out at OPEC meeting
CNBC, Patti Domm, June 20, 2018
The U.S. trade dispute with China, in a roundabout way, could determine how successful the U.S. will be in sanctioning Iran’s oil this time around — and that uncertainty is also playing out at OPEC. In the tit-for-tat tariff war with the U.S., China said last week it would put tariffs on U.S. oil imports. The U.S. is not a major oil exporter, but it has been growing exports and is exporting about 2 million barrels a day of crude. About 300,000 barrels of that heads to China each day, and China could stop those purchases depending on how the trade dispute develops with the U.S., according to Scott Sheffield, executive chairman of Pioneer National Resources.
From today’s Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:
PROTESTS ABOUND AT COMMENT DEADLINE FOR ARCTIC DRILLING: The comment period for drilling in the Arctic closed at midnight, which inspired a number of protests from conservationists and environmental groups.
Our Take: Lots of fake news from the ENGO’s today. “Only the drillers were heard, promises not to undercut environmental laws were broken, requests for more hearings were denied.” Claims of 700,000 comments submitted in favor of protections fails to reveal how many form letters (that are considered one comment) were included in the 700,000, and how many came from non-residents. All stakeholders had the same opportunity, requests for more hearings and an extension of the comment deadline came from both sides and were denied.