Headlamp – Friday the 13th – Exxon breaks up with Koch brothers over climate change


Exxon quits Koch-backed business group after climate change disagreement

Chron, Kevin Crowley and Ari Natter, July 12, 2018

Exxon Mobil quit the American Legislative Exchange Council, a lobbying group bankrolled by fossil fuel companies, following a disagreement over climate-change policy. The oil giant won’t be renewing its membership after it expired in June, spokesman Scott Silvestri said by phone. Exxon had a public spat with ALEC in December when some members backed by climate skeptics such as the Heartland Institute moved to convince the federal government to drop its claim that climate change is a risk to human health.

Alaska LNG team braces for logistics challenge
Upstream, July 13, 2018

The developers of the planned Alaska liquefied natural gas export facility are preparing for the challenges of building the massive project in one of the most remote and harshest areas of the US. The scheme calls for a gas treatment plant on the North Slope, a liquefaction facility on the south-east coast at Nikiski, and an 800-mile (1290-kilometre) pipeline to connect them. “It’s going to take a logistical army to accomplish that,” said Frank Richards, senior vice president at project developer Alaska Gasline Development.

Our Take: When the author chose the word “scheme” to describe the project, which definition did they have in mind – a) a carefully, arranged and systematic program of action for attaining some object or end or b) a secret or underhanded plan; plot? AKHEADLAMP applauds the writer, who albeit unwittingly, used one word to describe how Alaskans feel about the project…

Oil Set for Weekly Loss on Trade War Fears, Libya Supply Return
Bloomberg, Grant Smith and Erin Douglas, July 12, 2018

Oil headed for a weekly loss as escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China rattled investors, while Libya’s plans to restore output allayed fears of a supply crunch.

Our Take: Read the next article to see how this impacts Alaska.

Fiscal Year 2018 Closing Numbers
King Economics Group, Ed King, June 29, 2018

While the price of oil ended the fiscal year just shy of $80 per barrel, the early part of the year drags down the annual average to $63.62. This is $7.62 higher than the DOR forecast provided last Fall and $2.62 higher than the updated number they provided in the Spring. The current DOR forecast for FY19 is $63. We expect that number to increase in the Fall forecast, unless there is a sudden shift in the oil market before then. Our current forecast for FY19 is an average oil price closer to $80 per barrel. There are also offsetting opportunities for that number to go higher or lower depending on market events.

Our Take: Legislators were planning on about $1.5 billion from oil taxes to spend on the state budget. They were given a gift when oil prices increased, and the number grew to $1.8 billion. Now it looks like it will be closer to $1.9 billion. AKHEADLAMP remains concerned that rising oil prices lead to weaker backbones for elected officials and diversifying our economy and reducing the size and scope of government gets put on the back burner – once again.

Fed emphasizes ‘solid’ U.S. economic growth, repeats gradual approach
Reuters, Lindsay Dunsmuir and Howard Schneider, July 13, 2018

U.S. economic growth has been solid during the first half of the year and the Federal Reserve continues to expect to raise interest rates gradually, the central bank said on Friday in an upbeat semi-annual report to Congress. Details of the 63-page report were consistent with the Fed’s current outlook detailed at its policy meetings, which is that strong economic growth and low unemployment require rate rises but that a lack of severe inflation pressures means they can remain gradual.

From the Washington Examiner’s, Daily on Energy:

OIL INDUSTRY SLAMS TRUMP’S LACK OF TARIFF RELIEF AS ‘BAD NEWS’ FOR ECONOMY: The oil industry on Friday scolded the Trump administration for denying its requests for relief from tariffs on imported steel, saying the decision is “misguided” and ultimately “bad news” for the American worker.

“The administration’s denial of needed product exclusions from harmful tariffs on steel is bad news for American workers and consumers who have benefited from increased American energy production,” said Kyle Isakower, the American Petroleum Institute’s vice president for policy.

Our Take: Shell and Chevron received waivers for steel products used in pipelines not made in the US. With only 241 waivers processed in June amid a backlog of 20,000 – what does this do to the President’s “energy independence” plan?