Murkowski: U.S. Natural Gas Can Help Power the World
U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources, June 28, 2018
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today delivered opening remarks for a panel discussion on “Access to Sustainable Energy in Developing Economies” at the 27th World Gas Conference, which is being held in Washington, D.C. The conference has attracted thousands of the most influential leaders, policymakers, and experts in the energy industry from more than 100 countries to discuss how natural gas will fuel the future. “Access to energy is fundamental to reducing poverty, improving health, increasing productivity, and promoting economic growth,” Murkowski said. “It shapes our quality of life – how we will live, how well we will live, and even how long we will live.”
Our Take: We agree with Senator Murkowski. The U.S. is the largest producer of natural gas. Focusing on affordable, sustainable energy is a win for all Americans. As Murkowski said, “the proposed Alaska LNG project – will play a crucial role in meeting growing global demand.”
How China Got Sri Lanka to Cough Up a Port
The New York Times, Maria Abi-Habib, June 25, 2018
Every time Sri Lanka’s president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, turned to his Chinese allies for loans and assistance with an ambitious port project, the answer was yes. Yes, though feasibility studies said the port wouldn’t work. Yes, though other frequent lenders like India had refused. Yes, though Sri Lanka’s debt was ballooning rapidly under Mr. Rajapaksa. Over years of construction and renegotiation with China Harbor Engineering Company, one of Beijing’s largest state-owned enterprises, the Hambantota Port Development Project distinguished itself mostly by failing, as predicted. With tens of thousands of ships passing by along one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, the port drew only 34 ships in 2012.
Our Take: The Chinese don’t mess around. Buyer beware!
UPDATE 1-U.S. EPA to undercut own power to block potential polluting projects
Reuters, Valerie Volcovici, June 27, 2018
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief on Wednesday said he would eliminate regulations that allowed it to block permits for major projects that may pollute water, handing a victory to mining, oil and land development companies seeking to avoid delays over environmental concerns. In a memo, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said he is directing the agency’s office of water to change current regulations under the federal Clean Water Act to eliminate the agency’s power to preemptively or retroactively veto permits before or after they have been filed with the Army Corps of Engineers or state agencies. The action marked Pruitt’s latest move to unwind regulations he has said were unfair to businesses.
Our Take: We applaud EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for upholding the core mission of the EPA without bias. “Today’s memo refocuses EPA on its core mission of protecting public health and the environment in a way that is fair and consistent with due process.”
Energy Secretary Rick Perry meets with Russia’s oil minister and airs US concerns about their foreign aggression
CNBC, Matthew J. Belvedere, June 28, 2018
Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Thursday confirmed he met with Russia’s oil minister this week, and laid out U.S. concerns about a number of issues, including Moscow’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014. “We shared with them our concerns about some of the activities they’ve been involved with, whether it’s Crimea, Ukraine [or] the continual development of the Nord Stream 2 [natural gas pipeline]. All of those are on the table,” Perry said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” from the 2018 World Gas Conference in Washington, D.C.
Governor’s climate change task force adds science education to draft plan
KTOO Public Media, Elizabeth Jenkins, June 27, 2018
Draft recommendations are coming together that could shape Alaska’s climate change policy in the future. Governor Bill Walker’s climate change task force has been working this summer to nail down some clear objectives. The draft climate plan already includes statements on reducing carbon emissions and diversifying the economy. But task force member, Mark Masteller, encouraged the group to add another one: a policy statement on science education — addressing climate change. “This affects everybody right?” Masteller said. “So that’s why I felt like it needed to be its own policy statement.”
Our Take: Good news! Alaska Resource Education, an educational non-profit, is poised and ready to provide Alaska’s youth with fact based information about climate change!
From Today’s Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:
WHAT DOES JUSTICE KENNEDY’S RETIREMENT MEAN FOR ENERGY ISSUES? Wednesday’s announcement that Supreme Court Justice Robert Kennedy will retire next month has raised a number of questions about his replacement and what it means for big issues in the future. Here is a look at some of them:
Mass v. EPA? Although some are speculating about a rehearing of the high court’s landmark Massachusetts v. EPA decision that said the agency was required to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, more grounded voices say don’t count on it.
‘Clear ruling’ on clean cars: “More realistic short-term objectives would be to get a clear ruling that defines and limits federal wetlands jurisdiction and a decision that supports [the Department of Transportation’s] pre-emption of the EPA’s California waiver for regulating greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles,” said Ebell, who serves as the director for energy and environment at the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute think tank.
Endangered species: “Another medium term goal would be to reconsider the limits of the Endangered Species Act,” he said.