Headlamp – Murkowski looking to help the Tongass; welcome to the Port of Alaska

Murkowski looking at rolling back Obama policies. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Tuesday she could begin rolling back another of the Obama administration’s midnight regulations that sought to limit industrial activity and renewable energy development in the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. Murkowski, who is the Republican chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, had asked the Government Accountability Office, the government’s federal watchdog group, to determine if the Obama administration’s amendment to the Tongass federal management plan could be defined as a regulation and thereby subject to congressional repeal.

Any port in a storm. The Port of Anchorage will now be known as the Port of Alaska. On Tuesday night the Anchorage Assembly approved the name change after a public hearing. Assembly Chair Dick Traini introduced the ordinance, saying not all lawmakers in Juneau are aware of the port’s role in making goods available outside of the city. “I just think this is something that really reflects reality,” said Assembly member Amy Demboski.

I’m keeping my name. One Obama administration action may be safe under President Donald Trump — the long-sought renaming of North America’s tallest peak to Denali. U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan said the Alaska mountain came up during an hour-long meeting he and fellow Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski had with Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in March. Sullivan said during a weekend speech to the Alaska Federation of Natives that Trump asked if the senators thought the name change from Mount McKinley to Denali should be reversed, the Alaska Public Radio Network reported. Sullivan said both senators emphatically said no. Trump asked why.

Another EPA nominee moves forward. A Senate Committee voted Wednesday to approve the nomination of President Trump’s controversial nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) chemical safety office. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted 11-10 to advance Michael Dourson’s nomination. The vote fell along party lines, with all Republicans in favor and all Democrats opposed. By the same 11-10 party-line vote, the panel approved William Wehrum, a lawyer for industry clients, to lead the EPA’s important air and radiation office, which oversees air pollution, climate change regulations, car pollution standards and other major programs.

LOI, LNG, OMG. We would offer a comment that “LOIs” — especially those with long terms and huge uncertainties and many conditions — are not very useful. They are not relatively straight forward gas sales contracts with take-or-pay or ship-or-pay provisions. LOIs can be called, “binding”, but an “agreement to maybe agree someday” is full of problems no matter what you call it. In short, more public money should not be poured into this socialized, politically-controlled, bureaucrat-run LNG/800 mile pipeline scheme until: 1) gas prices recover sufficiently to support the many more economic LNG projects, plus this one, and 2) the private sector is enamored enough with the project to take it over and develop it properly. Furthermore, we’re tired of hearing bureaucrats saying that negative media reports and blogs are ‘harming’ the project’s marketing effort. If the project were economically feasible, had a Final Investment Decision-grade financing plan and were run by a world-class private sector, marketers would not have to worry about project critics.

First Reads:

Lisa Murkowski ponders repeal of Obama’s last-minute changes to Alaskan forest plan
The Washington Examiner, John Siciliano, October 24, 2017

Anchorage Assembly gives the Port of Anchorage a new name
KTUU, Dan Carpenter, October 24, 2017

Alaska senators tell Trump they want mountain’s name to stay Denali
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner/AP, Becky Bohrer, October 24, 2017

Senate panel advances Trump’s controversial EPA chemical pick
The Hill, Timothy Cama, October 25, 2017

Alaska Gasline Development Corporation Rests Hopes On “Letters of Intent”
Northern Gas Pipelines, Dave Harbour, October 24, 2017