Headlamp: Russian LNG lands in Boston. Alaska’s draft Climate Change Policy is light on detail.

June 4th was the deadline for comments on the draft Climate Change Policy developed by Governor Walker’s Climate Action Leadership Team (CALT). Response, research, mitigation and adaptation are the four categories covered in the policy.

Take a look at what some of Alaska’s business partners are already doing:

Advancing the energy transition
BP

Reducing, improving, creating. We’re reducing emissions in our own operations; we’re improving our products to help customers lower their emissions; and we’re creating low carbon businesses.

2017 Sustainability Report
ConocoPhillips

We are committed to providing the natural gas and oil necessary to support global economic development while addressing concerns related to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Creating secure and affordable energy, while achieving the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement will require collaboration between the natural gas and oil industry and governments, citizens and businesses.

In their comments to the team, the Alaska Oil and Gas Association (AOGA) pointed out:

  • The draft policy is an early work-in-progress and not ready for detailed public comments
  • The policy should be informed by robust scientific and economic analyses
  • A carbon-pricing mechanism in Alaska could result in negative unintended consequences to Alaska’s economy and environment

Our Take: The draft policy is lacking in specifics. Setting goals and targets with no detail on how they will be achieved doesn’t lead to good policy. There is much research and work to be done before a policy can be drafted and put out for public comment. Pro tip: look at what is already being done by our partners.

Russian Gas Addiction Problem No Problem for Those Willing to Address It
Natural Gas Now, Tom Shepstone, June 6, 2018

Russian gas addiction is a very real problem for Europe (and soon Boston?) but the solution is no mystery. It’s fracking here, LNG and development of UK gas. CNN Money has a fascinating story about Russian gas addiction in Europe. It’s a problem that’s come to our shores as well with Russian LNG entering Boston this past winter. What’s most interesting about the CNN Money article is that it ignores the obvious root of the addiction problem and the obvious solution. The problem is failure to develop natural gas resources in Europe (and pipelines to Boston). The solution is a combination of more natural gas development here and in the UK, for instance, and LNG.

Our Take: When political correctness is chosen over practical solutions… As the author notes, there is enormous potential in the UK’s Bowland Shale. “It is, in a word, humongous.” The best solution to breaking the Russian gas addiction is to develop your own resources – but political correctness demands that you choose to reduce your reliance on gas and move towards less reliable, more expensive renewable energy. Governor Walker’s climate action leadership team – take note.

Donlin Gold Advances In Permit Process
KYUK Public Media, Krysti Shallenberger, June 5, 2018

Last week, Donlin Gold received a state permit that regulates wastewater discharge. The mine is located in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region and is poised to be one of the biggest gold mines in the world. The company expects to obtain at least a dozen state and federal permits this year, says Donlin spokesperson Kurt Parkan. Those includes a combined record of decision from the Bureau of Land Management and the Army Corps of Engineers. The Army Corps spearheaded the Environmental Impact Statement, a study that calculates all the impacts to the environment from the mine. The Department of Transportation is set to issue a record of decision for the mine this year as well.

Our Take: For those who believe that our permitting system isn’t stringent – read on. According to Parkan “this is only a drop in the bucket compared to the potentially more than 100 permits that the Donlin Gold project needs to begin operating.” Parkan also notes “We’ve been saying about 100 general permits to operate, but in fact it’s a lot more than that because of the permits we need to operate the pipeline.”


Giving thanks to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice 74 years ago today.