Explore today for tomorrow’s energy security. The U.S., the world’s largest consumer of oil, will use more than 7 billion barrels of oil this year – right around 20 million barrels a day. Since we produce less than 15 million barrels each day domestically, we’re forced to import the rest from countries like Canada and Saudi Arabia. Oil imports cost us $144 billion last year, or $395 million every day, and are the fourth largest contributor to our national debt. Studies suggest that the U.S. will consume oil for the next few decades in ever increasing amounts, resulting in an even greater drain on our economy. Every barrel of oil produced at home replaces one that needs to be bought from abroad, decreasing our debt and the outflow of money from our treasury. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is a refuge on the northeast tip of Alaska’s Arctic Slope. The 1002 area of ANWR, a 1.5-million acre coastal plain in the 19-million acre refuge, was set aside by Congress in 1980 specifically for its potential for oil and gas development. This area is not designated as wilderness, and today, it is the largest unexplored, potentially productive onshore basin on the continent.
Missile Defense for $200 million please. President Donald Trump has asked Congress for an additional $5.9 billion dollars for the Department of Defense, $4 billion of which would support missile defense operations to counter the threat from North Korea. The request, dated Monday, specifically asks lawmakers to authorize $200 million for construction of an additional ground-based interceptor field at Fort Greely in Interior Alaska. It would be the fourth missile field at Fort Greely. Sen. Dan Sullivan, who is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and the conference committee for the National Defense Authorization Act, says the request is good for the country’s national defense, and for Alaska’s economy. “That kind of construction work is going to positively impact Alaska contractors, union workers, and that’s obviously very important to our state right now, particularly as we’re in a recession,” Sullivan told Channel 2 by phone on Tuesday. President Trump’s budget request also asks for $839 million for combined missile detection, disruption/defeat, and defense. Alaska also has two listening stations that are part of the Missile Defense Agency, at Shemya on the Aleutian chain, and Clear Air Station, also in Interior Alaska.
Will Parish, perish? Juneau’s deputy mayor has his sights on state office. On Tuesday, Deputy Mayor Jerry Nankervis filed a letter of intent with the Alaska Public Offices Commission to run in the Aug. 21, 2018 Republican Primary Election for the Mendenhall Valley’s District 34 House of Representatives seat. If successful, he will face current Rep. Justin Parish, D-Juneau, in the Nov. 6, 2018 general election. Parish is currently in his first term. Nankervis, a retired Juneau Police Department captain, has served on the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly since 2012 and has served as deputy mayor since October 2016. In a release, Nankervis listed his main priorities as keeping Juneau affordable, keeping the capital in Juneau and providing more opportunities for Juneau’s working families and young people.
From the Senate Majority Press: ICYMI: Last week, Alaskan leaders flew thousands of miles to Washington, DC to make a strong case for why responsible energy development should be allowed in a small portion of Alaska’s non-wilderness 1002 Area. One of those leaders was Aaron Schutt, the president and chief executive officer of Doyon and a tribal member of the Native Village of Tanana. Mr. Schutt testified about the remarkable evolution of technology on the North Slope and how it has strengthened environmental protections. Thanks to extended reach drilling, innovative completion techniques, and the use of ice roads and pads, the surface footprint of Arctic development has never been smaller—while our ability to access underground resources has never been greater. A few notable excerpts from Mr. Schutt’s written testimony: “Directional drilling in the 1970s permitted oil companies to produce oil from only about 16 square miles surrounding a single well pad. Today’s drilling rigs can easily drill wells from a single pad that can access over 100 square miles. That means that pads can be spaced up to ten miles apart and the habitat between pads can be protected with little or no surface disturbance. “Rig 26 [is designed] to drill up to 35,000 feet horizontally. That capability will allow the rig to drill wells covering 125 square miles from a single surface well pad. “Today’s well pads are now 70 to 88 percent smaller in acreage than three decades ago…the number of pads needed to access a field has fallen by up to 70 percent.” Did you miss Doyon’s President and CEO Aaron Schutt testifying in D.C. last week? Here’s the link to his testimony.
“Costly foray into renewable energy.” Two decades ago, BP set out to transcend oil, adopting a sunburst logo to convey its plans to pour $8 billion over a decade into renewable technologies, even promising to power its gas stations with the sun. That transformation – marketed as “Beyond Petroleum” – led to manufacturing solar panels in Australia, Spain and the United States and erecting wind farms in the United States and the Netherlands. Today, BP (BP.L) might be more aptly branded “Back to Petroleum” after exiting or scaling back its renewable energy investments. Lower-cost Chinese components upended its solar panel business, which the firm shed in 2011. A year later, BP tried to sell its U.S. wind power business but couldn’t get a buyer. “We made very big bets in the past,” BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley told Reuters in an interview. “A lot of those didn’t work. We’re not sure yet what will be commercially acceptable.” The costly lesson of the biggest foray yet by an oil major into renewable energy was not lost on rival firms.
Peak oil? Majors aren’t buying into the threat from renewables
Reuters, Ernest Scheyder and Ron Bousso, November 7, 2017
Woolston: America’s security and economy depend on ANWR
Durango Herald, Kristina Woolston, November 8, 2017
Trump requests $200M for new missile interceptor field in Alaska
KTUU, Kortnie Horazdovsky, November 7, 2017
Juneau deputy mayor announces campaign for House seat
Juneau Empire, Alex McCarthy, November 7, 2017