When is it wrong to exaggerate data on emissions? ALWAYS

Leading 4 Gubernatorial Candidates Support Donlin Mine
Your Alaska Link, Maria Athens, July 5, 2018

Respect the process on resource projects
Anchorage Daily News, Paul Jenkins, July 7, 2018

Our Take: You can’t have it both ways. Governor Walker and gubernatorial candidate Mark Begich need to decide – either they believe in the law and the permitting process – or they want to pick and choose projects that should be allowed to proceed. “Sidestepping the law and suspending the permitting process for Pebble makes no sense…”

Automakers and tech firms scramble for the once little-known element cobalt, essential for iPhones, laptops and electric cars
CNBC, Robert Ferris, July 9, 2018

Demand for batteries in everything from smartphones to electric cars has driven up the price of the once obscure element cobalt, fueling fears of a shortage. Prices for the metal, which is essential in making lithium-ion batteries, more than doubled in 2017 over the previous year, according to the United States Geological Survey. Researchers haven’t yet found a good substitute or way to build batteries without the mineral.

Our Take: With most of the supply coming from the Congo- buyers are nervous. This is a great opportunity for Alaska!! We have cobalt – click here to see where our deposits of cobalt are and how much we have.   

Fresh doubt for Alaska tribes seeking land-in-trust
Alaska Public Media, Liz Ruskin, July 6, 2018

A new legal opinion from the solicitor of the U.S. Department of the Interior throws doubt on whether Alaska tribes can gain “Indian Country”-type jurisdiction by putting land in trust with the federal government

Our Take: An issue to watch. The Interior department has gone back and forth over whether Alaska tribes can put land in trust, or whether that’s precluded by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.  

From today’s Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:

EVERYTHING IS BIGGER IN TEXAS, EXCEPT FOR METHANE EMISSIONS, SAYS REPORT: The Obama administration may have exaggerated data on methane emissions to push forward new regulations, according to a new report released Monday by natural gas and fracking proponents in Texas.

Texas is the reason: The group Texans for Natural Gas, described as a grassroots organization supported by large drillers like XTO Energy, conducted a review of available federal data that suggests emissions of methane, a short-lived but powerful greenhouse gas, have been on the decline.

Key findings: Two of the report’s key findings show that methane emissions from venting and flaring natural gas during oil production dropped 17 percent between 2013 and 2016, even as domestic oil production increased by 19 percent. Second, methane emissions from hydraulically fractured, or fracking, natural gas wells declined 82 percent between 2013 and 2016.

Inflated’ numbers: The group says the Obama administration “may have relied on inflated estimates of methane emissions” to justify last-minute rules on drillers known as the Waste Prevention Rule. The rule was issued by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management in December 2016, weeks before former President Barack Obama left office.

Obama’s 11th-hour regs: “Curiously, the Obama administration used emissions data from the EPA to try to justify its 11th-hour venting and flaring rule, claiming those data were representative of what’s occurring on federal and Indian lands,” said Steve Everley, spokesman for the natural gas group.

‘Half of what they were’: “But the [Environmental Protection Agency] now says methane emissions are half of what they were when the BLM finalized this costly regulation. At the very least, this raises legitimate questions about the venting and flaring rule, in addition to the legal problems that are still being sorted out in court.”

Our Take: When is it wrong to exaggerate data on methane emissions to impose new regulations? Always. Good move to challenge the data behind the regulations.