Arctic offshore production wells approved off Alaska’s coast
Dan Joling, Associated Press, October 24, 2018
The first oil and gas production wells in federal Arctic waters have been approved by U.S. regulators. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Wednesday announced it issued a conditional permit for the Liberty Project, a proposal by a subsidiary of Houston-based Hilcorp for production wells on an artificial island in the Beaufort Sea. The approval follows through on President Donald Trump’s promise of American energy dominance, said Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. “Responsibly developing our resources, in Alaska especially, will allow us to use our energy diplomatically to aid our allies and check our adversaries,” he said in the announcement.
Our Take: 200 construction jobs and a $1 billion investment. What a great way to start the day! Congratulations Hilcorp, and congratulations Alaska!
AGDC Meets With FERC On AK LNG Project Timeline
Jennifer Williams, KSRM, October 24, 2018
The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation met with federal regulators last week to discuss the timeline for the AK LNG project. This meeting comes after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission submitted additional data requests to the AGDC on October 2. AGDC submitted several hundred pages of answers and data on October 22, with another round expected by November 19. The AGDC asked FERC during the meeting if the project was still on track for the proposed timeline of the environmental impact statement (EIS). FERC responded that it will depend on whether the answers are complete or if they prompt substantial follow-up questions.
Trump switches out energy commission chairman
Timothy Kama, The Hill, October 24, 2018
EPA to Eliminate Letter Grades for Some Project Reviews
Timothy Puko, The Wall Street Journal, October 24, 2018
The Environmental Protection Agency will stop using letter grades on some of its environmental-permitting reviews, calling the process antiquated. The move is the latest step by the Trump-era EPA to simplify the federal permitting process, especially for highways, bridges and other infrastructure projects. Since the Reagan administration, the agency has used letter grades on preliminary environmental-impact statements on infrastructure projects it reviewed for other agencies. But Trump officials determined those agencies didn’t need the grades and found that at times they had focused more on targeting a better grade than on doing a substantive review.
Our Take: A common-sense move. Streamlining the process AND focusing on a more substantive review.
From the Washington Examiner’s Daily on Energy:
CHAMBER BLAMES ANTI-ENERGY ACTIVISTS FOR $92B IN LOST COMMERCE: The Chamber of Commerce, together with labor unions, is lashing out at anti-energy activists that they argue are to blame for a $92 billion loss to the economy.
A new report released Thursday by the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute and the Laborers’ International Union of North America blame “anti-energy activism” for preventing tens of billions of dollars in economic activity in the U.S., eliminating 745,000 job opportunities, and undermining $58.4 billion in project investment costs. “To top it all off, we estimate that these cancelled or delayed projects have cost us nearly $20.4 billion in lost tax revenue,” the report says.
The report is taking aim at the so-called “Keep it in the Ground” activist movement, or KIITG, which is most recognized for its actions ahead of the 2016 presidential election in mounting a campaign to block the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota. One of President Trump’s first actions was to order the pipeline’s approval be expedited.