Morning Headlamp – “As common as a legislative pledge for a long-term fiscal plan…”

Obama fought the law and the law won. On Thursday, Secretary Ryan Zinke signed Order No. 3354, which pushes the active Interior Department staff to construct new strategies to speed up and streamline the permitting process, and increase the frequency of leasing sales for federal lands. A clear reflection of the Trump Administration’s efforts to expand oil and gas drilling in Alaska, the new order will push further into regions that were ruled off-limits by the Obama Administration. Vowing to abide by the National Environmental Policy Act, Zinke believes that this order will help cut down the average number of days it takes to obtain a permit from the current 257 to the 30 days that the law dictates. A firm believer in the NEPA process, Zinke wants to send a “signal” to the oil and gas industry that his department is “going to be a fair and prudent partner.”

To dream the impossible dream. Laura Nelson, energy advisor to Utah Governor Gary Herbert recommended to the House Natural Resources Committee’s Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee that Congress develop a process to give states primacy in managing federal oil and gas resources within their borders. Nelson’s key reason? To comply with the Energy Policy Act that mandates approval of drilling permits within 30 days. The Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) is asking the same. They passed Resolution 17.051 step at their 2017 business meeting in Oklahoma City.  Alaska is a member of the IOGCC and Governor Sean Parnell chaired the organization in 2012.

“As common as a legislative pledge for a long-term fiscal plan.” That’s how Larry Persily describes the new MOU that the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation has signed with a major South Korea buyer.  The agreement is nonbinding, and the potential buyer, Korea Gas Corp., made similar deals with other U.S. gas-export projects. A statement Thursday by the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. called the agreement a “positive signal” for the project. According to Kristy Kramer, head of America’s gas research for the analysis firm Wood Mackenzie, “there’s not enough information available to objectively evaluate Alaska’s chances of landing a firm contract with KOGAS.”

 

First Reads

Interior secretary’s new order aims to speed Alaska’s oil and gas permit process
Alaska Dispatch News, Erica Martinson, July 6, 2017

Korean buyer eyes Alaska LNG but also signs deals with competitors
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, July 6, 2017

Give states primacy to manage federal oil and gas, Utah official says
Oil & Gas Journal, Nick Snow, July 7, 2017
Oil prices fall 2 percent on signs market still oversupplied
Reuters, Karolin Schaps, July 7, 2017

Take a look inside the new power plant in East Anchorage
Alaska Dispatch News, Devin Kelly, July 6, 2017

Fairbanks water service adding 17 homes
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Kevin Baird, July 7, 2017