Morning Headlamp – EPA Exaggerations and more smoke restrictions.

EPA exaggerating emissions? As millions march for “science,” suggesting that the Trump administration will make decisions not based on “science,” the EPA uses faulty methodology to calculate oil and gas emissions.

Permanent Fund grows infrastructure investments. The Alaska Permanent Fund continues to pursue what has proven a winning strategy so far, directly investing in companies in hopes of generating big returns as they grow. The $59 billion fund also hopes to increasingly capitalize on U.S. infrastructure investments, investing over $1.8 billion in private infrastructure projects. The fund had already been planning to increase investments in the United States while reducing its emphasis on infrastructure in other countries, she said. But fund managers are watching developments in Washington, D.C., in case opportunities spring up as Trump emphasizes increased spending. Like many other large investors, the fund has already seen some benefit since Trump was elected on Nov. 8. Expectations that he will ease regulations and corporate tax have sent stocks soaring, helping the fund grow about $4 billion in value since the election, or about 7.5 percent.

Alaskans lead on Arctic Policy. The Alaska Legislature has found a new cause in promoting safety of ships sailing through the Bering Strait to the Arctic. A resolution passed on Tuesday by the state House urges the state and federal governments to enact some binding agreements to better regulate increased vessel traffic in that region.

More state wood smoke restrictions. The Environmental Protection Agency on May 1 said it was bringing new restrictions to the notorious anti-regulation region to try to clean its dirty air. Commercial wood sellers will be required to register with the state if they sell firewood in the regulated area that includes Fairbanks and North Pole. The federal agency said it would downgrade the Fairbanks region’s status for continuing to violate pollution limits for fine-particle emissions, taking it from a “moderate” non-attainment area to “serious,” a designation that carries more urgency. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation will require the removal or replacement of old, inefficient wood-fired stoves before a property is sold, leased or transferred. The stoves can be replaced with ones that meet current emission standards, such as EPA-certified stoves.

 

First Reads

As Fairbanks battles its dirty air problem, state boosts restrictions on wood sellers

Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, May 22, 2017

With Trump administration intentions unclear, Alaskans might have to fill the void on Arctic policy

Alaska Dispatch News, Yereth Rosen, May 22, 2017

Permanent Fund grows direct investments into companies, infrastructure

Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, May 22, 2017

New EPA Study Indicates Agency Is Greatly Exaggerating Methane Emissions

Energy in Depth, Seth Whitehead, May 8, 2017

CH2M Hill subsidiary to cut 147 jobs after losing North Slope contract

Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, May 21, 2017