Morning Headlamp — Private Citizen attacked for beliefs on climate change

Alex Epstein, a recent speaker at AOGA’s 50th Anniversary event and a proud promoter of fossil fuels,  responded to the Massachusetts Attorney General, who had included him in her investigation into climate change fraud, with three words:  Buzz Off Fascist.  Only he didn’t say “buzz.”
Washington Times, Valerie Richardson, June 15, 2016

Alaska Oil and Gas Association CEO Kara Moriarty penned a column in The Hill calling for the inclusion of Arctic OCS leases in any future Programs. According to Moriarty, “Disregarding this flexibility is to ignore the energy realities that make our homes in Alaska and across the country, safe and warm.  Indeed, including the OCS Arctic region in the new leasing Plan lays a strong foundation for America’s energy future.”

According to a Forbes column from Brigham McCown, Alliance for Innovation and Infastructure Chairman, the federal government is poised to make decisions which could impact Alaska’s ability to access vast energy resources in the largely untapped Arctic, putting the state’s financial future at risk—referring to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s proposed OCS Program. According to McGown Alaska’s economy is at a critical juncture and whether the state continues to move in harmony as it has done for decades depends on whether the government moves forward with the leases, or whether it moves to deprive Alaskans of their opportunity to ensure a stable and secure economy for themselves and future generations.

Rep. Devin Nunes reminded the Obama administration not to backtrack from its plan to open the Arctic to drilling. “We won’t achieve energy independence by blocking development of our most promising energy resources…Canceling the Arctic lease sales would be a self-defeating action that would not have the slightest effect on global warming — it would merely surrender the development of Arctic energy to rival nations like Russia,” said Nunes. Headlamp applauds Rep. Nunes for highlighting the fact that Arctic leases pose a geopolitical advantage for the country.

Stars of the show. A 58-star letter, which includes former Secretary of Defense William Cohen and former Supreme Allied Commander and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Ralston, as well as 14 former high-ranking military officers with firsthand experience overseeing Arctic operations, stresses that excluding the Arctic would jeopardize America’s ability to protect its interests. Noting that both Russia and China continue to expand their military footprints in the region, the comments emphasize that the strategic significance of the Arctic is growing and argue that private sector involvement plays an essential role in supporting military activity, “The White House, Defense Department and Coast Guard strategies for the Arctic depend on government and private sector cooperation, including private investments in Arctic infrastructure to provide presence and to share costs, resources and expertise.” Read the letter here.

Today is the day! Headlamp implores our readers to head the words from Moriarty and McGown and do something to protect Alaska’s future. The comment period on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) outer continental shelf proposal closes on today! Tell the BOEM what you think here.

Native corporations leading the way. Doyon Ltd. is teaming up with Cook Inlet Region Inc. to fund its exploratory drilling in the Nenana basin this year.  “We are excited about this new partnership with a fellow Alaska Native corporation,” CIRI President and CEO Sophie Minich said in a joint release. “The Nenana basin offers a promising opportunity to meet the energy needs of Interior Alaska and provide additional benefits to our shareholders.” Doyon’s primary target is oil, but the desire for a natural gas supply in Interior Alaska would seemingly provide a suitable market in the event of a significant gas find. Headlamp applauds Doyon and CIRI for continuing to invest in Alaska despite a low-price environment.

Running hurdles. Alaska Dispatch News reported that Governor Bill Walker seeks support from the legislature as his PFD bill stalled yesterday in the house. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out they haven’t come to an agreement,” said Rep. Lynn Gattis, R-Wasilla, a finance committee member whose firm stance against the Permanent Fund legislation has left her watching from the sidelines. Getting the bill out of the finance committee, Gattis said, remains a “hurdle,” and passing it on the House floor is an even “bigger hurdle.”


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First Reads

The Arctic is essential to Interior’s oil and gas program
The Hill, Kara Moriarty, June 16, 2016

Protecting Alaska’s Economic And Energy Future
Forbes, Brigham McCown, June 15, 2016

Permanent Fund legislation stalls in House as Walker asks for support
Alaska Dispatch News, Nathaniel Herz, June 15, 2016

CIRI partners with Doyon on Nenana drilling
Alaska Journal of Commerce, Elwood Brehmer, June 15, 2016

Exxon fights Mass. AG’s ‘political’ probe into climate change dissent
Washington Times, Valerie Richardson, June 15, 2016