Morning Headlamp – House Majority Reign of Terror Ending? 

June 8, 2017 | Posted in : News

Bill Nye the Science Guy. “The question frequently comes up, why focus so much on Climate Change issues? The answer is simple. If the science isn’t good and the political trajectory continues, millions of jobs in the coal, oil and gas industry will be destroyed worldwide. If the science is good, then the oil and gas industry has an incredible history of innovation and must be enlisted as an active participant in the development of solutions, rather than demonized and demolished.”

Don’t know what you got, ‘til it’s gone. Alaska Journal of Commerce editor Andrew Jensen believes the House Majority’s unwillingness to compromise with Governor Walker and the Senate could spell the end of their reign. Jensen writes, “They overreached by ratcheting up their usual attacks on the oil industry with a bill to double and triple effective tax rates between $50 and $75 per barrel, refused to cut the budget by any measure, set up an overly generous PFD and attempted to pay for it by extracting $700 million per year from Alaskans’ paychecks.”

Drill Baby Drill. Alaska Department of Natural Resources officials have approved BP’s work plan for the Prudhoe Bay oil and gas field without issue, a year after state demands for new information led to a summer-long standoff over the annual report. Division of Oil and Gas Director Chantal Walsh approved the 2017 Prudhoe Bay Plan of Development May 25 in a letter to BP Alaska management. This year’s Prudhoe POD contains sufficient information about BP’s efforts to support a project to commercialize North Slope natural gas reserves — and those of its fellow Prudhoe Bay working interest owners ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil — that the plan was approved on a normal schedule, according to Walsh.

Supply and Demand. Oil prices slid 5 percent on Wednesday to a one-month low, after an unexpected increase in U.S. inventories of crude and gasoline fanned fears that output cuts by major world oil producers have not done much to drain a global glut. Crude stocks in the United States grew 3.3 million barrels to 513 million barrels, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). That confounded forecasters who had predicted a drop of 3.5 million barrels, especially a day after data from the American Petroleum Institute indicated an even bigger fall.

Don’t confuse activity with results. Though there’s little public evidence that the House and Senate are closing their huge divide, House Speaker Bryce Edgmon said in a phone interview Wednesday that “there’s a lot of active dialogue taking place in the Capitol.” “Maybe it doesn’t appear that way,” said Edgmon, who leads the largely Democratic House majority. But, he added, “There’s a lot of people talking and a lot of people trying to bring this to a resolution.” Democrats and organized labor groups are planning “keep Alaska open for business” rallies Sunday in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau. The state is just over three weeks from a government shutdown.

Necessity is the Mother…. Researchers at Florida International University are developing an analytical tool that can help determine what happens to oil after it spills or leaks into the environment—technology that could lead to improved cleanup methods.

 

First Reads

Alaska Gov. Walker’s ‘compromise’ offer moves state lawmakers no closer to budget deal

Alaska Dispatch News, Nathaniel Herz, June 8, 2017

Oil prices fall for second day as concern grows over world supply

Alaska Dispatch News, Amanda Cooper, June 8, 2017

Harsh Truth About Climate Change Science
Oil Pro, Brian Mitchell, June 8, 2017

Oil dives 5 percent on surprise build in U.S. crude, gasoline stocks
Reuters, David Gaffen, June 7, 2017

New analytical tool could aid in effective cleanup of oil spills
North American Shale Magazine, Patrick C. Miller, June 6, 2017

No repeat of Prudhoe standoff as state approves 2017 plan
Alaska Journal of Commerce, Elwood Brehmer, June 7, 2017

AJOC EDITORIAL: House Majority has lost. They just don’t know it yet
Alaska Journal of Commerce, Andrew Jensen, June 7, 2017

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Morning Headlamp – Groundhog Day in Bristol Bay; Produce your own Package!

June 7, 2017 | Posted in : News

House Rejects Compromise. Following Gov. Walker’s attempt to bridge the gap between House and Senate budget proposals, House leaders shot back. In an evening press conference, Speaker of the House Bryce Edgmon, D-Dillingham, said the governor is on the wrong track with a proposal that would slash the state deficit from about $2.7 billion per year to about $300 million per year. He said the House Majority is continuing to champion a strategy that eliminates the entire deficit within three years. Unless the deficit is entirely eliminated, Edgmon said, Alaskans will continue to worry about how it will be balanced and what will need to be cut to make the budget balance.

Headlamp suggests the House Majority and Speaker Edgmon start listening to Alaskans. They don’t want an income tax and they don’t want a bigger budget. 

Groundhog day for mining. Critics of a copper prospect in the Bristol Bay region who fear it could become a smaller version of its neighbor, Pebble, have launched an early campaign to stop it. The Groundhog prospect follows the same geological belt that supports Pebble, the proposed massive open-pit gold and copper mine a few miles to the south. Unlike Pebble, an Alaska Native village corporation owns part of the Groundhog mineral claims on state land. The drilling for sample boreholes could start as early as this summer at the 40,000-acre prospect about 200 miles southwest of Anchorage. With the Pebble prospect seeing new life under the Trump administration, the Groundhog companies now have an exploration investor, Canadian mining company Quaterra.

 

First Reads

Opponents rally against copper prospect they fear could become another Pebble
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, June 7, 2017

House majority rejects Gov’s fiscal compromise
Alaska Journal of Commerce, James Brooks, June 6, 2017

Gov. Walker tells opponents of his compromise package, produce your own
KTOO & Alaska Public Media, Andrew Kitchenman, June 6, 2017

Shipping industry, Arctic nations launch new Arctic shipping forum
High North News, Elizabeth Bergquist, June 6, 2017

Norway says patrol plane in international airspace over Barents Sea was intercepted by Russian jets
Reuters, June 6, 2017

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Extra Edition – House Majority Wants it All; Rejects Governor’s Compromise

June 6, 2017 | Posted in : News

The House Majority has already rejected the Governor’s compromise, released just yesterday, that includes an Education Head Tax and full funding of Education. In fact, it also fully funds their bloated budget that increased the size of government while the private sector struggles through a recession.

The quote below from House Majority Leader Chris Tuck gives Headlamp readers insight into the absurdity that exists within House leadership:

“We’re still pretty determined on getting our fiscal house in order, and so, I know people look at negotiations as always meeting in the middle, but, that’s not necessarily so,” Tuck said. “You want to set up a situation where it’s a win-win situation for everyone. And the House has done that and now we just need to convince the Senate on how they benefit as well from the package that we put together, and how Alaskans benefit from the package that we put together.”

A few thoughts:

  • Tuck – the definition of negotiation is “bargaining to reach agreement.” If you aren’t bargaining you aren’t negotiating. Clearly, the House isn’t bargaining.
  • A “win-win” would imply that more than one entity is in fact, winning. Refusing to negotiate and demanding others capitulate is not the definition of win-win.
  • The House has had 142 days to “convince” the Senate and Alaskans that their package works and that Alaskans benefit from it. They have failed.
  • The majority of Alaskans, according to Dittman Research polls, do not support an income tax or a bloated budget; key components of the House plan. The House Majority’s package doesn’t work for Alaskans.
  • The “Alaskans” who support the House deal are supporters of public education, who want more $ for education, and the state employee unions, who want to maintain jobs, benefits and raises. The Governor’s compromise accommodates both of those.

While Headlamp would like to make a plea to the House Majority to actually find compromise and work toward a reasonable solution, we know it would fall of deaf ears. We hope the constituents of those holding up progress (those truly responsible for the pink slips) will let their Representatives know enough is enough.

 

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Morning Headlamp – House Turns its back on Fully Funded Education.

June 6, 2017 | Posted in : News

Another one bites the dust. According to spokesperson Casey Sullivan, Caelus won’t be drilling the appraisal well at Smith Bay this winter for financial reasons. First, oil prices have stayed lower than the company anticipated. Second, Sullivan said the ongoing oil tax policy debate in the legislature made drilling the appraisal well too risky. “Without knowing quite what the rules are or the clarity around funding of past tax credit payments and things of that nature, it just creates a lot of uncertainty,” Sullivan said. “And for a program like Smith Bay, which really is a significant undertaking that takes a lot of front loading and logistics, we really need that sort of certainty to be able pull off a program like that.” Headlamp wishes the House Majority understood basic economics. It’s terrifying to put the future of Alaska’s private sector in the hands of legislators who don’t understand business principals.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane! It’s a ship that can break through 2.1-meter-thick ice with up to 172,600 cubic meters of liquefied natural gas on board. The Christophe the Margerie is the first of 15 ships of the kind made to transport LNG from the remote Yamal LNG project. The carrier, built at the Daewoo Shipbuilding Marine Engineering (DSME) in Korea, sailed to St. Petersburg after weeks of testing in Arctic waters. “The Christophe the Margerie is the most modern ice-class tanker and will become flagship in a fleet of 15 similar vessels, all of them assigned for the grand Yamal LNG project which we are developing together with French and Chinese partners,” Putin said in a ceremony to name the ship. “We expect new perspective and huge projects to be launched in the resource-rich Arctic, some of them in cooperation with our French, Chinese and other foreign partners,” the president added.

Walker Tries To Bring Legislature Together On Budget. Gov. Bill Walker proposed a “compromise fiscal package” on Monday with a sharply reduced income tax in an effort to break the state Legislature’s logjam over a budget and deficit-reduction plan. House leaders said Walker’s compromise proposal would go nowhere in their chamber, arguing that it’s the Senate’s responsibility to come up with a package that fully balances the budget. House leaders say their own proposal, with the $700 million from income taxes, would close the deficit within three years, while Walker’s plan would leave a $300 million gap. Another piece of Walker’s proposal would set the Permanent Fund dividend at $1,000, the level favored by the Senate majority, instead of the $1,250 favored by the House. Headlamp commends the Governor for engaging in the discussion. While we might not agree with every aspect of his plan, his willingness to broker a compromise is commendable. Meanwhile, the House with their punative taxes aimed at destroying Alaska’s private sector, simply continues to disappoint.

Alaskans Mixed On Privatization Of ATC. The President’s announcement yesterday to privatize Air Traffic Control was met with no surprise by Adam White, who manages government and legislative affairs for the Alaska Airmen Association, but he was still disappointed. White agreed that the system needs modernization, but he cautioned that not all privatization stories are positive. He pointed in particular to systems across Europe and in Australia, where he said the general aviation communities were negatively affected by programs that focused on commercial air travel meaning noncommercial pilots end up at the end of the line, considered last in airport efficiency. John Parrott, manager of the Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage, said he was heartened to see changes to the makeup of the board in the president’s plan, which he felt was less weighted toward commercial airlines than efforts in the past. Changes are necessary, Parrott said: The FAA has struggled to implement the “Nextgen” air traffic control system upgrade. But the manager said he wasn’t sure that privatizing the system would necessarily solve that problem.

 

First Reads

Alaska Gov. Walker presents ‘compromise’ proposal, with tax, to break deficit-reduction logjam

Alaska Dispatch News, Nathaniel Herz, June 6, 2017

What the Trump administration’s plan to privatize air traffic control might mean for Alaska

Alaska Dispatch News, Erica Martinson, June 6, 2017

Walker: Legislature in stalemate

Alaska Journal of Commerce, James Brooks, June 5, 2017

Caelus postpones appraisal well for big North Slope oil discovery
Alaska Public Media, Elizabeth Harball, June 5, 2017

At naming ceremony for Russia’s icebreaking LNG tanker, Putin advances vision of Arctic energy future
The Independent Barents Observer, Atle Staalesen, June 5, 2017

House rejects compromise
Juneau Empire, James Brooks, June 5, 2017

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Morning Headlamp – US gives $1 billion to worldwide climate change efforts

June 5, 2017 | Posted in : News

Walker’s Infrastructure Wish List includes gas line project. Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has sent President Donald Trump a wish list of projects for inclusion in a potential federal infrastructure package — roads, ports, assistance for the state’s gas pipeline project and cash to relocate rural villages threatened by climate change. The gas line request includes federal loan guarantees, faster environmental permitting and investment for AKLNG, the proposed $43 billion natural gas pipeline and liquefied natural gas export project that would run from Alaska’s North Slope to the Kenai Peninsula.

It’s all in the technique. In Hobbs, New Mexico, Occidental Petroleum Corp. and a few other oil producers have been using a technique that has been heralded worldwide as a way to reduce carbon emissions and boost oil output. “When everyone else in the oil industry was going down, Oxy kept working,” said Joshua Grassham, vice president of Lea County State Bank and a Hobbs Chamber of Commerce board member. The city of 35,000 rests on the Permian oilfield, the largest oilfield in the United States.

Note to Alaska: more rigs = more jobs. American oil producers put up eight drilling rigs this week in West Texas, Colorado and North Dakota, bringing workers back into the oil patch after a job-killing oil bust. By conservative estimates, the surge in U.S. drilling has brought more than 15,000 jobs back to oil patches across the nation — and that’s just the rig crews.

Anchorage sticks with Paris. Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz is promising to maintain efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions following President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate deal, while some advocates question why Alaska Gov. Bill Walker hasn’t approached the issue more energetically. “We’ll continue to address climate change,” Berkowitz said in a phone interview Friday, a day after Trump’s announcement. “And we’re doing it because it is a part of looking out for the future of the local economy and it’s about making sure we’re good stewards of the place we live.” Anchorage hasn’t developed a comprehensive analysis of its emissions or outlined formal targets for reductions. Berkowitz’s pledge came as Walker faces growing pressure from environmental advocates and Democratic legislators for more aggressive state action on climate change. The governor issued a statement Thursday that neither endorsed nor denounced Trump’s proposal, saying that in spite of the withdrawal, “Alaska will continue to work to boost national defense and security measures for our 6,640 miles of Alaskan coastline, increase resilience for Arctic communities and provide energy leadership for the nation.”

Headlamp would note that the United States has contributed $1 billion dollars towards the worldwide effort while large polluters like China and India have made no financial contributions. Dear mainstream media: Take a deep breath. Leaving the Paris climate deal does not mean the United States won’t address climate change. 

 

First Reads

Here’s the infrastructure wish list that Alaska Gov. Walker sent to Donald Trump

Alaska Dispatch News, Nathaniel Herz, June 4, 2017

Anchorage mayor vows to reduce greenhouse gas emissions after Trump’s Paris pullout

Alaska Dispatch News, Nathaniel Herz, June 4, 2017

Big oil, small U.S. towns see new reward in old production technique
Reuters, Ernest Scheyder, June 5, 2017

Oil jobs rebound as U.S. drilling fleet grows for 5 straight months
Fuel Fix, Collin Eaton, June 2, 2017

Alaska officials show no strong response to U.S. leaving the Paris accords
Alaska Public Media, Rachel Waldholz, June 2, 2017

Oil and gas drives Alaska economy despite decline
KTUU, Blake Essig, June 2, 2017

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Morning Headlamp – Even at low commodity prices Oil and Gas still fuels Alaska’s economy

June 2, 2017 | Posted in : News

Energy Industry Data Released. Research and consulting firm McDowell Group released wage and jobs data at the Alaska Oil and Gas Association conference Wednesday in Anchorage. Even with the slight decline, the numbers illustrated the industry’s powerful impact on the state’s economy. Counting public and private jobs supported by the industry’s contracts, taxes and royalties, oil and gas accounted for $6 billion in Alaska wages in 2016, or 35 percent of all wages in Alaska, and 104,000 jobs, or 32 percent of jobs in Alaska. Companies ExxonMobil, Tesoro, Alyeska, BP, and ConocoPhillips combined to spend $4.6 billion with about 1,000 Alaska contractors in 2016, providing critical spending that rippled throughout the economy, resulting in additional jobs and wages. They also paid $2.1 billion in taxes and royalties.

Headlamp hopes that those in Juneau who are saying we are done with our oil economy take the time to read this report. 

Tolsona Challenges AOGCC Fine. Tolsona Oil and Gas Exploration, owned by Ahtna, is challenging some of the assertions made by the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Tolsona issued a statement Friday acknowledging “unsuccessful” communication with the agency and its relatively limited experience as a first-time owner and operator of a well. But the company said it has taken “immediate action” to comply with the agency’s May 24 order. The Native Corporation began drilling Tolsona No. 1 well in September hoping to find natural gas to foster new businesses and lower energy prices for its Native shareholders.

No to NATO? Russia announced Thursday that it has beefed up its Northern Fleet’s nuclear capacity to phase “NATO out of [the] Arctic,” according to the state-owned media outlet Sputnik. The Northern Fleet “has received two nuclear-powered submarines — the Yuri Dolgoruky and the Severodvinsk), a diesel-electric one (the Saint Petersburg) and the Yuri Ivanov medium reconnaissance ship,” Sputnik.

 

First Reads

Ahtna challenges $380,000 fine over its Glennallen gas well

Alaska Dispatch News, Alex Demarban, June 2, 2017

Top House Republican was in Hawaii but posting as if in Juneau, opponent says

Alaska Dispatch News, Nathaniel Herz, June 2, 2017

Energy industry contractors see hope in rising Alaska rig count, new prospects

Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, June 2, 2017

Russia’s Northern Fleet beefs up its nuclear capabilities to phase ‘NATO out of Arctic’
Business Insider, Daniel Brown, June 1, 2017

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Morning Headlamp – Alaska Open for Business; Hope on the Horizon

June 1, 2017 | Posted in : News

Hope on the Horizon. Expressing greater hope in the future, Kevin Durling, president of Petroleum Equipment and Services, said the number of drilling rigs operating statewide has more than doubled, from a low of four in mid-2016 to nine currently, in part because oil prices have improved. “We’re right in the middle” between the economic downturn and better times, Durling said. His company is a specialty tool provider that relies on rig work. Durling and other industry executives said they are hopeful that potentially large new projects on the horizon, such as discoveries within or near the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, would result in new work.

Cleaning up Obama’s EPA Mess.  In August 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency was in charge at the abandoned Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colo., when a 3-million gallon flood of dangerous mine waste, including 880,000 pounds of toxic chemicals (lead and arsenic), blasted through the mine’s exit, through a creek, into the river and downstream. Despite then-EPA Administrator McCarthy’s statement that the “EPA is taking responsibility” for the “tragic and unfortunate incident,” it refused to pay the $1.2 billion in claims stating federal law made it immune from liability. Lawyers for the slowly-developing Trump administration made the same argument in filings in February; the issue is now before EPA Administrator Pruitt.

Obama EPA Mess Part 2. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has halted an Obama administration rule to cut down on pollution of methane, a greenhouse gas produced at oil and natural gas drilling wells. The EPA on Wednesday said it had issued a 90-day stay of agency rules designed to limit methane leaks at drilling sites, as well as rules setting standards for equipment and employee certification. President Trump ordered the EPA to reconsider the methane standards in March when he signed an executive order to repeal several Obama administration climate regulations that added cost without adding value.

Zinke declares Alaska “Open for Business.” An order issued by the U.S. Department of the Interior calls for “the clean and safe development of our Nation’s vast energy resources, while at the same time avoiding regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production, constrain economic growth, and prevent job creation. The prudent development of these natural resources in Alaska and beyond is essential to ensuring the Nation’s geopolitical security.” Interior will review the possibility of increasing oil production in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and begin to assess how much oil and gas could be extracted from part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The order seeks to revise BLM’s Integrated Activity Plan to evaluate “efficiently and effectively maximizing the tracts offered for sale during the next NPR-A lease sale.” It also tells officials to come up with a plan to measure undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and natural gas resources of Alaska’s North Slope, focusing in part on Section 1002 of the ANWR. Headlamp can’t think of a better place for the Secretary to have signed the order than the Alaska Oil & Gas Association’s annual conference. Alaska needed a win, and yesterday Secretary Zinke delivered.

First Reads

Energy industry contractors see hope in rising Alaska rig count, new prospects
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, June 1, 2017

The EPA wrecked a Colorado river, then wreaked legal havoc on the affected landowners
The Washington Examiner, William Perry Pendley, June 1, 2017

EPA halts Obama-era rule on methane pollution
The Hill, Devin Henry, May 31, 2017

Order Number 3352U.S. Department of the Interior May 31, 2017

Zinke signs order to promote oil drilling in Alaska

Politico Pro, May, 31, 2017

Zinke orders new looks at Arctic oil development

Alaska Journal of Commerce, Elwood Brehmer, May 31, 2017

State regulators hit Ahtna with $380K fine for gas well violations

Alaska Journal of Commerce, Elwood Brehmer, May 31, 2017

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Morning Headlamp: Alaska gets a champion; Hilcorp securing Alaska’s future.

May 31, 2017 | Posted in : News

Headlamp congratulates Wackowski! Great news yesterday for Alaskans – Interior Secretary Zinke announced that longtime Alaskan Steve Wackowski will serve as senior adviser for Alaskan affairs.  Wackowski worked for the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation committee and worked for Senator Ted Stevens as well as Senator Murkowski.

OPEC in Deepwater? According to Wood Mackenzie, deepwater oil projects are declining in cost and will become more competitive with shale and could become a challenge to OPEC’s market share. The average breakeven price is expected to fall to $50 by next year, down from $62 in the first quarter.

Let the games begin. Alaska Gov. Bill Walker’s administration emailed nearly 20,000 state workers Tuesday warning they could be temporarily laid off if the Legislature fails to pass a budget before July 1st. State lawmakers, divided over how to fix Alaska’s $2.5 billion deficit, have already missed two other deadlines: the flexible 90-day limit on the regular session imposed by voters, which came and went in mid-April, and the 121-day limit set by the state constitution. The layoff warnings — to be followed with contractually required paper mailings Thursday — are the latest milestone in the Legislature’s march toward the June 30 deadline.

Interior Aims To Put Native-Corps In The Driver’s Seat. Ryan Zinke said the Interior Department needs to look at more opportunities to “get government out of the way” and give Alaska Native villages more input into federal decisions affecting their communities. On Tuesday, Zinke also expressed support for streamlining permitting decisions to put more oil in the 800-mile trans-Alaska pipeline, without relaxing government accountability.

The future’s so bright. Hilcorp is planning to significantly increase their investments in safety and infrastructure inspection. While Hilcorp’s business model in Alaska to-date has been to rejuvenate old fields cast aside by oil majors, the company is gearing up to spend approximately $75 million laying new pipelines on the Cook Inlet floor and converting some existing lines from gas to oil carriers to allow it to close the Drift River oil terminal. When the project is complete — which Hilcorp hopes will happen late next year — oil will flow from its West Inlet Granite Point facility under the inlet directly to Tesoro’s Nikiski refinery via what is now the Cook Inlet Gas Gathering System. On the North Slope, Hilcorp is expecting to see the first draft of an environmental impact statement for its offshore Liberty oil prospect in the next month or so from the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. About six miles offshore in the Beaufort Sea, the company plans to build a gravel island in the shallow water similar to how other nearshore North Slope oil discoveries have been developed. Hilcorp, which bought into Liberty in 2014 as part of a $1.25 billion deal with BP, estimates the long-awaited project could produce up to 70,000 barrels of oil per day at its peak. Headlamp is excited to see this kind of activity and investment in Alaska. More oil. More jobs. More revenue!

 

First Reads

With Legislature gridlocked, Alaska state employees warned of potential shutdown — again

Alaska Dispatch News, Nathaniel Herz, May 31, 2017

New Interior secretary ready to work with Alaska Natives on sharing federal management duties

Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, May 31, 2017

Hilcorp looks ahead after Inlet incidents

Alaska Journal of Commerce, Elwood Brehmer, May 31, 2017

Secretary Zinke supports more offshore drilling in Alaska

KTVA, Dave Leval, May 30, 2017

Zinke names Alaska adviser
E&E News, Brittany Patterson, May 31, 2017

Now There’s Another Source of Oil That’s Starting to Get Cheap
Bloomberg, Serene Cheong and Sharon Cho, May 30, 2017

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Morning Headlamp – House Majority Hypocrisy

May 30, 2017 | Posted in : News

Alaska Governor’s Race Re-Election Questions Loom. Gov. Bill Walker has not yet said whether or not he will seek a second term as Governor. Not only will he not say if he is considering a run, but he also has not declared whether he will register as a Republican or Democrat, and run in a partisan primary, or whether he will continue as an independent on a unity ticket – which propelled him to office in 2014. Three potential Republican candidates, Wasilla Sen. Mike Dunleavy, businessman Scott Hawkins and Rep. Mike Chenault, the former House speaker from Nikiski — said in interviews last week that they’re thinking about launching campaigns for Governor in 2018.

Alaska Considers Unique Oil And Gas Exploration Near Talkeetna and Willow. The state has received an application for an exclusive oil- and gas-exploration license in an area of the Susitna Basin mostly west of the Parks Highway near Talkeetna and Willow. The request for the Susitna Valley exploration license is unique because the area that might be opened lies far from Cook Inlet and the North Slope, where oil and gas companies have operated for decades. The 1.5 million acres of state-owned land that Alaska officials are considering making available to exploration falls under a state program designed to encourage prospecting in little-explored regions. State officials have not released the name of the applicant. Headlamp is excited at any new opportunity for responsible resource development and the jobs and revenue that come with the project! 

What goes up…May 30 U.S. crude oil prices rose towards $50 per barrel on Tuesday as a strong start to the summer driving season in the United States suggested strong fuel demand in months ahead. U.S. demand for transport fuels such as gasoline used in cars and diesel in buses tends to rise significantly as families visit friends and relatives or go on vacation during the summer months, with the so-called summer driving season officially kicking off on the Memorial Day holiday at the start of this week.

Money for nothing – Juneau-based Lawmakers Still Cashing Checks. Despite the fact the House held one floor session longer than four minutes and no committee hearings, Juneau Democratic Reps. Sam Kito III and Justin Parish both said in phone interviews Friday that they’ll be claiming their taxable $220 daily payments this week — meant to cover lodging and meals — in spite of a slow work schedule. Juneau’s third legislator, Democratic Sen. Dennis Egan, didn’t respond to requests for comment Friday. All three collected the payments during the Legislature’s 121-day regular session. Twenty of the 60 legislators in the House and Senate responded whether they plan to ask for the expense checks this week, with most saying they would only claim them for days they were in Juneau. Headlamp is disappointed to see members of the House Majority who are touting their “Fiscal Responsibility” take per diem for sleeping in their own beds — and not doing any work. 

Interior Secretary Visits The Last Frontier. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke spent Memorial Day weekend on a tour organized by Senator Lisa Murkowski. After attending a rolling thunder ceremony at Byers Lake, he visited Denali National Park on Sunday and Monday. The Secretary’s schedule takes him to Anchorage on Tuesday and Wednesday where he will meet Interior department employees and the Alaska Federation of Natives, a keynote speech at the Alaska Oil and Gas Association’s annual conference and a hike at the Nike Site Summit in Arctic Valley. A joint press release from Alaska’s congressional delegation said stops would also be made later in Prudhoe Bay and Fairbanks.

 

First Reads

As some drop hints about running for Alaska governor in 2018, Walker remains a wild card

Alaska Dispatch News, Nathaniel Herz, May 29, 2017

State considers opening land near Talkeetna, Willow for oil and gas exploration

Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, May 29, 2017

Even with Alaska Legislature in limbo, some lawmakers still getting more than $200 a day for expenses

Alaska Dispatch News, Nathaniel Herz, May 29, 2017

Interior Secretary Zinke will make Alaska stops from Arctic to Anchorage

Alaska Dispatch News, Erica Martinson, May 29, 2017

Strong start to summer driving season pushes US oil towards $50
Reuters, Henning Gloystein, May 30, 2017

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Headlamp Is Off For Memorial Day

May 25, 2017 | Posted in : News

Headlamp will be back on Tuesday, May 30th.

Over this long weekend we remember, and give thanks for those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country.

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