Alaska Center shocks Alaska – drops opposition to resource development, jobs, revenue;

April 1, 2019 | Posted in : News

Breaking:   Monday, April 1 – In a stunning reversal, leaders from the Alaska Center…for the environment announced that they can no longer keep up the charade of pretending that responsible resource development, jobs and revenue for the state are villains that must be stopped. “We’ve reached a point where we can no longer say with conviction that resource development is the enemy of the people or that thousands of high paying jobs are not the sign of a strong economy.”  

Alaska Center for the Environment drops environment from name. So what is it for?

Federal judge declares Trump’s push to open up Arctic and Atlantic oceans to oil and gas drilling illegal
Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post, March 30, 2019

A federal judge in Alaska declared late Friday that President Trump’s order revoking a sweeping ban on oil and gas drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans is illegal, putting 128 million acres of federal waters off limits to energy exploration. The decision by U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason is the third legal setback this week to Trump’s energy and environmental policies. The judge, who was appointed to the federal bench by President Barack Obama in 2012, also blocked on Friday a land swap the Interior Department arranged that would pave the way for constructing a road through wilderness in a major National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

Our Take: Rebecca Logan, a spokeswoman for the Alaska Support Industry Alliance, said in an email that members of her oil and gas trade group did not see the decision as the final word. “Anything done by administrative action can be undone by administrative action,” Logan said. “This question will work its way through the courts, and eventually I expect Judge Gleason’s decision will be reversed.”

New Reports Offer Solutions to Protect Against “Recent Surge” of Climate Liability Lawsuits
Lea Giotto, Energy In Depth, March 28, 2019

It’s not only problematic that climate liability lawsuits are being pushed by financially motivated lawyers and spotlight-seeking politicians, but they are doing so in spite of the lawsuits’ long-shot odds of success. Federal judges in both California and New York have already tossed public nuisance climate cases brought by cities on the basis that courts are not the appropriate place to handle issues that spread beyond a single city’s borders, but rather these issues should be addressed by the other two branches of government. The Litigation Monster report sums this point up nicely, stating: “Unlike the discrete, localized interferences that public nuisance was designed to address, local government plaintiffs have sought to expand the tort’s reach to include public policy matters that implicate much more widespread interests. In many cases, these interests reach the national, and even international, level. These large-scale societal challenges are better dealt with by the legislative and executive branches, which, unlike courts, are uniquely capable of balancing all of the competing needs and interests in play.”

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Supermajors to the rescue for AKLNG? Mining rocks for Alaska!

March 29, 2019 | Posted in : News

Supermajors Set Out To Save Alaska LNG
Tim Daiss,, March 28, 2019

Technical teams from the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. (AGDC) and supermajors BP and ExxonMobil will meet next week in Houston to begin a review of the proposed $43 billion Alaska LNG project in an effort to find potential cost reductions so the massive capex project can move forward, Tim Fitzpatrick, an AGDC spokesman said on Tuesday. Discussions will begin on April 2 and last for most of the month, he said, adding that about “25 technical folks from ExxonMobil, BP and AGDC will meet in Houston on the cost reduction workshop.”

Our Take: The return of the private sector to the project will make a big difference in how the state legislature and the public view the legitimacy of the project. A very good move by the Dunleavy administration.

US LNG sector on track for a big year ahead
Caroline Evans, Upstream, March 28, 2019

THIS year is bound to be a red-letter one for the US liquefied natural gas industry, which is expected to see an unprecedented number of final investment decisions and a big production boost as more export facilities come online. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects US LNG export capacity will reach 8.9 billion cubic feet per day by the end of 2019, more than double the level at the end of 2018. The increase would make the nation the third-largest LNG exporter in the world, behind Australia and Qatar.

Infected U.S. Shale Oil Is Being Turned Away by Asian Buyers
Serene Cheon, Sharon Cho & Alfred Cang, Bloomberg, March 27, 2019

The complex web of U.S. pipelines, tanks and export terminals that’s helped make America the world’s top oil producer is causing a headache for some crude buyers. As various types of crude pass through the supply chain from inland shale fields spanning Texas to North Dakota, they risk picking up impurities before reaching Asia — the world’s biggest oil-consuming region. Specifically, refiners are worried about the presence of problematic metals as well as a class of chemical compounds known as oxygenates, which can affect the quality and type of fuel they produce. Two refiners in South Korea — the top buyer of U.S. seaborne supply — have rejected cargoes in recent months due to contamination that makes processing difficult.

Our Take: A trend worth watching for Alaska. Shale is a tough competitor for us.

From our friends at the Alaska Miners Association:

Court rules in favor of NEPA process at Palmer Project – A federal court recently ruled that BLM does not have to consider future impacts of mining development when considering exploration plan of operations applications. This stems from a 2016 plan to expand exploration activity at the Palmer Project in which BLM approved; upon which environmental groups and the Chilkat Indian Village of Klukwan sued. The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC), Lynn Canal Conservation, and Rivers Without Borders complaint alleged that issuance of an Environmental Assessment supporting construction of the mineral exploration road in 2016 violated NEPA because they failed to describe the environmental impacts. Judge Burgess disagreed, ruling that mineral exploration and development are not “inextricably intertwined” because mineral exploration does not always lead to development. Therefore, it is inappropriate from BLM to review potential future impacts from development before approving exploration plans.

Our Take: Good news! The benefits of mining to Alaska should never be underestimated.

  • $120m in government revenue in 2017 and $48.4m to municipalities through fees, rents, sales, royalties and taxes
  • 3,392 full-time jobs in 2017, up 5% from 2016
  • Average wage for these jobs? $107,820, more than twice the average private-sector wages
  • The Alaska Permanent Fund earned $5.2m from the mining industry in 2017
  • Mining companies purchased $580m of goods and services from Alaska vendors in 2016
  • The mining industry paid $276.5m in royalty payments to Native Corporations in 2017
  • More than $2.9m in charitable donations was given to Alaska communities by the mining industry in 2017

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Shale revolution saves lives; Tax relief leads to LNG investment…in Canada

March 28, 2019 | Posted in : News

Research finds US shale revolution is responsible for saving tens of thousands of lives every year
Mark J. Perry, AEI, March 25, 2019

The American shale gas revolution, with it’s 57% increase in natural gas production in the US since 2006, contributed to a 53% decrease in natural gas prices has helped to save tens of thousands of deaths every year. Likewise, any increase in average winter temperatures would similarly reduce winter mortality in the US and around the world. In contrast, how many lives would be lost if the Green New Deal was implemented and energy prices from inefficient windmills and solar panels dramatically increased?

According to The Economist “Few businesspeople have done as much to change the world as George Mitchell,” the father of fracking, who pioneered the economic extraction of shale gas. George Mitchell died in 2013, but if he were still alive, I would nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize for changing the world and saving tens of thousands of lives from lower energy costs. The Father of Fracking has saved infinitely more lives then past Nobel Peace laureates like Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama and Al Gore.

AGDC Study Could Decide Future Of AK LNG Project
Jennifer Williams, KSRM, March 27, 2019

The future of the Alaska LNG project could be decided in the next 50 days depending on the results of an economic study conducted by the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC). Governor Mike Dunleavy: “AGDC is supposed to come out with an economic study, within 50-55 days, that will determine how or if we move forward. Depending on what that data shows us we will have a discussion with the legislature and see how they want us to proceed.”   Governor Dunleavy traveled to Houston for an international energy conference two weeks ago. Dunleavy: “Long story short, the world is awash in gas right now. Some of these projects could be a challenge, but we are still looking.”


Oil and gas news briefs for March 28, 2019, Larry Persily

Tax relief package for LNG likely to win approval in B.C. Parliament

British Columbia’s New Democrats have crafted what will be necessary to put the province on a competitive level with rival jurisdictions for LNG development. On March 25, they introduced a package of tax relief and credits valued at $6 billion over 40 years — and it looks like they calculated correctly. In October, Shell and its partners made a final investment decision on the Kitimat-based LNG Canada project, predicated on B.C. upholding its side of the fiscal agreement.

Status quo isn’t sustainable
Andrew Jensen, Alaska Journal of Commerce, March 27, 2019

There’s been no shortage of sturm and drang over Gov. Michael J. Dunleavy’s proposal to radically overhaul the state budget with deep cuts to K-12 and university education, Medicaid and the state ferry system. What there has been very little of from the defenders of the status quo are alternatives to achieve better outcomes and reform the state’s unsustainable spending habits.

Our Take: There will be a compromise. “Neither solution is achievable in the reality of a divided government in Juneau, but only one recognizes the old axiom known as Stein’s Law: “if something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”


                  Alaska house subcommittees propose much smaller cuts than those in Dunleavy’s budget

From the Washington Examiner Daily on Energy:

SENATE DEMOCRATS BACK LAMAR ALEXANDER’S GREEN NEW DEAL ALTERNATIVE: Senate Democrats expressed support Wednesday for a Republican alternative to the progressive “Green New Deal,” one that calls for doubling federal energy research funding to spur clean and affordable energy.

Democrats said Sen. Lamar Alexander’s, R-Tenn., “New Manhattan Project for Clean Energy” could produce bipartisan agreement on areas such as spending on advanced nuclear energy research, natural gas, carbon capture technologies for fossil fuel plants, advanced batteries for energy storage, energy efficient buildings, cheaper solar energy technologies, and electric cars.

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“Green colonialism” in new ANWR legislation; Murkowski goes Nuclear

March 27, 2019 | Posted in : News

Which Native voices? On Arctic Refuge, lawmakers practice selective listening
Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media, March 26, 2019

A bill in Congress would reverse the 2017 decision to open the northernmost part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. A hearing about it in the U.S. House Tuesday became a debate, sometimes an angry one, over which Alaska Native people should have the ear of Congress.

From the testimony of Fenton Rexford, Kaktovik

“Your legislation doesn’t mention the human rights of the Kaktovikmiut. Your legislation doesn’t mention the Kaktovikmiut at all. It doesn’t mention the Iñupiat people. What about our rights? What about our land, which has been our home since time immemorial? What about our resources? What about our interest in the Porcupine caribou herd, on which we rely as well? What about our voice? Do you intend for us to disappear? We do not exist in your legislation.

Since the Federal Government showed up 152 years ago, outside groups have used the Federal Government as a tool to assert their own interest in our land. One of the few outside groups that has not claimed an interest in our land is the oil and gas companies. Instead, we have invited them to our land, and we have formed a powerful government — the North Slope Borough — to make sure that their activities return benefit to our people and our communities.

As Iñupiat, we maintain our traditional values, while our culture continues to evolve and adapt to the changing world around us. We are not an exhibit in a museum. Nor should the lands that we have survived and thrived from for centuries be locked away for the peace of mind of those from faraway places. This school of thought amounts to nothing more than green colonialism – a political occupation of our lands in the name of the environment while others exploit the idea of Wilderness for economic gain”

From the Washington Examiner Daily on Energy:

MURKOWSKI GOES NUCLEAR WHEN IT COMES TO CLIMATE CHANGE: Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chairwoman Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is expected to drop a bill as soon as this afternoon focused on spurring the development of advanced nuclear reactors to address greenhouse gas emissions and resiliency, John has learned.

The Nuclear Energy Leadership Act will make use of the federal government to create a market for new, smaller, advanced reactors. The bill would also address making the U.S. more competitive with nuclear technology rivals Russia and China.


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Poppycock put to rest. EPA’s Wheeler wimps out.

March 26, 2019 | Posted in : News

Conservation remains a core conservative principle
Andrew Sabin and Trammell Crow, The Hill, March 25, 2019

Something extraordinary is happening on Capitol Hill. This month, a once-in-a-generation public lands bill passed with overwhelming Republican support and was signed into law by President Trump. And this month, Republicans announced the formation of the bicameral Roosevelt Conservation Caucus to promote conservation and conservative solutions to environmental challenges. The caucus is led by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and Brian Mast (R-Fla.). The GOP is going on offense.

Our Take: “Republican support for the package and the creation of the new caucus should finally put to rest the false narrative — pushed, unfortunately, by groups on the left that purport to support environmental protection — that Republicans don’t care about the environment, conservation or public lands. Poppycock.”

EPA administrator recuses himself from Pebble Mine decisions
Associated Press, March 26, 2019

The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says he is recusing himself from decisions related to the proposed Pebble Mine in southwest Alaska. Andrew Wheeler, in a memo, says his former employer provided services to a client related to the Pebble project. His memo doesn’t provide details on that but Wheeler, a former lobbyist, says he wasn’t personally involved. Still, he says he’s voluntarily recusing himself from matters related to the project during his EPA tenure, including any associated litigation, settlement agreement and permitting. The Pebble Limited Partnership wants to develop a copper and gold mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is evaluating a permit application by the project, one of dozens of permits, approvals and authorizations Pebble says it will need.

Our Take:   Disappointing. This is caving in to alarmists who want to keep anyone from the private sector who has been involved in resource development from being involved in government. We have laws and an established process to follow. No need to recuse.

BP creates $100 mln fund for GHG emissions reduction projects
LNG World News, March 26, 2019

Oil and gas giant BP said it has set aside $100 million to fund projects that will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in its Upstream oil and gas operations. The new Upstream Carbon Fund will provide further support to BP’s work generating sustainable greenhouse gas emissions reductions in its operations, the company said in a statement. In April 2018, BP set near-term and specific targets aimed at reducing its emissions and advancing the energy transition, including achieving 3.5 million tonnes of sustainable GHG emissions reductions across the BP Group from 2016 to 2025 and targeting a methane intensity of 0.2 percent.


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March Madness in NM (renewables) and Alaska (the budget).

March 25, 2019 | Posted in : News

New Mexico Set To Require 100% Carbon-Free Energy Generation
Alyssa Danigelis, Energy Manager Today, March 14, 2019

New Mexico lawmakers passed Senate Bill 489, requiring the state to get 100% of its energy from carbon-free sources by 2045. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham praised the landmark legislation and is expected to sign the bill. The state is set to join California and Hawaii in approving ambitious renewable energy mandates. The proposal authorizes the use of bonds for electric utility Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) to pay for the costs associated with closing a coal-fired power plant located in the Four Corners area, the Albuquerque Journal’s Dan McKay explained. Requirements for investor-owned utilities in the state to shift to carbon-free generation would happen in phases: 50% from renewable sources by 2030 and 80% by 2040.

Our Take: News about SB 489 passing came around the same time as the state Oil Conservation Division published statistics showing that oil production in New Mexico hit a record high in 2018.


Had They Bet On Nuclear, Not Renewables, Germany & California Would Already Have 100% Clean Power

Going broke
Craig Medred, March 23, 2019

Alaska is Alice Rogoff, and if you watched the rise, the fall and the implosion of what was the Alaska Dispatch News, you know how that story ended. Alaska struggled and clawed for survival before oil was struck on the North Slope in 1968, but ever since the crude started flowing in 1977, Alaskans have been living easy on the money of oil industry’s labor. Forty-two years is a long time to live outside reality. People become conditioned to the idea life will always be easy and the money will always be there.

Our Take:   We couldn’t agree more. This legislature will most likely kick the can down the road. “All politicians agree there is fat in the state budget right up until the time it comes time to go on a diet, and then a lot of the fat becomes muscle. Anyone who has ever gone on a diet can understand the problem. Dieting is difficult. You have to control your desires. And Alaskans have spent decades eating what they want.”

Here’s the one ‘big, looming’ threat facing the oil rally, commodity expert says
Lizzy Gurdus, CNBC, March 24, 2019

One oil bull sees a “big, looming” risk bubbling up in the energy market. RBC Capital Markets’ Helima Croft, the firm’s global head of commodity strategy, is generally bullish on oil prices. She sees OPEC’s commitment to productions cuts, the United States’ sanctions on Iran and Venezuela and overall demand for crude as healthy drivers of the oil rally, which has taken per-barrel prices up by nearly a third so far this year. But there’s one major risk that could threaten this recent surge, Croft told CNBC in an interview on “Futures Now.”

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Anchorage Port – If you build it, will the money come; AIEDA is critical to Alaska

March 22, 2019 | Posted in : News

Anchorage port plan calls for construction, even without full funding
James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, March 21, 2019

Even if it doesn’t have all the money in hand, the Municipality of Anchorage will begin construction on the first phase of the Port of Alaska replacement project next summer, Municipal Manager Bill Falsey told state lawmakers in a Thursday hearing of the Senate Finance Committee. That first phase, which involves a new terminal for petroleum and cement deliveries, is estimated to cost about $223 million. According to figures presented to the Legislature by Falsey, the municipality is about $111 million short. The money on hand will cover work through summer 2020. When that money runs out, “we will have the options of how we can raise that cash,” Falsey told lawmakers. “For the remainder of the facilities that live at the Port of Anchorage, that is not a this-year project.”

Our take: Building and maintaining infrastructure is a role of government. Replacement of the port is a problem that has gone on for years and effects every Alaskan. It is critical that we get the problem solved.

AIDEA is critical to Alaska’s development
Frank Murkowski, Daily News-Miner, March 22, 2019 

In these times of reduced state budgets, Alaska should look to AIDEA to develop the access roads, ports and projects that will be built in partnership with private capital to develop our natural resources and diversify the economy. AIDEA is the engine that will propel the development of the infrastructure necessary to support the resource potential of Alaska. Using its financial resources for nondevelopment purposes would defeat AIDEA’s purpose and adversely affect resource development.

Our take: Mark Davis of AIDEA gave an update to our membership about the proposed Ambler Road project. It is the furthering of projects like this that would continue to show that Alaska is, indeed, open for business.

Oil Hovers Near $60 as Stronger Dollar Caps Supply-Driven Rally
Ben Foldy, Bloomberg, March 21, 2019

Crude has gained more than 30 percent in 2019 as output reductions by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners, as well as supply disruptions in Venezuela and Iran, countered growing American shale production. Still, the gains have been checked by concerns that a slowing global economy and a protracted trade dispute between the U.S. and China will impede fuel consumption.

Novatek will be allowed to operate foreign LNG Carriers on the Northern Sea Route
Malte Humpert, ArcticToday, March 22, 2019

Natural gas company Novatek was granted an exemption from a new law banning foreign-flagged oil and gas carriers from the Northern Sea Route. The ban would have been detrimental to Novatek’s $20 billion Arctic LNG 2 project. Under a new decree, Novatek and its shipping partners are allowed to operate or charter foreign vessels to transport LNG from the port of Sabetta to transshipment hubs or ports outside the NSR. The government removed 26 tankers currently under long-term contracts from the ban and granted permission for them to sail until the end of 2044. In order to accommodate additional vessels on a short-term basis, which are of crucial importance to Novatek during the summer months, the decree also allows for additional foreign-flagged LNG carriers if they are chartered for at least six months until December 31, 2021.


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No compelling reason to extend comment period; Misleading the public, again.

March 21, 2019 | Posted in : News

Corps sees no reason now to extend Pebble comment period
Associated Press, March 20, 2019

An official with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the agency has not received any compelling reason to extend the 90-day comment period on a draft environmental review of a major mine project in southwest Alaska. Shane McCoy is project manager for the corps’ review of the Pebble Limited Partnership’s permit application. The partnership wants to develop a gold-and-copper mine near a major salmon fishery in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region. McCoy says while 45 days is standard for such reviews, the corps decided on 90 days for the Pebble project. McCoy says the corps has been asked to extend that period and is considering those requests but so far has not received a compelling reason for an extension.

OPINION: Democrats misleading public yet again on oil tax policy
Andrew Jensen, Managing Editor, Alaska Journal of Commerce, March 20, 2019

Based on their latest effort to mislead the public about oil tax policy, Democrats should be cheering the fact that North Slope production will miss its forecast by about 20,000 barrels per day in the 2019 fiscal year. After all, according to former one-term Fairbanks state Sen. Joe Paskvan, the state is “paying” a credit of $8 per barrel for each one produced on the North Slope under Senate Bill 21, the production tax reform passed in 2013 that took effect and was upheld by voter referendum in 2014. According to their current talking point, the state should now “save” $42.6 million in credits thanks to 14,600 fewer taxable barrels flowing through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System each day.

As Trump administration contemplates drilling in Arctic waters, North Slope organizations stress need to protect subsistence resources
Ravenna Koenig, Alaska’s Energy Desk, March 20, 2019

The Interior Department is expected to release an updated plan soon on where the agency will hold offshore oil and gas lease sales in the Arctic over the next five years. Many organizations on the North Slope offered comments on the draft proposal. Now they’ll be looking to see whether their feedback resulted in changes to the new plan. In comments made available on a federal site, most North Slope institutions didn’t express outright opposition to the plan, but they did voice concern for subsistence resources and hunters’ continued access to them.

From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:

KEY DEMOCRAT PAUL TONKO UNVEILS CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN TO ATTRACT GOP: Democrat Paul Tonko of New York released a framework for combating climate change on Thursday that is meant to attract GOP support.

“There is reason to hope we can come together in a bipartisan, bicameral way on climate change. I am sensing it,” Tonko, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on environment and climate change, told Josh.

The plan, which is not meant to be prescriptive or overly specific, establishes more achievable goals than those laid out in the progressive “Green New Deal.”

The big picture: Tonko’s plan sets a longer-term plan of establishing a price on carbon emissions, a policy that has long eluded climate hawks.

It sets a target of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, eliminating additional emissions of carbon by that time. The Green New Deal, in comparison, aims for the same goal by 2030.

The plan contains familiar short-term policy proposals also broadly supported by Republican leaders of the Energy and Commerce Committee, such as Greg Walden of Oregon and John Shimkus of Illinois.

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Nitty-gritty of climate policy; Alaska Center encourages mob mentality at Brune hearing

March 20, 2019 | Posted in : News

The flaws in Dutch climate policy [Gas Transitions]
Karel Beckman, Natural Gas News, March 20, 2019

Why should the wisdom of Dutch climate policy be of concern to anyone besides Dutch taxpayers? At this moment all developed countries are entering a new phase in their climate policies. They are moving beyond broad reduction targets and temperature goals to the nitty-gritty of real climate measures and tough choices. The debate is not anymore about whether to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, or even by how much, but how. From this point on there are still many different roads into the future. The Dutch example is instructive because we are talking about a wealthy, urban, industrialized country – a self-proclaimed climate leader within the European Union. A country moreover that has decided to phase out the use of “unabated” natural gas for the sake of the climate. Yet its climate policies for cutting greenhouse gas emissions are full of flaws.

Our Take: What’s not to love? The cost is anyone’s guess, the poor will pay more, minimal results…

Rule of Law in Alaska Under Threat
Dave Harbour, Northern Gas Pipelines, March 19,2019

Several years ago, we warned that whether one likes a natural resource project or not is immaterial. What is material is the rule of law.   We were and continued to be concerned when powerful interests seek to end-run due process. In the case of the Pebble Project noted in the link, significant Obama Administration effort was focused on subverting lawful, due process in the Pebble case. (The “Pebble” issue arises here since one of the appointee’s previous employers was that project). Friday, we testified (Video, 22:59) at an Alaska House of Representatives Resources Committee hearing regarding the confirmation of Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner-designee Jason Brune, an unusually well qualified candidate. We were shocked to observe an Army of well-organized witnesses primarily from coastal villages, many using the most uncivil, emotional, non-factual, personal attacks on the integrity and qualifications on this competent, qualified citizen.

Our Take: Headlamp was disappointed to see legislators like Rep Sponholz focus on quantity not quality. Very few people provided substantive testimony. Most of those testifying were rude, emotional and personally attacked Mr. Brune and questioned his integrity.   Rep Sponholz fell for it and seems to believe that individuals who have worked for resource development organizations or resource development projects are not eligible to serve in state government, no matter what their credentials.

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$2.1 billion from oil industry to state this year; When the fluff settles…

March 19, 2019 | Posted in : News

Permanent Fund revenue tops oil and taxes as Alaska’s budget foundation
James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, March 18, 2019

The Alaska Permanent Fund has surpassed the oil industry and all other taxes combined as the cornerstone of the state budget, according to an updated forecast from the Alaska Department of Revenue. According to the figures released Friday and presented Monday to the Senate Finance Committee, the Permanent Fund will deliver $2.7 billion to the state treasury this fiscal year. The oil industry will pay $2.1 billion in taxes and royalties. The state will collect another $548 million in other revenue, according to the latest forecast.

Our Take: From the Alaska Oil & Gas Association   “Today, officials with the Alaska Department of Revenue predicted that oil production will essentially hold steady in the near term and increase when large new fields like Willow and Pikka come online in the longer term. While the spring production forecast shows a temporary dip compared with fall 2018 predictions, this was attributed to Spy Island at the Nikaitchuq field going partially offline earlier this year; the field has since returned to production with volumes up to daily standards.”

LNG Sector Dangerously Dependent On Chinese Demand
Irina Slav,, March 18, 2019

The liquefied natural gas industry has become too reliant on demand for the fuel from China, industry executives warned at last week’s CERAWeek, advising players in the LNG field to try and broaden their markets before they begin suffering the impact of this overreliance. Reuters quotes several energy industry executives as reminding their peers demand for LNG in China this year will be slower than previously expected and lower than the last two years. Also, they said the demand producers have seen come from China during these last two years does not necessarily have to be indicative of future demand. The core of the message is simple: Take it easy.

Hilcorp To Begin Seismic Project In Cook Inlet
Jennifer Williams, KSRM, March 18, 2019

Hilcorp Alaska will be conducting a 3-D seismic survey in the federal waters of lower Cook Inlet during the next couple of months. This survey will occur within the lower Cook Inlet, south of the Forelands and west to southwest of Homer. Hilcorp plans to start the project in April which would allow completion in early summer. The data will be acquired using a specially designed marine seismic vessel towing 8‐10 approximately 1.5-mile-long recording cables with a dual air gun array. Mike Dunn, Project Manager: “We expect to have the vessel here in the middle of April, the permits to happen the first week of May, and we will shoot about 175 square miles of seismic. We expect the project to take about 40 days.”

From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:

BISHOP WILLING TO WORK WITH DEMOCRATS ON CLIMATE ONCE THE ‘FLUFF’ HAS SETTLED: The top Republican on the House Natural Resources Committee says he is willing to work with Democrats on climate change legislation, but not before they stop grandstanding and start working within the panel’s jurisdiction.

“When they finally get off the [public relations] fluff road, and start doing something of substance, we will respond with issues of substance,” Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, told John during an exclusive interview at his Capitol Hill office.

It’s not unrealistic that the GOP would work with Democrats on public lands legislation that addresses greenhouse gas emissions. “We did in the past, we’ll do it now, we’ll do it going forward,” Bishop said.

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