Morning Headlamp – Partnership between Pebble and ASRC; More tax criticism

June 14, 2017 | Posted in : News

Oil tax impasse. HB111 remains at the heart of the tax legislation sitting before the House – Senate Conference Committee. The dispute centers on whether to increase companies’ effective tax rates while scaling back deductions — steps favored by the House but opposed by the Senate. Soldotna Republican Sen. Peter Micciche, the majority leader, suggested in an interview Tuesday that the differences between the two chambers could sink the whole bill, in spite of the agreement that the cash payments should stop. “I think it would be a shame at this point to continue offering cash credits because of the extras that the House chooses to tag onto the bill. We would really like to end that program this year,” Micciche said. Headlamp agrees with Senator Micciche. The Governor, the Senate and the House all started the session by saying that cashable credits had to go. The Senate version of the bill accomplishes that. 

Pebble teams up with ASRC Energy Services. The Pebble project developer has teamed up with an Alaska Native corporation from the North Slope, drawing sharp opposition from project opponents in Bristol Bay who say the Pebble partner, an Arctic Slope Regional Corp. subsidiary, should stick to projects in its own backyard. The Pebble Partnership announced Tuesday that it has contracted with ASRC Energy Services Alaska, an ASRC subsidiary, to increase contracting opportunities for Alaska Native village corporations with land holdings near the project. Myrtle Anelon, a longtime board member with the village corporation from Iliamna, population 110, said Tuesday that she supports Pebble’s effort to involve local corporations, “Our young people don’t have jobs. They don’t have training. They need to have something.”

House tax plan draws ire from Outside. In a piece for TownHall, columnist Brian McNicoll criticized the Democrat-led plan in the House to close Alaska’s multibillion dollar budget gap through tax and regulation on the energy sector. According to McNicoll, “if Alaska wants to be an economic tiger again, it needs to make the hard choices on state spending now. It needs to get off the top of the dependency indices and get its residents back to work.” Energy has been, is right now, and will be where the jobs lie. A tax structure that penalizes producers will only hurt Alaska in the long run.

The House plan also drew criticism from columnist Seton Motley, who calls the plan to tax Alaska’s largest job producers both needless and pointless – especially as the House refuses to cut back on recent government spending increases.


First Reads

Pebble and Native corporation team up, frustrating mine opponents

Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, June 14, 2017

Alaska Legislature’s impasse over oil taxes is jeopardizing a bipartisan consensus

Alaska Dispatch News, Nathaniel Herz, June 11, 2017

Not a Good Time to Go Soft on Spending, Alaska

TownHall, Brian McNicoll, June 14, 2017

The Power To (Over)Tax – Is The Power To Destroy

Red State, Seton Motley, June 14, 2017

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Morning Headlamp – Who blinks first? Budget Reductions or an Income Tax?

June 13, 2017 | Posted in : News

Comprehensive fiscal reform no longer in sight. As the Alaska Legislature continues to stumble toward the final days of the special legislative session with no resolution to budget woes in sight, long term plans for fiscal stability are also slipping away. “Political realities may not allow for a comprehensive plan. It may be that we just have to continue working piecemeal toward a plan over a long period of time,” said Mike Navarre, the Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor who’s been lobbying for long-term fiscal reforms. The legislative impasse has dragged on for nearly five months, with Gov. Walker’s administration last week warning of a huge array of impacts if lawmakers can’t agree on a budget by July 1 and the state government shuts down.

A silver lining in the cloud of low oil prices…Eni US Operating Co. has filed a plan of operations amendment with Alaska’s Division of Oil and Gas proposing the drilling of two extended reach exploration wells from Spy Island into the Nikaitchuq North prospect. The well location is situated in the federal outer continental shelf of the Beaufort Sea. The proposed well site lies immediately north of the operating Nikaitchuq field. The drilling would take place from an existing Nikaitchuq field pad on Spy Island. Headlamp would jump for joy if it could. Drill rigs bring jobs – high paying jobs! 

Will the Governor like us for $50 million? The House Majority has decided that giving $5O million back to AGDC may curry favor with the Governor – which is more important to them than troopers, prosecutors and road maintenance. Sunday, members of the House’s finance committee approved a capital construction budget that reverses a Senate move to divert funding from the pipeline to other state needs, including the hiring of more Alaska State Troopers. The committee kept the money with the pipeline after Gene Therriault of the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation told its members that “the loss of that funding for the effort would be severely detrimental to moving forward.”

Who will blink first? Both the House and Senate must pass a budget compromise, but, the House wants new revenues first — like oil tax legislation and a broad-based tax. Meanwhile, the Senate wants deeper cuts, and to use some of the Permanent Fund’s earnings — as outlined in a percentage of market value plan (POMV) for state funding. Senate Majority leader Peter Micciche says the Senate is now willing to give up some of those key pieces if it could just get the one cornerstone of the puzzle — a budget. “At this point, the Senate has retracted to passing and funding a budget, which includes the POMV, right, from the earnings reserve, which has never been done before. The Senate is not asking for anything else,” Micciche said. The Senate has rejected the idea of a broad-based tax, which is where crafting a compromise gets tricky.

All plugged up? State inspectors are launching efforts to require oil and gas companies to properly close hundreds of unused wells scattered across Alaska that stopped producing long ago. Cathy Foerster, the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission chairwoman, acknowledged that the agency has sometimes been lax about requiring operators to permanently shut down the old wells, some of which date back to the 1960s. But the agency is initiating a two-part effort that is expected to lead to the permanent shutdown of some wells and requirements for bigger surety bonds to protect the state if the wells aren’t properly plugged with cement before they’re abandoned.


First Reads

Hope for a comprehensive fiscal plan for Alaska appears to be slipping away

Alaska Dispatch News, Nathaniel Herz, June 13, 2017

Uber and Lyft are coming to Alaska, but they won’t be coming to Juneau’s most popular tourist destination

Juneau Empire, James Brooks, June 11, 2017

Hundreds of unused oil and gas wells dot Alaska. The state wants many closed.
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, June 12, 2017 

House committee reverses Senate, plans to keep natural gas pipeline funded

Juneau Empire, James Brooks, June 13, 2017

Alaska lawmakers optimistic about passing budget by Friday
KTVA, Liz Raines, June 12, 2017

Italian giant Eni proposes two extended reach wells in Alaska
Oil Pro, Oil Pro Staff, June 13, 2017

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Morning Headlamp – House says “NO” to more troopers, prosecutors, road maintenance and snow plowing

June 12, 2017 | Posted in : News

Here to stay. Hilcorp Energy has big plans for Alaska that include drilling on the North Slope and in the Cook Inlet. They see  Alaska as a “great place of opportunity,” a place where the company anticipates operating for many years, David Wilkins, senior vice president of Hilcorp Alaska LLC, told the Alaska Oil and Gas Association’s annual conference on May 31.

Foster fostering fairness? Rep. Neal Foster, Nome and co-chair of House Finance seems to believe there is a deal to be made on the capital budget with the following among the House Finance Committee’s major changes to the Senate’s version of the proposal: Setting aside $40 million for cash incentives claimed by oil companies, a sharp reduction from the $288 million proposed by the Senate (the cash incentives, even though unpaid, would still be owed to the companies); rejecting a Senate plan to send $50 million from a natural gas pipeline project account to pay for more troopers, prosecutors, road maintenance and snowplowing;Top of Form setting aside $7 million to replace Kivalina’s school, which Foster said would uphold the terms of a state legal settlement over rural schools; taking away half of the money lawmakers had set aside in previous years for two megaprojects that have since stalled amid the state’s budget crisis — the road out of Juneau and the bridge from Anchorage that would span Knik Arm. Headlamp is intrigued by the double speak from the House Majority – as they pontificate about the need for more troopers, prosecutors and road maintenance, they reduce the funding for them. 

Breaking down barriers. The Trump administration may enforce restrictions on the length of environmental reviews as part of an effort to streamline the project approval process in his $1 trillion infrastructure package. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, speaking at a Competitive Enterprise Institute dinner Wednesday evening, outlined some of the broad details of Trump’s rebuilding proposal.
The plan is expected to roll back regulations that can slow down transportation projects and streamline the lengthy construction approval and permitting process, with the goal of bringing the timeline from as long as 10 years down to two years.

Budget Battles and Incident Command. The state ferry system, Division of Motor Vehicles, and the 2.5 million fish housed at state hatcheries could be among the casualties if the Legislature fails to prevent a state government shutdown July 1st. Governor Walker, in a news conference, told reporters that his administration doesn’t have the “luxury” of counting on a deal to emerge. He announced he would set up an “incident command structure,” headed by Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth, to make sure the state is prepared for a shutdown. Without a budget and its appropriations, Walker said the Alaska Constitution allows his administration to continue to spend money on programs to ensure life, health and safety — but no others. Other impacts include state park rangers and visitor centers, payment of unemployment insurance claims, summer road construction, and state museum operations.


First Reads

Gov. Walker’s administration tells Alaskans what they can expect in a state government shutdown
Alaska Dispatch News, Nathaniel Herz, June 10, 2017

As budgets shrink, private management of Alaska state park sites grows
Alaska Dispatch News, Annie Zak, June 11, 2017

Saudi investors eye Russian Arctic LNG
The Independent Barents Observer, Atle Staalesen< June 12, 2017

Here for the long haul
Petroleum News, June 11, 2017

House panel holds back cash subsidies for oil companies to fund other projects
Alaska Dispatch News, Nathanial Herz, June 12, 2017

Trump may restrict length of environmental reviews under infrastructure plan
The Hill, Melanie Zanona, June 7, 2017

Support the Senate Version of HB 111
Peninsula Clarion, Gail Phillips & Harry McDonald, June 11, 2017

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Morning Headlamp – More money being invested in energy; will Alaska see any?

June 9, 2017 | Posted in : News

$40B for energy in the first three months. Bank lending that nourished drillers in the nation’s first surge of shale oil has picked up again as oil prices and profits recover, but is likely to remain well below the go-go days of the last boom even as hundreds of drilling rigs and thousands of workers pour into West Texas and Oklahoma. Headlamp would like to think Alaska could stay competitive enough to have some of these funds flow our direction.

Zinke defends Trump’s Budget. Members of a House Appropriations Committee subcommittee raised a handful of complaints about the $10.6 billion budget request for the Interior Department. The budget proposal is $1.6 billion, or 13 percent, lower than current levels, and it slashes funding from programs members said Thursday they support. Among the items of concern, the President’s interest in opening ANWR.

Gov. Walker’s Administration Tells Alaskans What to Expect in a State Government Shutdown. If Legislature fails to halt a state government shutdown on July 1, then the 2.5 million salmon housed at state hatcheries, Alaska ferries and the Division of Motor vehicles would likely be among the principle casualties, according to the latest released on Thursday by Gov. Walker’s administration. Though three weeks away, conversations are underway on state budget deals and broader fiscal strategies to remedy Alaska’s $2.5 billion deficit.

State Shutdown Would Affect Every Man, Woman and Child in Alaska – Including the Dead. Should lawmakers fail to pass a budget July 1, then “Alaska’s impending government shutdown will have a tsunami of effects across the state, government leaders said on Thursday, with implications for every man, woman and child in the state.”

Gov. Walker’s “Compromise” Offer Moves State Lawmakers No Closer to Budget Deal. After Gov. Walker’s efforts to forge a financial deal fell flat, Alaska legislators are working hard ahead of the looming threat of government shutdown in three weeks. However, three weeks into Walker’s special session, “lawmakers have made almost zero progress in public on the state budget and a broader fiscal plan.”

10 Ways a State Government Shutdown Would Impact Alaskans. There are ranging impacts that a State government shutdown could have on Alaskans, across what Gov. Bill Walker has emphasized on “life, health and safety.” The economic impacts are variegated, but the fisheries would be significantly impacted and the “economic impacts of a complete shutdown would be devastating for countless fishing towns and commercial fishermen, and the countless people across the state who rely on salmon to get through the winter may not legally be allowed to fish.” The Department of Natural Resources would also need to curtail several operations, including state park functions and DNR authorizations.

Shutdown Puts Salmon Fisheries at Risk. Alaskan state policies threaten to derail a multimillion dollar fisheries industry. If the government shuts down on July 1, then the salmon hatcheries, ADF&G’s response to wildlife encounters, issuance of drawing and subsistence permits, operations of emergency resource conservation situations, and general commercial salmon harvest would be negatively impacted.

Reality Deniers. Alaska’s employment and economy are ranked “dead last” in the U.S. and “oil prices were the trigger.” Legislature in Alaska has fluctuated recently between those advocating relative “reality in denial” and those who “realized that to continue the same course of only budget cuts was insanity.”

First Reads

Adjusting to smaller role, banks lending again to U.S. drillers

Houston Chronicle, Collin Eaton, June 8, 2017

Lawmakers take aim at Trump’s Interior budget

The Hill, Devin Henry, June 8, 2017

Gov. Walker’s Administration Tells Alaskans What to Expect in a State Government Shutdown

Alaska Dispatch News, June 9, 2017

State Shutdown Would Affect Every Man, Woman and Child in Alaska – Including the Dead

Juneau Empire, June 8, 2017

Gov. Walker’s “Compromise” Offer Moves State Lawmakers No Closer to Budget Deal

Alaska Dispatch News, June 8, 2017

10 Ways a State Government Shutdown Would Impact Alaskans

KTUU, June 8, 2017

Shutdown Puts Salmon Fisheries at Risk

Juneau Empire, June 8, 2017

Reality Deniers

Daily News-Mine, June 9, 2017

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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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