Bridge Fuel? Nope – natural gas is “abundant, affordable and acceptable.” Permanently.

June 5, 2019 | Posted in : News

United Kingdom’s coal-free days brought to you by natural gas
Amy Harder, Axios, June 5, 2019

The United Kingdom just broke records for the number of days it went without any coal-fired electricity — thanks largely to natural gas. Driving the news: The 18-day streak was snapped late yesterday, according to the UK’s electricity operator. Coal has historically been the nation’s dominant electricity source. Natural gas burns 50% less carbon emissions than coal. Due to several factors — notably a carbon price policy implemented in 2013 — the UK’s coal use has plummeted; natural gas has risen to make up most of the difference and emissions have dropped. The big picture: Natural gas is controversial in the world’s energy and climate debate. It’s still a fossil fuel, but the cleanest-burning kind, so when it’s displacing coal, it reduces greenhouse gas emissions as the accompanying chart shows. The experience in the U.K. shows what an outsized role natural gas can fill in countries seeking to reduce or eliminate coal altogether.

Our Take: See the article below. Natural gas isn’t a bridge fuel – it is a permanent part of the world’s energy future.

The Gas-as-a-Bridge-Fuel Pitch: Who Needs it?
Natural Gas World, June 5, 2019

Who first thought of the idea of promoting natural gas as “bridge fuel”? I remember that Shell launched a campaign promoting natural gas as “abundant, affordable and acceptable”. This must have been in 2012. In November of that year the Daily Telegraph published an interview with then-CEO Peter Voser, headlined: “Gas is abundant, affordable and acceptable. It’s also the future, argues Shell chief Peter Voser”. Responding to the news that the UK government was set to announce the construction of “20 new gas-fired power stations”, to replace coal power, Voser said: “In all of this we see very strong gas growth. It is really driven by availability – there is some 250 years of gas resources available. It is acceptable from a CO2 footprint point of view, producing 50% to 70% less CO2 than coal for example. It is affordable currently and in the longer term.”

Officials Say LNG Project’s Steel Pipeline Could Withstand Cook Inlet’s Currents
Jennifer Williams, KSRM, June 5, 2019

The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation told federal regulators that they are confident the Alaska LNG project’s steel pipeline could withstand Cook Inlet’s strong currents along the 29-mile underwater route to the gas liquefaction plant in Nikiski. The water-crossing information is among the remaining batches of answers the AGDC owes to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which is expected to publish its draft environmental impact statement this month.

“The strong tidal currents of Cook Inlet could potentially move debris and boulders across the pipeline,” AGDC reported in a May 24 filing with FERC. The project team analyzed what would happen if boulders as large as 10 tonnes (22,000 pounds) fell on the 42-inch-diameter pipeline, which would be laid — not buried — on the seabed floor. The analysis also looked at the risk of 15-tonne boulders “traveling at the maximum identified Cook Inlet bottom current velocity of 4.8 knots.”

U.S. report urges steps to reduce reliance on foreign critical minerals
Andrea Shalal, Valerie Volcovici, Reuters, June 4, 2019

The U.S. Commerce Department on Tuesday recommended urgent steps to boost domestic production of rare earths and other critical minerals, warning that a halt in Chinese or Russian exports could cause “significant shocks” in global supply chains. The report includes 61 specific recommendations – including low-interest loans and “Buy American” requirements for defense companies – to boost domestic production of minerals essential for the manufacture of mobile phones and a host of other consumer goods, as well as fighter jets. It also called for closer cooperation with allies such as Japan, Australia and the European Union, and directed reviews of government permitting processes to speed up domestic mining.

Our Take:   From Senator Murkowski: “I welcome this report, which provides clear direction on how to reduce our reliance on foreign minerals and thereby strengthen our economy and national security,” Murkowski said. “I urge the administration to swiftly implement its recommendations, especially those that encourage domestic mineral production and continued research into processing technologies and will continue my work to complement these efforts with new legislative authorities.”

Activists Suffer Major Defeat as Shareholders Reject Climate Resolutions
Spencer Walrath, Energy in Depth, June 3, 2019

Last week, environmental activists upped the pressure on ExxonMobil and Chevron shareholders to pass extreme resolutions on climate change. Shareholders sent a clear message: no thanks. Chevron’s shareholder meeting included two climate resolutions: a measure to create a new board committee on climate and another demanding the creation of a report tracking Chevron’s emissions against the Paris Climate Accord. Both failed. At Exxon’s 2019 shareholder meeting, one shareholder resolution could only muster about seven percent of available shareholder votes. The meeting included two other failed climate resolutions: one resolution called for a report on climate risk on Gulf Coast petrochemical operations, and the other resolution advocated for an independent chairperson. The latter resolution was jointly submitted by the Church of England and New York State Common Retirement Fund, after their original motion was dismissed by the SEC as an attempt to micromanage the company.

Our Take: Good. There is no need for extreme resolutions when companies are already working to reduce emissions. It is the private sector that is investing in and developing the technologies that will address climate changes issues- no need to mandate extreme actions.

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Biden caves on climate change;   US is reducing emissions – why do we need mandates?

June 4, 2019 | Posted in : News

 

Biden unveils $1.7 trillion climate plan, paid for by reversing Trump corporate tax cuts
Jacob Pramuk, CNBC, June 4, 2019

Former Vice President Joe Biden unveiled a plan Tuesday to put $1.7 trillion into clean energy research and infrastructure overhauls, funded by rolling back Republican corporate tax cuts. The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate aims to use that federal investment to spur more than $5 trillion in state, local and private money for measures to address climate change, his campaign said. Biden would push for net-zero emissions by 2050, reenter the Paris climate accords and ban new oil and gas permits on public lands and waters.

 

Related:

REPUBLICANS RESIST PUSH FOR CLEAN ELECTRICITY MANDATE: Biden’s call for Congress to pass a clean energy mandate will confront a political reality check on Capitol Hill, as Republicans are resisting entreaties from Democrats to support a federal clean electricity standard.

Supporters view so-called clean electricity standards as more likely to attract bipartisan support than carbon taxes, which the GOP also resists, because the resulting higher energy costs would not be as obvious to people.

But Republicans aren’t biting, expressing little desire to expand the federal government’s role beyond their preferred formula of funding clean energy research and development.

“If we have the greatest [emissions] reductions in the world and are doing it under our current strategy that is working, why do the feds need to come in and have Big Brother telling the states what they can and can’t do?” Rep. Garret Graves of Louisiana, the top Republican of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, told Josh.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, offered a similar argument. “I would rather not be in the place where it’s a forcing mechanism and a mandate,” she told Josh. “We have made considerable headway without a mandate.”

 

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Carbon capture illustrated; Blue collar workers betrayed by environmentalists

June 3, 2019 | Posted in : News

Capturing carbon, illustrated
Amy Harder, Axios, June 3, 2019

Capturing carbon dioxide emissions is probably unavoidable to address climate change, but the technology to do it is still in its infancy, expensive and not broadly understood. The intrigue: We’re here to show you something none of us can really see — CO2 emissions are invisible to the naked eye — and the technology that’s just getting off the ground. Keep reading to see an illustrated description of the main ways CO2 can be captured.

Labor anger over Green New Deal greets 2020 contenders in California
Carla Marinucci and Debra Kahn, Politico, June 1, 2019

Blue-collar union workers in solidly Democratic California are rejecting “Green New Deal” politics, a possible preview of troubles for 2020 presidential hopefuls in Rust Belt states like Pennsylvania and Ohio.   When Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti launched his “Green New Deal LA” plan last month amid cheers from environmentalists, hundreds of jeans-wearing, tattooed union members outside the event chanted “Garcetti’s gotta go” and denounced the move as a betrayal. The Garcetti protest was followed by disputes in the state capital this month over a large buffer zone that would block new oil and gas wells, as well as a massive hydro project near Joshua Tree.

Our Take: The 20+ candidates vying for the democratic nomination would be wise to acknowledge that “The Green New Deal may be the darling of the Democratic Party — but it really divides the Democrats on a fault line, which is more of the elites against the working class Democrats who are concerned about losing their jobs.”   Jobs matter.

Why China’s rare earths threat is no game changer in the trade war
Tom DiChristopher, CNBC, June 3, 2019

Key Points:

  • China has threatened to stop exporting rare earths — minerals found in a wide range of everyday consumer electronics — to the U.S.
  • The U.S. is not a big maker of technology products, so cutting off rare earths exports to American manufacturers would have a limited impact.
  • Restricting exports of goods containing rare earths would hurt Beijing because China is a major exporter of finished products.

From today’s Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:

REFINING INDUSTRY SOUNDS ALARM ON TRUMP’S PLANNED MEXICO TARIFFS: The U.S. refining industry says Trump’s threatened tariffs on Mexico could raise gasoline prices as summer driving season begins, while also complicating passage of a revamped NAFTA deal that would facilitate energy trade.

“Imposing tariffs on Mexican products, particularly crude oil, could raise energy prices for U.S. consumers, disadvantage the U.S. refining industry and jeopardize passage of USMCA — all bad outcomes,” said Chet Thompson, president and CEO of the refining trade group American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers.

Free trade threatened: The oil and gas industry has been pressing Congress to pass Trump’s U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement. The original NAFTA deal has helped make Mexico the largest export market for U.S. oil, transportation fuel, and natural gas by allowing for the U.S., Mexico, and Canada to pay nothing on most goods that cross borders between them, including energy products. Now, Democrats already disinclined to do business with Trump have a new reason not to pass his trade deal.

Measuring the potential impact of tariffs: While U.S. imports of Mexican oil have been in decline in recent years, the U.S. still gets about 9% of its crude imports from Mexico, the third-highest source behind Canada and Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. refining industry returns the favor, turning Mexico’s heavy crude into gasoline and diesel which it sends back to Mexico. Those sales could be threatened if Mexico retaliates with its own tariffs on U.S. energy. In addition, though the U.S. is exporting more LNG via tanker, most of the total U.S. natural gas exports were by pipeline, 67% of which went to Mexico, according to the Energy Information Administration.

 

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Feel Good Friday:  Alaska – Back on the Map!

May 31, 2019 | Posted in : News

On Thursday,  May 30th, the Alaska Oil and Gas Association hosted its annual conference.  Presenters focused on why Alaska is on the “oil and gas map”.       

Lt. Governor Kevin Meyers announced that BP Alaska and Exxon Mobil have pledged $20m towards the funding required to obtain permitting for the Alaska LNG project:

BP and ExxonMobil to give a $20 million assist to Alaska LNG

Department of Natural Resources Commissioner,  Corri Feige, explained why she felt Alaska was full of opportunity:

  • In 2019, a dozen exploration wells were drilled – the highest number in 15 years!
  • An ANWR lease sale is pending in 2019
  • A Fall SALSA lease sale is planned that will provide extensive data to the winners

Mike Sommers from the American Petroleum Institute noted that in order for the US to be energy dominant, it must leverage Alaska’s North Slope, the Arctic, offshore oil, ANWR and the NPRA! 

AOGA conference says Alaska is ‘back on the map’ for oil and gas development

Benji Backer from the American Conservation Coalition participated in a climate change panel and reminded participants that “Companies have a lot of power in how we save our environment and it’s really great to see companies taking action.” 

Socially Responsible Investment and Consumer-Led Environmentalism

 

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One small step for FERC, one giant step for AKLNG; Not-so-veiled threat from China

May 29, 2019 | Posted in : News

FERC On Schedule To Release Draft EIS For AK LNG Project, Next Month
Jennifer Williams, KSRM, May 28, 2019

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is scheduled to release the draft Alaska LNG environmental impact statement, or EIS, next month. The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, the AGDC, announced that it had signed an agreement with BP and ExxonMobil to collaborate on ways to advance the LNG project on March 8. Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will seek to advance the project by working together to identify ways to improve the project’s competitiveness, and progress FERC authorization to construct the project. FERC extended the schedule for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the project by four months. The agency cited the state’s timeline for answering federal regulators’ questions and fulfilling data requests as the reason for the extension. The future of the project could however depend on the results of a economic study conducted by the AGDC. Governor Mike Dunleavy: “AGDC is supposed to come out with an economic study 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.”   In the meantime, AGDC Program Management Vice President stated that the corporation is anticipating a 90-day public comment period for the draft document once it’s released.

Related:                Macroeconomic impacts of US LNG exports

Shares of rare earth miners skyrocket after Beijing threatens to cut off the minerals
Eustance Huang, CNBC, May 29, 2019

  • Shares of rare earth miners in Asia Pacific surged on Wednesday.
  • The moves came after a Chinese official recently cautioned that products made from rare earth minerals should not be used against the country’s development.
  • The comment, reported by CCTV, is being taken as a veiled threat aimed at the U.S. and its technology companies that are dependent on the materials.

Our Take:               Alaska remains potential source for critical rare earth elements

Trump administration appeals ruling that blocked Arctic offshore drilling
Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk, May 28, 2019

The Trump administration Tuesday appealed a federal court decision that blocked plans to reopen vast portions of Alaska’s Arctic waters to oil drilling. In March, U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason ruled that the president exceeded his authority when he issued an executive order undoing an Obama-era ban on oil leasing in large parts of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. An U.S. Interior Department spokesperson, Molly Block, declined to comment. The case will now go to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Interior Department had pushed to hold an oil lease sale in the Beaufort Sea as soon as this year.

From today’s Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP, BUSINESSES SEE NEED FOR COLLABORATION ON EMISSIONS CUTS: The environmental group Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, with input from leading businesses, released a report Tuesday detailing the case for the federal government, states, companies, and consumers to work together in order to cut emissions to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.

The report, developed over several years, detailed three pathways for the U.S. to cut economy-wide emissions 80% by 2050.

The group, led by Bob Perciasepe, a former EPA deputy administrator in the Obama administration, drafted the scenarios with input from 21 companies across various sectors, including BP, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, BHP, Dow Chemical, Duke Energy, Intel, Mars, Microsoft, and Toyota.

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Climate change crazy talk. Greenpeace warns Biden. Eminent domain & export pipelines.

May 28, 2019 | Posted in : News

Environmentalists Say Imprisoned Felons Should Be Able To Vote Because Of Global Warming
Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, May 28, 2019

Environmentalists joined the far-left campaign to give voting rights to incarcerated felons, arguing felon voting is crucial to fighting global warming. “Until each and every one of them have their voting rights restored, the movement for climate justice — and every progressive cause — will be severely disadvantaged,” Sabelo Narasimhan, digital campaign manager for 350.org, wrote in an email to supporters sent Monday. The group is now part of the effort, championed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, to allow millions of incarcerated felons to vote. Currently, only Maine and Vermont allow imprisoned felons to vote.

Our Take: Climate Change Crazy Talk.

Related:

              Greenpeace Issues Warning To Joe Biden: Join Us

Conoco CEO says demand growth will consume LNG Supply
Reuters, May 28, 2019

ConocoPhillips expects current weak global liquefied natural gas prices to improve as growing demand soaks up the excess supply in the market, the company’s chief executive said May 28th.

Eminent domain fights now focus on export pipelines
Houston Chronicle, May 28, 2019

Increasing natural gas exports also has brought a boom in pipeline projects across the United States. Not only are landowners and environmentalists challenging the benefits of such projects, but they’re also raising questions over the projects’ eminent domain authority. Federal law allows these companies to seize land for construction as long as the project is deemed in “the public interest.” But landowners and environmentalists argue that exporting gas benefits only the companies, not the public. “Any of the LNG projects being built in Texas and anywhere else where a pipeline is being built, this (issue) is going to be raised,” said David Bookbinder, an attorney with the libertarian think tank Niskanen Center.

Why it matters: Those against oil and gas companies using eminent domain for export projects argue that exporting energy may actually hurt U.S. consumers by decreasing domestic supply and raising costs. But experts warn that not considering the interest of the public abroad would hurt the energy market.

What’s next: There is added pressure for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to develop guidelines as to what is and is not acceptable.

From today’s Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:

DEMOCRATIC ATTORNEYS GENERAL SAY TRUMP’S ORDER TO LIMIT STATE PIPELINE AUTHORITY IS ILLEGAL: A coalition of 16 Democratic state attorneys general is warning the Trump administration that the president’s recent executive order limiting state authority over oil and gas pipelines is illegal.

Trump signed an executive order April 10 designed to limit the instances in which blue states such as New York can reject pipeline projects using authority granted to states in Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. Section 401 allows states to deny permits if leaks from an energy infrastructure project could harm nearby streams or lakes.

In a comment letter, the Democratic attorneys general argue that any change to EPA’s “guidance and regulations” under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act would violate the law.

They say the law provides states the primary authority to protect water quality within their borders, allowing for “broad discretion” in making decisions over pipeline certifications.

“New York will always defend the right to ensure the people of our state have access to clean water, period,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James.

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Happy Memorial Day!

May 24, 2019 | Posted in : News, Uncategorized

Headlamp will return Tuesday May 28th

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“Orphan” wells, investing in infrastructure, and high tech coal; Also, will oil sanctions mean a big gas bill for Memorial Day travel?

May 23, 2019 | Posted in : News

State agencies at odds over new law to address ‘orphan’ oil wells
Elizabeth Harball, KTOO, May 22, 2019

A few small oil companies have gone bankrupt in Alaska in recent years, leaving the state or other landowners on the hook for cleaning up the wells they left behind. So this month, the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission started requiring oil and gas companies to put up substantially higher bonds to cover the wells they have drilled. After a years-long push to update the law, the commission raised the bond amount to between $400,000 and $30 million, depending on how many wells a company has. Previously, the bond requirement was capped at $200,000. But a different state agency — the Department of Natural Resources — is criticizing the new law and asking for it to be rescinded.

Our take: We have listened to many committee hearings where legislators ask, “Why is there so much talk about uncertain regulations?” Continual changes like this are counterproductive to investment in the state. No one advocates against strict regulations and responsible development, but as DNR states, these bonds would certainly be “unduly burdensome” to smaller operators.

The Critical Importance of Investing in American Energy Infrastructure
Robin Rorick, RealClear Energy, May 22, 2019

For these reasons and more, demand for natural gas and oil has grown across the country. Upgrading our nation’s pipelines, storage tanks, export terminals, waterways, ports and more, is vital to delivering the reliable and affordable flow of energy resources we all count on to cook our food, heat our homes and improve the quality of our lives. The United States leads the world in natural gas and oil production, yet there are manufacturers, businesses and American families in parts of the country who aren’t adequately connected to America’s energy abundance – and won’t be without new and/or expanded state of the art pipelines and other infrastructure to deliver energy to markets and consumers.

Our take: As mentioned, many of these infrastructure improvements are beneficial in that they improve the safety and efficiency of energy transport, therefore lowering the opportunity for spills and providing many skilled labor jobs for the US. A win-win in our opinion.

HERE’S HOW IRAN WOULD CARRY OUT A PLAN TO DISRUPT GLOBAL OIL TRADE
Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, May 23, 2019 

  • Iranian plans to disrupt the oil trade will likely involve hampering the world’s busiest oil choke point: the Strait of Hormuz.
  • Disrupting the oil trade could send oil prices upward, making it more expensive for Americans to fill up their gas tanks.
  • It’s part of Iran’s plan to make the U.S. feel economic pain and divide the international community over sanctions.

Alaska energy lease sales draw meager interest: officials
Yereth Rosen, Reuters, May 22, 2019

Hilcorp Energy Company’s Alaska unit submitted bids for three tracts comprising 10,286 acres in the Cook Inlet region, said Kyle Smith, leasing manager for the Alaska Division of Oil and Gas. About 4 million acres of offshore and onshore territory was offered in the Cook Inlet sale.  It was the poorest showing for the state’s annual Cook Inlet lease sale since 2016, when no bids were submitted. Cook Inlet sales in 2012, 2013 and 2014 attracted spirited bidding.

Related: Hilcorp lone Cook Inlet bidder for third straight year

Report: Coal’s revival is in high tech
Amy Harder, Axios, May 23, 2019

A new report commissioned by the Energy Department recommends promoting coal for use in other, higher tech ways than electricity. It finds that coal can be refined into what can seem like limitless products, but the ones with the most growth potential include:

  • Carbon fiber as a lighter weight and stronger replacement for steel and aluminum in cars, wind turbines and more.
  • Rare earth minerals, which are used in a wide variety of renewable energy technologies.
  • Graphene, a material used in medical devices.

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Hurdles galore for offshore energy, EPA analysis & carbon taxes

May 22, 2019 | Posted in : News

Politicians are blocking America’s offshore energy boom
Jim Nicholson, Fox Business, May 21, 2019

In April, the South Carolina Senate advanced a measure that would prohibit the use of state funds for any infrastructure projects related to offshore development. Virginia lawmakers considered similar measures earlier this year. This tactic, though clever, ultimately has potential to harm the coastal communities that lawmakers say they want to protect. Blocking energy infrastructure projects deprives workers of good jobs and weakens our energy and national security.

Our take: “Tapping these energy deposits could support 730,000 American jobs and generate nearly $120 billion in cumulative tax revenues for the federal government over the next 20 years.” We’ve heard this song many times up here in the Last Frontier, most recently regarding the opening of ANWR. This echoes Rexford’s voice from yesterday—let us work toward responsible resource development, get locals into the workforce, and allow for financial independence and stability of the associated regions.

 EPA pursues new cost-benefit analysis for regulation that critics fear will undermine climate rules
John Siciliano, The Washington Examiner, May 21, 2019

The top goal of the action is to ensure the agency balances benefits and costs, Wheeler said, and that one is not considered more than another. Environmentalists decried the memo as a threat to efforts to curb climate change on the grounds that it would undermine the need for new regulations. But industry groups praised the memo as a salutary transparency measure.

From the Daily on Energy:

CENTER-RIGHT GROUP SAYS TIME ISN’T RIPE FOR A CARBON TAX: A conservative group that is working to develop Republican messaging on climate change doesn’t see this week’s big industry push to bolster a carbon tax making much of a difference, at least not right now.

Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions has been very busy working with Republican members on forming legislative principles to address climate change, but it doesn’t see a carbon tax as a part of that effort, the group’s executive director Heather Reams said in an interview. “We are more agnostic on a carbon tax” because it’s not “politically viable,” said Reams. Reams acknowledged that there are a number of center-right groups that advocate for a carbon tax, but she says it gives her more room to maneuver without it.

BP and Shell, along with dozens of other companies, descended on Capitol Hill on Tuesday and Wednesday to show their support for a carbon tax. The two oil companies also forked over $2 million to help the Republican-led Climate Leadership Council’s advocacy wing push for its carbon tax and dividend plan.

A carbon tax is generally seen as a simpler way to regulate carbon emissions. But weathering the price hikes that could result from the tax is a hang-up in more conservative circles. Some groups are trying to mitigate those concerns through a tax-and-dividend approach, in which the tax would be collected and then redistributed to taxpayers to help mitigate any increased energy costs.

Ream says she isn’t lobbying against the tax. It’s just not part of her group’s “playbook,” she said. If groups were coming to together to negotiate on a piece of carbon tax legislation then she might have a different position. But for now, she said, “it’s just not going anywhere.”  Even the Democratic leadership in the House is skeptical about a carbon tax being the direction they want to take ahead of the election, she added.  For the vast majority of Republicans a carbon tax is just too “radioactive” for her group to be pushing, she explained.

Currently, Reams is more focused on legislation that the GOP can endorse that includes supporting renewable energy, like solar, wind, and energy storage. Renewable energy helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it also helps to spur free-market competition that conservatives can also get behind, she explained.  She sees room for Republicans to endorse tax credits for wind and solar as a policy they can get behind, despite conservative critics that say otherwise.

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ANWR bill: no humans or rights? Mining for security. Pebble suit dismissed.

May 21, 2019 | Posted in : News

Human rights bill on ANWR ignores humans and their rights
Matthew Rexford, The Hill, May 20, 2019

The Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act, as it’s known, preaches a “moral responsibility to protect this wilderness heritage as an enduring resource to bequeath undisturbed to future generations of Americans”, but fails to acknowledge the basic needs of future generations of Arctic Iñupiat. The message this bill sends is that Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) and the legislation’s co-sponsors prioritize the leisure whims of their eco-tourist constituencies above the needs of the Native people of Kaktovik and the North Slope.

Our take: Rexford hits the nail on the head later in the article—“We want to work to support our families, not lean on government subsidies for survival.”

Rare-Earth Mining: A National Security Imperative
Dean G. Popps, Real Clear Defense, May 21, 2019

Congress and the administration have done significant work to identify critical strategic vulnerabilities in our supply chain, including a foolish reliance on critical mineral imports from non-allied countries. Next, we must narrow these vulnerabilities to the extent possible by increasing U.S. production from American mines. Given that we’re nearly at full capacity on domestic mine production, the only way to do this will be through investment in new projects.

Judge dismisses Pebble-funded lawsuit against BBRSDA
Isabelle Ross, KTOO, May 20, 2019

The ruling focused on the scope of BBRSDA’s mission to promote and market seafood. The fishers suing the association define that mission narrowly and don’t view environmental protection as part of the association’s purview. BBRSDA argued that its activities fall within the broader definition of promoting seafood. The court agreed, holding that state statutes define promotion in broad terms. It also pointed out that the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development does not define what that mission entails.

Related: Corps corrects end date for Pebble project comment period

From the Daily on Energy:

BIPARTISAN SENATORS PRESSURE TREASURY TO IMPLEMENT CARBON CAPTURE TAX CREDIT: A bipartisan group of senators pushed the Treasury Department on Monday to move faster to implement an expanded tax credit for carbon capture projects signed into law more than a year ago. Sens. Whitehouse, John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., spearheaded a letter to Treasury requesting the agency commit additional staff to the development of a final rule to implement the 45Q tax credits. The senators, who were the lead sponsors of the bill expanding the tax credits, also urged Treasury to issue an interim rule to allow carbon capture projects to use the tax break immediately.

“Implementation of this legislation is critical for establishing a domestic market for carbon to reduce emissions, create and preserve jobs, and drive further commercial deployment of carbon capture projects,” the senators wrote in the letter.

Project developers have been unable to claim the credit without an implementing rule from Treasury.

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