New leader, new plan for ANWR?; Donlin invests locally

May 6, 2019 | Posted in : News

Ex-energy lobbyist tapped to oversee fish, wildlife and parks
Michael Doyle, E&E News, May 3, 2019

The White House today announced an intention to nominate Wyoming resident, former energy company lobbyist and Capitol Hill veteran Robert Wallace to a key position overseeing the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service.

“Without question, Rob is the right person for this job,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.). “Throughout his long and distinguished career, Rob has demonstrated an unwavering dedication to striking the proper balance between wildlife conservation, habitat management and use of our public land.”

Our take: We wonder if Wallace will stand by the Department’s stance of selection of the most conservative option for the ANWR DEIS.

Russia approves €1 billion LNG transshipment terminal on Kola coast
Atle Staalesen, ArcticToday, May 1, 2019

The Russian federal government intends to spend 70 billion rubles (€965 million) on the construction of a new major Arctic terminal for storage and reloading of LNG. The project investment plan was this week approved by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. It is to stand ready for operations in year 2023.

The government document does not specifically say where in the Kola Peninsula the new terminal is to be built. However, Novatek has earlier made clear that it wants it to be located in Ura Guba, the fjord that houses one of the Northern Fleet’s most important naval bases.

Pompeo announces new sanctions on Iran’s nuclear power complex
John Siciliano, Washington Examiner, May 4, 2019

 The tightening on sanctions on Iran’s nuclear power complex is meant to curb its ability to refine uranium and mitigate its pursuit of a nuclear weapon. Pompeo said Iran would not be able to return to the negotiating table until it ceases all activities related to, or associated with, the construction of a nuclear weapon.

Donlin Gold Looks To Schools, Workforce Development For Future Employees
KYUK, Krysti Shallenberger, May 3, 2019

Donlin is preparing to hire more than 100 people for the final drilling program for its dam safety certification. Those jobs will only last a year, but Donlin also is playing the long game. They help fund scholarships from Calista Corporation and The Kuskokwim Corporation, which own the surface and mineral rights. Donlin also gives money to the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program or ANSEP.

Our take: Wonderful to hear about companies investing in young Alaskans and helping them build skills. Nothing says “Alaska is open for business” more than training youth for jobs that will keep them in our state and engaged in our economy. We heard about similar community investment policies from Northern Star Resources at our Fairbanks luncheon last week.

From the Daily on Energy:

TRUMP SILENT AS TAINTED RUSSIAN OIL SURGES ACROSS EUROPE: The Trump administration offered little or no response to an oil crisis wreaking havoc across Europe, one that Russia’s state-run oil company admitted was intentionally caused by one of its subsidiaries.

Transneft said last week that one of its local companies contaminated millions of barrels of oil flowing into several European countries from Russia, forcing Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Slovakia and other countries to halt imports.

The oil was contaminated with organic elements that would damage refineries in the recipient countries, according to Reuters.

An opportunity for U.S., ignored by the Trump administration: Trump donor and Canary CEO Dan Eberhardt tells John the oil crisis is “a wake-up call” for Europe that it cannot depend on Russian energy supplies, and an opportunity that the U.S. should seize upon.

The Trump administration believes dependence on Russian natural gas makes Europe strategically vulnerable. President Trump wants Europe to diversify its supply by importing more U.S. natural gas.

Eberhardt’s company is one of the largest manufacturers of well components for oil drillers in the United States.

“It could take months to clean up the Druzhba pipeline and dilute all the contaminated oil,” Eberhardt predicts. “In the meantime, refiners in Central and Eastern Europe are going to need to find alternative supplies.”

He says Transneft is a state-owned monopoly, so it will be difficult for Russia to escape the blame for the tainted supply. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said last week that the tainted supply woes will cost Russia’s reputation as a dependable supplier.

“EU leaders may not care much for President Trump, but they have to admit that the US is a much better trading partner than Russia — especially when it comes to something as critical to security as oil and gas supplies,” Eberhardt said.

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LNG not quite “green”?; The Roadless Rule returns; Murkowski on minerals

May 3, 2019 | Posted in : News

Natural Gas World, May 3, 2019

The bottom line is that LNG’s positive attributes are relative not absolute. They depend critically on the point of application – LNG can be expensive and dirty just as much as it can be green and clean. Gas is the best of the fossil fuels, but equally the least worst. Over-selling a product does not engender trust.

That said, there are solid reasons for industry optimism. The depth of demand for LNG is vast because it runs in parallel with the desire to switch from coal to gas, which is strong for both local and global environmental reasons in Europe, China and increasingly other parts of Asia.

Related:  Only Markets Can Make the Green New Deal Real

Congress attempts to strengthen Roadless Rule
Alex McCarthy, Juneau Empire, March 2, 2019

 Environmentalists in Alaska and throughout the country expressed their elation Thursday as members of Congress introduced legislation to strengthen the 2001 Roadless Rule. The rule, commonly referred to as simply the Roadless Rule, protects almost 60 million acres of National Forest Service land from roadbuilding or development. This includes 7.4 million acres in the Tongass National Forest. Sen. Dan Sullivan told the Empire in March that he’s not in favor of keeping the Roadless Rule in place in its entirety, because access to resources is too limited as it is. In a March opinion piece for the Ketchikan Daily News, Sen. Lisa Murkowski said that she’s in favor of greater access in the Tongass to promote resource development. U.S. Rep. Don Young was quoted in September 2017 that he was in favor of repealing the Roadless Rule.

Our Take: Blanket legislation like this, that doesn’t consider the needs of the people it affects, is rarely good in practice. There’s a reason that the Alaska delegation does not support it—roads are necessary to transport materials in and out of resource development sites. Not to mention the transportation of general goods.

From the Daily on Energy:

AS TRUMP OIL SANCTIONS KICK IN, IRAN VOWS NEVER TO BECOME SAUDI ARABIA: Iran defied the U.S. as oil sanctions kicked in on Thursday, vowing never to become like western ally Saudi Arabia.

Ali Larijani, the Iranian equivalent of House speaker, took to the floor of the parliament in defiance of Washington’s demands that it meet 12 preconditions to see sanctions lifted on its most valuable commodity — oil.

If Iran were to agree to President Trump’s “illogical demands” it would mean the humiliation of the Iranian nation to become treated like Saudi Arabia, Larjani said. “So, we have no option except resistance,” he added, calling on the nation’s economy to attain “self-dependency.”

Meanwhile…Iran asks for Saudi help: At the same time Larjani was railing against the U.S. and insulting Saudi Arabia, Iran’s representative at the United Nations in New York was on the phone to Riyadh, asking the Saudis to help save one of its oil tankers adrift in the Red Sea.

Saudi government news dispatches covered the incident in detail, including how the distress call was conveyed to Saudi Arabia’s border police from the U.N., which is not a common occurrence. Typically, an SOS from the ship’s captain would be enough.

From a press release regarding Senator Murkowski’s Bipartisan Legislation to Strengthen America’s Mineral Security:

“Our nation’s mineral security is a significant, urgent, and often ignored challenge. Our reliance on China and other nations for critical minerals costs us jobs, weakens our economic competitiveness, and leaves us at a geopolitical disadvantage,” Murkowski said. “I greatly appreciate the administration’s actions to address this issue, but Congress needs to complement them with legislation. Our bill takes steps that are long overdue to reverse our damaging foreign dependence and position ourselves to compete in growth industries like electric vehicles and energy storage.”

Key provisions of the American Mineral Security Act would:

  • Codify the methodology used in Executive Order 13817 to designate a list of critical minerals and require that list to be updated at least every three years;
  • Require nationwide resource assessments for every critical mineral;
  • Implement several practical, common sense permitting reforms for the Department of the Interior (DOI) and Department of Agriculture Forest Service to reduce delays in the federal process;
  • Reauthorize the National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program for 10 years;
  • Authorize research and development for recycling and replacements for critical minerals, as well as chemistry, material science, and applied research and development for processing of critical minerals;
  • Require coordination and study of energy needs for remote mining deposits with microgrid research and small generation research programs across the Department of Energy’s applied offices; and
  • Require the Secretary of Labor, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Science Foundation to conduct a study of the nation’s minerals workforce.
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US House & Fish and Wildlife Service against drilling in ANWR

May 2, 2019 | Posted in : News

House panel votes to stop oil drilling in Arctic refuge
Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, May 1, 2019 

A House panel approved a bill Wednesday that would block drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), advancing a key Democratic priority. The bill approved by Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee repeals a controversial provision included in President Trump’s 2017 tax law. The provision opened up the sought-after Alaskan land to oil and gas drilling, prompting backlash from environmentalists who have long used protecting the area as a rallying cry. Republicans have hailed the passage of drilling in ANWR, saying it will significantly bolster economic prosperity and boost the nation’s energy independence.

Our take:  The House can try, but as noted “the bill would face significant hurdles in the Republican-lead Senate”. There is currently no way to know if the House will even take it up for a vote.

FWS wants most conservative ANWR option
Elwood Brehmer, Alaska Journal of Commerce, May 1, 2019

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Alaska officials asked the Bureau of Land Management to select Alternative D-2 from the draft environmental impact statement published in December for leasing areas of the roughly 1.5 million-acre Coastal Plain.

Alternative D-2 would open just more than 1 million acres to oil and gas leasing; however, activity on 708,000 of those acres would be restricted by a “no surface activity” designation and another 328,000 acres would be subject to some limitations on type and timing of use to minimize development impacts on wildlife. The D-2 management option would meet the requirements of the tax reform bill while also best preserving the wilderness features prescribed in the 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, according to the memo signed by FWS Alaska Director Greg Siekaniec.

For comparison, the least restrictive alternative would open all 1.5 million acres for leasing and just 359,000 acres — mostly along rivers in the refuge and near Kaktovik — would fall under the designation for no surface occupancy.

Natural gas prices down to zero at Waha Hub
Mella McEwen, Midland Reporter-Telegraph, April 29, 2019

“I keep hearing about all these plans to construct new pipelines … but they aren’t here yet,” Graham said. “The Texas Railroad Commission has the authority to … reduce production, thereby reducing flaring of gas. But their website just keeps boasting about record oil production every month.” Graham also offered a warning: “As production continues to increase, so will flaring of natural gas. If the Railroad Commission doesn’t step in with a solution, I’m afraid the EPA will, and none of us will be happy with that.”

Related:          Analysts See 112 Billion-Cubic Feet Increase In U.S. Natural-Gas Inventories

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China invests in LNG; ConocoPhillips boosts output in AK; global events impact at the pump

May 1, 2019 | Posted in : News

China acquires 20 percent stake in Novatek’s Arctic LNG 2 Project
Malte Humpert, ArcticToday, April 30, 2019

Building on the success of that first project, Novatek is thus far sticking with the same project partners. As the company announced, the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) each secured a 10 percent share, mirroring closely the 20 percent stake CNPC holds in Yamal LNG. French energy major Total, which holds a 20 percent stake in Yamal LNG, already bought a 10 percent share in Arctic LNG 2 last year. “The agreement is an important milestone in our Arctic LNG 2 project implementation as well as a continuation of our successful cooperation with CNPC,” noted Leonid Mikhelson, Novatek’s Chairman of the Management Board. “Arctic LNG 2 will be a game changer in the global gas market.”

Another key building block in Novatek’s strategy to export Arctic LNG to markets in Europe and Asia will be two transshipment hubs outside ice-covered waters near Murmansk, Russia and on the Kamchatka peninsula in the Far East. Currently, the company employs ship-to-ship transfers of LNG in Norwegian waters near Honningsvåg to reload up to 150 shiploads of LNG. However, Novatek recently made it clear that it does not seek to repeat this type of operation in the future, in part due to challenging weather conditions.

Our Take: Hopefully yesterday’s news of Marathon investing in the LNG plant on the Kenai Peninsula is indicative that Alaska is looking to get into the LNG market.

ConocoPhillips boosts Alaska output by 20% in 1Q
Elwood Brehmer, Journal of Commerce, April 30, 2019

ConocoPhillips continued its run of strong returns to start 2019 with its third consecutive quarterly profit of $1.8 billion as its Alaska oil production increased nearly 20 percent.  The Houston-based explorer and producer netted $384 million in the first quarter from its North Slope operations compared to $445 million in 2018, according to its earnings report released April 30. In turn, ConocoPhillips paid $249 million in taxes and royalties to the State of Alaska, according to spokeswoman Natalie Lowman.

Specifically to Alaska, ConocoPhillips produced an average of 210,000 barrels of oil per day in the state, up significantly from an average of 174,000 barrels per day to start 2018, according to the report.

Our take: Among other things, higher production rates mean more money in state coffers. Cheers to ConocoPhillips for showing that Alaska is, indeed, open for business.

Mine opponents ask SEC to investigate Pebble’s parent company
Liz Ruskin, KTOO, April 30, 2019

The Justice and Corporate Accountability Project sent the request on behalf of Earthworks, a mining watchdog. They told the commission that Northern Dynasty Minerals has described a massive deposit to potential investors, while Pebble’s permit application describes a mine barely one-tenth that size. Pebble spokesperson Mike Heatwole said in an email that Pebble has no plans to expand the mine beyond the 20-year development plan the Army Corps of Engineers is evaluating.

What Venezuela’s unrest means for gas prices in America
Thomas Heath, The Washington Post, April 30, 2019

Venezuela’s oil decline “potentially means a lot, especially if you combine it with what [the Trump] administration is up to with respect to Iran sanctions,” said Stephen Brown, an oil consultant with RBJ Strategies. “Regardless of whether you think [Trump’s] sanctions are good or bad,” Brown said, “the impact on global supplies will be significant and, thus, the impact on gasoline prices is going to be significant.” American drivers are feeling the surge at the pump. According to AAA, the national average price for regular gasoline Tuesday was $2.88 a gallon, about 25 cents more than a month ago.

Venezuela once pumped more than 3 million barrels a day and exported more than a third of that. It now produces less than 1 million barrels a day and almost all of that goes to domestic needs, including its 1 cent per gallon gasoline price that helps keep the Maduro regime in power.

Related:   The debate behind Trump’s move to tighten Iran oil sanctions


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Marathon & LNG; Banks becomes strategist on Climate Committee

April 30, 2019 | Posted in : News

Marathon Submitted Application To FERC To Modify LNG Plant
Jennifer Williams, KSRM 920 AM, April 29, 2019

Marathon Petroleum submitted a request, dated on April 12, to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requesting authorization to construct and install modifications to the existing Kenai LNG Plant located in Nikiski. Referred to as ‘Trans-Foreland’ Pipeline Company, who operates under Marathon, is listed on the application. The request submitted to FERC asks to make facility modifications to bring parts of Kenai LNG Plant out of its current warm idle status and add a 1,000 horsepower electric-driven boil-off gas compressor unit. 

Our Take: Exciting to see activity surrounding LNG in Kenai!

How Russia contaminated $2.7 billion of oil exports to Europe
Olga Yagova, Gleb Gorodyankin, Dmitry Zhdannikov, Reuters, April 30, 2019

The oil was contaminated with organic chlorides, compounds used in the industry to boost extraction from oilfields by cleaning oil wells and accelerating the flow of crude. Germany and Poland would need to reverse the flow and pump the crude back to Russia, or ports in Poland, as the refineries in those countries lack sufficient storage tanks to keep it until it can be diluted. “This will take months and Russian exports and even production may have to fall,” said Sen at Energy Aspects, adding that European countries might have to tap strategic oil stocks if the outage lasts longer.

What Oil at $100 a Barrel Would Mean for the World Economy
Enda Curran and Michelle Jamrisko, Bloomberg, April 28, 2019

What does it mean for the world’s biggest economy?

While U.S. oil producers try to take advantage of any sales boost from customers moving away from Iran, the broader U.S. economy won’t necessarily see benefits with oil price tags as high as $100 a barrel. It would be a squeeze on American consumers that are the backbone of still-steady economic growth. Prices at the gas pump already have risen more than 7 percent this month to $2.89 a gallon, which could weigh on retail sales that jumped in March by the most since 2017. And if things go awry in global oil markets, there’s risk that political blame shifts back to the U.S. for the sanctions, which could mean backlash via investment or other channels that threatens economic stability.

From the Daily on Energy:

REPUBLICAN CLIMATE COMMITTEE HIRES FORMER TRUMP ENERGY ADVISER: Republicans of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis announced Wednesday they hired [George David] Banks as the panel’s chief strategist.

Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., the climate committee’s ranking member, also announced the hire of Marty Hall to serve as Republican staff director.

Banks and Hall both worked on climate and energy issues in the George W. Bush administration. Hall currently works for the ClearPath Foundation, a conservative group that advocates for clean energy technology.

But the selection of Banks really caught our eye:
The hiring of Banks is telling for how Republicans could approach the committee, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi created to bring more attention to climate change ahead of the 2020 election.

Banks was a moderate Republican voice in the Trump administration who unsuccessfully lobbied to remain in the Paris climate agreement, promoting a compromise in which the president would commit to less stringent emissions reductions targets than the Obama administration proposed.

Banks has also encouraged Republicans to cooperate with the Green New Deal. He told Josh recently: “There are components of the Green New Deal I would support in principle. The majority of their climate policy reflects a centrist position.”Banks, however, offered a more conservative statement upon being hired for the select climate committee, emphasizing “promoting policies that help preserve a role for all fossil fuels.”

Our take: Banks spoke at our 2019 Meet Alaska trade show and we are pleased to see him take a role that embraces the role that fossil fuels play in the greater climate change conversation.

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O’Rourke’s anti-oil campaign; US Fish & Wildlife attacks BLM

April 29, 2019 | Posted in : News

O’Rourke might halt new oil and gas drilling on federal land
Scott Sonner, AP News, April 25, 2019

The Democratic presidential hopeful told reporters while campaigning in Nevada on Thursday that the nation needs to rethink how it protects its public lands and “keep them from being diminished in size as has happened under” the Trump administration. O’Rourke said that concern, combined with the need to reduce total greenhouse emissions, makes it especially important that U.S. taxpayers don’t allow oil and gas companies “to contribute more to the problem.”


From Daily on Energy, April 29, 2019

BETO O’ROURKE RELEASES $5T PLAN TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE: 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke released a plan Monday to combat climate change, vowing to mobilize $5 trillion in spending over 10 years to address what he called “the greatest threat we face.”

His plan calls for $1.5 trillion in “fully paid for” government spending to mobilize a total of $5 trillion in funding over a decade, to be spent on infrastructure, tax incentives, clean energy research and development, housing and transportation grants in low-income communities, and mitigation measures to help communities prepare for extreme weather events.

To help pay for it, O’Rourke says he would raise taxes on corporations and the wealthy, while ending “tens of billions” of dollars in tax breaks for fossil fuel companies.

Oil Prices Retreat Further From Six-Month High
Dan Molinski, The Wall Street Journal, April 29, 2019

Oil prices fell further Monday as investors continued to book profits after prices hit a six-month high last week and President Trump urged OPEC to boost production to lower oil and fuel prices.

President Trump said his call for OPEC to boost oil production was aimed at reducing U.S. retail gasoline prices, which now stand at $2.88 a gallon, 19 cents higher from a month ago and 8 cents higher from a year ago, according to price-tracking firm GasBuddy. “The national average has resumed its upward climb in the last week with average gas prices rising in nearly all states yet again,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “This spring certainly has brought furious price increases at faster paces than we’ve seen in past years.”

U.S. wildlife regulator slams Trump’s Arctic refuge drilling study
Valerie Volcovici, ArcticToday, April 29, 2019

The Fish and Wildlife Service said the ANWR Coastal Plain draft environmental impact study (EIS) failed to include oil spill response plans, analyze the effects of climate change on the Arctic, or ensure that surveys of polar bear denning habitats are required.

“BLM has an obligation to consider all of these comments — including those from its sister agency (Fish and Wildlife) — and anticipates they will inform the Final EIS in multiple ways,” spokeswoman Molly Block said in an email.

Department of Defense awards deal for new polar icebreaker
Associated Press, April 27, 2019

The U.S. Department of Defense announced Tuesday that it has awarded a Mississippi-based shipbuilder a roughly $745.9 million contract to construct a Polar Security Cutter to bolster the defense’s Arctic presence. The department announced that VT Halter Marine Inc. will construct one of three ships intended to revitalize the U.S. Coast Guard’s fleet of heavy icebreakers, KTVA-TV reported on Friday.


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Offshore drilling to the Supreme Court? Lindsey Graham on Climate Change – “It’s Real”

April 26, 2019 | Posted in : News

Trump administration hits pause on offshore oil plans after Alaska court ruling
Dino Grandoni, The Washington Post, April 25, 2019

A recent federal court decision appears to have struck a blow to President Donald Trump’s plans to expand offshore oil and natural gas drilling across the U.S. continental shelf, with the aim of turning the United States into an energy-exporting behemoth. In his first interview since being confirmed to Trump’s Cabinet, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt told the Wall Street Journal that a recent ruling by a district court in Alaska has stalled plans that at one time called for opening up most U.S. continental-shelf waters to oil and gas companies. Last month, U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason ruled that Trump’s revocation of a ban on oil and gas drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans is illegal. The judge ruled that Congress would need to step in to reverse a decision by President Barack Obama to ban offshore drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.


Drilling pause could help Trump in 2020

Oil prices plunge 3% after Trump says he told OPEC to tame fuel costs
Tom DiChristopher, CNBC, April 25, 2019

Oil prices tumbled as much as 4% on Friday, extending early losses after U.S. President Donald Trump said he told OPEC to take action to temper fuel costs. “The gasoline prices are coming down. I called up OPEC. I said, ‘You’ve got to bring them down. You’ve got to bring them down, and gasoline’s coming down,” Trump told reporters en route to a National Rifle Association event in Indianapolis. In fact, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline is $2.883 per gallon, up from $2.877 a day ago and $2.839 a week ago, according to AAA. Wholesale U.S. gasoline prices have ticked lower in recent days but are still up about 10% from a week ago and nearly 7% from a month ago.

Lindsey Graham: ‘Climate change is real, the science is sound, and solutions are available’
Dallas Business Journal, April 26, 2019

Former Texas governor and current U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry delivered a keynote address Wednesday evening in which he said executives and politicians should continue to embrace innovation, not regulation, to tackle global warming. At the same event, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) took it a step further, saying there will be drastic economic consequences if politicians can’t come together to combat climate change.

Speaking as part of an EarthX2019 discussion in Dallas on climate change and its economic impact, Perry said there isn’t a profitable path to giving up on fossil fuels entirely. He said that renewable sources of energy offer promise, but lack the consistent supply required to be practical as standalone solutions for driving the economy — for now.

Perry said that the U.S. should continue to invest in renewable energy, but that it must do so without surrendering “growth or opportunity.

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Trilogy:   Copper, Zinc and Precious Metals. Murkowski opens door for ENGO’s.

April 25, 2019 | Posted in : News

Trilogy keeps refining Arctic project as it awaits road permit
Elwood Brehmer, Alaska Journal of Commerce, April 24, 2019

Trilogy Metals is in the midst of advancing two mineral prospects in Northwest Alaska but it’s still on the lookout for additional opportunities in the region. The Vancouver-based mining company is preparing its most advanced Arctic copper, zinc and precious metal deposit for permitting. CEO Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse wrote via email that Trilogy is specifically developing an environmental evaluation document to ostensibly organize and vet all of the information about the prospect and planned open-pit mining operations before it is submitted in formal state and federal permit applications. The environmental evaluation goes hand-in-hand with a feasibility-level study of the mine and its forecasted economics, according to Van Nieuwenhuyse. Trilogy has $7 million budgeted for the feasibility and environmental work this year with a goal of having the feasibility study done in early 2020.

Murkowski seeks comment extension on mine draft analysis
Associated Press, April 25, 2019

Alaska’s senior U.S. senator has asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to extend from 90 to 120 days the comment period on a draft environmental review of a proposed copper and gold mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region. In a letter to the corps’ Alaska commander, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski cites the draft’s “length and complexity” and the need to ensure Alaskans can provide “meaningful feedback” on it. She also asks the corps to “redouble” its efforts to meaningfully consult with Alaska Natives who live in the region. She says she expects the corps to seriously consider their input in finalizing the review. A corps spokesman says the corps is considering all requests surrounding the length of the comment period, currently set to run through May 30.

Our Take:   We agree wholeheartedly with the Pebble Project “We fundamentally disagree with Senator Murkowski that extending the public comment window is needed. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers established a comment window that is twice the norm for a resource project, and we commend them for that. Further, all of Alaska’s major trade and industry groups support the 90-day public comment review as more than adequate and have expressed serious reservations about the implications for future resource projects by extending comment periods beyond the norm. We join with these organizations in recognizing there needs to be accountability via the federal government in meeting permit timeline milestones – an issue we thought Senator Murkowski agreed with. Unfortunately, all that happens through a comment window extension is allowing national environmental organizations to flood the ballot box and continue to raise money through opposing resource projects in Alaska.”


Opinion: We are an Alaska Native Corporation that backs Pebble Mine. Here’s why.
Brad Angassan, Juneau Empire, April 25, 2019



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The race to the left on energy policy heats up; Waving goodbye to the Jones Act?

April 24, 2019 | Posted in : News

Democrats Dangerously Moving Even More Left on Energy Policy
Daniel Turner, Real Clear Energy, April 24, 2019

The 2020 Democratic candidates are racing to the left, and if you’re an energy worker or an American who cares about strong economic growth and energy independence, their rhetoric and policies should send a shiver down your spine. This week, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders released proposals they say are needed to fight climate change. In reality, they’d decimate energy jobs, the economy at large, and could even hurt environmental conservation efforts. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren struck first, declaring in a Medium post on Monday that if elected President, she would implement a “total moratorium” on new fossil fuel leases on public lands, including offshore drilling, on her first day in office.

Trump Considering Waiving Jones Act Mandate for Natural Gas, Sources Say
Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Jenny Leonard, Jennifer Jacobs, Bloomberg, April 23, 2019

President Donald Trump is seriously considering waiving the requirement that only U.S.-flagged vessels can move natural gas from American ports to Puerto Rico or the Northeast, according to people familiar with the deliberations. The issue was debated during an Oval Office meeting on Monday, following requests from Puerto Rico and pressure from oil industry leaders to ease the nearly 100-year-old Jones Act requirements, according to three people. Although top administration officials are divided on the issue, Trump is now leaning in favor of some kind of waiver, said two of the people, who asked for anonymity to discuss the private deliberations. The move — which would be fought by U.S shipbuilding interests and their allies on Capitol Hill — has been promoted as essential to lower the cost of energy in Puerto Rico and ease the flow of American natural gas to the U.S. Northeast, where there aren’t enough pipelines to deliver the product from Pennsylvania.

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Costs go up, benefits go down with renewable energy mandates.

April 23, 2019 | Posted in : News

Renewable energy mandates are costly climate policies
Amy Harder, Axios, April 22, 2019

One of the most popular climate-change policies in America — renewable energy mandates — is also expensive, a new study says.   Driving the news: Standards in roughly 30 states that require a portion of electricity to come from renewable sources, mostly wind and solar, are driving up power prices and imposing a high cost to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, according to a new report out today by the University of Chicago. The big picture: Urgency about climate change is growing around the country, with numerous states ramping up their renewable-electricity requirements and lawmakers in Washington mulling similar policies as proposed in the Green New Deal. This report, one of the most comprehensive analyses of its kind, questions the conventional wisdom that says these policies are effectively addressing climate change.

Related – from the Washington Examiner Daily on Energy:

WASHINGTON STATE PASSES 100 PERCENT CLEAN ENERGY BILL: The Washington State legislature passed a bill Monday requiring utilities to generate 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2045.

The measure would also force utilities to stop using coal power by 2025.

Washington is the fourth state in the country, following California, New Mexico, and Hawaii, as well as Washington D.C., to pass 100 percent clean energy legislation.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democratic presidential candidate running a climate-centric platform, is expected to sign the bill.

“On this Earth Day, I couldn’t be more proud of the Legislature’s action to pass the country’s most forward-looking clean energy bill,” Inslee said in a statement

Oil prices hit nearly 6-month highs on fears Trump’s Iran crackdown will lower supply
Tom DiChristopher, CNBC, April 22, 2019

Key Points:

  • Oil prices hit fresh 2019 highs, continuing to rally after Washington announced plans to slash Iranian crude exports.
  • The Trump administration will no longer grant sanctions waivers that allow limited purchases of Iran’s oil.
  • Saudi Arabia says oil producers will “ensure adequate supplies are available to consumers.”


                  Why Goldman Sachs Believes Oil Won’t Go Higher

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