Pipeline Investors Fight Climate Change – Sierra Club on the Sidelines.

Pipeline Investors Fight Climate Change
Simon Lack, Forbes, September 12, 2018

Although the Sierra Club attracts members who care deeply about the environment, they have opposed the most successful steps taken to lower CO2 emissions. The Shale Revolution has unlocked vast amounts of cheap American natural gas. This is steadily replacing coal as a source of electricity. As a result, the U.S. is far ahead of everyone in reducing its CO2 output over the past decade

Our Take: “ Environmental groups like the Sierra Club try to claim the moral high ground. But by opposing all energy sources except solar and wind, they are against the most successful steps we’ve taken to slow global warming. Most of our energy will continue to come from fossil fuels for decades to come.”

Russian warships hold drills in Bering Sea in huge military exercise
Reuters, September 14, 2018

Russian warships held drills in the Bering Sea which separates Russia from Alaska, part of Moscow’s biggest military maneuvers since the fall of the Soviet Union, footage aired by the Ministry of Defense showed on Friday. The Vostok-2018 (East-2018) drills, which run until Sept. 17, are taking place in Siberia and in waters off Russia’s eastern coast, involving 300,000 troops, over 1,000 military aircraft and two naval fleets. The drills are taking place at a time of heightened tension between the West and Russia, and NATO has said it will monitor the exercise closely, as will the United States which has a strong military presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

Our Take: While inspecting the war games, Putin said “Russia is a peaceful country…”.

Gas agreement, but what about the pipeline project?
Liz Raines, KTVA, September 13, 2018

Two of the three major North Slope leaseholders have signed gas sales agreements with the agency overseeing a state-owned natural gas pipeline project. But the agreement doesn’t exactly get state closer to a gas line, according to Larry Persily, a former federal coordinator for Alaska gas line projects. On Monday, ExxonMobil signed a binding gas agreement in which the company would sell gas to the state for export to Asian markets if the pipeline project is successful. The gas agreement is just one of the dozens of contracts in the state-run project. So, how meaningful is this particular piece?

Congress funding bill to help Alaska’s military, energy needs
Jeff Bridges, KTVA, September 13, 2018

Some highlights from the bill:

  • Provides $286.8 million for military construction projects in Alaska, including: $63.8 million at Eielson Air Force Base for F-35 bed down project; $174 million at Clear Air Force Station for Long Range Discrimination Radar; $8 million at Fort Greely for improving a missile field; $41 million for two Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson projects: a replacement operations facility and U.S. property and fiscal office
  • Methane Hydrates: Provides $20 million to further research the production of natural gas from methane hydrates and encourages a long-term methane hydrate production test in the Arctic. (Alaska’s Arctic contains an estimated 32,600 trillion cubic feet of natural gas locked in ice crystals – enough to meet domestic demand for more than 1,000 years.)
  • Denali Commission: Provides $15 million for the Commission tasked with coordination of construction and infrastructure efforts in rural Alaska

Our Take:   A big shot in the arm for Alaska’s fragile economy.