Op-Ed: Attorneys general as political ambulance chasers: America’s energy policy should be decided by legislation, not litigation
Legal News Line, George Brauchler, May 24, 2018
There is a new phenomenon sweeping America. Attorneys general have become ideological ambulance chasers, racing to court to file politically motivated lawsuits seeking to mandate policies too extreme and unpopular to win the support of Congress, state legislatures, or the public. This is best highlighted by recent politically motivated climate change lawsuits. Cities and counties in Colorado and Washington state are the latest to join California and New York City in a misguided crusade against America’s energy manufacturers. Their lawsuits castigate individual companies — some of whom do not even operate in the cities or states suing them — for global climate change, solely to impose financial penalties to justify perceived harm.
Our Take: Policy decided by legislation not litigation! Every time you see “Colorado” in this quote – replace it with “Alaska.” “These lawsuits may clamor about climate change, but they do little to improve the environment or protect Colorado’s greatness. Instead, these lawsuits dramatically increase costs for Colorado’s families and businesses, while enriching trial lawyers on both sides of the issue. I believe it is important to protect my state’s environment. But endlessly suing lawful businesses to attempt policy change is not the Colorado way.” Trustees for Alaska and the Alaska Center (who dropped the “for the environment” from their name) fit well in the category of ideological ambulance chasers.
Zinke, Burgum tout innovation over regulation at oil conference
Bismarck Tribune, Amy Dalrymple, May 23, 2018
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum shared similar visions Wednesday for regulating oil development, focused on partnering with industry to spur innovation. “I don’t think the government should be in a position to be an adversary,” Zinke said as he delivered the keynote speech at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck. “We have to, as Interior, be a better partner. We have to work with industry.”
Our Take: Innovation over regulation in the oil and gas industry. Partners not adversaries. Nuff said.
High Tech Mining in the Gold Belt
Barrick, May 23, 2018
An immersive website experience created by Barrick Gold gives users a sense of how the mining sector is not only evolving, but leading innovative practices across the globe.
Transboundary mine meeting includes State Department, B.C. reps
KTOO Public Media, Ed Schoenfeld, May 23, 2018
Alaskans concerned about possible impacts of British Columbia mines on cross-border rivers will get an update during a June 1 meeting in Juneau. Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott will host the third annual transboundary mining meeting. Mallott aide Albert Kookesh said officials from the federal, state and British Columbia governments will attend. So will tribal, industrial, environmental, fisheries and other leaders. He said this year’s meeting will allow more time for discussion than previous gatherings. “This is a chance for stakeholders, people who are interested in those types of transboundary issues, to come and talk to the powers that be, if you want to say it that way,” he said.
Our Take: This would be a great opportunity for the Lt. Governor to educate folks about the many ways modern-day miners use technology and data to make their operations safer, more productive and more sustainable, as highlighted by Hal Quinn of the National Mining Association.
China’s Sinopec to boost U.S. crude imports to all-time high: sources
Reuters, Florence Tan, May 23, 2018
Sinopec, Asia’s largest refiner, will boost U.S. crude oil imports to an all-time high as China tries to reduce its trade deficit with the United States, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday. The company’s trading arm Unipec has bought 16 million barrels, or about 533,000 barrels per day (bpd), of U.S. crude to load in June, they said, the largest volume ever to be lifted in a month by the company. “The government has encouraged us to lift more U.S. crude,” one of the sources said.
Our Take: Just a reminder to our readers that Sinopec is a potential partner for the Alaska LNG project.
88 Energy to reenter Icewine well to test production capacity
Alaska Journal of Commerce, Elwood Brehmer, May 23, 2018
88 Energy is getting ready to test the production capacity of its latest North Slope exploration well as it evaluates seismic data that could lead to more drilling. The small Australian independent explorer plans to reenter the Icewine-2 well on June 11. After pressure gauges are retrieved from down the wellbore, the company will employ a nitrogen lift to recover up to 4,000 barrels of drilling and other fluids from the reservoir before production tests begin, according to a May 21 release on its upcoming operations.
Successful Slope season stirs optimism at DNR
Alaska Journal of Commerce, Elwood Brehmer, May 23, 2018
Alaska’s top resource managers believe a successful exploration season could signal the dawn of a renaissance on the North Slope. Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Andy Mack said that ConocoPhillips going “six-for-six” and finding commercial quantities of oil in all the exploration wells it drilled last winter is not only encouraging for the company, but for the long-term future of the state as well. “I think what we see is the success rate of drilling wells in the Arctic is really high based on modern technology, really good seismic data, the fact that they’re starting to hone in on the Nanushuk formation. It’s incredibly good news for Alaska,” Mack emphasized in an interview.
Our Take: A renaissance on the North Slope means the quality of life for every Alaskan will improve- more jobs, more money in the economy, more tax revenue for the state. Yes, Commissioner Mack, it is incredibly good news for Alaska. Let’s try not to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by creating an unstable business climate.