Round 2: Sturgeon, the Supremes and States Rights. Phaseout of fossil fuels?

Justices sound favorable to Alaska hunter with hovercraft
Associated Press, November 5, 2018

The Supreme Court sounded skeptical Monday of the National Park Service’s authority to prevent an Alaskan moose hunter from using his motorized rubber boat to access remote areas of the state. The justices heard arguments in a case that tests the limits of the federal government’s authority in a state in which more than 60 percent of the land is federally owned. The state and moose hunter John Sturgeon are arguing that the Park Service cannot enforce a national ban on amphibious vehicles known as hovercraft on a river in Alaska for which the state claims ownership, even though it runs through a national conservation area. Sturgeon won an earlier round at the Supreme Court.

Our Take: Hooray for John Sturgeon! Headlamp hopes for the best. As you consider who to vote for today for Governor, remember that Mike Dunleavy supports Sturgeon and states rights, while Mark Begich does not. Dunleavy is also a “No on One” while Begich is a “Yes”.

More and more Democrats are running on a total phaseout of fossil fuels
Josh Siegel, October 25, 2018

Democrats from all walks of political office are going for broke in the midterm elections on transitioning the U.S. electricity system away from fossil fuels to more quickly combat climate change.   More than 1,400 candidates running for every level of government office this November have committed to some form of a goal to mandate 100 percent clean, zero-emissions electricity in their state by 2050, according to the environmental group League of Conservation Voters.

Our Take: Campaign rhetoric or an achievable goal?

Oil tumbles 2%, briefly enters bear market, after Trump grants Iran sanctions waivers
Reuters, November 6, 2018

Oil prices tumbled more than 2 percent on Tuesday, briefly entering a bear market, after the Trump administration granted sanctions waivers that will allow some of Iran’s biggest customers to continue importing its oil. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dropped $1.33, or 2.1 percent, to $61.77 a barrel by 11:30 a.m. ET (1630 GMT), after six straight days of losses. International Brent crude oil futures were down $1.50, or 2.1 percent, at $71.67 a barrel, after breaking a five-day losing streak on Monday. The United States on Monday restored sanctions targeting Iran’s oil, banking and transport sectors and threatened more action to stop what Washington called its “outlaw” policies, steps Tehran called economic warfare and vowed to defy.

Related:
Iran Sanctions Won’t Fuel Oil Prices for Long
Sarah MacFarlane, The Wall Street Journal, November 3, 2018

Rosneft in stand-off with oil buyers as it seeks sanctions protection
Olga Yagova, Reuters, November 6, 2018

Rosneft wants its Western oil buyers to accept new terms and pay penalties from 2019 if they fail to pay for supplies in the event that new U.S. sanctions on the Russian energy major disrupt its oil sales, according to trading sources and Rosneft’s draft contracts. The buyers — including some of the world’s biggest oil companies and traders such as BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Vitol and Gunvor — are fiercely opposing the move, according to trading sources. The stand-off is likely to force Rosneft to soften its demands, the sources said, adding that the development shows the extent to which the state-owned oil giant is concerned about widening U.S. sanctions on Russia. “It is all very uncertain with the sanctions and Rosneft is clearly worried and is trying to minimize possible risks,” said a trading source with a European major. “We said no, we couldn’t accept this,” he added.