TGIF – White House Trumps Protestors with Executive Order on Pipelines

White House planning executive order that aims to boost pipeline construction, lower energy prices
Kayla Tausche, CNBC, April 5, 2019

  • The order directs the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency to clarify Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, the law that gives states authority over permits where water quality is concerned, sources say.
  • The effort is spurred by the blockage of the construction of the 125-mile Constitution Pipeline from Pennsylvania to New York.
  • Officials say the administration’s broader goal is to lower energy prices by accelerating the transport of natural gas and to reaffirm U.S. energy “dominance,” a word that appeared multiple times in an early draft of the order.

Our Take: Great move by the administration! Lowering energy prices shouldn’t be held hostage to politics – natural gas is clean, affordable and available – let’s build some pipelines to transport it!

Russia and Canada may lose their legal claim to Arctic seaways as ice melts, experts say
Melody Schreiber, Arctic Today, April 4, 2019

As the Arctic changes rapidly, a key legal justification for Russian and Canadian control of Arctic seaways may change as well. At two different D.C. events recently, experts discussed Article 234 of the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which grants coastal nations the right to “adopt and enforce non-discriminatory laws and regulations” in order to reduce and prevent marine pollution in ice-covered areas of those countries’ exclusive economic zones. The law applies strictly to places covered by ice for most of the year, because the ice creates extreme environments and exceptional navigation hazards that could result in ecological damage from ships. Both Russia and Canada have interpreted the article to support their control over the Northern Sea Route and the Northwest Passage, respectively.

Related:

Russia stakes its hold on the Arctic with a new military base

U.S. LNG to China will increase despite trade tension: Cheniere
David Stenway, Meng Meng, Reuters, April 4, 2019

Shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States to China will increase over the long term despite ongoing trade tensions, senior executives of Cheniere Energy, the biggest U.S. exporter of the super-chilled fuel, told Reuters.   “It’s clear that the U.S. LNG trade with China is just beginning because U.S. LNG has just started,” Cheniere Vice President Robert Fee told Reuters on the sidelines of the LNG2019 conference in Shanghai on Thursday.   “U.S. LNG to China will increase and that will happen organically. We are thinking long-term and Chinese demand is long-term.”

Our Take: AGDC, BP and Exxon are currently working on an economic analysis of the Alaska LNG project. Having a strong market in Asia certainly is a factor in the economic viability of the project.