Former public face of Pebble mine could lead the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, January 28, 2019
The former public face of the Pebble mine project is advancing closer to a confirmation vote as head of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, despite a surge of public testimony in opposition. On Friday, the Alaska Senate Resources Committee recommended that the nomination of Jason Brune by Gov. Mike Dunleavy be forwarded to a confirmation vote during a joint session of the Alaska House and Alaska Senate. The recommendation, largely a formality, came after one hour of questions from senators and one hour of public testimony primarily from opponents of his confirmation.
Our Take: Commissioner Brune is an excellent choice to lead the Department of Environmental Conservation. Opponents who claim his long resume of promoting responsible resource development will lead him to destroy the environment are just plain wrong.
U.S. Refiners Brace for Venezuelan Supply Crunch
Irina Slav, OilPrice.Com, January 29, 2019
The Trump administration announced new sanctions on Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA, which will significantly reduce its crude oil exports to Gulf Coast refiners, Reuters reports, without adding any details as to the nature of the sanctions. But according to Rystad Energy, ‘’the effects of the sanctions will not be as harsh as the United States expects’’ as PDVSA will be looking to re-route crude exports. New sanctions against Venezuela have been discussed for a while as the situation in the South American country quickly deteriorated after the start of the second presidential term of Nicolas Maduro. There was some skepticism among analysts whether Washington will go the whole nine yards and slap a blanket oil import ban on Venezuelan crude, and the Reuters report seems to confirm it. A total ban on Venezuelan oil imports would push prices at the pump considerably until Gulf Coast refiners replace their deliveries with other sources of heavy crude.