Throwback Tuesday: 1970’s Exxon investing in Solar. Gold fever at Kensington Mine!

How Big Oil Of The Past Helped Launch The Solar Industry Of Today
Andrea Hsu, NPR, September 30, 2019

Exxon

Call it a sign of the times.

Renewable energy has gotten so cheap that even oil giant Exxon Mobil, which reported $20.8 billion in earnings in 2018, is getting in on the savings.  Over the next couple of years, Exxon Mobil will begin purchasing wind and solar power in West Texas, part of a 12-year agreement signed late last year with the Danish energy company Orsted. The plan is to use cheap, clean electricity to power Exxon Mobil’s expanding operations in the Permian Basin, one of the world’s most productive oil fields.  It’s not the first-time economic considerations have led the company to explore the possibilities of solar.  Half a century ago — before climate change was a topic of much discussion and before Exxon was accused of deceiving shareholders and the public by downplaying the risks of climate change, prompting investigations and lawsuits — the company then known as Jersey Standard funded groundbreaking research into solar photovoltaic technology, which converts sunlight into electricity.

Our Take:  “economic considerations led the company…”  Markets, not Mandates. 

Kensington Mine eyes federal permit for expansion
Jacob Resneck, CoastAlaska, September 30, 2019

One of Alaska’s largest gold mines seeks to extend its life by a decade.  The Kensington Mine is one of Southeast Alaska’s biggest private employers. Chicago-based Coeur Mining wants to invest in an expansion to extend operations at least through 2034.  “The mine was originally designed for a 10-year mine life and we’ve exceeded that,” Kensington’s General Manager Mark Kiessling told CoastAlaska on Friday.  Coeur Alaska has applied to the U.S. Forest Service to increase its footprint in the Tongass by 150 acres. That would expand three existing waste rock storage sites and add a fourth to boost overall capacity by about 5 million tons.  The mine employs nearly 400 people — with more than 40 percent living in Southeast. The Kensington Gold Mine is located 45 miles north of Juneau in the Tongass National Forest of Alaska. It opened in 2010.

Our Take:  Great news for Southeast Alaska and all of Alaska!  10 more years of high-paying jobs and revenue to the state! 

Mat-Su Borough wants another review of Port MacKenzie as project site
Larry Persily, Oil and Gas News Briefs, September 30, 2019

Just six days before the close of public comment on the draft environmental impact statement for the Alaska LNG project, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough has accused federal regulators of failing to prepare an “adequate analysis” of the municipality’s Port MacKenzie as a potential site for the multibillion-dollar gas liquefaction plant and marine terminal.  The borough filed a motion with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Sept. 27, calling on FERC to prepare a supplemental draft EIS “in order to cure the foundational defects in the current draft.”