To carry out the salmon habitat measure, Alaska must decide what ‘significant’ means
Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk, November 1, 2018
Alaskans will soon vote on Ballot Measure 1, the controversial initiative aimed at protecting Alaska’s salmon habitat. Companies behind big proposed mines and oil developments have helped raise millions of dollars to campaign against it. But beyond big resource development projects, opponents say Ballot Measure 1 could hinder projects like road improvements. Supporters counter that it was specifically written to allow vital infrastructure projects to go forward. So how will the ballot measure affect mid-sized projects used by everyday Alaskans? The answer isn’t clear-cut. Part of the uncertainty on how the salmon habitat initiative could affect things like small-scale hydro projects or mom-and-pop placer mines hinges on a single phrase in the ballot measure: “significant adverse effects.”
Our Take: Uncertainty is the enemy of investment. Even the proponents of BM1 acknowledge that critical elements of this proposed new law will be determined AFTER Alaskans vote on the initiative. Can you imagine how many lawsuits can be filed over three simple words “significant adverse effects?” Headlamp can. Read Ed Kings’ piece below on the status of our economy. We are not out of a recession yet. Why would we do anything to harm our economy?
Alaska by the Numbers – November Edition
Ed King, King Economics Group, November 1, 2018
Read about the big news that broke last month, and how it impacts Alaska’s economy.
Exxon, Chevron Profits Soar as Big Oil Returns to Dominance
Bradley Olson, The Wall Street Journal, November 2, 2018
Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. each reported their highest third-quarter profits in four years as the world’s largest oil companies appeared to have finally shaken off the malaise of a years long oil price crash. Exxon’s net income rose 57% to $6.24 billion as improved operations helped the company reap the benefits of higher prices for drilling and better refining margins. Chevron’s profits doubled to $4 billion and its production in the red-hot Permian basin in West Texas and New Mexico surged 80%.
White House officials are pushing back on the idea that a trade deal with China is imminent
CNBC, November 2, 2018
For a brief moment Friday, there was optimism in the market that the Trump administration was getting closer to a trade deal with China. But administration officials are telling CNBC that there is no indication of an imminent agreement. On Friday, a report that said President Donald Trump had asked U.S. officials to prepare a draft trade agreement with China sent the market higher. Then, after it became clear that the reported progress might not materialize, the Dow went negative. Three senior administration officials told CNBC on Friday that there is no indication of an imminent trade deal, despite some progress being made behind the scenes. Later Friday, Trump’s top economic advisor Larry Kudlow told CNBC’s “Halftime Report” that Trump had not asked his Cabinet to put together a draft trade deal.
From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:
RICK PERRY IS OFF TO EUROPE NEXT WEEK TO SECURE LNG DEAL: Energy Secretary Rick Perry is off to Europe next week to continue discussions on energy security with Poland, Ukraine, Hungary and Czech Republic “to build on his recent efforts to elevate American energy partnerships in the region.”
Perry is also expected to announce a new liquified natural gas deal with Poland, Axios first reported on Thursday. The deal is part of the Trump plan to diversify the region’s energy supply away from Russia.
Our Take: Good for America and for Alaska LNG. China may have the demand, but the trade war and China’s questionable business practices don’t make them the best partner for Alaska LNG.
Last fall, after a trio of deadly hurricanes, ratings companies warned vulnerable coastal cities to get ready for climate change — or face higher borrowing costs on the $3.9 trillion municipal bond market. Climate advocates cheered, hoping the prospect of downgrades would push local officials to better protect their residents from the effects of global warming. Twelve months, two catastrophic storms and thousands of credit ratings later, those companies have yet to downgrade a single city because of climate change. The companies, which include Moody’s Corp. and Fitch Ratings Ltd., say that’s because cities are taking steps to protect themselves.
Our Take: “climate advocates cheered” at the thought of their communities facing higher borrowing costs. Nothing says “I care” about my community more than hoping bad things happen to it. SMH.