We’ve got great rocks but bad policies; No new entitlements with climate change action

North American Arctic is among the world’s most attractive mining regions 
Ryan Uljua, High North News, March 14, 2019

The North American Arctic is among the world’s premiere regions for new mining investment thanks in large part to its mineral deposits, according to a new survey. The Fraser Institute, a Canadian public policy think tank, released its annual Survey of Mining Companies this month — marking the 21st year the Vancouver-based institute has published the report. In terms of overall investment attractiveness, the four jurisdictions in the North American ranked in the top-15 for overall investment attractiveness: Alaska (5th), Yukon (9th), Northwest Territories (10th), and Nunavut (15th). Last year, only Alaska and Yukon even made the top 20.

Our Take: “ The Fraser Institute’s most recent annual Survey of Mining Companies found strong geologic potential in the North American Arctic, but less friendly policies compared with the European Arctic. “. The good news? Alaska can do something about the policies and Governor Dunleavy has indicated he plans to!

Action on climate change should not include creation of new entitlements
Alex Brill & Phillip Swagel, The Washington Examiner, March 14, 2019

Over the last two years, the United States has scaled back Obama-era climate change policies, withdrawing from the Paris Agreement and rolling back climate-related regulations. But it has not pursued alternative ways to address the risk climate change poses to our environment and our economy.   With Democrats back in control of the House and the days of Republicans’ climate change denial seemingly coming to an end, organized camps have weighed in recently with starkly different ideas for reducing carbon emissions and moving to a clean-energy economy.

Our Take: A market-based approach seems reasonable.

Shipping Companies Banking on Gas Carriers as LNG Demand Grows
Coastas Paris, The Wall Street Journal, March 14, 2019

A raft of U.S. natural gas projects coming online in the next few years are likely to boost the global fleet of seagoing tankers carrying the product by up to a third, as shipping operators jarred by sharp swings in oil markets rush to take advantage of a big new stream of business. At around $175 million each, vessels outfitted for liquefied natural gas can cost up to four times more than other ship types. But top shipowners say they could be the vehicle for most profitable trade in shipping since crude oil tankers powered global maritime fortunes in the 1960s

US budget signals more spending for long-term Arctic strategies
Melody Schreiber, Arctic Today, March 13, 2019

Last month’s federal budget signals that United States may soon be willing to spend more money on programs in the Arctic. The omnibus spending bill signed into law in February authorized funding for a new heavy icebreaker. But that wasn’t the only Arctic directive. The bill also asked the U.S. Coast Guard to report on the resources needed for its Arctic program office — a sign that the federal government is thinking about how to coordinate long-term strategies in the Arctic, observers say. The Senate 2019 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, where this directive originated, highlighted the office’s work supporting the completion of the Bering Strait Port Access Route Study in 2016, which resulted in the first IMO-approved measure for vessel traffic and navigation safety.