Is AK benefiting from Oil Sanctions? Senate minority pandering for bad public policy.  

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Alaska Might Be Benefiting from Oil Sanctions
Ed King, King Economics Group, July 22, 2019

Alaska North Slope (ANS) oil has been selling at a premium to Brent for nearly a year, and we are seeing millions of dollars of added benefit as a result. The mostly likely cause is oil sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.   Let’s explore the situation.


Governor denies Democrats’ request to add oil tax reform to session
Sean Maguire, KTUU, July 20, 2019

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has denied a request from Senate Democrats to add oil tax reform to the call of the second special session.  “With only a matter of days left in the special session, the Senate Democrats surely know there simply isn’t enough time to even begin examining any segment of the state’s petroleum tax structure,” read a prepared statement from the governor.  The Senate Democrats sent a letter to the governor July 18 asking that oil tax reform be discussed. “We share a grave, growing concern with many Alaskans that the state’s current oil tax structure has not provided the people the benefits to which they are entitled,” read the letter signed by five Democratic senators.

Our Take:  Good for the Governor. Trying to deal with an incredibly complicated subject like oil taxes with only days left in  a session dedicated to budgets means no analysis or deliberation.  Not a great way to make good public policy. 


Oil prices rise after Iran seizes British tanker
Reuters, July 21, 2019

Oil prices rose on Monday on concerns that Iran’s seizure of a British tanker last week may lead to supply disruptions in the energy-rich Gulf.  Brent crude futures climbed 53 cents, or 0.9%, to $63 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 25 cents, or 0.5%, at $55.88 a barrel.  Last week, WTI fell over 7% and Brent lost more than 6%.  “The events in the Gulf have definitely taken the market into more bullish territory in today’s trading,” said Erik Norland, senior economist at CME Group.  “But that doesn’t mean markets will continue to go higher, and previous incidents in the Gulf haven’t driven up prices much – suggesting that investors’ calculus, rightly or wrongly, is that a war is not very likely.”

                U.S. Shale Producers Benefit as Oil Disruptions Plague Middle East


Berkley Bans Natural Gas:  Poor and minority families will pay more for utilities.
The Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2019

The Berkeley, California, City Council is getting headlines for its decision last week to ban supposedly gendered language from its city code. “Manhole” and “manpower” are now out in favor of “maintenance hole” and “human effort.” Somewhere George Orwell is crying, but the city’s progressive lords were even more destructive when they also moved to ban natural gas from nearly all new buildings.  The ordinance is due for a second reading this week and already has unanimous council support. Beginning Jan. 1, with few exceptions the city will deny developers permission to build a home, town house or small apartment building with natural gas hook-ups for cooking, heating or hot water. The ordinance’s stated goal is “fossil free new buildings,” and Berkeley plans to expand the ban to bigger apartment buildings and commercial structures.


From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy: 

MILLENNIAL REPUBLICANS WANT ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE, SURVEY FINDS: Another conservative group, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, released the results of a national survey Monday of millennial Republican voters that found over two-thirds want the party to do more to combat climate change.
About 67% of 801 GOP voters ages 18-38 who were surveyed said they believe the Republican Party needs to do more. However, fewer than half (49%) say that ignoring climate change will be harmful to the Republican Party. One-third of voters polled disagree with that view.
More than four in five, 82%, of millennial Republicans said it is very important or at least somewhat important for the U.S. to expand the use of renewable energy.