News of the Day:
Off the cliff
Craig Medred, September 9, 2020
The invisible, pandemic coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has gone after the three-legged stool of Alaska’s private sector economy like a big, angry beaver, according to the Alaska Department of Labor.
“As of mid-July, only four states’ (job declines) were steeper than Alaska’s,” observed Dan Robinson, the agency’s chief of research and analysis. “The grimmest job picture was in Hawaii, still down 16.2 percent from July 2019 levels. New York had the next-largest loss at 13.7 percent, followed by Massachusetts at 12 percent and Vermont at 11.8 percent.”
The only good news is that Alaska isn’t Hawaii.
New Analysis Shows Ban on Leasing and Development on Federal Lands and Waters Would Threaten U.S. Energy Security, American Jobs and Environmental Progress
American Petroleum Institute, September 10, 2020
The American Petroleum Institute (API) today released a new analysis warning of negative consequences from a proposed ban on federal leasing on natural gas and oil development on public lands and waters. The analysis projects that a ban would shift the U.S. to foreign energy sources, cost nearly one million American jobs, increase CO2 emissions and reduce revenue that funds education and key conservation programs.
America’s energy security would be at risk:
- By 2030, offshore production for natural gas would decrease by 68 percent and for oil by 44 percent.
- U.S. oil imports from foreign sources would increase by 2 million barrels a day.
- Through 2030, the U.S. would spend $500 billion more on energy from foreign suppliers.
The U.S. economy would take a hit:
- U.S. GDP would decline by a cumulative $700 billion through 2030.
- Over $9 billion in government revenue, including funding for state education and conservation programs, would be at risk.
Nearly one million jobs would be lost by 2022, with top production-states suffering significant losses.
- Texas would lose nearly 120,000 jobs.
- New Mexico would lose over 62,000 jobs.
- Wyoming would lose over 33,000 jobs.
No new LNG projects approved in 2020 – for the first time in two decades?
Ekaterina Kravtsova, Scott DiSavino, Reuters, September 8, 2020
No new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects could be approved this year for the first time in at least two decades, banking and industry sources said, after the COVID-19 pandemic drove down energy demand and knocked prices to all-time lows. In a stark contrast to last year’s record level of approvals for LNG production plants, 2020’s dramatic oil and gas price drop has forced companies to delay decisions on new projects and write down investments in existing plants. The last year in which no new LNG exports plants were approved was 1998, consultancy Wood Mackenzie told Reuters, while the International Energy Agency estimated it was at least two decades ago.
Tectonic cuts new lands deal with Doyon
Shane Lasley, North of 60 Mining News, September 4, 2020
Tectonic Metals Inc. has cut a deal with Doyon Ltd. that significantly expands its gold exploration properties in Alaska’s Goodpaster Mining District and strengthens its mutually beneficial partnership with the Interior Alaska Native regional corporation. “We are committed to our goal of finding the next Alaskan gold mine and providing economic and social benefits to the communities in which we work and operate,” said Tectonic Metals President and CEO Tony Reda. Under an agreement announced on Sept. 2, Tectonic has entered into a long-term exploration, development, and production lease on 65,600 acres of Doyon lands adjacent to or near its Tibbs gold project in the Goodpaster District.
UN anti-racial discrimination committee questions ANWR drilling decision
Grant Robinson, KTUU, September 8, 2020
A United Nations committee is questioning the way the U.S. Government issued a decision to advance oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Last month’s Record of Decision outlined the federal government’s plan to auction oil and gas leases in approximately 1.5 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The lands are considered sacred by the Gwich’in people, who depend on the porcupine caribou herd, which calves in the Coastal Plain.
In August, the chair of the United Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination wrote to the U.S. representative at the U.N., Andrew Bremberg, requesting the United States look into a number of requests concerning drilling in ANWR, including measures taken to “guarantee the respect of the right to consultation and to free, prior and informed consent of the Gwich’in indigenous peoples,” and “effectively protect the sacred sites of indigenous peoples.”