AK Leg’s Chess Game with Southcentral Solution

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Today’s Key Takeaways:  War on oil cost U.S. $250B in lost output. Lack of AK legislative action delays Southcentral gas shortage solution. Discovery Alaska announces evaluation of gold deposit. Blocking Biden’s EV mandate.


Study says Biden’s oil strategy cost the US $250 billion in lost output
The National Desk, June 14, 2024

A new study from the Committee To Unleash Prosperity says the Biden administration’s war on oil and gas has cost America $250 billion in lost output.

Former White House economic adviser Steve Moore joined The National Desk Friday morning to discuss the study he co-authored.

“Well, I think everyone remembers that one of Joe Biden’s first acts of office when he came to enter the presidency was to shut down the Keystone XL pipeline,” Moore said. “And ever since that day, it’s been one assault after another against the oil and gas industry, an industry that he’s actually said he wants to destroy. And just a few weeks ago, Jan, he took over a million prime acres of oil and gas lands and Alaska offline. Those things are making it much much harder to produce oil and gas here in the United States.”

The study estimates that the U.S. could get back to producing around 3 million more barrels a day if the country were to revert back to policies under former President Donald Trump.

“We are producing about 13 million barrels a day today, which is good, but we should be producing about 16 or 17 million barrels a day,” Moore said. “We should be the number one producer. And so what we’ve done is empowered OPEC to be able to control the oil prices they did back in the 1970s … Don’t forget when we had Trump’s energy policies in place, people were paying $2.49 a gallon so that’s like $1.30 a gallon tax that people are paying because this crazy war on American energy.”

This comes as the U.S. dollar’s role as the currency used for crude oil transactions on the world market was allowed to expire because we’ve had the petrodollar agreement with Saudi Arabia for 50 years now.

“Well, we want to make sure that if we’re the number one oil producer, you know, we don’t have to be dependent on countries like Saudi Arabia and countries like Iran and countries like Russia,” Moore said. “So you know, by the way, the dollar is still the world reserve currency and always will be but the fact is that when we’re not producing enough oil and gas, that is a better way. It’s not as if the world’s using less oil and gas, they’re using more of it. It just means when we reduce our output, the oil and gas has to come from somewhere else.”


OPINION: No easy solutions for Southcentral Alaska gas shortage
Tim Bradner, Anchorage Daily News, June 16, 2024

Natural gas is needed to heat homes and other buildings in Southcentral Alaska, and if we can’t produce enough locally, it will have to be imported as liquefied natural gas, or LNG. We won’t like that, but winters are cold.

The cost of imported LNG could also be double what we pay now, Enstar Natural Gas Co. warns. Enstar is the natural gas distribution utility serving Anchorage and other Southcentral communities, where most of the state’s population lives.

Natural gas heats our buildings. Not just homes, but for businesses and institutions like hospitals, schools, and the university — and don’t forget Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

Enstar has no alternative to natural gas. Renewable energy like wind and solar provides electricity, but gas provides heat. As Cook Inlet’s gas fields start winding down in 2027, which our state Division of Oil and Gas says they will, we need to make sure we have enough.

The shortage may hit earlier, too. Enstar says it still doesn’t have all the gas it needs under contract for the winter of 2025-26.

Electric utilities like Chugach Electric Association and Matanuska Electric Association are in better shape. They largely depend on gas too, but they have alternatives like hydropower along with some wind and solar. Large wind and solar projects, and expansion of hydro, are planned that will reduce the need for gas, but they won’t replace it in the near- or even mid-term.



Discovery Alaska evaluates Vinasale gold
Shane Lasley, North of 60 Mining News, June 14, 2024

Identifies resource expansion and exploration targets at Tintina Gold Belt project.

Discovery Alaska Ltd. June 13 announced that its initial evaluation of data from historical exploration at Vinasale has identified resource expansion at the 2-million-ounce \gold project in Alaska.

Lying about 16 miles south of the Southwest Alaska mining town of McGrath, Vinasale is a roughly 6,500-acre project owned by Doyon Ltd., an Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) regional corporation.

A calculation completed for the Central Zone deposit at Vinasale in 2013 outlined 3.41 million metric tons of indicated resource averaging 1.48 grams per metric ton gold (162,000 oz) gold and 53.25 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 1.05 g/t (1.8 million oz) gold, at a cut-off grade of 0.5 g/t gold.

In January, Discovery Alaska announced that it had entered into a 15-year lease agreement with Doyon for Vinasale.

“This is a significant opportunity to rapidly develop an advanced gold project at an exciting time for the gold sector with record gold prices and within a proven high-quality gold district,” Discovery Alaska Director Jerko Zuvela said at the time.

Following the transaction, Discovery Alaska has reviewed the historical resource block model for Central Zone at Vinasale, identified follow-up target areas from historical geological and geophysical datasets, and is planning a program for the next phase of work at the project.



API Sues to Block Biden’s De Facto EV Mandate
Tsvetana Paraskova, OilPrice.com, June 13, 2024

The American Petroleum Institute (API) is filing on Thursday a lawsuit seeking to block the Biden Administration’s new strict tailpipe emission standards, which opponents say are a de-facto mandate for electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing and purchases.

In March, the Environmental Protection Agency announced the finalization of new tailpipe emission standards. The agency boasted that these were the strictest standards ever, adding that they would save money, create jobs, and eliminate billions of tons of CO2 emissions.

API and other organizations argued at the time that the new regulation “will effectively eliminate most new gas-powered cars and traditional hybrids from the U.S. market in just eight short years.”

In April, the attorney generals of 25 U.S. Republican-governed states urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to review the new rule on tailpipe emissions, find it “unlawful,” and “vacate the agency’s final action.”

“This is an attack on rural America and rural Americans who are working really hard to make ends meet—they are going to get bludgeoned by this rule,” said West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who led the lawsuit effort along with Kentucky Attorney General Russell Coleman.

The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has also criticized the new tailpipe emissions rule, saying last month that despite the dealers’ efforts and investments to promote EVs, “the EPA’s final rule remains far ahead of consumer demand.”

“As a result, this rule is not achievable in the time frame provided and would severely limit the ability of consumers to choose a new vehicle that meets their budget and transportation needs.”

Now the API, which will be joined by corn grower associations that rely on gasoline to boost their ethanol industry, is taking the EPA to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to seek that the new rule be blocked.