Dunleavy sends letter encouraging potential Pebble investor
Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media, August 26, 2019
Officially, Gov. Mike Dunleavy is neutral on the Pebble mine. But a letter he wrote to a potential investor in the controversial project calls his neutrality into question. “It’s like a PR letter from Pebble,” mine opponent Norm Van Vactor said after reading a July 30 letter Dunleavy sent to the CEO of a Canadian company called Wheaton Precious Metals. Alaska Public Media obtained the letter in response to a public records request. In it, Dunleavy said he’d seen a letter Wheaton received from the Natural Resources Defense Council. The environmental group, along with Bristol Bay tribal leaders and commercial fishermen, pressed Wheaton not to invest in Pebble, which would be built at the headwaters of rivers that flow into the bay. In his own letter to Wheaton Precious Metals, Dunleavy said the state has a keen interest in the project, as the land owner. “I want to assure you the state will stand by those who invest in Alaska,” he wrote. Once the appropriate permits are granted, the governor wrote, “I am equally committed to removing obstacles that would hinder immediate construction.”
Our take: What’s wrong with an “open for business” Governor letting potential investors know that, “once the appropriate permits are granted”, the state will work to remove obstacles that would stop progress? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Unless you are the mainstream media, suffering from Dunleavy Derangement Syndrome (DDS). Calling the Governor’s neutrality into question shows that the media can’t (or won’t) differentiate between process and project. An elected official promising to let the process work, and once the legal process is completed, defend the results of the process isn’t really newsworthy – unless you wake up everyday with DDS.
ExxonMobil, Mosaic Eye New CCS Tech
Natural Gas News, August 27, 2019
US major ExxonMobil and Mosaic Materials have agreed to explore new technology for removing carbon dioxide from emissions sources, they said August 26. Mosaic Materials has progressed research on a unique process that uses porous solids, known as metal-organic frameworks, to separate carbon dioxide from air or flue gas. The agreement with ExxonMobil will enable further discussion between the two companies to evaluate opportunities for industrial-scale use of the technology. “New technologies in carbon capture will be critical enablers for us to meet growing energy demands, while reducing emissions,” said ExxonMobil. “Our agreement with Mosaic expands our carbon capture technology research portfolio, which is evaluating multiple pathways – including evaluation of carbonate fuel cells and direct air capture – to reduce costs and enable large-scale deployment. Adding Mosaic’s approach will allow us to build on their work to evaluate the potential for this technology to have a meaningful impact in reducing carbon dioxide emissions.”
Our Take: Private sector projects like this will do more to reduce carbon dioxide emissions than any government mandate can. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a hot topic among academic and private research groups internationally. Utilizing MOFs for emissions storage is a huge market. Markets, not mandates.
U.S. Glut in Natural-Gas Supply Goes Global
Ryan Dezember, The Wall Street Journal, August 27, 2019
More shale gas than ever is leaving U.S. shores. Unfortunately for the country’s beleaguered natural-gas producers, global prices for the fuel have never been lower. Natural-gas prices in Europe and Asia have plummeted this year to historic lows in the midst of reduced demand, the trade dispute with China and brimming storage facilities in Europe. The biggest driver of falling prices, though, has been the U.S. gas that is spilling into global markets. “It was inevitable,” said Ira Joseph, head of global gas and power analytics at S&P Global Platts. “There is simply too much supply coming into the market at one time.” The price decline has eliminated some of the allure involved in liquefying cheap U.S. gas and shipping it abroad, where it typically fetches much higher prices.