“Complete exemption” from Roadless Rule; more to bear for oil in 2019

In Home, News by wp_sysadmin

Murkowski now supports a ‘complete exemption’ for Tongass from Roadless Rule
Jacob Resneck, Alaska Public Media, August 15, 2019

That’s according to Senator Lisa Murkowski who said Tuesday that rolling back restrictions to road building is crucial for Southeast Alaska’s economy. “I very early on went to the Trump Administration and said as we look to the state of Alaska and the application of the Roadless Rule, we have to be able to have a plan that is specific to us,” [Murkowski said.]

The head of the US Forest Service was directed by the Secretary of Agriculture to initiate an Alaska specific rule for the Tongass. A 90-day comment period last fall received 144,000 comments, the majority expressing opposition to rolling back protections. Ninety percent of the comments were form letters or petitions.

“I think complete exemption from the Roadless is what’s best suited for Alaska,” [Murkowski stated.]

Our Take: We learned with the Stand for Salmon initiative that’s it’s not too difficult to galvanize (well-intentioned) environmental activists into a crusade. We are curious which voices from which states made up the 90% in “form letters and petitions.” Regardless of a rollback or a complete exemption, we just need to use common sense when it comes to responsibly building roads for the health, safety, and economic benefit of our neighbors in Southeast.


OPEC sees bearish oil outlook for rest of 2019, points to 2020 surplus
Alex Lawler, Reuters, August 16, 2019

In a monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries cut its forecast for global oil demand growth in 2019 by 40,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.10 million bpd and indicated the market will be in slight surplus in 2020.

The bearish outlook due to slowing economies amid the U.S.-China trade dispute and Brexit could press the case for OPEC and allies including Russia to maintain a policy of cutting output to support prices. Already, a Saudi official has hinted at further steps to support the market.


Natural gas production is at record-high levels despite low prices
US Energy Information Administration, August 15, 2019

U.S. natural gas production continued to increase in August despite relatively low natural gas spot prices, setting a new daily production record of 92.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) on August 5, 2019, according to data from OPIS PointLogic Energy. Natural gas production increased by 1.5 Bcf/d (2.5%) between May and August 2019, led by production gains primarily in the Northeast. The northeastern region continues to be the largest natural gas-producing region in the country, accounting for 34% of the U.S. total. Average daily production levels in that region reached a new high of 32.2 Bcf/d in the first week of August, 1.5 Bcf/d higher than its monthly average in May.

Our take: Good. More natural gas usage helps reduce emissions, provides safe, reliable energy, and fuels the economy.