News of the Day:
State-owned Alaska corporation to consider bidding on Arctic wildlife refuge oil leases
James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, December 21, 2020
Alaska’s state-owned economic development corporation is proposing to spend $20 million for drilling rights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s coastal plain.
Alan Weitzner, director of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, said Monday that the corporation’s board of directors will be asked on Wednesday to approve up to $20 million for bidding on leases being offered by the federal Bureau of Land Management.
AIDEA could make minimum bids on all available leases, or as many as possible, to preserve drilling rights as a backstop if no one else submits a bid. Once seismic surveys take place and legal battles are settled, the state could then sub-lease to companies that would actually drill. Because AIDEA is interested only in having someone develop ANWR — and doesn’t care who — it would prefer to be outbid, Weitzner said.
Conoco Alaska Drilling With ‘Chillers’ Provokes Groups’ Suit
Bloomberg Law, December 21, 2020
Three environmental groups say they filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the Interior Department’s approval of a plan allowing ConocoPhillips Alaska to expand oil exploration in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska, challenges the Bureau of Land Management’s October final approval of the Willow Master Development Plan for the reserve, which would allow Conoco to produce 590 million barrels of oil over 30 years.
U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a plan for Kenai LNG plant
Tim Bradner, The Frontiersman, December 22, 2021
For decades it was one of Alaska’s industrial icons, a gleaming white plant on the Kenai Peninsula that was the nation’s first and for years the only facility that could export liquefied natural gas, or LNG, to overseas markets.
There have been no exports since 2015 and the plant has been in “warm storage” since 2018. Now it is bring brought back, but to a new life as an LNG importer, bringing gas, ultra-chilled to liquid form, from overseas for local use.
The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a plan by the current owner of the plant, a subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum Co., to convert the plant to an import facility.
FERC approved the Trans-Foreland Pipeline Co.’s. “Kenai LNG Cool Down Project” Dec. 17. Trans-Foreland, a subsidiary of Tesoro Petroleum that is a Marathon subsidiary, is to have conversions at the plant completed and the plant ready for LNG imports in two years.
The liquefied gas would be stored at cold temperatures in existing tanks at the plant and then regasified, or returned to its natural gaseous state. This would be to supply 3,000 to 7,000 million British Thermal Units, or mmbtus, to the nearby Kenai refinery for fuel, according to the document approved by FERC. The refinery is also owned by Marathon.
Traders at odds with China import ban keep coal cargoes in limbo
Bloomberg News, December 21, 2020
Seafarers stuck for months on vessels carrying Australian coal off China’s coast are trapped between authorities who won’t let them unload their cargoes and buyers who won’t let them leave.
Worsening relations between Beijing and Canberra have stranded 74 vessels, about 8.1 million tons of coal, and an estimated 1,480 mariners off Chinese ports, according to an analysis of shipping data by Bloomberg. The original charterer of two of the vessels wants them to sail somewhere else to relieve the exhausted seafarers, but so far, the traders who own the cargo won’t agree.
“It’s the end receiver who has not given the green light” for the Jag Anand vessel to sail to another country where it could change crews, said Jan Dieleman, the president of Cargill Inc.’s ocean transportation business. The Minneapolis-based company is the original charterer of that ship and the Navios Coral vessel, which have both been moored off the port of Jingtang since June, waiting to discharge their loads of Australian coal.
U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., today announced that their bipartisan, bicameral Energy Act of 2020 has been included as Division Z of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, must-pass legislation that will be considered in the House and Senate starting today.
The Energy Act features consensus provisions from the Senate’s American Energy Innovation Act (S. 2657) and the House’s Clean Economy Innovation and Jobs Act (H.R. 4447). It stands to become the first comprehensive modernization of our nation’s energy policies in 13 years.
“This all-of-the-above energy package is the first comprehensive national energy policy update in 13 years. The Energy Act of 2020 provides a down payment on the technologies that will be critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the power sector, industry, and buildings and addressing climate change. This focus on research, development, and demonstration will create high quality jobs and ensure the United States continues to lead the world in the clean energy future. This energy package is an important reminder that when we work in a bipartisan way, the American people come out on top,” said Ranking Member Senator Joe Manchin.
CLIMATE CHANGE CONVERSATIONS
Managing Climate Change Information in the Next Administration
Center for Strategic and International Studies, December 17, 2020
Countries around the world, state and local governments, industry, investors, insurers, and civil society require increased access to climate data and analysis to inform critical decisions. The good news is that the information we are already collecting is sufficient to have confidence in taking action to deal with climate change. While more advanced measurements will bring even greater fidelity, it is most important that existing data be made available to the users that need it, in a form they can understand, with the proper incentives to use it. This data is necessary to implement policies, create new markets, or make investments that have verifiable emissions reductions. This information is needed to inform businesses and communities on how they should plan to withstand the uncertain impacts of a changing climate.
The goal of this report is to identify and recommend improved federal action in the collection, management, and analysis of climate data to guide the next administration. In our research, we repeatedly heard common themes—the need for better Federal organization, and a process to identify data needs, and stronger processes for collaboration among the many public and private actors with climate data needs. Our goal is to recommend a governance structure to best turn Earth systems data into relevant and actionable knowledge to better manage and combat climate change.