Fracking Folly:  Fetterman and Sunak. Willow Project “essential” to Inupiat.

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Today’s Key Takeaways:  British Prime Minister Sunak plans to reinstate England fracking ban. Whaling captain highlights improvements to Inupiat quality of life because of the oil and gas industry – need for Willow project. Nothing but volatility for European natural gas prices. Governor urges EPA not to use pre-emptive veto of Pebble Mine. PA Senate candidate Fetterman flip flops on fracking.

News of the Day:

Britain’s New Prime Minister To Reinstate Fracking Ban In England
Julianne Geiger, OilPrice.Com, October 26, 2022

The British oil and gas industry was dealt a blow on Wednesday after the newest Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he would reinstate a ban on fracking in England, according to the Financial Times citing a senior government insider.

Sunak’s predecessor, who survived in office for just 45 days, lifted England’s ban on fracking in September as one of her first actions as Prime Minister and campaigned on the prospect of increasing oil drilling in the North Sea and boosting nuclear power. Former PM Liz Truss said that her number one priority was to deal “with people’s energy bills, but also dealing with the long-term issues we have on energy supply.”

The former Prime Minister was asked to step down following a failed mini-budget attempt, paving the way for Sunak to take her place. But Sunak’s views on the oil and gas industry couldn’t be more different than his predecessor’s.

Just a day before Liz Truss resigned in her role as UK Prime Minister, the opposition party attempted to re-ban fracking but failed. But the vote showed cracks in the support for fracking when as many as 40 Conservative Party MPs either failed to vote or voted against the party. While Truss had lifted the ban on fracking, her successor Rishi Sunak said this week that he would deliver on the promise of the Conservative Party manifesto, which imposed a moratorium on fracking back in 2019 when oil and gas companies failed to prove that they could operate without inducing tremors above a specific limit.

In part, the Conservative Party manifesto reads: “We placed a moratorium on fracking in England with immediate effect. Having listened to local communities, we have ruled out changes to the planning system. We will not support fracking unless the science shows categorically that it can be done safely.”

A recent poll by Stack Data Strategy showed that 39% of UK adults would support fracking.


Alaska’s ‘Willow Project’ is essential to our Iñupiat sustainability
John Hopson Jr, The Hill, October 25, 2022

As the first snows coat Alaska, families are bracing for a long and difficult winter in the midst of historically high energy prices. Across the Lower 48, many will face similar hardships as heating bills arrive in mailboxes. 

The fact is, six months after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine sent oil markets into shock, there remains an urgent need to bring more U.S. production online. Fortunately, the Biden administration is in the final steps of reviewing a major project in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) that will make a big difference. After extensive review, all the Willow project needs is the White House’s green light.

If President Biden has any doubt that approval of Willow is critical to America’s interests, I hope he’ll look to those who stand to be impacted most. And no, I’m not talking about the outside groups that purport to speak for Alaska while fighting all forms of development. I’m talking about Alaska native communities.

I’m an Iñupiat whaling captain who has subsisted in Arctic Alaska for my entire life. I’m also an elected assembly member for the North Slope Borough — the largest municipal government, in area, in the United States. My ancestors have been caring for our land, water and wildlife for thousands of years, and we continue to do so for future generations. Given our rich history and the rightful ownership of our homelands, it seems intuitive that our voices would be prioritized in debates regarding resource development there. Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case.

The North Slope of Alaska is a challenging but beautiful place to live. It provides the Iñupiat with sustenance, enhances our culture and defines who we are — indigenous people who thrive in one of the harshest climates on the planet. 

Our communities have faced hardships that outsiders can’t imagine. I’m just 46 years old, and I have experienced tremendous improvements to our quality of life because of the oil and gas industry that allows us to stay true to our traditional ways of life. The borough celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and my great-uncle, Eben Hopson, Sr., was one of its founders and the very first mayor. It was through the foresight of past leaders like him that we have been able to improve our villages’ third-world living conditions to first-world communities. One of my great-uncle’s goals was to ‘have a flush toilet in every house’ in each of our region’s villages. We’ve mostly succeeded in doing that through building clean sanitation and water infrastructure. We have also built public health clinics and schools; created public safety, search and rescue; as well as provide other services that have been directly responsible for the Iñupiat attaining an additional 13-years to our lifespan.

These improvements have been made possible by working with industry to ensure cultural values are maintained and protected while also providing the opportunity for future generations to remain home. It’s through our municipal property taxes on energy infrastructure that allows us to be self-sustainable. Within our region, more than 50 percent of residents are indigenous, and in some of our communities it’s more than 90 percent. Based on my grandfather’s dream, we have been successful in creating our own destiny. Because of the strength of our borough, through its taxing authority, we are not dependent on federal or state funding.


The only certainty for European natural gas prices is volatility .  Here’s why:


Alaska Gov. Dunleavy urges EPA to stop veto of Pebble mine
Alex DeMarban, Anchorage Daily News, October 25, 2022

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to put the brakes on its effort to stop the giant Pebble copper and gold project.

In May, the federal agency proposed halting the proposed mineunder a provision of the Clean Water Act it has used sparingly.It says the mine would be among the world’s largest open-pit copper mines and threatens the Bristol Bay region’s valuable wild salmon fishery and people who rely on it.

The agency is expected to decide by Dec. 2 whether it will move ahead with its proposal.

In his Sept. 6, three-page letter to Casey Sixkiller, administrator of the EPA region that includes Alaska, Dunleavy said the proposed veto of the project is “deeply concerning” and would undermine Alaska’s legal decision-making authority in resource development.

The letter, accompanied by the state’s 53-page comment to the agency, was obtained through a routine records request by the Daily News for the governor’s monthly correspondence.

Dunleavy said the EPA proposal, if finalized, would make preemptive decisions about which resources Alaska can develop and how it can develop them. It chooses fisheries over mining, while disregarding Alaska’s ability to protect its fishery resources, the governor said in the letter.



FETTERMAN’S CONFUSING REMARKS ON FRACKING: Fracking featured last night in the first and only debate between Pennsylvania Senate candidates John Fetterman and Mehmet Oz.

When Fetterman, the state’s lieutenant governor, was asked by moderators to clarify his stance on fracking — which he now supports, after previously backing a moratorium on fracking during his 2016 Senate campaign — he said, “I’ve always supported fracking,”

Later, Fetterman, who recently suffered a stroke and struggled with words at times in the debate, attempted to clarify: “I do support fracking. … I support fracking and I stand — I support fracking.”

On the campaign trail, Fetterman has said he supports fracking “as long as it’s done environmentally sound and making sure that we’re not contaminating our waterways.”

Oz has also shifted his position on fracking. In a 2014 column, the then-TV doctor wrote that fracking should be banned until its health effects are studied. Last night, Oz described the practice as a “lifeline for this commonwealth to be able to build wealth” and noted its potential to create more jobs in the state.

From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy