Governor Dunleavy, Warren Buffet & Wind. Rare earths from coal waste.

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Alaska’s pro-oil Republican governor is quietly pushing green energy projects too
Nathaniel Herz, Alaska’s Energy Desk, September 21, 2020

Alaska Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and disbanded the commission charged with guiding his state’s response to climate change.  Kerry Williams and Ceal Smith are climate activists who were among the 50,000 Alaskans to sign the application to recall the governor.  Nonetheless, all three found themselves on the phone in January. Dunleavy initiated the call after reading about Williams’ idea for a hydroelectric megaproject at Eklutna Lake, outside Anchorage, which would tie in with a huge expansion of wind energy across the state.  “We were quite surprised by how enthusiastic he was,” said Smith. “He said he even drove out to Eklutna to conceptualize it.”


Groups seek review of Alaska gas project regulatory decision
Associated Press, September 21, 2020

Conservation groups have asked a federal appeals court to review a regulatory decision authorizing a mega liquefied natural gas project in Alaska.  The Center for Biological Diversity and Sierra Club asked the U.S. District Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit to review the decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission earlier this year.  The Alaska gas project, which has gone through various iterations over the years, is far from a done deal. For example, it still needs investors, funding and customers.


Texas Minerals consortium to produce rare earths from coal waste
Staff writer, MINING.COM, September 22, 2020

The US Department of Energy’s National Energy Technical Laboratory announced that it has selected a Texas Mineral Resources-led consortium to receive an award of up to $1 million targeting the production of rare earths in Pennsylvania.    Besides Texas Mineral Resources (OTCQB: TMRC), the project includes Penn State, Jeddo Coal Company and H22OS. The consortium’s objective is to install a self-contained, modular and portable pilot plant at a Jeddo Coal site in Pennsylvania capable of producing 1-3 tonnes of rare earth oxides derived from coal byproducts from anthracite coal.    The project will start on October 1, 2020, with a three-month conceptual design phase and the ultimate objective of completing a feasibility study.


POLITICO Q&A: Daniel Yergin, oil sector doyen
Ben Lefebvre, Politico, September 17, 2020

Daniel Yergin has been chronicling the world of oil and gas for industry insiders and the broader public since his Pulitzer Prize-winning book “The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power” was first published in 1990.  Now, Yergin, who is the vice chair of research firm IHS Markit, has penned his third book on the energy world, “The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations,” which comes as the sector undergoes its biggest upheaval in decades. The coronavirus has sideswiped oil markets, briefly sending U.S. prices negative in the spring, and energy politics are bringing new tensions to the relationships between the U.S., Europe and Russia.

Even without the turmoil of the past six months, the oil and gas industry faces increasing scrutiny about its role in addressing climate change, and whether U.S. companies’ business plans — and vast shale fields — will protect them in a investment climate that seems to be shifting toward climate friendly models.  Prognosticators often lean on tropes to convince audiences that everything is changing — but when Yergin looks at the energy landscape and says, “I think this is one time when this time is different,” it carries a weight. He joined POLITICO by telephone this week to make sense of the industry’s developments.