Unions side with EPA for jobs; Customer casualties in pipeline wars

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Major Unions Side With EPA in Power Rule Repeal Challenge
Bloomberg Environment, September 18, 2019

A group of unions are backing the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan, telling the D.C. Circuit their members’ jobs, wages, and benefits will suffer without the rollback of the plan.  New York is leading a coalition of 20-plus blue states and cities challenging the EPA’s decision to roll back the Clean Power Plan. The plan was an ambitious one meant to mitigate climate change head on by capping pollution emitted by coal-fired electricity plants, they said when they filed their suit challenging the Trump administration’s policy call.


Casualties in fight over new gas pipelines: The customers
Mary Esch, Associated Press, September 18, 2019

Chris Miles and his partners were ready to open their new seaside barbecue joint just in time for the summer season when they got stunning news: There would be no gas to fuel the fryers, griddles and stoves.  National Grid, the utility that serves the Rockaway Beach section of Queens, refused to turn on natural gas service. It had declared a moratorium on new hookups after the state rejected an application for a new pipeline in May.  Unless that pipeline or others were built, the utility said, there simply wouldn’t be enough gas to serve additional customers.  “It was hard to believe,” said Miles, co-owner of Batesy’s restaurant. “We had spent a year and a half of our lives and invested our hard-earned money to bring something to the community, and this giant corporation was standing in the way.”


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Attack in Saudi Arabia highlights Alaska’s diminishing role on the global oil stage
Rashah McChesney, Alaska’s Energy Desk, September 18, 2019

Over the weekend, attacks on an oil field and processing facility in Saudi Arabia knocked out more than 5% of the world’s daily oil production.  It was the biggest disruption of global oil supply in decades.  Politically, the attacks have generated a lot of momentum. And, briefly, oil prices spiked.  In Alaska, that meant that on Monday, Sept. 16, North Slope crude prices jumped to their highest level in more than two months.  But that jump was short-lived, and the incident hasn’t had a lasting impact on oil prices — or what those prices are predicted to be in the future.

Our Take: Alaska may have a smaller role on the global oil stage, but their role in Alaska and in America’s drive towards energy independence should not be underestimated. Oil in Alaska is still providing 65-70% of the revenue we use to fund state government. Alaska should be doing everything it can to promote a stable business climate for the industry.