From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy – It Could All Come Down to….Fracking
WHY IT MATTERS: One of President Trump’s big closing arguments is all about fracking, and there’s a good reason why: He thinks it can deliver him the voters he needs to win Pennsylvania, potentially the pivotal state in this election.
Trump has been building up his pro-fracking argument for weeks, intensifying the push after his Democratic rival Joe Biden said during the final presidential debate he would “transition from” the oil industry as part of his climate plans.
This weekend, Trump sought to seal the deal. On Saturday, he signed a presidential memorandum directing the Energy Department to conduct an analysis of the economic effects of banning fracking within 70 days.
If there was any doubt what conclusion that analysis will come to, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said in a statement on the memorandum, “A ban on fracking would result in the loss of millions of jobs, the doubling of gasoline prices, and the quadrupling of electricity costs.”
The hub of gas fracking: Fracking for natural gas is especially prominent in Pennsylvania, where gas production hit an all-time high this summer, according to new data Friday from Rystad Energy. Pennsylvania’s total shale gas output reached more than 19.8 billion cubic feet per day in August, 100 million cubic feet per day higher than the previous record from November 2019.
“Even a partial ban on fracking would have significant consequences, including increases in energy prices and losses to property values, tax revenues and royalties paid to local and federal agencies,” Dan Eberhart, CEO of oil services company Canary and a Trump donor, told us in an email.
Trump has a specific audience in mind: According to new polling released over the weekend by the New York Times and Siena College, 52% of Pennsylvania voters support fracking, while just 27% oppose it.
A vast majority (86%) of stated Trump voters in the state back fracking, along with 25% of people who said they’re voting for Biden. Support for fracking is also high among the rural Pennsylvania voters the Trump campaign is hoping to turn out. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of rural voters in the state support fracking, compared to just 32% of city voters (38% of city voters in the state outright oppose fracking).
“The president believes that the message that the economic benefits from the Marcellus could go away under a Biden administration resonates with the rural voters he needs,” Eberhart said.
State of play: Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016 by just over 44,000 votes. Right now, Biden holds a slight edge in polling in the state, but his lead has been narrowing.
In a blitz of rallies in the state this weekend, Trump continued to hammer away on the issue of energy, claiming, counter to Biden’s platform, that Biden would “outlaw” fracking and destroy Pennsylvania jobs. The Trump campaign even accused Biden of a bad romance on the trail, saying the former vice president’s campaign event with “anti-fracking activist Lady Gaga” is a “sharp stick in the eye” of Pennsylvania oil and gas workers.
Biden, “barnstorming” throughout the state today, is likely to seek to clarify his position (as he’s been doing for weeks) that he wouldn’t ban fracking, hoping to peel off some unionized energy workers. He’s been banking on assembling a broader coalition that also includes black voters and white suburbanites.
Donlin Gold program exceeds expectations
Shane Lasley, North of 60 Mining News, October 29, 2020
Despite a two-month suspension of activities and other challenges related to protecting workers and local communities from COVID-19, Donlin Gold LLC managed to exceed its planned drilling at its 39-million-ounce gold project in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region of Southwest Alaska.
“I’d like to congratulate the joint venture team, as well as thank our Native corporation partners, Calista Corporation and The Kuskokwim Corporation, on successfully completing drilling despite the enormous challenges associated with operating during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Barrick Gold President and CEO Mark Bristow.
Election night victories wouldn’t guarantee control of Alaska’s House and Senate for Republicans
James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, November 1, 2020
Republicans are likely to hold a majority of the Alaska Legislature’s 60 seats after Tuesday’s election, but many lawmakers say victories at the ballot box will not guarantee Republican control of the state House and state Senate.
It takes 21 votes to control the House and 11 votes to control the Senate, and without Republican control, Gov. Mike Dunleavy will struggle to accomplish his budgetary and policy goals. For the past two years, Dunleavy’s biggest obstacle has been a House controlled by a coalition of Republicans, Democrats, and independents. In late July, a Republican coalition member died in a plane crash. In August’s primary election, two Republican coalition members lost to more conservative