Letter to Pebble investors; Fracking is a bridge

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Lawmakers and Native corporation tell potential Pebble investor that Dunleavy misrepresented Alaska opposition
Alex DeMarban, Anchorage Daily News, September 9, 2019

Sixteen Democratic lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, signed the letter dated Monday. Two Republicans and two independents, including House Speaker Bryce Edgmon of Dillingham, an independent, also signed it.
It was sent Monday to Randy Smallwood, Wheaton president, said Austin Baird, a spokesman with the Alaska House Majority.
The lawmakers said the governor’s July 30 letter to Smallwood “misrepresents the ease with which the state might permit the proposed Pebble Mine, and the reception it is likely to receive from those living in the region.”
Alaskans will “vigorously” defend the Bristol Bay region’s fisheries, the legislators said. The lawmakers refuse to jeopardize that “sustainable” resource for an “economically dubious project,” they said.
Dunleavy, who has not stated a position on Pebble, told Smallwood in his letter that the state would stand by his company’s potential investment to help Pebble complete the permitting phase. The governor said he was standing up for a fair permitting process, without interference from project opponents.

Our take: “…standing up for a fair permitting process.” Minerals mining supports more than 1.1 million jobs in the U.S. Last year, minerals mining produced raw materials worth $82.2 billion. Mining creates jobs with an average salary of $94,000. In this particular instance we will advocate for markets AND mandates.


Fracking Is the Bridge to Renewable Energy
Noah Smith, Bloomberg, September 9, 2019

Senator Bernie Sanders is leading the charge for a national moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, the process of extracting oil or gas by cracking open subterranean rock. Unfortunately, such a ban would make another of his goals – switching to green energy – harder to achieve.
Why? Because switching to renewable energy requires a lot of energy. Solar panels, wind turbines, batteries and electric cars must be manufactured in huge quantities. Buildings must be retrofitted with new electrical wiring and energy efficiency technologies. Millions of vehicles will have to transport workers and materials to houses and power plants to install the technologies. Smart power grids and storage facilities will be needed to overcome the intermittency of wind and solar.
All of this will take huge amounts of energy — electricity and vehicle fuel. Where will it come from? Currently, renewable sources account for only 11% of U.S. primary energy consumption. Electric vehicles may be gaining market share, but they still comprise less than 1% of the country’s fleet. You can’t use solar and wind to build the generation capacity for more solar and wind until you have a lot of it. The U.S. simply isn’t there yet — it doesn’t have enough green energy to power the transition.
Instead, if fracking is banned immediately, the U.S. will probably go back to using coal and imported oil (Sanders has also proposed banning the other option, nuclear power). This will mean much greater carbon emission and deadly air pollution from coal. It will also would push up global oil prices, generating big windfalls for leaders like Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia’s Mohammad Bin Salman.

Our take: “Banning fossil fuels outright, as some on the left might suggest, would only make things worse. Eliminating the source of 83% of the country’s electricity generation and more than 99% of its vehicle power would quickly reduce the U.S. to pre-industrial living standards.” That 83% means you can turn on the lights in your house, receive emergency medical care, watch “Orange is the New Black” and cook your family dinner. Pretending there’s a magical switch to turn off fracking and fossil fuel energy generation is more than just pie in the sky; it’s genuine folly.


Oil up 1.5% on expectations of extended OPEC output cuts
Laila Kearney, Rueters, September 9, 2019

Oil futures climbed to the highest in almost six weeks on Tuesday on expectations the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies will agree to extend crude output cuts to support prices.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s new energy minister and a longtime member of the Saudi delegation to OPEC, said the kingdom’s policy would not change and a global deal to cut oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day would be maintained.
He added that the so-called OPEC+ alliance, which includes non-OPEC producers such as Russia, would be in place for the long term.
“The oil markets have been rallying as the Saudis have appointed a new oil minister who has committed to maintain the existing policy to get the market in balance and ultimately see higher prices,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston.


From the Daily on Energy:
HOUSE PASSES BILLS TO BOOST ENERGY EFFICIENCY, ADVANCED NUCLEAR: The House passed four bipartisan energy bills Monday, including measures to improve energy efficiency and advanced nuclear power.
The Energy Efficient Government Technology Act, which passed 384-23, would encourage the adoption of energy-efficient information technologies across the federal government. The Advanced Nuclear Fuel Availability Act, approved by voice vote, creates an interim supply of advanced nuclear fuel for new reactors and requires the Department of Energy to establish a program to develop high-assay low-enriched uranium.
There are dozens of advanced nuclear designs under development in the U.S., most of which can run only on high-assay low-enriched uranium despite there being a limit domestic supply of the fuel.
The other House-passed bills would reauthorize an incentive program decreasing emissions from diesel engines, and a measure providing funding to states to boost the physical and cyber security of fuel and electric infrastructure.