LNG not quite “green”?; The Roadless Rule returns; Murkowski on minerals

In Home, News by wp_sysadmin

Natural Gas World, May 3, 2019

The bottom line is that LNG’s positive attributes are relative not absolute. They depend critically on the point of application – LNG can be expensive and dirty just as much as it can be green and clean. Gas is the best of the fossil fuels, but equally the least worst. Over-selling a product does not engender trust.

That said, there are solid reasons for industry optimism. The depth of demand for LNG is vast because it runs in parallel with the desire to switch from coal to gas, which is strong for both local and global environmental reasons in Europe, China and increasingly other parts of Asia.

Related:  Only Markets Can Make the Green New Deal Real

Congress attempts to strengthen Roadless Rule
Alex McCarthy, Juneau Empire, March 2, 2019

 Environmentalists in Alaska and throughout the country expressed their elation Thursday as members of Congress introduced legislation to strengthen the 2001 Roadless Rule. The rule, commonly referred to as simply the Roadless Rule, protects almost 60 million acres of National Forest Service land from roadbuilding or development. This includes 7.4 million acres in the Tongass National Forest. Sen. Dan Sullivan told the Empire in March that he’s not in favor of keeping the Roadless Rule in place in its entirety, because access to resources is too limited as it is. In a March opinion piece for the Ketchikan Daily News, Sen. Lisa Murkowski said that she’s in favor of greater access in the Tongass to promote resource development. U.S. Rep. Don Young was quoted in September 2017 that he was in favor of repealing the Roadless Rule.

Our Take: Blanket legislation like this, that doesn’t consider the needs of the people it affects, is rarely good in practice. There’s a reason that the Alaska delegation does not support it—roads are necessary to transport materials in and out of resource development sites. Not to mention the transportation of general goods.

From the Daily on Energy:

AS TRUMP OIL SANCTIONS KICK IN, IRAN VOWS NEVER TO BECOME SAUDI ARABIA: Iran defied the U.S. as oil sanctions kicked in on Thursday, vowing never to become like western ally Saudi Arabia.

Ali Larijani, the Iranian equivalent of House speaker, took to the floor of the parliament in defiance of Washington’s demands that it meet 12 preconditions to see sanctions lifted on its most valuable commodity — oil.

If Iran were to agree to President Trump’s “illogical demands” it would mean the humiliation of the Iranian nation to become treated like Saudi Arabia, Larjani said. “So, we have no option except resistance,” he added, calling on the nation’s economy to attain “self-dependency.”

Meanwhile…Iran asks for Saudi help: At the same time Larjani was railing against the U.S. and insulting Saudi Arabia, Iran’s representative at the United Nations in New York was on the phone to Riyadh, asking the Saudis to help save one of its oil tankers adrift in the Red Sea.

Saudi government news dispatches covered the incident in detail, including how the distress call was conveyed to Saudi Arabia’s border police from the U.N., which is not a common occurrence. Typically, an SOS from the ship’s captain would be enough.

From a press release regarding Senator Murkowski’s Bipartisan Legislation to Strengthen America’s Mineral Security:

“Our nation’s mineral security is a significant, urgent, and often ignored challenge. Our reliance on China and other nations for critical minerals costs us jobs, weakens our economic competitiveness, and leaves us at a geopolitical disadvantage,” Murkowski said. “I greatly appreciate the administration’s actions to address this issue, but Congress needs to complement them with legislation. Our bill takes steps that are long overdue to reverse our damaging foreign dependence and position ourselves to compete in growth industries like electric vehicles and energy storage.”

Key provisions of the American Mineral Security Act would:

  • Codify the methodology used in Executive Order 13817 to designate a list of critical minerals and require that list to be updated at least every three years;
  • Require nationwide resource assessments for every critical mineral;
  • Implement several practical, common sense permitting reforms for the Department of the Interior (DOI) and Department of Agriculture Forest Service to reduce delays in the federal process;
  • Reauthorize the National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program for 10 years;
  • Authorize research and development for recycling and replacements for critical minerals, as well as chemistry, material science, and applied research and development for processing of critical minerals;
  • Require coordination and study of energy needs for remote mining deposits with microgrid research and small generation research programs across the Department of Energy’s applied offices; and
  • Require the Secretary of Labor, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Science Foundation to conduct a study of the nation’s minerals workforce.