Marathon & LNG; Banks becomes strategist on Climate Committee

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Marathon Submitted Application To FERC To Modify LNG Plant
Jennifer Williams, KSRM 920 AM, April 29, 2019

Marathon Petroleum submitted a request, dated on April 12, to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requesting authorization to construct and install modifications to the existing Kenai LNG Plant located in Nikiski. Referred to as ‘Trans-Foreland’ Pipeline Company, who operates under Marathon, is listed on the application. The request submitted to FERC asks to make facility modifications to bring parts of Kenai LNG Plant out of its current warm idle status and add a 1,000 horsepower electric-driven boil-off gas compressor unit. 

Our Take: Exciting to see activity surrounding LNG in Kenai!

How Russia contaminated $2.7 billion of oil exports to Europe
Olga Yagova, Gleb Gorodyankin, Dmitry Zhdannikov, Reuters, April 30, 2019

The oil was contaminated with organic chlorides, compounds used in the industry to boost extraction from oilfields by cleaning oil wells and accelerating the flow of crude. Germany and Poland would need to reverse the flow and pump the crude back to Russia, or ports in Poland, as the refineries in those countries lack sufficient storage tanks to keep it until it can be diluted. “This will take months and Russian exports and even production may have to fall,” said Sen at Energy Aspects, adding that European countries might have to tap strategic oil stocks if the outage lasts longer.

What Oil at $100 a Barrel Would Mean for the World Economy
Enda Curran and Michelle Jamrisko, Bloomberg, April 28, 2019

What does it mean for the world’s biggest economy?

While U.S. oil producers try to take advantage of any sales boost from customers moving away from Iran, the broader U.S. economy won’t necessarily see benefits with oil price tags as high as $100 a barrel. It would be a squeeze on American consumers that are the backbone of still-steady economic growth. Prices at the gas pump already have risen more than 7 percent this month to $2.89 a gallon, which could weigh on retail sales that jumped in March by the most since 2017. And if things go awry in global oil markets, there’s risk that political blame shifts back to the U.S. for the sanctions, which could mean backlash via investment or other channels that threatens economic stability.

From the Daily on Energy:

REPUBLICAN CLIMATE COMMITTEE HIRES FORMER TRUMP ENERGY ADVISER: Republicans of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis announced Wednesday they hired [George David] Banks as the panel’s chief strategist.

Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., the climate committee’s ranking member, also announced the hire of Marty Hall to serve as Republican staff director.

Banks and Hall both worked on climate and energy issues in the George W. Bush administration. Hall currently works for the ClearPath Foundation, a conservative group that advocates for clean energy technology.

But the selection of Banks really caught our eye:
The hiring of Banks is telling for how Republicans could approach the committee, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi created to bring more attention to climate change ahead of the 2020 election.

Banks was a moderate Republican voice in the Trump administration who unsuccessfully lobbied to remain in the Paris climate agreement, promoting a compromise in which the president would commit to less stringent emissions reductions targets than the Obama administration proposed.

Banks has also encouraged Republicans to cooperate with the Green New Deal. He told Josh recently: “There are components of the Green New Deal I would support in principle. The majority of their climate policy reflects a centrist position.”Banks, however, offered a more conservative statement upon being hired for the select climate committee, emphasizing “promoting policies that help preserve a role for all fossil fuels.”

Our take: Banks spoke at our 2019 Meet Alaska trade show and we are pleased to see him take a role that embraces the role that fossil fuels play in the greater climate change conversation.