Corps sees no reason now to extend Pebble comment period
Associated Press, March 20, 2019
An official with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the agency has not received any compelling reason to extend the 90-day comment period on a draft environmental review of a major mine project in southwest Alaska. Shane McCoy is project manager for the corps’ review of the Pebble Limited Partnership’s permit application. The partnership wants to develop a gold-and-copper mine near a major salmon fishery in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region. McCoy says while 45 days is standard for such reviews, the corps decided on 90 days for the Pebble project. McCoy says the corps has been asked to extend that period and is considering those requests but so far has not received a compelling reason for an extension.
Based on their latest effort to mislead the public about oil tax policy, Democrats should be cheering the fact that North Slope production will miss its forecast by about 20,000 barrels per day in the 2019 fiscal year. After all, according to former one-term Fairbanks state Sen. Joe Paskvan, the state is “paying” a credit of $8 per barrel for each one produced on the North Slope under Senate Bill 21, the production tax reform passed in 2013 that took effect and was upheld by voter referendum in 2014. According to their current talking point, the state should now “save” $42.6 million in credits thanks to 14,600 fewer taxable barrels flowing through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System each day.
As Trump administration contemplates drilling in Arctic waters, North Slope organizations stress need to protect subsistence resources
Ravenna Koenig, Alaska’s Energy Desk, March 20, 2019
The Interior Department is expected to release an updated plan soon on where the agency will hold offshore oil and gas lease sales in the Arctic over the next five years. Many organizations on the North Slope offered comments on the draft proposal. Now they’ll be looking to see whether their feedback resulted in changes to the new plan. In comments made available on a federal site, most North Slope institutions didn’t express outright opposition to the plan, but they did voice concern for subsistence resources and hunters’ continued access to them.
From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:
KEY DEMOCRAT PAUL TONKO UNVEILS CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN TO ATTRACT GOP: Democrat Paul Tonko of New York released a framework for combating climate change on Thursday that is meant to attract GOP support.
“There is reason to hope we can come together in a bipartisan, bicameral way on climate change. I am sensing it,” Tonko, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on environment and climate change, told Josh.
The plan, which is not meant to be prescriptive or overly specific, establishes more achievable goals than those laid out in the progressive “Green New Deal.”
The big picture: Tonko’s plan sets a longer-term plan of establishing a price on carbon emissions, a policy that has long eluded climate hawks.
It sets a target of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, eliminating additional emissions of carbon by that time. The Green New Deal, in comparison, aims for the same goal by 2030.
The plan contains familiar short-term policy proposals also broadly supported by Republican leaders of the Energy and Commerce Committee, such as Greg Walden of Oregon and John Shimkus of Illinois.