NY Times fishing expedition is a flop; House Finance Budget Amendments Today

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Officials: News report on secret well results in Arctic refuge doesn’t change potential for big discovery
Alex DeMarban, Anchorage Daily News, April 2, 2019

A federal geologist and an oil industry representative said a news report on Tuesday digging into the secrets of the lone well drilled in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and suggesting the well results were uneconomic, does not alter the potential for a profitable discovery in the region. Kara Moriarty, head of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, said the U.S. Geological Survey has estimated the refuge’s coastal plain could contain 10 billion barrels of oil. If in fact the 34-year-old well contained little to no oil, that doesn’t mean other sections of the 1.6-million-acre coastal plain are dry, she said. “This doesn’t change our support for having a lease sale in the coastal plain,” said Moriarty. “And the reason is the (oil) estimates from the U.S. Geological Survey … shows this is the most significant opportunity on federal land onshore anywhere in the U.S.”

Our Take: Good clarification after the fishing expedition from the New York Times in an effort to support the Democrats’ efforts to repeal the ANWR provision in the tax reform law.

Will House Finance members increase or reduce the budget today? Watch live here at 9am!

Brent nears $70 as oil prices rise for 4th day
Reuters, April 3, 2019

Oil prices rose for a fourth day on Wednesday, pushing Brent towards $70 a barrel as support from Opec-led supply cuts and US sanctions overshadowed a report showing an unexpected rise in US inventories. Brent futures rose 36 cents, or 0.5%, to $69.73 a barrel by 0554 GMT, after earlier reaching $69.87, the highest since 12 November, the last time they traded above $70. US West Texas Intermediate crude rose 26 cents, or 0.4%, to $62.84 cents a barrel, earlier rising to $62.90, the highest since 7 November.

From the Washington Examiner’s Daily on Energy:

MURKOWSKI SAYS EPA CUTS DON’T FIT WHEELER’S ‘BACK TO BASICS’ AGENDA: Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Wednesday warned Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler that the fiscal 2020 budget, as proposed, won’t survive congressional scrutiny.

“Many of the cuts, in my view, would be inconsistent with the ‘Back to Basics’ approach” of the agency, she said in chairing a budget hearing of the Appropriations Committee’s environmental subcommittee.

She objected to the proposed cuts to many of EPA’s state revolving funds, which communities rely upon to support drinking water projects and sanitation infrastructure.

“While I do understand the tough budget environment this proposal was crafted in, the final budget for EPA as crafted by Congress will look substantially different,” Murkowski said.

Murkowski said several key programs that have reduced pollution in Fairbanks and other communities in her state are completely eliminated in the new budget.