One small step for FERC, one giant step for AKLNG; Not-so-veiled threat from China

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FERC On Schedule To Release Draft EIS For AK LNG Project, Next Month
Jennifer Williams, KSRM, May 28, 2019

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is scheduled to release the draft Alaska LNG environmental impact statement, or EIS, next month. The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, the AGDC, announced that it had signed an agreement with BP and ExxonMobil to collaborate on ways to advance the LNG project on March 8. Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will seek to advance the project by working together to identify ways to improve the project’s competitiveness, and progress FERC authorization to construct the project. FERC extended the schedule for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the project by four months. The agency cited the state’s timeline for answering federal regulators’ questions and fulfilling data requests as the reason for the extension. The future of the project could however depend on the results of a economic study conducted by the AGDC. Governor Mike Dunleavy: “AGDC is supposed to come out with an economic study that will determine how or if we move forward. Depending on what that data shows us we will have a discussion with the legislature and see how they want us to proceed.”   In the meantime, AGDC Program Management Vice President stated that the corporation is anticipating a 90-day public comment period for the draft document once it’s released.

Related:                Macroeconomic impacts of US LNG exports

Shares of rare earth miners skyrocket after Beijing threatens to cut off the minerals
Eustance Huang, CNBC, May 29, 2019

  • Shares of rare earth miners in Asia Pacific surged on Wednesday.
  • The moves came after a Chinese official recently cautioned that products made from rare earth minerals should not be used against the country’s development.
  • The comment, reported by CCTV, is being taken as a veiled threat aimed at the U.S. and its technology companies that are dependent on the materials.

Our Take:               Alaska remains potential source for critical rare earth elements

Trump administration appeals ruling that blocked Arctic offshore drilling
Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk, May 28, 2019

The Trump administration Tuesday appealed a federal court decision that blocked plans to reopen vast portions of Alaska’s Arctic waters to oil drilling. In March, U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason ruled that the president exceeded his authority when he issued an executive order undoing an Obama-era ban on oil leasing in large parts of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. An U.S. Interior Department spokesperson, Molly Block, declined to comment. The case will now go to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Interior Department had pushed to hold an oil lease sale in the Beaufort Sea as soon as this year.

From today’s Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP, BUSINESSES SEE NEED FOR COLLABORATION ON EMISSIONS CUTS: The environmental group Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, with input from leading businesses, released a report Tuesday detailing the case for the federal government, states, companies, and consumers to work together in order to cut emissions to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.

The report, developed over several years, detailed three pathways for the U.S. to cut economy-wide emissions 80% by 2050.

The group, led by Bob Perciasepe, a former EPA deputy administrator in the Obama administration, drafted the scenarios with input from 21 companies across various sectors, including BP, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, BHP, Dow Chemical, Duke Energy, Intel, Mars, Microsoft, and Toyota.