Results not Rhetoric on Budget; Supreme Court for Alaska Offshore Drilling?

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As the Alaska budget discussion intensifies, so does the need to fact check what is being said publicly.
Headlamp will start today with a chart on where the money comes from to fund our budget. The rhetoric that the oil industry is “held harmless” in the current budget is simply not true.

**It is important to note that the total projected contribution to the state from oil revenue for FY 2019 is $3.078 billion – not all oil revenues go to the general fund.

As Alaska budget tightens, $ 1.2 billion oil tax deduction comes under scrutiny

Supreme Court Could Be Best Shot for Alaska Offshore Drilling
Bloomberg Environment, April 2, 2019

The Trump administration’s best hope to overturn a March 29 lower court decision shutting down oil and gas drilling off the Alaskan coast may lie across the country at the U.S. Supreme Court, environmental lawyers said. All five conservative justices on the high court have shown skepticism about agency claims of authority where Congress hasn’t clearly delegated it—the core issue in the Alaska case. A federal district judge struck down an executive order from President Donald Trump that opened Arctic waters to oil and gas drilling. The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act can be seen as a “one-way ratchet” that grants the president the right to withdraw certain areas for drilling, but not for revoking prior withdrawals, said Patrick Parenteau, an environmental law professor at Vermont Law School in Royalton, Vt., and currently a visiting professor at the University of New Mexico law school in Albuquerque.   “That would leave it to Congress to decide whether to either amend the OCSLA or revoke or modify any prior withdrawal,” Parenteau said. “That might appeal to the conservative view of the separation of powers doctrine.”

Hilcorp delays seismic exploration in lower Cook Inlet
Aaron Bolton, KBBI, April 6, 2019

Hilcorp said it’s holding off on plans to conduct seismic exploration for oil and gas in lower Cook Inlet because of potential conflicts with halibut and salmon fishermen. The company also lacks a crucial permit to conduct the work, and it’s unclear when it may get the green light to move forward. In Hilcorp’s permit application to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the company said it wants to update 40-year-old seismic data in a 370-square mile lease site offshore from Homer and Anchor Point.

Our Take: “ The company said it’s now delaying the survey until after “the height of fishing and tourist season,” due to concerns raised by fishermen like Maw and Flores.”   Contrary to popular belief, companies do listen to community concerns and respond appropriately.

Blamed for Climate Change, Oil Companies Invest in Carbon Removal
Clifford Krauss, The New York Times, April 7, 2019

Everyone knows an electric fan can make people feel cooler on a steamy day. But could fans moderate the planet’s rising temperatures? Some of the world’s biggest fossil fuel companies would like to find out. Chevron, Occidental Petroleum and the Australian mining giant BHP this year have invested in Carbon Engineering, a small Canadian company that claims to be on the verge of a breakthrough in solving a critical climate change puzzle: removing carbon already in the atmosphere. At its pilot project in Squamish, an old lumber town about 30 miles north of Vancouver, the company is using an enormous fan to suck large amounts of air into a scrubbing vessel designed to extract carbon dioxide. The gas can then be buried or converted into a clean-burning — though expensive — synthetic fuel.