News of the Day:
Tax Credit Chickens Come Home to Roost
Andrew Jensen, Alaska Journal of Commerce, September 9, 2020
KFC could probably hire Tom Cruise as its next celebrity Colonel Sanders with the number of chickens coming home to roost in Alaska.
A long-awaited and inexplicably delayed decision from the Alaska Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional a bill passed in 2018 to pay off the state’s oil tax credit debt.
House Bill 331 would have created a shell company within the Department of Revenue to sell up to $1 billion worth of “subject to appropriation” bonds to settle with the independent oil and gas explorers who took the shaft from $630 million in budget vetoes by former Gov. Bill Walker in 2015 and 2016 amid multi-billion dollar deficit
From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:
DEMOCRATIC STATES SUE TRUMP FOR ANWR DRILLING PLAN: A coalition of 15 state attorneys general sued the Trump administration Wednesday over its decision to begin selling leases for companies to drill for oil and gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
The attorneys, all Democrats, argue the Interior Department unlawfully prioritized oil and gas development above the conservation purpose of the refuge, gave inadequate attention to alternatives, and underestimated the increase in emissions that would result from the leasing program.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey led the lawsuit, and were joined by the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Delays threaten 13.6 billion in economic activity,66,000 jobs and more than $280 million a year in state and local tax revenue
Consumer Energy Alliance. September 10, 2020
Delays, obstruction or cancellation of pipeline infrastructure projects are threatening at least $13.6 billion in economic activity, over 66,000 jobs and more than $280 million a year in state and local tax revenue at a time when America’s financial recovery from COVID-19 requires more investment and tax revenue, a new Consumer Energy Alliance report finds. The report, “How Pipelines Can Spur Immediate Post-COVID Economic Recovery,” for the first time quantifies the potential and actual economic harm that anti-energy interest groups and allied policymakers, regulators and even judges are creating, and contrasts that with the harsh COVID-related economic realities that exist right now in states where energy infrastructure is needed – but is being impeded.
Tesla empowers artisanal cobalt miners
Shane Lasley, North of 60 Mining News, September 9, 2020
Tesla Inc. has joined a growing effort to address artisanal cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo, not by boycotting this much maligned source of the lithium-ion battery metal but by investing in it. The iconic electric automaker has joined the Fair Cobalt Alliance, an organization with a vision of making the small but often dangerous cobalt mines in DRC a better place to work for men and women who have few other livelihood options.
Government vs. Private Covid Layoffs
Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, September 9, 2020
The data show that public workers have been hurt the least.
Democrats continue to demand a bailout for the states as part of another Covid-19 relief package, claiming that government layoffs are hampering the recovery. They must have missed the August jobs report, which shows that government workers have suffered least amid the pandemic.
Government added 344,000 jobs for the month, and 238,000 of those were temporary Census workers. But dig into the bowels of the Labor Department report, and the numbers are striking even accounting for the Census. Labor tracks 16 categories of the jobless by industry and class of worker, and in August nearly all of the categories in the private economy had a higher jobless rate than the government rate of 5.7% (not seasonally adjusted).