Today’s Key Takeaways: BlackRock CEO highlights AKLNG! Wood Mac sees Alaska’s North Slope as “disadvantaged.” Pogo trend of increased gold production, lower costs continues. Biden hits pause on climate emergency declaration.
NEWS OF THE DAY:
Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock on Alaska, pipelines, LNG, and energy security
The CEO of BlackRock, one of the world’s largest asset managers, was on CNBC recently talking about energy security, climate change, and the need for innovative energy infrastructure projects.
What was most notable to Headlamp were Larry Fink’s comments specifically about the importance of LNG pipelines in Alaska and the opportunity our state has in continuing to supply allies around the world with long-term and secure clean energy.
While a short reference, The Headlamp team can’t remember the last time someone on Wall Street said something so direct and helpful about pipelines in Alaska.
Fink also said that BlackRock is already major investor in Alaska: including, as we recently learned, as the largest shareholder in Northrim Bank, an investor in Hecla Mines, along with a major and growing investment in Conoco Phillips, among others.
Here’s a clip of the interview highlighting his comments on LNG, Alaska, and the American opportunity to provide energy security for a number of allies around the world:
Global Oil Map Seen Shifting as Industry Embraces Renewables
Dan Murtaugh, Bloomberg, July 20, 2022
- Oil fields of the future will need renewables, carbon capture
- US Gulf Coast, other regions set to be ‘super basins’: Wood Mac
The world’s oil map is being redrawn as the industry becomes increasingly intertwined with renewables, according to consultancy Wood Mackenzie Ltd.
Oil majors that want to reduce their carbon footprint will have to shift their activities to energy basins where drilling rigs can be powered by renewables and which have ample space for carbon sequestration, said Andrew Latham, vice president at Wood Mackenzie, in a new report.
The shift will mean that several oil and gas fields that dominate the energy landscape today — from Alaska’s North Slope to Russia’s Yamal Peninsula and Venezuela’s Orinoco Belt — will be disadvantaged and face a flight of capital in the future. Such places have limited infrastructure to develop renewables at scale.
Pogo gold production jumps, costs dive
Shane Lasley, North of 60 Mining News, July 22, 2022
Northern Star Resources Ltd. July 20 reported that the trend of increased gold production and lower costs is continuing at its Pogo Mine in Alaska.
During the second quarter of 2022, Pogo produced 70,792 ounces of gold from 322,290 metric tons of ore averaging 7.7 grams per metric ton gold. This marks a 23% increase over the 57,489 oz of gold produced and 24% increase over the 260,508 metric tons of ore milled during the first quarter of this year.
With gold production climbing, the cost per oz of gold sold at Pogo has dropped significantly.
The all-in sustaining cost per oz of Pogo gold sold during the June quarter was US$1,184, which is a 20% drop over the US$1,483/oz gold sold during the first quarter of this year.
The quarterly gold production puts Pogo nearly to the level of attaining the 300,000-oz-per-year production rate that Northern Star hoped to achieve upon the recent completion of a major expansion at the Alaska mine.
Biden Hesitates At Climate Decree After Preparation Rush
Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Jennifer Jacobs, Bloomberg, July 24, 2022
Hours after Senator Joe Manchin delivered a fatal blow to climate change legislation championed by Joe Biden, White House officials began making plans for the president to take matters into his own hands.
They wanted to act fast. Heading into the weekend, news of historic heat waves scorching cities from Phoenix to London seemed to underscore the urgency of the climate threat. And they had the perfect stage to announce bold action: In a few days, Biden would deliver a speech on clean energy in front of a shuttered Massachusetts coal plant.
His aides worked feverishly on a plan to show he was aggressively, and unilaterally, attacking climate change. They drafted a menu of options, including an emergency proclamation that would unlock sweeping executive powers allowing Biden to potentially block crude exports, fund clean energy construction and curtail offshore oil drilling.
Then, before the speech, Biden himself hit pause. There would be no emergency proclamation — not yet. He sent the aides back to the drawing board, where they remain, trying to chart an ambitious path forward that will not only pass legal muster but yield measurable results for voters, all while delicately handling Senate politics.
The new campaign will unfold over the next few weeks, with policy initiatives likely touching manufacturing, transportation, and other sectors. An emergency proclamation is still likely. But the frenzied effort to get there — recounted by multiple people familiar with the deliberations — suggests that the White House is struggling to work around the narrowly divided Congress, even as it seeks to move independently.
While the administration spent months amassing a suite of possible policies to deploy in case congressional talks collapsed, those were far from ready.
After Manchin’s move, aides began drafting an order that would trigger immediate interventions and honed ideas for actions the president and federal agencies could swiftly take. Some agency officials were enlisted to help build out the policy plans, people familiar with the matter said.
White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy canceled her travel plans and stayed in D.C., where she presented the plans to White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain and Deputy Chief of Staff Bruce Reed.
By late Monday, some officials were preparing for a possible midweek climate emergency declaration, though no decision had been made, two people familiar with the matter said.
By midday Tuesday, the strategy had shifted.
Biden had pressed aides to move rapidly — putting actions on the table that could be delivered in short order. But he stressed that the plans needed to be fully fleshed out and made as robust as possible. On Wednesday, Biden acknowledged that tension. “I’m running the traps on the totality of the authority I have,” he told reporters.
There were political considerations, too, although they weren’t deciding factors in postponing an emergency declaration, people familiar said.
There were discussions, for example, about the timing of a climate proclamation — which could upset work in Congress on health care legislation, people familiar said. Senate dynamics were a part of the calculus, said one administration official who asked not to be named describing the deliberations. Despite Manchin’s withdrawal of support for the climate package, the White House does not want to alienate him — a moderate Democrat from coal- and gas-rich West Virginia whose vote is critical to pass key legislation in the Senate.
At the same time, the menu of possible policy announcements for Biden’s speech was also being narrowed down. Roughly a half dozen iterations of the portfolio were considered between Sunday and Tuesday evening as aides tried to balance what was immediately actionable with the risks of appearing to be doing too little, people familiar said.