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Northern Gas Pipelines is your public service 1-stop-shop for Alaska and Canadian Arctic energy commentary, news, history, projects and people. It is informal and rich with new information, updated daily. Here is the most timely and complete Arctic gas pipeline and northern energy archive available anywhere—used by media, academia, government and industry officials throughout the world. Northern Gas Pipelines may be the oldest Alaska blog; we invite readers to suggest others existing before 2001.

 

9-39-14

30 September 2014 1:21am

 
 
SaskPower to launch carbon-capture power plant; hopes it will be model for world
Calgary Herald... power station with a mechanism to capture carbon dioxide emissions and transport the gas through a steel pipeline into storage deep underground.

 
 
Mi'kmaq leaders protesting $100M Alton gas storage project.  CBC.ca.  Mi'kmaq leaders protesting $100M Alton gas storage project ... space will store compressed natural gas delivered by the Maritimes Northeast pipeline.
 

9-29-14

29 September 2014 8:20am

ADN by Alex DeMaban.  Scott Hawkins (NGP Photo), founder Scott Hawkins, Prosperity Alaska, Ecnomist, Supply Chain, SB 21, Initiative Process, ballot propositionof Prosperity Alaska, believes the voting public should not decide complex tax questions or other measures that increase regulations or permitting of businesses.  

“Oil taxation is an incredibly technical, complex, arcane subject. It does not belong on the ballot,” said Hawkins, president of Advanced Supply Chain International in Anchorage, providing support to oil and gas, mining and other industries. “Our elected officials spent years and thousands of hours in hearings and hired experts and oil taxatiConon is not a suitable subject for the ballot.”

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Consumer Energy Alliance Energy Links for TODAY:

Omaha World-Herald: Willie Nelson, Neil Young lend their talents to Keystone XL fight*Michael Whatley Mentioned

Music legends Willie Nelson and Neil Young delivered Saturday on a promise to comfort opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline while also pleasing a few project supporters who ventured into a crowded Nebraska farm field.

*Unique Visitors Per Month:379,880

 

Norfolk Daily News: Keystone XL foes sing out, call on U.S. to stand up *Michael Whatley Mentioned

Music legends Willie Nelson and Neil Young delivered Saturday on a promise to comfort opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline while also pleasing a few project supporters who ventured into a crowded Nebraska farm field.

*Unique Visitors Per Month:43,158

 

Nebraska’s NET- NPR: Behind The Singing, Anti-Pipeline Stars Clash With Pipeline Promoters *Michael Whatley Quoted

On stage in front of an estimated 8,000 concertgoers, Neil Young was sweetly singing “Heart of Gold” one minute. But a short while before, he’d been harshly berating the industry that wants to build Keystone XL to pipe oil from the sands of Alberta, Canada to Texas.

 

Build KXL Now: Harper: KXL Approval is “Inevitable”

In a meeting in New York earlier this week, Canadian Prime Minister Harper assured attendees that U.S. approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline is unavoidable. Harper said that despite delays in the approval of the project, the need for the KXL hasn’t gone away.

 

The Florida Times-Union: JEA seeks collaboration amid debate over Obama pollution reduction plan*Kevin Doyle Quoted

JEA officials insist they are seeking collaboration — not political debate — over the Obama administration’s plan to reduce pollution from the nation’s power plants, a proposal that would in some cases require utilities to make big changes to the way they’ve done business for decades.

*Unique Visitors Per Month:468,775

 

Ocala Star Banner: Letters to the Editor for Sept. 27, 2014 *Kevin Doyle LTE

In response to the Star-Banner's Sept. 23rd editorial, “Florida's untapped potential,” we would like to offer an alternative perspective. The newspaper's editorial failed to consider the impact to consumers' pocketbooks. The editorial made no mention of the fact that the rates that consumers pay for electricity in Vermont are upwards of 50 percent more than they are in Florida.

*Unique Visitors Per Month:206,331

 

Herald-Tribune: Renewable, but at a cost *Kevin Doyle LTE

In response to the Herald-Tribune's Sept. 17 editorial ("Florida's untapped potential: Vermont city exposes Sunshine State's shortcomings") we would like to offer an alternative perspective.

*Unique Visitors Per Month:319,007

 

Argus Leader: Nelson, Young perform anti-pipeline concert

Roughly 8,000 people filled a northeast Nebraska farm Saturday to hear Willie Nelson and Neil Young perform at a concert organized by opponents of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

 

NRDC: Neil Young, Willie Nelson and 8,000 in Nebraska Stand Up to the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline

Under a warm September sun, thousands spread out across the cornfield on the Tanderup family farm in Neligh, Nebraska. We sang along with Neil Young and Willie Nelson to honor the beautiful Nebraska farms and ranches, waters and traditional lands. Willie Nelson and Neil Young both have a long track record of standing up for the family farmers.

 

Nebraska Radio Network: Transportation Secretary sees no quick solution to rail car shortage

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx can’t promise any solution this fall to a rail car shortage threatening harvest season. Farmers need rail cars to move crops, but rail has been diverted to hauling oil from the Bakken oil fields in Montana and North Dakota.

 

USA Today: U.S. carbon emissions rise despite Obama climate plan

U.S. emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide have risen 6% in the last two years despite the Obama administration's efforts to curb global warming, federal data show.



CBS News: EPA approves power plant partial shut down proposal

Federal regulators have signed off on a settlement that calls for shutting down part of a coal-fired power plant in northwestern New Mexico that serves more than 2 million customers in the Southwest.

 

Tribune-Review: Pippy: Coal power plant regulations not 'realistic'

John Pippy summed up the attitude of the coal industry toward developing state and federal clean air standards by simply saying: “Oversight is good, overreach is bad.”

 

The Hill: The right option for offshore leasing

The U.S. government could learn important lessons on offshore leasing from financial markets and oil companies.

 

Wall Street Journal: Why Peak-Oil Predictions Haven't Come True

For decades, it has been a doomsday scenario looming large in the popular imagination: The world's oil production tops out and then starts an inexorable decline—sending costs soaring and forcing nations to lay down strict rationing programs and battle for shrinking reserves.

 

Washington Times: Hydraulic fracturing is the answer to global warming

The game-changer for the United States has been the shale oil and gas revolution over the past six years brought about through new smart drilling technologies. The United States is now the largest natural-gas producer in the world. We have replaced Russia as No. 1. As America has produced more natural gas, we have shifted away from coal. This, according to the Energy Information Administration, accounts for more than 60 percent of the carbon-dioxide emission reductions in the United States. Mr. Obama never mentioned that.

 

Associated Press: Gas drillers draw less water

The gas drilling industry in Pennsylvania is recycling more and more water and one river basin commission now reports drillers there are drawing less freshwater than in the past. Water use by the natural gas industry in the Susquehanna River Basin peaked at about 3.8 billion gallons in 2011 and that figure declined to about 3.1 billion gallons in 2013.

 

Bloomberg BNA: Chemical Makers Tell EPA Not to Mandate HF Fluid Disclosure

Chemical makers and energy companies have told the Environmental Protection Agency there is no need for it to require them to report information about the chemicals used for hydraulic fracturing fluids.

 

Financial Times: Rising shale output disrupts US gas prices

The new direction for the Rockies Express shows how pipeline companies are scrambling to keep up with breakthroughs in shale gas drilling. Unlike shale oil, which is booming in North Dakota and Texas, the strongest shale gas growth is in northeastern states.

 

Washington Post: Nation rushes to embrace natural gas

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s attitude toward natural-gas “fracking” seems to depend on whether it occurs somewhere that would be politically inconvenient for him.

 

Mohave Valley Daily News: Judge refuses to halt HF

A federal judge has refused to block the release of oil and gas leases in Nevada that critics say will be used for hydraulic fracturing that could harm sage grouse and cause more environmental damage than the Bureau of Land Management admits.

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9-28-14 BP's Paskvan Honored

28 September 2014 1:50am

Julie Hasquet of BP alerts us that lifelong Alaskan and long-time BP Alaska employee Frank Paskvan was honored at UAF Friday night with the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus Award.  We add our congratulations, having heard him speak a number of times on the importance of Alaska's North Slope energy assets, including gas hydrates.

 

 

 

 

9-27-14 Lower 48 LNG Projects Move Ahead

27 September 2014 5:00pm

JD SUPRA BUSINESS ADIVSOR.  Shortly after finalizing its revised procedures for reviewing pending liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) export applications, the Department of Energy (“DOE”) issued final authorizations for two facilities to export LNG to countries that do not have a Free Trade Agreement with the United States (“non-FTA countries”).  

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The DOE’s revised procedures apply only to exports from the lower-48 states and explicitly exclude Alaska, given the potential utility of issuing conditional authorizations for unique Alaskan projects.              More here.....

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9-26-14 "Balderdash" Or Not, That Is The Question!

26 September 2014 11:19am

See This Week's Petroleum News Stories Here

Petroleum News Story by Alan Bailey (NGP Photo).  In a Sept. Alan Bailey, Petroleum News, HEA, CEA, MEA, ARTEC, Homer Electric, lobbying, grants, Dave Harbour Photo15 letter to state Rep. Doug Isaacson, Brad Janorschke, general manager of Homer Electric Association, said that his utility had quit the Alaska Railbelt Cooperative and Electric Co., or ARCTEC, in early 2013 because, rather than pursuing cost-saving projects that would jointly benefit ARCTEC’s member utilities, ARCTEC’s sole purpose seemed to have become lobbying for grant funding from the state Legislature. A desire of some ARCTEC members to hire a CEO for the organization had also factored into Homer Electric’s decision, Janorschke said.  *     *     *   Joe GriffithARCTEC CEO, told Petroleum News Sept. 23 that, while concerns about the cost of hiring of a CEO may well have motivated Homer Electric to leave the organization, Janorschke’s accusations that ARCTEC had become purely a lobbying organization were essentially “balderdash.”  

Observation: we may have more to say about this in a future editorial comment.  

Suffice to say, we normally default to having the 'cost causer be the cost payer.'  This means that -- in this case -- the rate payers receiving electric service have to pay for it.  

Alan Bailey's article is all about the accusation that ARTEC members are seeking to have others pay for the rate payer projects and benefits in their service areas.  

We tend to put significant credence on the Homer Electric decision and position while still leaving a little opening for valid counter arguments by the other ARTEC utilities.  We would observe that the word, "Balderdash", adds little credibility to construction of a valid counter argument.

We would ask each of the ARTEC members to answer several questions: "If your utility, under your leadership, needs an ARTEC group, and is not capable of properly serving your customers, why are you still in charge?"  

Another question might be, "If one of ARTEC's supposed values is having the member utilities coordinate with one another, why do you need a bureaucracy to communicate; why not do that as a matter of course, as good managers?"  

Lastly, if you would justify your own request for state subsidy by saying, "Well, Fairbanks is trying to get the state to subsidize its natural gas system," I would suggest that should also be the responsibility of very highly compensated utility managers, rate analysts, lawyers and employees in that service area which they have pledged to serve.  

Yes, the time honored concept of 'just and reasonable' rates arises from the foundational principle that the 'cost causer is the cost payer'.  

When we try to have the state give public money, we take that money 1) from the taxpayer, and/or 2) from the citizens elsewhere in the state whose highway, port, public safety and education projects may go begging.  

This makes ARTEC rate payers pay less for the service than it actually costs and thus creates the circumstance of 'an unjust and unreasonable' rate.  

Usually an 'unjust' rate is too high a rate; in this case, it means rate payers pay too little for their service which politicians allowed other parts of the state, or other taxpayers to subsidize.  

Lastly, being realistic, we acknowledge that politicians trade money and projects back and forth all the time, creating inequality of benefit wherever they go.  

For example, ARTEC has already received over $50 million in state money grants while the votes to get that money required trading money to other parts of the state.  Is that a 'just and reasonable' process?  Probably not.

Is it likely to see reform?  Not likely.       -dh

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9-25-14

25 September 2014 6:20am

WSJ: Alaska's Lessons For The Keystone XL Pipeline


IOGCC's Gerry Baker reminds readers to register for the Columbus, Ohio meeting just weeks away.  

Sister organization, NARUC, reminds us of its 126th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, coming in November.  


Resolutions of both organizations go to State and DC Policy makers so energy company participation is mission essential.  -dh

TODAY'S GASLINE MEETING IN FAIRBANKS: The Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline (ASAP) Community Advisory Council will hold its monthly meeting on September 25, 2014 from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm in Fairbanks. The meeting will be held at the Fairbanks Pipeline Training Center located at 3600 Cartwright Court.  The meeting is open to the public.  

Our readers may teleconference via this toll-free number 855-212-0212, meeting ID #:450-839-914.   Find more information on the ASAP project webpage.


Jim Prentice, Premier, Alberta, Globe & Mail Endorsement, Dave Harbour PhotoGlobe & Mail Editorial Support For Jim Prentice (NGP Photo).  When your predecessor lost her job by getting a lot of small things wrong in the most counterproductive way possible, it’s easy to engineer a change in direction. That fleet of private government planes whose flights of fancy grounded Alison Redford? Announce you’re selling them. The big cabinet that bugged voters? Cut its size. That partisan, paranoid plan to change the province’s license plates by removing the long-standing tag line “Wild Rose Country”? Ditch it. Jim Prentice did all of the above in his first days as Alberta’s new Progressive Conservative Premier. Not bad.


TODAY'S CONSUMER ENERGY ALLIANCE ENERGY NEWS LINKS:

Alaska Dispatch News: Shell, ConocoPhillips plead with White House for flexibility in Arctic drilling safety measures
Oil companies hoping to find crude under Arctic waters north of Alaska are imploring the Obama administration to ensure new rules governing drilling in the region don’t force them to stash emergency equipment nearby or block them from using chemical dispersants to clean up any spills.

 
BuildKXLNow.org: Railing Against Keystone XL is Running Over Midwestern Farmers
Willie Nelson and Neil Young, boosters of America’s farmer, will take the stage on Saturday in Nebraska to oppose a pipeline that would help solve a major problem for farmers.  A rail-jam caused by a spike in oil by rail shipments is delaying midwestern farmers from moving their harvest to market.

Sioux City Journal: More tickets available for anti-pipeline concert
Several hundred additional tickets are available for this weekend's Willie Nelson and Neil Young concert organized by opponents of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
 
Yahoo Finance: Why Canadian crude exports to the US are on a high
According to Statistics Canada, energy product shipments—including bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands, the world’s third-largest oil reserve—are the largest component of Canada’s exports. Canada’s largest pipeline company—Enbridge Inc.—is also undertaking a multi billion-dollar expansion program across all of its export network. The program will boost capacity.
 
Reuters: Harper says U.S. will approve Keystone XL pipeline eventually
Logic dictates that the United States will one day approve the northern leg of TransCanada Corp's controversial Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told an audience of executives in New York on Wednesday.
 
TD Waterhouse- Market & Research: Philadelphia energy firms seek rail line changes to boost Bakken crude
Philadelphia-area energy officials are in talks with the local commuter rail agency to increase access to a three-mile stretch of rail near the city's airport to allow for greater shipments of Bakken crude oil, people familiar with the talks told Reuters.
 
Dallas Business Journal: Why stagnant oil and gas prices don't worry T. Boone Pickens
U.S. oil and gas prices are lower than shale producers would like right now, but famed Dallas energy financier T. Boone Pickens told a Houston audience that he sees the American energy boom continuing for many years to come and maybe another three decades or so.
 
Houston Chronicle: Pickens expects cheap natural gas for the foreseeable future
Texas energy financier T. Boone Pickens, an advocate for natural gas as a transportation fuel, says he expects it to stay cheap - good news for drivers who adopt it as an alternative to gasoline and diesel but not necessarily for producers. "I don't think I'll ever see $10 gas," said Pickens, 86, during a Houston panel discussion this week hosted by the law firm Winston & Strawn.
 
Associated Press: GE to give Penn State $10 million for gas drilling center
Penn State University said Wednesday that General Electric Co. will give the school up to $10 million to create a new center for natural gas industry research. Penn State President Eric Barron said in a statement that the center will produce tangible benefits to the industry, to communities that are affected by drilling or related activity, and to consumers.
 
Reuters: Henry Hub, king of U.S. natural gas trade, losing crown to Marcellus
For nearly a quarter-century, traders around the world have looked to a spot in Louisiana for the best price of U.S. natural gas. Now they're looking east. The Henry Hub in southern Louisiana, which connects to more than a dozen on- and offshore pipelines from Texas and the Gulf of Mexico, has been surpassed as the most active place for trading physical U.S. natural gas by hubs in shale-rich Pennsylvania.
 
ABC Denver: Shale panel begins study on land-use issues
A commission assembled by Gov. John Hickenlooper to study land-use clashes between Colorado's energy industry and homeowners will meet for the first time. The 21-member panel is charged with issuing recommendations to lawmakers next year on how to deal with conflicts arising from hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.
 
The Times: Senate candidate makes pitch to LSUS students
This state should be teeming with dollars,” Maness said. “The oil and gas industry has been so restricted at the federal level that it can’t get the job done because it’s too expensive in a lot of cases, especially up here with Haynesville Shale operations. It’s because of over regulation.”
 
Capital New York: If Democrats take majority, Senate would take up HF bills
A number of bills to restrict fracking in New York State could make their way to the Senate floor if Democrats win control of the upper chamber in November. The state has had a moratorium on fracking for six years. At the same time, Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered the state health department to study the health risks of fracking but has not said when, or if, the study would be released.
 
Albany Times Union: Propane storage urged in caverns
The state's propane industry is pushing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to clear the way for a long-planned underground natural gas and propane storage facility in the Finger Lakes region near Watkins Glen. Speaking at the annual conference of the New York Propane Gas Association in that city, President Rick Cummings said safety concerns, voiced by the region's wine and tourism industry, are unfounded and urged the state Department of Environmental Conservation to issue permits.
 
Philadelphia Inquirer: Gas industry wants final word on word
The Marcellus Shale industry is trying to reclaim a word that has become one of the most effective weapons of natural gas foes: Fracking. The Marcellus Shale Coalition, which opened its annual conference Wednesday in Pittsburgh, is launching a campaign aimed at countering the negative connotations associated with fracking, the term derived from the gas-extraction technique of hydraulic fracturing. NOTE: The Tribune-Review and the Pittsburg Business Times also report.
 
Associated Press: Gas drilling public health risks get an airing
Garrett County residents are getting a chance to hear about the potential public health risks of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in their region. The local health department is hosting a presentation Thursday night on a study conducted by the University of Maryland School of Public Health.
 
Columbus Business First: ‘Crippling penalties’ urged for drillers not disclosing chemicals
Commissioners in Portage County, which is just west of some of the big Utica shale counties in eastern Ohio, say they’re concerned about nondisclosure. The county has 18 active underground injection wells and eight more permitted. Ohio hosts 205 injection wells, where drillers in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays dispose fracking-related waste.
 
Valley Biz: Eagle Ford Shale Business Boom
The Eagle Ford Shale oil boom is bringing a lot of new jobs and businesses to deep South Texas. New hotels, restaurants, stores and big city chains are coming to small towns on rural highways.
 
Times Online: Speakers: Shale support could decide White House, Congress
Attendees of the first full day of the annual Shale Insight conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center found themselves treated to a gas and oil industry pep rallyWednesday, coupled with predictions of who will be elected the next president of the United States.
 
National Geographic: The U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard: It’s Not Just for Ethanol Anymore
The debate surrounding ethanol and federally mandated targets for its production tends to dominate the conversation about the United States’ Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). But the Environmental Protection Agency recently issued a tweak to the RFS that also deserves attention.
 
Journal Advocate: EPA power plant rule a bad deal for everyone
It is virtually impossible to overstate the importance of readily available access to safe, affordable and reliable energy to individual prosperity and economic well-being. Energy impacts nearly all aspects of life, from the gasoline pumped into cars to the electricity needed to power factories and industries.
 
Smart Grid News: Up or down? The impact of EPA’s Clean Power Plan on electric rates
Last week we pointed you to an article by the Environmental Defense Fund suggesting that the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan could lead to lower electric bills. So it's only fair that we point you to an article by a respected energy management expert that reaches a different conclusion. Quick summary below, but click through to the full post for the nuances.

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