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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.

 

2012 Archives

12-20-12

20 December 2012 11:45am

ALASKA GAS PIPELINE - JOINT IN-STATE GAS CAUCUS MEETING:
TODAY, Anchorage, Ak., Dec 20 Thursday Anch LIO Rm 220 1:00 PM
 Speakers: Alaska Gasline Development Corporation,
 Frank Richards; Representative Hawker and
 Representative Chenault, Speaker
 --Meeting will be aired on AlaskaLegislature.tv--

12-19-12

19 December 2012 3:39pm

Daily Caller by David Holt (NGP Photo).  David Holt, Consumer Energy Alliance, Photo by Dave HarbourOver the past year, energy has moved from newspapers’ business and science sections to their front pages. From the president’s highly controversial decision on the Keystone XL pipeline to new assessments of prolific U.S. oil and natural gas reserves, American energy dominated the headlines this year — and for good reason. High gasoline anddiesel prices threaten to curtail the economic recovery and ongoing turmoil overseas has refocused the country’s attention on the importance of energy security.

Categories:

2-18-12 Sell Alaska?

18 December 2012 10:26am

 

Calgary Herald by Dan Healing. Athabasca Oil Corp. said Monday it plans to invest $798 million overall in capital spending in 2013, with most of that going to its thermal oilsands projects.
 “With the Duvernay results coming in, with the industry interest in the Duvernay increasing a lot lately, it’s a place with our 350,000 net acres (140,000 hectares), we will have to take partners in the future, just too much cost,” said chief executive Sveinung Svarte...."

 

We are delighted to note that the Andrew Halcro, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce President, Alaska Legislature, Avis car rental, ACES, AGIA, Photo by Dave HarbourAnchorage Chamber of Commerce board of directors has selected Andrew Halcro (NGP Photo) to serve as its new president.  Halcro knows Alaska's natural resource and fiscal issues as well as any citizen.  With his free enterprise background and histrory as an activist legislator, we know he will serve in his new role, with distinction.

 

Sell Alaska?

Washington Post by Steve Mufson.   ...  Put the entire state — from Juneau to Deadhorse, from the Bering Strait to the Beaufort Sea — on the auction block.  Absurd? No more absurd than the spectacle taking place right now as we skid closer to the “fiscal cliff.”  Selling real estate at top dollar is all about timing, and now’s a great time to unload the 49th state. The federal government,which owns 69 percent of Alaska, could cash in on the vast, resource-rich state at a time when oil prices are high and wild salmon is flying off the shelves at Whole....  

 

 


 

Commentary on "Selling Alaska"

by

Dave Harbour 

 
Kaye Laughlin, Washington Post, Sell Alaska, Sale of Alaska, Fiscal Cliff, Alaska resources, Photo by Dave HarbourWe are grateful to NGP Reader Kaye Laughlin (NGP Photo) for bringing this Washington Post story to our attention.  And we are grateful to author Steve Mufson for educating readers about the wealth of Alaska.  Indeed, reasonably and safely developed, the 49th state could save the economy of a well-managed country just as selling it might produce untold hundreds-of-billions in cash.
 
Insightful readers will understand, as well, that safely developing Alaska's resources under Alaska's tough laws would displace resources being developed less safely elsewhere.  So, selling the state could only be an act of environmental enlightenment if the purchaser were as enlightened.
 
Properly developing Alaska's vast resources now could materially boost total employment in the country; support a strong national defense; strengthen America's inflating currency; and lower costs on almost all consumable items.   It could help take the edge off of any current or future "fiscal cliffs".
 
However, development of or a sale of Alaska (i.e. 20% of the United States with 3/4 of her coastline and most of her natural resources, in the U.S.'s only Arctic state), would not provide these benefits if the owner-country is poorly managed, as now.   History is our guide and we know that any improvement in revenue, under the present federal Administration, would flow into new, wasteful spending programs.  New revenue could not logically have desirable effects, like paying down national debt, when the same profligate spenders remain in charge of the economy--indeed, weakening it weekly with hundreds of new regulatory burdens.   
 
When managers are fixed on spending more and developing less, as is our present circumstance, no amount or source of new money can produce economic equilibrium.  
 
A prudent manager would 1) safely monetize Alaska's/America's resources while 2) controlling spending.  This imprudent Administration has shown no propensity to do either.
 
We love Mr. Mufson's creative idea for the discussions it is undoubtedly prompting, and credit him, in part, with an effective effort to 'stir the pot' as the 2012 fiscal cliff decision approaches.
 
Nevertheless, we must say that a large negative effect of a sale would fall on the people and resources of Alaska.   Any country that would buy the state is unlikely to be as protective of our natural resources as is Alaska's government.  Neither could Alaskan citizens be confident that their freedoms would survive the sale and transfer of ownership.  
 
So, to Mr. Mufson and our dear readers, we laud such attempts at creativity -- whether they be born of reality, jest or irony -- and encourage more of it.
 
At the same time, we recognize that even the most elegant political (i.e. or journalistic) attempts to manipulate the free market are unlikely to produce many fiscally feasible results -- as the approaching, politically created fiscal cliff demonstrates.   -dh  
Categories:

12-17-12

17 December 2012 7:22am

BC's gas export plans on same scale as Alberta's ... - Calgary Herald - She said her government is committed to working with the gas industry to build a pipeline from the province's northeast natural gas fields to an LNG terminal in ...

New York Times Supports LNG Export.  A new and long-awaited report from the Department of Energy has concluded that the government should quickly begin easing restrictions on the export of natural gas to take advantage of the vast new discoveries of a fuel that only a decade ago was in relatively short supply in this country.  Exporting natural gas is a controversial issue, with powerful forces on both sides. But we are persuaded by the report’s core finding that the benefits of selling gas to other countries would more than offset the modestly negative impact of higher prices for domestic users of the fuel.

Alaska Journal of Commerce/ADN by Tim Bradner.  The State of Alaska would finance $355 million of a liquefied natural gas project on the North Slope to support an LNG trucking operation as well as LNG re-gasification facilities near Fairbanks, Gov. Sean Parnell announced Dec 7.  Parnell's proposal is for a $50 million state grant; $275 million in revenue bonds, and $30 million in gas storage tax credits through an existing program to help finance construction of LNG storage tanks on the North Slope and at North Pole.  The financing would also include an expanded gas distribution system in the Interior Alaska city, Parnell said in a press release. 

San Francisco Chronicle/AP by Dan Joling.  Gov. Sean Parnell (NGP Photo) Alaska Governor Sean Parnell, budget, state spending, Alaska, pipeline throughput, Photo by Dave Harbouron Friday announced a proposed state budget that would limit growth in operating costs to less than 1 percent.  At a news conference after unveiling the numbers in a speech to the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, Parnell said he is proposing an operating budget that spends $9 billion overall and a state general fund portion of $5.7 billion.  That's 0.8 percent more than this year, he said.  "That is a level of increase that has not been seen in some years," he said.  Alaskans are not likely to detect changes in the bureaucracy. The lack of growth comes from anticipated savings in Medicaid costs, Parnell said.  Overall, state spending will be down nearly $1.1 billion from this year, Parnell said.  The big difference will be spending for buildings and other facilities. 

 


Brad Keithley, Alaskans for Sustainable Budget, ACES, AGIA, Photo by Dave HarbourBrad Keithley (NGP Photo) Blog.  Alaska Fiscal Policy| Finishing my analysis of the proposed budget; should publish it later today. The Governor gave it an interesting spin. Spending down from last year? Yes, some. But, still the second highest level of unrestricted general fund spending in Alaska's history, no savings for future Alaskans and at least $1 billion, and more likely $2 billion, over sustainable budget levels. A lot less -- a lot -- than advertised.

Alaska Dispatch by Jill Burke.  Similar to last year, Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell's proposed $12.8 billion budget for 2014 calls for fiscal restraint, released under the banner of “responsible and responsive.”

12-14-12

14 December 2012 10:33am

Economic Freedom of North America, From the Fraser Institute:
The link between economic freedom and prosperity is clear: provinces that support low taxation, limited government, and flexible labour markets benefit from greater economic growth. Our new report ranks Alberta No. 1 and Saskatchewan third in economic freedom among all Canadian provinces and US states. Canadian provinces make up four of the top 10 jurisdictions, with Newfoundland and Labrador and British Columbia coming in ninth and 10th, respectively.
Read a summary | Read the news release


 

Friday Highlights from Consumer Energy Alliance:
A Texas judge who issued a temporary restraining order on construction of a portion of the Keystone XL pipeline has dissolved the action. A new hearing has been set on Dec. 19 in a Nacogdoches County court to hear the claims by Michael Bishop, who argued that the resource that TransCanada Corp. (NYSE: TRP) is transporting from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries doesn’t meet the federal standards for crude. TransCanada will also present its counterclaim to prevent Bishop from interfering with the company’s easement rights.
 
Support for regulation of hydraulic fracturing has increased in the past three months, a sign that the gas-drilling practice is facing greater public scrutiny. A Bloomberg National Poll found that 66 percent of Americans want more government oversight of the process, known as fracking, in which water, chemicals and sand are shot underground to free gas trapped in rock. That’s an increase from 56 percent in a September poll. The poll found 18 percent favored less regulation, down from 29 percent three months ago.
 
As many states reap the benefits of fracking, others increasingly are lining up against it. Led by New York, seven Atlantic states this week threatened to sue the Environmental Protection Agency, seeking harsher air quality rules on the oil and gas industry and its most effective drilling method. For all of its virtues, which include setting the U.S. on a path toward energy independence, fracking continues to meet stiff resistance, particularly as it moves north from Pennsylvania.
 
Politico Pro: EPA expected to release soot standard
EPA faces a court deadline Friday to finalize a highly anticipated new air quality standard for soot, and scuttlebutt says the agency is getting what it wants. Numerous sources say EPA is expected to announce it's setting the standard for fine particulate matter — also called PM2.5 — at 12 micrograms per cubic meter, down from the current standard of 15 micrograms per cubic meter. EPA originally sent a standard of 12 to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review this summer, before administration pressure led the agency to release a proposed a rule with a range of 12 to 13 micrograms per cubic meter, according to documents later released by the agency.
 
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries expressed concern over the fragile state of the global economy during their most recent meeting in Vienna. Ministers there said there was uncertainty moving forward to 2013 in the oil markets in large part because of a lack of "clear vision on the economic front." Though the U.S. economy was described as robust, and the Eurozone seen as bottoming out, OPEC revised its economic growth forecast for this year from 3.1 percent to 3.0 percent. Though oil demand is expected to revive because of expected economic growth in 2013, the cartel said it was keeping production ceilings in place because of a projected increase in non-OPEC supply.

Crews on Friday are resuming work on an oil well about nine miles west of Parshall that has been spraying an oily mist into the air. The Forum reports that officials expect to have the problem contained Friday morning. North Dakota Department of Health environmental geologist Kris Roberts says the well did not pose any danger to public health and there is no need for evacuations.

 

12-13-12

13 December 2012 7:19am

Today's latest, mostly shale news, worldwide


Moodys informs our Canadian readers of the pitfalls of US investments in real estate, stocks and bonds.


As the polar bears of the Beaufort Sea face record low ice, the Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) has issued a determination, requiring a response from Canada to submission SEM-11-003 (Protection of Polar Bears).

 

12-12-12 - What A Date!

12 December 2012 8:27am

Call to Action: We thank the Alaska Miners Association for this alert.  PLEASE COMMENT ON THE CANYON CREEK COAL LEASE SALE TODAY (EXPLORATION), OR BEFORE DECEMBER 21!  -DH

Steve Pratt, Consumer Energy Alliance, Alaska, ACES, AGIA, Photo by Dave HarbourCBC News Alert:  TONIGHT Edmontonians will be able to inspect ATCO Pipelines' plan for a new network of high pressure natural gas pipelines in the city....

Tomorrow, CEA Alaska's Steve Pratt (NGP Photo) will appear on the Dan Fagan Show, 7-8 a.m., KTBY/Fox Channel 4/654, to discuss energy production and consumption from a consumer perspective....  -dh 


Alaska Governor Sean Parnell, Korea Gas, pipeline, lng, Photo by Dave HarbourWE ARE AMAZED that this item, posted on Governor Sean Parnell's (NGP Photo) webpage two days ago received so little mainstream media coverage that the Governor's staff, today, had to resort to 'tweeting' this possibly historic relationship between Alaska and Korea.  Or, was it the Outside media that picked up on it and tweeted it?  We hope that you did not, "see it here first."  -dh  (Governor Sean Parnell met with Mr. Kangsoo Choo, the Chief Executive Officer and President of Korea Gas Corp. {KOGAS}, to discuss opportunities to export large volumes of Alaska liquefied natural gas {LNG} to Asia.)  *  (See Alaska Dispatch Story)


Tanguy Libbrecht, Sheraton Anchorage, Alaska Red Cross, Photo by Dave HarbourFairbanks News Miner - The American Red Cross of Alaska has hired a new chief executive officer.  Tanguy Libbrecht (NGP Photo) is moving to the organization from the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel.   The Red Cross says in an announcement that Libbrecht has served on boards or committees for the Boys & Girls Clubs, Anchorage Sister Cities Commission, Anchorage Youth Symphony and Anchorage Mayor's Ball.  (Note:  The Sheraton in general and Mike, Michael Jesperson, Sheraton Anchorage, Alliance, RDC, Sales, Photo by Dave HarbourTanguy in particular have been extraordinarily supportive of the natural resource industries.  We are pleased to note that Michael Jesperson (NGP Photo) remains on the Sheraton's executive staff, a strong advocate for reasonable economic development.  -dh)

On such a special date, 12-12-12, with help from "Energy In Depth", we bring readers special links nationwide to the status of the North American/world shale industry and the effect it is having on our prospects for energy independence.  -dh

NATIONAL

Shale changing landscape, UPI. The U.S. Energy Department said technological breakthroughs in developing shale and other unconventional reserves were unlocking new energy potential. By the end of the decade, new technology could position the United States as a world energy leader. NOTE: NGI's Shale Daily (sub req’d) also reports.
 
Interior pushes back HF rule timeline. The Hill. In order to ensure that the 170,000 comments received are properly analyzed, the Bureau of Land Management expects action on the [hydraulic fracturing] proposal in the new year,” Interior spokesman Blake Androff said. 

From the Calgary Herald:

1.  First nations leaders are expected to sign a declaration of indigenous law banning pipelines, tankers and oilsands in British Columbia at a Vancouver press conference tomorrow.

2.  Enbridge Inc. and an affiliate are spending $6.2 billion on a series of projects to connect growing U.S. and Canadian light oil supply to market.

3.  The federal government appears to be backing away from its strong support of the Northern Gateway pipeline.

Good will hydraulic fracturing. Wall Street Journal, Op-Ed. After a decade of war and half-century of costly military involvement in the Middle East, the United States stands on the brink of "energy independence." Then a shadowy Canadian billionaire coupled with Mideast oil interests sponsor a Hollywood propaganda movie aimed at luring Americans into throwing away the instrument of their deliverance: shale energy.
 
Matt Damon Unaware Oil-Rich Nation Helped Fund His Anti-HF Film. Big Hollywood, Blog. McAleer, the director of the upcoming film "FrackNation," reached out to Damon during a Q&A connected to the new movie. 
 
HF Companies Find Greener Solutions. Energy and Capital. Halliburton and three other major oil-field service providers collectively invested some $2.04 billion in 2011 to try and make their services (increasingly), environmentally-friendly.
 
Shale gas set to give US plastics sector a boost. Plastics & Rubber Weekly. “The United States has gone from being the highest cost major gas producer four to five years ago to the current lowest cost producer,” said ACC president and chief executive Cal Dooley, who said extensive shale gas deposits have flipped the cost equation.
 
Shale Gas Spike Is Aiding Westlake Chemical's Margins. Investor's Business Daily. Ethane, a component in natural gas, is used to make ethylene and plastics. The tremendous output from shale formations has driven the price of ethane to almost a five-year low.

INTERNATIONAL

Shale Gas Drilling 'Huge Boost' To UK Economy. Eagle Radio. Drilling for shale gas could create "tens of thousands" of jobs in the UK and generate vast sums of money for the Treasury, according to a UK-based exploration company.
 
Govt's shale gas policy by December end. Business Today. The Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) has proposed to offer areas for exploration of shale gas on royalty and production linked payments to the government. The government is planning to launch its first auction of shale gas block by the end of 2013.
 
Arab Nations Jump on Shale Boom. Energy and Capital. As the shale mania spreads around the world, Jordan is the latest to sign up. The nation has good reason, too; with an estimated 40-70 billion tons of oil locked beneath some 60 percent of the country’s fairly arid land surface, it could have the fourth largest shale oil deposit in the world.
 
Leading energy expert attacks Chancellor George Osborne's over dash-to-gas policy. The Independent. One of the world’s leading energy experts launched astinging attack on Chancellor George Osborne’s dash-to-gas policy warning that his heavy reliance on Britain’s shale reserves to generate electricity was “misleading and dangerous”.
 
China Has Plenty of Shale Gas, But It Will Be Hard to Mine. Energy Tribune. The discovery of vast amounts of shale gas in the United States has already had a big impact on the country's energy use—prompting a shift away from coal.

CALIFORNIA

Ventura County supervisors order report on HF. Ventura County Star. The board voted 3-1 at Tuesday's meeting with Supervisor Peter Foy dissenting to authorize the study by the offices of County Executive Mike Powers and County Counsel Leroy Smith.
 
Lease sales start for oil, gas development in Monterey County. Santa Cruz Sentinel. Nearly 18,000 acres of land in Monterey, San Benito and Fresno counties will be offered at auction Wednesday for oil and gas development.

COLORADO

The anti-HF goons in Boulder. Denver Post. When they reached her companion's car, Wiedenbeck hopped in, too, "because I was concerned if we split that one of us would be in physical danger." Yet the ordeal continued. When they stopped the car after a short distance to collect their wits, an SUV pulled "just ahead of our car and essentially blocked us in" while a foe of hydraulic fracturing ran up behind them. After their car backed up to avoid the SUV, the screaming thug began to pound on their vehicle.
 
Testing system would assess drilling's impact on groundwater. E&E News (sub req’d). "This is our attempt to get more buy-in, more acceptability for these activities where they haven't happened yet," said Mike King, state director of natural resources and a member of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC).
 
City Council postpones final vote on HF. Colorado Springs Gazette. Council members voted 7-2 to wait until February for the final vote; in a preliminary vote last month, the council voted 6-3 in favor of the ordinance.

ILLINOIS

New HF Frontier Outside Illinois State Park Makes People Question. Huffington Post. Meanwhile, proponents point out that the mine would be far from the first in LaSalle County, which calls itself the "Silica Sand Capital of the World." Six sand mines currently hold active permits in the county, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

NORTH CAROLINA

NC hunts companies to drill. Triangle Business Journal. Now that drilling for oil through a technique known as fracking, North Carolina leaders and industry experts are looking to get commitments from oil and gas companies now, so they'll be ready to get to work once final regulations are in place.

NORTHEAST

Leave Farming to Farmers. Canandaigua Daily Messenger, LTE.  Sander Diamond offers a litany of unsupported assertions in arguing New York should pass on natural gas. Given his assertions, it appears Mr. Diamond may not be as knowledgeable about history as we might expect from someone who teaches the subject. New York State for over 100 years has had a harmonious relationship between agriculture and the petroleum industry.
 
HF Comment Period Begins. WBGH News. The last step to completing the S-GEIS, which the regulations are based on, is a review of health impacts by the Department of Health and 3 outside experts.
 
NY AG examines conflict of interest on HF bans in Southern Tier. Binghamton Press and Sun. The New York State Attorney General’s Office has launched an ethics inquiry concerning votes by Southern Tier town board members related to natural gas drilling, according to documents obtained by the Press & Sun-Bulletin.
 
Westchester Bans Use Of Waste From Hydraulic Fracturing. Daily Voice. The sale, application and disposal of waste from hydraulic fracturing, which includes radioactive materials, is now banned in Westchester County and punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 or imprisonment up to 30 days.
 
Pipeline plan on hold, for now. Lancaster Newspapers. A proposed pipeline through southeastern Pennsylvania that would deliver Marcellus Shale natural gas to major East Coast markets has been put on hold, apparently because of depressed natural gas prices.
 
Village of Oxford tables gas drilling moratorium. FOX 40 News. "The board has made a good decision," said Bryant Latourette of Oxford who spoke in favor of hydro-fracking.  "It has to take a look at what's been presented to it.  It needs to take a closer look at what they're doing."

OHIO

Legislators in Ohio General Assembly propose numerous new shale bills as close of session nears. Lexology. The Ohio General Assembly closes its two-year term later this month.  The waning days of the term, falling between the November election and the end of the year, are known as the “lame-duck” session.  During this session, legislators have introduced a flurry of bills relating to hydraulic fracturing and shale gas drilling.
 
'Covert' project questioned: Bainbridge and Russell leaders are irate. Plain Dealer. Residents along Chillicothe Road are questioning the purpose of orange cables on the ground that extend on the western perimeter from Russell through the township.
 
Hilcorp Gets New Permit for Lawrence County. Youngstown Business Journal. Houston-based Hilcorp Energy Corp. has been issued a permit to drill a horizontal well in Lawrence County, Pa., the company's second on the McConahy farm in Pulaski Township, Pa.
 
HF could lead to cleanup expenses. Columbus Dispatch, LTE. I applaud the Gov. John Kasich and the Dispatch editorial board for recognizing the long-overlooked need to raise Ohio's relatively low severance taxes on the extraction of our unrenewable natural resources. A similar argument could be made for coal extraction, particularly given the relatively large inventory of unreclaimed coal stripmines and their continued negative impact on downstream water quality and recreational amenities.
 
Will natural gas boom change our energy future? Akron Beacon Journal. Public radio veteran Alex Chadwick recently toured Pennsylvania to examine fracking, the politically volatile exploration technology that has made natural gas the single most important element remaking our energy economy.

TEXAS

Eagle Ford brings 4,000 jobs and $705 million to San Antonio. Fox 29. City and county leaders unveiled a year long study conducted by UTSA showing the impact the Eagle Ford Shale has in Bexar County. According to the report, the Eagle Ford Shale economic impact in Bexar County last year was more than $705 million and 4200 plus jobs.
 
First LNG-Fueled Hydraulic Fracturing Completed in Eagle Ford Play. Rigzone. Ferus' LNG Division was engaged by a major oil and gas service company in the United States to conduct the pilot project, which involved six dual-fuel 2,250 horsepower pressure pumper units, powered by LNG, to stimulate well performance in the south Texas Eagle Ford shale.
 
Science should stand in hydraulic fracturing study, experts say. Houston Business Journal. “It is certainly unfortunate that there is the appearance of a conflict of interest, but that should not detract from the value and importance of the study itself,” Holt said of UT’s work.
 
Energy experts say drilling can be made cleaner. Associated Press.  Honeycutt said the cameras, which cost about $100,000 each, have revolutionized the way inspectors monitor sites. Texas has also installed nine 24-hour air monitoring stations in the drilling region around Fort Worth, and more are on the way. Now, he said, even as drilling has increased, summer ozone levels have declined. NOTE: E&E News (sub req’d) also reports.
 
HF leads to drilling-rules rewrite. San Antonio Express. Recognizing this, the Texas Railroad Commission, the state's oil and gas regulatory agency, is updating its rules to address the broad process of drilling, from the drilling itself to cementing and completing an oil or gas well.

WISCONSIN

Panel addresses HF health concerns. WXOW News. Frac sand is used in the drilling process for oil and natural gas through a process called hydraulic fracturing. 


 

Comments sent to the State of Nebraska by NGP Reader Michael Jesperson:
 
Dear Director Linder:
 
I strongly support TransCanada’s revised route the for the Keystone XL pipeline through Nebraska believing it addresses all concerns raised by Nebraskans and meets or exceeds all environmental, social, and economic standards.  Now that the DEQ and TransCanada have confirmed the safety of this proposed pipeline, I urge the DEQ to promptly finalize its assessment and allow Governor Heineman to approve this route.  Swift action now will allow the U.S. Department of State to permit the full project as expeditiously as possible.

 

Categories:

12-11-12

11 December 2012 8:59am

Big Environment Now Has An Army  -Dan Fagan (NGP Photo)Dan Fagan, Radio, Environmentalists, Army, Alaska, Talk Radio, Photo by Dave Harbour


Calgary Herald, by Jason Fekete.  Concerns and questions are emerging from the heart of the oilpatch over the federal government's new foreign investment framework, with some business groups and the Alberta government seeking greater clarity around the updated rules and what they mean to future transactions.  The Conservatives are also facing mounting criticism from opposition parties that are demanding the government release the terms and conditions applied to the CNOOC and Petronas takeovers of, respectively, Canadian petroleum producers Nexen and Progress Energy Resources.


Governor's Office - Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell (NGP Photo) met with Mr. Kangsoo Choo, the Chief Executive Officer and President of Korea Gas Corp. (KOGAS), to discuss Governor Sean Parnell, Alaska, Korea Gas, Pipeline, gas, Photo by Dave Harbouropportunities to export large volumes of Alaska liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Asia.  The meeting in Juneau follows up on a meeting in September between Governor Parnell and Mr. Choo, along with prior meetings between Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan and other KOGAS officials. The governor first met with Mr. Choo during his September trade mission to the Republic of Korea and Japan to promote Alaska LNG export opportunities. Commissioner Sullivan met with high-level KOGAS officials in Asia prior to the governor’s trip.  KOGAS is the world’s largest LNG buyer, operating three LNG terminals and pipelines to supply gas to power plants, gas utilities and other buyers. The company has partnerships in LNG projects and producing fields around the world.  Today’s meeting furthers the Parnell administration’s ongoing effort to generate interest from Asian utilities and governments in a large-scale Alaska LNG project. Alaska’s major energy companies and TransCanada Corp. are working on such a project to commercialize the North Slope’s vast gas reserves, focusing on LNG exports from tidewater in Southcentral Alaska.  The Parnell administration is holding meetings with KOGAS and a variety of other potential buyers to discuss the comparative advantages of Alaska’s gas, and to provide updates on the LNG export project.  “These efforts are critical because an Alaska project must compete with other large-scale LNG projects under development around the world,” Governor Parnell said. “We have stability and reliability working in our favor, and a vast untapped supply, yet we must remain aware of proposed projects in other areas with access to the Pacific Rim.”

 

12-10-12

10 December 2012 8:46am

Read the Examiner's thoughtful essay on how the 'Fiscal Cliff' could affect Alaska.


Alaska Revenue Forecast Commentary

By

Dave Harbour

Today, we link to the Alaska Department of Revenue's 2012 Revenue Forecast.  

We begin by praising the cover photos provided by Rick Boots and John Tichotsky.  

Comment: Today at the Anchorage Meera Kohler, Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, Marsh Creek, North Slope natural gas, HVDC transmission, Photo by Dave HarbourChamber of Commerce, Meera Kohler, CEO of Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (NGP Photo), and Rob Jacobsen, vice president of science and technology with Marsh Creek, will discuss, "generating power with North Slope natural gas and delivering it via HVDC transmission lines to cities, villages and industrial users across the state to re-energize the Alaska’s languishing economy while securing energy independence."

One notes that this would in large part be a subsidized program that increases government spending as government revenue continues to decline.  -dh

Some readers may associate the Brown Bear cover photo with what looks like an unsustainable, bear market approaching every Alaska neighborhood.  Bears in the neighborhood appear when food is scarce.  Bear markets can appear when government revenue and spending don't match.  This eventually leads to a 'hard economic landing' characterized by huge cuts in government spending, large layoffs of employees condensed into a short period of time.  In Alaska, this unhappy era is likely to be accompanied by oil industry layoffs, spending cuts and investment climate lethargy.   Alaska's coming Bear market will be exacerbated by the Federal government's obstruction of natural resource development.

This year's revenue report verifies the declining production of Alaska oil which it also notes provides 93% of the state operating budget revenue.  While the report focuses on 'revenue', our readers have observed history: Alaska's unsustainable budget has not so far resulted in significant legislative spending discipline or gubernatorial vetoes of wasteful spending.   

Some have counseled over the ages that 'Hope is not a strategy'.  While the state does not officially 'hope' for adequate oil-based revenue to successfully fund a state with declining production, its official position is a stated goal: "...to stem and eventually turn around the decline in production, which the state currently supports by participating in the oil industry’s investment in exploration and development through tax credits."  

Tax credits are one time incentives.  They do nothing to provide long term investment climate stability and investor comfort, like a reliable, reasonable tax base would do.  What is discovered with subsidy may not be producible under a harsh tax regime.  We believe that is why the Administration has been so dedicated to reforming the predatory production tax.  Our readers may be a little perplexed that the Revenue Forecast did not say instead that the State's goal is: "...to stem and reverse production declines by continuing to provide incentive tax credits, and, more importantly, to seek reform of Alaska's uncompetitive suite of oil taxes, particulary the predatory and progressive production tax."  

Since focus on Alaska's unfriendly tax policy missed prominent mention in the Executive Summary, we wonder if tax reform will be a subject of discussion in this year's legislative session, or not.

What should Alaskans who own real estate or raise children in the State be paying attention to?  

For starters, citizens could carefully observe how decision makers resolve state tax revenue and spending policies, and restrictive Federal natural resource policies, as if our way of life depended on it.

-dh


Comment: Today, we are pleased to note Representative Charisse Millett's (NGP Photo-R) letter encouraging approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline.  Friday, we were pleased to note Senator Cathy Giessel's (NGP Photo-L) defenseCharisse Millett, Keystone XL Pipeline, Support, Alaska House of Representatives, Photo by Dave Harbour of Alaska's Senator Cathy Giessel, Alaska, Photo by Dave Harbour, EPA, Air quality, federal overreacheconomy against continuing EPA aggression.

We continue to urge Governors, Members of all State Legislatures and all other elected officials to defend Alaska and the national economy against overreaching federal jurisdiction and unreasonable obstruction of energy projects that are the backbone of America's economy.  Our provincial brothers and sisters in Canada have a similar problem requiring similar actions.  -dh

Responses to our Pearl Harbor Commentary last Friday, may be found here. 

Energy and Capital by Jeff Siegel.  After six long years and about $5 billion dollars, Shell's Arctic drilling program was once again temporarily thwarted.  That's not to say they won't be back next year...  They will. There's too much at stake at this point.  Still, it's not going to be easy. In fact, less than three months after a containment dome failed, causing yet another setback for the company, we're now getting word that it was much worse than initially reported.


Brad Keithley

Alaska Fiscal Policy| Hmm ... "According to Parnell’s office, the core of the plan involves proposed legislation which would permit up to $275 million in Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority bonding authorization and loans. Parnell also wants to commit $50 million in general fund dollars to the projects, as well as $30 million in existing gas storage tax credits."

 

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12-7-12 - Remembering Pearl Harbor

07 December 2012 2:20am

 Today's Alert and Call to Action: Last Chance To Comment On Keystone XL!

Senator Cathy Giessel Responds to Yesterday's Call to Action, Supporting Senator Mark Begich's Efforts to Reduce Impact of EPA Ruling!

See Our Comment Today On, "Growing Aggression In The Environmental Movement"

We Present a Personal Perspective: Harbour's Pearl Harbor Connection


Yesterday in Washington, D.C., Minority Staff Director of the Lisa Murkowski, Ron Wyden, Senator, LNG, Energy Policy, Senate energy and natural resources, Photo by Dave HarbourSenate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, McKie Campbell (NGP Photo coming) told us Senator Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo) would be releasing in January a, "20-20 Vision for America's Energy Future", a fresh new energy policy proposal.  He said that the draft of the paper begins with the theme that, "Energy is good; energy makes the civilized world possible."  
 
He also noted that Senator Murkowski remains a strong advocate of LNG Exports,  He said that in a late summer visit to Nikiski, Alaska the ConocoPhillips LNG Plant manager provided an impressive "Magic Show" when Senator Ron Wyden (Ore), incoming Chairman of the Committee, toured the plant with Murkowski.  The demonstration clearly illustrated the technological advances in producing and transporting LNG safely.
 
Campbell said that Murkowski and he were optimistic about their working and personal relationships with Senator Wyden and the Majority staff, saying that they agreed on about 80% of the issues they had discussed.  He said that today, he would be holding further meetings with the Majority staff to further identify areas of common interest.

Global Post by Dan Peleschuk.  After years of deal-making

Remembering Pearl Harbor

Commentary by Dave Harbour

Dad and Mom, Col. and Mrs. Dave Harbour, share a peaceful space under a huge, 150-year-old tropical shade tree above Honolulu at Punchbowl National Cemetery of the Pacific.  Their remains rest where their relationship began 71 years ago.

On December 6, 1941 my fighter pilot dad, then a second lieutenant in the Army Air Corps, had taken an English-Latin teacher, an Eastern Pennsylvania farm girl, out on a date.  Everyone called her, "Bobbie", though her given name was Selma.

While Mom and Dad were a little sketchy about the details, I do know that early Saturday morning, December 7, Dad had dropped Mom off at her place and was returning to his base when all hell broke loose.

He hurried to the airfield where his fighter and many others were already being strafed and bombed by Japanese Zeros.

Failing to get a plane in the air, he did the only thing he could, take cover and try to place round after round from his .45 semi-automatic pistol through metal and flesh of the alien aircraft as they made pass after pass over the airfield.

Mom and Dad shared special moments together in the hectic days following that day of infamy until he received orders shipping him out to New Guinea.  There he would patrol the seaways to intercept, engage and destroy, enemy ships and planes.

Before Dad left, he and Mom were married.   Dad then left Oahu for his new assignment and would get his start as a famous outdoor writer, later producing several books and writing hundreds of articles for outdoor publications like Sports Afield...and assisting in the foundation of the American Wild Turkey Federation.  He got that start by learning to write action stories for 'pulp war magazines' during the unpredictable moments of tense leisure between combat missions in New Guinea.

The Army shipped Mom back to Coleman, Texas to stay with Dad's folks until he was reassigned to the Continential United States (CONUS).  I was born a Texan, about nine months after those perilous Pearl Harbor days--on September 4, 1942.

I think that one of the reasons Dad did so well in combat and in a distinguished Air Force career, was his motivation to protect the country for his new family.

I remember sharing that feeling when as a 2nd Lieutenant, I shipped off years later to Korea.  The hugs and smiles Dad and Mom and I shared at that parting seemed to transmit from one generation to the next the love of God, country and family and the determination to protect our way of life.  And, what Mom and Dad's generation protected has provided a wonderful way of life, cultivated in the fertile land of freedom.

On this day my reflection and prayer is that our children will inherit and keep the same freedom and way of life we inherited from our parents.  When those in power have boldly stated they want to 'fundamentally change the United States,' it makes me cringe and wonder if I would feel as inclined to volunteer for military service now as I did in 1966.  I knew what values I was protecting then.  Today, I join many others in being somewhat confused and fearful as to what our country now stands for and is evolving into.  

So, today I pray for clarity.  I pray that our country's values for this generation will be as worth protecting as they were when Dad and Mom faced the horror of war head on, and when I served.

I pray this moment for our Nation, knowing that the ONLY reason we have been enabled to succeed is that we have followed our founders' respect for, devotion to and love of God, His Savior son and His guidance. 

I pray for those now serving in uniform and those contemplating service.

I pray that we do not lose our love of God and and our Founders' dream, lest we lose the values that have inspired generations of patriots, until now, to defend them with their lives and sacred honor.  

Amen.

brinksmanship with European rivals, Gazprom is surging ahead by launching construction Friday on a major new pipeline it hopes will cement its grip over Europe’s energy supplies. ... “This is a medium-term phenomenon,” says Jonathan Stern of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.  Long in conceiving, the $20 billion project is designed to bypass Ukraine and Belarus, avoiding potentially crippling European cut-offs by piping gas directly to Austria through the Black Sea and the Balkans. Half funded by Italian Eni, France’s EdF and German Wintershall, it’s expected to start pumping up to 63 billion cubic meters of gas a year starting by late 2015.

 

Last call for comments on Keystone XL Route in Nebraska!  Comments due today, Friday, December 7th!
 
The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality has issued its evaluation report on a new route for the Keystone XL pipeline through Nebraska. 
 
The report concludes that the new route addresses all of the environmental concerns raised previously by Nebraskan farmers, landowners and residents. If you support the Keystone XL pipeline and would like to see the pipeline move forward for approval, please send your comments to Nebraska DEQ Director Mike Linder at NDEQ.SEISpubliccomment@Nebraska.gov by the end of today.
 

 


Cathy Giessel, Alaska Senator, EPA, Photo by Dave HarbourEarlier this week we suggested that our readers comment on a potential solution to Alaska¹s concern with the EPA's Emission Mark Begich, Senator, EPA, Obama Administration, Alaska, Photo by Dave HarbourControl Area (ECA) that threatens the State's economy.   We found that Senator Cathy Giessel (NGP Photo-above) has written Senator Begich on the subject.  

Here is her thoughtful letter.  

Please act today if you haven't already. 


 

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