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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.

 

Arctic Policy

12-12-14 Another Northwest Passage: An Arctic Gateway Project? *** White House Overreach Continues

12 December 2014 12:28pm

Consider liking us for more regular alerts on our NGP Facebook Page.  Follow us on Twitter.  -dh


Dave Ramsay, NWT, Northwest Territories, gas pipeline, oil pipeline, mackenzie valley pipeline, Alaska, Photo by Dave Harbour

Petroleum News by Gary Park.  Arctic Gateway, a sweeping initiative to explore ways to move oil and natural gas from Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Alaska to markets in the Asia-Pacific region, will likely be an underpinning of a standalone energy strategy being drafted in the NWT, said Industry Minister Dave Ramsay (NGP Photo).

(See our earlier report, "Another Northwest Passage May Be Viable.  -dh)


Scroll Down For Yesterday's Reports On White House Energy, Etc. Overreach documenting an illogical, harmful attack on American family budgets


Tim Bradner, Governor Bill Walker, AGDC, State Budget, Medicare, Photo by Dave HarbourJournal of Commerce by Tim Bradner (NGP Photo).  On the Alaska LNG Project, another priority, Walker said: “We have met with — and probably again also in the next 30 days — the AK LNG sponsors. We have met with the ADGC (Alaska Gasline Development Corp.) leadership and some of the board members and some of the outgoing administration and had a debriefing with them,” Walker said in the briefing.

Calgary Herald by Mario Toneguzzi.  A new RBC report says slumping oil prices will be a drag on Alberta’s economy in 2015.


Here's a rich source of information on energy regulation: The Cruthirds Report.

NAESB Board of Directors meeting – The North American Energy Standards Board held a Board of Directors meeting in Houston on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014.  There were 50 +/- folks in the room, as well as a large contingent on the phone.  As noted in our last report, I was the featured speaker for the meeting and provided wide-ranging remarks on issues and challenges facing regulators and the industry.  Topics ranged from the DOJ’s investigation of Entergy, the Georgia PSC’s $200+ million “gift” to the Southern Company’s shareholders in the Plant McIntosh affiliate abuse case, the sometimes corrosive political influence exerted by some incumbent utilities and the associated ethical challenges for regulators, and the dire need for better gas-electric process harmonization.  Presentation.

More.... 

The following Advanced Energy for Life article highlights the White House's illogical and harmful attack on America's Constitution.  Meanwhile, keep our 2012 warning commentary in mind as you consider the nexus joining all of these overreach issues -- which provide pretext and precedent for omnibus federal control.  -dh

In his Harvard days, Barack Obama studied under law professor Laurence Tribe. Perhaps the future President spent too much time at the law review and missed the part about limited powers. We say that because Professor Tribe delivered a constitutional rebuke this week to the Obama Administration that is remarkable coming from a titan of the liberal professoriate.

Mr. Tribe joined with the world’s largest private coal company, Peabody Energy, to criticize the “executive overreach” of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants. In joint comments filed with the EPA, the professor accuses the agency of abusing statutory law, violating the Constitution’s Article I, Article II, the separation of powers, the Tenth and Fifth Amendments, and in general displaying contempt for the law.

The Clean Air Act doesn’t give the Administration the authority the EPA claims....


As Obama Champions Carbon Tax In Low Price Oil Era, Harper Turns Away From Carbon Taxing.  (Note that in the same timeframe, the White House is illogically killing the Keystone XL project that would provide economic stimulus to both the U.S. and Canada.  -dh)

Calgary Herald, by Stephen Ewart.  

Sure it’s “crazy” talk, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper is actually being up front about his assessment of climate policy and the oil industry.

Agree with Harper or not, it’s a change from his government’s long history of over-promising and under-delivering on environmental policies and Canada’s global commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However blunt, the prime minister is being unusually honest.

He’s clearly backing away from earlier — always improbable — climate rhetoric.

With the oil price free fall threatening the $60 US threshold, Harper told the House of Commons this week he has no intention of imposing a carbon tax on a nationally important industry, even as Canada falls further behind GHG commitments and the next round of global climate negotiations kick off.

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12-1-14 Call To Action Tonight In Anchorage!

01 December 2014 8:33am

Call To Action: TONIGHT IN ANCHORAGE!

Send us your comments to be preserved in our searchable archives!

Carl Portman, Resource Development Council for Alaska, BOEM, Beaufort SEIS, OCS, Arctic, Dave Harbour PhotoOur friend, Carl Portman (NGP Photo), of the Resource Development Council for Alaska (RDC) reminds us that tonight the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will be holding a public hearing at 7 p.m. on the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for Chukchi Sea Lease Sale 193.

The hearing will be held at the Crown Plaza Hotel, 109 W. International Airport Road.  Members and supporters of the Consumer Energy Alliance, RDC and the Alaska Support Industry Alliance should arrive at 6 p.m. for a brief meeting along with refreshments.

BOEM has initiated a 45-day public comment period ending December 22nd on the draft SEIS.  Swift finalization of this document and reaffirmation of the lease sale is critical to preserving the opportunity to explore for Arctic resources. 

Portman says,  "It is critical that those supporting offshore energy production in the Chukchi Sea turn out to express support.  

"I realize many of us have testified several times on this particular lease sale over the past seven years. However, it is vital that we have a strong turn out at this hearing because our opposition is mobilizing its forces to condemn the sale and block any further activity offshore. As many of us know, decisions are influenced by those who show up."

We agree with Portman that 'testimony fatigue' cannot deter us.  After all, decisions on permitting, conditions attached to permits and future appeals of agency decisions can be affected by the weight of public testimony one way or another.  We should not let Alaska's interests be out shouted and out weighed by preservationist/activists simply because ordinary citizens preferred the comfort of a warm home on a December night in Alaska. 

Below is a link to RDC's helpful Action Alert on the SEIS.  http://www.akrdc.org/alerts/2014/leasesale193alert.html
 
We would emphasize the importance of arriving early, by 6 if possible, to claim a good seat and to put your name on the sign up list for early testimony (Of course, the rules for this meeting could change....)
 
See you there!   -dh
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6-17-14 Alaska Is Dead Last In Gross Domestic Product Gain In 2013 - Obama Moves To Zone Oceans

17 June 2014 7:10am

Doc Hastings, Congressman, Ocean Zoning, Obama, Overreaching Executive Action, Photo by Dave HarbourToday, Congressman Doc Hastings (NGP Photo) said, "...the Obama Administration has threatened to impose ocean zoning to shut down our oceans, and today the President is making good on that threat." 

(We began updating readers on this threat of Executive Overreach years ago.  Scroll down to 'Current Event #4' , on this page.   Also see Washington Post News Alert which mentions involvement of White House Chief of Staff John Podesta, a leading player in the Enviro-Industrial-Governmental Cabal.  -dh)


Globe & Mail by Peter Tertzakian.  Rising instability may make $100-a-barrel oil seem cheap.


The one state out of 50 with real gross domestic product loss in 2013 was Alaska....  With declining oil production, and high governmental, climactic, geographic, marketing and logistical costs Alaskans are justified about being very concerned for the future of their children.  This is why voting to repeal oil tax reform in the August primary election is a vote for continuing economic decline.   The Department of Commerce is also documenting with this report that poor Federal natural resource policy in Alaska (i.e. and elsewhere) results in economic weakness.  -dh

US Department of Commerce.  Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in 49 states in 2013, according to new statistics released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).  (Our thanks to Dan Kish, Institute for Energy Research's SVP, for bringing this report to our readers' attention.  -dh)


Alaska Dispatch.  A group fighting to repeal Alaska’s new oil-Tony Knowles, No On 1, Alaska Governor, Oil taxes, ACES, Photo by Dave Harbourproduction tax cut publicly issued an apology on Monday days after a volunteer sent out a caustic statement that, among other things, accused former Gov. Tony Knowles (NGP Photo) of being a “paid shill” for the other side.

In fact, the group, Vote Yes! Repeal the Giveaway, has no evidence showing that Knowles is paid by the opposition and should have never have sent the email, said the group’s campaign manager, T.J. Presley.


From the Alaskanomic's Blog:

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 11:11 AM PDT

The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce commissioned a study on Cook Inlet Oil and Gas by Northern Economics. The report that resulted from this study was published this spring. For your convenience, we have included a link to the report in the Resources section of Alaskanomics. 

It should be no surprise that the Cook Inlet oil and gas industry is extremely important to Southcentral Alaska and the rest of the state. In Anchorage, 82 percent of homes are heated by natural gas. The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce has made energy security a top priority. In a recent survey, over 40 percent of members noted that energy was a concern and the biggest concern in relation to energy was the high price due to deficient supply.

The study finds that the impact of Cook Inlet oil and gas is significant. There is a $2.8 billion economic output from the industry in Cook Inlet. $350 million of this is in payroll with 1,300 direct jobs on the Kenai Peninsula. There is a $423 million benefit from using local, Cook Inlet Gas, rather than using other fuel sources. The total worth of Cook Inlet oil and gas is $4.7 billion. This is over 10 percent of the Alaska economy and with new investment pouring into the State; Cook Inlet appears to be rebounding.

The view the full report, please use this link.

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6-9-14 Polar Bears Are Cuddly and 'Political Shenanigans' Abound!

09 June 2014 6:54am

World Energy, by George Backwell.  ...a fraction of natural gas projects ... will become reality as high costs and weakening gas prices....

Alaska Dispatch, by Brigham McCown.  

As political shenanigans continue to delay approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, Alaska voters hold the key to avoiding a similar fate for what could be North America’s largest pipeline project (i.e. Natural gas pipeline).

 


Matt Cronin, Polar Bear, Global Warming, University of Alaska, Photo by Dave HarbourWashington Examiner by Mark Tapscott.  Another scientist has more bad news for global warming advocates who claim that Americans are killing Arctic Polar Bears....  *** Professor Matthew Cronin (NGP Photo) of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks studied the genetic histories of the three bear species, brown, black and polar (NGP Photo). *** What Cronin found casts significant Polar Bear, Alaska Zoo, Male and Female, Matt Cronin, Photo by Dave Harbour, Climate Chamge, Global Warmingnew doubt about claims that the furry white monsters of the Arctic are soon going to be extinct if America doesn't stop causing global warming by burning fossil fuels. *** Cronin has been studying animal genetics for 25 years and his latest study will be made public in a paper to be published shortly in the online Journal of Heredity, according to UAF's Nancy Tarnai.  (See a related article)

National Ocean Policy Coalition Newsletter

Fuel Fix.  American Energy Partners said Monday it plans to spend $4.25 billion to expand into Texas and West Virginia for the first time and to snap up more land in Ohio.

Aubrey McClendon, Wilcatter, Fuel Fix, Texas, Chesapeake, Permian, Marcellus, Greenwich Group, Photo by Dave Harbour, NARUCThe three announced acquisitions are the latest — and the most expensive — in a series of moves by Aubrey McClendon (NGP Photo), one of the first wildcatters to capitalize on the U.S. shale boom, to rebuild his empire after he relinquished his perch at the top of Chesapeake Energy last year.

 

From the National Ocean Policy Coalition: The U.S. Arctic Research Commission's daily update (last week) included an announcement by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Ocean Council that former Alaska State Rep. Beth Kerttula has been selected to serve as National Ocean Council Office (NOC Office) Director.  Kerttula replaces Dr. Brad Moran, who has been serving as Acting NOC Office Director since November 2013.  Coverage of the announcement includes articles in the Alaska Daily Dispatch,Anchorage Daily News, and KTOO News.  KTOO reports that Kerttula will serve as NOC Office Director for one year, with an option to remain through the remainder of the Obama Administration.

Calgary Herald, by Stephen Ewart.  The military crisis in Ukraine has brought into focus Europe's dependence on Russian natural resources for 30 per cent of its energy requirements just as Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in Europe for the G7 Summit and the D-Day anniversary events Friday in Normandy.

With coercion of Russian oil supplies deemed "unacceptable" by political leaders in Europe this week, it appears crude from Canada's oilsands has become much more acceptable.

Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) tells us that last Thursday, CEA-Florida joined PACE for the Gulf Coast Energy Forum in Mobile, Alabama during which executives from five southern utilities raised concerns about the EPA’s new rules on carbon emissions for existing power plants. As Alabama.com noted, one of the biggest concerns highlighted by the executives was the rule’s effect on the energy mix and the likely dependence on natural gas that will result.


The Daily Caller: EPA Rules To ‘Necessarily Skyrocket’ U.S. Electricity Prices
U.S. electricity rates are set to rise more than 10 percent by 2020 because of onerous federal environmental regulations on coal-fired power plants, according to an analysis by American Action Forum. This means consumers could be forced to pay $150 more each year for electricity due to Obama administration power plant regulations.


E&E News: “The United Mine Workers of America is blasting the Obama administration's new proposal for controlling greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants, which will likely contribute to the loss of coal mining jobs. "The UMWA has not and does not dispute the science regarding climate change," Cecil Roberts, the group's international president, said in a statement this afternoon. "Our dispute is with how our government is going about addressing it, and on whom the administration is placing the greatest burden in dealing with this challenge," he added. Roberts said the rule would lead to "long-term and irreversible job losses." The union says it calculated the potential direct coal generation job losses at 75,000 by 2020.”


 

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3-24-14

24 March 2014 10:33am

Washington Post Editorial.  DEBATE HAS raged over whether the United States can fight Vladimir Putin on the Russian president’s most favorable ground: energy politics. It can, and it should, particularly because there’s an obvious path forward that coincides with the United States’ — indeed, the world’s — economic interests. That path is lifting irrational restrictions on exports and making it easier to build natural gas export terminals.


Comment:  This comment and our archives will supplement the adjacent story.  

Late last year we began documenting with more and more detail the relationship of socialist and environmental extremism to the current administration in Washington.  

Here is a recent link that, in turn, links back to John PodestaGeorge Soros, the Center for American Progress and other groups that contribute to the corruption of the Rule of Law in the United States.  

-dh

Powerline Blog (3/22/14) ...  a still deeper level of corruption is on display here. Juliet Eilperin is a reporter for the Washington Post who covers, among other things, environmental politics. As I wrote in my prior post, she is married to Andrew Light. Light writes on climate policy for the Center for American Progress, a far-left organization that has carried on a years-long vendetta against Charles and David Koch on its web site, Think Progress. Light is also a member of the Obama administration, as Senior Adviser to the Special Envoy on Climate Change in the Department of State. The Center for American Progress is headed by John Podesta, who chaired Barack Obama’s transition team and is now listed as a ‘special advisor’ to the Obama administration. Note that Ms. Eilperin quoted Podesta, her husband’s boss, in her puff piece on Tom Steyer. Oh, yes–one more thing. Guess who sits on the board of the Center for American Progress? Yup. Tom Steyer.”

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3-4-14 Palin Predicted Ukraine - Romney Advocated Stand Against Russia

04 March 2014 6:44am

BP

BP today announced its intention to establish a separate business to manage its onshore oil and gas assets in the US Lower 48.


See today's Globe & Mail piece on Asian LNG competition for price


 

Comment: Yesterday we noted that two legislators are planning for a new oil revenue stream should voters adopt an August Primary Ballot proposition to repeal oil tax reform.  

That revenue stream will be based on a new policy emphasis on state investment and equity into oil and gas exploration and development projects.  These are the same minority legislators who are leading an effort to repeal the SB21 oil tax reform bill passed by a majority of the House and Senate, and signed by the Governor, less than a year ago.

We can now see a strategy rising from the mist: repeal of tax reform will have to be replaced by something that produces revenue.  Since repeal of reform will deflect investment, an unhappy but obvious policy replacement would be to socialize/nationalize natural resource industries...starting with the small step of massive equity investment of public funds and employment of state employees to oversee the profitability of the investments.  

What could possibly go wrong?

Today, we hear in a Fairbanks News Miner editorial, that certain Mayors who reap large and mostly passive benefits from the oil and gas statewide property tax, are mounting an effort to investigate impact on their revenues from an agreement between the state and gas pipeline parties regarding the fiscal regime enabling a gas pipeline project to proceed.

Charlotte Brower, Mayor, North Slope Borough, property tax, ACES, tax reform, oil, Photo by Dave HarbourWe again note that Alaska North Slope Mayor Charlotte Brower (NGP Photo) has gone on record in support of oil tax reform.

Certain gubernatorial candidates oppose both oil tax reform and the fiscal terms surrounding a gas pipeline project.

The current governor supports both tax reform and the proposed gas pipeline fiscal regime.

While there seems to be alignment among major gas pipeline and oil tax stakeholders, lack of political alignment from other, vocal influence leaders could well cause oil tax reform to disappear after August, soon to be replaced by new statewide leadership and a new world of natural resource control by bureaucrats and government ownership of the 'means of production'.

Should this be the outcome, we can envision great impact, as well, on Alaska's entire investment climate, not merely limited to natural resource investors.  -dh

Sarah Palin, governor, alaska, russia, ukraine, Photo by Dave Harbour

Comment:  Fox News interviewed former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (NGP Photo) today.  

During the interview, we learned that Candidate Obama opposed Candidate Romney's conviction that Russia posed a global threat to peace.  

The program also produced a video of Candidate Sarah Palin, earlier warning that just as Russia invaded Georgia it could as easily invade Ukraine.  

Throughout the interview, Palin emphasized the importance of approving the Keystone XL pipeline and developing domestic energy resources with Administration support--rather than Administration opposition.  

Our faithful readers know that we have been hard on Palin for her Alaska oil tax and gas pipeline policies nearly a decade ago...but in this interview we found ourselves appreciating her message, which we paraphrase: "Develop America's resources aggressively and responsibly now, Mr. Obama, or watch our standing in the world and support for our allies diminish along with our national security and economic recovery."

John Norman, Commissioner, AOGCC, IOGCC, Alaska Oil And Gas Conservation Commission, Photo by Dave HarbourWe also note from the current issue of  Petroleum News, that "Commissioner John Norman (NGP Photo) retired from the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission at the end of January. Norman, an attorney, had been the public member of the commission for 10 years. He was named to the commission by former Gov. Frank Murkowski in 2004, replacing Sarah Palin as the public mem....​"  (We are reminded once again of what a small world it is as we congratulate Governor Palin on her stand for domestic energy production and her replacement, Commissioner Norman, for a lifetime of service to the state and nation.    -dh


Wall Street Journal by James Freeman  

WARREN BUFFETT, CLIMATE-CHANGE DENIER 

Warren Buffett, Dave Harbour, NARUC, Photo by Dave Harbour, climate change, global warmingThe billionaire chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (Photo, Buffett with NGP Publisher) is on some kind of roll. Yesterday we told you about his warning on public pension funds in his annual letter to shareholders. Now, he's puncturing deeply-held liberal myths about global warming. Mr. Buffett tells CNBC that extreme weather events are not becoming more common, and that climate change is not altering his company's calculations when insuring against catastrophic weather events. "The public has the impression that because there's been so much talk about climate that events of the last 10 years from an insured standpoint and climate have been unusual," he said. "The answer is they haven't."   (We commented on the subject of climate change two days ago, invoking Aristotle's Golden Mean ideal; and we challenged both sides of the debate).  -dh


Comment and link: We earlier commented on LNG competition.

Here, Peter Tertzakian of the Globe and Mail gives further insight on the softening LNG market for British Columbia exports.  Are not some of Canada's LNG export concerns ones that we Alaskans share.  In both Alaska's land Canada's cases, LNG market demand and competition are exacerbated by local political interests striving to obtain for themselves and their constituencies all possible benefits --  even if the end result is achieving 100% success in gaining benefits for projects that became embroiled and then doomed in a sea of local and national political struggles.

To quote our reference at the Globe and MailJapanese benchmark prices for LNG in Asia have been exceptionally high since the Fukushima nuclear disaster, almost exactly three years ago. Concurrently, domestic Canadian natural gas prices have been anomalously low. The resulting “differential” between the two was $15.70 (U.S.) for one million British thermal units (MMBtu) at its widest in July, 2012. It’s been that massive price gap, or arbitrage, that triggered the buy-low-sell-high opportunity to build LNG export facilities in North America, including 14 projects off the west coast of B.C.

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