Alaska Journal of Commerce by Andrew Jensen. The $8 million exacted from ConocoPhillips in order to receive its permit to construct the Greater Moose’s Tooth-1 project in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska is a rather elegant combination of old school protection rackets and third world government kickbacks.
|Personal: We join our Fairbanks friends in lamenting the passing of our dear friend, Bob Bettisworth. -dh|
As Interior Secretary Sally Jewell arrives in Alaska, North Slope Borough Mayor Charlotte Brower (NGP Photo) writes that ANWR, "...wilderness proponents ... completely ignore the plight of my people, the Iñupiat."
What Would You Do If You Were President?
On Sunday, Fox News interviewed one of the wisest combat leaders of the modern era, Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney, USAF-Retired (NGP Photo), co-author of Endgame: The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror.
In addition to his extensive combat service, McInerney served as commanding general of the Alaska Command and coordinated military efforts in support of the Exxon Valdez clean up activity. He and his tough combat team also kept a close eye and air interception assets trained on Russian bombers, continually testing Alaskan air space defenses.*
At conclusion of the Fox interview, He was asked what he would do in the face of ISIS aggression in the Middle East. With a steady, focused gaze on the interviewer, he delivered a brief, powerful and logical response. If McInerney’s words had come from the mouth of a president, all Americans would have cheered and felt a renewed sense of national pride in strong, reliable and wise presidential leadership.
Without detouring into a war policy discussion, we would paraphrase from the McInerney interview a question from the viewpoint of our energy audience: If you were president, how would you enable the U.S. to become energy independent? So we decided to have some fun today and perhaps render a national service at the same time.**
We will give our response below, then ask our U.S. readers (and Canadian or other foreign readers) for suggestions, additions and corrections, sent to this address.
Here we go:
“If I were president, I would enable the U.S. to become energy independent in these ways:”
- "I would approve the Keystone XL pipeline before going to bed tonight, based on earlier, plentiful recommendations of the Department of State; the 40 thousand jobs it will produce; the hundreds of millions of dollars it will provide to local, state and federal governments; the improved national defense capabilities created by greater energy and economic independence; and the benefits that will flow to our largest trading partner, Canada."
- "I would approve oil and gas exploration and development on a small sliver of land within the 19 million acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. That sliver is roughly the size of Dulles Airport within a land mass the size of the state of North Carolina – which itself is a small part of the entire state of Alaska. That land sliver has already been designated by Congress for oil and gas potential. I would approve it for mostly winter work when the migratory wildlife are not in the area."
- "I would open the entire National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska to energy leasing subject to our customary stringent rules. I would not keep half of it locked up – and the other half choked with irresponsible regulatory barriers -- as the Obama administration has done."
- "I would ask of Alaska's Governor, 'We know the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) is now running at almost 3/4 empty. What can the Federal government do with its federal assets to keep TAPS operating sustainably, since for my administration this energy umbilical cord attaches the United States to the huge, future oil potential of the Arctic?'"
- "Since 3/4 of America's coastline surrounds Alaska, a state 20% the size of the entire nation and over twice as large as Texas, I would give Alaska's governor -- and Congressional Delegation -- an open invitation to suggest federal policies that improve Alaska's economy while protecting the environment and strengthening the entire nation."
- "I would massively restrict the size of many regulatory agencies, including the EPA, which has become a monster devouring the wealth of America without much to show for it -- except a ballooning bureaucracy and economic devastation wherever it rolls. I would tell the EPA it cannot preemptively disapprove projects, in violation of the rule of law. I would order the agency to lay off Hydraulic Fracturing and leave its regulation to the states, which have safely regulated it for decades."
- "I would immediately nullify Obama's overreaching and unlawful executive orders. The famous ones deal with exceptions to the Affordable Care Act and providing massive citizen benefits to illegal alien non-citizens, but also include illegal, non-Congressionally approved natural resource blocking proposals, like the Ocean Policy executive order."
- "I would work with Congress to eliminate the possibility of opaque 'sue and settle' litigation, which impoverishes the country one lawsuit at a time. I would coordinate with Congress other judicial branch reforms that would remove any financial incentives for filing frivolous environmental lawsuits that would delay or block jobs and reasonable economic development.”
- "I would form an American Energy Independence Presidential Task Force, to include a special sub-committee on Alaskan Arctic Energy and Military policies." The purpose of the Task Force would be:
- to provide the President and Congress with detailed suggestions on how America may develop a rational, long term, sustainable energy policy based upon energy self-sufficiency and support of the nation's defense.
- to assure that energy and military policy recommendations included defending and advocating for proper jurisdictional control of Arctic sea, sea bottom and trade routes.
- to complete its work within six months,
"I would ask Congress to support the resulting FINAL, sustainable energy policy of which I approve. ”
- “I would replace the White House Council on Environmental Quality with a new White House Council on Economic and Environmental Policy. Under my direct supervision, the Council will provide a steady stream of recommendations about how to reorganize Executive Branch agencies to best accommodate any FINAL, sustainable energy policy recommended by the American Energy Independence Presidential Task Force. In addition, an important role of the Council will be to review any new agency order, regulatory or statutory proposal that would affect the FINAL, sustainable energy policy adopted by the White House. Following review, the Council will make a recommendation to the President for further action. These sorts of action will include agency efforts to declare critical habitats or endangered species regulations under the ESA and similar exercises of agency powers under the CWA and CAA.”
- “I would ask the oil, gas and wind energy industries to nominate on- and off-shore areas for leasing and based on that input, as evaluated by the new White House Council on Economic and Environmental Policy, order expedited changes to the Department of Interior’s leasing programs.”
- "I would get rid of the crude oil export ban and do everything possible to arrange for U.S. energy exports to European nations dependent upon Russian energy imports."
- "I will tell our friends in the Middle East, especially the Saudis, that they cannot interfere in our domestic energy policy issues, nor can they any longer provide funding to enemies of the United States unless they are willing to lose American friendship, energy trade and military support.”
- "I will redouble efforts to coordinate energy and other international policies with our Canadian, Israeli, British, Australian and other allies."
- "I will put into place a 'US Task Force for Latin American Energy, Economic and Cultural Independence', and spend significant personal time with the Secretary of State, coordinating cooperative energy, economic development, immigration and regional defense policies with the presidents of the countries in our own hemisphere."
- "America will once again speak softly but carry a big stick. We will state our position on energy and other multilateral issues. We will clearly state the result of accommodating or opposing our reasonable requests. Based on reactions, we shall respond decisively. Our negotiations with countries that have proven to be unreliable negotiating partners in the past shall not be extended. We expect results and we will act as promised. We will never draw red lines in the sand and not enforce our positions; neither will we ever leave any American citizen, federal employee or military member to the enemy's wrath without maximum effort to save that person or those persons. Every policy we undertake will be designed to be fair, reasonable, just and serious. We shall not bargain for energy industry or other hostages but will rain negative actions on those who hold, take, threaten, mistreat or kill hostages.”
For starters, that's what we'd do for energy were we president.
Oh, and we'd make sure to always keep the good counsel of competent Americans like LTG McInerney very close to us.
Unlike certain unsavory White House guests entertained by the previous administration, I would hope to have distinguished Americans like McInerney, Franklin Graham, Greta Van Susteren, Steve Forbes, Harris Faulkner, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Alveda King, as regular visitors to the Oval Office.
(Now, Dear Reader, let's have your additions, corrections or suggestions! -dh)
*Your author had the honor of serving on LTG McInerney's Civilian Advisory Board over 2 decades ago with great friends and important figures in Alaskan history like Governor Walter J. Hickel, Publisher Bob Atwood, aviation pioneer Bill Brooks, and community leaders Sharon Anderson, Ernie Hall and Al Fleetwood.
**We would also like to ask: "What else would you do if you were President, to secure the country’s future?" The imagination rings with the President's other executive actions, EPA overreach, Fast and Furious, Federal suing of sovereign states, IRS illegal targeting, media spying, etc., but will leave that exercise to our non-energy colleagues.)
Robert Dillon of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee writes today about Interior Secretary Sally Jewell's Alaska visit.
He comments that Jewell,"is in Anchorage today preparing to host a press conference in a couple of hours on her trip to the Arctic communities of Kotzebue and Kivalina. While the secretary will undoubtedly focus her remarks on climate, I wanted to share the opinion piece below from North Slope Borough Mayor Charlotte Brower (NGP Photo). Ms. Brower, an Inupiaq Eskimo from Barrow, provides a unique counterpoint to Secretary Jewell’s efforts to lock up Alaska as if it was one big national park. Ms. Brower writes about the prosperity and economic opportunity that responsible oil production has brought to some of Alaska’s most remote communities and how this administration’s policies are endangering the future Alaskans are attempting to build for their children. -Dillon
ANWR worshippers fail to consider the Iñupiat (AK Dispatch/Opinion)
The Iñupiat Eskimo lived on Alaska’s North Slope for countless generations -- unknown to the outside world. Our culture, social structure and our survival depended on our ability to utilize the abundant resources that bless our region.
Over time, we found our lifestyle threatened when the thirst for resources drove others to our corner of globe, first for whales and later for oil.
Today, we are under assault by people who seek another resource -- wilderness. And just like those who came before them, they threaten the health of our communities, our culture and our way of life. President Obama’s announcement to seek wilderness designations throughout the entire Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, represents the latest salvo by the powerful environmental lobby to obtain their El Dorado. Read the rest of the Op-Ed here....
Charlotte Brower is mayor of the North Slope Borough.
|CEA President David Holt (NGP Photo) was the guest on several radio interviews discussing the Arctic for All campaign, America's energy revolution, Alaska's role in domestic energy production and the importance of offshore energy resources.
Anchorage's KBYR featured Holt on the Mornings with Michael Dukes Show. He was also a guest on the nationally syndicated Radio America: Neal Asbury’s Made in America Show. Hear the interviews here!
|The Hill Op-ed by Mead Treadwell (NGP Photo). ...the Obama administration is in a tizzy to solidify its Arctic strategy. January in particular has been quite busy for the administration: an executive order to better coordinate U.S. Arctic policy, a proposed drilling ban in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and now a proposed leasing plan that excludes significant areas of the Arctic Ocean for development. These actions all have two things in common. Treadwell FB Page.|
"Alaska's Challenge of Cash & Energy Shortage: Part II"
Yesterday, we reviewed Alaska's fall from fiscal grace: how Washington created a great state in 1959 from territorial status, based on the state's ability to achieve independence and economic parity with other states through development of natural resources.
Then we briefly reviewed how that promise soured, for two reasons: 1) a more and more hostile federal government, with cadres of grassroots environmental activist armies, have steadily removed land access and blocked projects using a variety of statutory, regulatory and judicial techniques; and 2) citizens and their elected officials allowed the productive 1968 Pudhoe Bay discovery to seduce them into overspending and creating an unsustainable, hungry bureaucracy whose appetite is sapping away state savings and threatens to devour the entire economy within a few years.
Yesterday's was a review of Alaska's challenge of cash shortage. That summary serves as a basis for understanding the challenge of energy shortage faced by the Interior Alaska community of Fairbanks today.
Most business, political and community leaders there are engaged in a controversy which today consumes the political dialogue in that city. This may be due to the oft-cited fact that in a city mostly dependent on heating oil derived from $100/barrel crude oil, an average heating bill exceeds the amount of the average mortgage payment.
As our business leader contributor, Buss Otis (NGP Photo) pointed out yesterday many folks find themselves on the edge of economic survival and the sudden, world oil price drop over the last several months is not very fully represented in local fuel bills.
Accordingly, citizens in that northern, Alaska city seek relief.
* * *
Fifty years ago, ENSTAR natural gas company began developing a distribution system designed to serve a brand new market with newly discovered Cook Inlet area natural gas supplies.
Before the arrival of natural gas home heating and cooking, Alaskan Natives and pioneers relied upon fuel sources ranging from firewood to coal to coal- and then gas-generated electricity.
ENSTAR's system evolved over the years as residential, business and commercial customers paid for the cost of the system in the rates they paid.
In 1902 Fairbanks, in the much colder climate of the state's interior, experienced a gold and population rush, soon accompanied by coal mining operations. Coal mining evolved in the South Central and Fairbanks areas, culminating in opening of the Usibelli Coal Mining in the 1940s, providing a heating and power source to Fairbanks and to the nearby Ladd Army Air Field (now Fort Wainwright).
Also in the mid-1940's local residents created an electric cooperative; Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) now operates and maintains over 3,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines for its customers. It has generated its electricity from coal, naptha, natural gas, hydro and wind and maintains an intertie capability of receiving peak supplies from the Anchorage area Electric Cooperative, Chugach Electric Association.
* * *
Last year Fairbanks' Flint Hills refinery closed. The refinery took crude oil from the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), refined it into various fuels -- including products used for power generation, motor fuel and home heating. While a smaller Flint Hills refined fuel terminal remains, it distributes imported products refined by others. Local residents remain concerned that the local refinery once offering a degree of independence from 'outside' sources is now gone.
Shortly after Flint Hills ceased refining operations last summer, the price of oil began to fall but Otis noted the complete drop in crude pricing is not fully reflected in imported, refined product pricing in Fairbanks.
As anxiety about high priced, home heating fuel increased, the Interior Alaska political representatives became -- over the last few years -- more pressured to "do something". While the private market in all previous Alaska energy challenges has shown itself to be a superior arbitrator of supply and demand, elected officials seem drawn to the prospect of 'helping with public money' as constituent voice levels rise.
During the 2013 legislative session lawmakers joined then Governor Sean Parnell in approving a government solution. The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) would be tasked with an assignment to facilitating the spending and transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars to create an Alaska North Slope LNG trucking project designed to provide Fairbanks with a new, 'affordable' and stable source of natural gas for home heating.
The advantages would be many, perhaps. Natural gas produces fewer air quality issues than coal or heating oil. Perhaps it could be cheaper, with help from the state coffers.
However, we are not aware that AIDEA has the in-depth technical and managerial expertise qualifying it to design, finance, build, own, operate, and/or market an LNG and gas distribution operation--or even properly supervise those who do. Oh, and, by the way, for the project to work a new natural gas distribution system would have to be installed throughout the 30k population "Golden Heart City" since the existing utility only serves about a thousand customers.
In short, this was to be a very complex piece of work involving many moving parts, many disciplines and the creation of a whole new distribution system.
When Governor Bill Walker took over his new office in December, it soon became obvious that the AIDEA sponsored, North Slope LNG trucking project would cost vastly more than projected.
With that development other parties began expressing interest in continuing the Fairbanks project with gas either originating from the North Slope, as previously planned, or from the gas producing fields of Cook Inlet.
Last week Governor Walker surprised many when we reported on a AIDEA news release disclosing that it would be undertaking a new, Cook Inlet-based LNG project that would likely displace interested private parties, including Ray Latchem, a highly experienced and successful Alaskan entrepreneur and Hilcorp a leading Cook Inlet oil and gas producer and an important, new Alaska North Slope operator with ability to assume risk and acquire all the LNG/gas distribution expertise that might be required for such a project.
No sooner had one AIDEA-sponsored Fairbanks LNG Trucking Project expired than a new administration ordered it to, Phoenix-like, raise a new government project from the ashes of the old rather than reaching out for an expression of private interest and investment.
By pure happenstance yesterday, we received an extremely detailed email from Latchem, a man who is, arguably, the most experienced small LNG plant developer in the State's history and perhaps one of the best in the world. We think our readers will find both his email to us and his letter addressed to Governor Bill Walker to be highly informative, filled with history and facts.
We would like to have a similar document from Hilcorp. Having been a regulator and worked for producing oil and gas companies I can understand should its management have any reluctance to defend whatever plans it may have had -- or still might have -- in a way that might be perceived as offensive to the State of Alaska, the Lessor, the Regulater.
Tomorrow, we'll close with a brief, Part III.
* * *
Please remember that we provide our news links, maps, presentations, documents and commentary for the archives--so that those who follow us will have access to decades of data on Northern North American gas pipelines and the energy related policies affecting them. We are especially concerned with accuracy in our own commentary, for while we follow these issues closely, we depend upon the eyes and brains of dozens of experts who regularly correspond with us.
Whenever a correction or addition to one of our commentaries is merited, we make the change so that the archives have the best possible information. Of course, we do not normally change our editorial position, but will even do that if a factual error is the basis for an editorial opinion. Accordingly, your input is invited all the time. Thank you for your readership! -dh
|Related Photo Cutline, Journal of Commerce, by Tim Bradner. Alaska Gasline Development Corp. President Dan Fauske (NGP Photo) said the change in the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline project to increase the capacity to a 36-inch diameter and use high-strength steel could allow up to 2.6 billion cubic feet per day to be shipped. That improves the economics of the project compared to previous restrictions that limited it to no more than 500 million cubic feet per day. (Bradner's is one of the most informative, thorough, readable gas pipeline updates we have seen. Kudos! -dh)|
Journal of Commerce by Tim Bradner. A year ago there was a lot of complaining about state money being wasted on the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline project, the little brother to the big North Slope gas pipeline project. ... But a funny thing has happened. The project has morphed. Little Brother pipeline isn’t little anymore. It has grown up.
Video: Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso discussed the LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act (S. 33), that will speed up the approval process for exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries which do not have free trade agreements with the United States. Additionally, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Petroleum Institute issued letters of support for S. 33 in advance of today’s hearing.
|Calgary Herald by Dan Healing. A consortium including Calgary-based midstream and energy firm Altagas Ltd. has taken possession of the proposed Douglas Channel LNG project through a plan of arrangement that ends a Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act process. (Alaskans will note the consortium includes investors from Asian and European market areas. -dh)|
Shell Gears Up For 2015 Chukchi Exploration Season!
World Energy News by Joseph Keefe. Oil major Shell wants to revive its Arctic oil drilling programme this year after a near two-year suspension, angering environmentalists who say the risk of an oil spill is too high.
Robert Dillon (NGP Photo) of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee reports this afternoon that, "Shell CEO Ben van Beurden today told a conference in London that Shell would drill in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea this summer.
"Shell has invested nearly $6 billion in leases and exploration in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off Alaska’s northern coast," Dillon said. "The Arctic holds 13 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil reserves, and 30 percent of undiscovered natural gas deposits, so the potential for Alaska is immense. Arctic waters off Alaska’s northern coast contain an estimated 30 billion barrels of oil and 221 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to the federal government."
Dillon said the resources are "critically important to the nation, state and continued operations of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS)" in terms of domestic oil supply and jobs.
Shell aims to restart Arctic drilling this year – CEO (Reuters)
LONDON Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:25am EST
Jan 29 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell is planning to restart oil drilling in the Arctic this year, Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said on Thursday.
The oil company suspended its Alaskan drilling programme in 2014 to rein in costs and in the face of fierce environmental opposition.
Van Beurden said he aimed to restart the campaign this year, pending approval of the necessary permits and the conclusion of various legal challenges.
"Yes, we are minded to drill in the Chukchi Sea," he told reporters at a conference in London.
12-19-14 Chevron Exits 'Economically Uncertain' Arctic OCS - Regulators Question Alaska's Arctic Gas Project
On December 11, 2014, the National Hydrocarbon Commission of Mexico announced the proposed terms for the shallow water bidding round, consisting of the Bid Conditions and the Model Contract. Our friend, Pedro van Meurs (NGP Photo), along with J. Jay Park, Q.C., prepared a joint commentary on both these documents. This report is available for free to interested parties. Click Here to download the document.
BP's Alaska Hire rate continues to exceed 80%, and spending with Alaska companies is 81% of total in-state spending, according to its 2014 Alaska Hire report. BP Publishes Alaska Hire each year to focus on education, training and mentoring programs that are designed to bring more Alaskans into the oil and gas industry. Readers may access Alaska Hire here
Reuters (Reporting by Scott Haggett; Editing by Cynthia Osterman) - Chevron Corp said on Wednesday a plan to drill for oil in the Beaufort Sea in Canada's Arctic is on hold indefinitely .... In a letter to Canada's National Energy Board, the company withdrew from a hearing into Arctic drilling rules because.... (More)
REGULATORS QUESTION ALASKA LNG PRELIMINARY PLANS (From Office of the Federal Coordinator)
In their first feedback on Alaska LNG's preliminary construction plans, federal and state agencies raised dozens of questions and issues they want to make sure are covered as the project sponsors progress with design and environmental analysis.
The agencies on Dec. 11 asked the project sponsors for more information about where they plan to get construction gravel, how they plan to lay a pipeline across Cook Inlet and what kind of wear and tear state roads and bridges would endure as tons of materials move across Alaska during construction.
The requests for more information were expected as the sponsors are in the early stages of their design, route selection and construction planning for the LNG export project.
Today's Consumer Energy Alliance Energy Links:
Downstream Today: Keystone XL: Oil, Gas Industry Awaits Fate of the Pipeline's Final Phase.
If oil sands from Canada will make it to the market whether the pipeline is built or not, then moving the product through a pipeline would not only produce fewer emissions than transporting it using other methods, such as rail or truck, but it would also be safer than other methods of transport, according to the President of the Consumer Energy Alliance, David Holt (NGP Photo), during a broadcast of Houston Public Radio.
“Pipelines are an order of magnitude safer and more environmentally responsible than any other mode of transportation for crude and natural gas. Whether or not we permit the Keystone pipeline, the crude oil in Canada is going to be produced. In the State Department’s own report, they said that without Keystone, the emissions impact to ship that [Alberta oil sands] to the east and the west, and to take it to China and elsewhere, could be a 600 percent increase in emissions,” Holt said.
New York Times: Cuomo Bans HF
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration announced on Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State because of concerns over health risks, ending years of debate over a method of extracting natural gas.
Reuters: NY unlikely to face lawsuits over shale ban, experts say
When Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a ban on fracking in New York on Wednesday, he predicted "a ton of lawsuits" against the state. But that is unlikely as the end of a drilling boom has left the industry in no mood for a fight, industry experts and lawyers said.
Associated Press: McConnell Wants to Stop Coal Rules
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., pledged on Wednesday to do all he can to stop President Barack Obama's coal plant regulations, saying a White House "crusade" has devastated his state's economy.
SNL: House Republicans slam EPA carbon rule for existing plants as 'unrealistic'
The Republican majority on the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee contends the EPA's draft carbon dioxide regulation is illegal under the Clean Air Act and that the proposal's goals are "unrealistic."
Reuters: Chevron cancels Canadian Arctic drilling as oil prices slide
Chevron Corp is putting a plan to drill for oil in the Beaufort Sea in Canada's Arctic on hold indefinitely because of what it called "economic uncertainty in the industry" as oil prices fall.
Bloomberg: U.S. Talking Oil Exports Just When World Needs It Least
The U.S. Congress is talking about allowing unfettered oil exports for the first time in almost four decades. Its timing couldn’t be worse.
Bloomberg Businessweek: TransCanada’s Keystone Fight Turns to Exports on Oil Glut
Russ Girling’s Keystone XL saga is taking a new twist with a global glut of cheap oil. Americans, including President Barack Obama, are increasingly questioning whether the pipeline is needed or if it will just be a corridor for Canadian oil-sands crude to reach China. Girling’s answer is that the U.S. isn’t weaning itself off foreign oil anytime soon and that Gulf Coast refineries will be the buyers, not Asia.
The Denver Post: Tilting the Keystone
Being an ardent opponent of the Keystone XL project in rural Colorado isn't a popular position. The vision for this 21st century pipeline has been sold as a necessary component of our energy challenges and a massive job creator. Unfortunately, the pipeline is neither, and would be better characterized through the lens of American rural landscapes as an assault as opposed to an asset.
KMTV: Fight over Keystone XL continues, landowners vow to fight until very end
TransCanada has until mid January to acquire the land needed to build the Keystone XL Pipeline through Nebraska. A new offer from the company is on the table for landowners.
Fresno Bee: Plunging oil prices are good for us, bad for Putin
Plunging gas prices are a gift in more ways than one. They mean more cash in people’s pockets during the holiday shopping season, so hopefully local retail will get a boost. They will soften the blow next month for any price spike when fuels come under California’s cap-and-trade system to combat climate change.
CBS 4 News: Falling Gas Prices Could Harm Colorado’s O&G Industry
While prices at the pump are pleasing to many drivers so far this holiday season, the plummeting prices of oil are a bit concerning for Colorado’s oil and gas industry. Coloradans are paying an average of $2.52 per gallon. That’s 54 cents less than a year ago when it was $3.06. “Colorado has had a significant increase in production. At these prices I’m not sure that will continue,” said Stan Dempsey, president of the Colorado Petroleum Association.
Associated Press: Colorado drillers warn of closures with fines
Colorado oil and gas industry leaders say new fines for rule violations could lead in some cases to companies shutting down or curtailing operations. An attorney for the Colorado Oil and Gas Association industry group told regulators penalties should be waived for minor infractions.
News & Observer: NC Rules Review Commission approves HF standards
North Carolina’s proposed fracking safety standards sailed through a rules reviewWednesday despite a staff attorney’s warning that several rules failed to meet state standards and should be put out for public hearing. The Rules Review Commission’s approval means the fracking rules won’t be delayed by several months for extra reviews and hearings. Instead, the rules, written by the Mining and Energy Commission, are now headed to the state legislature, which is expected to lift North Carolina’s fracking moratorium in a matter of months.
Baltimore Sun: Shale ban in NY prompts calls for MD to follow suit
With New York's governor banning hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in that state, environmental groups are calling on Maryland's lawmakers to follow suit. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ended six years of study in that state and sided with his top advisers in deciding the potential environmental and health risks of "fracking," as it's commonly known, were too great to allow it to go forward there.
Lancaster Online: Home heating costs are down
Lancaster County residents should get some relief on their heating bills this season — unless there’s a repeat of last winter’s deep freeze. The administration estimated in its winter report on winter fuels that the decline in average price for some heating sources also will contribute to savings.
WOAI: Eagle Ford Production Strong--Won’t be Killed by Saudi Moves
The plummeting price of oil has not yet begun affecting drilling in the Eagle Ford shale south of San Antonio, an investigation by News Radio 1200 WOAI's Michael Board has concluded. Benchmark West Texas Crude fell nearly a dollar again on Tuesday to settle at $55.05 a barrel. That's down from $116 in April, and $110 as recently as June.
Dallas Morning News: Lawmaker files bill to discourage cities from passing HF bans
Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, proposed on Wednesday a bill that would require cities to make up for any revenue lost as a result of passing a municipal oil and gas ordinance–a requirement that could dissuade cash-strapped cities from considering or approving some local regulations.
Express-News: 500+ rigs may shut down as oil slides, analysts say
As many as 550 drilling rigs may have to sit on the sidelines of U.S. shale oil patches over the next few months, analysts say, as oil prices have folded nearly in half since this summer. The projections come a few days after Texas drilling rigs led the nation in a 1.4 percent weekly decline in the U.S. active rig count, according to oil-field services firm Baker Hughes.
Call To Action: TONIGHT IN ANCHORAGE!
Send us your comments to be preserved in our searchable archives!
Our 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.