Hastings: Admin’s Response to Oversight Requests Shameful . “Either the Administration is incompetent or it is going out of its way to expend time and money to withhold information from Congress”
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 10, 2014 - House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (NGP Photo) delivered the following opening statement at today’s Full Committee oversight hearing entitled “The Status of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Responses to Committee Subpoenas and the Continued Lack of Transparency about Its Implementation and Enforcement of American Wildlife Laws, and Oversight of the Department of the Interior’s Solicitor’s Office.”
Comment: There are many ways we can lose our freedom. Yesterday, we discussed the relationship between the November elections, freedom of speech and the freedom to produce natural resource wealth under a reliable, predictable 'rule of law'. And, we documented how one political party in Washington seeks to stay in power by diminishing the rule of law. Early this morning, after additional research, we added this epilog that our readers might find personally and professionally interesting. It is a reminder from a great poet, philosopher and playwright to not forget past tragedy. -dh
The Drilldown: Prentice's new national voice on pipelines
iPolitics.ca (subscription). Premier-designate Jim Prentice speaks to media before meeting Alberta ... which he has argued are critical to more oil and gas leaving the ground.
Found! Lost ship from Sir John Franklin's doomed Arctic expedition near King William Island....
This Senate Race Is All About Energy!
Yesterday, we found where the Wall Street Journal recently focused on the Mark Begich (NGP Photo-L) - Dan Sullivan (NGP Photo-R) U.S. Senate race.
We mention that race here, because its outcome will affect energy policy in Alaska--and elsewhere. In recent years, the U.S. Senate has consistently failed to improve federal energy policies affecting Alaska, including those involving the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska; and mal-administration of the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, and Clean Air Act. At the same time, Senator Begich has run and served partly on his desire, according to an AP writer, to, "...be an independent voice against President Barack Obama." (Additional link)
|The Alaska Support Industry Alliance’s Board of Directors has voted to endorse Dan Sullivan’s campaign for US Senate against incumbent US Senator Mark Begich. “As a board, we believe this election and the make-up of the United States Senate are critical to resource development in Alaska,” said Board President Dave Lawer (NGP Photo).|
Democrat senators have supported Senate leader Harry Reid's failure to act on responsible, natural resource legislation passed by the U.S. House of representatives. Some of that legislation could have benefited Alaska. He has even failed to act on Legislation passed by his own Senate Energy Committee.
We therefore conclude, sadly, that if our readers wish to have Alaska's job potential, economy and natural resources locked up for at least a generation to come, they should support Senator Mark Begich and his colleagues also running for reelection. It is this group that, in supporting Leader Reed's failure to let responsible legislation be addressed, is also supporting President Obama's position in support of radical environmental activism (Also see this, and this and this).
We find it interesting that in recent campaign emails (i.e. Subject Kochs: "Next up, Alaska"), the Begich machine is criticizing the Koch Brothers for exercising their right of free speech, while using the 'Act Blue' organization of 'outside-Alaska', sophisticated, progressive, political operatives to raise money. We wish candidates would, like Sullivan, stick closer to the issues so critical to Alaska and to all of America's citizens. -dh
If our readers wish to have the rule of law upheld in Alaska and elsewhere, see laws reasonably enforced and interpreted, and see the federal government begin to respect Alaska's statehood compact (i.e. depending as it does on natural resource development), they will likely tend to vote for former Attorney General Dan Sullivan.
As our citizens vote for a Senate candidate in the November General Election, so will their children be rewarded with the results--one way or the other.
Alaska's vote will also affect the Nation, whose prosperity and security is in such large measure also based on wealth-producing natural resources...and Alaska's enormous, natural resource potential in particular.
Epilog: This month, Senate democrats seek to muster enough of their colleagues and a few errant republicans to corrupt the United States Constitution's free speech guarantee. If they were to be successful, the rule of law moves from the 'endangered' category, to 'extinct'. A free natural resource industry cannot survive in the absence of free speech and must become nationalized to survive -- which may be a major goal of this Harry Reid, Senate Democrat majority. To our other comments we add, "If you wish to see politicians empowered to censor political speech (i.e. including our opinions about energy), you must vote for Mark Begich. If you wish to defend the Constitution and Bill of Rights as written, you must vote for Dan Sullivan in the upcoming, November election." -dh 9-10-14
(Please note that we would be pleased to publish responsible, reader comments sent to us here. Our goal is accuracy. We always appreciate having facts corrected. Our commentary is subjective, however, and we're happy to provide opposing and supporting views. -dh)
Some years ago your author played the Prince, in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
Today's epilog (i.e. right column) reminds me of those nights on stage, when after great tragedy had befallen us, the Prince urges his people to not forget. Below is my sad epilog, parenthetical comments added.
We first met Jim Prentice (NGP Photo) in Calgary while chairing the Arctic Gas Symposium several years ago. We visited together over lunch and then came the presentations. After following his career for nearly a decade we believe that as Premier of Alberta, his service would continue to reflect well on the citizens and his own considerable abilities. We further believe that he has the experience and judgment required for a future Prime Minister. Following is today's CBC story by Michelle Bellefontaine & Caitlin Hanson. -dh
CBC. Jim Prentice has been named the new leader of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party and premier designate.
Prentice received 17,963 votes, easily defeating Ric McIver and Thomas Lukaszuk, who obtained 2,742 and 2,681 votes respectively.
“I’m standing here as an Albertan with a sense of pride and feeling of humility,” Prentice said shortly after the announcement was made.
Calling his appointment “a new beginning for Alberta,” Prentice said.... (More)
Mining.com. Here, "Visual Capitalist" helps us to grasp the enormous breadth, depth and wealth of Canada's Oil Sands, which makes a conduit (or, pipeline conduits) through the United States and other Canadian provinces even more valuable to those areas due to associated jobs and property tax benefits.
Citizens of both states and provinces should not be fooled by environmental activist tomfoolery which seeks to isolate and lock up that wealth for both current and future generations. Demonizing and then snapping a ball and chain around the legs of reasonable natural resource development can only cripple job creation, economic opportunity and associated North American lifestyles for this and future generations.
We are grateful to reader, Steve Borell for bringing this lucid analysis to our attention.
Yesterday we urged readers to consider attending and supporting both mining and oil and gas conferences where policy decisions often originate and achieve decision-maker consensus. The oil sands project is a perfect example of how mining and Oil & Gas share symmetry.
Other examples include Alaska's Pebble Project challenges, which, if lost, will eviscerate America's 'rule of law and Constitutional due process guarantees', and empower the EPA through precedent to PRE-EMPTIVELY BLOCK any agricultural, commercial fishing, petroleum, mining, forestry, hydroelectric, federal highway or state bridge or municipal right of way project -- BEFORE THAT PROJECT HAS EVEN FILED A PERMIT APPLICATION OR PRESENTED A DEVELOPMENT PLAN. -dh
Mining.com. There’s no shortage of discussion on Canada’s oil sands. Even Leonardo Dicaprio has recently toured them while subsequently providing commentary that ruffled the feathers of the province of Alberta.
As a whole, the oil sands are about as big as the state of Florida. The mineable portion makes up about 3% of that total, which is for bitumen deposits less than 75 metres below ground. For perspective, this is about 6x the size of New York City. Meanwhile, the rest (about 97%) must be recovered by “in situ” methods such as SAGD where heavy oil is pumped to the surface.
Surely something with this size and scope must have a big impact in other places – and it does. The oil sands produce more than 56% of Canada’s oil and contains over 98% of Canada’s proven reserves. Over the next 25 years, $783 billion in royalties and taxes will be paid to the government. (More....)
Consumer Energy Alliance Energy Clips:
The Lufkin News: Keystone XL pipeline a boon for tax rolls The Keystone XL pipeline will funnel more than black tar sands through Angelina County now that it’s on the 2014 tax rolls.
Omaha.com: Ruling on Keystone XL could come down to 2 key points The nearly six-year odyssey of the Keystone XL pipeline could turn this week in 30 minutes. The Nebraska Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Friday morning on a constitutional challenge involving one of the most bitterly fought environmental battles in a generation. President Barack Obama is awaiting a ruling from Nebraska before moving closer to deciding the fate of the massive oil pipeline.
Bloomberg: Keystone Redux Haunts Trans Mountain as Fight Shifts to Climate
The next fight over oil pipeline development in Canada is starting to look like Keystone XL version 2.0. This time the target is a $4.9 billion project by Houston billionaire Richard Kinder’s energy empire.
The Canadian Press: Leonardo DiCaprio visits Alberta oilsands to research documentary
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is the latest celebrity to visit Alberta's oilsands. Sources involved with the visit say DiCaprio is doing research for an environmental documentary.
Inside Climate News: Keystone Ads Mislead on Canada's Deep Cuts to Environmental Monitoring
Canada has cut nearly $3 billion in spending and up to 5,000 jobs from its science-based departments, according to a union representing federal scientists.
KETV- Omaha: Gov. Heineman voices opinion on Keystone XL pipeline's slow process
Later this week the Nebraska Supreme Court will hear arguments about the Keystone XL Pipeline.
The Globe and Mail: TransCanada’s Energy East faces hurdle as U.S. oil boom swamps market
As TransCanada Corp. prepares to file for regulatory approval for its $12-billion cross-country pipeline project, booming U.S. oil imports are creating a new challenge: a domestic market saturated with low-cost crude.
The Guardian: As Shell gears up to drill the Arctic, investors must ask serious questions
The oil company has filed plans for offshore drilling but past safety blunders and operational failings in the region make it a high cost, high risk venture.
Huffington Post: No New Oil Drilling in Our Oceans
Labor Day represents the end of summer-- and nothing says summer quite like a trip to the beach. At the beginning of summer, my family spent a few wonderful days exploring the beaches lining a small South Carolina coastal town. Enjoying the catch of the day at a local crab shack, we gazed at a sign across the road at a grocery store that pleaded "Don't ruin our ocean with sonic cannons." As we talked to long -time residents, we were struck by the deep concern they have that drilling for oil offshore would kill this community's tradition of great seafood, clean beaches, and sea turtle nesting.
The Beaufort Gazette: SC policymakers push for offshore drilling despite environmental, tourism concerns
When Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling scans the horizon of his city, he doesn't see a place for oil rigs. He fears the impact offshore drilling operations could have on South Carolina's coastal tourism.
Bloomberg BNA: McConnell to Intensify Push to Roll Back EPA Regulations if Republicans Flip Senate
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will make it a top priority to derail Environmental Protection Agency regulatory efforts through the appropriations process if Republicans retake the Senate this fall, the senator and several former congressional aides say.
The Energy Collective: EPA's Clean Power Plan: Texas's Last Stand or Last Hope?
August has been an eventful month here in Texas. And, no, I’m not referring to news about Governor Rick Perry, rather some of his appointees. The Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC), Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Railroad Commissioners (RRC) Barry Smitherman and Christy Craddick, and State Representative Jason Isaac held a joint session to discuss the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new Clean Power Plan (CPP).
Reuters: From Seoul to Mexico City, pressure mounts to ease U.S. oil export ban
Washington is facing growing international pressure to ease its long standing ban on crude oil exports, with South Korea and Mexico joining the European Union in pressing the case for U.S. oil shipments overseas.
The New York Times: Desperately Dry California Tries to Curb Private Drilling for Water
The small prefab office of Arthur & Orum, a well-drilling outfit hidden in the almond trees and grapevines south of Fresno, has become a magnet for scores of California farmers in desperate need of water to sustain their crops. Looking at binders of dozens of orders for yet-to-be-drilled wells, Steve Arthur, a manager, said, “We’ve got more stacked up than we’ll do before the end of the year.”
Reuters: Why the shale revolution is not about to end
Doubts about the sustainability of the North American oil and gas boom center on rapidly declining output from many shale wells after they are initially drilled. Shale skeptics point to the need to drill an ever-increasing number of new holes just to replace the declining output from existing wells, let alone expand production. At some point it will become impossible to keep up, they argue.
The Hill: White House reviews federal-land HF rules
The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has started to review new regulations for hydraulic fracturing on federal land, the last step before the rules can be made final. The rules for the oil and gas drilling process, also known as fracking, were proposed last year after a mid-2012 proposal was pulled back.
Houston Chronicle: Water resources a problem worldwide, report finds
The great conundrum of the drilling revolution unfolding in the United States and now being exported to other nations is that some of the countries with the biggest oil and gas resources also have the least amount of water to dedicate to extracting them. According to the analysis by the World Resources Institute, 38 percent of the earth’s shale gas and tight oil resources are in areas that are either arid or under high levels of water stress already _ a scenario that does not mesh with the high water demands of today’s extraction techniques.
Saint Louis Post Dispatch: 'Fracking' one step closer to breaking ground in Illinois
Friday, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources officially released proposed rules to govern the controversial oil-extraction process. It now will be considered by a state legislative committee, which will decide within 90 days whether to go forward with the proposed rules—which have already garnered some 30,000 comments from the public.
The State Journal: Hydraulic fracturing could improve geothermal energy
A recent issue of The Economist had an article titled “Geothermal Energy, Hot Rocks, Why Geothermal Is the New Fracking.” The month before, a New York Times article titled, “Geothermal Industry Grows, With Help from Oil and Gas Drilling.”
Philadelphia Inquirer: Marcellus Shale gas boom sparks land disputes
The Marcellus Shale natural gas discovery has triggered an associated boom in Pennsylvania land disputes, as formerly valueless mineral rights are now potentially worth millions.
State Journal: WV workforce lacks oil and gas expertise — for now.
“It is amazing to consider how rapidly production has risen in recent years: For instance, the 33 percent rise in production that occurred just between 2012 and 2013 is significantly higher than anyone would have expected a few years ago,” said John Deskins, director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at West Virginia University. “More generally, performance has been consistently outstripping expectations in recent years.
Longview News-Journal: Texas shale keeps gas prices affordable.
Whenever overseas turmoil has pushed energy prices higher in the past, John and Beth Hughes have curbed their driving by eating at home more and shopping locally. But the crises in Ukraine and Iraq did not stop the Hughes family from making the two-hour drive to San Antonio to visit the Alamo, have a chicken-fried steak lunch and buy fish for their tank before driving home to Corpus Christi.
Houston Chronicle: As more oil travels along rail, safety concerns come up.
Across the country, intense scrutiny has descended on rail transit of crude, a partnership that built the national energy system in the age of John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil. As traffic has surged, a series of accidents, including a spectacular derailment that killed dozens of people last summer in Canada, has led to outcry from fire marshals and assurances from rail industry officials.
While we draw special attention to the following, upcoming meetings, we also urge readers to explore links to resource development, chamber of commerce and other similar groups in the U.S. and Canada which are linked above, and in the right-hand column. -dh
"A Plethora of Organizations?"
I've heard some say, "These organizations are duplicative! I can't support them all!"
But this mindset ignores that free enterprise is under attack from a massive and well-organized Enviro-Industrial-Governmental Cabal.
The foundations, political activists and Soros-supported 'not-for-profit' organizations do not suffer from stingy donors. As we have proved here in numerous instances, they will spend vast sums to 'fundamentally change countries and societies'.
We do sympathize with those with very limited budgets. To those, we say, "Please consider reordering priorities. Give to organizations that support you."
Let's ask, "Do organizations we support, support us at the ballot box, at federal hearings, at state legislative committee meetings?"
By using "enlightened self interest" when making charitable contributions and supporting organizational memberships, we might find that the culture of freedom, the principle of 'due process' and the overall protections of a strong "rule of law" will become more and more dominant over the dangerous trend in the world's democracies toward, "rule of man".
And, if we fail, we would at least have fought the good fight!
10th Annual Alaska Oil & Gas Congress, 9-15/18-14, Anchorage. The Cogress is Co-Chaired by Hon. Cathy Giessel (Alaska State Senate) and Anchorage Economic Development Corporation CEO, Bill Popp (NGP Photos). Congress sponsors say, "Proudly celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Alaska Oil and Gas Congress promises to deliver valuable awareness into the progress and challenges around oil and gas development in Alaska." We believe it is a premier, multi-day, annual energy event in northern, North America--sharing that distinction with the annual Arctic Oil & Gas Symposium in Calgary. (Your author has chaired both events over the years. -dh)
2014 Interstate Mining Compact Commission Mid-year Meeting, 10-15/17-14, Washington, DC. We strongly urge oil & gas representatives to attend and support this meeting since issues affecting federal regulations on mining can and do apply to oil, gas and other natural resource permits. Here's what sponsors say: "In addition to our regular agenda, as part of this year’s Mid-Year Meeting we are hosting a day of federal and state discussions on October 15. The program will consist of short panel introductions to the agenda topics followed by roundtable discussions. Officials from the U.S. Corps of Engineers (confirmed), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have been invited to participate in separate sessions on that day."
2014 Consumer Energy Alliance Energy Day, 10-18-14, Houston. This festival puts an educational focus on "all of the above" energy technologies of interest to children and adults alike. Hosted by CEA President David Holt (NGP Photo), a frequent participant in energy events nationwide -- including Alaska -- sponsors say, "The festival hosts nearly 70 interactive demonstrations and exhibits teaching students and their families about the various forms of energy, science, technology, efficiency, conservation, and careers in the energy industry. The exciting exhibits and interactions with energy experts help spark students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Attendees include students, educators, families and business leaders who see a range of exhibits highlighting energy sources and opportunities in the industry. Additionally, more than 75 students are awarded each year for their achievements in STEM-related competitions. Guests are also treated to music and numerous interactive games and displays.
2014 Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) Annual Conference, Columbus, Ohio, 10-19/21-14. Hosted by chairman, Governor Phil Bryant (NGP Photo) of Mississippi, sponsors say, "we will explore current issues and operations influencing the U.S. oil and natural gas industry.
"Participants will have the unique opportunity to interact with state regulators, government officials and industry professionals and learn about some prevailing environmentally-sound practices whilst focusing on the expansion of North American energy resources.
"The 2014 IOGCC Annual Conference is bound to be both informational and enlightening to any individual wanting to learn more about the exploration and production of oil and natural gas."
126th Annual Meeting, 2014 National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), 11-16-19, San Francisco. State and federal regulatory commissioners confer on many of the leading energy/environmental issues du jour, under leadership of Hon. Colette Honorable (NGP Photo) - NARUC President, Arkansas.
Canadian Energy and Utility Regulators meet with NARUC commissioners and also convene their own annual meeting in the spring. The next CAMPUT Annual Conference is scheduled for: May 10 – 13, 2015, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Calgary, Alberta.
Commentary on, "A Brave New World of LNG Export Competition", by Dave Harbour
Our friend, James Halloran (below, right) advises his newsletter recipients this morning that LNG Project competition is intense. This is why Alaska cannot take its resources for granted--cannot just assume that they will be both marketable and marketed. And, we can help! In a Brave New World of LNG export competition, Alaska's government and people need to work with and support reasonable natural resource development in the State. Alaska's Constitution (Para. 2) demands it. The Alaska Statehood Act depended upon it. And, the future of Alaska and her coming generations absolutely require an economy sustained by reasonable resource development. We don't know if the Alaska LNG Project will ultimately be both marketable and marketed. We do know that its sponsors will need exceptional support of Alaska's citizens to overcome the awesome forces of competition, augmented by Alaska North Slope Gas natural marketing obstacles: remoteness, climate expenses, labor expenses and logistics expenses. We also conclude that our Canadian friends face some of the same, man-made competitive obstacles and natural resource advantages.
Commentary by Energy Consultant, James Halloran.
There are over two dozen proposed LNG export projects in the US that, if all enacted, would involve shipping 38 Bcf of gas per day (over 50% of current domestic production).
Obviously, the actual number will be much smaller than that. The best guess (and it is no more than that) is that US LNG export capacity may reach about 8-10 Bcf/day.
About 2-4 Bcf will represent “swing capacity” for such majors as Exxon, arbitraging between the Atlantic and Pacific basins (and not operating full-time).
The total capacity ultimately built may actually go higher, but at that point some of it will be excess supply.
But the US situation can hardly be looked at in a vacuum. There are a number of major inputs to the LNG supply/demand equation. One of the biggest involves efforts by British Columbia to develop a number of LNG export terminals. The note below describes the critical issues that are headwinds to that effort. We will not repeat what is accented below. But the bottom line is that, while Canada’s only real advantage over the US at this point is closer proximity to the Asian market, with several disadvantages, this does not mean that Canada will cede the market to the US. The BC projects are highly likely to lead to overbuilding in the North American LNG export business.
This is especially likely, given BC’s dream of tax revenue riches from these projects. Rational behavior rarely accompanies government greed. The Canadian natural gas that will supply the BC projects will not come from fields that would go anywhere else, but this only accents the likelihood of competition for the Asian markets that will hold LNG prices down.
(Note: Should Halloran later add into this mix the prospect of an Alaska LNG project, competition becomes even more intense.
Tax greedy Provinces like British Columbia and States like Alaska will have to restrain the temptation to tax their golden eggs out of existence; if not, less greedy, more reasonable, producing area governments will create new nests of golden eggs at the expense of Canada and Alaska. -dh)
On his Face Book Page, Governor Sean Parnell (NGP Photo) writes: Progress on the natural gas pipeline for Alaskans: #Alaska’s LNG Project secured more than 120 acres of land near Nikiski and has nearly 100 more acres under contract. This bodes well for a liquefied natural gas plant, which would be the largest integrated LNG project ever constructed . Some good reporting here: http://goo.gl/KOIU5J
Bloomberg News by Rebecca Penty and Divya Balji. The race to build natural gas export terminals on Canada’s Pacific Coast is inspiring another competition as producers including Painted Pony Petroleum Ltd. (PPY) position themselves as potential takeover targets.
Developers of the gas-rich Montney shale that straddles Alberta and British Columbia are among the best-performing Canadian energy stocks this year, including Painted Pony, Crew Energy Inc. (CR) and Birchcliff Energy Ltd. (BIR) Regulators estimate the Montney, the supply source closest to the sites of proposed LNG terminals, contains 145 years worth of Canadian gas consumption.
As oil majors from BG Group Plc to Royal Dutch Shell (More here....)
TODAY'S ENERGY IN DEPTH ENERGY LINKS BELOW:
As oil boom continues, there's no end in sight for job growth. Dallas Morning News. “We have a lot of production increasing in the shale areas of Texas and North Dakota. And we’re seeing an upswing in the number of rigs in the gulf,” said Paul Caplan, president of Rigzone, which runs an online job board for the industry. “The competition for people is getting tough.”
Bottleneck keeps Permian oil price far below benchmark. Houston Chronicle. Five years into an oil production revival in the Permian Basin, producers tapping the West Texas formation are selling their oil for $21 below the benchmark U.S. price because it's difficult to get thecrude to market. NOTE: Bloomberg also reports.
New Book Documents Hydraulic Fracturing's Promise for America. Heartland Institute (Blog). The new book Groundswell is a highly recommended read. It is more an economics and politics book than a science treatise, and there are plenty of issues in fracking economics and politics to discuss. In an easy conversational writing style, Ezra Levant powerfully debunks a litany of myths regularly asserted by anti-fracking activists.
BP Hires Chief to Run its U.S. 'Lower 48' Onshore Business. Wall Street Journal. Mr. Lawler, most recently an executive vice president and chief operating officer of Sandridge, will take over a new business with "separate governance, processes and systems" from the rest of BP, the company said in a statement. He will report to BP's exploration-and-production chief, Lamar McKay. BP said in March that it would put its lower-48 onshore assets into a new business in an effort to become nimbler and "compete more effectively with the independents," BP CEO Bob Dudley told an investor meeting at the time.
Energy fight advances in North Carolina. Washington Post. North Carolina is down to the final weeks of a hydraulic fracturing battle that has consumed the state government for nearly two years. The state’s Mining and Energy Commission will kick off public hearings this week on the controversial drilling practice, which Gov. Pat McCrory (R) legalized in June. (Click Below For More International and Stateside News....)