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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.

 

Federal Obstruction

7-18-14 Fairbanks LNG Project Briefing Last Night

18 July 2014 6:01am

AP by Becky Bohrer.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ... proposing restrictions that would essentially block development of a massive gold-and-copper prospect ...
ADN by Sean Cockerham.  Supporters of the embattled Pebble Mine project in Alaska are making a desperate effort in Congress and the courts to keep it alive ...

 

 

 

 


Below is last night's report on the Fairbanks LNG project briefing and here is the link to Tuesday's meeting in Anchorage.  -dh

Alaska LNG Project, Steve Butt, ExxonMobil, Photo by Dave HarbourFairbanks News Miner by Matt Buxton.  The man in charge of the Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas Project—the oft-called "landmark" project to commercialize North Slope natural gas for in-state and export—is careful about how he talks about the multi-billion project.

First and foremost, Project Manager Steve Butt (NGP Photo) wants people to know that it's not a pipeline project, like natural gas projects before, but a fully integrated system that includes just about everything on either side of the 800-mile pipeline.

"This isn't a pipeline project, it's a LNG project," he said Thursday at the News-Miner prior to a town hall meeting at Wedgewood Resort later in the evening. "It's much more than a pipeline. The 800-mile pipeline is a super important part, but it's only a part."
 
Categories:

7-15-14 LNG Forum In Anchorage Tonight

15 July 2014 2:13am

Today's LNG Community Meeting In Anchorage


EPA Land Grab

By Bill White  

It’s been clear that the executive branch of the federal government is working overtime to extend its authority. This started long before Obama became president, but it has accelerated at an alarming rate since he took office. Obama’s administration has put out more regulations per week than any before, each of which extends EPA's authority to reach into people’s lives and control them and their businesses.

While the IRS has the reputation of being the most insidious of all government agencies, I’d have to say that the EPA is working hard to stay a close second. What started as a government agency to protect our corner of the world has become the political arm of the environmental movement.

That’s scary enough in and of itself. There aren’t many special interest groups that have control of a government agency, but the EPA has pretty much been taken over by environmentalists. Oh, they don’t “officially” own the EPA, but they pretty much dictate what the EPA does.

We see this no more clearly than watching how Obama’s EPA is working hand-in-hand with radical environmentalists to force the country into green energy, by making it either illegal or impossible to use cheaper sources of energy.

This is why yesterday we commended the work of Consumer Energy Alliance, for doing its best to protect consumer interests.  -dh

The EPA cares no more for your and my interests than those environmentalists do. Their focus is on taking the world back from man and giving it back to nature. It seems like if a few billion people have to die to do that, then as far as they’re concerned, no problem.

That may sound a bit alarmist, but it’s not a new notion. The Georgia Guidestones, a New Age monument, said to have the New Age Globalist Manifesto written on it, declares that one of their goals is to bring the world population down to 500 million people, about one-fourteenth of what it is today.

Interestingly enough, that same figure shows up in the United Nations Agenda 21. Agenda 21 purports itself to be a “voluntary action plan for sustainable development.” One hundred, seventy-eight countries have signed it, including the United States.Surprisingly, it was President Bush who signed it, not President Obama.

It takes a while to dig through Agenda 21 and gain any understanding of it, but it basically herds all of mankind into big cities, leaving the rest of the world to return back to nature.

Okay, so what does this have to do with the EPA? Since “sustainability” is a catch phrase for “protect the environment at all costs” it has a lot to do with the EPA. Essentially, the EPA is the government agency which has the greatest responsibility for implementing Agenda 21. They are coordinating the efforts of other government agencies, such as the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) to find ways of implementing the necessary changes so that Agenda 21 can be put into full effect.

Remember Clive Bundy and his ranch? That was the BLM working on a land grab. One thing that was hardly mentioned during that debate is that the BLM had already managed to put all the other ranchers in that area out of business; Bundy was the last man standing. They wanted to clear Bundy out, so that they could turn that area back over to nature as a refuge for the desert tortoise.

That’s bad enough, but the latest action by the EPA is even worse. The EPA is working to redefine the Clean Water Act, which gives them authority to regulate wetlands and waterways. Under the new definition, they would also have control over any lands which have temporary wetlands, as well as all tributaries that feed into waterways, even temporary tributaries.

(Video: Published on Jun 3, 2014; Uploaded under "Fair Use" provision for discussion and commentary at PolitiBrew.com)

That doesn’t sound so bad, until you understand what it means. We’ve already seen some of their definition, by how they’ve been attacking citizens, essentially implementing these new definitions before they are officially accepted.

A “temporary wetland” is anywhere that there is water present only part of the year. Let me ask you a question; is there any time during the year, where water puddles in your yard? If so, you have a temporary wetland. According to the EPA’s new definition, you don’t have control over your land, they do. Basically, they own your land.

The same thing can be said for temporary tributaries. If you have anyplace on your land where water runs off when it rains, leaving any sort of a mark, that would be considered a temporary tributary. Likewise, drainage ditches and landscaping ponds would give them the right to your land.

Let me be clear about this. The EPA is trying to use this twisting of the law to confiscate land from law-abiding American citizens, who haven’t done anything wrong. Their only justification is the way that they are writing regulations, nothing more. Congress hasn’t given them this authority, they have seized it on their own, perhaps under the president’s direction, perhaps not. Whether or not he has approved it really doesn’t matter, as they know he supports Agenda 21.

About the only way that you could make sure that your property is safe from seizure under these new regulations is to make sure that no water could fall on it.

I suppose if you built a roof that extends from border to border of your property, forcing all water that falls there to run off onto your neighbors’ property, you’d be safe. But then, all it would take is one leak in that roof and they’d have the loophole they need.

It is germane to note that this action is illegal. The Supreme Court has already ruled twice that the EPA’s authority is limited to relatively permanent bodies of water, not temporary ones.

However, that doesn’t meet the progressive agenda, nor does it allow them to implement Agenda 21. So you can be sure that they will keep on trying, regardless of whether their actions are legal or not.


Bill White is the author of Conquering the Coming Collapse, and a former Army officer, manufacturing engineer and business manager. More recently, he left the business world to work as a cross-cultural missionary on the Mexico border. Bill has been a survivalist since the 1970s, when the nation was in the latter days of the Cold War. He had determined to head into the Colorado Rockies, should Washington ever decide to push the button. While those days have passed, the knowledge Bill gained during that time hasn’t. He now works to educate others on the risks that exist in our society and how to prepare to meet them.  (Note: while NGP is devoted to energy issues and not future political theories, we do find White's analysis of EPA regulatory overreach to be generally consistent with the EPA's demonstrated due process abuses and overreaching excesses in Alaska.  From a national perspective, we find the Fox News video to be perhaps the only detailed media review of Federal Clean Water Act regulatory implications.   Natural resource developers, transporters, farmers, municipalities and states throughout the nation should have their government and external affairs offices placed on high alert and work with Congress to curtail EPA overreach before it does more damage to the economy and, indeed, to national security.   -dh)    


 

The Alaska LNG/Pipeline project will provide community project briefings this week in Anchorage and Fairbanks.

In Anchorage 

When: 

6-8 p.m., Tuesday, July 15
(Presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.)

Where: 

William A. Egan Civic & Convention Center
Lower Level - Summit Hall
555 W. 5th Avenue 

In Fairbanks 

When: 

6-8 p.m., Thursday, July 17
(Presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.)

Where: 

Wedgewood Resort - Gazebo Room
1212 Wedgewood Drive 

The Alaska LNG team will provide a project overview and share information about current studies.   It will be an opportunity to both hear about and comment on the project.

Happily, sponsors will provide refreshments.

Categories:

7-14-14 Consumer Energy Alliance Looks Out For Us All

14 July 2014 7:42am

Natalie Joubert, Consumer Energy Alliance, Dave Harbour PhotoAs longtime supporters of Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), we appreciate this week's notes below from Natalie Joubert (NGP Photo), of the organization's Washington Office.  CEA works to make sure energy consumer interests are served and their projects include support for the Keystone XL pipeline, many Alaska energy positions endorsed by Alaska leaders and Lower 48 energy issues also affecting both Alaska and Canada.  -dh

Calls to Action: CEA is seeking our readers' support on initiatives this month, including: Comments on the OCS Five-Year Offshore Oil & Gas Leasing Program; Comments and attendees to oppose a ban on fracking in Denton, TX (the City Council will hold a hearing on Tuesday in Denton); and Comments and attendees on the EPA’s carbon pollution regulations.  CEA will be speaking at each of the four EPA hearings later this month.  (See an example of how CEA processes our letters here.  -dh)
 
Upon news that a decision on Keystone XL may be delayed past the midterm elections, media outlets seized on CEA’s recently released report on the economic impacts of the Gulf Coast Project, the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline. The Washington, Examiner, Canada Free Press, and Right Side News all quoted the study to demonstrate the positive contributions to the local economies along the Keystone XL route.

Construction of Keystone’s Gulf Coast pipeline added $5.7B to local economies  Michael Whatley (NGP Photo), Executive Michael Whatley, Consumer Energy Alliance, Dave Harbour PhotoVice President of CEA, is a well known national speaker, having appeared at scores of events throughout the Lower 48, Alaska and Canada.  He is quoted in this E&E News story about a CEA report showing how the Gulf Coast pipeline has brought billions of dollars to numerous rural Texas and Oklahoma counties. Construction of the southern segment of TransCanada Corp.’s politically fraught pipeline has brought billions of dollars to the rural Texas and […]

Four Things for the U.S. to do to Lower Gas Prices  $4 a gallon gasoline is being spotted at the pump this Fourth of July. Here are four things Consumer Energy Alliance recommends the U.S. do right now to make sure a gallon of gasoline is affordable by this time next year. Approve key infrastructure projects including the Keystone XL Pipeline Open the Gulf of Mexico […]


(Note: Sometimes we write letters from scratch and sometimes we borrow from the testimony we give at public hearings.  However, since this administration seems more concerned with executing an agenda than honestly reacting to a 'record' developed in the public interest, we are pleased to also comment through the CEA website and simply contribute votes in favor of consumer interests and our philosophy.  Note that one can use the format and distribution mechanism but personalize the letter as desired.  As an example, below is this morning's comment delivered via the CEA website, for your review, and it demonstrates how CEA communicated back to us.  We find the process to be professionally handled.  The message is valid.   And, it saves time!   -dh)

Your Letter to the President and Congress

Dave, thanks for taking action on behalf of Consumer Energy Alliance. Your messages are on the way.

 

An individual copy of your letter will be sent to each official:

 

July 14, 2014

 

Dear President Obama,

Dear Representative Young,

Dear Senator Murkowski,

Dear Senator Begich,

 

Kelly Hammerle

Five Year Program Manager

BOEM (HM-3120)

381 Elden Street

Herndon, Virginia 20170

RE: Request for Information on 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil & Gas Leasing Program

Dear Ms. Hammerle:

As the federal government examines areas to be considered in the next five-year offshore oil and gas leasing program, I urge you to include all unleased areas in the draft plan. Future environmental analyses will guide whether an area should be precluded from leasing. Right now, let’s leave all of our options on the table.

In particular, it’s time to open new areas in the Atlantic and Eastern Gulf of Mexico to exploration. Recent federal estimates show that the Atlantic likely holds 4.7 billion barrels of oil – 43% more than estimated just a few years ago. Seismic surveying and exploration of the Mid- and South Atlantic will help us better understand this prolific resource base. The Eastern Gulf similarly holds excellent potential and should not be precluded from the plan. If we don’t examine the potential of these areas now, it’ll be another five years before we can again consider leasing. And a lot can change in five years.

We also need to continue to advance our opportunities in the U.S. Arctic. Aside from being the largest untapped resource basin in North American, energy exploration in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas will advance our scientific understanding of the Arctic and advance our geopolitical interests in the region.

 

A sensible long term energy policy must include our offshore resources. Shale energy has fortunately lowered our dependence on overseas oil, but we’re not energy self-sufficient just yet. We need to continue to explore new resources to ensure that the U.S. economy and its consumers have access to domestic energy for years to come.

I appreciate the opportunity to comment and again encourage the government to thoughtfully examine all of our options.

Sincerely,

 

Sincerely,

 

Mr. Dave Harbour

2440 E. Tudor Rd.

Anchorage, AK 99507

Thanks again for taking action, and keep this email for your records.

Also, be sure to visit http://takeaction.consumerenergyalliance.org/ for more important action items.

Help Spread the Call-to-Action: Tweet This <http://takeaction.consumerenergyalliance.org/share/twitter/15670/>

RallyCongress.com <http://www.rallycongress.com/>

Rally Congress

2200 Wilson Blvd., Ste 102-299

Arlington, VA 22201

Telephone: 1-877-445-7415

Categories:

7-10-14 Respecting The Duty To Consult

10 July 2014 8:49am

See the LNG Project's Public Meeting Schedule here.  News Miner Story: Gasline Advisory Board         

See Senator Cathy Giessel's 5-year OCS Lease Sale Comment Letter, here. Here is how our readers can comment.

Respecting both "Due Process" and the “Duty to Consult"

by

Dave Harbour

Canada's "Duty to Consult" (1,2) and America's similar concept are not and should not be just legal requirements for natural resource companies.  Consultation is a basic principle of good communications, responsible corporate citizenship, or, at the least, enlightened self interest.

Bill Gallagher

We have known and respected the work of Bill Gallagher (NGP Photo) for over 20 years.  

A serious, fair minded man, he was one of the first counselors to begin publicly speaking about the importance of Canadian project managers communicating in good faith with local stakeholders.

Of his book (NGP Photo with our Alaskan Anaktuvuk Masks), “Resource Rulers: Fortune and Folly on Canada’s Road to Resources”, Bill says his is, "the definitive book tracking the rise of Native empowerment and their remarkable legal winning streak in the Canadian resource sector. Understanding the Native interconnections, eco-activist linkages, and government responses is essential for planning successful resource strategies."     

Readers may order his book from Amazon.   -dh

To consult, cooperate and communicate with the public in general and stakeholders specifically, is a responsibility to shareholders and the obligation of a responsible project manager -- as we have discovered in both Alaska and Canada.

In short, project consultation with all relevant parties is as important to the success of an investor's project as good design, engineering and construction.

Corporate managers who fail to embrace this reality will be more likely to take superbly engineered project blueprints to their graves than to ribbon cutting ceremonies.

On the flip side, stakeholders who take advantage of project managers through intimidation or by making unreasonable demands can, likewise, kill projects that would otherwise sustain local, regional and even national economies and families.

Thus, an effective process of consultation can only work well in an honestly regulated environment where the government and all parties respect due process and the rule of law is faithfully upheld.

We would add this opinion.  

Good project managers should always consult with local stakeholders.  The relatively little time and money spent in demonstrating friendship, open communication and good corporate citizenship ultimately saves shareholder dollars and minimizes dispute.

However, when the common sense requirement of good communication becomes a legal "duty" (i.e. applied differently in the US and Canada) complete with years of court precedent, two phenomenon may begin to occur.  First, investors can become tempted to invest minimally in good communication and for the primary purpose of meeting the letter of the law.  Second, distant stakeholders, like environmental and social activists may attempt to use the legal "duty" of consultation as a tool to delay or block projects for political, fundraising or other reasons.

In Alaska's case, the Pebble Partnership mining project has provided jobs and economic support to local communities while investors develop a mining plan upon which it can base future permit applications.  Though the project did not labor under a "duty to consult" law exactly like Canada's, it did recognize that surviving a challenging permit process would require local stakeholders to be both knowledgeable about and beneficiaries of the project.  The project's public outreach program has been exceptionally executed.

The permit process to follow, would then allow public comment on each phase of the project as it pursued the permitting requirements.  A final decision on the permit applicant's project would be based on an objective review by regulators of the record of evidence collected from filings and testimony.  That decision, in turn, can be administratively appealed or appealed through the court system.  This is known as "due process", a key provision of America's 'Rule of Law', memorialized in the 5th and 14th Amendments of the US Constitution.

The Pebble mining project would occur on Alaska state lands leased to the partnership.  But after one lodge owner began spending millions of dollars to oppose the project -- in concert with environmental activists and some local residents -- the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stepped in and is now in process of attempting to preemptively block the project.  No application exists, nor does a record of decision based on an application; and, the potential applicant holding valid Alaska state leases is denied an opportunity to appeal a decision on an actual application based on a record.

The EPA rational is based on grounds that the project could cause environmental harms that it imagines will occur even before the project has filed for a permit and been allowed its constitutional right of due process.

But if the EPA can preemptively strike down a mining project without allowing it due process, no highway, oil and gas, municipal utility, agricultural, transportation or commercial fishing project is safe from a preemptive, arbitrary and/or capricious government shutdown.

Yes, we strongly support local stakeholder consultation by project investors.  We also caution our fellow citizens that to properly balance opposing viewpoints, an impartial government regulator is essential.  

If citizens either in Canada or the United States perceive that regulatory authorities do not base decisions on an objective legal record achieved through due process, the rule of law itself is jeopardized.

When the rule of law disappears, civilization devolves into a chaotic state wherein "Might Makes Right", as the Romans found in the 5th Century and as Germany taught the world in the 1930s through WWII.

We hope that alert citizens throughout North America will choose to support good communication and win-win outcomes between natural resource wealth producers and local citizens.

But we acknowledge that this will not be possible without courts of law, legislative bodies, presidents and prime ministers who are able to overcome political temptations and consistently support the rule of law -- and the due process upon which it depends -- to produce just and reasonable decisions.

In that way, perhaps we can pass down to our children a society that rests on solid, ethical standards demonstrating that, indeed, "Right Makes Might". 

Predecessors, like Abraham Lincoln (NGP Photo), passed that legacy to our our later generation when he said in the great Cooper Union Address, "Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it."

If we and our leaders properly discharge our Constitutional obligations as we understand them, perhaps our children will look back and say of our generation that, "They protected for us, the great legacy of the rule of law, wherein doing the 'right' thing makes a country 'mighty'."

Yes the duty to consult with one another is both right and good business.  But even more important is the duty to maintain a nation and society of well observed laws and the protection of due process.


 

Thanks to BP's Julie Hasquet, we hear that the Alaska LNG/Pipeline project will provide community project briefings next week (i.e. very timely with respect to our commentary today.)

We encourage our NGP readers to attend one of these community meetings to learn more about the Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project.

In Anchorage 

When: 

6-8 p.m., Tuesday, July 15
(Presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.)

Where: 

William A. Egan Civic & Convention Center
Lower Level - Summit Hall
555 W. 5th Avenue 

In Fairbanks 

When: 

6-8 p.m., Thursday, July 17
(Presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.)

Where: 

Wedgewood Resort - Gazebo Room
1212 Wedgewood Drive 

The Alaska LNG team will provide a project overview and share information about current studies.   It will be an opportunity to both hear about and comment on the project.

Happily, sponsors will provide refreshments.

 

 

Here is Senator Cathy Giessel's (NGP Photo) 5-year Lease Sale Comment Letter.  Senator Cathy Giessel, Alaska, BOEM OCS Lease Sale Schedule, Photo by Dave Harbour

We encourage all of our readers -- throughout the country -- to comment as well by the July 31 deadline!  Here's how.

In her letter of July 8, 2014, Senator Giessel wrote:

Ms. Kelly Hammerle

Five Year Program Manager

BOEM (HM–3120)

381 Elden Street

Herndon, Virginia 20170

Dear Ms. Hammerle:

Alaska is fortunate to be an important contributing part of our nation’s leading role in global oil and natural gas production.  Our nation has the opportunity to continue to be an energy leader if the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) adds currently unavailable offshore areas, such as Alaska, the Atlantic, and the Gulf of Mexico to the upcoming 2017-2022 Five Year Plan.

These additions would further boost our nation’s economic and energy security as well as create much needed tax revenue.   Alaska has experienced the continued benefit of increased jobs and revenue from oil and natural gas development, and I believe that every state with these natural resources should have the opportunity to benefit from the same economic gain.  Equally important, as part of the United States of America, other states should be contributing to our nation’s economic and energy growth and not remain stymied by policy barriers.    

I am a strong supporter of protecting our environment; Alaska, with its refined application and permitting process, is an example that oil and natural gas can be developed in a way that protects both people and its ecosystems.  Therefore, I am confident that energy companies and other states will utilize the same best practices, standards, and regulations that are in place to safely develop offshore oil and natural gas resources.

I applaud our Congressmen for passing a bi-partisan bill, the “Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America That Works Act” to support offshore oil and natural gas development and support whatever means are available to move this economic opportunity forward. 

I would appreciate your consideration and urge BOEM to include currently unavailable offshore areas, such as Alaska, the Atlantic, and the Gulf of Mexico in the upcoming 2017-2022 Five Year Plan.  We must continue to generate jobs and revenue to rejuvenate our nation’s economy and decrease our reliance on foreign energy sources.

 

Sincerely,

Senator Cathy Giessel

Categories:

7-9-14

09 July 2014 7:13am

Globe & Mail by Jeffery Jones.  A big supporter of oil sands industry expansion, as well as export pipelines such as Keystone XL, Jeff Immelt said he wants to share his company’s environmental technology as a way to win over critics concerned about the climate impact of the oil sands.


Respecting the "Duty to Consult"

by

Dave Harbour

Canada's "Duty to Consult" (1,2) is not and should not be just a legal requirement for natural resource companies -- it is a basic principle of good communications, responsible corporate citizenship, or, at the least, enlightened self interest.

To consult, cooperate and communicate with the public in general and stakeholders specifically, is both a responsibility to shareholders and the public obligation of a responsible project manager -- as we have discovered in both Alaska and Canada.

In short, project consultation with all relevant parties is as important to the success of a project as good design, engineering and construction.

Corporate managers who fail to embrace this reality will be more likely to take superbly engineered project blueprints to their graves than to ribbon cutting ceremonies.

Stakeholders who take advantage of project managers through intimidation or when making unreasonable demands can, likewise, kill projects that would otherwise sustain local economies and families.

Thus, an effective process of consultation can only work well in an honestly regulated environment where the government and all parties respect due process and the rule of law is, accordingly, upheld.

(Continued tomorrow: July 10, 2014)

Categories:

7-7-14 Feds Not Credited For Energy Surge (EIA)

07 July 2014 1:23pm

 

Comment by Robert Dillon (NGP Photo), Senator Lisa Murkowski's Senate Energy Committee Staff  

Robert Dillon, US Senate Energy Committee, Photo by Dave HarbourWe’ve known for some time that the majority of new oil and natural gas production in the United States was occurring on private and state lands.

Fairbanks News Miner by Jim Dodson.

Develop Alaska’s human resources. Increase its standard of living. Diversify its economy. Strengthen free competition in its private sector economy.

Here at Fairbanks Economic Development, we are in favor of “Vote No on 1.” Our reasons are simple: we believe the description of “maximum benefit,” and the aim of Alaska’s government in resource development, were correct.

We believe that a dynamic, thriving private sector, full of good, high-paying private sector jobs for Alaskans, is the best, most sustainable road to maximum benefit for Alaskans and the state.

 
There is a reason that the North Slope Contractors Association and the North Slope Pipeline Unions joined with Sen. Lisa Murkowski recently ....       (More here)

Now new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that federal lands are producing less and less of the energy the nation depends on every day.

According to the EIA, fossil fuel production from federal lands has been declining every year since 2010.

Coal production on federal lands has been falling since 2008.

Production of natural gas from federal areas has been declining since 2007, and represented just over 15 percent of the nation’s total gas production in 2013, down from 35 percent a decade before.

While oil production in 2013 was up slightly from the previous year, it’s still way below 2010-2011 levels.

Reference: Rigzone, Federal Lands Contributing Less to Total US Energy Picture.

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