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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

9-10-14 The Day Before 9-11, "Lest We Forget"

10 September 2014 8:03am

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” ​

Doc Hastings, Administration Shameful, Photo by Dave Harbour

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


Jim Prentice elected premier by rapidly shrinking party base: Steward

Jim Prentice, Alberta Premier, Dave Harbour PhotoToronto Star.  Jim Prentice (NGP Photo) won handily with 77 per cent of the vote but don't expect any dramatic shifts in policy, especially when it comes to the tarsands and pipelines. ... of making the oil and gas industry less competitive by “unilaterally imposing ...

 

 

 

 

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.
 
Categories:

9-9-14 Begich - Sullivan Senate Race Makes National Headlines

08 September 2014 5:32pm

Found!  Lost ship from Sir John Franklin's doomed Arctic expedition near King William Island....

(Stan Rogers Audio-Ballad)


This Senate Race Is All About Energy!

by

Dave Harbour

​(See Epilog Added 9-10-14, One Day Before 9-11 Anniversary)

Mark Begich, US Senate Race, Negative Campaigning, Dan Sullivan, Photo by Dave HarbourYesterday, we found where the Dan Sullivan, Photo by Dave Harbour, Mark Begich, US Senate Race, 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  Dave, David, Lawer, President, Alaska Support Industry Alliance, First National Bank of Alaska, Photo by Dave HarbourAlliance’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).

(More commentary below.)

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.

-End-

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.

Romeo & Juliet, The Prince, Dave Harbour, Alaska Theater for Youth, Anchorage, Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, ACPAA glooming peace this morning with it brings.
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head.
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things.
Some shall be pardoned, and some punishèd.
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet (America) and her Romeo (Constitution).  
Categories:

9-4-14 Mining and Oil & Gas Have Much In Common: Sustaining Canadian & American Lifestyles

04 September 2014 6:01am

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 ChronicleWater 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 JournalWV 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.

Categories:

9-1-14

01 September 2014 4:10am

Since it is a holiday and since most vital northern energy issues are taking another day of rest, we bring you links to issues directly and indirectly related to energy...that we normally wouldn't feature due to other priority stories, issues and editorials.  -dh

Public Employee Union Day
A lot has changed for organized labor since Labor Day was federally recognized 120 years ago.

Obama's low-income, community lending shakedown reaches $128 billion 
Bank of America and other institutions get busted for engaging in risky low-income lending, and naturally, their penalty is to engage in even more of it.

It's about the money, not the climate
Taxing energy use means taxing "greenhouse gas" emissions; primarily carbon dioxide (CO2) so that every ton of it added to the atmosphere by a power plant and any other commercial activity becomes a source of income for the nation.

Investors.com: Obama's delusional view of the economy
Is it morning in America?

 


 

Public Employee Union Day

By Rick Manning

Labor Day is the traditional last day of summer, often celebrated by final trips to the shore and followed by public pool closings and other signs that the world is battening down the hatches for colder weather.

However what most don't realize is that the day itself was originally created by organized labor to call attention to the contributions of workers.  A public relations stunt designed to provide labor unions a focal point in their never ending battle with management.

A lot has changed for organized labor since Labor Day was federally recognized 120 years ago.

The then burgeoning movement has gained massive political power and influence across the century, only to see it decline precipitously to a point where today only 6.7 percent of the private sector workforce belong to labor unions.  In fact, there are currently more union members who are public employees than in the private sector.

This transition of labor union membership from private sector to public employee dominated has massive implications for the future.

Get full story here.

 


 

Obama's low-income, community lending shakedown reaches $128 billion

By Robert Romano

$128 billion and counting.

That is Investor's Business Daily's latest tally of settlements the Obama Justice Department has extracted from the U.S. banking industry in connection with the 2008 financial crisis, as Bank of America agreed to another $17 billion in payouts over losses stemming from its 2009 acquisition of Countrywide.

Included is $5 billion as a penalty paid to the federal government itself, $300 million will be paid to the state of New York, $300 million to California, $200 million to Illinois, $75 million to Maryland, $45 to Delaware, and $23 million to Kentucky,according to the Justice Department.

Another $7 billion will go to debt forgiveness, mortgage principal cramdowns, and, of course, more low-income lending. And then, after four years, whatever is not lent into the financial abyss by Bank of America directly will be given to community organizer groups so they can do it.

You know, the ones that in part contributed to the financial crisis by coercing low-income, Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) loans from financial institutions engaged in mergers allowed under the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley financial modernization law.

The groups include the Interest on Lawyers' Trust Account, NeighborWorks of America, La Raza, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, Operation Hope, and the Mutual Housing Association of New York, an ACORN off-shoot.

So, Bank of America and other institutions get busted for engaging in risky low-income lending, and naturally, their penalty is to engage in even more of it. Similar settlements have been reached with Citibank and JP Morgan Chase, the Investor's Business Daily editorial notes, with more to come from Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo.

This is the same type of stupidity that helped contribute to the mortgage crisis in the first place.

Get full story here.

 


 

It's about the money, not the climate

By Alan Caruba

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), the Irish poet and dramatist, wrote "Pray don't talk to me about the weather. Whenever people talk to me about the weather, I always feel quite certain that they mean something else."

These days, when some world leader or politician speaks of the climate — the weather is what is happening right now wherever you are — they are not talking about sunshine or rain. They are talking about a devilishly obscene way of raising money by claiming that it is humans that are threatening the climate with everything they do, from turning on the lights to driving anywhere.

That's why "global warming" was invented in the late 1980s as an immense threat to the Earth and to mankind. Never mind that Earth has routinely passed through warmer and cooler cycles for billions of years; much of which occurred before mankind emerged. And never mind that the Earth has been a distinct cooling cycle for the past seventeen years and likely to stay in it for a while. If the history of ice ages is any guide, we could literally be on the cusp of a new one.

If, however, a government can tax the use of energy, it stands to make a lot of money. That is why carbon taxes have been introduced in some nations and why the nearly useless "clean energy" options of wind and solar have been introduced even though they both require the backup of traditional coal, natural gas and nuclear energy plants because they cannot produce electricity if the wind isn't blowing and the sun is obscured by clouds.

Get full story here.

 


 

ALG Editor's Note: In the following featured editorial from Investor's Business Daily, Obama's delusions of the strength of the U.S. economy abound:

Obama's delusional view of the economy

Economy: In a speech this week, President Obama showed he's just as detached about the economy as he is about foreign affairs, offering an upbeat economic assessment that would make even Pollyanna cringe.

In a single paragraph in his speech to the American Legion on Tuesday, Obama rattled off some of his alleged domestic achievements. More jobs, booming industries, more kids graduating.

Morning in America!

But like most things Obama says that aren't flat untruths, these claims are wildly misleading. For example, the president says his policies rescued the country from what could have been another Great Depression and as a result we're now "stronger at home."

But as IBD pointed out recently, by several measures the economy is worse off than it was when the recovery started back in June 2009. Among them: median household incomes are down, poverty is up, Social Security is weaker, the national debt is far larger.

Get full story here.

Categories:

8-30-14 Another Labor Day Without Job Producing Keystone XL Pipeline

30 August 2014 1:52pm

This weekend's Consumer Energy Alliance Energy Links:

BuildKXLNow.org: Another Labor Day without Keystone XL
This coming Labor Day Weekend marks the fourth year Union construction workers will not be taking a day off from building the Keystone XL Pipeline to enjoy an end to the summer BBQ. Six years of delays are hurting, not helping, the thousands of people who will see benefits from pipeline construction. Independent and government reviews have exhaustively documented how construction would affect the U.S. economy, especially Union workers in the construction and manufacturing sectors.
 
The Energy Voice: Big Surprise for Labor Day Gas Prices
The summer season traditionally matches its intensifying outdoor temperatures with escalating gas prices, but not this year. Instead of breaking the bank at the pumps, motorists have been treated to unusually kind gas prices as the travel-heavy Labor Day holiday weekend nears. As of Aug. 25, the average price was $3.43 per gallon, the lowest average since Feb. 26, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Survey. In fact, gas prices have fallen 6.5% since the start of the summer, USA Today said.
 
Associated Press: Shell Files Revised Arctic Offshore Drilling Plan
Royal Dutch Shell PLC has filed a revised Arctic offshore drilling plan with federal regulators but says the company hasn't decided whether to return to waters off the coast of northwest Alaska in 2015.
 
The Hill: Landrieu ad highlights Gulf oil drilling fight
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) took credit in an advertisement released Thursday for ending the Obama administration’s Gulf of Mexico oil drilling moratorium that followed the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.
 
Huffington Post: Obama Opened Floodgates for Offshore Fracking in Recent Gulf of Mexico Lease
In little-noticed news arising out of a recent Gulf of Mexico offshore oil and gas lease held by the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the floodgates have opened for Gulf offshore hydraulic fracturing ("fracking").
 
Leader Post: Inter Pipeline thrives outside Keystone spotlight
For Canadian oilsands pipeline companies, operating under the radar pays. Inter Pipeline Ltd. is leading shareholder gains among Canadian peers as it operates within the oilfriendly provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, avoiding the environmental controversies that have dogged projects from larger competitors such as TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone XL. Pembina Pipeline Corp., with a focus on Western Canada, hit a record high on Wednesday.
 
Rapid City Journal: Live coverage of Supreme Court hearing on Keystone XL appeal
NET Television will broadcast live the Nebraska Supreme Court’s hearing on the Thompson v. Heineman appeal over the Keystone XL pipeline’s Nebraska routes and Gov. Dave Heineman’s decision to sign legislation permitting the establishment of the route.
 
The Hill: Obama pushes green standards for everything but kitchen sink
The Obama administration is working on new efficiency standards for seemingly every appliance but the kitchen sink. Spurred by President Obama’s climate action plan, the Department of Energy is pumping out new standards for refrigerators, dishwashers, air conditioners, ceiling fans, furnaces, boilers, water heaters, lamps, and many more appliances.
 
The New York Times: A New American Oil Bonanza
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 current crises in Ukraine and Iraq did not stop them 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.
 
The New York Times: Resurgence in Oil and Gas Sector Spurs Merger Boom
The merger boom in the energy sector shows no signs of slowing. As energy production in the United States rises substantially, pipeline and storage companies will look to expand capacity through acquisitions, industry analysts and investors forecast.
 
Bloomberg: Sand Means Gold as U.S. Fracking Demand Booms: Chart of the Day
Shares of U.S. companies which supply sand to energy producers are surging in response to the growing use of fracking, or extracting oil and natural gas from shale formations.
 
Bloomberg: Alaska Lures Back Big Oil With Big Tax Breaks
Alaska’s oil boom times, which have propped up the state for decades, are coming to an end. In the late 1980s the state produced as much as a quarter of all U.S. crude, about 2 million barrels a day. Over the last 15 years, its daily oil production has been cut in half, to just more than 500,000 barrels. And the fracking boom has unlocked shale oil beneath Texas and North Dakota that is more profitable to extract. Rising oil prices have so far made up for Alaska’s declining production, but for a state whose budget relies on oil profits for 90 percent of its revenue, the picture is starting to look troublesome.
 
USA Today: Rail deliveries of U.S. oil continue to surge
Amid a boom in U.S. oil production, the amount of crude oil and refined petroleum products moved by rail continues to climb. There were 459,550 carloads of oil and petroleum products transported during the first seven months of this year, up 9% from the same period in 2013, according to the Association of American Railroads.
 
Associated Press: Oil industry treats fracking foes differently in Texas, Colorado
A fight over fracking is looming in Texas. Another stand-off is shaping up in Colorado. Yet drillers’ reactions couldn’t be more different. In Texas, drillers are doing their, noisy in-your-face fracking as usual. On a small farm about an hour from the Colorado Rocky Mountains, the oil industry is giving fracking a makeover, cutting back on rumbling trucks and tamping down on pollution.
 
Los Angeles Times: Fracking report clears way for California oil, gas leasing to resume
The federal government will resume oil and gas leasing in California following a report released Thursday that found little scientific evidence that fracking and similar extraction techniques are dangerous.
 
SFGate: Fracking may endanger groundwater in California
Fracking for oil in California happens at shallower depths than previously realized and could pose a risk to precious groundwater supplies, according to a federally commissioned report released Thursday.
 
Associated Press: Lafayette's fracking ban tossed
Colorado's oil and gas industry has again won another court battle against a town that banned or limited fracking. A Boulder District Court judge on Wednesday tossed out a voter-approved fracking ban in Lafayette.
 
Colorado Independent: Gas patch resident fracking concerns not going away any time soon
Coloradans living in the northern Front Range gas patch are moving forward with the movement to wrest greater control over drilling in their cities and towns, despite recent events.
The first week of August, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper pulled a rabbit out of a hat when he persuaded the main parties engaged in a heated, expensive battle over oil-and-gas drilling regulation to agree to an effective truce so that a task force could study the issue and then make recommendations to the legislature next year.
 
Associated Press: Illinois Department of Natural Resources set to release hydraulic fracturing rules Friday
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is expected to release proposed rules for high-volume oil and gas drilling to a legislative panel. Department officials say that rules to implement the state's year-old hydraulic fracturing law will be submitted to the Illinois Legislature's Joint Committee on Administrative Rules Friday.
 
Reno Gazette- Journal: State regulators allow fracking to start in Nevada
Fracking can move forward across Nevada after new regulations guiding the controversial activity were approved Thursday by state officials. Meeting in Elko, the Nevada Commission on Mineral Resources unanimously OK’d rules addressing the practice of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas.
 
The Times-Tribune: $90 billion left in Marcellus Shale, analyst says
About $90 billion of value remains in the Marcellus Shale, according to international energy, mining and metals analytical firm Wood Mackenzie. That estimate factors in the potential revenue from marketing the gas, minus development costs. The Houston-based firm expects the top 20 operators in the Marcellus to drill 25,000 wells through 2035.
 
Pittsburgh Business Times: Washington County's economy more than just Marcellus Shale
In terms of business opportunity, Washington County has more to offer than Marcellus Shale. That was the chief takeaway from the 45th installment of the Corridors of Opportunity series, a Pittsburgh Business Times event focusing on regions of the local economy.
 
Fuel Fix: Hearing to discuss Mexico’s energy impact on Texas
An energy boom is brewing across the border, and a joint legislative hearing in September will talk about the potential impact on the Rio Grande Valley. A joint hearing of the Texas House Energy Resources Committee and the House International Trade & Intergovernmental Affairs Committee will be held Sept. 26 in Edinburg.
 
UPI: Texas reviews seismic link to fracking
A Texas energy regulator said it was reviewing industry practices for hydraulic fracturing brought into question after a series of seismic events in the state.
 
Express News: Flaring: the dark side of the oil boom
The flaring of natural gas in the Eagle Ford Shale makes for spectacular images. And it is slowly killing Texas and the world. The state clearly needs to begin offering more than the illusion of regulation. This is the biggest take-away from the exhaustively reported four-part series, “Up In Flames,” in the Express-News by Jennifer Hiller and John Tedesco. The series began last Sunday.
 
Renewablesbiz: Industry group say EPA plan would cut jobs, raise power prices
The Kentucky Association of Manufacturers and other business representatives on Wednesday said proposed revisions to federal air pollution regulations could cost Kentucky billions of dollars and put tens of thousands of jobs at risk. "Many in the nation and especially here in Kentucky believe they would have a damaging effect on our industrial base and our coal-fired power plant base," Kyndle CEO Brad Schneider, who facilitated a statewide news media conference call, said.
 
The Dispatch: Feds Look To Allay Seismic Air Gun Testing Fears
With the federal government inching closer to green-lighting the use of seismic air gun testing for natural gas and oil off the mid-Atlantic coast including Ocean City, the agency that would regulate the activity last week issued a statement attempting to clear up some of the myths associated with the potential dangers.

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8-28-14 President Set To Sidestep Congress Again. Where Is The Congressional Outrage?

28 August 2014 7:07am

New York Times by Coral Davenport.  The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress.  

In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate


Today's Consumer Energy Alliance Energy Links:

Energy and Commerce Committee: Song Requests for Willie Nelson and Neil Young Keystone XL Concert *CEA Mention
Willie Nelson and Neil Young are headed to the Nebraska Sandhills next month to perform at concert raising awareness of the Keystone XL pipeline. In honor of the event, the Consumer Energy Alliance last week released a “playlist of songs for the artists to perform based on some of their greatest hits, but this time with a Keystone XL Pipeline twist.”
 
CNBC: Brent hovers below $103 as ample supply weighs
Brent traded sideways on Thursday, holding between $102 and $103 a barrel, as ample supply and a refinery fire in the United States that could reduce crude demand weighed on prices.
 
The Boston Globe: Labor Day gas prices at three-year low
Massachusetts drivers can cruise into Labor Day weekend knowing they will pay less for gasoline than they did a year ago — or three years ago, for that matter — due partly to a surge in US oil production that has reduced the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.
 
Reuters:  U.S. State Department lawyer Benes is latest Keystone XL player to go
A U.S. State Department lawyer who played a key role in the Keystone XL pipeline review is moving on, sources said on Wednesday, the latest departure of a senior official involved with the long-delayed project. Keith Benes helped produce the government's two environmental impact reviews on Keystone, which concluded that the 1,200-mile (1,900-km) pipeline might encourage Canadian oil sands development, but would not meaningfully worsen global climate change.
 
The Denver Post: Rosen: Does Mark Udall prefer Tom Steyer pipeline to Keystone?
Coloradans have twice favored Barack Obama in presidential elections, a Democrat is governor, and Democrats dominate the legislature. You'd think Mark Udall would have clear sailing in his U.S. Senate re-election bid.

Reuters: Shell fits final module on Alberta oil sands' first carbon capture project
Shell Canada has fitted the final module at the first carbon capture and storage project in Alberta's oil sands, the company said on Wednesday, putting start-up on track for 2015.
 
Daily News: As Obama drags heels, Canada turns to China
With the rising significance of oil sales to the Canadian economy and the Obama administration’s continued blocking of plans to construct the Keystone Pipeline, Canada is moving ahead with the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, a pipeline to expedite the shipping of land-locked oil reserves in Alberta to China.
 
National Review: Krauthammer’s Take: Obama’s Climate Plan an ‘Incredibly Stupid Idea,’ But Any Agreement Would Have to Be International
On Wednesday’s Special Report, Charles Krauthammer reacted to the Obama administration’s efforts to develop a climate-change agreement among nations without the approval of Congress. Krauthammer said the idea that the Obama administration could think itself capable of shaming other countries into an international emissions restrictions was “the dumbest idea since the Russian reset.”
 
Breitbart: Obama's Climate Plan Puts Candidates 'in Front of the Firing Squad'
The Obama administration is reportedly negotiating a deal to try and lower greenhouse gas emissions by “naming and shaming” governments that don't buckle to their demands.
 
Washington Post- Bloomberg: Fracking Foes Force Some Oil Drillers to Tread Lightly: Energy
A fight over fracking is looming in Texas. Another stand-off is shaping up in Colorado. Yet drillers’ reactions couldn’t be more different. In Texas, drillers are doing their noisy in-your-face fracking as usual. Meanwhile, on a small farm about an hour from the Colorado Rocky Mountains, the oil industry is giving fracking a makeover, cutting back on rumbling trucks and tamping down on pollution.
 
Fuel Fix: Plenty of pluck left in the Marcellus, report says
The Marcellus region is now the biggest natural gas shale play in the world, and there’s still about $90 billion to be made by tapping the area’s reserves, according to a study by energy analyst group Wood Mackenzie.
 
UPI: Texas oil production up 25 percent from 2013
Texas oil production in July, the last full month for which data are available, increased more than 25 percent year-on-year, the state government said. The Railroad Commission of Texas, the state's energy agency, said crude oil production in July averaged 2.15 million barrels per day, up from the 1.68 million bpd reported in July 2013.
 
Pacific Coast Business Times: Santa Barbara chamber opposes anti-oil effort Measure P
Proponents of Santa Barbara County’s Measure P, an anti-hydraulic fracturing measure that could also shut down conventional oil and gas production, suffered a setback on Aug. 27 when the largest South Coast chamber of commerce said it opposed the November ballot initiative.”
 
Bloomberg Businessweek: Colorado Drillers Woo Fracking Foes as Texans Hang Tough
A fight over fracking is looming in Texas. Another stand-off is shaping up in Colorado. Yet drillers’ reactions couldn’t be more different. In Texas, drillers are doing their noisy in-your-face fracking as usual. Meanwhile, on a small farm about an hour from the Colorado Rocky Mountains, the oil industry is giving fracking a makeover, cutting back on rumbling trucks and tamping down on pollution.
 
Daily News: Boulder County judge strikes down Longmont fracking ban
A Boulder County District Court judge has struck down Longmont's fracking ban but said the ban can stay in place while the city considers an appeal. Judge D.D. Mallard issued the summary judgment Thursday. In the ruling, she mentioned Longmont's charter amendment clearly conflicted with the state's regulations and its interest in the efficient improvement of oil and gas deposits.
 
Associated Press:  Lafayette’s fracking ban tossed
Colorado’s oil and gas industry has again won another court battle against a town that banned or limited fracking. A Boulder District Court judge on Wednesday tossed out a voter-approved fracking ban in Lafayette. The ban was adopted last year.
 
Denver Post: Boulder District judge tosses Lafayette's fracking ban
A Boulder District judge who in July struck down Longmont's voter-approved fracking banon Wednesday tossed Lafayette's charter amendment banning all oil and gas activity in the city. Lafayette voters in November approved Ballot Measure 300, which bans all "oil and gas extraction and related activities" within the city in east Boulder County.
 
Chicago Tribune: Fracking rules to be unveiled Friday
Highly anticipated rules to regulate hydraulic fracturing in Illinois are to be unveiledFriday. Once the rules go into effect, Illinois hopes to become the center of the next oil boom. Fracking, which involves injecting fluids and chemicals at high volumes to crack open shale rock and unleash oil and natural gas, could bring bring jobs to a struggling southern Illinois economy. Ilinois also is counting on tax revenue on extracted oil and gas to fatten state and county coffers.
 
The Southern: Fracking rules will be released Friday
News of the impending release Friday of long-awaited rules needed to implement fracking drew reactions ranging from cautious optimism to outright outrage. The rules will be delivered to the Illinois Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules Friday, Illinois Department of Natural Resources spokesman Chris Young confirmed Wednesday.
 
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Power Source: Williams to expand Transco pipeline system in Pennsylvania
Williams has launched an open season for users interested in capacity on its Diamond East project, an expansion of the 10,200-mile Transco interstate pipeline to allow more Marcellus Shale gas to head to the northeast. The project will create an additional 1 billion cubic feet per day of firm natural gas transportation capacity to markets in the northeastern U.S. by mid-2018, the Tulsa-based midstream company said.
 
Charleston Daily Mail: West Virginia sees shortage of truck drivers
The trucking industry is facing a driver shortage that is expected to worsen over the coming years. Jeff Foster, who runs the Boone County Truck Driving Academy in Chapmanville, said the root cause of that shortage is trucker retirement.
 
Tribune-Review: Discussion of Murrysville drilling ordinance closed to public
Task force meetings to discuss revamping the municipal drilling ordinance won't be made public, Murrysville officials said. The Marcellus shale task force was reconvened earlier this year after council decided to re-evaluate the municipal drilling ordinance after the state Supreme Court overruled portions of Act 13, the state drilling regulations
 
Charleston Daily Mail: Changes can help WV embrace gas boom, speaker says
The president of the nation’s largest holder of natural gas reserves said Wednesday that if West Virginia wants to take full advantage of the Marcellus shale, it needs to enact sound policies and invest in its people.
 
Cleveland.com: Gas riches at stake in two cases before Ohio Supreme Court
The Ohio Supreme Court took up a pair of cases recently that each address disputes over who owns mineral rights for property in an area of Ohio thought to have rich natural gas reserves.
 
Denton Record- Chronicle: Driller gets waiver for wells
A Colorado energy company claimed the city of Denton’s moratorium on new gas wells has caused it hardship and received a waiver this week to drill five gas wells on land owned by a former Dallas Cowboy.
 
San Antonio Express-News: Technology will reduce need for flaring
The Eagle Ford Shale has been an economic game changer for South Texas and has led to greater energy independence for our nation. The present oil and gas shale formations are developed with cutting-edge technology that not only sustains development but has also led to safer and cleaner operations for our industry and the communities where we operate.
 
Texas Public Radio: Texas Railroad Commission Introduces New Rules For Fracking Injection Well
A seismologist for the Texas Railroad Commission updated the Texas House Energy Resources Committee about the findings of a study on the number of earthquakes occurring near fracking injection well sites.
 
SFGate: Radio ads praise NC lawmakers for fracking votes
The energy industry is thanking several North Carolina lawmakers who supported fracking legislation with radio ads in their districts as elections approach. The American Petroleum Institute said Wednesday it began airing ads last week that run into early next month. Slightly different versions praise seven House or Senate Republicans who voted for what it calls "safe, responsible development of North Carolina energy."
 
E&E Publishing: Big wins elusive for EPA in Clean Water Act showdowns
For U.S. EPA at the Supreme Court, it's been the best of times -- and the worst. In Clean Air Act cases, EPA is on a roll. The high court last term upheld a major EPA program for air pollution that drifts across state lines. It also barely trimmed a permitting program for greenhouse gases, leaving intact most of EPA's first round of climate regulations.

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