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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.  -dh

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Federal Progress

6-13-15 EPA Retreats On Fracking

15 June 2015 8:41am

Petroleum News: EPA: No widespread harm from fracking - 06/14/2015 (Login to read Full story) Hydraulic fracturing to drill for oil and natural gas has not caused widespread harm to drinking water in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency said June 4 in a report that also warned of potential contamination of water supplies if safeguards are not maintained. A draft study issu....

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6-12-15

12 June 2015 12:17pm

KTVA VIDEO.  Alaska is on track to build the largest natural gas project in the world, according to the Alaska Gasline Development board.

They say the U.S. Department of Energy’s license approval is big news — it means Alaska will be allowed to sell its liquefied natural gas (LNG) to any country in the world. Before, only countries on the United States’ free trade list were allowed. It will open the market into Asia, where countries like Japan are in desperate need of LNG.

“Getting that, I can’t say enough, it’s a huge step in the process to get the LNG,” said Dave Cruz with AGDC.

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6-4-15 Perry Announces For President Putting Energy Reform As A Top Priority

04 June 2015 9:58am

Rick Perry, Governor, Texas, Candidate, President, Copyright Dave Harbour 2011, Photo by Dave Harbour, IOGCCCommentary: Today, Governor Rick Perry (NGP Photo) announced his candidacy for president.  His message embraced a reversal of most Obama-era policies--especially those involving energy.  He said, "There is nothing wrong in America today that a change in leadership will not (correct)."  (Full Video Below)

We hope that is so; if it is to be so, it will take the sort of passion, commitment, experience and determination reflected in his remarks today.  

Yesterday a dear friend on Facebook posted an editorial about 'unaffordable housing costs and stagnant wages'.  It sounded to me like the article was a pretext to more massive wealth transfer from the producers to the beneficiaries of our welfare society.  We too lament the predicament of many but went on to offer this analysis (edited), with which my FB friend agreed:

Government increases costs of regulation for 20 million small (not to mention large) businesses causing an export of jobs and wealth, then taxes at an excessive rate, then borrows $18 trillion from our children, and then says to all businesses: "now we will force you to pay more per hour for your employees whether their skill, education or the value of the job itself merits more compensation or not."
 
American citizens are no longer masters of their government, but indentured to it. The generations since WWII have -- intentionally or not -- given away a large portion of the freedom inherited from our ancestors that led to the most successful, free country in history.
 
High housing costs and "stagnant" wages are not the cause of our economic malaise, but a symptom of it.
 
An answer to today's morass of economic malaise is not to increase the army of bureaucrats; it is to cut taxes , trim regulations and undertake massive tort reform to reduce everyone's hidden costs and create more private sector jobs.
 
The answer is not more government subsidized programs today, financed by our kids tomorrow. The answer is not more minimum wage projects that kill small business growth (LAX, SEA).
 
The answer is us: self reliant citizens who would rather do without than subject our children to a crushing, impossible debt burden acquired by selfish generations of parents.

We add this little information box because we believe it is relevant to Governor Perry's comments today.  -dh

This is not an endorsement of this particular candidate for we have also been inspired by the announcements of other candidates.  And we have also been impressed with the commitment of some other candidates who rely on a rededication of America to the 'rule of God', which we believe to be indispensable to the survival and prosperity of the American experiment.  

But we heard nothing today that would discourage our eventual support.

He said that, "Energy is vital to our economy."  Among the more specific energy statements he made were the promises that on the first day in office he would freeze any Obama administration pending regulations; approve the Keystone pipeline; and, authorize the export of natural gas to European allies to free them from dependence on Russian supply.

From a national defense perspective he sent a message to Russia's Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, "If energy is to be used as a weapon, America will have the largest arsenal."

"During my 14 years as governor," Perry said, "Texas companies created almost 1/3 of all new American jobs.  In the last 7 years of my tenure Texas created 1.5 million new jobs.  Without Texas America would have lost 400,000 jobs."  

We note that those are impressive facts and accomplishments, not merely promises.

He added that during his governorship, Texas was an engine of growth because under his watch, the state 1) controlled taxes, 2) focused on reasonable regulations, 3) invested in an educated work force, and 4) stopped frivolous lawsuits (See our related comments, left column).

He said that Texas enjoys the country's second highest high school graduation rate, the highest graduation rate for black and Hispanic students.

Texas led nation in exports, he said, provided historic tax relief and balanced its budget for 14 years (though, in fairness, one notes that while the federal government can avoid balancing the budget by printing money, states cannot print their own currency and must balance their budgets).  

In these pages we have lamented the current administration's departure from the rule of law.  Perry emphasized the value of maintaining law and order.  He recalled that when President Obama refused to control the border, he activated the Texas National Guard.  The policy worked.  He added, "If you elect me your president I will secure that border.  Homeland security begins with border security".   

In order for America's energy industry to thrive, the country must be protected.  Perry pledged to do that.  He said that the most basic compact between the President and the citizens is to keep the country safe.  He said that a great lesson of history is that strength brings peace and order while "weakness and vacillation" invite chaos and conflict.  

Perry is a longtime states rights advocate and a former Chairman of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, IOGCC.

-Dave Harbour


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave Harbour, publisher of Northern Gas Pipelines, is a former Chairman of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, a Commissioner Emeritus of NARUC, and NARUC's Official Representative to IOGCC. He is also past Chair of the Alaska Council on Economic Education, former Chair of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, and past President of the American Bald Eagle Foundation.  A former Army officer, Harbour has directed external affairs operations of major oil and gas companies, served as a university vice president and been CEO of several small businesses.  Harbour is also Chairman Emeritus of the Alaska Oil & Gas Congress and past President of the Alaska Press Club.

 

 

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5-28-15 Murkowski Cheers LNG Export Approval ... Urges Repeal of Oil Export Ban

28 May 2015 8:43am

Comment: We remind our Canadian and U.S. readers that with so much North American oil and gas existing and potential production and with so many more LNG export projects than the market can accommodate, any major news such as the Alaska LNG export approval today affects investors, jobs, treasuries and economies in both countries.  -dh


US SENATOR LISA MURKOWSKI, Approve Alaska LNG Exports, Approve Repeal of Oil Export Ban, Photo by Dave HarbourBREAKING NEWS TODAY!  U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today cheered the Department of Energy’s approval of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export license for Alaska’s massive North Slope natural gas resources.  READ ENTIRE STATEMENT HERE.... 


Robert Dillon, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, lift crude oil export ban, Lisa Murkowski, Photo by Dave HarbourOur friend, Robert Dillon (NGP Photo), of Senator Lisa Murkowski's Energy and Natural Resources Committee writes this morning of the article below: "From this morning’s edition of The Hill: “Ending the export ban creates a global market for U.S. oil that will increase production and stabilize prices. The U.S. once dominated the energy markets, with the right policies it can do so again.” 

The Hill by Dr. Merrill Matthews.  Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), along with 10 other Senate cosponsors, have introduced the Energy Supply Distribution Act (S. 1312), whose primary purpose is to end the 40-year ban on exporting U.S. crude oil.

Congress passed a crude oil export ban in 1975 as an understandable, if ineffective, response to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ efforts to use access to crude oil as a political weapon.

OPEC’s decision to cut back oil production left the U.S. with higher gas prices and often long gas lines.  For one of the first times Americans felt the helplessness that comes when foreign countries had us at their mercy.

U.S. oil production had already been declining, having reached its peak in 1970 with an average of 9,637 million barrels of oil per day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.  By 1975 production had declined by 1.3 million barrels a day.  (Read entire article here....)                                          


Washington, D.C.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today cheered the Department of Energy’s approval of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export license for Alaska’s massive North Slope natural gas resources. 

“Receiving the conditional license to export LNG to non-free trade agreement countries is a major milestone for the Alaska LNG project and great news for Alaska,” Murkowski said. “With federal permission in place, those working on the project have the ability to begin selling Alaska gas in the Asian markets. With this project comes good jobs and a stronger economy and I’m excited to see Alaska at the forefront of LNG exports.”

Department of Energy (DOE) officials announced the license approval Thursday morning in Anchorage at a roundtable on the federal permitting process hosted by Murkowski.

The license, which would allow exports of up to 2.55 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day for 30 years, is conditional on final regulatory approval of the project by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The Alaska LNG Project is currently in the pre-filing process at FERC.

The Alaska LNG Project is a partnership between the state of Alaska, the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., BP, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and the pipeline company TransCanada.

Murkowski noted that DOE’s 30-year authorization – a full decade longer than typical – was justified by the size and scope of the Alaska LNG Project, which could cost as much as $60 billion.

“The volume of 2.55 BCF a day and the length of this authorization are necessary to support a project of this size and scope,” Murkowski said.

Alaska has 35 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves on the North Slope, and the potential for 200 trillion cubic feet more both onshore and offshore of Alaska’s northern coast. Alaska also has a 44-year history of shipping LNG from Cook Inlet to Asia from Nikiski.

“I have always indicated that coordination at the federal level will be key to the success of an Alaska LNG project. When the prospects for Alaska gas changed from an overland pipeline to an LNG project, the federal tools changed.” Murkowski said. “FERC has the ability to be the lead agency for permitting and play a coordinating role for federal agencies. Further, the Department of the Interior leads an interagency working group established through executive order to support major Alaska projects and can supplement FERC’s lead on an Alaska LNG Project.”

As chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Interior and Environmental Appropriations Subcommittee, Murkowski has oversight authority over the federal agencies involved in permitting an export project, including DOE and FERC, and is well positioned to ensure the project continues to advance.

 

 

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12-4-14 Progress For Canada's Energy East Pipeline - Costliest Regulation In U.S. History!

04 December 2014 7:54am

Stop The Costliest regulation In America's History: HAPPENING NOW!   Here is CEA's position.  -dh


"Energy East Pipeline is Good For All of Canada."  Editorial BoardCalgary Herald

CBC News.  Ontario's concerns about the proposed Energy East pipeline narrowed considerably following a meeting today between Premiers Kathleen Wynne and Jim Prentice of Alberta.

Ontario and Quebec set out seven principles for the $12-billion pipeline project, which would carry western crude to refineries in eastern Canada, the most notable relating to the potential impact on the environment.


Bipartisan Agreement on Public Lands Bills Balances Job Creation, Conservation, Energy & Mineral Production, Public Access & Recreation, and Support for National Parks 

Doc Hastings, US Congress, Energy, Natural Resources, NDAA, National Parks, Job Creation, energy and mineral production, Dave Harbour PhotoBipartisan agreement has been reached on the natural resources provisions that will be included within this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  The House-Senate agreement supports American job creation and economic growth through a balanced approach to improve the management of our public lands and natural resources while protecting treasured areas.

Lisa Murkowski, NDAA, U.S. Senate, Energy and Resources, Dave Harbour PhotoU.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo) this week announced a bipartisan and bicameral agreement to advance a package of lands bills focused on expanding economic opportunities in Alaska and other Western states and will be included within the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

“I am pleased that after weeks of negotiations, we have reached a bipartisan and bicameral agreement to advance this series of public lands bills,” Murkowski said. “We have worked hard to develop a balanced package that will increase resource production and provide new economic opportunities for western communities.”

For multiple Congresses, the NDAA has included provisions within the jurisdiction of the House Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee.  This year’s provisions are included in Title 30 of NDAA, with the multiple sections reflecting individual bills, each of which has been subject to public review in the House or Senate, and the majority have already passed the House or Senate.

The bills in the agreement will create thousands of American jobs, cut red-tape to energy production on federal lands, boost American mineral production, protect multiple-use and public recreation on federal lands, convey over 100,000 acres of federal land for job-creating economic and community development, protect treasured lands through the measured establishment of locally-supported parks and wilderness areas, and provide new means to enhance private dollars to support America’s National Parks.

“As it has traditionally done, this year’s annual national defense bill contains natural resources provisions that are the result of a bipartisan agreement.  Of great importance to the House is the inclusion of long-standing priorities and House-passed bills that have languished in the Senate.  The agreement offers a balanced approach to public lands management, providing opportunities for new job creation and energy and mineral production, while simultaneously protecting special areas,” said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (NGP Photo). 

Key highlights include:

Expanding American Energy & Mineral Production

  • Boosts new oil and natural gas production on federal lands by reducing permit delays, providing regulatory certainty to American job creators, preventing the Obama Administration from increasing costs, and extending a successful pilot program that helps the Bureau of Land Management deal with a backlog of drilling permit applications. 
  • Responsibly facilitates several proposed mineral development projects, which includes allowing for opening up the third largest undeveloped copper resource in the world – supporting nearly 3,700 American jobs, creating $61.4 billion in total economic impact, generating nearly $20 billion in federal, state, county and local tax revenue, and producing enough copper to meet 25 percent of current U.S. demand. 

Protecting Jobs and Multiple-Use of Federal Lands

  • Reduces grazing permit backlogs and adds needed certainty to America’s ranching community. 
  • Updates fee structure to provide predictable, fair rates so families are not forced to tear down cabins they own in national forests. 

Balancing Conservation Designations with Federal Land Conveyances

  • Provides for over 110,000 acres of land to be conveyed out of federal ownership – to be utilized for economic development (including mineral production, timber production, infrastructure projects) and community development (ie, local cemetery, shooting range).
  • Supports America’s National Parks by providing new means of enhancing private funding (through donor recognition and the issuance of a commemorative coin to recognize the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016) and by designating a select number of new park units that have strong local support.
  • Designates approximately 245,000 acres of wilderness in specific areas with strong local and Congressional support.  Nearly half of those acres are already managed as if it were wilderness due to its current status as a roadless or wilderness study area.
  • Releases 26,000 acres of current wilderness study areas to multiple use.
  • Protects private property owners by ensuring that no private property can be condemned. 
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11-11-14 Some Projects Struggle Against Federal Roadblocks But Sasol Is Succeeding With Its Mega Project

11 November 2014 6:23am

Recommended by NGP Reader Steve Borell: By Frank DiCesare / American Press

... A main component of Sasol’s final regulatory hurdle has been cleared.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Friday approved Sasol wetlands modification permit, allowing the company to disrupt -- and later replace -- wetlands during construction.

Mike Hayes, Sasol’s public affairs manager for U.S. megaprojects, told the American Press on Friday that the permit will also allow Sasol to move ahead with the project's financing.

"This means we can start planning to ask management for our Final Investment Decision," Hayes said. "On the ground, we will be able to begin pre-construction activities, such as site cleaning. We will also start preparing for the construction of the dock from which will we offload our modules." 

Hayes said Sasol expects to receive their final Corps permit to build a dock facility on the Calcasieu Ship Channel soon.

Sasol plans to expand their plant with an ethane cracker and a gas-to-liquids complex. The combined projects have been estimated to cost between $18 billion and $21 billion.

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