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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.

 

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Obama Addresses Alaska Resources as Alaska Leaders Respond Guardedly - Truckers Speak Out - NEB Hosts Inuvik Roundtable And Pays Way For Some Guests

16 May 2011 5:38am

Today's Email Alert

NEB.  Comment:  Canada's National Energy Board (NEB) will host a Roundtable Meeting in Inuvik at the Midnight Sun Recreation Centre from 10 to 16 September 2011 and reimburse certain outsiders up to $300,000 to fly in and sit at the roundtable.    We suspect that most of the subsidized visitors to Inuvik will be non-industry advocates.    We imagine the September event will merit some discussion at the Inuvik Petroleum Show next month.  -dh

Opinion: American Truckers Speak Out On Energy. The trucking industry annually consumes 35 billion gallons of diesel to deliver life’s essentials. Food, clothing, medicine, fuel and virtually all consumer goods are delivered to retail stores by trucks. Each penny increase in the price of diesel fuel costs the trucking industry more than $356 million annually.  ...  While conservation and alternative fuels are two legs of a three-legged stool, our government seems to have turned its back on the third leg of the stool and has failed to aggressively develop our domestic petroleum resources. In fact, domestic petroleum production in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska is under siege. Even natural gas production is coming under attack by environmental groups. 

Scylla and CharybdisComment:  In these pages we have documented that virtually every action taken by the Obama Administration toward Alaska has furthered the Federal attack on the Forty-ninth state's resource-based economy.  Now, caught between the Scylla and Charybdis (Photo) of high gasoline prices and a reelection campaign, one can reasonably suspect Obama of offering lip service to economic activity when all the world knows he has done everything possible to shut down Alaska resource development.

One thing that could keep him 'honest' is his support for Senator Mark Begich's concept of a Federal OCS Coordinator, upon which we have commented.  If Obama's troops continue to block permits, stall and create diversions which have the effect of allowing no or limited Alaska OCS activity, any new OCS Coordinator will have a lot of explaining to do and that could affect the 2012 reelection of both Obama and Begich.

In the sense that hope springs eternal (and, that it is now spring), and that we have little choice, we shall reserve judgment on whether this new message from the Administration is a signal of responsible action to come or not.   -dh

Below is the text of Obama's Saturday message.  Here is the video.  Here is the House Resources Committee comment.    Here is Governor Sean Parnell's response.  Here is Senator Lisa Murkowski's response.  Here is Senator Mark Begich's response.  Here is a NYT response.  Here is Daniel Horowitz' commentary.

 Remarks of President Barack Obama

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Governor Draws Line in Coastal Sand - NEB's Gaeton Says Gas Production Declining - State Executive Calls Pipeline Situation Urgent - US House Passes Energy Package - Gas Pipeline Panel On TV This Weekend - Shell Submits Chukchi Exploration Plan

13 May 2011 6:43am

NWT Minister Bob McLeod by Dave Harbour, Canadian Institute, Mackenzie Gas Pipeline, Northern Gas Pipelines, Arctic Gas PipelineHQ Yellowknife.  Bob McLeod (NGP Photo) said the Mackenzie Gas Project would translate to billions of dollars for the NWT and Canadian economy, calling it a “nation building endeavour.”

Calgary Herald by Dina O'Meara.  Canadian natural gas production is expected to drop by 4.4 per cent within two years on an oversupplied North American market and a shift toward drilling more lucrative oil prospects, according to a new report. ... Fevered drilling for shale gas in the United States flooded North American markets at a time when demand was soft because of the recession. As prices fell on abundant supply, producers steered their drilling programs toward more profitable oil and natural gas liquids assets.  "Natural gas production in Canada has been gradually declining as a result of these two trends," said chief executive Gaetan Caron (NGP Photo), in a statement. "This is expected to continue unless a closer balance between demand and available supply can be reached, pushing natural gas prices up."

Senator Cathy Giessel by Dave Harbour, Alaska State Senate MinorityCommentary:  We applaudAlaska Governor Sean Parnell by Dave Harbour, Governor Sean Parnell's (NGP Photo) courage and consistency in protecting the public interest as represented in his letter to Senate leaders yesterday clarifying his position on Coastal Management Program legislation lingering in the last week of a special session.  We admire Senator Cathy Giessel (NGP Photo) for her floor speech this week during the special session.  -dh

On the heels of this week's Wall Street Journal article detailing Alaska's critical relationship to the declining throughput of the Trans Alaska Pipeline (TAPS), Natural Resources Deputy Joe Baylash (NGP Photo) told an Alaska Support Industry Alliance audience yesterday  that, "The situation is urgent."  

TAPS is an economic lifeline for Alaska, providing over 85% of the state government's operating revenue and sustaining over a third of the entire economy.  With TAPS oil volumes (throughput) declining at a 6-7% annual rate, the days of that facility are numbered unless new volumes can be discovered and brought into production.   He said that one of the

Joe Baylash by Dave Harbour, Joseph Baylash, Alliance, Alaska Deputy Commissioner of Natural Resources,

 Administration's principle goals is, "...arresting the declining throughput of TAPS."

Baylash said that, "every day we are seeing a new record for low throughput," and that upcoming cold winters could create conditions leading to a premature shutdown.  This is because lower throughput lengthens the time for a barrel of oil to move 800 miles from the Alaska North Slope to the ice free port of Valdez.  Slowing the passage of oil causes the temperature of oil to decline in the insulted pipeline, especially during a very cold winter.  Baylash said that in recent winters, Alaska has," dodged a bullet,"  noting that winter problems become more serious as oil temperatures decrease due to declining throughput.

Baylash said that to increase throughput, action at the state and federal levels was required (as we have noted herein over the last several years).  He said that the state's adoption of a more competitive tax regime would increase incentives for new work on the Alaska North Slope.  He said that Governor Parnell would support a balanced coastal management program law now being debated in a special session, but would veto a bill that was not in the interest of the state.   "Alaska has gone above and beyond other states when it comes to local input in coastal management programs."  He said the state was dedicated to continue its fight against federal obstruction which contributes to the lack of new pipeline throughput from federal lands.

ADN.  A 90-minute public forum on gas line benefits for Alaska's economy that was held this week at Larry Persily by Dave Harbour, federal coordinator, ISER, Scott Goldsmith, Brian Rogersthe University of Alaska Anchorage will be replayed on cable television. The forum will be rebroadcast at 8 and 11 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Sunday, and 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday on the same TV channels statewide that carry Gavel to Gavel.  Panelists included Larry Persily (NGP Photo), federal coordinator, Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects; Scott Goldsmith, economics professor, Institute of Social and Economic Research, UAA; Brian Rogers, chancellor, University of Alaska Fairbanks; and Bill Van Dyke, petroleum engineer, Petrotechnical Resources Alaska.  Thanks to Persily's Communications Director, Jennifer Thompson, we have this story from agency writer, Bill White.   *    The video is on the agency's home page now.

ADN.  Shell Oil as expected has submitted an offshore exploration plan for up to six exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska's northwest shore over the next two years.

 Politico: House completes oil drilling trifecta.  The House Thursday afternoon passed the third of three GOP offshore drilling bills as lawmakers continue to battle over high oil and gas prices. Thursday’s bill would direct the Obama administration to open waters off Alaska, California and much of the Atlantic Coast to offshore drilling. The Interior Department would have to craft a five-year lease plan that meets the goal of producing 3 million barrels of domestic oil a day by 2027. Wednesday, the House passed legislation to expedite drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico. Last week, lawmakers approved a bill to force new lease sales for areas in the gulf and off the Virginia coast.

Senator Cathy Giessel's Floor Speech:

(Juneau) Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, spoke on the Senate Floor today regarding TAPS and the effect that declining throughput is having on the integrity of the pipeline.  Her remarks as delivered are as follows:
  
“Today’s Wall Street Journal contains an article entitled ‘Shrinking Oil Supplies Put Alaskan Pipeline at Risk’.  The article overviews the significant challenges presented by the reduced volume of oil in the TransAlaska Pipeline System, fondly known to us as TAPS.  Because of the fact that nearly all the state’s revenue comes through TAPS, I think of it as the State’s aorta- that blood vessel that carries life sustaining blood to the body of our state.
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Meet Chairman Caron at the Inuvik Petroleum Show If You Can! - Attend Federal Coordinator Conference on Future of Alaska - TransCanada Trades Pipeline Interest - Commentary: Some Alaska Lawmakers are Adroit

27 April 2011 7:29am

"Alaska's economy is overwhelmingly dependent on oil, and if Alaska is going to maintain a healthy economy years into the future it needs more oil and it also needs a gas line," said Federal Coordinator Larry Persily (NGP Photo-l). "Without billions of dollars in new investment, the longevity of the oil line is in serious question. A gas line would improve Alaska's chances of attracting those investment dollars if explorers can profit from both oil and gas."  The forum is set for 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, at the University of Alaska Anchorage Fine Arts Building Recital Hall (Room 150), and will be streamed live on the web at the Federal Coordinator's website.  Besides Persily, the other speakers will include, The University of Alaska Economist Dr. Scott Goldsmith (NGP Photo-R), University of Alaska-Fairbanks Chancellor Brian Rogers (NGP Photo-L), and petroleum engineer,  Bill VanDyke. 
 
 

 

Gaetan Caron by Dave Harbour, NARUC, Inuvik Petroleum Show, NEB, Frontier Communications

Fred Carmichael, Gwich'in, gwichin, aboriginal pipeline group, inuvik petroleum showYou've got to attend the the Inuvik Petroleum Show 2011!  Your author chaired the Arctic gas pipeline and oil exploration panels there in 2002 and while the program was spectacular and useful, the interaction with the community was inspirational.  Getting to know  Nellie Cournoyea (NGP Photo) from the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, and Freddie Carmichael of the Gwich’in Tribal Council (now Chairman of the Aboriginal Pipeline Group) was a pleasure and honor.  This year, you'll meet another respected friend of this publisher, Gaetan Caron (NGP Photo-above), Chairman and CEO of the National Energy Board (NEB).  NEB is Canada's national energy regulator with significant regulatory responsibilities for oil and gas development in the north. NEB's regulatory responsibilities in connection with the Mackenzie Gas project and its recent undertaking of an Arctic Offshore Drilling Review make this presentation at IPS 2011 a significant contribution to conference discussions.

Marketwire.  TransCanada Corporation (TSX: TRP) (NYSE: TRP) (TransCanada) today announced it has entered into agreements to sell a 25 per cent interest in each of Gas Transmission Northwest LLC (GTN) and Bison Pipeline LLC (Bison) to TC PipeLines, LP (NASDAQ: TCLP) (the Partnership) for an aggregate purchase price of US$605 million, which includes US$81 million or 25 per cent of GTN's debt. The sale is expected to close in May 2011 and is subject to certain closing conditions.  "The proceeds from the sale of a 25 per cent interest in both GTN and Bison will be used to help fund TransCanada's capital program," said Russ Girling, president and chief executive officer of TransCanada. "Once the transaction is complete, TransCanada will hold a 75 per cent ownership interest in both pipelines and will continue to manage and operate these high quality assets as part of its integrated North American natural gas transmission network.

CommentaryAccording to the Fairbanks News Miner, Anchorage Representative Mike Doogan (NGP Photo) is harrassing the Administration over meetings convened to develop its oil tax position....  We would like to know what meetings certain members of the legislaure have with certain environmental organizations and state budget subsidy beneficiaries as they prepare their own tax and spend positions.  It's funny how some politicians are so adroit at changing the dialogue from, "Why in the heck are you spending so much," to "Why in the heck don't some people pay more so we can spend more."  -dh

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NEB Approves Mackenzie Pipeline With Conditions

17 December 2010 6:14am

Edmonton Journal.  The Mackenzie Gas Project has been approved by federal regulators, marking a new chapter in a 30-year Bob Reidpursuit of Arctic natural gas riches by southern producers and a territorial government seeking economic independence.  The massive $16.2-billion pipeline will run down the western flank of the Northwest Territories before landing in Alberta to flow natural gas to markets in the province and North America.  "This is a great day, not just for the North, but for Canada as a whole," said Bob Reid (NGP Photo-l), president of the Aboriginal Pipeline Group. "It's been a very lengthy regulatory process, but that's all behind us now."  ...  In its hefty 309-page decision released Thursday the NEB said the proponent had until theRon Liepert end of 2013 to sanction the project or not. The regulator also tightened by a year when construction of the line would have to start.   ... "I can't comment too much more until we evaluate all the decision, in terms of the fine print," Stelmach said from Calgary.  Energy Minister Ron Liepert (NGP Photo-r) added Alberta wants the liquids-rich gas to fill the Nova system and provide feedstocks for Alberta's petrochemical industry.

Simpatico Finance.  The proposed gas pipeline from the Beaufort Sea to markets in southern Canada and the United States was billed in the 1970s as "the biggest project in the history of free enterprise."

Financial Post, by Carrie Tait.  ...    "The challenge of the Mackenzie Valley project is that it needs to compete on a supply/cost basis with other sources of supply in the North American market," Pius Rolheiser, a spokesperson for Imperial, said. "That includes liquefied natural gas, shale gas, a potential Alaska [natural gas pipeline] project, and other sources of supply."  Boyd Russell, president of Energy Navigator Inc., argues this is why the project will never fly. There are roughly 6,000 trillion cubic feet of potentially recoverable unconventional shale natural gas in North America, he calculates. Most of this is the United States –close to consumers -- eliminating the need for snaking pipelines.

Oilweek.  Stephen Hazell, who participated in the lengthy regulatory hearings on behalf of environmental group Sierra Club, likened the project to Monty Python´s famous dead parrot sketch.  "If it´s not deceased, it sure looks like it," he said.

The Canada links....

Edmonton Journal.  The Mackenzie Gas Project has been approved by federal regulators, marking a new chapter in a 30-year pursuit of Arctic natural gas riches by southern producers and a territorial government seeking economic independence.  The massive $16.2-billion pipeline will run down the western flank of the Northwest Territories before landing in Alberta to flow natural gas to markets in the province and North America.  "This is a great day, not just for the North, but for Canada as a whole," said Bob Reid (NGP Photo-l), president of the Aboriginal Pipeline Group. "It's been a very lengthy regulatory process, but that's all behind us now."  ...  In its hefty 309-page decision released Thursday the NEB said the proponent had until the end of 2013 to sanction the project or not. The regulator also tightened by a year when construction of the line would have to start.   ... "I can't comment too much more until we evaluate all the decision, in terms of the fine print," Stelmach said from Calgary.  Energy Minister Ron Liepert (NGP Photo-r) added Alberta wants the liquids-rich gas to fill the Nova system and provide feedstocks for Alberta's petrochemical industry.

Simpatico Finance.  The proposed gas pipeline from the Beaufort Sea to markets in southern Canada and the United States was billed in the 1970s as "the biggest project in the history of free enterprise."

Financial Post, by Carrie Tait.  ...    "The challenge of the Mackenzie Valley project is that it needs to compete on a supply/cost basis with other sources of supply in the North American market," Pius Rolheiser, a spokesperson for Imperial, said. "That includes liquefied natural gas, shale gas, a potential Alaska [natural gas pipeline] project, and other sources of supply."  Boyd Russell, president of Energy Navigator Inc., argues this is why the project will never fly. There are roughly 6,000 trillion cubic feet of potentially recoverable unconventional shale natural gas in North America, he calculates. Most of this is the United States –close to consumers -- eliminating the need for snaking pipelines.

Oilweek.  Stephen Hazell, who participated in the lengthy regulatory hearings on behalf of environmental group Sierra Club, likened the project to Monty Python´s famous dead parrot sketch.  "If it´s not deceased, it sure looks like it," he said.

The Canada links....

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Bromwich Behavior Unbecoming - Canadian Editor Expects NEB To Make Up For Joint Review Panel Delay and Audacity

02 December 2010 7:31am

ADN, by Erika Bolstad.  Shell's spokesman for Alaska operations, Curtis Smith, said Wednesday's announcement about the Michael BromwichArctic was "a positive one for Alaska and acknowledges that responsible oil and gas exploration can take place in the Arctic."Shell continues to make plans to drill next summer, Smith said, but "a final decision on our Beaufort Sea drilling permit is needed soon for Shell to continue to pursue 2011 exploration drilling."  The director of the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement was quick to emphasize, though, that his agency will not be pressured by industry-dictated deadlines. The bureau, rebuilt by the Interior Department in the wake of this year's Gulf of Mexico spill, was criticized for its close ties to industry and for rubber-stamping some environmental reviews.  "We understand that Shell needs a decision, and when we've completed the review and analysis, we'll be in a position to make our decision," said Michael Bromwich (NGP Photo). "But we're not going to be constrained by any artificial deadline."  (Comment: Shell spends billions to obtain leases.  Shell spends a billion more preparing for exploration and meeting permit requirements.  MMS/BOEM and other agencies consistently delay issuance of permits.  DOI/BOEM apply moratorium to Alaska shallow water OCS following Deepwater Horizon tragedy without notice to lessees or the state.  BOEM claims that no moratorium applies to Alaska.  DOI secretary claims moratorium does apply.  Moratoria lifted from gulf activities.  Alaska exploration can't occur all year around as in the Gulf of Mexico.  If permits are not given in the next few weeks, insufficient time remains to mobilize the 2011 summer operations.  When Bromwich rather testily says that he won't be 'constrained by artificial deadlines," he exposes a fundamental ignorance of Alaska and an arrogance unbecoming a public servant.  -dh)

NWT News Editorial.  It's no wonder the Joint Review Panel's report was long delayed and over budget; the seven-member panel spent too much time on recommendations obviously beyond its mandate.  The governments of the Northwest Territories and Canada took a lot of criticism for rejecting 27 of the panel's recommendations.  However, a review of the rejected

ADN, by Erika Bolstad.  Shell's spokesman for Alaska operations, Curtis Smith, said Wednesday's announcement about the Arctic was "a positive one for Alaska and acknowledges that responsible oil and gas exploration can take place in the Arctic."Shell continues to make plans to drill next summer, Smith said, but "a final decision on our Beaufort Sea drilling permit is needed soon for Shell to continue to pursue 2011 exploration drilling."  The director of the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement was quick to emphasize, though, that his agency will not be pressured by industry-dictated deadlines. The bureau, rebuilt by the Interior Department in the wake of this year's Gulf of Mexico spill, was criticized for its close ties to industry and for rubber-stamping some environmental reviews.  "We understand that Shell needs a decision, and when we've completed the review and analysis, we'll be in a position to make our decision," said Michael Bromwich (NGP Photo). "But we're not going to be constrained by any artificial deadline."  (Comment: Shell spends billions to obtain leases.  Shell spends a billion more preparing for exploration and meeting permit requirements.  MMS/BOEM and other agencies consistently delay issuance of permits.  DOI/BOEM apply moratorium to Alaska shallow water OCS following Deepwater Horizon tragedy without notice to lessees or the state.  BOEM claims that no moratorium applies to Alaska.  DOI secretary claims moratorium does apply.  Moratoria lifted from gulf activities.  Alaska exploration can't occur all year around as in the Gulf of Mexico.  If permits are not given in the next few weeks, insufficient time remains to mobilize the 2011 summer operations.  When Bromwich rather testily says that he won't be 'constrained by artificial deadlines," he exposes a fundamental ignorance of Alaska and an arrogance unbecoming a public servant.  -dh)

NWT News Editorial.  It's no wonder the Joint Review Panel's report was long delayed and over budget; the seven-member panel spent too much time on recommendations obviously beyond its mandate.  The governments of the Northwest Territories and Canada took a lot of criticism for rejecting 27 of the panel's recommendations.  However, a review of the rejected

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Feds Assault Alaska's Economy - Canada Moves Closer to Mackenzie Pipeline Approval - Arctic Source for Terrorism? - NARUC Hears Consumer Messages

16 November 2010 4:04am

 

Alaska: A Brave New World for Explorers and Producers

by

Dave Harbour

For: Petroleum News Alaska: A review of federal policy assaults on Alaska's economy....

CBC.  The proposed $16.2-billion Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline is a step closer to reality after the federal and Northwest Territories governments agreed Monday with most of the recommendations set out by a review panel last year.  ...  "Should the [project] proceed, it will do so within a responsible environmental stewardship framework," federal Environment Minister John Baird said in a release     *     (Comment:  We appear to be at Step 3 in the overall regulatory process, wherein the National Energy Board (NEB) will consider the new evidence and provide a final decision, and reasons therefore, to the Cabinet.  The Federal government could still disapprove the project.  However, we believe it unlikely that the Cabinet would move against an NEB decision falling in either direction.  Overall, we are hopeful for our dedicated Canadian friends who--having endured an almost endless regulatory process--are now close to grasping an economic victory from the jaws of nearly defeated, tenacious critics.. While the overall regulatory process has been continuously extended and enlarged to accommodate more and more 'stakeholder' voices over the past decade, we are fans of the dependable, timely decision making process employed by the NEB.  Consequently, we anticipate an early end to the Mackenzie Valley Gas Pipeline Application drama and the beginning of a more hopeful construction permitting process -- assuming that market dynamics and the patience of investors still wish to free the stranded gas volumes of Arctic Canada.  -dh)

Alaska Dispatch.  Newly declassified intelligence assessment raises the spectre of the North as a conduit for international or domestic radicals.

(8:00 a.m. note: A few minutes ago on CNBC, former Shell President John Hofmeister accused the federal government of encouraging a 'starvation' of hydrocarbon due to federal regulatory policies that are resulting in less production of oil and gas.  "We need more access toward hydrocarbons", he said.  "I don't know that the Administration either understands or cares about the inability of industry to obtain permits."  He said  practical every day people need energy and this administration is looking about how to satisfy some constituents but ignoring gulf coast residents.  "i think it is wrong and I will keep talking about it," he said.    Thorugh his own lense he is validating the Obama Administration's 'death by a thousand cuts' campaign we have been revealing for the last year and a half.-  dh)

NARUC Gas Committee Hears From Consumers

 

(Note: As always, we invite input from those featured on our pages to provide us with additions/corrections to our stories or to stories with which we link.  We strive to properly reflect the views of citizens.  -dh)

Yesterday in Atlanta's Omni Hotel, NARUC Gas Committee Chairman Tim Simon (NGP Photo-above, with FERC Commissioner Marc Spitzer) of California introduced the Committee's Co-Vice-Chairs: Commissioner Colette Honorable (NGP Photo-l) of Arkansas and Commissioner Matt Baker (NGP Photo-r) of Colorado.  Simon then drew attention to a resolution naming former Chairman O'Neal Hamilton (NGP Photo-below, right, with Tennessee Commissioner Eddie Roberson looking on) "Chairman Emeritus".  Simon also complimented Hamilton for his many accomplishments including the Moratoria study and organization of the consumer panel, a verthat y brief summary of which appears below.  Note that these panel members provide critical services to a majority of America's residential, corporate and governmental consumers.

Chairman Simon turned the meeting over to Louisiana Commissioner Jimmy Field (NGP Photo-l) who emphasized the importance to national defense and a recovering economy that decision makers forge a sustainable energy policy.  After offering several personal observations he introduced panel members:

Costantinos Apostolakos (NGO Photo-l) is General Manager, Fuel Supply Chain Management for Delta Airlines.  He acquainted commissioners with the heavy reliance of America's airline and air cargo businesses -- along with consumer travel and shipping costs -- on fossil fuel prices.  He encouraged commissioners to keep in mind that energy regulation seems to be turning into a process for taxation rather than for provision of adequate supplies of energy at reasonable prices.

Jim Tramuto (NGP Photo-r) is Vice President......

 

NARUC STORY AND PHOTOS UNDER DEVELOPMENT; PLEASE COME BACK FRIDAY. FOR NEW POSTINGS, PHOTOS AND FOR HYPERLINKS TO INDIVIDUAL POWER POINT PRESENTATIONS....

 

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