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      This is your public service 1-stop-shop for Alaskan and Canadian Arctic energy commentary, news, history, projects and people. We update it daily for you. It is the most timely and complete northern energy archive 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 name others existing before 2001.  -dh



11-26-15 Happy Thanksgiving!

26 November 2015 3:51am

Thanksgiving Lost

Thanksgiving references:  Our friend Marc Bond's offering; President Ronald Reagan's 1985 Thanksgiving Address; President George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation 

Our politically correct retail community hastily exchanges the words "Thanksgiving" and "Christmas" and "Easter" for "Holiday".

Here's a new twist, the National Parks Foundation (NPF) sent out a plea for contributions on Thanksgiving, today!

"We hope you will join us in taking time today to give thanks for our nation's greatest treasures — our more than 400 national parks," the solicitation pleads.

Not to be picky, but does NPF mean "give thanks" to the Creator for our natural wonders, or, to the government.  

We have seen not much evidence that the current federal administration supports America's Christian heritage.  Certainly, the NPF wouldn't go out of its way to "give thanks to the creator of the Parks".  They want us to give thanks to them in the form of a contribution.

While we're always slow to accuse anyone of hypocracy, we do note for the record that 1) NPF is the "official partner" of the National Parks Service, and 2) both the National Parks Director and his boss, the Secretary of the Interior serve on the NPF board, and 3) the Interior Secretary, Sally Jewell, is NPF Board Chair.

While we would not, without evidence, accuse the DOI of establishing a 'slush fund' of 'tax free contributed dollars' that it controls, we do note that certain democrat constituencies and policy goals seem to be recipients of NPF grants--including he climate change religion advocates. 


One who celebrates Thanksgiving is thankful.  It is logical to be thankful FOR blessings TO someone and illogical to be thankful TO inanimate objects or concepts -- such as "karma", "good luck", or "the universe".  

Since earliest Biblical times, mankind has prospered -- only when giving allegiance and thanks to Creator God.

America's founders owed and thanked God their creator and protector for everything, including the birth of a nation.  For their decendents to not thank God on Thanksgiving is to be thankful TO nothing.  

Therefore, it is logical that Americans wishing to sustain the Founders' republic, give prayerful thanks, with their children, TO God their Creator on this special, Thanksgiving Day, that He might continue to sustain and protect us. 

Why would anyone gather in "Thanksgiving" celebration with family and friends, enjoy libations, begin searching stores for Christmas treasures, and eat to capacity without so much as a prayer of thanks TO Almighty God?  Why would children be raised to be thankful TO nothing.  Why would America abandon the Heavenly guidance, strength and protection that prospered it, only to ignore the source of prosperity?  Why would this blessed people then go on to celebrate Christmas by renaming it a "holiday" and ignoring the Covenant God provided us with the gift of his son, the Savior?

Is not being unthankful TO one's creator, being ungrateful, rejecting both His blessings, future protection and guidance?   

One fears for the future of America's ungrateful people as evil enemies, at this very moment, creep closer.  

For, will they not soon discover America's loss of Heavenly values and protection?


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From all of us at the National Park Foundation, we wish you and your loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving. We are so thankful for friends like you who share our love for the national parks.
We hope you will join us in taking time today to give thanks for our nation's greatest treasures — our more than 400 national parks.
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Thanksgiving offering by our friend, Marc Bond:

By happy coincidence, Thanksgiving this year falls on Thursday, November 25, precisely the 226th anniversary of the first United States national day of thanksgiving declared by George Washington.  His proclamation is set out below.

To set some context, the War of Independence which killed some 25,000 American soldiers and sailors (about 6,800 in battle, with the rest from disease and starvation, many at the hands of the British while held as prisoners of war) and rendered another 15,000 or so disabled.

Both the national and state governments owed a crushing debt load from the war, perhaps $75 million, financed largely by the French, and not resolved until Alexander Hamilton secured the Funding Act of 1790 wherein the national government assumed the debts of the individual states, and national revenues (largely customs tariffs and excise taxes, including the notorious excise tax on whiskey) were sufficient to pay down the debt in the next two decades. 

A new and untested Constitution was ratified after a fractious debate on the extent of national powers (hmmm, what a concept).  The first elections under the new Constitution were held in December 1788 and January 1789 (with different states voting on different dates), electing an unopposed George Washington as President and John Adams as Vice President.  Congress first gathered at Federal Hall in New York City on March 4, 1789 (which for many years thereafter was the date of presidential inauguration).  Washington was inaugurated on April 30.  The Judiciary Act was passed on September 24, establishing the federal judiciary and US Marshal Service.  The Bill of Rights was proposed as a set of 12 amendments for ratification by the states on September 25.  The US Department of War established the national army with a force of several hundred men.

After losing its American colonies, Britain shifted its focus to Asia, the Pacific, and Africa, but did not make true peace with a separate America until after the War of 1812 was resolved in January of 1815.

In short, there were many uncertainties facing the young nation.  And yet … and yet, our President had great confidence in the benevolence and power of God, and in the diligence and skill of the American people.  So he directed the attention of his citizens toward appreciation for all of the gifts bestowed by the Almighty: care and protection prior to becoming a nation; providential interventions during the war; tranquility and plenty after the war; the establishment of civil government; civil and religious liberty; the acquisition of useful knowledge; and all other great and various blessing.  But beyond that, he directed Americans to confess and seek pardon for their sins, and to ask “the great Lord and Ruler of Nations” for continued guidance and protection to temporal prosperity.

Similar, if more modern, sentiments are express in President Obama’s 2015 Thanksgiving Proclamation. “In the same spirit of togetherness and thanksgiving that inspired the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag, we pay tribute to people of every background and belief who contribute in their own unique ways to our country's story.  Each of us brings our own traditions, cultures, and recipes to this quintessential American holiday -- whether around dinner tables, in soup kitchens, or at home cheering on our favorite sports teams -- but we are all united in appreciation of the bounty of our Nation.  Let us express our gratitude by welcoming others to our celebrations and recognize those who volunteer today to ensure a dinner is possible for those who might have gone without.  Together, we can secure our founding ideals as the birthright of all future generations of Americans.”

I encourage all Americans to put down differences, set aside politics, look past old wrongs, and seek healing in their relationships, personal, professional, and civic; confess our many sins in true repentance; and for at least a single day think great thoughts, say manifold prayers, and express to others the single sentiment of gratitude and appreciation.  Make a list of your blessings, for in every life, however humble or magnificent, there are many, many gifts.  Be truly thankful, and tell others how thankful you are for them.  For we have much and much more for which to be grateful.

In that spirit, I am grateful for each member of The List.  May you all have a Happy Thanksgiving.  – Marc


11-25-15 In Memorium: Dave Gransbury

25 November 2015 6:23pm

November 25, 2015
Dear Dave:

In the early 1970s my family moved next door to you on the shore of Cheney Lake. 

You were, first, a friendly neighbor and friend. 

When I came to know you better, I grew deeply respectful of your entrepreneurial dedication toward creating an ULU manufacturing business in your garage. There, with the garage door open in summer and on darker and frosty winter afternoons, we had many pleasant conversations -- as we endeavored to solve the world's problems. 

All this you did on your own time, while teaching. 

I soon found that your big heart matched your entrepreneurial nature as you invited students -- with particular emphasis on Alaska Native kids -- to come to work and learn a trade in the garage with you as you refined the ULU manufacturing process. 

And then, there was your lovely family.

Over the years, when I would drive by your Ship Creek store location, I would marvel at your dream that came true. When I gave your ULUs (i.e. never the Chinese knock-offs!) to friends and visitors, your friendship has always been part of the gifting.

You were and are an Alaskan educator, entrepreneur, and business pioneer.

It has been an honor and pleasure knowing you.

...see you around the bend!


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11-11-15 Veterans Day In The U.S.

11 November 2015 5:44am

Veterans Day 2015 and Hilcorp's Alaska North Slope Liberty Project

Yes, there is a link

Commentary by

Dave Harbour  

It was a rainy, windy, cool day, that November 10, 1966.

Panmunjom is the well known, Freedom's Frontier guard post -- the most dangerous in the world.  

Today, we wore our Panmunjom hat in a Veterans Day ceremony.  

Today we remind our readers and ourselves that there is more than one way to serve!

Today, we remember with respect two fellow Anchorage, Alaska citizens who served with us on the Korean DMZ: Aves Thompson and Chris Nelson.

Panmunjom, United Nations, Freedom's Frontier, DMZ, Korea, Dangerous outpost, Photo by Dave Harbour

Our advanced infantry training  (AIT) company had just run into the old WWII barracks classroom at Fort Dix, N.J.  

When the 200 of us took our seats in the 1950s era classroom desk-chairs, cold water streamed from our nearly bald, shaved heads, down our necks, through the soaking fatigues to form puddles on the warn, wood floor.

"Tomorrow's our day, boys!"

The hard as nails, bullet spitting, wrinkly and tanned-faced old drill instructor (DI)  leaned forward at the podium, his sharp eyes staring through our own as if to challenge our very souls.

He was the real thing, a nearly real facsimile of Clint Eastwood!

You don't see DIs cry...ever....  

Then, unless I was imagining it because of the tenderness of his tone, I think I saw his eyes moisten as he slowly spoke of America's heritage:

  • President George Washington's reliance on our Creator, verified in his Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, and
  • Francis Scott Key's perfect national Anthem and reaffirmation that for those living in America's freedom, "in God is our trust", and
  • President Lincoln's reliance on spiritual guidance, well evidenced in his Thanksgiving Day message, and

...then, our DI, tough-as-nails Staff Sergeant Kane spoke of his own recent wars: WWII, Korea and Vietnam, of friends injured, of comrades killed, of dreams postponed or destroyed, of families forever affected -- all for the love of this free Country.

Then he told us that we were already soldiers, brand new veterans: not fully trained, to be sure, but members of the club of those who have served in an American uniform since the birth of the Nation.

He wanted us to know that the next day's approaching Veterans Day was not just for those who went abroad.  It was for all who served, no matter when, where, how long or under what circumstances...for, all were prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice.

You could have heard a pin drop on that old, rugged, wood floor.

Then, before returning to the class schedule, he proclaimed again, "Tomorrow's our day, boys!"

In the five decades since my Army days I've always thought that those in civilian life have opportunities -- and responsibilities -- to serve and support their country alongside active duty warriors.

There are many ways those at home may serve.

One of those ways is by enhancing the economic strength of America: supporting a robust energy culture.  Without energy, a country is at the mercy of those with it.  Those with energy extract wealth and opportunity from needy energy nation consumers.

Today, after attending a Veterans Day ceremony, I remembered SSgt Kane's tough instruction and touching review of our history and culture. I remembered my service on the Korean DMZ; of rapid promotions in four years from Private to Captain made possible by rapid Vietnam attrition; of dear friends departed; of a close veteran's bond with Senator Ted Stevens, beginning with our meeting in 1970 in Washington.

As a civilian once again, but one with an unshakeable veteran's sense of mission, today I remembered there was an energy support task that needed doing.

Here is a letter RDC President Marleanna Hall submitted to BOEM.  Our thanks to Carl Portman for providing it to our readers.

So, I finished writing a Veterans Day letter to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) supporting approval of Hilcorp's Liberty Project.  Last week, our readers learned of the opportunity to weigh in for economic prosperity, for Alaska's future, for America's strength.

Here is a copy of the letter I wrote  today.  I hope all of our readers will consider sending in their own comments.  Here's how.

After all, I think we can all agree and reaffirm on this 2915 Veterans Day that, indeed, there is more than one way to serve our Nation.




11-6-15 End of a historic week in Alaska

06 November 2015 6:42am

Our Alaska BP friend, Julie Hasquet, notes the launching this week of, "BP's inaugural, Technology Outlook.  Readers may obtain a copy here.  -dh

Our Washington D.C. friend with IER, Dan Kish, notes that House democrats have filed this bill targeting an Alaska oil  & gas prohibition in Cook Inlet and the Arctic -- not to mention coal.   Founded on the religious belief in a concept called, Global Warming, the bill (i.e. called the "Keep It In The Ground Act Of 2015") is being filed as in concert with other Paris Climate Change preparations by the U.S. President, including disapproval of the Keystone XL project.  We assume Alaska's Congressman Don Young is on top of it.  Unbelievable how so many could appear to love their country's economy, civilization, standard of living and culture so little.  -dh

For gas pipeline and LNG export planners, the EIA reportsWinter natural gas futures prices are significantly lower than previous years

Support Hilcorp's Liberty Project HERE!


David Holt, Consumer Energy Alliance, Alaska, TAPS, Hilcorp, Liberty,  Photo by Dave HarbourToday's Relevant Consumer Energy Alliance Energy Links

Calgary Herald/AP: Killing (TransCanada's) pipeline allows Obama to claim aggressive action on the environment....​

Senator Lisa Murkowski says Obama Ignored Keystone Facts

Congressman Rob Bishop calls Obama, "...the most anti-energy extremist President the nation has ever had...."

Financial PostPresident Obama’s first recognition of Canada’s new Prime Minister is an apparent slap in the face. In rejecting (TransCanada's) Keystone XL pipeline — which Justin Trudeau has supported — Obama has offered up yet another sacrifice to his presidential legacy en route to the climate melee in Paris. (See our commentary: "Killing Capitalism") ​

Our earlier report on TransCanada financial challenge/layoffs

TransCanada sells 49.9 percent interest in Portland Natural Gas Limited Partnership

TransCanada Challenge With Energy East Port

President Obama rejects TransCanada's application to build the Keystone XL pipeline, saying -- either misleadingly or stupidly -- that the project would not spur economic growth. 

Alaska's Historic Week

Dear Reader:

Yesterday, we published an early, draft report of the recent special session of the Alaska State Legislature concerning the 'buy-out' of TransCanada's interest in the Alaska LNG project.  

We should have waited for a later draft.

Dissatisfied with the result, we reworked it overnight, attempting to do better justice to a historic week in Alaska.

We hope that any reader who was disappointed with that first draft will scroll down or click back to read the newer, edited and shorter version.

We thank the several dozen readers who provided helpful comment during the special session and, as always seek the guidance of those wiser and more knowledgeable than we, as daily reports are submitted into the archives of Northern Gas Pipelines for future study and reference by industry, government, academia and the news media.

Respectfully and warmly,


P.S. New Special Session Reports and References: 



(Thanks to the Alliance for this notice)

WHO: Hilcorp’s Liberty project
WHAT: Needs public comments in support of development
WHEN: Mon., Nov. 9, 2015, Between 7-10 p.m. 
WHERE: Embassy Suites Hotel, 600 E. Benson Blvd., Anchorage
WHY: We need responsible resource development and the investment dollars they bring to Alaska
MORE INFO: www.libertyprojectak.com

As the Liberty Unit Operator, Hilcorp Alaska, LLC is currently pursuing all of the necessary permits and authorizations to develop the Liberty Reservoir.  One step in this process is the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).  During this time, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold public scoping meetings throughout Alaska to analyze the potential environmental effects of Hilcorp’s Development and Production Plan (DPP).  Please consider attending the local scoping meeting and making these points:
Based on proven technology currently being employed in the Arctic… 
Hilcorp will utilize the construction and operational technology perfected at Alaska’s other offshore facilities. It’s proven to be a safe and effective means for oil & gas development in the Arctic.
Artificial islands in the Alaska Beaufort Sea date back to the mid-1970s. In the last 40 years, eighteen (18) islands have been responsibly constructed for exploration and development of oil and gas off the coast of Alaska. Like Liberty, the majority of the artificial islands were constructed in shallow water depths less than 20 feet.  
Alaska has a 30-year record of safely operating offshore in the Arctic. Endicott, the first offshore development on the North Slope, has been in operation for almost three decades, and now there are three other offshore fields in production: Northstar (2001), Oooguruk (2008) and Nikaitchuq (2011).
More oil in TAPS…
The Liberty oilfield contains one of the largest potential sources of new light oil production on the North Slope, with an estimated 80-130 million barrels of recoverable oil. 
Development of Liberty will help offset declining light oil production on the North Slope and contribute to increasing the life span and efficiency of TAPS.
New oil is needed to keep the pipeline operating efficiently now that throughput is less than 25 percent of capacity. An additional 60,000-70,000 BOPD from Liberty will be an important addition to keeping the pipeline operational for decades to come.
Economic Benefit…
As the first Outer Continental Shelf oil project in the U.S. Arctic, Liberty will provide important tax and economic benefits to the federal government, State of Alaska and North Slope Borough. It will generate construction jobs – primarily for Alaskans – and good-paying permanent jobs. It will create business opportunities for many Alaska businesses.
More information about Liberty can be found at www.libertyprojectak.com

To comment, or to review comments, go to www.regulations.gov and enter “BOEM Liberty” in the search field or BOEM-2015-0096. Comments must be received by 11:59pm Eastern Daylight Time on November 17, 2015.
Hilcorp’s Liberty DPP can be viewed at: http://www.boem.gov/Hilcorp-Liberty/


David Holt, Consumer Energy Alliance, Keystone XL, Photo by Dave HarbourThe CourierClean Line station preferred in Pope 
The converter station represents a direct investment of over $100 million in Arkansas, according to David Holt (NGP Photo), president of the Consumer Energy Alliance — a group which stated on its website it provides the energy consumers with sound, unbiased information on U.S. and global energy issues.

Electric Light & PowerVIDEO: Plains & Eastern Clean Line transmission project moves forward 
David Holt, President of the Consumer Energy Alliance said, “Modern infrastructure projects like the Plains & Eastern Clean Line are critical to ensuring an affordable, reliable power supply for energy consumers here in Arkansas and across the Southeast United States. This project will not only deliver low-cost clean energy to Arkansans, but will create jobs and manufacturing opportunities here, as well. We are pleased to see this critical infrastructure project come closer to fruition.”

Coastal ObserverPolitics: Offshore drilling opponents see victory in city election 
Voters in the city of Georgetown elected three Democratic candidates to City Council this week after members of a local environmental group campaigned for them on the basis of their opposition to offshore oil drilling in the Atlantic. Democrats Al Joseph, Sheldon Butts and Clarence Smalls soundly defeated Republicans Richard Powers, Lee Padgett and Tom Winslow.

Washington TimesObama, TransCanada say little about likely doomed Keystone pipeline
Twenty-four hours after claiming authority to make the final decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, the Obama administration said little about the issue Thursday, even as it looks increasingly likely that the project will die at the hands of the president.
The HillDems to Obama: Reject Keystone before Paris
Democrats and environmental groups are ratcheting up pressure on President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline now, ahead of major international climate talks in Paris next month. After a week of action on Keystone, Democrats say that denying the project before the conference would send a powerful — if symbolic — message about the United States’ resolve to combat climate change.
ReutersFed's Harker says Marcellus natural gas boom likely has peaked
The U.S. natural gas boom centered on the Marcellus shale fields has probably hit a peak for now, Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Patrick Harker said on Thursday. "The robust natural gas drilling that carried this region through the worst of the Great Recession has likely plateaued in the past few years," Harker said in prepared remarks to be delivered in Philadelphia.
ReutersU.S. shale producers see big budget cuts for 2016
U.S. shale oil producers, having slashed fat from 2015 budgets after a 50-percent drop in crude prices, risk cutting to the bone next year as they pare spending further and get ready for a prolonged downturn. Top shale companies including Devon Energy Corp, Continental Resources Inc and Marathon Oil Corp this week released preliminary 2016 plans for capital spending that may fall by double digits.
Wall Street JournalOil Slump Forces Deep Cuts by Service Providers
Oil-field service companies are slashing costs amid an industry-rattling fall in crude prices, and no cut is too small—such as using white paint instead of yellow on underwater equipment.  “It’s not big money,” said Hallvard Hasselknippe, president of subsea at Technip SA, noting that adding pigment to make the industry standard yellow paint is more expensive. “There are many examples like this.”
Fuel FixChina keeping an eye on surging U.S. oil and gas production
The United States’ energy renaissance is catching attention in Beijing, where Chinese leaders view the phenomenon as “a double-edged sword,” according to a white paper from the free-market group American Council for Capital Formation. “China trusted the United States more when U.S. oil import dependency was higher and Washington actively sought increases in global oil production, a mutually shared objective,” writes George David Banks, executive vice president of the group.
Houston ChronicleBleak results continue for oil companies
More oil companies Thursday reported the bleak financial fallout from a crude price drop in the third quarter, even as the price of a barrel continued a fairly steady streak into the final three months of the year. At least three Houston-based independent oil producers reported third-quarter losses.
E&E NewsGulf of Mexico is bright spot for otherwise depressed industry
Offshore drillers appear to be muddling through the oil price bust. Production continues to rise in the Gulf of Mexico. Discoveries have been reported in new and mature offshore provinces. And offshore drilling may perk up again in Canada and elsewhere, even with oil prices in the doldrums.
OilPrice.comObama Admin Throws Alaska an Oil Lifeline
On Oct. 22, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) gave the go ahead to a drilling plan in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A), one of the last ditch efforts to keep the Trans Alaskan Pipeline from running dry. ConocoPhillips has plans to drill the Greater Mooses Tooth Unit (GMT-1), which could result in the first oil and gas production from federal land in the NPR-A.
E&E NewsAlaska poised to gain equal share in LNG megaproject
The Alaska Legislature this week opened the door for the state to become an equal partner with three major oil companies on a multibillion-dollar venture to commercialize Alaska's abundant North Slope natural gas reserves.
Juneau EmpireArctic drilling complaint clears Legislature
After passing a landmark gas pipeline deal, the Alaska House approved a formal complaint against the Obama administration’s decision to cancel oil and gas lease sales in the Arctic. Unlike the gas pipeline bill, which passed unanimously in the House, the Arctic complaint broke mostly along majority/minority lines as it passed 27-12, with one representative absent.
BreitbartShock: Jerry Brown Used State Experts to Seek Oil On Family Land
California governor Jerry Brown used state experts to prepare a 51-page report on the prospects for oil development on his family’s private land in Northern California, according to an Associated Press investigation released early Thursday morning.
Seattle TimesWashington state joins legal fight to defend Obama climate plan
Washington and Oregon have joined a coalition of 18 states to defend President Barack Obama’s plan to slow climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. They are opposing lawsuits filed last month against the Environmental Protection Agency by 25 mostly Republican states and allied industry groups.
KDRV 12Oregon Joins Legal Fight to Defend Obama Climate Plan
Washington and Oregon have joined a coalition of 18 states to defend President Barack Obama's plan to slow climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. They are opposing lawsuits filed last month against the Environmental Protection Agency by 25 mostly Republican states and allied industry groups.
Denver PostCSU study says oil and gas water contaminants low in DJ Basin
A new Colorado State University report says there is no evidence water-based contaminants are seeping into drinking-water wells over a vast oil and gas field in northeast Colorado.
The ColoradoanColorado’s ozone fight could drive up costs
Larimer County is one of only 14 U.S. counties headed for the Environmental Protection Agency’s ozone blacklist in 10 years. The EPA adopted a new ozone pollution standard of 70 parts per billion last month, prompting cheers from many fans of smog-free skies but triggering a unique challenge for Northern Colorado, which is still out of compliance with the 75 ppb ozone standard adopted in 2008
Midland Reporter-TelegramComptroller: Saudi Arabia leaders “gambled and Texas won”
In June, Midland broke its streak where the sales tax collections were higher each month than the same month the year before but the economy is not all doom and gloom, according to Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Glenn Hegar.
The Times-PicayuneSt. Tammany fracking fight heard by appeals court in Baton Rouge
The protracted controversy over fracking in St. Tammany Parish returned to the courtroom on Thursday (Nov. 5) where attorneys presented oral arguments to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal in Baton Rouge and answered questions about how much control the state and individual parishes have when it comes to oil and gas drilling in Louisiana.
The Register-HeraldCouncil to mull support for banning fracking waste
Local geologist Brandon Richardson, on behalf of the Fayette County Headwaters Defense group, asked Fayetteville Town Council at Thursday’s meeting to pass a resolution in support of the Fayette County Commission passing a county-wide ordinance to ban fracking waste disposal.
The VindicatorAnti-fracking proponents snubbed by voters again
Why won’t the advocates of the absurd proposal to ban fracking in the city of Youngstown just go away? Because like all other self-appointed protectors of society, they can’t fathom not being embraced by a majority of the public. And so it is that the leaders of FrackFree Mahoning Valley are contemplating a sixth attempt to pass a charter amendment that would prohibit the use of fracking to extract oil and gas in the city of Youngstown.
Harriot Patriot-NewsFor a cleaner future, Pa. needs to focus on natural gas and nuclear energy: J. Winston Porter
President Barack Obama's new Clean Power Plan, which calls for a 32 percent reduction in carbon emissions from our power plants by 2030, places too much focus on solar and wind power. That's unfortunate since natural gas and nuclear energy must play the lead roles in meeting these carbon emissions targets.
Saint Peters BlogToday on Context Florida: Fracking, U.S. Therapist General, delayed justice and the latest Salt Shaker Test
Sarah Maricle Ayers warns that Floridians should weigh facts on fracking before banning its benefits. The exciting energy frontier that hydraulic fracturing represents is one of the best-kept secrets in Florida. The process consists of blasting a water, chemical, and proppant solution under high pressure to create fissures in rocks, which then allows the release of the oil and hydrocarbons locked within.​

CANCELLATION OF EXISTING LEASES.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall cancel any lease issued under section 8 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1337) on or before the date of enactment of this Act in the Beaufort Sea, Cook Inlet, or Chukchi Sea.



19 October 2015 2:51am

Killing Capitalism?  

Have several oil and gas CEOs now joined the enviro-governmental-industrial cabal?

Commentary prepared on Friday, October 16, 2015


Dave Harbour

Today, we have what is to us a disturbing announcement by some of the globe's largest oil and gas companies.  

They have formed a new consortium.  Not to build a pipeline.  Not to develop an oil and gas reservoir.  Not to permit a new LNG facility.  No, these companies have formed a new consortium to support a conflicting interest, the "Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI)".  

We can imagine hundreds of environmental activists across the globe tweeting, "OMG!",  rubbing their hands, laughing, celebrating!  They will now have a new industry bureaucracy to lobby, insult, beg for money, coerce into supporting legislation.  A bright new target with a clearly visible bulls-eye.  More oil guys and gals dressed 'business casual' with wine and dine expense accounts.  Just think of the meetings, parties and interaction among the mostly European members of OGCI and the elite members of the United Nations, OPEC, Government ministers, etc.  The atmosphere must be both politically correct and intoxicating. 

We can also imagine the more cynical among enviro-activists saying between ironic smiles, "If these guys are so into challenging global climate change, why don't they just stop producing oil & gas, liquidate their companies and go home to enjoy cleaner air to breathe!" 

While well intended, the stalwart OGCI CEO's seem nevertheless to be kowtowing to the global warming crowd that worked so hard to delay and destroy Shell's vital Arctic exploration program off Alaska's Northern coast--and countless other industry projects.

We believe that this effort could be designed to endear the companies, if not the industry, to more favored treatment by politically sensitive world regulators and by the environmental gadflies that have continuously sought to delay or destroy their projects.  If so, our much respected oil and gas industry becomes just another member of the Crony Capitalist Cabal.

But it is a government relations/PR strategy designed to backfire.  The regulators and enviro-activists will never compromise.  They will always want more: more fund raising dollars, more restrictive bureaucracy and more governmental power.  It is foolish and naive to think otherwise.  

Think about it a minute: if industry believes one way and the socialist-enviro faction thinks another, which side ends up compromising...paying more money...accepting more regulations...bowing to more permitting conditions...supporting more politically correct policy positions?  Answer: not the other side.

We also believe that this oil industry climate change consortium effort opens the way for a higher level of direct and indirect corporate contributions (i.e. pay-offs to environmental groups and powerful elected officials).  Those familiar with American history, particularly in big city crime syndicate areas, have known this process as, "paying for protection." 

Shell -- a member of this new global warming consortium -- spent over $6 billion on Alaska OCS leases and massive expenses along with over a half decade of tireless work to overcome the regulatory and legal roadblocks put into place by a hostile federal government and its environmental allies.

Those roadblocks included bureaucratic timing delays, bogus air quality issues, wildlife issues, drilling season restrictions, enviro-extremist protests and a gauntlet of conditional permit requirements.

No company ever worked harder or spent more corporate treasure on stakeholder communications and project expense to drill one single well than has Shell.

Did that most monumental effort of all time placate federal regulators and enviro-activists?  

One should conclude that the massive, OGCI PR program violates the well-known definition of insanity: repeating the same actions while expecting a different result.

In recent months, we have seen more and more prestigious challenges to the so called, 'proven science of climate change/global warming', including:

Here is the OGCI report.

The oil company CEO "Declaration" shows how OGCI will coordinate with like minded partner organizations/initiatives, most of which are of European/United Nations descent, including:

  • The Sustainable Energy Initiative For All initiative, a powerful group including OPEC, Russia, European and UN Executives...and, former Democratic Senator Tim Wirth, a dedicated Climate Change advocate
  • The Global Methane Initiative which opposes production of Natural gas.
  • The anti-flaring initiative of the World Bank.  Here is its proposed role, which has connotations of a new bureaucracy funded by (oil companies and developed countries?) so that it can keep track of company flaring.
  • the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, is also a "partner" of our OGCI oil friends; it is focused on "national and regional" actions against short term pollutants, including methane, black carbon and HFCs.
  • The Low-carbon Technology Partnerships Initiative aims to: "break down the climate challenge into manageable business and policy actions; and, shape specific policy asks and partnerships which will support actions and mobilize finance to make a material difference to global emissions reductions
  • Caring for Climate, seems to be where the OGCI idea must have originated, for it was, "Launched by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2007 and is the UN Global Compact, the UN Environment Programme and the secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change‘s initiative aimed at advancing the role of business in addressing climate change.

If Ms. Figueres' goal is to destroy capitalism and "not save the world from environmental calamity", it looks like her UN colleagues have figured out how to do it.  Form a bewildering, interlocking array of "Initiatives" populated by UN managers and other "power organizers" all designed to focus control of "regions and nations" within the World Bank and the United Nations.

Last spring, global warming alarmists tried to scuttle Shell's scheduled use of the Seattle Port, a staging area for the Alaska project this past summer.  

At a Port hearing, most of the environmental witnesses cited Shell's alleged threat to global warming, whatever that is interpreted to mean by listeners.  

We documented at the time an admission from Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change, that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism.  (Unfortunately, the OGCI consortium is working with Figueres {Photo here}, whose focus is not on the environment but on killing capitalism.

We have always defended the energy industry as the foundation of modern civilization, the essence of free enterprise and capitalism.

Apparently, the worldwide assault on freedom by enemies of capitalism have figured out that if they can make 'global warming' a rhetorical -- if not scientific -- reality, they will have more leverage to raise funds for their efforts and at the same time continue the steady, little-by-little killing of capitalism.

When I served as Gas Committee vice chairman of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) almost ten years ago, I saw first-hand how this climate change mania began to ramp up.

At the last minute before an Annual meeting, liberal commissioners from around the country sought to and were successful in ramming through a last minute 'climate change' policy statement that had not been fully vetted via NARUC'S usual and thorough resolutions procedure.

This action gave aid and comfort to certain Members of Congress and state lawmakers around the nation for saying, "See, NARUC thinks it is in the interest of consumers to support climate change legislation."

This was also a high water mark for armies of lobbyists seeking government aid for solar, wind, geothermal and all kinds of other alternative energy ideas--a big ramp up for crony capitalism.

Legislatures could say, "NARUC and a hundred scientists think action on climate change is in the interest of consumers, so we will pass a law minimizing use of fossil fuels used to produce electricity."  (Note: consistent with the President's campaign promise: see video.)

All over the country states undertook anti-fossil fuel measures.  These measures were mostly known as, "renewable portfolio standards".  This state status report illustrates how effective the anti-consumer liberal agenda has been to  1) cause utility rates to "necessarily skyrocket!", by 2) paying homage to the concept of global warming/climate change.  

Along the way, this insidious, anti - competitive RPS concept kills free enterprise jobs while creating, nourishing and sustaining crony capitalist companies loyal to their political benefactors.

On the federal front, the Administration and Congress tried to push through cap-and-trade legislation; failing that, the EPA is attempting to use its own regulatory power to achieve the same result.  Coal is producing over a third of the electric power in the country and it is very clean burning now...and, the cheapest way to produce electricity for consumers.  But the 'war on coal' is also, little by little, beginning to accomplish the Administration's goal of causing utility rates to, "...necessarily skyrocket...."

Here's the perverse effect on consumers.  Regulatory commissions everywhere are bound to produce utility (i.e. including electric) rates for consumers that are found to be "just and reasonable" after public notice, commission hearings, expert witnesses, establishment of a legal record of the proceedings, adjudication and the opportunity to appeal decisions.

But what if a Legislature passes a law that says, "defending against climate change is in the consumers' best interest: we are passing anti-coal, anti-fuel oil, anti-natural gas, etc. legislation and giving grants to solar, wind and other alternative energy companies?" 

Well then, the Regulatory Commission is forced into a corner.  The commission must allow utilities to recover the higher cost of securing alternative energy-produced electricity by passing on those costs to industrial, business and residential (family) consumers.  Adding insult to industry, utilities will also be allowed to charge customers for obtaining random, high priced fossil powered electricity to make sure customers have light and heat when the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine.  In short, pay double/triple for the same electricity.

Triple, yes.  For rate payers, as taxpayers, must also have their earned income redistributed by elected officials via grants and subsidies to their crony contributors/voters.

Here's the outcomecertain alternative energy companies have been enriched, elected officials supporting alternative energy companies receive contributions, TAXPAYERS PAY MORE TO PROVIDE THE ALTERNATIVE ENERGY GRANTS and CONSUMERS PAY MORE, MUCH MORE FOR ELECTRICITY UNLESS THEY FIND THEIR OWN WORKABLE SUBSIDY.  Never forget the President's statement about utility rates.

Speaking of the President, the current Administration, elected a year after NARUC's action, was heavily supported by environmental and alternative energy lobbies.  

The Administration has served those lobbies well.  It has violated Congressional jurisdiction by managing the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge like a 'Wilderness'.  It has blocked energy activity in half of the National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska.  It has pre-emptively and illegally stopped a mining project designed on Alaska state land leases before that project could even file for permits and enjoy a Constitutionally protected 'due process'.  It illegally (i.e. without due process) imposed a moratorium on oil and gas activity in the SHALLOW WATER of Alaska's Arctic after similar restrictions were legally imposed on Gulf of Mexico DEEP WATER drilling activity following the Deep Water Horizon tragedy in 2010.  It has illogically and irresponsibly blocked approval of the Keystone LX Pipeline even following successive State Department environmental clearances.

But more relevant to this discussion, the Administration has funneled huge, multi-hundred million dollar grants and subsidies to both producers of and consumers of alternative energy by tapping taxpayer pockets.

*     *     *

Now, imagine yourself flying 37,000 feet above and looking down upon this situation.

What you are seeing is a massive fundamental change in the free enterprise system that made America great.  Now, many crony capitalist companies compete for government and political favor, not against competitors in the market place -- or at least that is secondary.

President Eisenhower cautioned the country in his farewell address that, "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex."

We can be sure that if he had known about the crony capitalist/environmental, governmental cabal described herein, he would have modified his speech to include a broader warning that includes the energy sector.

However, later in that speech, he did say something that should sober every public official and every citizen.

Just as we have cautioned in this webpage about intergenerational inequity, so did the good President say in 1961,"...you and I, and our government -- must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow."

Can't you picture Ike turning in his grave now, over five decades later? 

*     *     *

We know that the companies involved in today's announcement mean well.  They might be concerned that without "being on the correct side of this issue we could injure shareholder value".  Or, many of the leaders themselves could now be leaning toward 'green' or socialist philosophies.  For even if government controls their companies through partial ownership, bureaucratic regulation or fiat, they still have mighty fine jobs, still have viable companies.

Well, I cannot pretend to be in the minds of the decision makers whose rationale for this landmark decision must surely vary from board room to board room.

But I will offer this "free advice" to the companies of the OGCI Consortium, from a number of background perspectives:  

  • You should focus your management attention on aggressive, environmentally responsible oil and gas exploration and development.  As demonstrated in the OGCI report and company web pages, your individual efforts are admirable.  You should vigorously defend your accomplishments and not apologize for them as the organization of OGCI suggests.  
  • The group OGCI effort is likely to distract you from shareholder work without solving the problems you imagine will be solved.
  • You are likely to find those hired or promoted to OGCI work in that communal organization or in your individual company will be voices that more and more influence changes contrary to your traditional corporate culture and mission.
  • Rather, why aren't you focusing on supporting political leaders and parties committed to responsible resource development?
  • Avoid the temptation to have OGCI become a new conduit for money to environmental causes. Never make contributions to organizations that do not support your efforts; that is not to say you must always publicly oppose them, but active support is illogical and detracts from shareholder value.
  • You should redouble your financial support for business related NGOs that support your traditional mission and values.  Help them become more influential, credible and persuasive--with the general public and especially with younger generation issues, like STEM education.
  • Don't let liberal criticism of the Koch brothers intimidate you into supporting their critics.  Your policies should more closely emulate their principled convictions.
  • You will likely be pressured to compromise your positions beyond which OGCI has agreed to; remember that in the socialist or environmental arena, capitalist leaders are the ones compromising.  It's like a big buffet wherein OGCI brings the food while environmentalists and allied socialists bring the appetite, the energy, the arguments and the willingness to use any legal and some illegal means that they think are justified by the ends.  You cannot but lose position in the OGCI environment.

Finally, if you continue to pursue this OGCI course of action, you will:

  • be disappointed that all the executive time devoted to it will cause not less environmental opposition, but more hassle; and
  • going to the COP21 Paris meeting itself, will likely require a significant amount of your time dealing with mostly unproductive follow-up communication and meetings with advisors (COP21 goal, "a binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world"); and
  • your external affairs folks will be flooded with new contribution requests from public officials and NGOs (i.e. "We're on the same side now; help me help you!"); and
  • find that many of your loyal employees will be wondering why precious corporate assets are moving toward initiatives that are opposed to the company's values and operations; and
  • know that much of the traditional, business support in communities you serve everywhere, will be disappointed.  Your community stakeholders will be put in the awkward position of either supporting your global climate change adventure or opposing that expediency.  Those who are intimidated into supporting you will be working contrary to their philosophies and sense of intellectual integrity; and
  • while you may not wish to compromise on a critical issue, the OGCI majority may want to not only give away part of their farm, but part of yours as well (i.e. the danger of working in "majority rule", communal groups sometimes outweighs the advantages, particularly where CEO egos and reputations are highly visible); and
  • lastly, many experts now concur that there is not 'settled science' on global warming although there is much evidence on changing temperature cycles over millennia.  And the modern fossil fuel industries in OGCI-developed countries at least, are very clean.  If human activity were proven to produce permanent warming owing to 'greenhouse gasses', it is not certain that Western Europe or America provide a major increment of that effect (i.e. especially compared with the oceans' overshadowing output). It is even less certain that your company's activities are negatively significant greenhouse gas producers.  It is completely certain, however, that if human activity is to "blame", we've mostly to look at China, India and other developing countries as sources, not at your company work.  I am not a scientist trying to present a clinical, peer-reviewed perspective...only the viewpoint of one community member who hates to see you move from a generally sympathetic but politically agnostic position on environmental protection, to a more controversial advocacy role that may be in such conflict with your traditional support base and ultimate shareholder interest -- and even the public interest.

Your position, if unaltered, will change the overall balance of opinion on this matter and lead to significant, hopefully unintended consequences, such as:

  • higher industry taxes to combat the perceived climate challenge to which your CEOs are now wedded;
  • more regulatory burdens with bureaucrats arguing that, "even OGCI knows that stronger steps must be taken";
  • more liberal majorities in political bodies around the world, courting your increased support; and
  • less likelihood that the oil and gas industry can survive (i.e. intact) the worldwide enviro-industrial-governmental cabal that is seeking to amass socialist power and kill capitalism using various tools, such as environmental activists and apologists

Let's face it.  Capitalism, free enterprise and our way of life depend upon the energy foundation, cemented firmly together with fossil fuel building blocks.  If that foundation is controlled by competing private sector companies, the public is -- certainly not perfectly -- but very well served in the best possible way.  

The capitalist system will change if our energy sector falls lock, stock and barrel into the arms of socialist architects (i.e. of whom there will be plenty in Paris at COP21).

To faithful readers:

If I have misinterpreted the case against OGCI or misrepresented the companies' intentions or perspective, I hope you will enlighten me.

The purpose of this energy archive is to provide accurate history, facts and reasoned commentary.  We have always supported the competitive energy industries with our commentary and best wishes.

If we are ever inaccurate we will make a immediate changes as required and even reconsider editorial positions that readers might demonstrate, persuasively, to be logically flawed.

Feel free to communicate here.


One can expect companies farther down the food chain to, one by one, move in the direction of their Industry employers and clients.  What then happens to citizens whose livelihoods depend on those companies; won't they tend to drift in that new direction?  And what about political systems depending on industry and individual voters; is the drift toward the environmental-industrial-governmental cabal their only alternative.  

Who will be left standing for freedom, and it's first son, capitalism, if not you and those responsive to you?

The answer is that without the energy industry remaining independent, competitive and avoiding the tempting siren call of environmental-socialist seduction, it will abandon its free enterprise allies in the smaller business sectors.  Capitalism's days become fewer as free enterprise is replaced by authoritarianism.

With creation of the OGCI consortium announced today, the well organized effort to kill capitalism may have taken an significant, unexpected and disappointing leap forward.




CEOs of 10 global oil and gas companies make collaborative declaration on climate change:      

Call for an effective climate change agreement at COP21.

  • Strengthen actions and investments to contribute to reducing the GHG intensity of the global energy mix.
  • Support the implementation of clear stable policy frameworks consistent with a 2°C future; these will help our companies to take informed decisions and make effective and sustainable contributions to addressing climate change.
  • Collaborate in a number of areas such as efficiency, natural gas, R&D and CCS
  • Report regularly and consistently on their progress.
  • OGCI report outlines member companies’ work to catalyze practical, meaningful and technology-enabled actions to address climate change.

Paris, France; October 16, 2015 – The chief executive officers of 10 of the world’s largest oil and gas companies - which together provide almost a fifth of all oil and gas production and supply nearly 10% of the world’s energy - today declared their collective support for an effective climate change agreement to be reached at next month’s 21st session of the United Nations (UN) Conference of Parties to the UN Framework on Climate Change (COP21).

In their milestone declaration, the CEOs of the 10 companies that currently make up the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) – BG Group, BP, Eni, Pemex, Reliance Industries, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Statoil and Total – confirmed that they recognize the general ambition to limit global average temperature rise to 2 degrees centigrade and that the existing trend of the world’s net global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is not consistent with this ambition.

The OGCI member companies have taken significant actions to reduce their GHG footprint, with combined GHG emissions from their operations reducing by around 20% over the past 10 years.

In their declaration the 10 CEOs said:

“Our shared ambition is for a 2°C future. It is a challenge for the whole of society. We are committed to playing our part. Over the coming years we will collectively strengthen our actions and investments to contribute to reducing the GHG intensity of the global energy mix. Our companies will collaborate in a number of areas, with the aim of going beyond the sum of our individual efforts.”

(Helge Lund, BG Group; Bob Dudley, BP; Claudio Descalzi, Eni; Emilio Lozoya, Pemex; Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Industries; Josu Jon Imaz, Repsol; Ben van Beurden, Royal Dutch Shell; Amin Nasser, Saudi Aramco; Eldar Sætre, Statoil; and Patrick Pouyanné, Total.)

The OGCI also today launched its collaborative report - ‘More energy, lower emissions’ – highlighting practical actions taken by member companies to improve GHG emissions management and work towards improving climate change impacts in the longer term. These actions include significant investments in natural gas, carbon capture and storage, and renewable energy, as well as low-GHG research and development.

Together the declaration and report set out key areas where the OGCI companies will focus their collaboration, including:             

  • Efficiency: optimizing efficiency of their own operations; improving the end-use efficiency of their fuels and other products; and working with manufacturers and consumers to improve the efficiency of road vehicles.
  • Natural gas: contributing to increasing the share of gas in the global energy mix, ensuring it results in significantly lower lifecycle emissions than other fossil fuels for power generation; eliminating ‘routine’ flaring and reducing methane emissions from their operations.
  • Long-term solutions: investing in R&D and innovation to reduce GHG emissions; participating in partnerships to progress carbon capture and storage; contributing to increasing the share of renewables in the global energy mix.
  • Energy access: developing projects to provide people with access to energy in partnership with local and national authorities and other stakeholders.
  • Partnerships and multi-stakeholder initiatives: seeking opportunities to accelerate climate change solutions by working collectively or individually in industry and other initiatives.
  • The OGCI is a CEO-led, voluntary, oil and gas industry initiative that aims to catalyze practical action on climate change through best practice sharing and collaboration.
  • The OGCI was established following discussions held during the January 2014 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting and was officially launched at the September 2014 UN Climate Summit.

For the declaration, report and information:  www.oilandgasclimateinitiative.com

Photo caption: OGCI CEOs declare action on climate change: CEOs present at the event include: Helge Lund, BG Group; Bob Dudley, BP; Claudio Descalzi, Eni; Emilio Lozoya, Pemex; Josu Jon Imaz, Repsol; Amin Nasser, Saudi Aramco; Eldar Sætre, Statoil; and Patrick Pouyanné, Total. (OGCI member CEOs not pictured: Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Industries; Ben van Beurden, Royal Dutch Shell)


Media enquiries:

BG: Toby Bates - +44 118 929 2246 – toby.bates@bg-group.com

BP: David Nicholas - +44 7831 095541 - bppress@bp.com

Eni: Rosella Migliavacca  - + 39 345 67 75 323 - rosella.migliavacca@eni.com

Repsol: Kristian Rix - +34650496488 - rix.kristian@repsol.com  

Saudi Aramco: International Media Relations: international.media@aramco.com

Shell: International Media Relations - +44 20 7934 5550

Statoil: Knut Rostad - +47 90548990 – knuros@statoil.com

Total: Victoria Chanial - +33 1 4744 4699 – presse@total.com




President Obama’s Climate Change Message: “This Is All Real, This Is Happening Now” | Video | RealClearPolitics


If we do nothing, Alaskan temperatures are expected to rise between six and twelve degrees by the end of the century, changing all sorts of industries forever. This is all real. This is happening to our fellow Americans right now.”


“Alaska’s governor recently told me that four villages are in imminent danger and need to be relocated. Already rising sea levels are beginning to swallow an island community.


According to the University of Alaska, temperatures in Alaska have fallen 0.1 degrees since 1977. That extrapolates out to a rise of zero degrees by the end of the century, not “six to twelve degrees” as Obama claims.


Seasonal_Yearly_Temp_Change_77_F (2)

Temperature Changes in Alaska | Alaska Climate Research Center


According to NOAA, sea level is falling at 14 out of 17 Alaskan tide gauges. Obama’s claim that sea level rise is “beginning to swallow an island” is absurd.


North Pacific _RegionalTrends_Plot_3

Sea Level Trends – Mean Sea Level Trends for North Pacific Stations


But Obama’s claim is that we can “do something about it.”  Do something about what? Falling temperatures? Falling sea level? What does he propose to do about that?




Faithful readers know that I have traditionally used the 'editorial we' in these commentaries.  But today, I regard this topic so critical to the wellbeing of the country and the Industry that I offer this counsel personally.

But as an independent observer, I have no industry clients and operate this website as a public service at, primarily, my own expense in the last quarter of life.  It is a labor of love, but one to which I am devoted.  Part of my devotion to this nearly 15-year project flows from my knowledge of how many thousands of friends and acquaintances throughout the world read these pages.  I would never want any reader to think that the opinions expressed here were less than well considered and, at least, factual.

Dave Harbour, publisher of Northern Gas Pipelines, is a former Chairman of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska and a Commissioner Emeritus of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC).  He served as NARUC's official representative to the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC).  The former Army officer is past Chairman of the Alaska Council on Economic Education, former Chairman of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, and past President of the American Bald Eagle Foundation and the Alaska Press Club.  He is Chairman Emeritus of the Alaska Oil & Gas Congress.

Harbour has served as a public/government/external affairs manager for three gas pipeline companies and an oil company and has owned several small companies in Alaska.  

He has addressed or chaired dozens of oil and gas conferences throughout the United States and Canada and hundreds of his editorials and articles have appeared in newspapers, magazines and electronic media throughout North America.

Harbour holds a Master of Science Degree in Journalism-Communications and is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America (APR).

Opinions or viewpoints expressed in this webpage or in our email alerts are solely those of the publisher and are not intended to reflect the opinion(s) of any affiliated company, person, employer or other organization that may, in fact, oppose the views stated herein.  -dh




Former U.S. Senator Tim Wirth worked with Vice President Al Gore on global environmental and population issues, supporting the administration's views on global warming. A supporter of the proposed Kyoto Protocol, Wirth announced the U.S.'s commitment to legally binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions. From 1998 to 2013, he served as the president of the United Nations Foundation, and currently sits on the Foundation's board.  (Source)



The Global Methane Initiative works in concert with other international agreements, including the United Nations' Framework Convention on Climate Change, to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Unlike other GHGs, methane is the primary component of natural gas and can be converted to usable energy. The reduction of methane therefore serves as a cost-effective method to reduce GHGs and increase energy security, enhance economic growth, improve air quality and improve worker safety.  (This "partner group" is working against the OGCI consortium goal of, "Contributing to increasing the share of gas in the global energy mix."​



Governments and oil companies that endorse the Initiative will publicly report their flaring and progress towards the Initiative on an annual basis. They also agree to the World Bank aggregating and reporting the same.



Investors Business Daily Editoral, 2-10-15

Economic Systems: The alarmists keep telling us their concern about global warming is all about man's stewardship of the environment. But we know that's not true. A United Nations official has now confirmed this.

At a news conference last week in Brussels, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism.

"This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution," she said.

Referring to a new international treaty environmentalists hope will be adopted at the Paris climate change conference later this year, she added: "This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history."

The only economic model in the last 150 years that has ever worked at all is capitalism. The evidence is prima facie: From a feudal order that lasted a thousand years, produced zero growth and kept workdays long and life spans short, the countries that have embraced free-market capitalism have enjoyed a system in which output has increased 70-fold, work days have been halved and life spans doubled.

Figueres is perhaps the perfect person for the job of transforming "the economic development model" because she's really never seen it work. "If you look at Ms. Figueres' Wikipedia page," notes Cato economist Dan Mitchell: Making the world look at their right hand while they choke developed economies with their left.

Read More At Investor's Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/021015-738779-climate-change-scare-tool-to-destroy-capitalism.htm#ixzz3oymSvNqI 
Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook


10-7-15 Natural Gas Prices Likely To Remain Depressed Through Q2, 2016

07 October 2015 6:50am

Juneau Empire by Elwood Brehmer.  Gov. Bill Walker’s proposal to increase the state’s share in the Alaska LNG Project could put Alaska on the hook for more than $14 billion....


Alaska Natural Resources Department Reserves Stream Water For Environmental Activists -- For The First Time!



Is EPA A Lawless Agency?

Phil Moeller, FERC, Alaska, Retire, Photo by Dave Harbour and Northern Gas PipelinesWe are sorry to hear today that our friend and former Alaskan, FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, will be leaving the agency at the end of this month.  However, FERC's loss, in our opinion, will be another organization's gain.  

We offer him our very best wishes.  -dh

We've had significant evidence over the last seven years that the EPA and other agencies reporting to the current administration regulate Americans and their businesses outside of the rule of law and due process.  

The report we provided readers yesterday substantiated that observation.  

Here, today, is an official comment from the Alaska Miners Association.  -dh

*     *     *

International Business Times by Maria Gallucci.  The Trans-Pacific Partnership could boost exports of some U.S. energy supplies by making it easier to ship and sell the fuel to Pacific Rim nations. The biggest recipient likely would be Japan, which is eyeing deliveries of American liquefied natural gas to replace output from its nuclear power plants.

The 12-nation agreement completed in Atlanta this week is expected to call for the “national treatment for trade in natural gas,” a provision that would lower regulatory hurdles and cut tariffs among members of the free trade pact. If approved by Congress, the TPP likely would require the U.S. Department of Energy to approve automatically all gas exports to the 11 other nations, potentially accelerating LNG exports.


*     *     *

ADN by Alex DeMarban.  A new report offers reasons why Alaska would benefit by buying pipeline builder TransCanada out of the Alaska LNG project, including that it would make an extra $7.4 billion over two decades of operation.  

The downside is that without TransCanada, the state would have to pay an extra $7 billion to $8 billion upfront to cover construction and other costs.

*     *     *

Here are two vignettes from conversations our mid-Atlantic energy expert had today:

·        The bad news: A producer told me today about some monster production from a Marcellus well last month, that netted sixty cents per mcf.

·        The good news: A midstream specialist told me about presenting at the Marcellus Shale Coalition Conference in Philly last month. We had presented there three years ago, so we compared notes. We mentioned that there had been about 2000 protesters outside the Convention Center, in full throat and bearing little similarity to sane people. He said there were a fair number of protesters this year, too. He went out and tried to confront one scruffy young man who was carrying a placard. “What’s your complaint about developing our natural resources?” The response :

Wait for it…

“I haven’t got any complaint. I was just hanging out in the park, and they came and offered me $50 to carry this sign. I needed the money.”  

(So much for dedicated, environmental activists!  -dh)

Our respected, mid-Atlantic Oil & Gas analyst friend tells us today that weather trends do not work in the favor of natural gas prices, as follows:

"Regular readers know our devotion to studying weather patterns, partly because they can have significant impact on energy supply/demand, but mostly because we find it interesting. Every month we forward the monthly Browning World Climate Bulletin. It is without peer both its forecasts and its educational content on the subject.

"For the time-constrained, here is the summary updated fall-into-winter forecast:

"Summary: The strong El Niño is expected to last until spring and fade to moderate through spring. This, combined with the Icelandic volcano should allow rain to return to the South in autumn and produce a cool wet winter in the southern tier of states and a warm dry winter in Canada and the northern tier of states.

"This is not good news for the natural gas market. In fact, it is just about as gloomy as it could get. We should point out that this Bulletin is closely read by commodity traders, given it great track record. This fact is likely a contributing factor to the depressed Henry Hub price (closed at $2.47 today, and the 12-month strip is $2.71).

"For new people to the Bulletin, we urge them to give it at least a quick review. It is a tremendous education about how global weather works. This is NOT a global warming piece; it is about weather."



Statement from the Alaska Miners Association referring to a Cohen Group report issued yesterday, and about which we reported here:

Alaska Miners Association, Pebble Mine, Cohen Group ReportToday, the Cohen Group released a report detailing its findings from an independent review conducted on the Environmental Protection Agency’s actions at the Pebble Project.  The Alaska Miners Association has issued a Press Release, attached to this email, with its response:

The Alaska Miners Association (AMA) today welcomed the release of the report of an independent review by The Cohen Group evaluating actions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at the Pebble Project and called upon policymakers to thoroughly review the findings to ensure future investment in Alaska.

Former Defense Secretary and U.S. Senator William Cohen was asked to conduct the independent review by the Pebble Limited Partnership following the EPA’s Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment (BBWA) and Final Determination that would preemptively restrict mining activities in the watershed, prior to the project initiating the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) permit review process.  The Cohen Group stated that it undertook the review on a condition of independence, and that Pebble would have no influence on the Group’s and Mr. Cohen’s views.
“The Cohen Report is just the latest in a series of findings that EPA had a predetermined plan to stop the Pebble Project.  AMA encourages our elected officials to review the report in detail to ensure that all projects are afforded the opportunity to submit a permit application for comprehensive legal and scientific review,” said AMA Executive Director Deantha Crockett.  “We have consistently maintained that natural resource development projects must be objectively evaluated within our established NEPA process.  EPA’s disregard for the NEPA process has denied Alaskans from learning the specifics of the proposed development at Pebble and has set a dangerous precedent for other companies considering investing in Alaska.  We appreciate the Cohen Group’s findings and hope policymakers learn from them to ensure this is never allowed to happen again in the United States.”
In the report released today, the Cohen Group unveiled findings from a review of thousands of pages of documents that and determined that EPA did not conduct its process in a manner fair to all stakeholders.  In addition, the Cohen Group questioned whether EPA conducted the BBWA with a predetermined outcome in mind, observed that the agency consulted with anti-development advocacy groups, and recommended the Inspector General and Congress further investigate the EPA’s actions at Pebble.  Finally, the Cohen Group expressed concern that the agency diverted from a normal permit application review process and questioned why the NEPA process was ignored by the EPA.  “The fairest and most appropriate process to evaluate possible development in the Pebble Deposit Area would use the established NEPA process to assess an actual mine permit application, rather than making an assessment based upon these hypothetical mining scenarios as the justification for imposing potentially prohibitive restrictions on future mines,” said Cohen. “I can find no valid reason why the NEPA process was not used,” he added. 
The full report can be found at:  http://www.cohengroup.net/news/reports


Decision reached on Stream 2003 Reservation of Water applications


(Anchorage, AK) – The Division of Mining, Land & Water’s Water Resources Section has issued its decision on the Chuitna Citizens Coalition Inc.’s three Reservation of Water applications for Middle Creek/Stream 2003, a tributary of the Chuitna River. These applications were requested to protect flows for the purpose of protection of fish and wildlife habitat, migration, and propagation, one of the four purposes authorized by Alaska Statute 46.15.145.


The decision was signed on Oct. 6 by Water Resources Section Chief David Schade and published today. The decision grants a Reservation of Water to the Chuitna Citizens Coalition in the lower reach of Middle Creek/Stream 2003. The decision does not grant the applications for the main reach and the middle reach of Middle Creek/Stream 2003.  This decision does not award any water rights or permits for mining-related activities.


Before granting a Reservation of Water, the Water Resources Section must make four findings required by AS 46.15.145(c):  “The commissioner shall issue a certificate reserving the water applied for under this section if the commissioner finds that,


(1)   The rights of prior appropriators will not be affected by this reservation;

(2)   The applicant has demonstrated that a need exists for the reservation;

(3)   There is unappropriated water in the stream or body of water sufficient for the reservation; and

(4)   The proposed reservation is in the public interest.”


In this case the Water Resources Section also received competing water right applications for use of water in Middle Creek/Stream 2003 to support PacRim Coal LLP’s proposed coal mine. When it receives applications for competing uses from the same source of water and there is not enough water to supply all applicants, the Water Resources Section is required to balance the interests involved and give preference to "the use that alone or in combination with other foreseeable uses will constitute the most beneficial use."  (Alaska Statute 46.15.090)


In the decision, Schade wrote that he found two arguments regarding the Reservation of Water applications to be compelling. First, the applicant made a compelling argument that the Department of Natural Resources should not allow PacRim to develop a coal mine that would significantly and negatively impact the Chuitna River watershed, and second, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and others made the compelling argument that while the state and federal permitting processes must be stringent, they must also allow for a predictable and complete permitting process that allows all available information to be compiled and presented to the state and federal regulatory agencies.   

“The Water Resources Section will analyze the entire Chuitna watershed and the consequences and protections of the different proposed uses. This review will occur after other mine-related permitting is complete and the best information is available for all the Chuitna water right applications," Schade said.  


"I really appreciated the public’s involvement in this process. We received more than 8,500 comments and held a hearing on the objections raised by a number of groups with conflicting views about this decision.  This involvement was helpful in making the best decision possible,” Schade said.


Division of Mining, Land and Water Director Brent Goodrum added, “This decision culminates a vast amount of hard work and public participation on these applications. The decision provides for the continued protection of fish and wildlife habitat within in the Chuitna River watershed. The decision also allows for a continued rigorous evaluation of the proposed coal project by state and federal regulators.” He also noted, “This decision is unique in that it is the first time that the State of Alaska is awarding a water reservation on state waters to a private entity.”


By issuing this decision, the Department has complied with and fulfilled an Alaska Superior Court order to issue a decision on the Chuitna Citizens Coalition’s Reservation of Water applications. The decision may be appealed to the Commissioner of the Department Natural Resources within 20 days.  


To read the decision and related documents, go to http:// dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/water/reservations/chuitna.cfm.


Note: Reservations of Water are also frequently referred to as Instream Flow Reservations.


CONTACT: David Schade, Water Resources Section Chief, 269-8645, david.w.schade@alaska.gov  or Brent Goodrum, Director 269-8600 or brent.goodrum@alaska.gov





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