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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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1-21-15 US News Commentator Worries Walker Will Create Uncertainty

21 January 2015 5:00am

 

Calgary Herald by Dan Healing.  Oil services company Baker Hughes Inc. will lay off about 7,000 workers — likely including hundreds in Canada — as it prepares for a downturn in orders because of the plunge in crude prices, the company said Tuesday.  The layoffs represent about an 11 per cent cut to the 62,000-plus workers Baker Hughes says it employs worldwide.  Company spokeswoman Melanie Kania said....  Read more.

Is Governor Walker Creating An Uncertain Investment Climate?

US News by John Burnett.  In recent weeks, the state’s newly elected governor, Bill Walker, has said and done things that have put him at odds with energy companies seeking to invest in Alaska, and thus prompted concerns among politicians, business leaders and ordinary Alaskans about his commitment to projects like the one in the North Slope.

Most notably, Walker raised strong objections to a newly enacted tax structure on oil production that was intended to encourage investment in the state. It was an abrupt – and alarming – shift on his part, as he pledged during his campaign last year that he would not undo the tax law that Alaskan voters upheld in a referendum this past summer.

Bill Walker, Point Thomson, Exxon, Governor, LNG, lawsuit, Alaska LNGIf that were not enough, Gov. Walker (NGP Photo)​ contradicted Candidate Walker on another matter that has implications for the Alaska project: a private lawsuit he filed against a deal the state reached with ExxonMobil that paved the way for construction of a natural gas facility at Point Thomson on the North Slope.

As a candidate, Walker pledged to drop that suit if elected. Now that he is governor, Walker has not only refused to drop the suit, but ....

Now is not the time to be creating any kind of uncertainty.  Read more....


Tomorrow, if you are in Anchorage, plan to attend the Alaska Support Industry Alliance breakfast briefing by the Alaska Deputy Commissioner of Revenue Marcia Davis.  That will coincide with the Governor's legislative budget speech to the Legislature.  If you are concerned about Alaska's economy but are looking for specific issues and facts upon which to base questions, you might want to review the last two days of commentary.  -dh

We will continue to add more photos, here, to our archives from the Alaska Support industry Alliance's Meet Alaska 2015 Conference earlier this month.


House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (UT-01) last night issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address:

“President Obama tonight spoke about expanding our economy and attaining energy security, but time and again, he has actively blocked the responsible development of our domestic energy resources. He reiterated his commitment to investing in education, yet failed to acknowledge that his administration’s restrictive land use policies are denying local communities the tax revenue that is necessary to make these investments.

“While the President’s rhetoric suggests that he is inclined to change course, his administration’s punitive regulatory agenda speaks with greater authority. Look no further than the 600 new rules and regulatory notices that have been issued by federal agencies since the start of the New Year. In the coming weeks and months, the House Natural Resources Committee will conduct thorough and aggressive oversight to hold the Obama Administration to account for its actions.”

Categories:

11-7-14 Alaska Governor Acts On Gasline And Legislators React - President Makes Preemptive Attack On Keystone XL

07 January 2015 9:07am

See Our Earlier Commentary: "Is Alaska Beginning A New Year Of Accomplishment or Acrimony?" (Other references)


Alaska Governor Bill Walker, Photo by Dave Harbour, AGDCADN by Dermot Cole.  Gov. Bill Walker (NGP Photo) took a major step toward revising the way the state is dealing with a proposed gas pipeline by removing three members of the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. board and instructing two commissioners not to sign a secrecy pledge proposed by the Parnell administration. (Comment: We do not know enough about all the circumstances to comment on the rightness or wrongness of the Governor's action or legislative reactions.  We do observe that decision makers in a time of fiscal crisis would probably be well advised to bend over backwards to be cordial and considerate in their interactions.  The fiscal challenge descending upon Alaska and her citizens will be difficult enough to confront with a united team and much harder to resolve successfully if we are divided.  -dh)

*   *   *

Mike Hawker, Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, Governor fires board, Photo by Dave HarbourMike Chenault, Speaker of the House, Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, Governor fires board, Mike Hawker, Photo by Dave Harbour

The legislators who 
sponsored the bill creating the Alaska ​Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) today released statements in light of Governor Bill Walker’s action firing three board members and ordering his appointees to not participate in the confidentiality process.  Alaska Speaker of the House Mike Chenault, (NGP Photo-Right), and Rep. Mike Hawker, (NGP Photo), believe the three key AGDC board members were critical in ... (Read more here)
*     *     *
Brad Keithley, Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, AGDC, Governor Bill Walker, Fire Board Members, Photo by Dave HarbourOil and gas attorney Brad Keithley (NGP Photo) reacts to AGDC on his Facebook Page and to general spending issues on his blog, here.  "Wrong direction. Alaska is part owner of a commercial enterprise competing in a very challenging environment. You and I wouldn't disclose our commercial strategy in our businesses; neither should the state. And you and I would want all hands important to the success of our business in the information loop; we wouldn't want to blind key players by keeping them in the dark about our strategy. Neither should the state. Taking this position on confidentiality is two significant steps backward in the success of this venture. Treat it like the Permanent Fund (which regularly enters into confidentiality agreements) and give the LNG project the tools necessary to be successful."   http://ow.ly/GWUwe

Calgary Herald by Stephen Ewart.  

Commentary: Preemption of Due Process and Erosion of the Rule of Law.

We have seen the current, Administration consistently erode the rule of law.

The EPA has acted to preemptively kill an Alaska mining project, on valid Alaska state leased ground, before the proponents filed for the first permit, on the basis of an EPA-imagined development scenario, before any public hearings, findings of fact or legal record could be assembled.  

This is a horrible infringement on America's constitutional protection of due process and the rule of law which it protects.

The precedent the EPA is trying to establish could provide hostile federal agencies with a new tool for stopping state, municipal, agricultural, recreational, mining, commercial fishing, manufacturing, transportation, home building projects on federal, state, municipal or private land...anywhere, anytime.

Similarly, the Administration has sought, unsuccessfully, to block development in Alaska by proclaiming vast areas should be protected for certain species when the populations of those species are increasing (i.e. Steller Sea Lion, Polar Bear.)

Other federal abuses abound and also work against a predictable and protected due process, though they are more subtle (See "Conversation With Ibrahim",  Fuel StandardsArmed EPA Hits Alaska)

In the case of Keystone, the President has blocked State Department approval of the project following valid, due processes which cleared the project.

Now, when the Congress seems poised to introduce Keystone enabling legislation, the President announces intent to veto any such legislation.  This is more clear and present evidence of willful disdain for the spirit if not the precise definition of due process.

Through such action in the energy business, together with evidence in other federal jurisdictions (i.e. Overreaching Executive Orders, Justice Department-selective enforcement, IRS-targeting non-profits, State Department-Benghazi, etc.), one must conclude the country is dangerously close to losing constitutional freedom and the rule of law reputation for which it was once so well regarded.

Energy company shareholders are among the most affected by a dilution of due process when the rule of law is replaced by rule of men with political agendas.

-dh

The White House warned Tuesday that U.S. President Barack Obama would veto a new Congressional bill to have the Keystone XL pipeline built arguing there is a well-established process to review the controversial cross-border project.

Almost seven years after filing its application for a 830,000 barrel a day oil pipeline, TransCanada chief executive Russ Girling expressed exasperation over the latest setback.

“The review process for Keystone XL has been anything but well-established. We are well over the six-year mark reviewing the final phase of Keystone with seemingly no end in sight,” Girling said in a statement after...  (More here)


Canadian Press/Global News. Jim Prentice, Alberta, Premier, Keystone XL, pipeline, Photo by Dave Harbour Alberta’s premier remains hopeful about the Keystone XL pipeline despite word that U.S. President Barack Obama may veto the project.  Prentice says he will travel to Washington within the next month to let people know that Keystone is in the best interests of Canadians and Americans alike.

Jim Prentice (NGP Photo) says there is broad public and political support in the United States for the pipeline that would carry Alberta bitumen to the U.S. Gulf Coast.


Globe & Mail.  Quebec’s energy regulator is giving the thumbs-up to TransCanada Corp.’s Energy East pipeline, calling the plan “desirable.”

The $12-billion pipeline between Alberta and New Brunswick aims to connect western crude with eastern refineries and new markets across the Atlantic.

It would make use of under-used natural gas pipe already in the ground for about two thirds of the way, with new pipe being constructed in Quebec and New Brunswick.


The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation today released statements in light of Governor Bill Walker’s action firing three board members and ordering his appointees to not participate in the confidentiality process.
 
Alaska Speaker of the House Mike Chenault, (NGP Photo-above), and Rep. Mike Hawker, (NGP Photo-above), believe the
three key AGDC board members were critical in advancing a natural gas commercialization project, and brought valuable perspective and acumen to the Board. AGDC was designed to bring gas to Alaskans and more revenue to the state via its Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline (ASAP) project working parallel to the AK LNG project, which it was facilitating for the State.
 
“I spoke to Gov. Walker after hearing that he had fired AGDC board members Dick Rabinow, Drue Pearce, and Al Bolea,” said Chenault. “The governor certainly has the power to do that; the Legislature granted the governor that power in House Bill 4, which created and directed AGDC. I’m disappointed that Gov. Walker has chosen to eliminate these board members, who have proven their worth and commitment to Alaska in the progress made already.
 
“It’s going to be hard to replace the 60 years of knowledge that these three board members bring – and in particular, the expertise of Dick Rabinow, who is the only board member to have actual gasline construction experience under his belt.
 
“My greatest concern is what delay is this action going to cost the AK LNG and ASAP projects? With a substantial turnover in leadership, how much longer will Alaskans wait for natural gas?”
 
“I am disappointed in the Governor's action gutting the top quality board that was working diligently for Alaska,” said Hawker. “I’m deeply concerned that this signals a wholesale change of course for Gov. Walker on gas commercialization. An overwhelming majority of legislators approved creation of AGDC, and of its mission, which is clear in law – to pursue a natural gas project that delivers gas to Alaskans first,
then to markets beyond.
 
“In creating AGDC, the Legislature carefully weighed the need for confidentiality in some issues with the need for public accountability. The legislature struck a balance between transparency to Alaskans, and the need to protect commercially sensitive information, third-party private company information, and information that, if known, could adversely impact the price Alaskans receive for its gas.
 
“I, too, am gravely concerned that this action by Gov. Walker will result in significant delays to the AK LNG and ASAP projects. All the key business agreements crafted by the State under confidentiality agreements will, by law, be brought back to the legislature for a fully transparent, public vetting and approval.”

TODAY'S Energy In Depth News Links:

Weds., January 7, 2015 

  • EID-National: API’s State of American Energy address and report underscore bright future ahead – if policy-makers do their job (1/6)
  • EID-Illinois: Unlike New York, Illinois is helping its economically challenged regions by moving forward with shale (1/6)
  • Guest post from BakerHostetler: Cuomo’s decision on HF doesn’t appear to be based on science – or the law (1/6)

NATIONAL

API chief focuses on oil exports, KXL in annual addressE&E News (subs. req’d). Throughout his remarks, Gerard touched many times on the need to move forward in approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada. Describing that approval as "low-hanging fruit," he expressed disappointment at news that the White House said it would likely veto a KXL approval bill introduced yesterday by Sens. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). "The American public is frustrated and confused by this indecision," Gerard said. "They say to themselves, 'Wait a minute, there's 42,000 jobs here and we can't make a simple decision?' So, longer-term, I believe Keystone is ultimately going to get done."
 
Democrats must respect the power of oil and gasHouston Chronicle, op-ed. Oil and gas is no longer a game reserved for Texas wildcatters. Shale can be found easily in blue states and red states, and politicians all along the aisle should have trouble finding bad news in fracking's gifts of job growth, affordable fuel and strength abroad.
 
Industry benefits from transparency about HF fluidsThe Oklahoman, op-ed. Baker Hughes, an energy firm in Houston, is about to make history. It just pledged to disclose the chemical makeup of its hydraulic fracturing fluid. Fracking fluids are safe. And the public deserves to know what goes into them. That’s why I firmly support fracking disclosure laws.
 
Oil prices will recover, but market could behave chaoticallyHouston Chronicle. In a balanced market, however, the oil industry simply cannot produce all of oil the world needs for $50 a barrel or less. That's the good news for Houston, but the bad news is that companies will be under intense pressure to produce oil as cheaply as possible because, since November's OPEC meeting, the world lacks a regulator, or swing producer, to stabilize the market. If left to its own devices, the invisible hand of the market will be stirring a pot of chaos in 2015.
 
U.S. oil production will be falling by end of 2015Reuters, column. In the short term, U.S. oil production is set to continue rising because there is still a backlog of wells waiting for fracturing crews and completion after the record drilling during the first ten months of 2014. In North Dakota, for example, there were around 650 wells waiting on completion services at the end of October 2014 because drillers had outpaced completion crews, according to the state's Department of Mineral Resources.
 
Low oil prices leave U.S. shale players cautiousUPI. Energy companies working in U.S. shale basins announced plans to trim capital programs for 2015 because of the steep decline in oil prices. The price for West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the U.S. benchmark, dipped below the $50 mark for the first time in more than five years Monday. Globally, oil prices have lost half of their value since mid-June 2014, forcing major oil and gas companies to cut back on spending for this year.

INTERNATIONAL

Anti-Cuadrilla group's leaflet misleading, says watchdogThe Independent. In a setback for the anti-fracking lobby, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found that sections of the leaflet from the Residents Action On Fylde Fracking (Raff) protest group misinterpreted scientific data around shale gas extraction and exaggerated the size and scale of planned fracking operations in the region.
 
Junior explorer pulls plug on UkraineUPI. The economic climate in Ukraine is no longer conducive to continue investing in shale natural gas opportunities, producer JKX Oil & Gas said Wednesday. "The board of JKX has decided that the combination of Ukrainian Government-imposed restrictions on selling its gas to industrial clients and the punitive rate of gas production tax requires the company to suspend its planned 2015 capital investment program in Ukraine until the economic parameters for investment improve," it said in a statement.
 
Protests Hit Southern Algeria Over ShaleAssociated Press. Protests in Algeria's remote and sparsely populated south over efforts to exploit the country's vast shale gas reserves spread to the regional capital Tuesday, the state news agency reported.

CALIFORNIA

New report calls for better oversight of injection wellsBakersfield Californian. In a report with strong implications for Kern County's oil industry, an environmental activist group called Tuesday for changing the process for exempting aquifers from federal groundwater protections. An oil industry trade group, the California Independent Petroleum Association, was dismissive of the report, noting there is no evidence of waste being injected into drinking water supplies.
 
COLORADO

5 things to know as the Colorado legislative session beginsAssociated Press. Colorado lawmakers begin the 2015 session on Wednesday. Here's a weekly look at what's coming up: Fracking - Another big debate involves whether any new regulations are needed over hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Gov. John Hickenlooper assembled a task force to look at how to settle land-use clashes among homeowners, local governments, and the energy industry. The task force's charge is to give lawmakers recommendations, but whether anything happens remains to be seen.
 
Windsor braces for industry slowdownThe Coloradoan. While many Northern Colorado residents are enjoying the country’s falling gas prices, Windsor officials say the anticipated slowdown in tax revenue from oil and gas companies will hamper them this year. Those companies will likely scale back their operations around Windsor, Town Manager Kelly Arnold said during a work session Monday. Fracking activity in the area may not pick back up until 2016.
 
What new fines would have meant in Windsor spillThe Coloradoan. An oil and gas operator who spilled 7,500 gallons into the Poudre River last year would have faced 15 times the financial penalty under a new fine structure passed this week. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission approved a maximum penalty of $15,000 a day for "the most egregious violations" in a Monday hearing — up from a previous maximum fine of $1,000 per day. 
 
LOUISIANA

Oil price plunge imperils La. jobs — but when? The Advertiser. In Louisiana, initial claims for unemployment insurance in mining — many oil and gas jobs are recorded as mining — totaled 227 in December, higher than in any previous month but not much higher than claims recorded in January 2014. Guarisco said oil and gas employment appeared to remain robust in December, as many oil and gas jobs must be done no matter the price per barrel.

Denton anti-HF activists to make appearances in St. Tammany ParishTimes-Picayune. Two people whose efforts helped enact a ban on fracking in Denton, Texas, will be in St. Tammany Parish this weekend for a party and a symposium about hydraulic fracturing. The citizens group Tammany Together is putting on the events. 
 
NORTHEAST

Penn students jump into the shale fray with a new technologyNPR. One of the pressing questions regarding fracking is whether or not the chemicals used to help pry the gas from tight rock formations like the Marcellus Shale leaks or migrates to drinking water supplies. Imagine if you could determine whether fracking caused ground water contamination using a thin strip of single carbon atoms. That’s what two seniors studying at both the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton school and its bioengineering department, are trying to do. Teddy Guenin and Ashwin Amurther are finalists for a $5000 prize through the University.
 
Analyst predicts gasoline rebound despite oil's plungeTribune-Review. Gasoline prices likely will rebound over the next few months and rise above $3 per gallon by May, despite the continuing drop in global oil prices, a national analyst predicted Tuesday. Oil prices driving much of the pump price dropped by half because of increased supply from shale producers, tepid global demand and a decision by exporters such as those in the OPEC cartel to push prices down by maintaining production.
 
US Forest Service accepting comments on Va. pipeline pathAssociated Press. Friday's the deadline to comment on a proposed natural gas pipeline whose route includes the George Washington National Forest. The multi-billion-dollar pipeline is proposed by Dominion Resources and other energy companies. It would run from West Virginia, through Virginia and into North Carolina. The proposed $5 billion, 550-mile pipeline would transport natural gas collected through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
 
Shale is proving beneficialThe Star Democrat, LTE. In her guest comment, “Fracking may prove to be harmful to public’s health,” Rebecca Rehr presents the potential hazards of hydraulic fracturing without balancing them with the benefits. Of course there are health and environmental hazards to extracting oil and gas from tight shale and other rock formations. However, horizontal drilling and fracking have dramatically increased U.S. production of oil and gas, leading to benefits both here and globally.
 
Natural Gas Price Plummets, But Tax Still a Wolf PriorityPhiladelphia Magazine. States that depend on energy resources to power their economies and budgets are tightening their belts as the prices of oil and natural gas fall, but that won’t — and maybe shouldn’t — stand in the way of a new fracking tax in Pennsylvania, officials say.

OHIO

Natural-gas home-heating rates low for JanuaryCleveland Plain Dealer. Cold January weather has arrived, but rates for natural gas have fallen. Both Dominion East Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio are posting standard rates that are lower than those in December and lower than year-ago January prices.
 
Small earthquakes in Mahoning CountyAkron Beacon Journal. Shawn Bennett, of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, said, “There is no reason for hysteria” regarding the new report. Ohio is working closely with researchers in other states on how “best to mitigate such events from happening in the future,” he said. NOTE: Houston Chronicle/Fuel Fixalso reports.

TEXAS

4 mild earthquakes startle North Texas; no damage reportedExpress-News. Four small earthquakes have rattled North Texas hours apart. No damage was reported from Tuesday temblors. The U.S. Geological Service plotted the epicenters of the four quakes to northeast Irving, a Dallas suburb. At least two could be felt throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
 
Low gas prices means job lossesKENS5. The output of the Eagle Ford Shale, recently slipped for the first time in more than a year. The state reports production at the shale dropped by about 2,000 barrels in December. A local economics professor from UTSA said cheap gas prices could mean job losses since a significant part of the economy is driven by oil and gas production.


Other references "A Deal Is A Deal", etc.:

Do we want to be a place where "A Deal Is A Deal?" (Reference 12345)
Did we elect a Governor and Legislature to solve problems or throw darts at each other (Today's KFQD; pls. advance to Harbour interview: 1520 - 2630)
Categories:

1-6-14 BP Is Major Alaskan Investor and America’s Largest Energy Investor

06 January 2015 10:53am

BP, economic report, alaska production, BP America Chairman and President, Photo by Dave HarbourWe have a new report this morning that: "BP contributes $143 billion to the U.S. economy and supports nearly 220,000 jobs".  In that report, BP America's Chairman and President John Mingé (NGP Photo) writes of Alaska that, " We are spending heavily to continue developing the giant Prudhoe Bay field after selling interests in four other Alaska fields.  We also are working to advance the Alaska LNG project, which will help transport North Slope gas to global markets. Alaska voters supported these efforts by keeping in place a historic tax reform measure that encourages the industry to invest more in the state. -dh

WASHINGTON – BP’s business activities in the U.S. helped generate close to $143 billion in economic impact in 2013 and currently support nearly 220,000 American jobs, according to the company’s U.S. Economic Impact Report 2014.

Released today, BP’s new report provides a detailed, state-by-state look at the breadth and impact of the company’s activities in America. Since 2009, BP has invested nearly $50 billion, making it America’s largest energy investor. In 2013 alone, BP spent $22 billion with vendors across the country on products and services, ranging from offshore drilling rigs to gasoline-producing equipment for its refineries.

"BP operates more fields that produce more oil than any other energy company in the state. (See Canadian Investment here.  -dh)

 Our 13 oilfields on the North Slope (including Prudhoe Bay, Endicott, Northstar and Milne Point), account for about two thirds of Alaska oil production. We also hold the greatest ownership share in the 800-mile long Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS).

"We are also one of Alaska’s largest private sector investors, taxpayers and employers. In 2012, BP Alaska paid $2.8 billion in taxes and royalties and other government payments to the State of Alaska. Furthermore, BP is one of the top 10 employers in Alaska, with 2,300 employees and more than 6,000 contractor jobs."  (From BP Alaska web page.   ALSO, SEE BP COMMITMENT TO VETERANS!  DH

“No energy company has invested more in the U.S. over the past five years than BP,” said John Mingé, BP America chairman and president. “Our investments not only provide the energy to power the nation, but they also support hundreds of thousands of jobs that fuel the economy.”

BP’s business investments in the U.S. include oil and natural gas exploration and production, fuel and chemical refining, lubricants, shipping, trading, renewable energy production and cutting-edge technology research and development. The U.S. also is home to a number of operations that serve BP’s global businesses, such as the Center for High-Performance Computing in Houston, which houses the world’s largest supercomputer for commercial research.

BP produces more than 628,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day – enough to light nearly the entire country. The company’s three northern-tier refineries in Indiana, Ohio, and Washington are together capable of processing more than 742,000 barrels of oil per day. Also, BP’s chemical and lubricant facilities supply materials necessary for modern life, including greases and engine oils marketed under the Castrol brand and chemicals used in fabrics and packaging.

In addition to physical assets and energy production, the U.S. is home to nearly 40 percent of BP’s publicly traded shares and more BP employees than any other nation. The U.S. also is a center for BP research and recruitment. The company will spend $60 million this year on academic research, educational initiatives, and recruitment activities at more than 50 U.S. universities.

At the corporate level, BP contributes more than $30 million a year to charitable and nonprofit organizations such as United Way of America and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. This includes contributions through BP’s unique Fabric of America program in which BP employees may annually designate $300 of corporate funds to a nonprofit organization of their choice within the United States. Since the fund’s 2007 inception, BP has given more than $26 million on behalf of our employees, helping to support roughly 19,000 organizations in all 50 states.

The investments and spending detailed in the report do not include costs associated with cleanup and restoration activities in the Gulf of Mexico, or claims payments related to the Deepwater Horizon accident.

To view or download BP’s full U.S. Economic Impact Report 2014, please visit this page.    

BP in the U.S. - By the Numbers

* Employees: More than 18,000
* Total Jobs Supported: Nearly 220,000
* National Economic Impact: Nearly $143 billion in 2013
* BP U.S. Investment since 2009: Nearly $50 billion
* Money Spent with Vendors: More than $22 billion in 2013
* Community Investment: $30 million annually

Categories:

12-19-14 Senate Confirms An Outstanding Nominee For FERC

19 December 2014 7:50am

Petroleum News/AP by Becky Bohrer: Gas Pipeline Coordinator Office to Close: The Larry Persily, OFC, Federal Coordinator, close office, Bill White, Photo by Dave Harbouroffice of the federal coordinator for Alaska gas pipeline projects is shutting down after not being included in the budget bill that Congress recently passed.  Federal coordinator Larry Persily (NGP Photo) said he plans to have the office shut down by the end of February.


Commentary.  As we slip into a pre-Christmas weekend, we decided to both wish you and yours well and provide some reading material to help in contemplating next year's challenges: a speech we gave in Anchorage two weeks ago.  Please send us your comments/reactions, here.      -dh


Colette Honorable, Commissioner, Arkansas, NARUC, FERC, Photo by Dave HarbourCommentary:  We have met some wonderful regulators in our career, those who with good cheer, appropriate seriousness, disciplined preparation, and who regulate with consistent fairness and adherence to due process.  One of these is our friend, Colette Honorable (NGP Photo).  Below is what another friend, David Cruthirds, said about her FERC appointment confirmation in today's Cruthirds Report.  -dh

Undocketed : FERC - GeneralNARUC and FERC congratulate Honorable on Senate confirmation – On Dec. 16, 2014, NARUC President and Florida Commissioner Lisa Edgar issued a news release congratulating Arkansas PSC Chairman Colette Honorable on her Senate confirmation to FERC.  Edgar said, “Throughout her tenure at NARUC, Chairman Honorable was a fair and impartial regulator.  She led our Association with grace and determination, sharpening our focus on the safety and diversity of our nation’s electricity system.  We know she will be a tremendous asset at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.”  FERC also issued a news release on Dec. 17, congratulating Honorable on the confirmation.


We urge our readers throughout North America to easily and briefly comment on this gas pipeline.  

Readers all over need to begin commenting on projects whether they are in our backyard or not.  

We cannot allow seminar-based extremist and grass-roots community organizers to dominate due process by giving only an opposing view of job and wealth producing energy projects.   In return for your action, we'll redouble our volunteer efforts here to keep you informed of such comment opportunities.  

Comment here.  -dh

Calgary Herald by Lauren Krugel.  

The CEO of TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) says he doesn't see the oil industry's appetite for new pipelines faltering even though crude prices have skidded to the lowest point in....  In an interview in his downtown Calgary office, Russ Girling said he's seen ups and downs far more drastic over his career and expects the oilpatch will come out of the latest downturn in reasonably good shape.


Jim Prentice, global warming, climate change, economic cost, Dave Harbour Photo

Comment:  

As Canada's Prime Minister Harper and Alberta Premier Prentice (NGP Photo) fight job killing environmental attacks on the economy, our EPA continues to load new costs and less energy supply onto the backs of America's energy/utility consumers.  -dh


 

Categories:

11-18-14 TransCanada's Energy East Pipeline: "The Medium Is The Message", But All Is Not Lost....

18 November 2014 6:50am

Personal note: en route today from Cuenca, Ecuador to Anchorage....


Globe & Mail.  In Alberta, Jim Prentice, Alberta, Premier, oil sands, environmental, Dave Harbour Photowhere the Conservatives are Progressive, Premier Jim Prentice (NGP Photo) accurately described his province’s biggest challenge in a weekend speech to his party. Alberta, he said, has to find new markets in Asia for its oil, and the only way it can do that is by redefining the province “as an environmental leader.”

CBC.  TransCanada is launching an aggressive campaign to get public support and recruit "advocates" for its Energy East pipeline.  Documents obtained by Greenpeace and shared with CBC News show the energy company is using the U.S. public relations firm Edelman, the largest in the world, to promote the massive oil pipeline project.                  ...

Edelman suggested a "campaign-style approach" and borrowing tactics from opposing environmental groups that "press their advantage" and successfully use online campaigns to leverage "large and passionate audiences that show a propensity to vote and take other political action."  (See our earlier story.)

The Medium Is The Message But All Is Not Lost

by

Dave Harbour, APR

This CBC story likely resulted from some friend of Greenpeace leaking private company correspondence which revealed an Edleman proposal to TransCanada for a grass roots campaign to bolster support for the Energy East pipeline project.  

Of course, it is like a big fundraising gift for Greenpeace, which can tell its multi-million dollar donors that corporations are engaging in a "sneaky" grass roots program to organize advocates for the Energy East Pipeline.  

The leak gave environmental extremist opponents the excuse/ammunition to say their opponents are trying to manufacture support.  

One can only imagine the hair raising political strategies exchanged by the various environmental advocacies, that could cripple modern society.  

But then, CBC is not investigating those, and that is another story.

Sure, large companies need to organize grass roots programs.  Some of the most effective ones are done with dedicated, 'in house' resources, with little public fanfare.  Others require more extensive and specialized outside resources.  Yes, companies can retain outside strategic and/or tactical support but -- as this instance teaches -- they must anticipate additional security challenges.

Canadian media master Marshall McLuhan had it right when he introduced a novel communication concept, "The medium is the message."

TransCanada and Edleman have unintentionally tripped on this precept.  Instead of being able to quietly and efficiently organize messages and advocates, a leaker in their midst has provided information about a proposal which suggests that, in effect, "We are organizing grass roots advocates by spending a lot of dollars to convince you to politically support us."  

This leak is a case history in - the - making that will be prominently featured in the annals of modern Public Relations challenges.  

It is a classic example of the critical importance of confidentiality in this digital age.

Energy East deserves support on the merits; the merits could convey a good "message" via an effective and voluminous citizen voice "medium".  

In short, TransCanada has a great chance of winning public and regulatory support by quietly and professionally engaging in low key, intense, effective communication efforts from this point on.  

But now, the leak has proclaimed Edleman's relationship with TransCanada and the medium of that relationship is becoming an unhelpful TransCanada message, an unwanted corporate PR crisis.  

Together, Edleman and its client have an unexpected challenge as their opponents will likely try to identify "corporate money" and "PR hacks" as the medium which they hope becomes the message. 

While this leak makes messaging more difficult, a good outcome is still possible, if not likely.  

In the CBC story, TransCanada did the right thing.  Its spokesman, Shawn Howard, affirmed that the company is engaging in a program -- without being defensive.  

Marketing the oil will benefit Canada and the entire free world.  As to emissions, we know the world's consumers will obtain fossil fuels somewhere and we'd rather it come from North America than Russia or the Middle East.

TransCanada should move steadily forward, without missing a step--in spite of the fairly one-sided CBC piece. 

Indeed, TransCanada should know that citizens are aware that this is an age of multi-million dollar environmental and social activism.  

TransCanada should be confident that citizens also know, 1) employers create the jobs and, 2) private income and tax wealth supports civilization, and 3) that companies must defend themselves, and us, against those advocating destruction of our way of life, knowingly or unknowingly.

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11-2-14

02 November 2014 4:35am

BOEM Releases Revised Analysis

for Chukchi Sea Oil and Gas Lease Sale 193

BOEM will hold 7 public hearings, accept public comments Nov. 7 - Dec. 22

 ANCHORAGE, Alaska - In response to a federal court order, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Friday released the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for Chukchi Sea Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Lease Sale 193.  BOEM prepared the draft SEIS using the best available science, and working in close consultation with Alaska Native tribes, federal partner agencies, state and local governments, stakeholders and the public. Read more

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