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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.



21 July 2014 8:17am


TODAY'S Consumer Energy Alliance energy news links:

ICOSA MagazineENERGY 101 – PEOPLE BEHIND ENERGY *Shawn Martini Interview
Our Energy contributor and co-host, Emily Haggstrom talks with Shawn Martini, Communications Director for Consumer Energy Alliance. Consumer Energy Alliance represents energy consumers in the debate over energy policy, and advocates for increased domestic production of all forms of energy, from renewables like solar and hydro-electric to traditional forms of energy including oil and gas.
CBS News: GOP: Democrats “hold out economy hostage” by blocking jobs bills
Expanding domestic energy production is the "best way" to invigorate the American economy, incoming House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said Saturday in the weekly Republican address, but the "Democrats running Washington don't seem to get it."
LA Times: Maine town fights plan to use pipeline to export oil sands crude
On Monday night, the South Portland City Council, including Blake, is expected to pass an ordinance that would prevent the export of crude oil from the waterfront. The product of a relentless 18-month campaign by residents and Maine environmental groups, the measure is a response to plans by Portland-Montreal Pipe Line, or PMPL, to reverse the flow of its import pipeline in order to export oil sands crude from Canada, the same petroleum that would run through the controversial Keystone XL pipeline in the Great Plains.
Reuters: Oil trains, born of U.S. energy boom, face test in new safety rules
North Dakota's Bakken oil patch has thrived thanks in large part to the once-niche business of hauling fuel on U.S. rail tracks. New safety rules may now test the oil train model. Within weeks, the Obama Administration is due to unveil a suite of reforms that will rewrite standards conceived long before the rise of the shale oil renaissance, at a time when crude rarely moved by rail and few Americans had ever seen the mile-long oil trains that now crisscross the nation.
Bloomberg BNAStates Likely to Need Extensions to Complete Power Plant Emission Plans, McCabe Says
Most states are likely to need additional time to submit their implementation plans for meeting carbon dioxide reduction targets for existing power plants, beyond the one-year time frame outlined in President Barack Obama's climate action plan, the Environmental Protection Agency's top air official said July 17.
The Hill: Week ahead: Climate regs back under the microscope
A cornerstone of President Obama’s assault on climate change will be back in the spotlight next week, when senators are set to grill the administration’s top environmental official on plans to impose new limits on power plant emissions. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy will appear Wednesday before the Environment and Public Works Committee

Fuel Fix: Feds OK first-in-decades oil studies off East Coast
The Obama administration on Friday gave the oil industry the green light to use air guns and sonic sensors to search for possible oil and gas under Atlantic waters, overriding environmentalists concerned that the seismic research can harm whales and other marine life.
Columbus Dispatch: U.S. OKs plan to open Atlantic to oil surveys
The Obama administration approved a plan on Friday that would allow companies to assess oil resources off the Atlantic Coast, angering environmental groups worried that the plan will harm marine life and open the door to offshore drilling.
Miami Herald: Carolinas opinion mixed on offshore drilling
The Obama administration on Friday opened the Eastern Seaboard to offshore energy exploration, causing concern in the Carolinas about the effect on sea creatures and tourism but also raising the prospect of new jobs and revenue.
Wall Street JournalShale Reshapes Petrochemicals Business
GlobaData flagged the competitive advantage that U.S. companies will receive from the lower cost provided by shale gas. And this opportunity is attracting investment from some of the industry’s bigger names.
The New York Times: Frack Quietly, Please: Sage Grouse Is Nesting
In a new oil field among the rolling hills near here, Chesapeake Energy limits truck traffic to avoid disturbing the breeding and nesting of a finicky bird called the greater sage grouse. To the west, on a gas field near Yellowstone National Park, Shell Oil is sowing its own special seed mix to grow plants that nourish the birds and hide their chicks from predators.
Associated PressGreat Plains shale tested for possible energy uses
Tests this summer on Pierre Shale that stretches across much of the Great Plains could help build the case for an underground lab and, if feasible, lead to energy production or underground storage.
Associated PressCentral Nevada oil lease sale staged under protest.
A U.S. Bureau of Land Management sale of oil and gas leases on public land in central Nevada has been conducted under protest.
POLITICORep. Polis “miscalculation” on HF issue could threaten political ascent
For more than a decade, Polis’s political guesses and gambles have all been right. But his decision to force a fight over oil and gas drilling in a tough election cycle may be a big enough miscalculation to derail Polis’s planned ascension up the Washington ranks. “He’s very focused, but sometimes he can be so laser focused that sometimes he lacks peripheral vision,” Palacio told me.
Roll Call: Renewable shale?
The Energy Department is spending $31 million to move forward with hydraulic fracturing to produce electricity from rocks.

Denver Post"Tea Party of the Left" wages ferocious battle over HF
He and his like-minded allies have a new, unflattering label, the Tea Party of the Left. Also known as "fracktivists," the group, like their conservative counterparts, is sworn to certain principles — even if those beliefs cost their side of the aisle the election in November.
The Times Tribune: Gulf Oil plans LNG facility in Great Bend
An oil company with Pennsylvania roots plans to have a liquefied natural gas facility up and running in Susquehanna County by the end of 2015. The Great Bend facility would accept natural gas from Williams’ Windsor-Montrose-Washington gathering line and compress it for storage and delivery as a liquid, according to a petition the company, Gulf Oil LP, filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in April.
WUNCPublic Will Be Able To Comment On NC’s HF Rules
The North Carolina commission that is drafting rules for hydraulic fracturing will host public comment hearings next month.
Allentown Morning Call: Pennsylvania, U.S. benefit from drilling
It's a not a "claim" that shale supports tens of thousands of good-paying jobs — it's a fact. Countless economic studies, from the state Department of Labor & Industry, to the federal Bureau of Labor and Statistics, to many other independent reports, including from IHS Global, confirm these benefits.
Scranton Times-TribuneDRBC gas pains
Pennsylvania is blessed with abundant water resources, and it belongs to five separate commissions that do important work across a variety of watersheds. The state budget this year singles out only one of those commissions, the Delaware River Basin Commission, for a massive budget cut of more than 50 percent. 
San Antonio Express-News: Texas jobless rate holds at 5.1%
Alcantar said every sector has expanded over the last 12 months. Mining and logging, which includes jobs in oil and gas, led the way with a 7 percent annual growth rate.

7-19-14 Alaska Unemployment

19 July 2014 10:00am

 Katie Bender, Alaskanomics, Northrim Bank, Photo by Dave Harbour, Alaska unemploymentFrom Katie Bender (NGP Photo) of Alaskanomics, comes the latest Alaska unemployment numbers:

Unemployment Rate at 6.4 percent in June

The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development released the latest unemployment numbers today. The unemployment rate in Alaska remained virtually unchanged for the month of June. The seasonally adjusted rate was 6.4 percent in June, up slightly from 6.3 percent in May. The national average was 6.1 percent in June. Alaska is back to the pre-recession levels and has remained fairly steady since January 2013.

June Comparison Graph

As expected, areas with highly seasonal work showed a reduction in the unemployment rate. The lowest rate was in the Municipality of Skagway at 1.4 percent. Bristol Bay Borough was also very low at 1.9 percent. The Wade Hampton Census Area held steady with the highest rate in the state. Their June unemployment rate was 26.1 percent.

For detailed employment estimates, visit http://live.laborstats.alaska.gov/ces/

7-18-14 Fairbanks LNG Project Briefing Last Night

18 July 2014 6:01am

AP by Becky Bohrer.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ... proposing restrictions that would essentially block development of a massive gold-and-copper prospect ...
ADN by Sean Cockerham.  Supporters of the embattled Pebble Mine project in Alaska are making a desperate effort in Congress and the courts to keep it alive ...





Below is last night's report on the Fairbanks LNG project briefing and here is the link to Tuesday's meeting in Anchorage.  -dh

Alaska LNG Project, Steve Butt, ExxonMobil, Photo by Dave HarbourFairbanks News Miner by Matt Buxton.  The man in charge of the Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas Project—the oft-called "landmark" project to commercialize North Slope natural gas for in-state and export—is careful about how he talks about the multi-billion project.

First and foremost, Project Manager Steve Butt (NGP Photo) wants people to know that it's not a pipeline project, like natural gas projects before, but a fully integrated system that includes just about everything on either side of the 800-mile pipeline.

"This isn't a pipeline project, it's a LNG project," he said Thursday at the News-Miner prior to a town hall meeting at Wedgewood Resort later in the evening. "It's much more than a pipeline. The 800-mile pipeline is a super important part, but it's only a part."

7-17-14 Gas Pipeline/LNG Project Public Meetings

17 July 2014 10:45am

Fairbanks LNG/Gas Pipeline Project Meeting Tonight In Fairbanks.  Details....  Tuesday's Anchorage Meeting Report Below:

KSKA (Audio here) by Anne Hillman.  The Alaska LNG Project hosted a community meeting in Anchorage on Tuesday night. About 90 people listened to an explanation of the newest version of a plan to get natural gas from the North Slope to market.

Steve Butt, ExxonMobil, Alaska LNG Project, gas pipeline, Photo by Dave Harbour

Project manager Steve Butt (NGP Photo) explained this project is different from previous failed attempts to build a gas pipeline.

“An LNG project is when resource owners work together to create an infrastructure to connect that resource to a market,” Butt said. “It’s regulated differently, it has different business risks, and it’s a different business model. A pipeline is an important part of our project, but what we’re really trying to do is deliver gas to global markets, not to just any one market.”


Today's links from the office of the Federal Alaska Gas Pipeline Coordinator.  

Texas coal plant owner will sell CO2 for enhanced oil recovery


7-16-14 Inuvik Suffers Gas Pipe Loss While Alaska and BC Plan For LNG Exports

16 July 2014 8:53am

CBC.  The price of houses in Inuvik has dropped by 10 to 15 per cent in the last three years — ever since plans for the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline were set aside, according to a local realtor..., Jim Weller ... with Coldwell Banker....

Petroleum News.  Parnell names municipal advisory board. Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell has named members of the Municipal Advisory Gas Project Review Board...

Petroleum News.  BC's LNG list grows.  British Columbia's lineup of LNG proposals has grown to 15 with U.S.-based WesPac Midstream requesting a 25-year export license from the National Energy Board to ship up to 3 million metric tons a year to customers in Asia, the U.S., Central America and South America. In entering the public arena, W....

Michael Whatley, Consumer Energy Alliance, Keystone XL, South Dakota, Senator Tim Johnson, Photo by Dave HarbourEnergy Voice.  In an op-ed penned for The Hill, Michael Whatley, Executive Vice President at Consumer Energy Alliance (NGP Photo), explains how South Dakota’s Sen. Tim Johnson (D) now has opportunity to move the Keystone XL pipeline one step closer to construction.

Lisa Murkowski, oil exports, US Senate, Energy Committee, Photo by Dave HarbourU.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo), met today with Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker on the issue of crude oil and condensate exports:

“I appreciate Secretary Pritzker taking the time to meet with me today." she said after the meeting.  "We had an open conversation about the Commerce Department’s approach to the question of U.S. oil exports. I am encouraged that Secretary Pritzker is engaged and that there are ongoing discussions within the department on this issue.

Wall Street Journal.  More than 150 executive branch nominees are awaiting Senate confirmation, but Harry Reid is attending to his personal priorities. On Tuesday the Majority Leader pushed through a vote on Norman Bay to helm his sovereign government province, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  (Senator Murkowski has vigorously opposed the President's intention to name Bay chairman of this regulatory body, so important to Alaska and US energy policy and regulation in general.  -dh)

Murkowski is the senior Republican on the energy panel.  Last January, she released a white paper on the need to revamp U.S. energy export policy. Murkowski has also published five staff reports on crude oil and condensate exports, which are available on the energy committee’s website.  


Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans & Insular Affairs Subcommittee to Hold Legislative Hearing on Four Bills, including two affecting Alaska. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs will hold a legislative hearing on Wednesday, July 23rd on four bills.


Subcommittee Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans & Insular Affairs legislative hearing on:

  •  H. R. 3109 (Young of AK), to assist Alaskan Native Handicrafts.
  •  H. R. 3409 (Fincher), To amend the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 to require that any expansion of a national wildlife refuge must be expressly authorized by statute. “the National Wildlife Refuge Expansion Limitation Act”


Wednesday, July 23, 2014
10:00 AM 


1334 Hearing Room in the Longworth House Office Building

 Visit the Committee Calendar for additional information, once it is made available.  The meeting is open to the public and a live video stream will be broadcast at http://naturalresources.house.gov/live.


7-15-14 LNG Forum In Anchorage Tonight

15 July 2014 2:13am

Today's LNG Community Meeting In Anchorage

EPA Land Grab

By Bill White  

It’s been clear that the executive branch of the federal government is working overtime to extend its authority. This started long before Obama became president, but it has accelerated at an alarming rate since he took office. Obama’s administration has put out more regulations per week than any before, each of which extends EPA's authority to reach into people’s lives and control them and their businesses.

While the IRS has the reputation of being the most insidious of all government agencies, I’d have to say that the EPA is working hard to stay a close second. What started as a government agency to protect our corner of the world has become the political arm of the environmental movement.

That’s scary enough in and of itself. There aren’t many special interest groups that have control of a government agency, but the EPA has pretty much been taken over by environmentalists. Oh, they don’t “officially” own the EPA, but they pretty much dictate what the EPA does.

We see this no more clearly than watching how Obama’s EPA is working hand-in-hand with radical environmentalists to force the country into green energy, by making it either illegal or impossible to use cheaper sources of energy.

This is why yesterday we commended the work of Consumer Energy Alliance, for doing its best to protect consumer interests.  -dh

The EPA cares no more for your and my interests than those environmentalists do. Their focus is on taking the world back from man and giving it back to nature. It seems like if a few billion people have to die to do that, then as far as they’re concerned, no problem.

That may sound a bit alarmist, but it’s not a new notion. The Georgia Guidestones, a New Age monument, said to have the New Age Globalist Manifesto written on it, declares that one of their goals is to bring the world population down to 500 million people, about one-fourteenth of what it is today.

Interestingly enough, that same figure shows up in the United Nations Agenda 21. Agenda 21 purports itself to be a “voluntary action plan for sustainable development.” One hundred, seventy-eight countries have signed it, including the United States.Surprisingly, it was President Bush who signed it, not President Obama.

It takes a while to dig through Agenda 21 and gain any understanding of it, but it basically herds all of mankind into big cities, leaving the rest of the world to return back to nature.

Okay, so what does this have to do with the EPA? Since “sustainability” is a catch phrase for “protect the environment at all costs” it has a lot to do with the EPA. Essentially, the EPA is the government agency which has the greatest responsibility for implementing Agenda 21. They are coordinating the efforts of other government agencies, such as the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) to find ways of implementing the necessary changes so that Agenda 21 can be put into full effect.

Remember Clive Bundy and his ranch? That was the BLM working on a land grab. One thing that was hardly mentioned during that debate is that the BLM had already managed to put all the other ranchers in that area out of business; Bundy was the last man standing. They wanted to clear Bundy out, so that they could turn that area back over to nature as a refuge for the desert tortoise.

That’s bad enough, but the latest action by the EPA is even worse. The EPA is working to redefine the Clean Water Act, which gives them authority to regulate wetlands and waterways. Under the new definition, they would also have control over any lands which have temporary wetlands, as well as all tributaries that feed into waterways, even temporary tributaries.

(Video: Published on Jun 3, 2014; Uploaded under "Fair Use" provision for discussion and commentary at PolitiBrew.com)

That doesn’t sound so bad, until you understand what it means. We’ve already seen some of their definition, by how they’ve been attacking citizens, essentially implementing these new definitions before they are officially accepted.

A “temporary wetland” is anywhere that there is water present only part of the year. Let me ask you a question; is there any time during the year, where water puddles in your yard? If so, you have a temporary wetland. According to the EPA’s new definition, you don’t have control over your land, they do. Basically, they own your land.

The same thing can be said for temporary tributaries. If you have anyplace on your land where water runs off when it rains, leaving any sort of a mark, that would be considered a temporary tributary. Likewise, drainage ditches and landscaping ponds would give them the right to your land.

Let me be clear about this. The EPA is trying to use this twisting of the law to confiscate land from law-abiding American citizens, who haven’t done anything wrong. Their only justification is the way that they are writing regulations, nothing more. Congress hasn’t given them this authority, they have seized it on their own, perhaps under the president’s direction, perhaps not. Whether or not he has approved it really doesn’t matter, as they know he supports Agenda 21.

About the only way that you could make sure that your property is safe from seizure under these new regulations is to make sure that no water could fall on it.

I suppose if you built a roof that extends from border to border of your property, forcing all water that falls there to run off onto your neighbors’ property, you’d be safe. But then, all it would take is one leak in that roof and they’d have the loophole they need.

It is germane to note that this action is illegal. The Supreme Court has already ruled twice that the EPA’s authority is limited to relatively permanent bodies of water, not temporary ones.

However, that doesn’t meet the progressive agenda, nor does it allow them to implement Agenda 21. So you can be sure that they will keep on trying, regardless of whether their actions are legal or not.

Bill White is the author of Conquering the Coming Collapse, and a former Army officer, manufacturing engineer and business manager. More recently, he left the business world to work as a cross-cultural missionary on the Mexico border. Bill has been a survivalist since the 1970s, when the nation was in the latter days of the Cold War. He had determined to head into the Colorado Rockies, should Washington ever decide to push the button. While those days have passed, the knowledge Bill gained during that time hasn’t. He now works to educate others on the risks that exist in our society and how to prepare to meet them.  (Note: while NGP is devoted to energy issues and not future political theories, we do find White's analysis of EPA regulatory overreach to be generally consistent with the EPA's demonstrated due process abuses and overreaching excesses in Alaska.  From a national perspective, we find the Fox News video to be perhaps the only detailed media review of Federal Clean Water Act regulatory implications.   Natural resource developers, transporters, farmers, municipalities and states throughout the nation should have their government and external affairs offices placed on high alert and work with Congress to curtail EPA overreach before it does more damage to the economy and, indeed, to national security.   -dh)    


The Alaska LNG/Pipeline project will provide community project briefings this week in Anchorage and Fairbanks.

In Anchorage 


6-8 p.m., Tuesday, July 15
(Presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.)


William A. Egan Civic & Convention Center
Lower Level - Summit Hall
555 W. 5th Avenue 

In Fairbanks 


6-8 p.m., Thursday, July 17
(Presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.)


Wedgewood Resort - Gazebo Room
1212 Wedgewood Drive 

The Alaska LNG team will provide a project overview and share information about current studies.   It will be an opportunity to both hear about and comment on the project.

Happily, sponsors will provide refreshments.

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