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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.

 

11-12-14

12 November 2014 11:50am

BP Supports America's Veterans.  BP's Julie Hasquet announced today that, "Coinciding with Veterans Day 2014, BP has launched a website dedicated to serving our nation’s veterans.  The site will focus on BP’s support of veterans organizations and programs, as well as BP’s efforts to hire veterans."


Today, U.S. House Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, Doc Hastings (NGP Photo) responded to the the Obama Administration’s listing of the Gunnison Sage-Grouse as threatened under the Endangered Species Act

Doc Hastings, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Endangered Species, Grouse, Obama, Photo by Dave Harbour“Despite the considerable work and significant investments from the states of Colorado and Utah, the Obama Administration took a drastic step today by listing the Gunnison Sage-Grouse as threatened.   This decision is further evidence that the Administration is more interested in meeting arbitrary settlement deadlines than basing decisions on actual science and data.  This action puts in jobs across the West in jeopardy and will severely restrict job-creating economic activities on over a million acres, including residential and commercial development, energy production, power transmission line maintenance, recreation, and grazing. All this for a species that Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe admits is not currently facing extinction.

“The Obama Administration is once again defying its claim to make regulatory policies transparent to the American people. That is why earlier this year the House of Representatives passed common sense legislation to update the Endangered Species Act and make the law more effective for species and people by using the best available science and increasing transparency, including the work of states, local stakeholders, and communities.

“This listing follows hundreds of other listings resulting from the 2011 mega-settlement between the Department of the Interior and two litigious groups.  It foreshadows the intentions of the Obama Administration in coming months with the potential listing of the Greater Sage Grouse in portions of eleven western states.”

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11-11-14 Some Projects Struggle Against Federal Roadblocks But Sasol Is Succeeding With Its Mega Project

11 November 2014 6:23am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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11-10-14

10 November 2014 6:21am

Jim Prentice, Alberta Premier, Christy Clark, Brad Wall, Bitumen, Asia, BC, pipelines, Dave Harbour PhotoEdmonton Journal by Graham Thomson.  

It’s difficult to think of an issue or problem facing the Alberta government — from health care to education to relations with First Nations — that (Premier Jim Prentice, NGP Photo) hasn’t made an effort to address, if not actually solve.

However, the biggest problem facing the province — one that ties in to virtually every other problem facing the province — is getting more of Alberta’s oilsands bitumen to market, specifically Asia.

11-9-14

09 November 2014 5:53am

We Urge Our Readers to Subscribe to Petroleum News:

  • Railbelt utilities addressing facilities - 11/09/2014  The Mayor's Energy Task Force got updates Oct. 21 from the major Railbelt utilities — Enstar Natural Gas, Chugach Electric Association, Matanuska Electric Association and Municipal Light & Power. Southcentral natural gas supplies were a concern when Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan created the task for....
  • Conditional Badami pipeline transfer OK'd - 11/09/2014  The Regulatory Commission of Alaska has approved a transfer of interest in the Nutaaq Pipeline — running from Badami to Endicott — subject to a number of conditions. In an Oct. 22 ruling RCA said the approval is subject to receipt of a corporate guaranty of Miller Energy Resources, closing of the t....
  • Canada goes deep - 11/09/2014  Canada's upstream industry is dealing with a scramble to secure deep drilling rigs, according to the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors. Triple rigs with rated depth capacities of 10,000 feet or more now make up 60 percent of the fleet, compared with 29 percent eight years ago, Mar....
  • Fossil energy still dominates in US - 11/09/2014  A new report by the GAO, or Government Accountability Office, overviews U.S. energy usage and the various factors, including federal government actions that affect energy production and consumption. The report is based on data from the years 2000 to 2013. Perhaps predictably, the agency found that t....
  • USCG winds down Arctic Shield 2014 - 11/09/2014  The U.S. Coast Guard has concluded its Arctic Shield 2014 program, the agency announced on Oct. 31. The program is the latest of a series of annual operations that the Coast Guard conducts, primarily during the summer Arctic open water season, to ramp up the agency's Arctic presence, engage with Arc....
  • RCA OKs Hilcorp pipeline consolidation - 11/09/2014  The Regulatory Commission of Alaska has approved the consolidation of Hilcorp's Cook Inlet gas transmission pipelines into a single pipeline system called the Kenai Beluga Pipeline, or KBPL. The consolidation merges four previously separate pipelines, the Beluga Pipeline, the Kenai Kachemak Pipeline....
  • Shell CFO won't speculate on lease situation - 11/09/2014  In answers to questions during a media webcast following Shell's announcement of its third quarter 2014 results, Simon Henry, the company's chief financial officer, declined to speculate on what might happen if the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement turns down Shell's request for five-ye....

11-8-14

08 November 2014 5:46am

 
 
Prentice says he will 'do what needs to be done' to gain access to Asian markets
Alberta Premier Jim Prentice says he'll "do what needs to be done" to help move forward the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline and to gain ...

11-7-14

07 November 2014 6:13am

 
 
Gas pipeline megaproject's fate hangs in the balance of still-undecided Alaska governor race
Sean Parnell (R). Walker is ahead by a mere 3,000 votes out of 224,541 ballots cast. If Walker is elected governor, some oil industry supporters warn ...
 
 
 
Keystone XL pipeline prospects get boost from US election results
The odds of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline getting approved ... greenhousegas emissions because not building the pipeline would have only ...
 
 
Falling gas prices could slow Energy East pipeline project
Gasoline prices in New Brunswick have been dropping for five weeks in a row in the weekly setting by the province's Energy and Utilities Board.
THE LAWLESSNESS OF OUR GOVERNMENT 
 
Richard Rahn
To The Point
Tuesday, 04 Nov
 2014 

The basic function of government is the protection of person and property, and the United States is losing ground both in absolute terms and relative to other countries on this basic measure of liberty.

Last month, the Economic Freedom of the World annual index for 2014 was released, as was the 2014 edition of the International Property Rights Index. Despite slightly different methodologies, both indices were very close in their global rankings of property-rights protections.

 
 

Economic freedom and civil society depend upon a high degree of protection of person and property. In 1980, the United States ranked No. 1 in the world in protection of person and property, in the Economic Freedom of the World Report. Legal structure and the security of property rights in the nation continued to increase until 2000, even though the U.S. ranking fell to No. 9 as other countries improved more rapidly. 

Unfortunately, the past decade has seen a sharp decline in the rule of law and protection of private property in America, both in absolute and relative terms compared with the rest of the world, with the United States now having fallen to a dismal 28th place, even below France.

The Nordic countries, along with New Zealand, Switzerland and Singapore, lead the pack, with Venezuela at the bottom. In the International Property Rights Index, countries in the top quintile "show a per-capita high income approximately twelve times that of the bottom quintile." 

It is no surprise that both of the indices show a very strong correlation with protection of property rights and gross domestic product per capita. As noted in the Economic Freedom of the World report, "The key ingredients of a legal system consistent with economic freedom are rule of law, security of property rights, an independent and unbiased judiciary, and impartial and effective enforcement of the law."

The United States has seen an erosion of legal and property protections, in part, because of the "war on terrorism," in which security concerns have overridden the protection of liberty. The financial crisis and "Great Recession" caused Congress, the administration and, most importantly, the courts to set aside basic rights of bondholders, as in the General Motors bailout, and of stockholders, as in the AIG case, as well as others.

Too many judges have been timid or worse in upholding the words of the Constitution by claiming that it is a "living document" and should be interpreted in light of the needs of the times (which, of course, is totally subjective). A Constitution that is a "living document" in essence means there is no Constitution. 

America's Founders quite correctly understood that the real danger to liberty and property was the government, not the random lawlessness of some individuals. Thus, the American Constitution was designed to limit government. 

Those judges who have stretched the original meaning of the Constitution to accommodate their own prejudices or beliefs are, in effect, destroying it as an instrument to restrain government. 

The Supreme Court was unable to find a way to justify the government forcing citizens to buy something they did not want in the Obamacare decision until Chief Justice John Roberts decided to redefine the purchase requirement of medical insurance as a "tax," which the authors of the legislation said it was not.

Congress has delegated much of its constitutional lawmaking power to independent regulatory agencies, which consistently and blatantly flout the Constitution -- notably the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency, which regularly engage in "takings" of private property. 

These and other agencies have produced so many pages of regulations that no one can understand them, let alone know if they are in compliance. Such complexity and lack of clarity mean the law cannot be known and, hence, the rule of law no longer exists.

Congress and the courts have allowed lawmaking power to shift to the executive in the form of "executive orders." In recent years, presidents have gone well beyond the debatable limited purpose of most executive orders, which were designed to make a legislative mandate more functional. 

Presidents have increasingly used executive orders to make law, as exhibited by President Obama's many changes to the Obamacare legislation, such as changing dates of implementation and making exclusions well outside the written legislation.

A particularly egregious bit of lawlessness has been the abuse of the Justice Department by Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. 

When he took the oath of office, he swore to uphold the Constitution and the law. Instead, he decided not to uphold some laws that he did not like -- ignoring civil rights violations by blacks while aggressively pursuing such violations committed by whites -- which denies equal justice. 

He ignored his obligation to turn over records to appropriate congressional committees, resulting in a contempt-of-Congress citation. 

Mr. Holder has also corrupted the Justice Department by his failure to go after those in the administration for wrongdoing, notably the IRS, for leaking tax returns and targeting conservative groups, while at the same time going after critics of the administration, including members of the news media.

If the new Congress does not reverse this tide of government lawlessness, both our liberty and prosperity will be destroyed.

Richard W. Rahn is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth.

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