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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.


6-10-14 Alaska Natives Support Oil Tax Reform

10 June 2014 10:13am

2:24 PM, ADT: You Read It Here First.  From Julie Hasquet BP, UAS, Prudhoe Bay, FAA, Julie Hasquet, BP Photoat BP comes this breaking news:  

"BP and AeroVironment are deploying an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS, BP Photo) technology at Prudhoe Bay, marking the first time (i.e. our emphasis added) the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted permission for UAS routine commercial services over land in the United States.

"The UAS technology has potential to improve safety, efficiency and the reliability of BP’s Alaska North Slope infrastructure and maintenance programs.

"BP’s vendor, AeroVironment, is performing high-accuracy land surveying and LIDAR mapping in Greater Prudhoe Bay. The UAS flight operation will survey and map Alaska North Slope gravel roads and pads using LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) 3D technology. This marks the first time UAS technology has been used over land in compliance with FAA regulations."

Check out this technology on the BP You Tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05t-dg6nFpE&feature=youtu.be   FAA press release: http://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=16354


Sean Parnell, SB 21, Alaska Oil Production Tax Reform, Photo by Dave Harbour, Keep Alaska Competitive, Vote No on 1Comment:  Our readers know that over a year ago the AlaskaLegislature passed and Governor  Sean Parnell (NGP Photo) signed into law, SB 21, which reformed one of the most predatory, onerous oil production tax laws in the free world.  

From Keep Alaska Competitive:

Six Alaska Native regional corporations formed their own ballot measure group called No One On One. “It is our concern for the future of the state and economy that we stand before you today and ask you to vote no on 1,” said Rex Rock (NGP Photo), president and CEO of Arctic Slope Regional Corp.

“Our board unanimously voted to join the coalition because of how important the oil industry is to our state,” said Laura Edmondson, chief financial officer for Bering Strait.

Jason Metrokin, president of Bristol Bay Native Corp., said his company’s oil subsidiaries helped the Alaska Native regional corporation reach its goal of doubling shareholder hire and wages.

Sophie Minich, CIRI, SB 21, oil tax, Photo by Dave HarbourWe’ve witnessed the industry’s commitment to new investment and have seen for ourselves the rebound in jobs and activity in the oil and gas industry and we want to see that trend continue,” said Sophie Minich, president of Cook Inlet Region Inc.

Aaron Schutt, Doyon, SB 21, Photo by Dave HarbourDoyon, Ltd., owns seven rigs on the North Slope. “We saw two of our rigs go down right away” when ACES passed, said Aaron Schutt, Doyon president. “Each rig has about 80 employees, and 95 percent of our employees are Alaskans, and about half are Doyon shareholders.”

Helvi Sandvik, NANA, SB 21, oil tax reform, Photo by Dave HarbourNANA has worked on the North Slope for 35 years and has 4,000 employees supporting the oil industry, including 1,000 shareholders, said Helvi Sandvik, president of NANA Development Corp. 

While the state still reaps huge rewards from the oil production tax, the oil income tax, oil and gas royalties, and oil industry property taxes, SB 21 improved the climate of investment.  More projects are now being undertaken or planned than before passage of the Act.  

In August, a citizens referendum supported by legislators voting against SB 21, environmental activists and a few other special interests, will determine whether the SB 21 reforms will live on or be repealed.  

Thoughtful Alaskans, like our readers, are mostly concluding that the initiative should be voted down.  Others, who believe the former tax structure has no effect on investment, will be voting for the Proposition 1 repeal.

Groups all over Alaska are lining up, for or against repeal.  In the sidebar, is a report from the "Keep Alaska Competitive" group, reflecting the position of some of Alaska's major Native corporations.  -dh

Houston Chronicle.  “It’s the new way to come to the United States illegally,” said Congressman Ted Poe. “This administration will not enforce the rule of law on the border.”  (Note: We provide this link to demonstrate that the Administration is not only crippling the rule of law with respect to overreaching energy policies, but also in the area of national security.   -dh)

The Hill.  Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday harshly criticized the swap of five Taliban detainees for one U.S. soldier, saying the U.S. would “pay” for President Obama’s decision to negotiate with terrorists.  

(Note: We provide this link because the US has now signaled to terrorists that we will 'negotiate for hostages'...and this affects our readers directly.

This ends another important American tradition of not encouraging the proliferation of kidnappings.  

Accordingly, since natural resource companies have the reputation for 'deep pockets' we know our American and Canadian readers will be especially vigilant in the future about their own safety as a result of America's having traded an alleged deserter for five of the most deadly, Taliban terrorists.  

Though largely unreported, this Obama Administration act has a disproportionatly larger impact on oil, gas, mining, support companies and other multi-national corporations than on tourists in general or even on government employees.   -dh)



6-9-14 Polar Bears Are Cuddly and 'Political Shenanigans' Abound!

09 June 2014 6:54am

World Energy, by George Backwell.  ...a fraction of natural gas projects ... will become reality as high costs and weakening gas prices....

Alaska Dispatch, by Brigham McCown.  

As political shenanigans continue to delay approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, Alaska voters hold the key to avoiding a similar fate for what could be North America’s largest pipeline project (i.e. Natural gas pipeline).


Matt Cronin, Polar Bear, Global Warming, University of Alaska, Photo by Dave HarbourWashington Examiner by Mark Tapscott.  Another scientist has more bad news for global warming advocates who claim that Americans are killing Arctic Polar Bears....  *** Professor Matthew Cronin (NGP Photo) of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks studied the genetic histories of the three bear species, brown, black and polar (NGP Photo). *** What Cronin found casts significant Polar Bear, Alaska Zoo, Male and Female, Matt Cronin, Photo by Dave Harbour, Climate Chamge, Global Warmingnew doubt about claims that the furry white monsters of the Arctic are soon going to be extinct if America doesn't stop causing global warming by burning fossil fuels. *** Cronin has been studying animal genetics for 25 years and his latest study will be made public in a paper to be published shortly in the online Journal of Heredity, according to UAF's Nancy Tarnai.  (See a related article)

National Ocean Policy Coalition Newsletter

Fuel Fix.  American Energy Partners said Monday it plans to spend $4.25 billion to expand into Texas and West Virginia for the first time and to snap up more land in Ohio.

Aubrey McClendon, Wilcatter, Fuel Fix, Texas, Chesapeake, Permian, Marcellus, Greenwich Group, Photo by Dave Harbour, NARUCThe three announced acquisitions are the latest — and the most expensive — in a series of moves by Aubrey McClendon (NGP Photo), one of the first wildcatters to capitalize on the U.S. shale boom, to rebuild his empire after he relinquished his perch at the top of Chesapeake Energy last year.


From the National Ocean Policy Coalition: The U.S. Arctic Research Commission's daily update (last week) included an announcement by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Ocean Council that former Alaska State Rep. Beth Kerttula has been selected to serve as National Ocean Council Office (NOC Office) Director.  Kerttula replaces Dr. Brad Moran, who has been serving as Acting NOC Office Director since November 2013.  Coverage of the announcement includes articles in the Alaska Daily Dispatch,Anchorage Daily News, and KTOO News.  KTOO reports that Kerttula will serve as NOC Office Director for one year, with an option to remain through the remainder of the Obama Administration.

Calgary Herald, by Stephen Ewart.  The military crisis in Ukraine has brought into focus Europe's dependence on Russian natural resources for 30 per cent of its energy requirements just as Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in Europe for the G7 Summit and the D-Day anniversary events Friday in Normandy.

With coercion of Russian oil supplies deemed "unacceptable" by political leaders in Europe this week, it appears crude from Canada's oilsands has become much more acceptable.

Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) tells us that last Thursday, CEA-Florida joined PACE for the Gulf Coast Energy Forum in Mobile, Alabama during which executives from five southern utilities raised concerns about the EPA’s new rules on carbon emissions for existing power plants. As Alabama.com noted, one of the biggest concerns highlighted by the executives was the rule’s effect on the energy mix and the likely dependence on natural gas that will result.

The Daily Caller: EPA Rules To ‘Necessarily Skyrocket’ U.S. Electricity Prices
U.S. electricity rates are set to rise more than 10 percent by 2020 because of onerous federal environmental regulations on coal-fired power plants, according to an analysis by American Action Forum. This means consumers could be forced to pay $150 more each year for electricity due to Obama administration power plant regulations.

E&E News: “The United Mine Workers of America is blasting the Obama administration's new proposal for controlling greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants, which will likely contribute to the loss of coal mining jobs. "The UMWA has not and does not dispute the science regarding climate change," Cecil Roberts, the group's international president, said in a statement this afternoon. "Our dispute is with how our government is going about addressing it, and on whom the administration is placing the greatest burden in dealing with this challenge," he added. Roberts said the rule would lead to "long-term and irreversible job losses." The union says it calculated the potential direct coal generation job losses at 75,000 by 2020.”



6-6-14 Alaska D-Day Energy Speech and CBC 70th Normandy Rememberance - Pedro van Meurs On Mexican Constitutional Amendments

06 June 2014 6:23am

Pedro van Meurs On Mexican Constitutional Amendments

70th Annual Remembrance Of The Normandy Invasion: D-Day


Dave Harbour

We're now watching the Canadian Broadcast Corporation's 70th D-Day Anniversary remembrance online, here.

George Wuerch, Mayor of Anchorage, Veterans for Energy, Vets4Energy, Photo by Dave HarbourEarlier this morning in Alaska, we heard former Anchorage Mayor George Wuerch (NGP Photo), a Marine veteran himself, give a moving address to the Alaska Miners Association in his role as Chairman of Veterans For Energy Security (Alaska Chapter).

His speech title could, indeed, have been, "National Security Depends On Energy Security".

Wuerch reminded the audience that the attack on Pearl Harbor (Your author's parents were there) began following President's Roosevelt's decision to stop exporting fuel and steel in support of the imperialistic and expansionist Japanese government.  

Access to abundant energy supplies -- supported by domestic rationing during WWII -- enabled the United States to mobilize 67 Army and 6 Marine divisions, Wuerch said, along with 2710 'Liberty Ships', while supplying Russia with 85,000 trucks, 8600 tanks and 6100 airplanes.

Yesterday, US Senator Lisa Murkowski's Lisa Murkowski, Carbon rule, EPA, Photo by Dave Harbouroffice sent us her reaction to the EPA's Power Plant rule: “I am greatly concerned EPA’s rules – particularly in combination with one another – will result in a grid that is less stable and less reliable. The cumulative effect of federal regulations on baseload capacity – resources such as coal and nuclear which provide electricity on demand – must be examined and appreciated, not discounted or ignored.”

Wuerch warned against excessive governmental regulation that could constrict energy production and threaten the country's ability to defend itself.  

Examples he gave of Federal overreach are very familiar to our readers, including unlawful use of the Clean Water Act, prohibiting projects from even petitioning the government for legal permits to operate; improper use of the Endangered Species Act and the disastrous effect implementation of the EPA's carbon guidelines this week will have on the economy--particularly among the poor.

"The Keystone XL pipeline would provide secure supplies of crude oil to America's Gulf Coast refineries, helping to replace crude imports from Arab countries," Wuerch noted.

Today, we also think of another Marine veteran, community leader, our dear friend and reader, Maynard Tapp (NGP Photo). 

Tapp's birthday is today, always on D-Day.

Maynard Tapp, Alaska Support Industry Alliance, Hawk Consultants, Photo by Dave HarbourTapp is co-owner of Hawk Consultants, LLC., and a tireless supporter of Alaska's oil and gas industry and the economic benefits it provides to all Alaskans.

As we remember D-Day, we remember all veterans like Mayor Wuerch (Thank you for your message today) and Maynard Tapp (Happy Birthday), one of the Alaska Support Industry Alliance's strongest voices in support of free enterprise and energy security on America's Last Frontier.

May their dedicated voices in support of freedom long be heard and always remembered.       -dh

"Two-thirds of Americans -- and Governors of states hosting the pipeline right of way -- support the project.  The Obama Administration's opposition to the Keystone Pipeline has delayed the project for over 5 years, longer than it took this country to win WWII," he said. 

Wuerch talked about energy independence, saying that the US is now the world's largest natural gas producer.  He said that USA Today predicts the US will be the largest crude oil exporter by 2020.  

With oil accounting for reducing last year's trade deficit by over $60 billion, continued growth in oil production bodes well for a stronger balance of payments position over the next few years.

But current, political opposition to fossil energy production could reduce the potential and the optimism.

"The Administration's opposition to reasonable development of the National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska and a small sliver (the 1002 area) of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is producing a loss of one to nine million jobs." 

"Now is the time for energy policies to further energy independence," he concluded.



Our friend, Pedro van Meurs (NGP Photo) writes us that, 

Pedro van Meurs, Mexico, Constitution, oil and gas, Photo by Dave Harbour"The passing of the Constitutional amendments in Mexico was a very positive development which has significant potential to induce large scale investments in the country, increase petroleum production and create significant revenues for government, business opportunities and employment over the coming decades."

He offers, "a commentary on this Constitutional amendments ... on my website.  I prepared this document at the request of various parties. If you are interested in downloading this document please click here. 

I hope this document is of interest to you. If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact me.
Best regards,
Pedro van Meurs
Van Meurs Corporation
PO Box CR-56766 # 1261
Nassau, Bahamas
Phone 1-242-324-4438
Fax 1-242-324-4439
Email: info@vanmeurs.org


6-5-14 Alaska North Slope Gas Conditioning Plant Challenges

05 June 2014 10:04am

Comment: We associate a current Governing Magazine article by Liz Farmer, below, with Matt Buxton's excellent News Miner review of Alaska gas pipeline project funding.  

We have long alerted readers that with government participation in the traditional, private market comes an unintended list of future consequences to be faced by not only this, but future generations of public officials who had little or nothing to do with the original public funding decisions.  

Current and future citizens, in these circumstances, should be prepared to absorb the same risks taken by a private investor -- the risk of losing or wasting some or all of the investment.  

If public officials present public spending proposals without fully disclosing the risk, they violate the very disclosure statements and objective, due diligence research, undertaken by prudent investors of corporations, trusts, partnerships and participants in loans, lease agreements, sales contracts, divorce settlements and other transactions.  

As in all of life's business dealings, citizens approving the public use of funds to purchase or participate in private projects should hold dear the age old maxim: Caveat emptor (Let the buyer beware").  -dh

Fairbanks News Miner, by Matt Buxton.  Even though the state has approved millions in funding, selected a global infrastructure development company and approved millions more for infrastructure in Fairbanks, it’s clear that getting natural gas off the North Slope is still a “massive undertaking.”

The Alaska Industrial Development and Energy Authority’s Board of Directors met in Anchorage on Wednesday to hear an update on the Interior Energy Project, with the most critical part being the progress on a natural gas processing facility on the North Slope.  More here.

Governing Magazine, by Liz Farmer.  This is part of the ongoing Finance 101 series that breaks down the basics of public finance for public officials.

The temptation of the quick fiscal fix has seduced just about every lawmaker at one time or another….


What follows is Governing’s list of the most tempting financial schemes that can severely weaken a government’s fiscal future….

1. Balancing the Budget with One-Time Fixes

States and many cities have a legal obligation to balance their budgets each year. But there are all sorts of tricky maneuvers ….

2. Ignoring the Long-Term Consequences of a Deal 

Few governments have a long-term financial plan and even fewer have multiyear budgets. Many don’t even require ….

3. Taking on Too Much 

… development projects funded by municipal bonds.

4. Misapplying a Temporary Windfall 

Every economic boom is followed by a bust, but elected officials are often tempted to spend money as if that weren’t true, using one-time surpluses ….

5. Shortchanging Pension Obligations

… chronic unwillingness by lawmakers to contribute what is necessary to keep the plans fully funded.

6. Making Unrealistic Projections About Rate of Return 

…targeting a pension funding level that’s lower than what most people might consider prudent,” says Donald Fuerst….

7. Ignoring Financial Checks and Balances

…where there are many different ways to count the same revenue, weak financial controls can lead to serious dollar losses



6-4-14 PLF Is An Important Ally Also Fighting Federal Government Overreach

04 June 2014 8:44am



Globe & Mail by CP.  TransCanada Corp. says it plans to build a $1.9-billion pipeline to help feed Chevron Corp. and Apache Corp.’s proposed liquefied natural gas facility near Kitimat, B.C.

Yesterday ExxonMobil's Karen Hagedorn briefed the Fairbanks community on Point Thomson project status.  Read Dermot Cole's ADN story here and see our report of Sofia Wong's Friday Point Thomson briefing in Anchorage, here.  Last night, Alaska Public Media aired this audio of a recent Commonwealth North panel discussing Alaska state investment in an ANS gas pipeline/LNG project that includes Alaska producers, TransCanada and the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation.  -dh

 "An Important Ally: Pacific Legal Foundation"

(Don't think the fight against unreasonable environmental activism isn't alive and well in Canada, too!)


Dave Harbour  


1)  PLF has just filed an amicus brief supporting the Lunny family, owners of the 80-year-old oyster farm, in their request for help from the U.S. Supreme Court, as they fight for survival against the feds' bullying.  The case is Drakes Bay Oyster Company v. U.S. Department of the Interior.  A PLF video, and PLF's brief supporting the Lunnys' petition to have the High Court take their case, may be found here

2) PLF is opening a new DC Center for education, communication and outreach to the national media, policy-makers, and opinion leaders.  Todd F. Gaziano will serve as Executive Director of the DC Center and as Senior Fellow in Constitutional Law. 

We have long supported Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) because it is one of the few not-for-profit legal giants helping the private sector defend against overreaching federal government colonialism.  

To the degree that PLF is successful, is our natural resource industries world -- and, indeed, North America's entire economy -- viable and sustainable.  

To the extent PLF is unsuccessful or lacks resources to succeed, to that degree will the natural resource wealth-creating capacity of our Northern hemisphere be less sustainable and face a possible, economic 'death spiral' -- especially in view of disturbing deficit spending and national debt trends.

Canada and the United States are each others' largest trading partner.  Because a large portion of that relationship is the trading and movement of natural resources across America's northern border -- both ways--PLF is important to both countries!  If that free trade flow is constricted by regulatory tourniquets imposed by extreme and unreasonable environmental activism and lawsuit settlements, the trade flow will diminish along with North American prosperity.

Today, US Senator Lisa Murkowski urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to move ahead with ... Dominion’s application for a license to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its Cove Point facility in Maryland.  (We support this advocacy since Alaska will require federal support for its various oil and gas export plans as well.

A WORD OF CAUTION.  TODAY, Energy Citizens says, "

"... anti-energy activists are opposing natural gas exports for ideological reasons. They are standing in the way of an export upgrade for the Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility.

Take a stand for Americans jobs and our energy future! "


Accordingly, we highly recommend that readers in both of our countries support Pacific Legal Foundation along with the other natural resource organizations we mention on these pages nearly every day.

Without them all, the days of prosperity in this part of the world become more limited with each precedent setting lawsuit settlement, with each attack on innocent individual and corporate citizens, with each new layer of uncontested regulatory abuse, with each violation of due process and the rule of law.








The Sierra Club Canada email below -- flooding the Internet TODAY -- illustrates the coordinating, grass roots efforts being undertaken by Canadian environmental activists.  

We encourage NGP readers to subscribe to this email service as a way of more effectively understanding and dealing with this determined enemy of reasonable and lawful development.  

(Note: we believe Canadian law must be quite lax to allow the "Sierra Club Canada Foundation" in this email to solicit a donation on the one hand and to take an active role in -- not educating -- but trying to use tax exempt donations to promote political action and opposition to regulatory conclusions.)  

Maybe the law is not lax so much as no one has challenged this practice in Canada's courts.  However, we do not claim expertise in the Canadian legal and regulatory systems and can only hope that more studied minds are taking appropriate action to counterbalance inappropriate political advocacies.  -dh

From:  Sierra Club Canada

Update on Enbridge Northern Gateway Tar Sands Pipeline

Our friends over at the World Wildlife Fund had a group of scientist (sic.) look over the Joint Panel Report on the Enbridge Northern Gateway Tar Sands Pipeline.

They concluded that the report is flawed and the federal government should not approve the pipeline. Over 100 scientists have now signed a letter to the Prime Minister urging him not to approve the pipeline.

Consider this an invitation to add your voice to the scientists, thousands of Canadians, and over 100 First Nations who oppose this pipeline!


Thanks for taking action for the planet.

John Bennett, National Program Director
Sierra Club Canada Foundation
John on Twitter / Bennett Blog

Sierra Club Canada Foundation

1510-1 Nicholas St
Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7

To unsubscribe from these mailings, click here

To opt out of all Sierra Club Canada Foundation mailings click here



03 June 2014 8:32am

Wall Street Journal TODAY re: Yesterday's Climate War Beginning: EPA War on Coal (Dan Kish Video), Coal Cutting Cuts Jobs, Carbon-Income Inequality.

Globe & Mail by Peter Tertzakian.  Last week Total SA and their consortium partners shelved the $11-billion Joslyn oil sands project. Predictably, the belt-tightening announcement triggered the usual self-flagellating notions like, “Canadian oil and gas isn’t competitive,” and “The future of the oil sands is dim.” But ....

Tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will hold its monthly public meeting at 333 W. 7th Avenue in Anchorage, Alaska. Knifeblade #1, National Petroleum Reserve Alaska, BLM, Federal Orphan Well, Federal hypocracy, federal oversight, federal ownership, federal abuse, AOGCC Photo, IOGCC, Agenda will include:Cathy Foerster, AOGCC, IOGCC, BLM, Orphan Well, Clean up, NPR-A, National Petroleum Reserve, Photo by Dave Harbour  1. Approval of Agenda; 2. Old Business; Approve April 2, 2014 Minutes; 3. New Business; Legacy Wells (Photo, Knifeblade #1), Commissioner Cathy Foerster (NGP Photo.  See our story here; since we wrote it, Senator Lisa Murkowski succeeded in encouraging funding of a BLM cleanup.  This update, therefore, should give indication of BLM's progress in removing federal hazardous wastes in the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska, where BLM rules ironically prevent industry from exploring and safely developing vast areas.  -dh)   4. Opportunity for Public Comment


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