Landlocked: Murkowski Explains Alaskans’ Access Frustrations
The Governor and Entire Congressional Delegation Recently Vowed to Fight the Administration's Overreaching Action to Shut Down Alaska Resource Development and Her Economy. Senator Murkowski Has Acted to Create A YouTube Video to Highlight Growing Federal Restrictions in Alaska. Thank you, Senator Murkowski for Effective Work And Quick Action! We believe that some educational entity could take that map video and expand it into a one hour lesson plan framework for elementary, high school and college students. -dh
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski today released a video to help broadcast the Alaska #ThisIsOurLand movement’s agenda to a wider national audience.
With Alaskans reeling from the Obama administration’s ongoing efforts to block off millions of onshore and offshore acres from energy development, Murkowski produced the two-minute film to speak plainly to Americans who may be unaware of the federal government’s costly, ever-growing overreach in Alaska.
In the video, Murkowski points out that 61 percent of Alaska’s lands are controlled by the federal government – and that almost none of those lands are truly open to energy production. Instead of allowing Alaskans to responsibly develop the State’s vast resource potential, the Obama Administration has converted an additional 12.2 million acres within ANWR into de facto wilderness; withdrawn 9.8 million additional acres in the offshore Arctic; removed roughly half of the National Petroleum Reserve (NPR-A) from leasing; planned a 685,000-acre “Area of Critical Environmental Concern” in the Fortymile Mining District; proposed sweeping critical habitat designations; and preemptively targeted potential development on State lands.
All of this and more has occurred in conjunction with a series of major federal rules – from the “Waters of the United States” expansion to EPA’s climate regulations – that will bring additional costs and consequences for energy development in Alaska.
Text of Senator Murkowski’s Remarks
“Hi this is Lisa Murkowski, Senator for Alaska. And I want to talk you about the state of my State.
“Alaska is about one-fifth of our country, by land mass. We’re twice as big as Texas, with North Carolina thrown in for good measure.
“If Alaska was overlaid on the Lower 48, we’d stretch from California to South Carolina. That’s a lot of land – but what you may not know, is who controls it.
“The National Park Service manages about 15 percent. The Bureau of Land Management controls another 20 percent. The Fish and Wildlife Service administers 19 percent. The Forest Service controls another six percent down in Southeast. Then you add one percent for the Department of Defense, and the federal government controlling about 61 percent of Alaska’s lands.
“That’s more land than Texas and Utah combined. So who controls the rest?
“The State of Alaska has 27 percent. Alaska Natives have 12 percent. And that leaves just one-quarter of one percent of Alaska as private land - barely even noticeable on a map.
“And while the State and Alaska Natives do their best to foster economic development, the federal government has taken the opposite approach.
“All of the non-yellow lands are federal lands that are now off-limits to resource production. Even the yellow federal areas are hardly “open” to development. All of the dark blue offshore areas have serious development restrictions. Most recently, the Obama Administration is trying to permanently restrict development in the red and orange areas. It’s also targeting the area in pink for new limitations.
“When you add it all up, the federal government is now blocking development on our most resource-rich lands and waters. That’s depriving Alaskans of our ability to produce energy, minerals, timber, and more for the good of our nation. And it’s depriving our nation of jobs, revenues, security, and prosperity.
“That’s the state that we’re in, in Alaska. And that’s why we’re asking for greater access to our lands and waters.”
KTVA by Rhonda McBride.
|AJOC by Tim Bradner. I was puzzled, but not surprised, when Gov. Bill Walker made his surprise announcement that he would seek an expansion of a state-led gas pipeline that is being planned as a backup to a large industry-led pipeline and liquefied natural gas project, which is now in preliminary engineering. More....|
When Gov. Bill Walker (NGP Photo) announced he wanted to put a backup gas line project in competition with the Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas project, he opened a Pandora’s box of questions for lawmakers focused on AKLNG as the main vehicle for getting North Slope gas to market.
House majority leaders responded by introducing legislation to prevent a competing line for AKLNG, unless producers back out from the project.
TODAY'S CONSUMER ENERGY ALLIANCE ENERGY NEWS LINKS
Albuquerque Business First: Viewpoint: Why New Mexico doesn't need fracking bans*David Holt Op-Ed
Energy production has always been an important part of New Mexico's economy. Indeed, the state ranks sixth in the country in crude oil production, and its production of natural gas accounted a crucial 4.8 percent of U.S. marketed natural gas production in 2012, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
CEA’s The Energy Voice: Winter Storms Evoke Polar Vortex Price Spikes
It’s not just record-low temperatures giving consumers chills during this week’s winter storms and wild weather. The cold weather brings with it reminders of last year’s regional power outages and spikes in electricity and heating costs for many New England, New York, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest residents. Part of the price spikes were attributable to a lack of adequate pipeline infrastructure to move natural gas to areas of demand.
The Hill: Obama embraces Keystone skepticism
President Obama has increasingly sided with the most negative assessments of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, leading both opponents and supporters to believe that he’ll reject the contentious project’s permit. As anger among Republicans in Congress has grown stronger when it comes to Obama’s years-long delay on judging Keystone, the president has gradually abandoned attempts to avoid weighing in on the project’s merits, gravitating instead toward arguments against it.
KTIV: Nebraska congressman says Keystone XL pipeline won't be built during Obama presidency
Nebraska's First District Congressman doesn't think the Keystone XL Pipeline will get built while President Barack Obama is in office. U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry made that statement during a visit to Norfolk on Tuesday. Fortenberry said that President Obama's recent veto shows that there is now no way the pipeline will get built without an administrative change.
The Intelligencer: Sen. Capito Calls for Keeping Keystone Pipeline Out of New Legislation
West Virginia's two U.S. senators are united in their belief the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project should move forward, but they appear to disagree about how to make it happen. Following the Senate's failed attempt to override President Barack Obama's veto of legislation approving construction of the long-delayed pipeline, the bill's original co-sponsors, Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and John Hoeven, R-N.D., said they would try to tack pipeline approval onto a long-term highway funding bill that will be up for consideration in the coming weeks.
U.S Chamber of Commerce: EPA War on Coal Will Shut Down More Power Plants in 2015
EPA’s “War on Coal” is succeeding in driving coal-fired power plants into retirement. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports, “Nearly 16 GW of generating capacity is expected to retire in 2015, 81% of which (12.9 gigawatts) is coal-fired generation.” At the same time, new electricity-generating capacity will come mostly from wind (9.8 GW), natural gas (6.3 GW), and solar (2.2 GW).
The Washington Times: Now this is getting serious: Climate change puts coffee at risk, EPA chief warns
Americans’ morning caffeine rush ultimately could be a casualty of climate change, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said Wednesday. In a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, Ms. McCarthy said the changing climate — which she believes is largely caused by human activity — puts economies, global security and food supplies at risk. Coffee lovers also will eventually feel the effects, the EPA chief said.
E&E Publishing: Consumers trapped in the middle of Big Coal's fight for survival
Chris Woolery seemed impatient when he cornered a lawmaker inside an elevator at the Kentucky Capitol. It was his first shot at bending an ear as legislators hustled to their morning meetings. "I've helped folks with $1,400 electric bills, and we've cut their bills in half," Woolery said, twisting his tall frame inside the packed shoebox to get closer to the state representative from Lexington.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Walker, Obama administration representatives differ on emissions cuts
Representatives of the Obama and Walker administrations gave polar opposite views in Milwaukee on Tuesday about federal regulators' plan to reduce emissions tied to global warming. Defending the plan, Susan Hedman of the Environmental Protection Agency described it as flexible and workable, saying it would lead to health benefits through reduced hospitalizations linked to less polluted air.
UPI: Oil price rally waning, though WTI holding strong
Crude oil prices continued their slow fade Tuesday even as U.S. data show evidence the bear market had an impact on the production behind recent market trends. The price for Brent, the global benchmark, slid about 1.3 percent from Monday's close to trade near $57.70 per barrel for the April contract early in Tuesday trading. Brent hit a low mark of around $45.13 per barrel mid-January and climbed 37 percent by late February. The rally, however, ran out of steam in March, with Brent crude oil prices down about 5.3 percent since the start of the month.
Bloomberg: Get Ready for Oil Deals: Shale Is Going on Sale
A decision by Whiting Petroleum Corp., the largest producer in North Dakota’s Bakken shale basin, to put itself up for sale looks to be the first tremor in a potential wave of consolidation as $50-a-barrel prices undercut companies with heavy debt and high costs. For the first time since wildcatters such as Harold Hamm of Continental Resources Inc. began extracting significant amounts of oil from shale formations, acquisition prospects from Texas to the Great Plains are looking less expensive.
CBS News: U.S. oil regions are bracing for more bankruptcies
There are more signs that the North American oil boom, and the lower gas prices it brought with it, is running out of...well, gas. On Monday, Houston-based BPZ Energy, an independent oil and gas exploration and production company, announced it was voluntarily filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Platts: US crude production to rise to 9.3 million b/d in 2015: EIA
The US Energy Information Administration on Tuesday nearly tripled its forecast for the 2015 Brent-WTI spread to $7.35/b, largely due to a glut of US crude production. The 2015 spread, which EIA in February forecast would be $2.54/b, was widened due to "continuing large builds in US crude oil inventories, including at the Cushing, Oklahoma storage hub," the agency said in its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook.
The State: BP oil spill film used to fight SC drilling as business leaders counterpunch
Boosters of drilling for gas and oil along the South Carolina coast are punching back at a sustained effort by environmental groups to influence public opinion against a proposal that could allow offshore drilling. As a public comment deadline nears, U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., and business leaders will hold a forum Wednesday near Charleston to explain why oil and gas would be the right industry for coastal South Carolina.
WSAV: Feds holding SC meeting on offshore oil, gas exploration
Folly Beach has become the fifth coastal community in South Carolina to pass a resolution opposing offshore drilling for oil and natural gas. The town passed the resolution Tuesday evening, the night before the federal government holds a meeting on the prospect of opening wide swaths of the Atlantic off the Carolinas to drilling later in the decade. That meeting in Mount Pleasant is sponsored by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
McClatchy: Some in Georgia are skeptical of offshore drilling plans
News that President Barack Obama is proposing to open Georgia’s coastal waters to oil and gas drilling has taken many people in the state off guard, and opponents are scrambling to resist the plan. “It’s definitely clear that they woke up,” said Claire Douglass, campaign director for the environmental group Oceana.
The Wall Street Journal: Wrecks Hit Tougher Oil Railcars
In a string of recent oil train derailments in the U.S. and Canada, new and sturdier railroad tanker cars being built to carry a rising tide of crude oil across the continent have failed to prevent ruptures.
Associated Press: Recent derailments deepens fear of train disaster
Many factors can cause an accident, from too great a speed to operator fatigue. We won't know the cause of the most recent ones until investigations are complete, but weather may be a factor. When it is very cold, as it has been across much of North America, steel rails and train car wheels can contract and become brittle. If the steel has a manufacturing flaw, no matter how small, it can spread rapidly in the cold weather.
Fuel Fix: Wisconsin Democrats want oil train rules on fast track
The Obama administration should take “immediate action” to boost the safety of moving crude by rail following a string of oil train explosions, argue a pair of Wisconsin lawmakers. Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Rep. Ron Kind insist that the accidents — including two in Ontario, one in Illinois and another in West Virginia in the past four weeks — illustrate the need for a rapid phase out of “antiquated” tank cars that are prone to rupture as well as stepped-up standards for new models.
Midwest Energy News: Under Rauner, Illinois’ energy direction remains unclear
Two months after his inauguration, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has made national headlines for his aggressive efforts to get the state’s budget crisis under control. Energy and related environment issues have so far taken a back seat, but experts and advocates are watching closely for signs of what the new Republican gubernatorial administration will mean on that front.
Associated Press: NC House members want air emission rules for HF
Three North Carolina Republican lawmakers want to make clear a state environmental panel must draw up rules designed to minimize toxic emissions related to any upcoming natural gas exploration through fracking. The Wake County House members filed the billMonday, a week after a flap over a provision inserted into another bill by the House majority leader.
Pittsburgh Business Times: Slowdown costs at least $1.5B in capital spending
Five natural-gas producers with significant operations in southwestern Pennsylvania have reduced their capital budgets collectively by 23 percent — or $1.5 billion — according to numbers reported in operational guidance.
Associated Press: Governor advances tougher drilling rules
Pennsylvania state environmental regulators say they want to get tougher on how the Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling industry stores waste, dampens noise and affects water resources, schools and playgrounds. Department of Environmental Protection officials gave a Monday briefing in which they described key elements of a forthcoming plan to update drilling industry regulations.
Columbus Dispatch: Businesses pick apart Kasich’s tax proposals
Gov. John Kasich’s tax proposals continued to take on water yesterday — and some of his front-line supporters in the business community are the ones shooting holes in the boat. Ohio’s nine metro chambers of commerce, including Columbus’, said Kasich’s tax package — which includes $5.7 billion in income-tax cuts and $5.2 billion in sales, business, tobacco and fracking tax increases — could “stall Ohio’s recent economic rebound.”
Columbus Dispatch: Panel accepts some safeguards for state parks, rejects others
An Ohio House panel modified a fracking proposal yesterday to explicitly mandate “zero surface impact” on state parks and forests. But by mostly party-line votes, the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee denied a pair of additional amendments that would have provided extra protection to public lands.
Times-Recorder: Ohio senator seeks stricter waste penalties
A state senator wants increased penalties and stiffer permit rules for improperly disposing of gas-drilling waste and toxic brine in Ohio. Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni's legislation would raise the state's penalties for knowingly disposing of oil and gas waste illegally to levels found in the federal Clean Water Act. The Boardman Democrat says violators could face a felony.
Denton Record-Chronicle: Filed legislation could affect city's HF ban
The chairman of the Texas House Energy Resources Committee filed legislation in Austinon Tuesday that would prevent cities from not only regulating oil and gas production with new rules but also from enforcing any such rules they have on the books now.
Fuel Fix: EIA: Eagle Ford production will slow in April
The U.S. shale boom may finally be slowing down, according to projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Oil production from the six largest shale plays in the U.S. will hit 5.6 million barrels per day in April, an increase of less than 300 barrels per day over March, the EIA said in its monthly drilling productivity report on Monday. The increase would be the smallest since February 2011.
Are We Proud Of Alaska's Newest U.S. Senator? Yes We Are!
(We are also delighted with the new, House Natural Resources Chairman, Rob Bishop. Bishop replaced our longtime hero Chairman Doc Hastings and seems to be effectively and seemlessly moving forward. More here.... -dh)
During his tenure as Alaska's Attorney General Alaska's newest U.S. Senator, Dan Sullivan, brought lawsuits against the federal government for endangering Alaska's constitutionally reliant resource base.
Sullivan later served as Commissioner of Natural Resources, continuing Alaska's stand against hostile instances of federal overreaching jurisdiction.
As the 49th State's new senator, he has quickly demonstrated that knowledge is transferable from one responsible position to another; he is becoming a great colleague for our senior senator, Lisa Murkowski, of whom we are also proud and respectful.
We wanted to make sure today that all of our readers have witnessed Sullivan's transformation and think you will agree with us that this Marine officer, this state law and natural resource expert, this U.S. State Department veteran is in the right place at the right time for Alaska's citizens and for the people of the United States.
Letter from Bunny and Al Chong, Kenai Peninsula:
We did campaign and VOTE for Dan Sullivan. He IS AWESOME!!!
Letter from our reader, Scott Ogan, Seldovia:
Yes Dan is quite the Man!!
After working with him as Alaska's Attorney General and as my Commissioner, I am very pleased that his tenacity is transported to the US Senate. He is a strong leader and does not wilt during barrages of “incomings”.
His Alaskan family is rock solid, as he married one of the Fate girls. I served in the Alaska Legislature with Representative Bud Fate and know his beautiful wife as well. Stalwart Alaskans.
Keep up the good work Dave.
He also respects our allies, including America's largest trading partner, Canada.
Above is a video interview posted today (i.e. revealing his policy views on Iran) and below is the maiden speech Sullivan delivered to his colleagues a month ago (i.e. reflecting strong support for Keystone XL and other common sense energy policies) ... for the record.
Semper fi, Senator!
Below is Sullivan's first speech to the United States Senate. It contains facts and background every Alaskan school child should know well. The video documents his ability to understand and defend international diplomacy policy positions.
SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: MAIDEN SPEECH AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY 1.27.15
Mr. President, today I stand in support of the Keystone Pipeline Project.
As an Alaskan, I feel it’s important to talk about this bill and the importance of American energy infrastructure.
I live in a state with one of the world’s largest pipelines. In 1973, after bitter debate, similar to the debate about Keystone, Congress passed a bill that led to the construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline system– what we in Alaska call TAPS.
It almost didn’t happen. The Vice President at the time, serving as the president of the Senate, cast the tie-breaking vote.
Then, like now, opponents howled. They said TAPS would be an environmental disaster. They said bird and caribou populations would be decimated. But none of that happened. In fact, birds and caribou flourished, showing that we can develop energy infrastructure responsibly with the highest standards in the world – and Alaska proves this every day.
TAPS was completed in 1978. It has carried almost 17 billion barrels of oil to energy-thirsty American markets. It’s a technological and environmental marvel and a critical component of America’s energy infrastructure. (Download full text here. See video here. See Sullivan take on EPA.)
Today, From the office of House Resources Chairman Rob Bishop:
Bishop Rolls Out Committee Agenda, Drills Down on Federal Onshore and Offshore Energy Production
Politico: “Bishop has already moved to increase the panel’s oversight, opening the door for probes on the Endangered Species Act and federal reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act. ‘[NEPA] is a law that has an impact on every aspect of American life,’ Bishop said. And ESA ‘is a perfect example of an act that is not working,’ he said. ‘If it’s for control, then ESA is wonderful. If you’re actually trying to preserve species, it’s not working. And it needs to be reformed.’…Bishop is one of Capitol Hill’s biggest critics of the federal controls on energy production and public lands use, issues the Republicans highlight by pointing to the declining oil and gas output from federal lands…” (Politico, March 2, 2015)
The Larry Kudlow Show (Audio): “We are living in a much more dangerous world than we ever had during the Cold War. And to meet that threat, that environment, we’ve got to use our diplomatic means, our military means, but also our energy opportunities. The United States has today surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia in producing energy, but that’s all been done on private lands and state lands,” stated Bishop. “If we really are going to take the role so we can be a benefit to our allies and we can play a role with Putin and the Middle East and everywhere else and not be bullied by OPEC, we have to develop the resources on our federal lands and offshore…That’s the bailiwick that I have…” (The Larry Kudlow Show, February 28, 2015)
Morning in America with Bill Bennett (Audio): “The United States is a leader now in energy production, we’ve caught up to the Russians and Saudi Arabians, but we’ve done that all on state and private lands,” stated Bishop. “If the nation is to go forward now and become an economic leader – so we can benefit our allies, we won’t be bullied by OPEC, we can increase our exports, lower the cost of energy here – you’ve got to go onto federal lands and offshore. And that’s the purview of my committee. So we’re not just a western committee anymore. We really have an impact on the entire country as well as foreign policy…” (Morning in America, Bill Bennett, March 2, 2015)
P.O.T.U.S. Sirius XM (Audio): “The United States is becoming an energy leader. We’ve already passed Russia and Saudi Arabia for energy production, but it’s all been on private and state lands,” stated Chairman Rob Bishop. “If we actually want to become a permanent leader in energy: be able to help our allies, not be bullied by OPEC and provide job employment for this country, you’ve got to get the resources on the federal lands and off-shore – and that’s the purview of my committee… what we do here will have an impact on the entire country and even on foreign policy...” (Sirius XM Radio, February 25, 2015)
Wall Street Journal Live (Video): “House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop on President Obama’s proposal to buy more federal land, raise fees and impose new regulations amid maintenance backlogs and wildfires. ‘The [administration] wants to triple the Land and Water Conservation Fund. If you’re going to expand it whatsoever, use that to solve problems not just buy more land that we already have a 21 million backlog on the maintenance of that land as it is…’” (Wall Street Journal Live TV, March 2, 2015)
Houston Chronicle: “Bishop tangles with the White House on energy development. He says the oil and gas revolution has unfolded mostly on private and state land - not the territory under the Interior Department's control. ‘There has to be an overall approach to increasing production on federal property,’ Bishop said. ‘This administration is either slow walking or just stopping that, and that harms the entire country.’ More opportunities for oil and gas drilling on federal lands and waters - and speedier permitting - are essential for the United States to expand its role as a global energy leader, break OPEC's domination and spur domestic jobs, Bishop insisted..." (Houston Chronicle, March 2, 2015)
The Hill (video): “The new chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee sees the Interior Department’s budget as a way to inject creative thinking into issues like oil drilling on federal land and offshore…Bishop said one of his top priorities as chairman and in overseeing Interior’s budget will be to establish an energy portfolio that encourages more oil and natural gas drilling on federally owned lands and offshore… ‘We have already surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia in energy production, but if we actually want to be a leader in the world in energy production and provide jobs from it, we’re going to have to develop our resources that are on federal land and offshore - and that’s the purview of my committee…’” (The Hill, February, 24, 2015)
Washington Examiner: "GOP lawmakers want states to get more control of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a 50-year-old program that is funded by offshore oil-and-gas drilling royalties…Many are dissatisfied with the states' share and the federal government using a bulk of its funds to acquire more land. ‘If problems are going to be solved, we have to think differently,’ said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah, whose panel has jurisdiction over the program. ‘The voices talking about [the conservation fund] right now lack creativity.’ Bishop said he wants better oversight of how the federal funds are used. He contends those dollars would be better spent maintaining roads, trails and buildings at facilities managed by the Interior Department, and that more funds should be given to states to enhance local infrastructure and recreation opportunities..." (Washington Examiner, February, 23, 2015)
Huffington Post: "As the new chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, Rep. Rob Bishop may be ready to spar with the Obama administration on some key public lands and energy issues. But he's also setting a different tone from that of his predecessor, encouraging conservation advocates to think they may be able to find common ground this Congress. Bishop, a seven-term Republican representing Utah's 1st District, took over the chairmanship in January from retiring Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), who had held that post since 2011…” (Huffington Post, February 20, 2015)
E&E TV: On Point (Video): “The United States has become a player in the energy world. We’ve surpassed the Russians and Saudi Arabians in what we’ve been able to produce in oil and gas, but it’s all come on private and state lands. If the United States is going to really become a leader in energy development and actually be of value to our allies and not be pushed around by OPEC anymore, if we’re actually going to have the jobs that can be created by affordable energy, you have to start the advancement of resources on federal lands as well…” (E&E TV, February 25, 2015)
Bloomberg BNA: “Bishop told Bloomberg BNA March 3 that the committee will be looking at short-term action on the Land and Water Conservation Fund, offshore fisheries management, two programs of federal assistance to counties and schools in rural areas, potential legislation on federal forest management and regulation of natural gas pipelines and electric transmission lines that cross federal lands and...Oil and gas companies and some lawmakers have argued that one reason for the recently large amounts of natural gas flaring—the burning off of gas that emerges as a co-product of oil production—is that the federal government is slow to issue permits for pipelines to take gas away from shale oil and gas regions.‘Actually, the rights-of-way issue is something that is personally important to me,’Bishop said. Another energy issue is the Bureau of Land Management's pending final rule to update regulations governing oil and gas production on federal lands, a rule with a special emphasis on hydraulic fracturing but much broader application as a set of standards to safeguard well integrity...” (March 4, 2015, Bloomberg BNA)
Today's American Energy Alliance Energy Clips:
I guess the EPA wasn't expecting the states to pass up all that "flexibility".
PoliticoPro (3/10/15) reports: “Supporters of President Barack Obama’s climate regulations are getting worried EPA may have few tools to use if states decide to follow conservatives’ advice and refuse to cooperate with the agency on climate change regulations. Questions abound about how the agency would impose its own climate plans on behalf of states or make sure the states that do submit plans actually stick to them. Also up in the air: whether the agency has the right to hit the violators with penalties that could even include the loss of federal highway dollars — one of the main fiscal weapons Washington has used to get states to toe the line on everything from motorcycle helmet laws to underage drinking. But the agency is declining to say whether highway dollars would actually be at risk.”
Bright Bulb Award:
“There remains a strong social contract between scientists who are funded by the government, and the IPCC that supports the government’s political agenda. The feedbacks supporting this social contract in principle can be reversed; it remains to be seen what, if anything, will trigger this reversal. I suspect that it will be the climate itself, if the hiatus/pause/slow down continues.”
We did the math. Clinton’s 55,000 page print job emitted as much carbon as the average American does in one year.
Energy Townhall (3/10/15) reports: “Printing Hillary Clinton’s 55,000 pages of emails emitted nearly 40,000 pounds of greenhouse gases about as much as the average American produces about that amount in one year. Clinton’s extravagant print job comes less than six months after her stump speech to national environmentalist groups about the urgent need for reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, following in the long line of executive branch transparency issues, has finally released at least a partial record of her emails to the State Department. Clinton had previously kept the emails on a homebrew email server, thus avoiding both government email security measures and FOIA requests. This is likely also in violation of federal law if any matters that were Classified or Sensitive But Unclassified were sent to her email or if she send any sensitive emails. Unfortunately, the incomplete emails the Clinton camp released were done so not on a modern, digital format, but were actually physically printed, using over 55,000 pieces of paper. Though many older politicians may find modern technology like PDFs, email, and flash drives befuddling, we imagine leftist politicos like Hillary Clinton would at least understand the environmental consequences of their actions.”
Swiss make cheese out of the carbon tax. Guess which kind?
The Wall Street Journal (3/8/15) reports: “Swiss voters Sunday overwhelmingly rejected an initiative that would have scrapped the Alpine country’s value-added-tax system and replaced it with a carbon tax, a move that would have made gasoline, heating oil and other forms of power more expensive for consumers. Roughly 92% of voters opposed the initiative, known as “Energy Rather than VAT,” while 8% supported the measure, according to preliminary results from 13 of the country’s 26 cantons. The initiative would have encouraged Swiss households to use renewable energy sources, including solar and wind, which would have been exempt from taxes. The initiative, which was introduced by the Green Liberal Party of Switzerland, was designed to help lower carbon emissions and reduce global warming.”
How many decades does it take for a temporary subsidy to be called permanent?
The Washington Times (3/7/15) reports: “Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said that a federal program promoting wind energy production, which recently expired, has worked and should be renewed for at least a few more years before being phased out altogether. Mr. Bush has returned to Iowa for the first time since announcing in December that he was interested in running for president. Last week, he appeared at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, and on Saturday he was among a number of likely GOP presidential candidates that flocked to the Iowa Agricultural Summit, hosted by Bruce L. Rastetter, a major GOP donor.”
Why we fight.
The Guardian (3/9/15) editorializes: “The actual story: what happens at Paris will be, at best, one small part of the climate story, one more skirmish in the long, hard-fought road to climate sanity. What comes before and after will count more. And to the extent Paris matters, its success will depend not on the character of our leaders but on how much a resurgent climate movement has softened up the fossil fuel industry, and how much pressure the politicians feel to deliver something.”
It's easy to get up from rock bottom.
The Washington Post (3/9/15) reports: “In the grand scheme of things, one year — 2014 — only represents a slight nudging of the gigantic ship of U.S. energy in a renewable direction. Even if it grew less, coal is still the No. 1 source of net generation each year in the United States, followed by natural gas. And the numbers for these two sources still dwarf the totals for all renewable sources combined. Still, there can be no denying that the U.S. energy system is changing, and that renewables — wind and solar — are booming. Whether they’re doing so fast enough to decarbonize our world before we pass the threshold that would bring on dangerous climate change, however, is another matter.”
|Watch live hearing today @ 1 p.m. ADT re: HB 105, AIDEA BONDS; PROGRAMS; LOANS; Fairbanks LNG PROJECT (Note increased C.I. reserve estimates) ... Friday, Gas Pipeline Federal Coordinator's Office Closed; Larry Persily (NGP Photo) now Kenai Borough Gas Pipeline Coordinator ... AJOC, Midwest Utility Coming North To Alaska?|
It took nearly 40 years, one national inquiry and thousands of hours of negotiations, but in 2011 the National Energy Board finally approved the Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline. By then, there was just one problem: nobody really wanted to build it anymore. A massive pipeline that was once described as “the biggest project in the history of free enterprise” had been waylaid, ironically enough, by free enterprise. Gas prices were too low to justify the expense or generate a reasonable return for investors. And yet, there’s a movement afoot, driven by both government and industry officials, to build another major oil project in the North. Who said Canadians weren’t capable of optimism – or irony?
|Wall Street Journal -- Stupidity of Oil Export Ban....|
Commentary: As Obama squashes TransCanada's Keystone, an army of Interveners seek to quash TransCanada's Energy East exit for oil sands crude. And, more recently, Alaska's governor transfers support for the TransCanada/producer/state Alaska LNG project to a 100% government controlled gas pipeline, imperilling the former. -dh
Larry Persily, former federal coordinator for Alaska gas line projects, has accepted a position with the Kenai Borough government to include sharing information with the public about the Alaska LNG project and oil and gas issues in general. He will distribute the twice-a-week summaries in his new capacity. The update service will continue free of charge to readers.
Office of the Federal Coordinator is closed
The Office of the Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects closed on March 7, 2015, due to lack of funding. Its website, Arcticgas.gov, is being maintained, but not updated, by the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, with assistance of Alaska Resources Library & Information Services (ARLIS) at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Much of the office’s work also can be accessed online at The Pipe Files, a searchable digital library of hundreds of Alaska gas line project documents going back to the 1970s.
Congress created the Office of the Federal Coordinator in 2004 to help expedite and coordinate federal permitting for construction of a pipeline to move Alaska North Slope natural gas to North American markets. The current project under consideration by North Slope oil and gas producers involves piping the gas to a liquefaction plant in southcentral Alaska for export of LNG. More than 20 federal agencies are expected to have jurisdiction over that project.
|For useful references, see: 3-4-15, Legislators Push Back; 3-2-15, Walker and Legislature Tangle; 2-28-15 Walker Op-Ed; 2-28-15, Jenkins Op-ed re: Crazy as a loon/fox.|
Gov. Bill Walker now finds himself at loggerheads with lawmakers correctly cranky about his grandiose expansion plans for the $10 billion Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline.
His idea is to have ASAP compete with the $65 billion Alaska LNG Project, even though that could ball up the state’s business relationship with producers, who have spent hundreds of millions getting this far, and scare the bejeebers out of the market, which craves stability. More....
America's elected leader has undermined Israel and Canada, two of America's greatest allies, within the week: Stupid or Treacherous? Does this deplorable diplomacy also jeopardize US energy independence and give aid and comfort to America's enemies? You decide. -dh