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      This is your public service 1-stop-shop for Alaskan and Canadian Arctic energy commentary, news, history, projects and people. We update it daily for you. It is the most timely and complete northern energy archive 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 name others existing before 2001.  -dh

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6-9-15 Alaska has a new Arctic oil competitor (i.e. NWT shale plays with estimated gross reserve POTENTIAL of 190 billion barrels of oil in place)

09 June 2015 9:59am

A new competitor for the Alaska oil patch: A Bakken-sized NWT shale play?   More....

The Hill's Energy Links

NOTE: NEXT WEEK, the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will have an Oversight Hearing on Arctic Resources and American Competitiveness.  Our readers may watch, live.  Here's more....     -dh

US Senator Lisa Murkowski, Lift oil ban, File Photo by Dave Harbour at Brookings InstituteU.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo), today advanced her efforts to end the current prohibition on most U.S. crude oil exports in a report entitled “Rendering Vital Assistance: Allowing Oil Shipments to U.S. Allies.”  More....

BP in Alaska is a biannual publication listing the latest facts and figures around BP's field data, hiring, community investment, special projects, and more.  Our readers interested in Arctic production and related information will find it extremely timely and useful.   Our readers may access the publication, here.  -dh


OIL PRICE, BY Andrew Topf
Posted on Mon, 08 June 2015 21:38 | (NOTE: "...read a more subdued story in Bloomberg News, titled “Drop in oil prices means no drilling in Canada's biggest shale reserves.”)

The financial pages of Canadian newspapers have been full of headlines lately announcing the potential of two large shale oil fields in the Northwest Territories said to contain enough oil to rival the Bakken Formation of North Dakota and Montana.

The report by Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) evaluated, for the first time, the volume of oil in place for the Canol and Bluefish shale formations, located in the territory’s Mackenzie Plain. It found the “thick and geographically extensive” Canol formation is expected to contain 145 billion barrels of oil, while the “much thinner” Bluefish shale contains 46 billion barrels.

Related: More OPEC Oil Coming When Iranian Sanctions Removed

The report did not estimate the amount of recoverable oil, but points out that even if one percent of the Canol resource could be recovered, that represents 1.45 billion barrels. The calculation immediately had reporters comparing Canol and Bluefish to the Bakken, where the latest USGS estimate shows 7.4 billion barrels of ....   (More)


Tuesday, June 9, 2015


CONTACT: Julia Bell


Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Announces Oversight Hearing on Arctic Resources and American Competitiveness


WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, June 16, 2015, at 10:30 AM, in Room 1334 Longworth House Office Building, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing on “Arctic Resources and American Competitiveness.”


Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will convene an oversight hearing titled, "Arctic Resources and American Competitiveness”  


Tuesday, June 16
10:30 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 House Committee on Natural Resources.    


G-7 AGREES TO 2 DEGREE GOAL: Leaders of seven of the world's largest economies agreed Monday to do what it takes to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, setting the stage for high-level international climate talks later this year.

The 2-degree goal meets the level many scientists say would prevent the worst of global warming. 

Leaders of the G-7 countries -- the United States, Germany, France, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan -- made the announcement Monday in Germany during their annual meeting. The United Nations is set to host a climate conference later this year calling on world governments to take steps that would keep the ills of global warming at bay. 

"The agreement should enhance transparency and accountability including through binding rules at its core to track progress towards achieving targets, which should promote increased ambition over time," the G-7 declaration said.

To meet the goal, leaders said they need to greatly reduce their carbon dioxide emissions and reduce the use of fossil fuels. 

Read more here

ON TAP TUESDAY I: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on more than three dozen bills as members continue to build their energy reform package. Lynn Orr, the undersecretary for science and energy at the Department of Energy, will testify.

ON TAP TUESDAY II: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will kick off its two-day Fuel Cycle Information Exchange conference.


The Energy Information Administration estimates that the shale oil boom is slowing, Bloomberg reports.

Weeks after a transformer failure that has put new skepticism on the Indian Point Energy Center nuclear plant in New York, the Nuclear Energy Institute prepared a report Monday saying that the plant puts $1.3 billion into the area's economy, the Journal News reports.

Midnight Monday is the deadline to submit claims to BP's settlement program from the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Associated Press reports.


Check out Monday's stories ... 

-Coal giant to cut 250 jobs
-Nuclear regulators to downsize agency
-Feds, electricity utilities to focus on plug-in vehicles
-May sets new US rain record
-Congress will vote on chemical law reform this summer, McConnell says
-G-7 aims to limit global warming to 2 degrees
-California issues new air quality rules after cancer study
-Nuclear industry pushing for renewal of U.S.-China agreement



08 June 2015 10:07am

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Committee on Natural Resources has scheduled a markup beginning on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 4:00 PM in 1324 Longworth House Office Building. The Committee will consider the following bill, among others:

  • H.R. 2295 (Rep. Thomas MacArthur), To amend the Mineral Leasing Act to require the Secretary of the Interior to identify and designate National Energy Security Corridors for the construction of natural gas pipelines on Federal land, and for other purposes. “National Energy Security Corridors Act”


Andrew Browning, Consumer Energy Alliance, Hobbs, Denver, Photo by Dave HarboourKZOR FM 94.1 – Hobbs, New Mexico: Media Interview. This week on Media Meeting, Dawn Morgan sits down with (1) the organizers of the upcoming Keep Kids Safe event. (2) Then, Andrew Browning (NGP Photo) of the Consumer Energy Alliance comes in to discuss the oil and gas industry.​

Petroleum News: Explorers 2015: Shell pressing ahead in Chukchi after setbacks - 06/07/2015 (Full story) After a tiny step forward and many large leaps backward, Royal Dutch Shell plc is once again planning to explore its Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea this summer. “We have retained a very significant capability to be ready this year to go ahead,” CEO Ben van Beurden said during a January earnings....

A record-breaking energy resurgence has catapulted the U.S. to No. 1 in the world in oil and natural gas production. But our workforce has not adapted to this new reality. Hundreds of thousands of jobs remain unfilled, and the pipeline of future workers isn’t nearly what we need to meet future energy needs.​  Improved U.S. Arctic Energy Development Starts in the Classroom
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Still not fully viable 
I was encouraged to see the Trib reporting beyond industry talking points in the Business story “Wind energy muscled out of state market”. While it's important to diversify the domestic energy portfolio, the fact is that wind and solar, while much-needed parts of our diverse energy future, are not yet fully viable replacements for fossil fuels.
New York TimesOPEC, Keeping Quotas Intact, Adjusts to Oil’s New Normal
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to keep the oil pumping, with no change in its production quotas, at the group’s meeting here on Friday. Even though oil prices are about 40 percent lower than a year ago, OPEC decided to keep its output target at 30 million barrels a day in an effort to maintain market share and respond to robust production in the United States.
ReutersOil slips after OPEC keeps output high, China slowdown
Oil prices slipped on Monday after China's fuel imports dropped sharply and as markets digested an OPEC decision to keep its production target unchanged, a move analysts said would keep the market oversupplied for the rest of the year.
NewsweekMiddle East Turmoil Favors U.S. Shale over OPEC Oil
Political instability in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is discouraging capital investment in local oil and gas projects, and shifting interest to North American shale—despite MENA’s cheap, abundant and easy-to-extract hydrocarbon resources.
The National: High-cost production up for bit cuts as oil prices remain low
At the OPEC meeting on Friday in Vienna, the 12-member group announced that it would keep its oil output levels of 30 million barrels per day (bpd) despite the saturation driving market prices down. Brent crude stood around US$63 at close on Friday, still down from the highs experienced last June at $115 a barrel.
E&E News: OPEC's waning power puts economic influence out of its reach
There's widespread acknowledgement that OPEC's decision to leave its production target unchanged may underscore weaker cohesion and a waning of influence for the oil cartel on the global stage. Yet OPEC's influence may be waning in another important way: its ability to stimulate the global economy through lower oil prices.
Associated Press: Pipeline firm said California oil spill ‘extremely unlikely’
A Houston company whose ruptured pipeline created the largest coastal oil spill in California in 25 years had assured the government that a break in the line while possible was “extremely unlikely” and state-of-the-art monitoring could quickly detect possible leaks and alert operators, documents show.
Associated Press: Crews Say 44 Percent of California Coast Oil Spill Cleaned
Cleanup teams have determined that 44 percent of 96.5 miles of California coastline is clear of oil from the Refugio Oil Spill, a state official said Sunday. The 44 percent includes mostly sandy beaches, which only have trace amounts, or less than 1 percent of oil, said California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Alexia Retallack.
Associated Press: Jury finds former BP exec not guilty in oil spill case
A federal jury has acquitted former BP America Vice President of Gulf of Mexico Exploration David Rainey of making false statements about the volume of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill to government inspectors. Defense attorneys had argued that prosecutors lacked a basis for accusing Rainey of lying. U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt had also dismissed a charge of congressional inquiry obstruction against Rainey.
Associated Press: Judge merges suits contesting new federal drilling rules
A federal judge is merging two similar lawsuits that oppose upcoming new rules for oil and gas drilling on federal lands. Wyoming U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl on Thursdaygranted a consolidation request filed by both sides in one of the cases.
ReutersHF licenses to be issued before eco impact assessment
The department of minerals is going ahead with plans to issue exploration licences before the release of results of a two-year strategic environmental assessment (SEA) into fracking‚ the Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG) said on Monday.
The Hill: HF divides red, blue states
Fracking is creating a new dividing line between the nation’s red and blue states. While liberal-leaning states such as New York and Maryland have opted to ban hydraulic fracturing, despite the potential revenue from natural gas, conservative strongholds such as Texas and Oklahoma have gone the opposite route, moving to ensure that local towns and cities cannot outlaw the practice in their communities.
Forbes: EPA HF Study: Drilling Wins
EPA’s new study, in conclusion, confirms that fracking is a technology that belongs among the ranks of computers and iPhones. It is changing the nation for the better without causing widespread harm to underground aquifers and drinking water. It is producing energy to make America stronger and safer. And nearly single-handedly, it pulled the United States out of the depths of the Great Recession by creating jobs and boosting the economy.
Shale Energy InsiderHF does not have a “widespread” effect on US drinking water
The Independent Petroleum Association of America reacted to the publication, stating: “With this new report, it couldn’t be clearer that shale development is occurring in conjunction with environmental protection and the claims by anti-fracking activists have been thoroughly debunked.”
Mining Weekly: Anti-HF group slams DMR for ‘inadequate’ regulations
Despite an ongoing two-year strategic environmental assessment (SEA) into domestic hydraulic fracturing (fracking) by the Department of Environmental Affairs and claims from the environmental community that the consultation process around the formulation of fracking legislation was indequate, the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has released the final Regulations for Petroleum Exploration and Production.
New York Daily NewsN.Y. will still ban fracking despite federal report, spokesman says
A federal report that disproves the impact of hydraulic fracturing on water resources will not hamper New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision to ban the activity, said Tom Mailey, director of media relations at the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Compared with the federal report, the state review was broader as it focused on "impacts to air, water, public health, ecosystems, wildlife and community character," he said. Karen Moreau, executive director of the New York State Petroleum Council, said, "What is systemic and widespread is the suffering of thousands of families in New York's Southern Tier who had their hopes dashed by the governor's decision."
Forbes: Why New York's Fracking Ban For Natural Gas Is "Unsustainable"
A recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report that once again validated the safety of fracking (water pollution fears are completely overblown) has The Wall Street Journal claiming that Governor Cuomo’s ban has been “exposed as a fraud.
WTAJ News: Gov. Wolf reacts to Maryland HF ban
"I want to do it, I want to it right. I think modest, my goal is to have a modest severance tax that would be, certainly not the highest not the lowest, but somewhere in middle of the pack that would help us realize all of Pennsylvania is benefiting from a robust gas industry." Gov. Wolf said the gas industry can be a game-changer for the economy, if it's done the right way.
The Southern Illinoisan: Amid EPA verdict, HF is on the horizon
Fracking is, by and large, safe -- at least on the drinking water front. That, in a nutshell, is the conclusion of the most exhaustive analysis of the controversial technique for natural gas extraction, released last week by the Environmental Protection Agency. It's a potential death blow for the region's anti-fracking movement that's been so loud in recent years in Southern Illinois, which must now pivot to a watchdog role.
Daily NewsEPA report on HF is 'great news,' says NM Oil and Gas Assoc.
A spokesman for the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association says a new study that found hydraulic fracturing has caused minimal harm to drinking water is vindication for the industry. “It's great news for New Mexico and great for our country," said Wally Drangmeister of the draft assessment released by the Environmental Protection Agency late last week.
Colorado Springs GazetteEPA says fracking OK for H2O
It seemed like common sense to say fracking posed no substantial threat to lakes, rivers, streams and underground water. After all, no major water contamination catastrophes had occurred in more than four decades of the practice. Besides, fracking fluid is 99.5 percent water and sand. The remaining 0.5 percent consists of scary-sounding chemicals mostly found on food labels. The stuff is so nontoxic, Colorado's Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper drank a glass of it for show.
Orange County Register: Pollution warnings about HF don't hold water
But Gov. Brown hardly has sold his soul to the state’s oil and gas industry. He simply thinks it unwise to climb aboard an “ideological bandwagon” that views the industry as the destroyer of worlds and fracking as its chosen weapon.
Lompo Record: No evidence HF causes earthquakes
These days fracking gets blamed for almost anything that happens out of the ordinary. However, independent scientific studies have been unable to detect a connection between fracking and earthquakes. The evidence for a connection is generally limited to anecdotal assertions.
Washington TimesFoes poised to declare victory in 'war on coal' as investors, utilities flee energy source
After powering the Industrial Revolution and helping to turn the U.S. into the world’s top economic power, coal now seems to be drowning in what environmentalists call a “deadly cocktail” — a rabid, politically potent anti-fossil fuels movement, the rise of cheap, abundant, relatively clean domestic natural gas and an Obama administration that freely admits it wants to decrease coal use in America through a host of new rules.
FuelFixAbundance and Affordability: Overlooked Characteristics
Although energy is just one input in the wealth production process, it is generally recognized as a critical one. Labor, capital equipment, technology, investment are combined with energy to produce goods and services, with energy being the catalyst.
Breaking Energy: Clean Air and Health to Co-benefit from More Stringent US Power Plant Carbon Standards, Study Suggests
A new study sheds light on looming key policy choices to be made by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in finalizing the Clean Power Plan this summer.
Petroleum News: Explorers 2015: Shell pressing ahead in Chukchi after setbacks
After a tiny step forward and many large leaps backward, Royal Dutch Shell plc is once again planning to explore its Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea this summer.
Gas & Oil Magazine: Small turn-out for protest against drilling
About 25 people held signs, listened to protest music and otherwise voiced their opinions after visiting legislators and urging them to vote against House Bill 8.
E&E NewsCompanies dispute energy-quake link
An oil company Friday questioned the results of a study that linked its operations to earthquakes in Texas. State regulators, who will hold hearings starting this week to determine if they should take action against two oil companies that operate near the site of the earthquakes, remained skeptical of the connection between the energy industry and seismic activity, even while they asked what data could be collected to better understand the events.


6-7-15 Oil Taxes Approach the Alaska Political Spotlight Again

07 June 2015 3:43pm

Comment.  Readers can be sure that when Alaska's governor calls a summit on the state's fiscal situation, the outlook for oil and gas investors becomes less certain.  (See ADN story, column left)

This is because the natural course of politics is to tax entities with the most cash and fewest votes and protecting large voting blocks of beneficiaries.

For example, the capital intensive oil industry employs very few, highly skilled masters of technology to produce great wealth.  Other industries, like commercial fishing and tourism are people intensive; they employ huge armies of mostly lower skilled workers --voters-- that produce insufficient tax revenue to fund the education, airports, social services, roads, docks and seasonal unemployment costs associated with their vocations.

So when the Revenue Commissioner talks about "changes" to an oil and gas tax regime that was reformed by the Legislature two years ago, then withstood a voters initiative to repeal the reform last year, investors must calculate a higher risk factor into their ongoing investment decisions -- including big projects like gas pipelines.

The way it will likely happen is that politicians will say, "...the fiscal crisis affects everyone and everyone will have to contribute a 'fair share' to the solution." What follows will be fairly insignificant spending cuts and modest tax hikes affecting large groups and proposals for more significant tax increases affecting oil and gas investors.

If it rolls out any other way, it will be a first for Alaska.

Alaska's deplorable fiscal crisis is decades old and self imposed by politicians and greedy constituents; it was not caused state's small cadre of highly efficient wealth producers. 

Yet we can expect in coming months misleading and demonizing rhetoric aimed at those investors to justify taxing them more; the rhetoric will also serve to cover the derrieres of the real culprits -- Alaska's current and past political bosses.  


ADN by Dermot Cole and Nathaniel Herz.   ...

“We’re going to have taxes that impact individual Alaskans. We’re going to have to look at changes to oil and gas taxes. We’re going to have to look at strategic use of our legacy assets,” (Revenue Commissioner Randy  Hoffbeck) said, referring to the Constitutional Budget Reserve, the Permanent Fund and other accounts.  

Hoffbeck said oil and gas tax changes could be part of the solution but “I don’t want anybody to misinterpret this as saying, ‘It’s time to go after the oil companies again.’  

“Is there room to modify oil and gas taxes? To make them more efficient, to make them work better, generate more incentives for investment, while still being fair? I think that’s an honest intellectual discussion that we need to have.”

More on gas pipeline from Petroleum News: 

Chenault bullish on LNG progress, prospects - 06/07/2015 House Speaker Mike Chenault has been busy dealing over the budget impasse that's approaching its fifth month. But the Nikiski Republican hasn't lost sight of recent significant oil and gas developments, be it repairing the Dalton Highway, protests from Washington state and Seattle politicians over S....




05 June 2015 7:33am

What America's Decline in Economic Freedom Means for Entrepreneurship and Prosperity 

Why did the U.S. economy recover so slowly from the 2008 recession? What lessons have economists learned that can encourage economic growth in the future? A new book, comprised of five essays by noted U.S. economists, connects the dots between the role entrepreneurs and small businesses play in growing an economy, how high levels of economic freedom increase both the quantity and quality of entrepreneurship, the decline of economic freedom in the United States since 2000, and how the decline in economic freedom explains the sluggish economic recovery.Read more.

Government employees in Canada paid 9.7% more than comparable employees in private-sector
Government employees in Canada receive higher wages and likely more generous non-wage benefits than their private-sector counterparts, finds Comparing Government and Private Sector Compensation in Canada Read more


Governments missing the mark on energy and environmental regulations
Policymakers have encumbered Canadians with superfluous and needlessly costly environmental regulations that do little to improve the environment, concludes The Principle of Targeting in Energy and Environmental Policy Read more


6-4-15 Perry Announces For President Putting Energy Reform As A Top Priority

04 June 2015 9:58am

Rick Perry, Governor, Texas, Candidate, President, Copyright Dave Harbour 2011, Photo by Dave Harbour, IOGCCCommentary: Today, Governor Rick Perry (NGP Photo) announced his candidacy for president.  His message embraced a reversal of most Obama-era policies--especially those involving energy.  He said, "There is nothing wrong in America today that a change in leadership will not (correct)."  (Full Video Below)

We hope that is so; if it is to be so, it will take the sort of passion, commitment, experience and determination reflected in his remarks today.  

Yesterday a dear friend on Facebook posted an editorial about 'unaffordable housing costs and stagnant wages'.  It sounded to me like the article was a pretext to more massive wealth transfer from the producers to the beneficiaries of our welfare society.  We too lament the predicament of many but went on to offer this analysis (edited), with which my FB friend agreed:

Government increases costs of regulation for 20 million small (not to mention large) businesses causing an export of jobs and wealth, then taxes at an excessive rate, then borrows $18 trillion from our children, and then says to all businesses: "now we will force you to pay more per hour for your employees whether their skill, education or the value of the job itself merits more compensation or not."
American citizens are no longer masters of their government, but indentured to it. The generations since WWII have -- intentionally or not -- given away a large portion of the freedom inherited from our ancestors that led to the most successful, free country in history.
High housing costs and "stagnant" wages are not the cause of our economic malaise, but a symptom of it.
An answer to today's morass of economic malaise is not to increase the army of bureaucrats; it is to cut taxes , trim regulations and undertake massive tort reform to reduce everyone's hidden costs and create more private sector jobs.
The answer is not more government subsidized programs today, financed by our kids tomorrow. The answer is not more minimum wage projects that kill small business growth (LAX, SEA).
The answer is us: self reliant citizens who would rather do without than subject our children to a crushing, impossible debt burden acquired by selfish generations of parents.

We add this little information box because we believe it is relevant to Governor Perry's comments today.  -dh

This is not an endorsement of this particular candidate for we have also been inspired by the announcements of other candidates.  And we have also been impressed with the commitment of some other candidates who rely on a rededication of America to the 'rule of God', which we believe to be indispensable to the survival and prosperity of the American experiment.  

But we heard nothing today that would discourage our eventual support.

He said that, "Energy is vital to our economy."  Among the more specific energy statements he made were the promises that on the first day in office he would freeze any Obama administration pending regulations; approve the Keystone pipeline; and, authorize the export of natural gas to European allies to free them from dependence on Russian supply.

From a national defense perspective he sent a message to Russia's Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, "If energy is to be used as a weapon, America will have the largest arsenal."

"During my 14 years as governor," Perry said, "Texas companies created almost 1/3 of all new American jobs.  In the last 7 years of my tenure Texas created 1.5 million new jobs.  Without Texas America would have lost 400,000 jobs."  

We note that those are impressive facts and accomplishments, not merely promises.

He added that during his governorship, Texas was an engine of growth because under his watch, the state 1) controlled taxes, 2) focused on reasonable regulations, 3) invested in an educated work force, and 4) stopped frivolous lawsuits (See our related comments, left column).

He said that Texas enjoys the country's second highest high school graduation rate, the highest graduation rate for black and Hispanic students.

Texas led nation in exports, he said, provided historic tax relief and balanced its budget for 14 years (though, in fairness, one notes that while the federal government can avoid balancing the budget by printing money, states cannot print their own currency and must balance their budgets).  

In these pages we have lamented the current administration's departure from the rule of law.  Perry emphasized the value of maintaining law and order.  He recalled that when President Obama refused to control the border, he activated the Texas National Guard.  The policy worked.  He added, "If you elect me your president I will secure that border.  Homeland security begins with border security".   

In order for America's energy industry to thrive, the country must be protected.  Perry pledged to do that.  He said that the most basic compact between the President and the citizens is to keep the country safe.  He said that a great lesson of history is that strength brings peace and order while "weakness and vacillation" invite chaos and conflict.  

Perry is a longtime states rights advocate and a former Chairman of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, IOGCC.

-Dave Harbour















Dave Harbour, publisher of Northern Gas Pipelines, is a former Chairman of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, a Commissioner Emeritus of NARUC, and NARUC's Official Representative to IOGCC. He is also past Chair of the Alaska Council on Economic Education, former Chair of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, and past President of the American Bald Eagle Foundation.  A former Army officer, Harbour has directed external affairs operations of major oil and gas companies, served as a university vice president and been CEO of several small businesses.  Harbour is also Chairman Emeritus of the Alaska Oil & Gas Congress and past President of the Alaska Press Club.





03 June 2015 6:30am

TODAYThe Environmental Protection Agency released the final version of a new rule that will dramatically increase the agency’s power, and will devastate Americans’ ability to use their own property and their own water."

Pedro van Meurs Mexico Meeting This Summer 

National Energy Board Staffing

Dan Joling, AP, Shell Oil, lawsuit, Arctic, Photo by Dave HarbourAP/ADN by Dan Joling (NGP Photo).  Ten environmental groups Tuesday sued a federal agency over its approval of a plan by Royal Dutch Shell PLC for exploratory petroleum drilling off Alaska's northwest coast.

Comment on Arctic exploration.  We have the highest regard for Shell, its employees and its dedication to the Arctic drilling project.  

The company has spent now over $7 billion on leases, permitting, community relations, technology and logistics, etc. and labored against continuous obstruction by the EPA and environmental groups, among others.  

In our heart of hearts, we believed that when the Federal government gave one of several required go-ahead to the project this year, it was true to its philosophy and strategy of 'damning Arctic energy work by faint praise."  That is, we believe that this duplicitous administration that would preemptively stop a state mining project on state lands (i.e. Pebble); and delay or kill the eminently reasonable and economically important Keystone XL pipeline; or lock up half of the nation's Alaska petroleum reserve; or manage the 1002 ANWR area as wilderness without Congressional approval; or use financial resources from over a dozen state agencies to implement a non-Congressionally approved 'oceans policy would not give up opposition to Shell's Arctic project without a strategy.  

We believe that the recent, highly organized enviro spectacle connected with Shell's use of the Port of Seattle and another lawsuit attack (AP story above) could be giving the administration comfort that they can claim, "We support an all-of-the-above energy program", knowing that plans are in progress for stopping or delaying the project yet again.  Even the U.S. Senate democrats are organizing against Shell's investment and plans.   Would they do this without the administration's acquiescence?  

While we have sometimes been wrong in connecting the dots, in the case of this administration we have documented a pattern of violations of due process (i.e. rule of law) which threatens our economy, our national defense, our civilization and our childrens' futures.  

We hope we are wrong this time.  We hope that Shell's ongoing challenges are merely gnats that can easily be swatted away.  

We hope that, contrary to evidence, the administration is not -- in this case -- working behind the scenes with enviro-extremists to cripple due process and America's reliance on the rule of law embedded in our Constitution.  

But EPA's WOTUS rule, subject of today's news, gives us -- not cause for confidence in our government -- but reason for a heightened state of alarm.  -dh  



Pedro van Meurs, Mexico, leasing terms, Alaska, Photo by Dave HarbourThe subject is not Northern, but this Mexico opportunity will surely interest many of our North American readers.  Furthermore, Pedro van Meur's (NGP Photo) workshops always produce insight into how the various jurisdictions approach leasing, regulatory and taxation issues.  This is why we monitor his meeting schedule....  -dh


On May 29, 2015, CNH unveiled further significant modifications to the shallow water terms.  

On May 12, 2015, the initial terms for onshore blocks were also announced.

At the same time, the terms for the areas allocated to PEMEX are also known.  

This means that we now have considerable information about Mexican petroleum terms. 

On June 15 – 16, 2015 in Mexico City we will have a work shop providing an independent analysis and evaluation of these offshore and onshore terms.  This work shop will be beneficial for all those interested in investing in Mexico’s petroleum industry.

Click here  for more information about this work shop.

Best regards,
Pedro van Meurs
President, Van Meurs Corporation
PO Box CR-56766 # 1261
Nassau, Bahamas




For Immediate Release:                            Contact: Emily Schillinger ~202.224.6441

June 3, 2015                                              Emily_Schillinger@Barrasso.Senate.Gov


Barrasso Highlights How the Final

WOTUS Rule is Even Worse Than Draft Rule

Calls for Passage of Bipartisan Federal Water Quality Protection Act


Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso’s speech.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent release of the final “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule.


Barrasso also highlighted his bipartisan legislation, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S. 1140). The bill would direct the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to issue a revised “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule that protects traditional navigable water from water pollution, while also protecting farmers, ranchers and private landowners.


Excerpts of his remarks:


“Last week, our nation observed Memorial Day –we paid tribute to the sacrifices that so many Americans have made to preserve our freedoms.


“Also last week, while members of Congress were back home, the Obama administration snuck out a new rule that takes away freedom—it takes away freedom from Americans all across the country.


“The Environmental Protection Agency released the final version of a new rule that will dramatically increase the agency’s power, and will devastate Americans’ ability to use their own property and their own water.


“With this rule, President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency overreaches and ignores the American people.


“The rule is an attempt—an attempt to change the definition of what the Clean Water Act calls ‘waters of the United States.’


“There is bipartisan agreement that Washington bureaucrats have gone way beyond their authority with this new regulation.


“They’ve written this rule so broadly – and with so much uncertainty – that it’s not clear if there are any limits on this agency’s power.


“Now I agree with what the chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee has to say—he wrote it in an op-ed that appeared yesterday.


“The Senator from Oklahoma, Senator Inhofe, Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee wrote: ‘Not only does this final rule break promises EPA has made, but it claims federal powers even beyond what EPA originally proposed a year ago. This will drastically affect – for the worse – the ability of many Americans to use and enjoy their property.’ 


“Then it defines tributaries to include any place where you can see an ‘ordinary high water mark’ or what looks like it was once the bank of a creek, a creek body of water. What looks like—not what is—but what looks like.


“Under the rule, the Environmental Protection Agency can regulate something as ‘waters of the United States’ if it falls within a 100-year floodplain of a navigable water. Not navigable water today, but anything within a 100-year floodplain of a navigable water.


“The rule says the agency has to find a ‘significant nexus’ to navigable water.


“So what’s a significant nexus to the EPA? Well, the agency gets to make up its own definition.


“They say it includes something as simple as finding that the water provides ‘life cycle dependent aquatic habitat’ for a species that spends part of its time in a navigable water. 


“All of these terms are things that Washington bureaucrats are defining for themselves.


“They decide for themselves that they have the authority.


“So let’s say your property is within 4,000 feet of anything the Environmental Protection Agency decides is a tributary, and your property has a natural pond – or some standing water after heavy rain.


“And let’s say a bird that spends part of its life on the Colorado River decides to hang out near that natural pond, or that standing water that occurred on your property after it rained. 


“Under this new regulation, the Environmental Protection Agency now has the power to regulate what you do on that land.


“It’s bad enough that this administration has taken this extraordinary step. It’s bad enough that it tried to sneak out its rule hoping that nobody was paying attention over the Memorial Day time at home.


“There are now reports that the Obama administration may have broken the law. 


“Here’s what the New York Times reported on May 18, under the headline, front page of the New York Times, ‘Critics Hear E.P.A.’s Voice in Public Comments.’


“This was an article, front page New York Times, about the public comments that government agencies have to collect when they propose new regulations like this one they’ve done on the waters of the U.S.


“The comment period is supposed to be an opportunity for people who might be harmed by the rules to have their say.


“Well, according to this front page article in the New York Times, the Environmental Protection Agency has twisted the public comments requirement into its own private government funded spin machine.


“The article says: ‘In a campaign that tests the limits of federal lobbying law, the agency orchestrated a drive to counter political opposition from Republicans and enlist public support in concert with liberal environmental groups and a grass-roots organization aligned with President Obama.’


“This government agency ignored negative comments by Americans who were concerned about the law, who were hurt by the law.


“Then it used taxpayer dollars to lobby liberal groups ‘to flood the agency with positive comments,’ that’s not me, that’s what’s written in the New York Times.


“These were the same phony, ginned up comments it used to justify the dramatic overreach of its new regulations.


“It’s incredible, it’s unacceptable, and I believe, it’s illegal.


“The Environmental Protection Agency would rather skew public comments in its favor, than acknowledge the real concerns that Americans and members of Congress have with this destructive rule.


“These are the concerns of farmers, of ranchers, of hard working families, small businesses across the country.


“There was an interesting column in U.S. News and World Report last Friday.


“The headline was ‘Stop Terrorizing Main Street.’


“The column talked about the damage that all this red tape can do to small businesses.


“It says: ‘when the EPA jumps up and yells ‘boo,’ entrepreneurs cringe. They withdraw. They feel anxious and reconsider plans to start or expand a business. This is bad for our economy.’


“Well, I believe they’re exactly right.


“That’s what Washington does with the uncertainty and the overreach of rules like this one.


“It’s bad for the economy –it does nothing to improve the quality of our water, or the quality of our life.


“There is universal agreement in this country that we should protect America’s navigable waters.


“There is also bipartisan agreement on the best ways for Washington to help do that.


“This isn’t just Republicans against President Obama.


“This is Republicans and Democrats working to protect America’s waterways – and President Obama working instead to expand the power of unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats.


“Here’s how the newspaper The Hill reported it last Thursday, with an article headlined ‘Democrats buck Obama on water rule.’


“The article says: ‘Dozens of congressional Democrats are joining Republicans to back legislation blocking the Obama administration’s new rule to redefine its jurisdiction over the nation’s waterways.’


“It’s talking about my bill, a bill called the Federal Water Quality Protection Act.


“The bill has 30 co-sponsors in the Senate – Democrats and Republicans alike.


“A similar bill in the House actually passed with the support of 24 Democrats and every Republican.


“So what does the administration have to say to the dozens of Democrats in Congress – the 24 Democrats who voted against the administration? To the millions of Americans – who are concerned about this new regulation?


“According to the article in The Hill, President Obama’s top environmental adviser said, this is of the Democrats who voted for this, ‘The only people with reason to oppose the rule are polluters...’


“So the president believes that the 24 Democrats that voted to support, and the Democrats in the Senate who voted to cosponsor my legislation, are polluters who want to threaten our clean water.


“That’s what the White House thinks of these Democrats in Congress.


“That’s what the White House thinks of anyone who dares to suggest that this rule is bureaucratic overreach. Such arrogance.


“Well, there are a lot of Americans – Democrats and Republicans – who are not going to be intimidated by the Obama administration’s power grab, or its name-calling.


“The Obama administration has ignored the strong bipartisan consensus against this rule – and it’s once again, taking its own, radical approach.


“Instead of moving forward with a rule that fails to represent the interests of many Americans, we should act immediately to pass this bipartisan Federal Water Quality Protection Act.


“This legislation says Yes to clean water – and No to extreme bureaucracy.


“It will protect America’s waterways, while keeping Washington’s hands off of things that it has no business regulating.


“The Environmental Protection Agency would have to consult with the states –to make sure that we’ve got the approach that works best everywhere, not just the approach that Washington likes best.


“They would not be able to just listen to the echo chamber of phony comments concocted by their own lobbying campaign.


“Now this bill gives certainty and clarity to farmers, to hardworking ranchers, to small business owners and their families.


“It makes sure that people can continue to enjoy the beautiful rivers and the lakes that should be preserved and protected.


“This bipartisan bill protects Americans from runaway bureaucracy—unaccountable, unelected.


“It restores Washington’s attention to the traditional waters that were always the focus before.


“The American people don’t need more bureaucratic overreach. We don’t need more red tape.


“Congress should act immediately to stop this outrageous regulation before it goes into effect.


“The Senate should take up and pass this bipartisan Federal Water Quality Protection Act.”



National Energy Board can't afford the calibre of staff it needs,pipeline group warns
CEPA represents natural gas and oil pipeline companies across Canada, while the NEB is 90 percent funded by levies on the industry.
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