The power 202: Alaskans are sick and tired of everybody telling them not to drill

The Energy 202: Alaskans are sick and tired of everyone telling them not to drill


The Arctic Nationwide Wildlife Refuge is back on the legal table â€? again â€? since GOP lawmakers search for revenue to assist pay for a massive package of taxes cuts.  

As part of price range bill passed by the Senate final month, lawmakers instructed members from the Senate Energy and Natural Sources Committee to find $1 billion within additional revenue â€? a control widely seen as designed to open the particular refuge to drilling.  

With the tax package on the main stage yesterday in the House, senators sparred in the Power and Natural Resources Committee on lack of of the Capitol over whether to permit drilling on one of few uninterrupted parcels of land in the United States. The tiff foreshadows the partisan rifts that are likely to divide the upper holding chamber over paying for a tax package deal that Republicans need to claim being an accomplishment.

On one part of the debate sat Republicans plus virtually every Alaskan elected to statewide office, including  Chair Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), who argue that opening ANWR to drilling will boost the state’s economy and the nation’s energy protection. Using modern drilling techniques, they will argue, it can be done with little environment impact.

On the other side sitting virtually every Democrat, including ranking member Helen Cantwell (Wash. ), who deal that the region is too ecologically important to indigenous caribou hunters as well as the broader Arctic ecosystem to weary for oil.

The panel meeting turned tense at times, with Cantwell pressing her Republican equal about why the bipartisan power bill she and Murkowski introduced within June has been abandoned to take in the ANWR question yet again.

“This hearing is a great departure from the strong working relationship that Sen. Murkowski and I have set to work together on an energy agenda that will move our country forward,” Cantwell said.

Meanwhile, Alaska’s independent streak was on display one of the plethora of elected officials from the condition in the hearing room.  “For those of us who call Alaska home, to suggest that we would despoil our environment for short-term gain is offensive,” Murkowski said.  (You can read more about the particular hearing here. )

Tucked contrary to the Beaufort Sea in Alaska’s Northern Slope, a 1 . 5 million-acre coastal plain in the refuge continues to be part of a heated political discussion since the 1980s. In 1989, Our elected representatives considered the issue of drilling in the retreat, and the Energy and Natural Sources Committee passed a pro-drilling costs. But it was shelved after the Exxon Valdez ran ashore in the Knight in shining armor William Sound. In the 1990s, then-Sen. Frank H. Murkowski (R-Alaska), Lisa’s father, tried unsuccessfully, again. The 1995 attempt to open the retreat passed the GOP-controlled House plus Senate but was vetoed by Leader Bill Clinton. A group of moderate Conservatives defeated a similar attempt in 2005.

Alaska’s elected officials ended up in force for the hearing. Rep. Add Young, Alaska’s long-serving and single member of the House, shot back from opponents of the drilling plan, with out naming names, for what this individual saw as their ignorance on Alaskan issues.

“I don’t feel too comfortable on the Senate side,” Young mentioned. “I need a flashlight most of the time because sometimes it’s pretty dark over here.”

Saying “I am Ak, ” he went on to compare the dimensions of the area that would be drilled to a department of transportation on his nose.

Alaska Open public Radio Network’s Liz Ruskin:

The hearing was went to by seemingly every Alaskan chosen to statewide office, including Gov. Bill Walker (I), Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott (D) and Sen. Dan Sullivan (R), who all of supported drilling in the refuge.

During the four-hour hearing, Murkowski and other Republicans emphasized only “one ten-thousandth,” or 2, 000 acres, from the refuge would be open to drilling when restrictions were eliminated.

Cantwell and Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) countered that figure discount rates the impact of roads, international airports and pipelines necessary to bring the essential oil out of the refuge and to the state’s primary petroleum artery, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System.

At one particular point, Cantwell held up a chart showing, she said, that going “will take up a significant portion of the refuge.”

Later, Young offered the rebuttal. “The map that the ranking member showed was actually drawn up by the Sierra Club,” he added. “That bothers me. That’s old information.”

ANWR, the largest national wildlife retreat in the country, is owned by the government â€? and is, in turn, an asset of Americans not just Alaskans. But Alaskans  â€? along with other Western representatives, such as Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont. ) â€? are fiercely defending the correct of those living and working in their state to have an outsize role in deciding ANWR’s fate.

As Jennifer The. Dlouhy of Bloomberg News noted:

Many residents of Traditional western states with significant federal footprints, which includes Alaska, would like to see their states take more control â€? and in some cases, outright possession â€? of federally held property, which they see as often un- or underdeveloped.  In turn, environmentalists worry that will state officials are more likely to acquiesce in order to interests from the fossil-fuel, lumber along with other industries.

Because Republcians experienced more spots for invitees compared to Democrats at yesterday’s Senate hearing, the majority of the Alaskans in attendance supported going. But not all of them.

As Samuel Alexander, a member of the Gwich’in group, put it during his committee account (via, again, the Sierra Club):


— Clovis, out there: President Trump’s nominee to be their top scientist at the Agriculture Section withdrew his name from consideration Wed after it surfaced as part of the analysis into the relationship between Trump’s marketing campaign and Russian officials, report The particular Post’s Juliet Eilperin and Philip Rucker.

Clovis had prompted Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos to have an “off the report meeting” with Russian officials, court papers from special counsel Robert T. Mueller III investigation show. In pulling out his nomination, Clovis told Trump he didn’t believe he would get a reasonable hearing from the Senate.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt. ) launched a blistering statement following Clovis’s withdrawal, calling him a “comically bad nominee, even for this management. â€? *****************************)

“He is inarguably unqualified, and he is wrong on almost every major issue relevant to the chief scientist post to which he was nominated,” Leahy said. “His nomination is all too typical of the anti-science agenda and the know-nothingism pushed by President Trump and his administration. But President Trump already knew that when he nominated Mr. Clovis, and that is not why his nomination was abruptly pulled today. Not because of his association with birtherism or as a climate change denier, or his other repugnant assertions.”

— Perry blunder alert: Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Thurs suggested the increased development of non-renewable fuels could help prevent sexual assault. Right after recently returning from a trip to The african continent, Perry described an interaction he previously during his visit at an power policy discussion.

“I simply got back from Africa, I’m going to wind up with this, because I think I noticed a lady say there are people declining. Let me tell you where people are dying, is within Africa, because of the lack of energy they have right now there, â€? Perry said at a speak held by Axios and NBC.

“And it’s going to take fossil fuels in order to push power out into individuals villages in Africa, where a younger girl told me to my face, ‘one of the reasons that electricity is really important to me is not only because Now i’m not going to have to try to read with the light of a fire and have individuals fumes literally killing people. ‘ But also from the standpoint associated with sexual assault. When the lights take, when you have light that shines, the particular righteousness, if you will, on individuals types of acts. So from the perspective of how you really affect people’s lifestyles, fossil fuels is going to play a role in that. I actually happen to think it’s going to play an optimistic role. “

In addition to the broader effort by the energy admin to endorse the use of fossil fuels, Perry’s comment drew criticism for the link he tried to make between their own prevalence and any sexual-assault avoidance:

From The New Republic’s Emily Atkin:

The Energy Department’s press office mentioned in a statement that Perry had been “making the important point that while numerous Americans take electricity for given there are peple in other countries who are influenced by their lack of electricity” adding that even though on his trip to Africa, “he had been told how light can be a prevention to sexual assault and can supply security in remote areas. “ 

Read the full statement:

The Sierra Club has called for Perry to resign over his comments, calling it an “inexcusable make an effort to minimize a serious and pervasive problem. â€? *****************************)

Read the declaration from the group’s Executive Director Jordan Brune here, shared by The Hill’s Devin Henry:

The Post’s Christopher Ingraham also explores further the concept of “more lights, much less crime. “ “Although it’s an presumption that many of us take for granted, evidence is definitely mounting that nighttime brightness might do little to stop crime, and perhaps may make it worse, ” Ingraham writes, citing five studies through 1991 to 2005 that investigated lighting practices and crime in the usa and in England.

He provides: “Going back to Perry’s remarks, the idea that light deters crime is probably the least baffling part of the line he received from fossil fuel burning in order to sexual assault prevention.  But discover little indication that the ‘righteousness’ of night time lighting will do much to stop criminal offense in general â€? to say nothing associated with sexual assault in particular. “

Andy Revkin, a climate reporter from ProPublica, defended Perry’s remarks simply in a tweetstorm, arguing that educational studies focused on the developed instead of developing world:

— Perry on Puerto Rico: Also at the Axios event, the energy secretary conceded that the Trump administration was slow to respond in order to hurrican damage in the U. T. territory compared with recovery efforts within Texas and Florida. But he defended the reasons for the delay.

“So, were we slow getting it back? Yes, I would suggest to you we were slow getting it back, if you use Florida and Texas as your model. Puerto Rico’s not Florida and Texas, for a lot of reasons,” he said.

“Puerto Rico is very, very different from any other natural disaster that I’ve seen in my 30 years of public service. Partly because it was an island,” Perry added.

He also observed that Bruce Walker, the department’s assistant secretary for electricity is at Puerto Rico and teased that will “we’ll be announcing some, I think, very positive changes to get electricity back on,” per The Hill.

As of Thursday, local government information reported that about 63 % of customers on the island were nevertheless without power.

Here’s something about the Whitefish contract which was normal: Amid criticism over Puerto Rico’s decision to award the no-bid contract to Whitefish Power, FEMA itself has issued likewise noncompetitive contracts at a record price, Bloomberg reports.

The company awarded $200 million in single-source contracts in the latest fiscal calendar year, the most since 2008, per the particular report. And in the last month, FEMA gave $189 million in no-bid contracts, reporters Christopher Flavelle and John Murphy continue. The agency has not given that many noncompetitive contracts in a single 30 days since 2005 following Hurricane Katrina.

Though no-bid contracts are occasionally awarded as a way to hasten processes much more need, experts say it’s the worrisome practice.

Neil Gordon, an investigator from the Project upon Government Oversight told Bloomberg that will “lack of competition in contracting is a recipe for trouble” as competition “acts as a natural check on contractor abuses.”

And Bloomberg reports that the Government Responsibility Office is now looking into FEMA’s activities.

A rare little bit of good news for climate scientists within 2017: Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the long-serving chairman the House Technology Committee who has long been a weather change skeptic, announced his pension from Congress on Thursday.

And then there were five: Upon Thursday, the Senate approved 2 new members of the Federal Power Regulatory Commission. By voice election, the chamber gave the thumbs-up to Richard Glick, a Democrat, and Kevin McIntyre, a Republican who will become FERC’s new chairman.

The enhancements to the five-member body come in a key moment for Perry great proposal, currently in front of the commission rate,  to rewrite the rules for just how power companies are compensated for the electrical power they produce â€? in a way, the particular proposal advocates,  that would eventually benefit nuclear and coal services. Two of the current commissioners, Take advantage of Powelson and Cheryl LaFleur, have signaled their apprehension over the plan. Yet McIntyre and Glick could replace the math for Perry.

“Back-to-basics: “ Environmental Protection Agency Manager Scott Pruitt will travel in a few days to address the American Chemistry Council’s board meeting at a high-end holiday resort on South Carolina’s  Kiawah Isle, the agency confirmed to The Article on Thursday.  “This is part of Administrator Pruitt’s ‘back-to-basics’ tour as he continues to meet with as many stakeholders as possible,” an ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY spokesman said in a statement. “Administering the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), amended by the 2016 Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act, is one of EPA’s core functions.”


Electric vehicles targeted: Included in the taxes plan that House Republicans lastly unveiled on Wednesday is a suggested elimination of $7, 500 associated with tax credits for electric automobiles, a development that may threaten tasks by companies like Tesla.

Even with the launch of its least expensive new model, the repeal from the credit would make it more difficult for any broad range of consumers to be able to afford the less-expensive model, Bloomberg reports. Trade groupings have already expressed opposition to the suggested repeal.

”The potential removal of the federal electric vehicle taxes credit will impact the choices associated with prospective buyers and make the electrical vehicle mandate in 10 declares – about a third of the marketplace – even more difficult to meet, â€?  Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman for the Connections of Automobile Manufacturers, an industry group representing companies including GENERAL MOTORS, Toyota Motor Corp,  and Vw AG told Reuters

Renewables, too: The tax proposal also strikes a blow against wind plus solar credits, “reneging on a bipartisan deal made in Congress in 2015, ” according to The Post’s Steven Mufson. Here’s more from Mufson: “The credits were extended and will be eliminated under a deal made by President Obama in exchange for allowing crude oil exports. Solar and wind companies had been eager to make sure those credits stay untouched. But the new bill might increase how much work must be done in order to qualify for a production tax credit score and it would reduce inflation changes for future production tax credit. The changes would generate $12. 3 billion in revenues â€? ultimately an added cost for alternative energy. “


— Ten million Americans is going to be “substantially affected” by the changing climate simply by 2075, according to a new projection with the Congressional Budget Office. That type of massive effect from rising oceans and natural disasters will ultimately lead to $39 billion in yearly federal disaster spending, up through the current $28 billion, the office tasks, per Bloomberg.

But the particular CBO is suggesting that instead of spend on preventive measures, local officials ought to bear more of the financial burden. “To the extent that households, companies, and state and local government authorities in coastal areas do not carry the full cost of hurricane damage, this kind of growth is subsidized by Oughout. S. taxpayers, ” the budget workplace wrote, per Bloomberg. “Shifting expenses would increase incentives for personal and public entities to take procedures to limit expected damage. “

The CBO is now part of the trend, along with the Government Accountability Workplace, of non-partisan agencies issuing climate-related reports the Trump administration can perform nothing to stop. In a report released last month, the GAO concluded that the economic effects of climate alter will be widespread â€? both geographically and across sectors of the economic climate in the United States. Read more from The Energy 202 here.


POST PROGRAMMING ALERT:  The Post plus Live Nation will bring the “Can He Do That?” podcast to a live audience at the Warner Theatre on Tuesday, Nov. seven.  In this live taping, politics reporters Bob Woodward, David Fahrenthold and Karen Tumulty will sign up for host Allison Michaels to review earlier times year in President Trump’s Whitened House and the biggest moments that will made people wonder “Can He Do That?” Tickets can be purchased at this point at Live Nation.  Attendees will also get a free 30-day digital subscription towards the Washington Post.  

Coming Up

  • House Natural Resources Panel oversight hearing for “Examining Challenges in Puerto Rico’s Recovery and the Role of the Financial Oversight and Management Board” is set for Nov.  7.

  • The United states senate Committee on Environment and Open public Works will hold a committee listening to on the nominations of Kathleen Hartnett-White and Andrew Wheeler on Nov. 8.

  • House Natural Sources Committee is scheduled for an oversight hearing on “The Need for Transparent Financial Accountability in Territories’ Disaster Recovery Efforts” for Nov.  14.


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