800-Mile, $43-Billion Project Is Intended to Send Liquified Natural Gas To China
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which by law is supposed to be independent but is now stacked with Trump appointees, is considering plans for an 807-mile pipeline that would carry up to 3.5 billion cubic feet a day of gas to an Alaskan port where it would be liquified to ship to Asia.
Trump and China President Xi Jinping were in Beijing in November 2017 when an agreement was signed for three Chinese firms to buy up to 75% of the project’s liquified natural gas and help finance it. Alaska’s new governor, Mike Dunleavy, scrapped that plan.
BP, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobile pulled out of an earlier effort in 2016 after the consulting firm Wood Mackenzie called the Alaska LNG project “one of the least competitive” LNG projects in the world. In January, the Alaska Gasoline Development Corp.fired Keith Meyer, the man who had been leading the project. Exxon and BP are paying part of the cost to help the project get a permit.
Unclear Who Will Buy the Gas
The $43 billion price tag for the project means that the cost of the liquified natural gas could be nearly three times the going rate on the spot market.
A draft study of the environmental impacts of the project said it could harm six species that are listed as endangered or threatened: the spectacled eider, polar bear, bearded seal, Cook Inlet beluga whale, humpback whale and ringed seal.
Threatened Caribou Herd
The project would be in the middle of the range of the Central Arctic caribou herd which roams the central region of northern Alaska and could affect the caribou migration. The size of the herd peaked in 2010 at 70,000 animals. Since the mid-1990s, the size of caribou herds in the Alaska-Canada region has declined by 56%.
Alaska natives who depend on caribou and other animals for food, gather berries, and fish could also be harmed by the project, according to the study.
The pipeline would cross or pass near recreation areas including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Denali National Park and Preserve, George Parks Highway, Iditarod National Historic Trail, Dalton Highway Scenic Byway and Denali State Park.
The pipeline would contribute as much to global warming each year as 21 coal-fired power plants. This past July was the hottest month ever recorded on our planet since record-keeping began in 1880. In Alaska, sea ice completely melted for the first time in recorded history.
Trump has stacked the regulatory commission with appointees like Bernard McNamee who helped craft a proposal to provide subsidies to uneconomic coal plants. The commission chair, former Mitch McConnell aide Neil Chatterjee has called exports of liquified natural gas “freedom gas” that “is good for the American people, our allies abroad & for U.S. geopolitical interests.”
ACTION BOX/What You Can Do About It
Comment on the draft Environmental Impact Statement using the docket number CP17-178-000 or mail comments to Kimberly D. Bose, secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426. Use the docket number when mailing comments.
Call FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee at 202-502-6477 or mail him at 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20246 to tell him your thoughts about the liquified natural gas project.
Is it an impeachment inquiry, an investigation or something else?
There has been a gymnastic drama going on in the Capitol, where fans of impeaching Donald Trump and those who think that process is not the best way to confront the president are writhing in definitional arm-wrestling.
Weirdly, any value you might assign to the actual words used, you can expect a lot more confrontational congressional committees towards Trump’s White House in the next weeks. Those hearings may or may not add up to impeachment efforts, which has been true until now, of course.
The House Judiciary Committee, newly driven by the extraordinary efforts to land government meetings at Trump properties and to promise pardons for illegal acts to promote his agenda, has wanted to broaden the basis for impeachment, essentially to argue that profiting from the presidency is unconstitutional.
Trump is all for preventing unintentional suicides — but not intentional homicides of Americans
How revealing that just six deaths from vaping prompted Donald Trump to move Wednesday against e-cigarettes, while at least 276 deaths in massacres since he took office haven’t prompted any presidential move against assault rifles and other guns.
Even applying the twisted logic of the Second Amendment absolutists, Trump’s action is surprising since e-cigarettes don’t kill, people who vape kill.
Vapers kill only themselves, while people firing military-style assault rifles and other guns massacre innocents—school children, people at prayer in houses of worship, shoppers in malls and concert-goers.
Longtime Fox News producer: ‘I can’t tell you how unpopular Trump is here’
Does Fox News need President Donald Trump? Or does President Trump need Fox News? If former Fox News strongman and Trump supporter, the late Roger Ailes, were still running the network, those questions might never come up.
But as Trump himself tweeted in June after Fox reported that Trump was trailing five presidential candidates in the polls, “Something weird is going on at Fox News.”
True enough – and Trump seems unable to stop it. And it’s not just that his longtime ally Rupert Murdoch turned the leadership of Fox over to his son Lachlan last year. “I can’t tell you how unpopular Trump is here,” a longtime Fox News producer told DCReport, “and people are getting bolder about saying so.”