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 corporate media creating a misleading impression of voter sentiment? 91 percent of Nevada Dem voters said ‘no’
We caution readers to be very careful in interpreting the Democratic primary election results so far for reasons cited below. We think the way our major news organizations are reporting the primary results can easily create a misleading impression of voter sentiment.
The analysis below should give you pause whether you think Sanders is, and should be, a shoo-in to beat Trump or you fear that a Sanders nomination will ensure a second Trump term and a romp by Republican Congressional candidates.
We ask ardent supporters and foes of Sanders, or any other candidate, to avoid a hot or presumptive reaction to what follows, a concern based on many responses to some of my caucus night tweets and Facebook posts in recent weeks.
Maybe Michael Bloomberg wasn’t as awful as he looked
Call me crazy, but the media could have it wrong about Michael Bloomberg. The latest Democratic debate post-mortem came fast and furious – and from a prominent Op-Ed in The New York Times to the cover of The New York Post –and the verdict was almost unanimous.
Bloomberg was “disastrous.” His campaign had “imploded.” He “bombed.” Get the hook for “timid,” “defensive” Mini Mike, the pundits said. “Bye, Felicia” might be the only headline missing from the gleeful media pile-on of Bloomberg after he made his presidential debate debut.
Trump abruptly opens a new front in his vengeance campaign with a fusillade of self-serving pardons
I’ll grant you that Donald Trump, as president, has legal and constitutional right to pardon or commute sentences for whomever he wants.
Still, we should be able to understand what the message is that is being delivered.
Are we curtailing the excesses of prosecution? Are we dealing with unfair sentencing? Or is this favored treatment for Friends of Trump?
The cluster of 11 pardons and clemencies made public yesterday – former Democratic Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who tried to sell off a vacant Senate seat for personal profit, financier Michael Milken, who duped and stole from investors, Edward DeBartolo, the former San Francisco football team owner convicted in an extortion attempt, and Bernard Kerik, formerly Rudy Giuliani’s partner who lied to Congress and committed tax fraud – just says financial crimes don’t mean anything if you’re a big-enough wheel.