Despite gloomy news, sunnier days ahead for gas patch

It is easy to sit around and mourn the loss of another critical piece of Cook Inlet oil and gas infrastructure, as we are inclined to do with the recent announcement concerning the LNG plant in Nikiski.

But crying about it won’t help anything.

ConocoPhillips’ facility has been good to our area for decades and recent news that the company will let its export license expire due to Cook Inlet gas shortages feels like a swift kick in the rear.

Expected? Yes.

Inevitable? Perhaps.

Devastating? That’s another matter.

Despite how we might be inclined to throw in the towel and label the announcement another Agrium or a new nail in the Inlet’s coffin, let us not forget where we were a decade ago.

What if we would have said then that we’d have two new jack-up rigs exploring the Inlet, renewed activity onshore and a host of new companies looking to jump start area production, but it would cost us Agrium and a temporary closure of the LNG plant? That’s a deal you’d take, right?

We know we would.

Certainly we are saddened to see the LNG facility stop production, but a new wave is forming on the horizon.

Look on the bright side.

The tax incentives are working. Gas production is up. Talks of a North Slope pipeline are encouraging. The company, at least for the time being, doesn’t have plans to disassemble the facility and skip town.

At an economic level, this is the best possible time to absorb a blow like this. Oil and gas activity is humming along and hopefully that increases the chances of the plant opening up again in the near future.

Despite this cloudy day, sun is in the forecast for our area.

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Thu, 01/19/2017 - 22:53

What others say: Obama’s legacy a mixed one

President Barack Obama leaves office Friday after eight years as the most consequential Democrat to occupy the White House since Lyndon Johnson. And unlike that Texan, whose presidency was born in tragedy and ended in failure, Obama will not have the ghost of the Vietnam War haunting his days and eating his conscience as LBJ did all the remaining days of his life.

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Op-ed: Trump won the news conference

Donald Trump should do press conferences more often. Not for the country’s sake, certainly not for the media’s sake, but for his. He really shouldn’t have waited 167-plus days to hold one, because the man gives great sound bite. Although I’ve participated in probably thousands of these staged encounters as a reporter, they’re not my favorite way of getting news — you almost never get any. The guy at the podium controls the proceeding. He can get his message out with little challenge from the assembled journalists who are limited to a question and a follow-up, maybe. Politicians can bob and weave through that without any of us landing a blow. And that’s our job: to penetrate the canned responses to their version of the controversy du jour and get at whatever truth they are hiding. Besides, Trump — who uses contempt for the media as a weapon, his preferred way to discredit reporting that displeases him —has a wonderful forum to do that. At the very least he should hold these confrontations as a supplement to his Twitter tirades. And frequently. It’s his opportunity to hold the media hostage as they cover live his rain of abuse on them.

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Good luck in Juneau

The 30th Alaska Legislature gavels in on Tuesday, and we’d like to take a moment to wish our Kenai Peninsula legislators good luck over the coming months in Juneau.

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Ready to weather the storm

If there’s a bright spot in the recent headlines regarding Alaska’s economy, it’s this: on the Kenai Peninsula, the bad news isn’t nearly as bad as it could be.

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