U.S. Plans Largest Ever Oil & Gas Lease Sale In Gulf Of Mexico

offshore rig

 

The largest oil and gas lease sale for waters in the Gulf of Mexico in U.S. history will occur on March 21st, according to an announcement by the Trump administration on Friday.

Less than a year ago, a similar auction in the same body of water generated little interest from energy companies. Continue reading

Fracking Comes to the Arctic in a New Alaska Oil Boom

Alaska’s North Slope region, including the National Petroleum Reserve (NPRA), Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and Trans-Alaska Pipeline (TAPS). US Geological Survey/Wikipedia

 

Arctic lands and waters hold irresistible allure for global oil companies. Despite opposition from environmental groups and President Obama’s 2016 ban on drilling in federal Arctic waters, exploration in Alaska has revealed massive new volumes of oil. The Conversation

This comes at a time of low oil prices, when many observers felt the Arctic would remain off limits. Alaska has proved precisely the opposite. Although it has gone largely unnoticed outside the industry, foreign firms are partnering with American companies to pursue these new possibilities. I expect this new wave of Arctic development will help increase US oil production and influence in world oil markets for at least the next several decades. Continue reading

The U.S. Interior Department Halts Future Arctic Oil Drilling

If there’s so little oil left in the region, why is Russia drilling for it? Is it yet another free gift from the Obama administration?

 

Blocking lease extensions and future sales

The Interior Department announced today it will stop selling new Arctic drilling leases for future scheduled sales, and it will not extend leases currently held by companies like Royal Dutch Shell.

Continue reading

What Happens if There’s a Massive Data Breach in the Cloud?

If the White House can be hacked as well as other governmental agencies such as the OPM where 21 million federal employees had their information compromised (FBI/CIA, etc… included), it’s only a matter of time…

 

https://i2.wp.com/cdn.nextgov.com/media/img/upload/2015/07/24/072415clouddatabreachNG/nextgov-medium.jpg

 

Government IT systems have taken a beating lately, with the recent Office of Personnel Management’s breach exposing some 21-plus million federal employee records being just the cherry on top of what’s been a cybersecurity sundae from hell for most agencies.

But coincidentally, none of these breaches involved cloud systems.

Federal cloud security standards, governed by the Federal Risk and Authorization Management program, have been hugely successful thus far in ensuring cloud service providers that serve government customers aren’t bringing knives to gun fights. Continue reading

The solution to US debt? Sell Alaska

Maybe what Russian professor Igor Panarin had to say quite a few years ago, although off on the timing, might slowly be coming to fruition.

The prospect of once again hitting the federal debt ceiling has provoked the ritual round of hand-wringing about the intractable nature of this $US16 trillion conundrum. But there is a simple, elegant option that involves no tax increases, no spending cuts and just a bit of imagination.

Sell Alaska.

That’s right. Put the entire state – from Juneau to Deadhorse, from the Bering Strait to the Beaufort Sea – on the auction block.

Absurd? No more absurd than the spectacle taking place right now as we skid closer to the fiscal cliff. Continue reading