As the United States Senate finally begins taking up joint resolutions designed to reverse a handful of regulations implemented during the waning days of the Obama Administration, it’s worth discussing the indispensable role the Congressional Review Act (CRA) has come to play in halting regulatory excess, and more importantly, upholding the rule of law. While the merits of some of the regulatory actions targeted for reversal are certainly arguable, others lie so far outside the governing statutes that their reversal, either by congress or the courts, was almost inevitable from the day of their initial proposal.
- Desperate to find a means of distracting attention from President Trump’s great speech of Tuesday night, the fake reporters and fake editors at the Washington Post trotted out a fake new “outrage” involving – gasp! – the Russians!!!!!!! The Post ran a story early Thursday morning in blaring headlines designed to make the reader believe that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had personally conspired with Vladimir Putin to somehow fix the election. Naturally, the rest of the fake news media immediately jumped on the story, with congressional Democrats soon calling for Mr. Sessions’ resignation. This is what is known as “coordinating the daily narrative” among the fake news media and the DC Democrats.
- The trouble was, once the air had cleared a bit, it turned out that all there was to this story was that Sessions, in his capacity as a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, had taken a meeting with the Russian Ambassador to the U.S. – at the ambassador’s request – in early September, and then had run into him in an airport terminal shortly thereafter. That’s it. That’s all there was. This is what the fake news media turns into a feeding frenzy when it doesn’t have any actual negative news about the President and his administration to feed upon.
- By the day’s end, Mr. Sessions had done what any responsible Attorney General should do, announcing that, because he did serve as a surrogate to the Trump campaign, he would recuse himself from any investigations the Justice Department might perform into campaign-related matters. It has been so long since the country had an Attorney General who actually would do what he or she is supposed to do in such a situation that all the fake reporters and fake talking heads in the fake news media had no real idea how to react to that action, so they tried to turn that into some sort of scandal as well.
- In the realm of real news, former Texas Governor Rick Perry was finally, at long last, confirmed by the Senate to become the country’s new Energy Secretary by our do-almost-nothing Senate. Now, if someone can just show him to his office, he can hopefully get started on eliminating the agency entirely.
- Meanwhile, in the House of Representatives, Republicans working on the “replace” part of the project to “repeal and replace” the death-spiraling Obamacare have set up a secured viewing room in one of the House office buildings as the only place containing a draft of their plan. The draft can only be viewed with permission from the GOP leadership in the house. Upon learning of this, GOP Senator Rand Paul and one of his assistants hilariously loaded up a copier onto a cart and camped out in front of the room’s door, demanding to be allowed in to make a copy of the draft. He hung out there for an hour or so, but was not allowed in. Bad, bad optics, Republicans.
- A new study out yesterday showed that 88% of the fake media’s coverage of the Trump Administration during its first month in office was “hostile”. All the fake journalists in the fake news media, upon seeing this result, began an immediate search for the heretic 12%. Beheadings and burnings at the stake will no doubt follow shortly. (That last sentence is a joke. I think. The one before it, sadly, most likely isn’t.)
Just another day in Fake News America.
That is all.
Even though the Alpine High resource sits geographically beneath the same land into which previous operators have drilled for many decades, it is in fact a new field in terms of the hydrocarbons being targeted. Because of this, one must view the Alpine High through the same lens used to view major new resource plays like the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas or the DJ Basin in Colorado.
The evolution of the Alpine High today sits at about the same place as the Eagle Ford Shale sat in mid-2010 , when operators in that area were drilling test wells involving 5-stage frac jobs and 3,000′ foot horizontal laterals, and were issuing celebratory press releases announcing oil wells that tested at initial flow rates of 1,000 barrels per day (bpd). Today, Eagle Ford operators are drilling wells with 2 mile or more laterals, frac jobs involving 30 or even more stages, and would want to commit harikari if a new well in the fairway of the play tested at only 1,000 bpd.
President Trump and the House of Representatives are acting on oil and gas issues…: …but the Senate doesn’t appear to have gotten the memo.
In his first six weeks in office, President Donald Trump has issued executive orders on the following actions that impact the oil and gas industry:
- directing the Army Corps of Engineers to expedite the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline;
- directing the State Department to expedite the cross-border permitting of the Keystone XL Pipeline;
- directing the EPA to reconsider its vastly over-reaching Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule making, which is currently on appeal at the federal appellate court level; and
- directing the EPA to reconsider elements of the Obama Clean Power Plan.
During those same six weeks, the House of Representatives has taken Congressional Review Act (CRA) votes to reverse the BLM Venting and Flaring regulation, and the BLM Planning 2.0 regulation. In addition, the House has begun the process for reversing the Office of Natural Resources Revenue’s (ONRR) Mineral Valuation Regulation. Upon learning of that effort, ONRR on Feb. 22 suspended planned implementation of that rule, pending congressional action and/or the outcome of ongoing litigation related to it.
Meanwhile, in the United States Senate…the crickets are chirping.