Skip to Content

Extracted

EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 1/18/23

Mark Hefflinger, Bold Alliance (Photo: Bryon Houlgrave/Des Moines Register

By Mark Hefflinger

January 18, 2023

image

PIPELINE NEWS

  • Sioux City Journal: Pipelines take to courts to gain access for surveys in Siouxland

  • Summit-Tribune: Landowners gather to hear Democrat, Republican CO2 pipeline concerns

  • Dakota News Now: Landowners relieved by scheduled pipeline hearing

  • S&P Global: 4th developer seeks to capture, store carbon from ethanol plants in US Midwest

  • KELO: Company behind CO2 pipeline request sponsors inaugural event

  • Facebook: Rep. Jon Hansen: Carbon Pipelines and Eminent Domain – Week 1 Legislative Update 

  • Interior News: Regulators probe complaint about sediment flow at CGL pipeline river crossing in northwest B.C.

  • North Delta Reporter: Trans Mountain pipeline twinning in North Surrey ‘progressing well,’ but noise irks some

  • RBN Energy: Over, Under, Sideways, Down – Energy Transfer’s Gulf Run Pipeline Expands Critical Louisiana LNG Feedgas Corridor

  • Food & Water Watch: Nearly 100 Tampa Bay Residents Object to Pipeline Expansion

  • Sierra Club: Wild Kentucky Under Proposed Pipeline Threat

WASHINGTON UPDATES

  • Axios: Joe Manchin’s top aide to join oil and gas lobbying group

  • InsideEPA: NAACP Eyes Appeal After Court Backs NEPA Exclusion, Rejects EJ Call

  • NM Political Report: Environmental advocates push for stringent federal methane regulations during public hearing

STATE UPDATES

EXTRACTION

  • Reuters: Electricity constraints force Canada’s first LNG terminal to delay

  • Reuters: Oil’s good times set to roll on after record 2022 profits

  • E&E News: Where Oil And Gas Is Headed In 2023

  • E&E News: Why Methane Capture Is So Difficult

CLIMATE FINANCE

  • The Hill: DeSantis prohibits Florida state-run fund managers from considering ESG factors

  • Press release: Throwing fuel on the fire: GFANZ members provide billions in finance for fossil fuel expansion

TODAY IN GREENWASHING

  • Press release: Enbridge teams up with Wasaga Beach Fire Department

OPINION

  • Manchester Press: LETTER: Property owners need protection from CO2 pipeline companies

  • Duluth News Tribune: In Response: Line 3 protests endangered Minnesotans, the environment

  • Edmonton Journal: Randy Boissonnault: Just transition is about creating and supporting jobs

PIPELINE NEWS

Sioux City Journal: Pipelines take to courts to gain access for surveys in Siouxland
Nick Hytrek, 1/17/23

“Denied access to survey some parcels of land along proposed liquid carbon dioxide pipeline routes, developers have sought rulings from Iowa judges ordering landowners to allow the surveys to proceed,” the Sioux City Journal reports. “New lawsuits in Clay and Sioux counties were filed in December, bringing the total number to nine filed by either Summit Carbon Solutions or Navigator Heartland Greenway. In all cases, the companies are seeking injunctions to prohibit landowners from denying survey crews entrance to their land to study the proposed pipeline routes. Landowners have filed counterclaims in many of them arguing that Iowa’s laws giving pipeline companies the right of entry to private land to survey and examine it are unconstitutional… “Landowners who are resisting have banded together, hiring attorneys and coordinating their opposition. It’s likely due in part to experiences with the Dakota Access oil pipeline, which was completed in 2017 and traverses many of the same counties in the paths of the proposed CO2 pipelines, Jess Mazour, conservation program coordinator of the Sierra Club Iowa Chapter, told the Journal… “The filing of lawsuits, however, caught opponents by surprise, Mazour told the Journal, but has solidified opposition, too. “It just made people upset and even more steadfast in their opposition,” she told the Journal. “If they’re really just going to sue anyone who gets in their way, what kind of business practice is that and do we want those kinds of companies in Iowa?” “…Summit’s lawsuits have yet to be scheduled for trial. Dennis and Kerry King, of Dickens, in Clay County and the Wilmer Hulstein Revocable Trust, in Sioux Center, in Sioux County, have yet to respond to the suits.”

Summit-Tribune: Landowners gather to hear Democrat, Republican CO2 pipeline concerns
Rob Hillesland, 1/17/23

“Some Hancock County landowners facing impacts of the proposed Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline, many voluntary easement holdouts, may now feel armed with new information,” the Summit-Tribune reports. “The county’s Republican and Democrat Central Committees jointly held an event to present reasons they are both against the project on Jan. 14 at the Duncan Community Hall… “Alan Bush of the Hancock County Republican Central Committee called the event an opportunity for local landowners and community members to unite in opposition to the project. He noted that the vast majority of 52 Iowa counties to be impacted by the Summit pipeline have filed objections with the Iowa Utilities Board while none have come out in favor of it… “Gruver Fire Department Chief Dan Harvey since 1991, a town fire fighter there since 1985, shared his concerns of a CO2 pipeline plume study that he and his son developed… “Harvey said a worst-case scenario would be that the gas sits there, possibly eight feet high, spreads out and causes human decline. He cited concerns that some of his fire fighters would not even be able to get out of their homes, according to the department’s plume study… “Two other presenters recommended Domina Law Group (Omaha, Neb.) for landowner legal consultation. Hancock County Supervisor Chair Sis Greiman said some good attorneys were in attendance, so landowners could connect with them as well. Kanawha farmer Doug Thompson told the crowd that the Iowa corn industry will survive with or without the carbon sequestration pipelines… “Show me the money, that’s what this is all about,” Thompson said. “It’s not about saving the environment. The ethanol industry will live. There are new opportunities for ethanol to be used in jet fuel. Don’t think this is the death of the ethanol industry.”

Dakota News Now: Landowners relieved by scheduled pipeline hearing
Beth Warden, 1/10/23

“Last week’s decision to schedule a hearing for Summit Carbon Solutions was a relief for landowners,” Dakota News Now reports. “Valley Springs landowner Rick Bonander is glad the PUC scheduled the Summit Carbon Solutions hearing for September. He told DNN a springtime meeting during planting and calving season would create a conflict of interest in attending the hearing. Midwestern landowners opposing CO2 pipelines often rely on attorney Brian Jorde, who believes Summit’s request for a springtime hearing was by design to keep farmers from participating. He also says there still are South Dakotans unaware a pipeline could be on or near their land. “Approximately 100 persons who are within a half mile of their proposed route, and we’ve got a motion to dismiss their entire application or motion to return on that basis,” Jorde told DNN. As more details of the pipeline are revealed, his client list grows. “I’m involved in proximately 70 or so related to claims they have against landowners. It’s probably more, I frankly lost count,” Jorde told DNN. “And then, of course, they’re suing any county and the commissioners if they don’t like what they’re doing in an intimidation to try to make other counties not take action.” “…Those opposing the pipelines shared a program for Governor Noem’s inauguration ceremony, where Summit was one of only five platinum sponsors for the event. “Well, money in politics, you know, money, money gets you votes. Money gets you laws. I don’t think anyone should think otherwise,” Jorde told DNN. “Summit has endless foreign money from their foreign owners and New York hedge funds and whoever else, so they’re throwing it around and trying to get people to check their common sense at the door, and hopefully, that doesn’t work.” “…As the legislative session begins, legislators are being approached by those on both sides of the issue. District 23 Representative Senator Bryan Breitling of Aberdeen is making his opinion known. “I am on the side of landowners and landowner’s rights. I am part of the legislator coalition sponsoring and voting for pipeline reform.”

S&P Global: 4th developer seeks to capture, store carbon from ethanol plants in US Midwest
Siri Hedreen, 1/13/23

“A developer and an ethanol plant are seeking regulatory approval to store carbon dioxide underground in Randolph County, Ind., adding to the growing roster of carbon capture and storage projects in the U.S. Midwest,” S&P Global reports. “The two companies, under the name One Carbon Partnership LP, asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to issue a permit to drill a Class VI well used to inject CO2 into the ground. The request was listed as “pending” on the EPA’s website as of Jan. 12. The project is a joint venture of Vault 44.01 Inc., a Calgary, Alberta-based carbon capture developer, and Indiana ethanol producer Cardinal Ethanol LLC. Vault President and CEO Scott Rennie said the facility would store emissions from Cardinal’s nearby ethanol plant… “One Carbon Partnership is the second Indiana project to seek a permit from the EPA, which has at least two dozen applications pending in other states… “Meanwhile, CO2 pipeline developers are facing regulatory obstacles at the state and local levels, driven by pushback from environmentalists and landowners. In November 2022, Summit sued two Iowa counties along its planned pipeline route over new ordinances on the siting of hazardous materials pipelines. The developer has yet to apply for a Class VI well permit.”

KELO: Company behind CO2 pipeline request sponsors inaugural event
Rae Yost, 1/11/23

“A company that has proposed running hundreds of miles of carbon dioxide pipeline was one of the platinum sponsors of Gov. Kristi Noem’s inaugural events on Jan. 7,” KELO reports. “Summit Carbon Solution’s permit request for the underground CO2 pipeline is being reviewed by the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission… “Ryan Sheldon, who served as the media coordinator for the inaugural event, told KELO sponsors often seek out the committee. “There isn’t any direct link to any conflict,” Sheldon told KELO of Summit Carbon’s sponsorship. A sponsorship means the company is helping the event itself, he said. No taxpayer money pays for the event, Sheldon told KELO. The potential use of eminent domain has been raised by those in opposition to the pipeline. Some lawmakers have also said eminent domain as it relates to the proposed CO2 pipeline could be a topic in the upcoming legislative session… “When asked if a business that has an active permit request with the PUC was unusual, Sheldon told KELO his opinion, is Summit Carbon’s sponsorship is typical of businesses who do business or want to do business in the state… “Summit Carbon Solutions has donated to projects in communities in Iowa and South Dakota… “(Involvement) includes inaugural events in multiple states across the Midwest where in many instances funds are used to support charitable causes,” the Summit statement said. The company has sponsored or donated to hundreds of events, charitable organizations, civic groups and more, the Summit statement said.”

Facebook: Rep. Jon Hansen: Carbon Pipelines and Eminent Domain – Week 1 Legislative Update 
1/16/23

“Greetings, this is Representative Jon Hansen, bringing you an update from the legislative session. We’ve concluded the first week of the session, and I’ve already received a lot of correspondence regarding the proposed carbon sequestration pipelines that big pipeline companies are looking to bury across the land of many South Dakota landowners… “Carbon pipeline safety concerns have arisen after a carbon pipeline burst in Mississippi in 2020, sending 45 people to the hospital. One concerned constituent told me that her son’s home is within one eighth of the mile of the proposed pipeline route, and she’s worried about the safety of her family.  Another email shared safety concerns about a family’s driveway located only 200 feet from the proposed pipeline in South Dakota. On this issue, my focus this legislative session will be on protecting  the private property rights of South Dakotans. I will be co-sponsoring legislation to ensure that, when it comes to deciding what land is used for, South Dakota landowners decide, not big CO2 pipeline companies… “As your representative in the State House, I will always defend the inherent property rights of the farmers and landowners in our district and across South Dakota. When legislation is considered on the subject of eminent domain and carbon sequestration pipelines, I will vote to ensure that South Dakota landowners—not carbon pipeline companies—have the final say on whether a carbon pipeline crosses their land.” 

Interior News: Regulators probe complaint about sediment flow at CGL pipeline river crossing in northwest B.C.
ROD LINK, 1/17/23

“Inspectors from the provincial regulator overseeing the Coastal GasLink (CGL) natural gas pipeline project are scheduled to fly into the Clore River area today to look into complaints that sediment has flowed down the river from work underway to place the pipe across the river,” Interior News reports. “The in-person inspection by the Oil and Gas Commission follows complaints made by a group of Wet’suwet’en who oppose the project and the David Suzuki Foundation after an early January overflight of the work via helicopter. Photos show extensive work on the banks of the Clore River as contractors first work to divert and pump waters from around the location where pipe is to be laid in a trench across the riverbed and then covered up. The Wet’suwet’en and the Suzuki foundation allege that sediment produced can smother and damage fish spawning grounds. “Provincial regulators are failing to hold CGL accountable,” John Ridsdale who uses his Wet’suwet’en chief’s name of Na’moks, told the News. “It’s cheaper to pay the fines than to do the work properly.” “…Coastal GasLink has not commented directly on the statements by the Wet’suwet’en or the David Suzuki Foundation other than to say its work on the Clore River meets regulatory requirements… “Aside from complaints about sediment, there’s even a difference of opinion about the ability of Wet’suwet’en to visit the location. “We welcome the interest by Indigenous and local community members to ensure we are living up to the highest standards of environmental protection, and our team continues to offer safe access to site,” Coastal GasLink told the News. The Wet’suwet’en group, however, told the News they have been denied access.”

North Delta Reporter: Trans Mountain pipeline twinning in North Surrey ‘progressing well,’ but noise irks some
TOM ZILLICH, 1/17/23

Trans Mountain pipeline construction in Surrey is “progressing well,” the company says, with “significant” milestones ahead,” according to the North Delta Reporter. “But for some, the “trenchless construction” noise of hammering and vibration isn’t going over so well… “Noise is generated from sheet piling, casing, heavy equipment and construction activities in the entry and exit sites, the website explains. “In recognition of the expected noise that this work will generate, we are installing noise monitors and a sound barrier to reduce the impact on the community.” A letter to residents says that starting in January, construction of the trenchless construction will occur Monday to Sunday, 24 hours a day, and is planned to be complete by April… “Trans Mountain project “milestone” events ahead include the Fraser Heights Direct Pipe Installation (DPI) and South Fraser Perimeter Road Horizontal Directional Drill (HDD), the company says. “We have completed six of the 18 bores within Surrey,” a Trans Mountain spokesperson wrote in an email to the Now-Leader. Trans Mountain declined a site visit “at this time.”

RBN Energy: Over, Under, Sideways, Down – Energy Transfer’s Gulf Run Pipeline Expands Critical Louisiana LNG Feedgas Corridor
Sheetal Nasta, 1/17/23

“If pipeline-constrained Haynesville Shale producers’ New Year’s resolution was to grow volumes, they just got a big boost: Energy Transfer recently placed in service its new Gulf Run Transmission natural gas pipeline in Louisiana, increasing north-to-south capacity in the state by 1.65 Bcf/d,” RBN Energy reports. “It’s the first of several pipeline projects due online in 2023 — and among others proposed for subsequent years — that will be critical for debottlenecking the Louisiana pipeline network and connecting Haynesville and other gas production volumes to LNG export projects vying for feedgas supply on the Louisiana coast. U.S. LNG developers are in a race to capitalize on the tight global LNG market and finalize terminal plans, with much of the next wave of liquefaction and export capacity additions planned for the Louisiana coast which may, in time, help alleviate energy security concerns, particularly across the pond in Europe. If these pipeline projects don’t get built on time, the resulting supply shortage in southern Louisiana would not only wreak havoc on Henry Hub and the domestic gas market but would reverberate around the globe. Gulf Run’s in-service is good news for at least one facility: the under-construction Golden Pass LNG, which is the anchor shipper on the pipeline and due to begin commissioning later this year.”

Food & Water Watch: Nearly 100 Tampa Bay Residents Object to Pipeline Expansion
1/17/23

“On Friday, a federal public comment period for a fracked gas pipeline expansion proposal in Tampa Bay closed with nearly 100 Tampa Bay residents and the national advocacy organization Food & Water Watch filing comments in opposition. The proposal (FERC Docket #CP23-11-000) by Tampa Electric and Texas-based Florida Gas Transmission would expand a length of pipeline in St. Petersburg and add more fossil fuel infrastructure in Tampa to increase gas supply to the Big Bend fracked gas electric generating plant. The proposal requires approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to move forward… “Brooke Ward, Food & Water Watch Senior Florida Organizer issued the following statement: “The federal government cannot endorse an expanded local fracked gas pipeline at a time when our region has committed to moving off dirty fossil fuels. Both of the cities where Tampa Electric proposes to expand its gas infrastructure — St. Petersburg and Tampa — have passed legislation to end the use of fossil fuels. All this project would do is deepen Tampa Electric ratepayers’ reliance on these destructive and costly fuels.”

Sierra Club: Wild Kentucky Under Proposed Pipeline Threat
Jen Rose Smith, 1/18/23

“When Carla Rhodes was growing up in greater Louisville, Kentucky, she knew little about the extraordinary biodiversity just outside the city. Now a conservation photographer living in New York’s Catskill Mountains, Rhodes returned to Kentucky in 2022 as the inaugural Environmental Artist in Residence at the 16,140-acre, privately owned Bernheim Forest near Louisville… “That forest is under threat by a proposed natural gas pipeline that would cut across the wildlife corridor, where bluff vertigo snails were found in 2019. The area is also habitat for other vulnerable plants and animals, including federally endangered Indiana bats and northern long-eared bats. In a court case that began January 10, Louisville Gas and Electric (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities are attempting to push the 12-mile pipeline through using an eminent domain action. Bernheim Forest scientists predict pipeline construction would wipe out the Cedar Grove population of bluff vertigo snails, further reducing their global numbers. They also argue it will pollute local waterways and contribute to hydrocarbon use for decades to come. “Not only does it disrupt habitat, it’s also unnecessary additional infrastructure,” says Terrell Holder, chair of the Greater Louisville Sierra Club. “We should not add more fossil fuel infrastructure at all from this point forward.”

WASHINGTON UPDATES

Axios: Joe Manchin’s top aide to join oil and gas lobbying group
Hans Nichols, 1/17/23

“Sen. Joe Manchin’s chief of staff, Lance West, is joining the American Petroleum Institute as vice president of federal affairs, Axios has learned. Why it matters: As Manchin’s top aide for the last two years, West knows the politics – and the players — of the energy and climate change debates. His hiring indicates that API is preparing to play offense and defense in the new Congress. Through the on-again and off-again Build Back Better negotiations, he developed a reputation as a fierce advocate for Manchin’s positions. A former Division I golfer, West worked closely with White House officials and other senate offices on a deal that Manchin ultimately — and somewhat surprisingly — supported: The Inflation Reduction Act, which included some $370 billion to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. What we’re hearing: West’s departure is unrelated to Manchin’s decision on whether to run for reelection in 2024, which still has much of Washington waiting.”

InsideEPA: NAACP Eyes Appeal After Court Backs NEPA Exclusion, Rejects EJ Call
1/13/23

“The NAACP is considering appealing a federal court ruling that rejected the group’s challenge to a decision by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to exempt an Erie, PA, road expansion project from National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review and to reject the plaintiffs request to require agencies to weigh the environmental justice (EJ) impacts of their decisions under NEPA,” InsideEPA reports. “The plaintiffs are reviewing appeal options and remain ‘very disappointed that the project design puts vehicles first and does not protect the people of Erie or the environment,’ Hilary Aidun, an attorney with Earthjustice who represented NAACP, told InsideEPA. At issue is a federal district court decision that dismissed the NAACP’s lawsuit objecting to FHWA’s decision to allow the road expansion project to be ‘downscoped’ from needing an environmental assessment (EA) to allowing the project to win a categorical exclusion (CE) from NEPA review entirely.” 

NM Political Report: Environmental advocates push for stringent federal methane regulations during public hearing
Hannah Grover, 1/16/23

“Environmental advocates urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to adopt the draft methane rules that were released in November or even to strengthen these proposals during a three-day virtual public hearing this week that ended Thursday,” according to NM Political Report. “These advocates told EPA representatives that methane emissions have both health and climate impacts that disproportionately impact people of color. Wendy Atcitty, Diné (Navajo), spoke about the impacts of methane pollution on Native communities in northwest New Mexico… “She said low producing, older wells are concerning because they account for less than six percent of the nationwide production but are responsible for about half of the emissions. Atcitty encouraged the EPA to adopt rules that require frequent leak detection and repair and prohibit routine venting and flaring, as states including New Mexico have… “Rose Marie Cecchini from Catholic Charities within the Diocese of Gallup in New Mexico also spoke about the impacts of oil and gas emissions in northwest New Mexico. She said companies “intentionally and repeatedly” leak methane into the atmosphere. This can be through venting or flaring, she said… “Jessica Mengistab from the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments said pregnant people also face increased risks associated with poor air quality, especially in communities near polluting industries… “She said poor air quality is linked to increased risks of premature birth and low birth weight. Mengistab said volatile organic compounds that are released alongside methane have been linked to cancers, cardiovascular diseases, developmental delays in children and respiratory problems.”

STATE UPDATES

Washington Post: How dark money groups led Ohio to redefine gas as ‘green energy’
Maxine Joselow, 1/17/23

“When Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed a bill this month to legally redefine natural gas as a source of “green energy,” supporters characterized it as the culmination of a grass-roots effort to recognize the Buckeye state’s largest energy source,” the Washington Post reports. “It’s green. It’s clean. And it’s abundant right under our feet, right here in Ohio,” Rep. Troy Balderson (R-Ohio) wrote in an opinion piece in the Columbus Dispatch. But Ohio’s new law is anything but homegrown, according to documents reviewed by The Washington Post. The Empowerment Alliance, a dark money group with ties to the gas industry, helped Ohio lawmakers push the narrative that the fuel is clean, the documents show. The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, another anonymously funded group whose donors remain a mystery, assisted in the effort. ALEC — a network of state lawmakers, businesses and conservative donors — circulated proposed legislation for Ohio lawmakers and has urged other states to follow suit, according to the documents, which were obtained via a public records request by the Energy and Policy Institute, a group that advocates for renewable energy. “What the emails reveal is just how closely Ohio lawmakers coordinated with a natural gas industry group on the new law that misleadingly defines methane gas as green energy, as the first step of a plan to introduce similar legislation in multiple states,” Dave Anderson, policy and communications manager for the Energy and Policy Institute, told the Post. Although Ohio Republicans say they are trying to promote their state’s energy industry, critics have called the new law misleading and “Orwellian.” Unlike renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power, natural gas and other fossil fuels emit significant amounts of greenhouse gases. Leading scientists have said the world must rapidly phase out fossil fuels to avert the worst consequences of unchecked climate change. The law also adds to a fierce linguistic debate, one amped up by the recent furor over gas stoves and their health impacts. Climate activists have urged politicians and journalists to stop using the term “natural gas” and instead use the phrase “methane gas,” since its primary component is a powerful planet-warming pollutant… “Last summer, the documents show, a leader of the Empowerment Alliance emailed Ohio state Sens. George Lang (R) and Mark Romanchuk (R) to share a report from Goldman Sachs on the “importance of natural gas” in North America and globally. “We are on the right track with natural gas is green energy,” wrote Tom Rastin, who leads the Empowerment Alliance with his wife, Karen Buchwald Wright. As of last fall, Rastin and his wife were listed in Federal Election Commission filings as executives at Ariel Corporation, a manufacturer of natural gas compressors. The couple also are major Republican donors who have dined with former president Donald Trump. Under their leadership, the alliance spent more than $1 million supporting Ohio Republicans in the 2022 election.”

Energy & Policy Institute: North Dakota has spent millions on a coal industry campaign targeting 100% clean energy legislation in Minnesota
Joe Smyth, Karlee Weinmann, 1/18/23

“A North Dakota coal industry front group, the Lignite Energy Council, has jumped state lines to wage a campaign to weaken a bill in Minnesota that would require the state’s utilities to transition to 100% clean electricity by 2040,” according to the Energy & Policy Institute. “While the Lignite Energy Council has touted its success in working with Republican state legislators in Minnesota to block clean energy legislation during previous sessions, the coal industry group now appears focused on weakening the bill by including coal carbon capture projects. Among the groups promoting carbon capture to Minnesotans is the “Coalition for a Secure Energy Future,” which is part of the Lignite Energy Council. A review of meeting minutes of the North Dakota Industrial Commission and Lignite Research Council show that the state has provided more than $4 million to the “Coalition for a Secure Energy Future” in recent years. The Lignite Research Council requested another $1.8 million in Industrial Commission spending in 2021 for the public affairs program, but the Industrial Commission moved that year to discuss the request in secret. Lignite Energy Council tax forms show that the coal industry group has continued to receive funding for its public affairs program.”

Loveland Reporter Herald: Residents voice opposition to south Loveland oil and gas development
JOCELYN ROWLEY, 1/16/23

“A proposal by developer MRG, LLC to develop an oil and gas well pad southeast of Loveland has some nearby residents concerned about potential impacts on local air and water quality, wildlife and the environment in general,” the Loveland Reporter Herald reports. “On Monday, many got a chance to express those concerns to the MRG project team at a virtual neighborhood meeting facilitated by the city of Loveland… “A total of 11 hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” wellbores will be drilled a mile deep, then extended horizontally from south to north for 4,500 feet, ending near Crossroads Boulevard. The drilling will be beneath some residential areas and Equalizer Lake, but no drilling will occur beneath Boyd Lake, Donahue said… “The meeting opened to public comment following the MRG presentation, and, right away, the team faced challenging comments and questions from residents opposed to fracking within the city limits. “I feel by allowing fracking this close, especially to Sports Park, is not too conducive to the health of our children,” longtime Loveland resident Evi Buckner-Opler commented. Other commenters questioned the point of collecting resident feedback, since the city and state review processes are just making sure that the project is within regulations. Bliss replied that the application will also be reviewed by the city’s Planning Commission, which considers public sentiment during its deliberations. Many commenters were concerned about the wells going underneath residential and open space in the Centerra Lakes area, and potentially having a negative impact on wildlife.”

Capital News Service: Federal funds aid Michigan effort to plug more than 400 orphan wells
Jake Christie, 1/11/23

“Orphan oil wells plague the Midwest, but new funds from the federal government will help plug them,” Capital News Service reports. “There are tens of thousands of orphaned or abandoned wells throughout the Great Lakes region, including roughly 450 throughout Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. There are large concentrations of the wells in Manistee and Benzie counties, and along the border of Charlevoix and Otsego counties, according to the state Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. Elsewhere in the Great Lakes region, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has identified close to 19,000 orphan wells and Pennsylvania has over 7,000, according to its Department of Environmental Protection. Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania have each received a $25 million grant from the federal government through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to plug orphan wells, which are abandoned or improperly plugged wells that have no solvent existing owner or operator… “Before the influx of federal funds, money set aside to plug orphan wells came from state budgets. Capping a well in Michigan costs around $76,000 on average.  However, emergency cases can run closer to $350,000, Adam Wygant, the director of the state department’s Oil, Gas and Minerals Division, told CNS.

EXTRACTION

Reuters: Electricity constraints force Canada’s first LNG terminal to delay
1/16/23

“Shell PLC’s LNG Canada export project in British Columbia plans to start building its proposed second phase with natural gas-powered turbines and switch to electricity as more renewable power becomes available, a top executive said, a decision that means the expansion project will initially generate high greenhouse gas emissions,” Reuters reports. “…LNG Canada now plans to initially build Phase 2 with natural gas-powered turbines and switch to electric motors as more power becomes available, pending a final investment decision, CEO Jason Klein told Reuters on Friday… “The company’s move to only gradually switch to renewable electricity risks means the Phase 2 project would produce initially high emissions that would run up against ambitious emissions reduction goals set by the British Columbia and federal governments. Running the turbines using B.C.’s hydro electricity to cool the gas to liquid for shipping would limit emissions, but requires hundreds of kilometers of new transmission lines to reach the province’s remote northwest coast. “We can’t do an immediate and wholesale electrification of the plant and the pipeline. It’s not possible today because the transmission infrastructure just isn’t there,” Klein told Reuters, adding that LNG Canada is discussing with both governments and utility BC Hydro when lines may be in place… “LNG Canada’s dilemma illustrates the practical challenges of a global push to electrify buildings and vehicles to curb climate-warming emissions. The move requires the world’s grid to generate significantly more power and build infrastructure to deliver it. Klein told Reuters LNG Canada had not directly asked for financial assistance from either government to build transmission lines and electrify Phase 2, and is still assessing the project’s economics.”

Reuters: Oil’s good times set to roll on after record 2022 profits
1/17/23

“Top energy firms are expected to rake in a combined record profit of $200 billion from a turbulent 2022 marked by huge volatility in oil and gas prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with buoyant earnings likely to roll through 2023,” Reuters reports. “Flush with cash, BP, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Shell and TotalEnergies also delivered shareholders unprecedented returns through dividends and share buybacks last year. These firms are expected to post a combined profit of $199 billion for 2022 when they report final quarterly results later this month and in early February. Profits are forecast to decline to $158 billion this year due to weaker energy prices and inflationary concerns, but that would still be well above the previous 2011 record, according to analysts estimates provided by Refinitiv. A strong 2022 also helped these companies cut their debt to a combined $100 billion, a 15-year low, allowing them to start 2023 more prepared for any future downturn… “But the bumper profits could revive calls on governments around the world to further hike windfall taxes on the sector as economies struggle with high energy prices… “Banks including HSBC and J.P. Morgan predict more upside potential for European stocks this year after U.S. oil majors led in share performance and profits in 2022. “The European majors appear much more attractively valued than the U.S. majors on our estimates,” HSBC said in a note.”

E&E News: Where Oil And Gas Is Headed In 2023
Mike Lee, 1/17/23

“The oil industry is signaling that its profits will be more modest in 2023 as it closes out a tumultuous year that saw companies reap record earnings after the Ukraine war and political backlash,” E&E News reports. “Two of the largest oil companies have said their profit for the final quarter of 2022 — set to be released in the next few weeks — will be billions of dollars lower than just a few months earlier. And the consulting firm Rystad Energy is predicting that revenue across the industry will fall 20 percent in 2023.”

E&E News: Why Methane Capture Is So Difficult
Camille Bond, 1/16/23

“Avoiding the worst impacts of climate change may require removing methane from industrial emissions streams and the atmosphere — but researchers are so far stymied on how to capture the potent planet-warming gas,” E&E News reports. Methane lasts in the atmosphere only a decade or two, compared with carbon dioxide’s centuries. But it traps 80 times as much heat, helping drive near-term warming and potentially kick-starting a feedback loop that would release even more gas from natural sources. A technology that removed methane from the air could significantly change the rate of global warming in the relatively near future, Desirée Plata, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told E&E.” 

CLIMATE FINANCE

The Hill: DeSantis prohibits Florida state-run fund managers from considering ESG factors
JULIA MUELLER, 1/17/23

“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) moved to prohibit state-run fund managers from taking environmental, social or governance (ESG) factors into consideration when making investments,” The Hill reports. “Corporations across America continue to inject an ideological agenda through our economy rather than through the ballot box. Today’s actions reinforce that ESG considerations will not be tolerated here in Florida, and I look forward to extending these protections during this legislative session,” DeSantis said in a release… “The governor’s office announced Tuesday that DeSantis and trustees of the State Board of Administration (SBA) had approved measures to further block ESG factors and mandate “that all investment decisions focus solely on maximizing the highest rate of return.” “…The Tuesday move from the Florida governor’s office updates the state’s Retirement System Pension Plan policy and SBA corporate governance proxy voting guidelines, according to the governor’s office, and follows earlier efforts from DeSantis to curtail reliance on ESG factors in state investments.”  

Press release: Throwing fuel on the fire: GFANZ members provide billions in finance for fossil fuel expansion
1/17/23

“After committing to net zero by joining the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), financial institutions have continued pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into the companies developing fossil fuels, according to a new report published today by a group of NGOs, including Reclaim Finance (1). As business and finance leaders meet in Davos for the World Economic Forum, the NGOs call on GFANZ’s sectoral alliances to insist their members stop supporting fossil fuel expansion. If they are serious about meeting their commitment to reach net zero by 2050 following a 1.5°C pathway, action is needed now to align in the short term with this science-based climate imperative. Since joining the alliance, 56 of the biggest banks in the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) have provided US$270 billion to 102 major fossil fuel expanders, via 134 loans and 215 underwriting transactions; 58 of the largest members of the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative (NZAM) held at least US$847 billion of stocks and bonds in 201 major fossil fuel developers as of September 2022; Only a handful of the financial institutions have adopted policies that meaningfully restrict finance to new fossil fuel projects and companies developing new fossil supply projects since joining GFANZ (3). In total, 229 of the world’s largest fossil fuel developers received finance from the 161 GFANZ members covered in this report (4), which will support them to develop new coal power plants, mines, ports and other infrastructure, as well as new oil and gas fields and pipelines and LNG terminals. These new fossil fuel projects are incompatible with the objective of limiting global warming to 1.5°C, as confirmed in the latest International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook, published in October 2022. They will lock in greenhouse gas emissions for decades, despite the adoption of decarbonization targets by some GFANZ members.”

TODAY IN GREENWASHING

Press release: Enbridge teams up with Wasaga Beach Fire Department
1/17/23

“Today, Enbridge Gas Inc. (Enbridge Gas), the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council (FMPFSC) and Wasaga Beach Fire Department announced they are working together to improve home safety and bring fire and carbon monoxide-related deaths down to zero. Wasaga Beach Fire Department received 240 combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms through Safe Community Project Zero–a public education campaign that will provide more than 8,000 alarms to residents in 50 municipalities across Ontario. This year, Enbridge Gas invested $250,000 in Safe Community Project Zero, and over the past 14 years, the program has provided more than 76,000 alarms to Ontario fire departments.”

OPINION

Manchester Press: LETTER: Property owners need protection from CO2 pipeline companies
Gregory Fischer, 1/18/23

“In the last legislative session Iowa Senate File 2160, which would have put in place protections for Delaware County property owners from the overreaching CO2 pipeline companies that are now threatening eminent domain, was killed in committee with the chair of the Commerce Committee Jason Schultz stating there was not enough support among his fellow committee members to put it to a vote,” Gregory Fischer writes for the Manchester Press. “Among the committee members that dropped the ball and failed to protect Delaware County property owners was Craig Johnson, our newly elected State House Representative for District 67. Some Iowa County Boards have taken action by passing zoning ordinances and submitting petitions to intervene to the Iowa Utilities Board and hiring engineering firms to act on behalf of the county as pipeline construction inspectors which are billable back to the Navigator pipeline company pursuant to exiting Iowa Code. However, the Delaware County Board of Supervisors, under the advice of County Attorney John Bernau, is fully intent on doing nothing significant to protect Delaware County property owners and residents from the CO2 pipeline crossing our beautiful part of Iowa and endangering both land and lives from the hazardous contents it will be transporting under high pressure. Bremer County and several others are doing as much as they can for their residents after their state legislature failed them by making the CO2 pipeline construction as much of a poison pill as possible and not simply a “feel good” measure as implied by Supervisor Jeff Madlom in the Dec. 12 board meeting.”

Duluth News Tribune: In Response: Line 3 protests endangered Minnesotans, the environment
Barry Simonson of Duluth is director of the Line 3 Replacement Project for Enbridge, 1/17/23

“Opponents of the Line 3 Replacement Project would like you to think their First Amendment rights, including the right to protest, were restricted during construction. Nothing could be further from the truth. They portray their protests as only peaceful and legal. Unfortunately, that’s not true either,” Enbridge’s Barry Simonson writes for the Duluth News Tribune. “…The truth is that illegal and dangerous protests during Line 3 construction resulted in real consequences for people and the environment… “It is also true that the Line 3 Replacement Project was built under the most comprehensive regulatory framework in the history of Minnesota, resulting in the issuance of more than 60 federal, state, local, and tribal approvals… “One constant in Matteson’s piece was her apparent effort to misguide readers… “Contrary to what Matteson wrote, Enbridge did not pay police. Anticipating that local law enforcement would be called upon to address protest activities, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission required Enbridge to fund a public-safety escrow account to protect communities from financial burden… “Matteson and other activists may want to rewrite history, but the fact remains that some protesters did break laws. While we support the rights of individuals and groups to express their views legally and peacefully about the energy we all use, we also support the justice system holding individuals accountable for their illegal actions, especially when people and the environment are endangered.”

Edmonton Journal: Randy Boissonnault: Just transition is about creating and supporting jobs
Randy Boissonnault is the member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre, and the minister of Tourism and associate minister of Finance, 1/17/23

“After being sworn in, Premier Danielle Smith gave this instruction to each member of her cabinet in their mandate letters: “No matter what the industry, we must continue the good work of diversifying our economy through job creation to ensure all Albertans and their families can prosper,” Randy Boissonnault writes for the Edmonton Journal. “…Sadly, over the past week, Premier Smith has tried to double down on an argument that puts our current prosperity at odds with diversifying our economy. In the recent discussion about what has sometimes awkwardly been referred to as “just transition legislation” or — as I prefer to call it — our Sustainable Jobs plan, I fear that things have become more focused on terminology than substance. In commenting on a piece of federal legislation that does not yet exist, the premier seems to be trying to stoke fears that the federal government is preparing to either take jobs away from Albertans or replace their current jobs with worse ones. Nothing could be further from the truth. The legislation in question will do neither… “Alberta must also be the energy and technology supplier of choice in a net-zero world. There are great opportunities in critical minerals, and in hydrogen, nuclear energy, and other clean sources of energy. In the past, the provincial government has called for more federal support to develop these priorities. That is precisely what your federal government is doing… “Last week, the premier said that she would be “quite happy to talk with the federal government about sustainable jobs.” Count me and our government in. Because that’s precisely what we are doing.

Pipeline Fighters Hub