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Extracted

EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 1/19/23

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

By Mark Hefflinger

January 19, 2023

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PIPELINE NEWS

  • Roanoke Times: Landowners hopeful that U.S. Supreme Court will hear Mountain Valley Pipeline case

  • KCUR: Crews have cleaned up most of the oil that spilled out of the Keystone pipeline in Kansas

  • Washington County News: 1,711 barrels of oil left for cleanup process

  • Washington County News: Keystone Pipeline is largest tax contributer in Washington County

  • Law360: NAFTA Can’t Save $15B Keystone XL Case, US Says

  • AgWeek: Navigator jumps ahead of Summit in South Dakota carbon capture

  • South Dakota Searchlight: Regulators reject landowners’ attempt to stop carbon pipeline

  • Mitchell Republic: Landowners opposed to pipelines begin blitz on South Dakota legislature

  • AgWeek: Sen. Jeff Magrum files 8 bills related to Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline

  • KMA: Fremont County board hears update on carbon pipeline project, airs safety concerns

  • WSMV: Dickson Co. residents fear proposed 32-mile gas pipeline could explode

  • Pipeline Safety Trust: Pipeline Safety Trust Publishes Report Detailing Safety Risks of Hydrogen Transportation by Pipeline

  • National Law Review: 10 Issues to Watch in the New Congress

  • Reuters: Pipeline operator Kinder Morgan beats profit estimates; CEO to step down

  • Reuters: Chinese oil major CNOOC wins ruling against Canada’s Pembina Pipeline

WASHINGTON UPDATES

  • Politico: NRDC Pushes For Faster Climate Regs, ‘Good’ Permitting Reform

  • InsideEPA: White House Poised To Expand Composition Of WHEJAC Membership 

  • Accountable.us: Big Oil Gave $3.8 Million to Anti-Conservation Extremists on House Natural Resources Committee

EXTRACTION

  • The Hill: UN chief: Global commitment to limiting temperature rise ‘nearly going up in smoke’ 

  • Upstream: Canada: Equinor launches critical Bay du Nord bid process

  • Canadian Press: Oilsands execs say a ‘just transition’ isn’t a worry — it’s their next big ‘boom’

CLIMATE FINANCE

  • Financial Post: Canadian pension funds inconsistent on climate policy, watchdog group says

TODAY IN GREENWASHING

  • Enbridge: Order up! Michigan’s Feed The City Tour nourishes stomach and soul

  • Press release: Enbridge Gas teams up with London Fire Department to Reduce Fire and Carbon Monoxide Deaths through Safe Community Project Zero

OPINION

  • Waverly Newspapers: Guest Opinion: Does the benefit of pipelines exceed the cost to us taxpayers?

  • Los Angeles Times: Letters to the Editor: Starve oil companies. That’s the best response to Exxon’s climate deceit

PIPELINE NEWS

Roanoke Times: Landowners hopeful that U.S. Supreme Court will hear Mountain Valley Pipeline case
Laurence Hammack, 1/18/23

“A long-running legal dispute over a corporate venture’s authority to seize private property for a natural gas pipeline has reached the U.S. Supreme Court, where landowners see signs of hope,” the Roanoke Times reports. “The Supreme Court has so far declined to dismiss an appeal by three couples whose land was taken by eminent domain for construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which passes through the New River and Roanoke valleys. Inaction by the high court comes at a time when it has denied appeals in other cases considered at the same time — and suggests the justices have decided to put the case on hold until separate but similar cases can be decided, according to an attorney for the landowners. “The case has overcome a major hurdle,” Mia Yugo, a Roanoke attorney who represents property owners who are contesting the court-approved taking of their land for the pipeline, told the Times… “On Jan. 6, the court held a conference to consider the Mountain Valley case along with about 350 others. One-line orders denying most of the appeals were issued the following week, and again this week. Yugo’s case did not appear on the list of denials, leading her to believe it has caught the court’s attention. In their lawsuit, landowners argued that Congress improperly allowed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to give eminent domain powers to private ventures once their projects were approved, which the commission did for Mountain Valley in 2017… “In a motion filed late last month, she asked the court to place the case on hold until it decides two other cases that raise similar issues. A decision in those cases is expected by June. Mountain Valley opposed the request… “Should the landowners ultimately prevail, it is not clear what impact their case would have on the 303-mile pipeline. But it threatens to be yet another complication for the project, construction of which has been repeatedly delayed by other legal challenges to its government permits.”

KCUR: Crews have cleaned up most of the oil that spilled out of the Keystone pipeline in Kansas
Celia Llopis-Jepsen, 1/18/23

“The pipeline company that spilled nearly 600,000 gallons of oil onto fields and into a stream in north-central Kansas says it has cleaned up more than 85% of the crude,” KCUR reports. “Meanwhile, the Washington County, Kansas, newspaper reported that the Keystone pipeline is by far the county’s biggest source of tax revenue. The county’s second-biggest source of tax revenue? Also a pipeline operator. TC Energy estimates that 588,000 gallons of crude oil spewed out when the Keystone pipeline burst on Dec. 7 — the biggest spill yet on the Canadian company’s largest oil pipeline system. The company says crews have recovered about 516,000 gallons. More than 800 workers are on site, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Much of the work focuses on Mill Creek. Several miles of the stream have been blocked off to facilitate the intensive cleanup and contain the contamination. A state environmental agency said last week that it was seeing a drop in chemical levels downstream from the isolated segment of the creek. The Washington County News reported Thursday that seven of the county’s 10 biggest taxpayers involve pipelines. But revenues from the Keystone pipeline eclipse the rest, and only kicked in recently because a 10-year tax exemption expired.”

Washington County News: 1,711 barrels of oil left for cleanup process
Dan Thalmann, 1/18/23

“The latest cleanup numbers from TC Energy show they have approximately 1,711 barrels of oil left to clean up out of the original 14,000 barrels of oil that leaked from the Keystone Pipeline northeast of Washington during an incident on Dec. 8,” Washington County News reports. 

Washington County News: Keystone Pipeline is largest tax contributer in Washington County
Dan Thalmann, 1/18/23

“Tax revenue comes online this year and will add to budgets of 16 local taxing units Tax revenue from the Keystone Pipeline will add $1,954,251 million to the county’s tax coffers this year,” Washington County News reports. “That is almost 3 times larger than the former highest taxpayer, according to information supplied by Washington County Treasurer Denae Jueneman.”

Law360: NAFTA Can’t Save $15B Keystone XL Case, US Says
Caleb Symons, 1/18/23

“U.S. officials want the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes to drop a high-profile challenge to their cancellation of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, saying its operator cannot bring claims under a defunct trade deal between the U.S. and Canada,” Law360 reports.

AgWeek: Navigator jumps ahead of Summit in South Dakota carbon capture
Jeff Beach, 1/18/23

“Navigator CO2 Ventures has moved ahead of Summit Carbon Solutions to build what could be South Dakota’s first carbon capture pipeline,” AgWeek reports. “The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday, Jan. 17, approved setting dates in June to consider the permit application from Navigator for the South Dakota portion of a five-state pipeline to gather greenhouse gas emissions from ethanol plants. Summit was the first to apply for a permit in South Dakota but asked for an extension to the one-year timeframe for approval spelled out in state law. That request opened the door for commissioners to push back hearings until September. The Navigator docket is under a one-year deadline for a decision, starting from its application date on Sept. 27, 2022. PUC hearings would begin June 7 and go through June 16… “An attorney representing landowners, Brian Jorde of Domina Law, argued that the June dates would be unworkable and that more time was needed before the hearings. Jorde also argued that Navigator’s application was in “default” for providing proper notice to some landowners, an argument that failed to sway commissioners. Later in the meeting, Jorde asked commissioners to throw out Summit’s application for not complying with landowner notice requirements. PUC staff said that some notifications were sent after a 30-day period spelled out in state law but still told commissioners that they felt Summit had complied with the law. Commissioners rejected Jorde’s motion to dismiss… “The projects have proven unpopular with many landowners who don’t want a hazardous materials pipeline crossing their property. Landowners have been organizing against the use of eminent domain that would force them to provide right-of-way to private pipeline companies.”

South Dakota Searchlight: Regulators reject landowners’ attempt to stop carbon pipeline
JOSHUA HAIAR, 1/17/23

“State regulators on Tuesday denied an effort by some landowners to halt a company’s request to build a carbon capture pipeline,” South Dakota Searchlight reports. “The company did not meet the legal deadline for reaching out to some landowners that the pipeline project will impact, according to Brian Jorde, an attorney representing landowners against the project. State law requires that within 30 days of filing an application for a project permit with the Public Utilities Commission, the company must notify landowners within a half-mile of a proposed pipeline project. But some notices for the proposed Summit Carbon pipeline took longer than 30 days, according to Jorde. “They missed the deadline, and that’s the black-letter law,” Jorde told Searchlight. Commissioner Chris Nelson told Searchlight he does not believe the commission has the jurisdiction to determine compliance with the law. “What is evident is the fact that the hearing for the pipeline is in September, and there is time between now and then that anyone who received those late notices has an opportunity to become involved in this docket item if they so choose,” Nelson told Searchlight. And when PUC Commissioner Gary Hanson asked PUC staff if Summit Carbon Solutions followed the letter of the law, a staff member replied, “They filed with the spirit and intent of the law. Yes.” The three elected commissioners unanimously denied the move to stop the project… “Multi-day public hearings on the Summit pipeline application are scheduled to begin Sept. 11.”

Mitchell Republic: Landowners opposed to pipelines begin blitz on South Dakota legislature
Jason Harward, 1/18/23

“As lawmakers made their way to their respective caucus meetings on the afternoon of Jan. 18, they were greeted with an unfamiliar sight on the fourth floor of the State Capitol,” the Mitchell Republic reports. “About a dozen landowners, joined in their opposition to planned carbon pipelines across eastern South Dakota, were waiting for lawmakers, encouraging them to support legislation that would stop — or at least delay — the pipeline companies promising a future for the state’s ethanol industry through lowered carbon emissions… “Throughout the day, some 50 landowners-turned-lobbyists from around the state took turns talking to lawmakers and among themselves, figuring out how they could move legislation in several different areas related to pipeline safety and construction. But what these landowners — and several first-year lawmakers who earned their spot in the legislature largely because of landowner discontent — have in energy and numbers, they somewhat lack in connections, which the two companies currently working to build a pipeline in the state, Summit Carbon Solutions and Navigator CO2, have in spades. “They have millions and millions of dollars behind them. We can’t counter that. We’re here. We’re countering their money with people,” Ed Fischbach, a landowner from Mellette, told the Republic. “And I guess we expect our legislators to respect and listen to the people that put them here.” “…Just days into the second week of session, two bills related to the pipeline issue have now been submitted to the public record. Rep. Karla Lems, a freshman legislator representing counties in the shadow of the Summit and Navigator pipelines, has sponsored a bill that would define the requirements for use of eminent domain as “for the public use,” contrasting water systems or natural gas pipelines with projects like carbon pipelines she says do not help South Dakotans as directly… “In addition, Rep. James Wangsness of Miller, another newly-elected legislator representing several pipeline counties, has introduced a bill changing certain requirements on the controversial topic of land surveying… “One piece of legislation expected to appear in the coming days and weeks from Rep. John Sjaarda, a farmer and new legislator from Valley Springs, includes a requirement that companies accessing eminent domain must reach an easement agreement with 80% of landowners on the route… “Beyond that, landowners expressed disappointment at Gov. Kristi Noem, who they say has dodged several meeting requests on the subject.”

AgWeek: Sen. Jeff Magrum files 8 bills related to Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline
Jeff Beach, 1/18/23

“The controversial Summit Carbon Solutions carbon capture pipeline has spawned at least eight bills in the North Dakota Legislature,” AgWeek reports. “Two of the eight bills are directly related to the percentage of voluntary easements from property owners that would be required to obtain a pipeline permit in North Dakota. Others are related to private property access by surveyors and underground storage space… “Sen. Jeff Magrum, R-Hazelton, is a sponsor on all of the bills. He told AgWeek part of the reason he filed the bills is to give people a chance to testify about the pipeline project. He blames Summit Carbon Solutions for a lot of the pushback against the pipeline, “just because they don’t know how to treat landowners.” “…But some landowners have been reluctant to grant easements for the hazardous materials pipeline, citing concerns about safety, damage to farmland and property value… “The Republican governor is pushing for carbon storage as a way for North Dakota to become carbon neutral by 2030. But he also has said publicly that the pipeline should be accomplished only with voluntary easements, not the legal force of eminent domain. Emmons County in North Dakota has set a public hearing for 6 p.m., Jan. 25, at the courthouse in Linton on setbacks and land use related to hazardous liquid pipelines. The county had previously passed an ordinance to raise the conditional use permit fee to 3% of a total project cost, which would mean a fee $135 million on the $4.5 billion Summit project. It also passed an ordinance requiring 100% voluntary easements.”

KMA: Fremont County board hears update on carbon pipeline project, airs safety concerns
Ethan Hewett, 1/18/23

“Fremont County officials received an update on a proposed carbon dioxide pipeline and discussed related safety concerns,” KMA reports. “…As they’ve begun to look into potential drainage district crossings, Summit Representative Riley Gibson says the pipeline would likely cut through the Johnson Run District, which runs through Shenandoah and drains into the East Nishnabotna River… “However, Supervisor Dustin Sheldon, who also serves with the Sidney Fire Department, says he still has some lingering concerns about the pipeline’s safety procedures, particularly given the proximity to Shenandoah in the case of a “catastrophic failure” that could require evacuation. “Say it was right behind the water treatment facility there, you’ve got all the businesses there along (Highway 59), which is very highly populated their during the day time,” said Sheldon. “What kind of time frame are we looking at there — are we looking at 45 minutes to an hour, or we looking at 10 minutes? That’s the safety items that I’m getting at there that I really want to know.” Terry says shutoffs — which can be activated remotely in the case of a breach — in Fremont County would be located at Green Plains and roughly two miles north. However, he adds that emergency response plans won’t be finalized until closer to the project’s commission. “If we hand that to you, you’re going to have to get something completely different once we get to the actual commissioning phase because there’s going to be aspects of the line that change and that’s the reality of it,” said Terry. “A lot of people ask, ‘who don’t you have it now,’ and it’s because you develop it up until you’re ready to commission and have an entire company sign off on it and that is your finalized emergency response plan. They’re also going to differ for essentially every individual county based on what you have available.” Terry says official training will be provided to the various emergency management and first responders in the affected counties closer to the project’s commission. Gibson says they still hope to begin construction of the pipeline later this summer, pending approval of their permit application from the Iowa Utilities Board.”

WSMV: Dickson Co. residents fear proposed 32-mile gas pipeline could explode
Marissa Sulek, 1/18/23

“An energy company proposed a plan to build a 32-mile long natural gas pipeline through three Middle Tennessee counties,” WSMV reports. “It comes as the Tennessee Valley Authority plans to shut down their Cumberland fossil plant in the next few years. Now some people in Dickson County are living in the proposed “explosion zone” designated by energy company Kinder Morgan. In 1992, an inferno blew up in Dickson County burning almost 5 acres of land. It happened after a natural gas line broke, which Scott Corlew remembers well. “It looked like a nuclear bomb had gone off,” he told WSMV. “You could hear it; you could see the flames rolling up.” Corlew says the fire was close to his family’s century old farm. It’s in Dull, Tennessee – a place that lives up to its name, but that’s how people who live there want to keep it. That changed when Corlew’s mom, Dorothy Corlew, got a letter from Kinder Morgan and feared history could repeat itself. “When I first got it, I knew I didn’t want it,” Dorothy told WSMV. “It just didn’t sound like a good idea to me.” “…I don’t want to be burned up in my house and we are considered in the explosion zone,” Scott Corlew told WSMV.. He says the combination of natural gas and electricity could be disastrous. He wants to give the family farm to his daughters but moving has crossed his and Dorothy’s minds.”

Pipeline Safety Trust: Pipeline Safety Trust Publishes Report Detailing Safety Risks of Hydrogen Transportation by Pipeline
1/17/23

“In 2021, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act appropriated $9.5 billion for the production of clean hydrogen, followed by even greater incentives through the hydrogen production credit in the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act,” according to the Pipeline Safety Trust. “This significant funding is heralded by proponents in both government and industry who view hydrogen as a new fuel source that reduces greenhouse gas emissions. With an immense amount of capital now subsidizing the hydrogen industry, the Pipeline Safety Trust (PST) commissioned a report with independent consultant Accufacts Inc. to highlight the serious safety risks associated with hydrogen transport via pipelines. Hydrogen’s unique physical properties make its movement, whether via gas transmission or gas distribution pipeline or whether transported as pure hydrogen or blended with natural gas, substantially more dangerous than conventional natural gas pipelines. For starters, hydrogen hosts a larger flammability range than methane (natural gas), which means it is more likely to explode, and its explosions burn hotter and are larger than that of methane. The risks are especially potent when converting existing natural gas pipelines. Hydrogen is also an indirect greenhouse gas with 33 times the warming power of CO2 in its first 20 years. “We call on policymakers and other decision-makers to be diligent and cautious in considering hydrogen pipeline projects,” PST Executive Director Bill Caram said. “We do not want to put our communities at increased risk and must ensure that these projects will indeed reduce greenhouse gas emissions as intended. Pipelines containing hydrogen need to be a sufficient distance away from people, prevent hydrogen from leaking, and maintain their integrity.” The Accufacts report identifies several key knowledge gaps that exist when it comes to moving hydrogen via pipeline and PST believes they all must be addressed before a hydrogen economy is fully realized. As a result of the report, PST has come up with a set of recommendations to advance the safety in the regulation of hydrogen pipelines. These recommendations are aimed at both the DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), state regulators, and the nation’s many gas utilities. “Some basic knowledge gaps need to be addressed before making decisions on hydrogen projects, including the compatibility of different grades of steel. Basic regulatory gaps also remain, including operators currently being able to blend hydrogen into their systems without notifying the federal regulator, PHMSA,” Caram said. “We still have a lot of work to do before we can keep the public safe and address greenhouse gas emissions with hydrogen.”

National Law Review: 10 Issues to Watch in the New Congress
1/17/23

“The split party control in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives will require bipartisanship to produce successful legislation over the next two years,” the National Law Review reports. “…Permitting Reform: Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) pushed unsuccessfully to add permitting reform legislation to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). President Biden endorsed the Manchin proposal “as a way to cut Americans’ energy bills, promote U.S. energy security, and boost our ability to get energy projects built and connected to the grid.” Separately, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced a comprehensive permitting reform bill last September (Simplify Timelines and Assure Regulatory Transparency (START) Act) that was cosponsored by 46 other Republican Senators. Incoming House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-AR) and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) introduced comprehensive permitting reform as part of broader supply chain legislation, and both have indicated that the issue is a top priority… “Pipeline Safety: The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration authorization expires in 2023. Much of the focus in debating its reauthorization will be on implementing changes made in 2019 relating to public safety and pipeline spills, which will now be debated in the context of the December Keystone oil spill. There may also be a new focus on pipelines that transport carbon dioxide, which should significantly expand in the next few years. Incoming Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Sam Graves (R-MO) has mentioned passage of a pipeline safety bill as one of his top priorities.”

Reuters: Pipeline operator Kinder Morgan beats profit estimates; CEO to step down
1/18/23

“U.S. pipeline operator Kinder Morgan Inc (KMI.N) on Wednesday beat analysts’ estimates for fourth-quarter adjusted profit and said long-time Chief Executive Steve Kean will step down from the role,” Reuters reports. “…Our Natural Gas Pipelines segment performed well above plan for the quarter, as did our CO2 segment, which benefited from continued high commodity prices,” Chief Executive Officer Steve Kean said in a statement. Kean, who has served as CEO for the last eight years, will step down effective Aug. 1, but will remain on the company’s board. He will be succeeded by President Kim Dang. Dang has been with the company over 20 years and earlier served as the chief financial officer. The Houston-Texas based firm said earnings from its natural gas pipelines rose 11% to $1.4 billion for the three months ended Dec. 31, from a year earlier… “The board also increased the share repurchase authorization by $1 billion.”

Reuters: Chinese oil major CNOOC wins ruling against Canada’s Pembina Pipeline
Nia Williams, 1/18/23

“Canada’s Pembina Pipeline Corp (PPL.TO) unjustly discriminated against Chinese oil major CNOOC Ltd by refusing access to storage facilities in Edmonton, Alberta, the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) has ruled,” Reuters reports. “In a decision made on Tuesday, a CER commission ordered Calgary-based Pembina to consent to receive, deliver and transport oil from CNOOC Marketing Canada through connection facilities linking the Woodland feeder pipeline to storage tanks that CNOOC subleases from Pembina… “The Edmonton terminal is part of the TransMountain pipeline system and is fed by 20 feeder pipelines coming from different parts of Alberta. The terminal consists of 35 storage tanks with roughly 8 million barrels of capacity. CNOOC, which has oil sands and shale assets in Canada, filed a complaint last April saying that in 2021 Pembina had refused to provide connectivity from the Woodland pipeline to one of its three leased tanks.”

WASHINGTON UPDATES

Politico: NRDC Pushes For Faster Climate Regs, ‘Good’ Permitting Reform.
1/18/23

“The Natural Resources Defense Council is warning the White House that it needs to move faster to finalize power and transportation regulations if it wants to meet its climate goals this decade,” Politico reports. “In particular, the influential environmental group is worried that EPA’s projection to release a new carbon rule for existing power plants by April and finalize it in June 2024 is ‘much too late’ and could make the rule vulnerable to being overturned after the 2024 election. David Doniger, NRDC’s senior strategic director for climate and clean energy, told reporters Tuesday the process of finalizing a proposal should take less than a year. NRDC is also planning to lean into permitting reform in 2023, but won’t push for changes at any cost. ‘There has to be an acknowledgment of what good permitting reform looks like,’ said Christy Goldfuss, NRDC’s chief policy impact officer, singling out its preference for easing approval of interstate transmission projects. Still, any permitting bill in the new GOP-led Congress is likely to tilt more heavily toward helping fossil fuel projects than even Sen. Joe Manchin’s failed proposal, which will make it unlikely to draw support from greens.

InsideEPA: White House Poised To Expand Composition Of WHEJAC Membership 
1/17/23

“The White House is moving to expand the membership of its Environmental Justice Advisory Council (WHEJAC), a key environmental justice (EJ) advisory group currently comprised entirely of advocates, though the move could mean that the additional members may dilute the group’s voice after high-profile disputes over carbon-management projects,” InsideEPA reports. “…But Stacey Halliday, who leads the EJ practice for Beveridge & Diamond, told InsideEPA if the White House changes the WHEJAC membership to make it more diverse, it could become more like EPA’s longstanding National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) and would result in WHEJAC recommendations that are less opposed to carbon management the EJ organizations have historically resisted. Halliday also foresees a ‘pragmatic shift in what is possible for EJ’ from the administration. For example, a more diverse WHEJAC could embrace some CCS and issue recommendations more aligned with the administration, which is navigating the ‘thorny realities of expediting permitting solutions for infrastructure updates and moving to renewables. They’ll also have to wrestle with the reality that they want to incorporate environmental justice, but not necessarily into all of the policy positions EJ organizations advocate for,’ Halliday adds.”

Accountable.us: Big Oil Gave $3.8 Million to Anti-Conservation Extremists on House Natural Resources Committee
1/17/23

“Today, the U.S. House’s MAGA Republican leadership appointed a Big Oil-backed majority to the Natural Resources Committee who embrace a fringe anti-public lands agenda and received a combined $3.8 million from the oil and gas industry alongside their extremist western colleagues,” according to Accountable.us. “…The new MAGA-controlled House Natural Resources Committee aligns much closer with violent anti-public land extremists like the Bundys than they do with most Americans. Of the Republicans on the committee, five outright oppose federal public lands, most have demonstrated support for election denial, and all have supported policies to expand industry-friendly federal leasing to Big Oil and other extractive sectors.”

EXTRACTION

The Hill: UN chief: Global commitment to limiting temperature rise ‘nearly going up in smoke’ 
JULIA MUELLER, 1/18/23

“United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting of world leaders and corporate executives Wednesday that the commitment to limiting a global temperature rise is “nearly going up in smoke” as the planet hurtles toward climate disaster,” The Hill reports. “We are flirting with climate disaster. … The commitment to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees is nearly going up in smoke. Without further action, we are headed to a 2.8 degree increase and the consequences, as we all know, would be devastating,” Guterres said to the audience of elites at the Swiss ski resort of Davos.  “Several parts of our planet would be uninhabitable. And for many, it will mean a death sentence,” he said… “This is not a surprise. The science has been clear for decades, and I’m not talking only about U.N. scientists. … We learned last week that certain fossil fuel producers were fully aware in the ‘70s that their core product was breaking our planet,” Guterres said. “Some in Big Oil peddled the big lie.” The U.N. chief warned of greenwashing in countries’ and companies’ pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and urged the Davos crowd to make and adhere to “credible and transparent” strategies to achieve net-zero emissions. “Today, fossil fuel producers and their enablers are still racing to expand production knowing full well that this business model is inconsistent with human survival. Now, this insanity belongs in science fiction, yet we know the ecosystem meltdown is cold, hard scientific facts.” 

Upstream: Canada: Equinor launches critical Bay du Nord bid process
Iain Esau, 1/18/23

“Equinor is set to issue bid documents within days for critical engineering and construction work on a novel floating production, storage and offloading vessel that lies at the heart of the US$9.4 billion Bay du Nord project offshore Canada,” Upstream reports. “Bay du Nord aims to exploit almost 1 billion barrels of oil from the deep, harsh, iceberg-prone waters of the Flemish Pass basin in Newfoundland & Labrador using a newbuild FPSO, with first oil scheduled for 2028 or 2029. The project stoked controversy last year when Canada’s federal government approved its environmental impact plan, and further challenges lie ahead due to its remote location, about 500 kilometres offshore.”

Canadian Press: Oilsands execs say a ‘just transition’ isn’t a worry — it’s their next big ‘boom’
Jeff McIntosh, 1/18/23

“The CEOs of some of the biggest oilsands companies in Alberta say transitioning their workforce for a net-zero emissions future isn’t about cutting jobs, but is about creating them,” the Canadian Press reports. “Cenovus CEO Alex Pourbaix told CP the consortium of oilsands behind an alliance to decarbonize their companies estimates that reaching their goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 will create 35,000 jobs. Derek Evans, CEO of MEG Energy, told CP he is actually worried that Canada doesn’t have the labour force needed to get the decarbonizing job done. Their comments in an interview with The Canadian Press this week come as Alberta Premier Danielle Smith is pushing back against Ottawa’s plans to introduce “just transition” legislation to oversee the move to cut carbon emissions from industry. Smith jumped on reports this week that a federal memo suggested millions of jobs will be lost in the transition, but the memo actually referred to the number of jobs that currently exist in industries that could be affected by decarbonization.”

CLIMATE FINANCE

Financial Post: Canadian pension funds inconsistent on climate policy, watchdog group says
Barbara Shecter, 1/18/23

“A split has emerged among Canada’s large pension funds when it comes to managing the energy transition, with funds such as the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec pledging to sell off oil producing assets while Alberta Investment Management Corp. is staunchly against divestment,” the Financial Post reports. “So it is perhaps not surprising that Shift, a charity organization that tracks retirement funds and how their investments address climate change, found “a high level of inconsistency” among Canada’s largest pensions when it comes to the “urgency, detail, transparency and ambition for managing climate-related risks.” Overall, based on a report card released on Jan. 18 that measured climate policies based on the credibility of their targets and international best practices, Shift concluded that Canadian pension managers that collectively oversee more than $4 trillion need to do far more work to meet their fiduciary obligations to invest in the best long-term interests of plan members “in a world that limits global heating to 1.5 degrees Celsius.” Adam Scott, Shift’s executive director, told the Post investors around the world have recognized that rapidly phasing out fossil fuel investments will protect their beneficiaries’ financial interests, while some in the Canadian pension sector “cling” to what he called an unfounded belief that ongoing investments in oil and gas is part of an energy transition.  “A significant gap has emerged between Canadian pension funds and leading global institutional investors in their approach to fossil fuels,” Scott told the Post… “With regards to funds lower in its rankings, Shift argued that “beneficiaries of these pensions should be concerned about the vulnerability of their retirement savings to climate-related risks.”

TODAY IN GREENWASHING

Enbridge: Order up! Michigan’s Feed The City Tour nourishes stomach and soul
1/18/23

“The Feed The City Tour in Michigan is evidence of that, where the brainchild between the Saginaw Community Foundation and regional organization Bridge The Gap visits cities throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region to serve food and provide a place for bonding between community members. “Bridge the Gap is all about forming positive relationships between law enforcement and the community,” says Ayiteh Sowah, a board member at Bridge The Gap. “Feed The City Tour is one of the many ways we aim to provide safe, fun, and family-friendly opportunities to strengthen local ties and relationships.” “…In recent months, Enbridge sponsored the Feed The City Tour through a $50,000 grant to Bridge The Gap as part of our commitment to building sustainable communities near our operations. Enbridge also supported the tour in 2021 with a $25,000 donation for Saginaw and Midland food tour stops.”

Press release: Enbridge Gas teams up with London Fire Department to Reduce Fire and Carbon Monoxide Deaths through Safe Community Project Zero
1/18/23

“Today, Enbridge Gas Inc. (Enbridge Gas), the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council (FMPFSC) and the London Fire Department announced they are working together to improve home safety and bring fire and carbon monoxide-related deaths down to zero. London Fire Department received 600 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

Waverly Newspapers: Guest Opinion: Does the benefit of pipelines exceed the cost to us taxpayers?
Marva Schuldt, Readlyn, IA, 1/18/23

“Don’t believe everything Summit, Navigator and Wolf are telling you,” Marve Schuldt writes for Waverly Newspapers. “According to Jessica Mazour from the Sierra Club, the IUB stated that Summit still needs 1,500 parcels in Iowa, therefore their Exhibit H is not complete. Pursuant to 199 Administrative Code 13.3, the IUB said they cannot schedule a hearing for them. These 1,500 parcels are subject to request for eminent domain… “Don’t sign an easement. At the very least, please read all the fine print, this 99 year contract has very little risk for Navigator and a lot for landowners. After you sign that paper, it is theirs to do with whatever they want. You will watch them trample your ground, maybe move the pipeline, destroy tile lines and you will be powerless. There are no federal regulations for the level of CO2 over 90% and at 2,100 PSI. Pipeline regulations in place are for CO2 under 90% and at 1,200 PSI (one half of proposed pipeline). This is largely untested technology… “The CO2 pipeline in Mississippi ruptured in 2019, injuring 65 people… “This project is costing billions of dollars of the American taxpayer and will reap billons of dollars for its investors… “Taking property by eminent domain is unconstitutional and transporting a hazardous gas under high pressure through Iowa for personal gain should not be allowed… “Does the benefit of pipelines exceed the cost to us taxpayers, the possible loss of life and injury, permanent damage to our land, and use of eminent domain to steal our land? These carbon capture plants will need 150,000 gallons of water a day on top of the one million already used by the ethanol plant. How sustainable will this be? This is not over, don’t give up! Stand strong- don’t sign the easement.”

Los Angeles Times: Letters to the Editor: Starve oil companies. That’s the best response to Exxon’s climate deceit
Joseph DeRose, Los Angeles, 1/18/23

“To the editor: Your article on the accuracy of Exxon Mobil Corp.’s own global warming research makes a brief mention of how the language of climate denial has shifted toward delay,” Joseph DeRose writes for the Los Angeles Times. “Not only did Exxon know what it was doing when it spread disinformation in the past, it is still doing it. Today this disinformation takes the form of delay, distraction and division. It’s time for Exxon and other fossil fuel companies to be stripped of their social license to operate. Financial institutions like JP Morgan Chase (the largest investor in fossil fuels) need to retract all funding and starve these corporations until they abandon fossil fuels and adopt a renewable-only energy portfolio. No punitive measure could ever fit the damage Exxon has done to human society and its ability to continue on this planet, but forcing it to become part of the solution would at least be a start.”

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