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Extracted

EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 1/23/23

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

By Mark Hefflinger

January 23, 2023

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PIPELINE NEWS

  • Waging Nonviolence: Climate activists and water protectors honor pipeline resister Joye Braun with a national day of action

  • Iowa Capital Dispatch: Proposed legislation could kill or restrict carbon dioxide pipelines in Iowa

  • Bismarck Tribune: Bills target CO2 pipelines in North Dakota; energy industry worries about impacts to oil, coal

  • Bismarck Tribune: Proposed CO2 pipeline could hinder Bismarck development, opponents say; Summit disputes contention

  • Navigator Heartland Greenway: Navigator Heartland Greenway LLC’s Motion to Withdraw Application and for Order Voluntarily Dismissing Application Without Prejudice and Concluding this Proceeding

  • Law360: Pa. Court Says Reporter Can’t Uncover Pipeline Emails

  • SeekingAlpha: The Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Will Benefit Cenovus

WASHINGTON UPDATES

  • Politico: Greens Sue Biden Administration For Approving Oil Export Terminal In Gulf Of Mexico

  • Bloomberg: US Natural Gas Pitched as Climate Savior If Methane Leaks Cut

STATE UPDATES

  • Denver Post: Secrecy surrounds Suncor’s shutdown, but experts say it’s a sign the company’s invested in Commerce City

  • Greeley Tribune: EPA grant to support air quality monitoring near 2 Greeley schools with nearby oil and gas operations

  • Durango Herald: La Plata County commissioners direct staff on oil and gas setbacks

EXTRACTION

  • Wall Street Journal: The Offshore Oil Business Is Gushing Again

  • Douglas Insights: Enhanced Oil Recovery Market by 2018-2027 

  • Reuters: Canada’s energy jobs transition bill sparks discord in oil heartland

  • Reuters: British Columbia reaches deal with more First Nations on resource management

CLIMATE FINANCE

  • The Hill: WTO chief calls for global carbon pricing

TODAY IN GREENWASHING

  • The Review: Enbridge supports firefighter training in Hawkesbury

OPINION

PIPELINE NEWS

Waging Nonviolence: Climate activists and water protectors honor pipeline resister Joye Braun with a national day of action
Nick Engelfried, 1/20/23

“There was still snow on the ground on April 1, 2016, when Joye Braun set up the lodge that would serve as her temporary home for almost a year,” Waging Nonviolence reports. “…Braun’s structure was the first erected in the famous Sacred Stone Camp — the original encampment at Standing Rock established to protest construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline. She remained an important presence throughout the duration of the protests, serving as a key leader and an inspiration to thousands of people who came to join the resistance to the pipeline… “Braun passed away on Nov. 13, 2022, at age 53. Today, on what would have been her birthday, pipeline resisters and climate activists from coast to coast are honoring her legacy with a day of action called Spark Joy(e), which will include rallies and other protests calling on the Biden administration and financial institutions to act on the climate emergency. “Joye’s entire life was a testament to climate justice,” Waniya Locke of Standing Rock, who was also involved in establishing Sacred Stone Camp, told WN. “We honor her legacy by continuing to move forward in defending water and land, by speaking out about any injustices we see or experience, and by creating safe spaces.” “…After arriving back on Cheyenne River tribal land, Braun quickly joined the fight against Keystone XL. One of her first projects was to spread awareness about threats posed by the pipeline on the reservation. “My mom was one of the first organizers to start talking with people about Keystone XL,” Morgan Brings Plenty, Braun’s then-teenage daughter, who helped with her outreach efforts, told WN. “In the early days it would be just the two of us standing on a corner during events like the Cheyenne River Fair, trying to catch people’s attention and get the word out.” “…As the movement against Keystone XL intensified, TC Energy faced direct action protests on the Cheyenne River Reservation and Tribal Council decrees banning it from transporting equipment within reservation boundaries… “Other Spark Joy(e) actions will include protests at banks like Chase and Wells Fargo that fund the fossil fuel industry, a rally in Washington, D.C. calling on the administration to reject all fossil fuel projects and declare a climate emergency, and an event in Eagle Butte on the Cheyenne River Reservation. More protests will occur in places as far apart as California, North Carolina, Hawaii and even Germany.”

Iowa Capital Dispatch: Proposed legislation could kill or restrict carbon dioxide pipelines in Iowa
JARED STRONG, 1/20/23

“A spate of bills introduced in the Iowa Senate this week would severely restrict ongoing plans by three companies to build pipelines to transport captured carbon dioxide from ethanol plants in the state,” the Iowa Capital Dispatch reports. “Five bills introduced by Sen. Jeff Taylor, a Sioux Center Republican, would curtail eminent domain opportunities for hazardous liquid pipeline companies, limit their ability to conduct land surveys and negotiate easements for that land, and require them to identify their investors. Taylor was among a minority of vocal Republicans to push for more protections in last year’s legislative session for landowners who oppose three projects that would lay about 2,000 miles of pipe across the state… “In my sixteen years in the Iowa House, I have never heard more concerns from constituents related to a single issue than the CO2 pipeline project currently proposed for our area,” Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, wrote in a letter to state regulators about a week before the election. Grassley told Iowa Capital Dispatch this month that the pipelines will be a greater priority this session than last year: “What that is exactly, I’m not in a position where I can tell you, but I know the caucus is hearing enough from their constituents.” Taylor’s bills would have far-reaching consequences for the projects. One would eliminate the use of eminent domain for their construction. “That, in many ways, is my No. 1 preference because it gives the strongest protection to landowners and does the best job of addressing the constitutional problems with eminent domain for private companies for private profit,” he told the Dispatch. Taylor told the Dispatch that proposal faces the largest uphill battle in the Legislature. In lieu of that, another bill would require the companies to gain the permission of landowners for 90% of the route to enable eminent domain for the remainder. The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation recently indicated it would support that law change… “Another of Taylor’s bills would remove the pipeline companies’ abilities to conduct land surveys without landowner permission. Iowa law allows the surveys — which are used to determine the depth and path of the potential pipelines — after the companies have held public meetings about their projects and provided notice of the surveys. That part of the law is being challenged in court by multiple landowners who have refused to allow surveyors from Summit and Navigator CO2 Ventures onto their properties. It is also the subject of a criminal trespassing charge in Dickinson County. Another Taylor bill would prevent pipeline companies from contacting unwilling landowners to negotiate voluntary easements, and the last would require pipeline companies to identify their investors.”

Bismarck Tribune: Bills target CO2 pipelines in North Dakota; energy industry worries about impacts to oil, coal
JACKIE JAHFETSON, 1/19/23

“Bills in the 2023 Legislature seek to eliminate the use of eminent domain for carbon dioxide pipelines, prompting opposition from energy industry leaders,” the Bismarck Tribune reports. “Supporters of the legislation say it’s important for property rights and safety, while opponents say it could hamper energy development in the state. Two bills introduced by Sen. Jeff Magrum, R-Hazelton — Senate Bills 2209 and 2212 — come in response to Summit Carbon Solutions’ proposed CO2 pipeline that is being reviewed by the North Dakota Public Service Commission. Magrum, who’s sponsoring eight bills related to the same subject, told the Tribune that he was urged by several landowners in his district to bring the bills. “They’re very upset. We have many landowners that don’t want this pipeline on their land for various reasons,” Magrum told the Tribune… “Magrum told the Tribune concerned landowners in his district “philosophically, they don’t believe in carbon capture. Another reason is this pipeline company has been very bullyish; they’ve been trespassing on people’s land, offering way below market value prices for crossing land … These easements they’re proposing are 99-year easements, which is the maximum allowed by state law. So (landowners) are afraid that they’re going to curse their grandkids with this pipeline because this company is so hard to deal with.” “…Senate Bill 2209 allows for companies to use eminent domain in a county if they acquire 85% approval from landowners in the path of the pipeline, according to Magrum. Counties could set a higher percentage. The bill “would actually encourage these companies to go out and work with the landowners and be fair with them,” Magrum told the Tribune… “Senate Bill 2212 would remove CO2 pipelines from state law that allows pipelines to use eminent domain. Magrum told the Tribune some of his Emmons County constituents fear a potential pipeline leak, and have raised concerns about the pipeline’s proximity to housing and potential to hamper future development. Some residents in northern Burleigh County have similar worries… “Helms said during his monthly Director’s Cut on Tuesday that both bills would make it “extremely difficult, if not impossible, to build carbon dioxide pipelines in the state,” such as the one that for more than 20 years has transported carbon dioxide captured at the Great Plains Synfuels Plant in Beulah to oilfields in Canada. “We cannot do enhanced oil recovery without CO2 pipelines,” Helms told the Tribune… If the bills pass, “The impact of that would be North Dakota sacrificing potentially 10 billion barrels of oil that we expect would be recovered from enhanced oil recovery projects,” Helms told the Tribune. 

Bismarck Tribune: Proposed CO2 pipeline could hinder Bismarck development, opponents say; Summit disputes contention
JACKIE JAHFETSON, 1/21/23

“Some northern Burleigh County residents worry that a proposed pipeline that would transport carbon dioxide emissions from Midwestern ethanol plants to North Dakota for permanent underground storage could hamper development as Bismarck continues growing to the north,” the Bismarck Tribune reports. “The concerns come as the state Public Service Commission reviews the permit request filed by pipeline developer Summit Carbon Solutions in October for the transportation component of the project, and as local and state officials discuss the company’s potential use of eminent domain to acquire needed land use rights from reluctant property owners… “The route is 5 miles to the north of Bismarck — a distance Summit Executive Vice President Wade Boeshans said is adequate. Former Mayor John Warford, who owns a ranch in Naughton Township northeast of the capital city, disagrees.  “It’s way too close to the city of Bismarck and will impede the city growth,” he told the Tribune. Warford told the Tribune that the pipeline route is 1.5-2 miles northeast of Bismarck’s extraterritorial area. “This pipeline will be in direct line of sight, so to speak, of where a lot of the growth over the next 10, 20, 30, 40 years will be in Bismarck. And I feel that the pipeline was located too close to Bismarck. It is the only metropolitan area along the entire 2,000 miles that the pipeline is close to,” Warford told the Tribune. The pipeline route is slated to go through a mile of Warford’s property. He cited concerns about safety, noting the 2020 rupture of a CO2 pipeline that prompted the evacuation of hundreds of people in Satartia, Mississippi… “Warford told the Tribune there also are concerns among landowners that Summit will use eminent domain to acquire land rights… “This is a private pipeline by a private company for their private gain,” Warford told the Tribune. “… I don’t think that a private company should be able to take my land and force me to have a pipeline on my property … It seems to me that it is unreasonable why I should put up with a pipeline on my property for the benefit of 31 ethanol plants that are outside of North Dakota.” “…The County Commission will hold a public hearing on Feb. 6 on a proposed ordinance that would require an emergency response plan for hazardous liquid pipelines. The Burleigh County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on March 8 on a separate ordinance pertaining to special use permits required for hazardous liquid pipelines.”

Navigator Heartland Greenway: Navigator Heartland Greenway LLC’s Motion to Withdraw Application and for Order Voluntarily Dismissing Application Without Prejudice and Concluding this Proceeding
1/20/23

“Navigator Heartland Greenway LLC (“NHG” or “Applicant”) hereby moves to voluntarily withdraw its Application for a Certificate of Authority in the above-captioned proceeding, without prejudice to filing a new application, and requests an order by the Commission granting voluntary dismissal of the Application, without prejudice, and concluding the proceedings in this Docket. NHG also respectfully suggests that, to avoid the need for parties to expend additional resources in this Docket, the Administrative Law Judges (“ALJs”) should suspend the upcoming procedural schedule and filing dates in this Docket until this Motion can be presented to and ruled on by the Commission… “During the course of this proceeding, Commission Staff, and some intervenors, have proposed, for various reasons, that NHG’s Application should be withdrawn, and a new application filed thereafter, including due to NHG’s direct testimony having been filed 46 days after its Application was filed. Applicant believes its current Application was properly filed and sufficient to obtain the Certificate of Authority sought from the Commission. However, Applicant will be seeking authorization to construct, install, operate, and maintain an additional lateral pipeline to additional sequestration location(s). Instead of filing a separate application for the lateral pipeline, Applicant seeks to streamline the application process by withdrawing its current Application and re-filing a new application to include the new lateral pipeline with the project components proposed in Docket No. 22-0497. Accordingly, Applicant now requests leave to voluntarily withdraw its Application, without prejudice to filing a new application, and requests an order from the Commission granting voluntary dismissal of NHG’s Application, without prejudice, and concluding the proceedings in this Docket. Applicant states that it intends to file a new application for a Certificate of Authority to construct and operate a carbon dioxide transportation pipeline with the Commission in February 2023, and to file supporting direct testimony and exhibits with the Commission concurrently with the new application.”

Law360: Pa. Court Says Reporter Can’t Uncover Pipeline Emails
Madeline Lyskawa, 1/20/23

“A Pennsylvania appellate court said Friday that emails between the state’s Public Utility Commission and Energy Transfer LP were protect from a reporter’s record request and that the Office of Open Records erred in undoing their high-security information designation,” Law360 reports. 

SeekingAlpha: The Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Will Benefit Cenovus
Michael Fitzsimmons, 1/17/23

“According to the current schedule, mechanical completion of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project is expected to be completed in Q3 of this year,” SeekingAlpha reports. “The expansion will take the pipeline’s capacity from 300,000 bpd to 890,000 bpd, adding more than a half-a-million bpd of pipeline exit capacity from the center of Canadian oil sands production near Edmonton, Alberta to the Canadian West Coast port of Burnaby, British Columbia… “No doubt, the in-service of this pipeline expansion project will be celebrated near and far in Alberta as big oil sands producers, like Cenovus (NYSE:CVE), will be able to increase production while enjoying a very likely and significant contraction in the long-standing – and sometime very wide – discount between WCS and WTI. As most energy investors know, for many years the Canadian oil sands producers have suffered from a lack of adequate pipeline exit capacity. While Canadians have typically blamed the U.S. for not being able to build projects like the Keystone-XL pipeline, the fact is that the Canadian energy sector simply has not taken matters into its own hands and built a pipeline – or pipelines – to its West Coast in order to directly reach export markets. As a result, too much productive capacity fighting over too little pipeline capacity has led to persistent and sometimes drastically deep discounts of Western Canadian Select (“WCS”) as compared to West Texas Intermediate (“WTI”), which does have relatively easy access to export markets… “The 590,000 bpd Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project will be a Godsend to long suffering oil sands producers when it goes in-service.”

WASHINGTON UPDATES

Politico: Greens Sue Biden Administration For Approving Oil Export Terminal In Gulf Of Mexico 
Josh Siegel, 1/19/23

“Environmental and conservation groups sued the Department of Transportation Thursday over its approval of a proposed oil export terminal offshore Freeport, Texas,” Politico reports. “DOT’s Maritime Administration failed to adequately assess various risks that could arise from constructing and operating the Sea Port Oil Terminal, including the potential for an oil spill, damage to an endangered species of whales, along with other climate and pollution harms, according to the lawsuit. Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, Turtle Island Restoration Network, Citizens for Clean Air and Clean Water Brazoria County, and Texas Campaign for the Environment filed the suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. The Maritime Administration approved the Sea Port Oil Terminal in November, over the opposition of Gulf Coast residents who had urged Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to intervene to reject it. The terminal would enable companies to ship out 2 million barrels of oil a day through 50 miles of new pipeline. The move will allow the oil and gas industry to increase its footprint abroad in a way that clashes with the Biden administration’s climate agenda, according to environmental activists.”

Bloomberg: US Natural Gas Pitched as Climate Savior If Methane Leaks Cut
1/19/23

“US natural gas exports can help the world slow the pace of climate change — but only if the fossil fuel displaces coal power and its methane emissions are slashed dramatically — the Progressive Policy Institute argued Thursday,” Bloomberg reports. “The center-left think tank is making a climate argument for expanding US exports of liquefied natural gas — a novel approach at a time when many activists are warning against any embrace of the fossil fuel. But the endorsement of greater LNG exports comes with a catch: Producers, shippers and users of the fuel need to clamp down on emissions of potent …

STATE UPDATES

Denver Post: Secrecy surrounds Suncor’s shutdown, but experts say it’s a sign the company’s invested in Commerce City
NOELLE PHILLIPS, 1/13/23

“Suncor Energy’s operations at its Commerce City refinery are shrouded in secrecy after a Dec. 21 malfunction forced the plant to close for up to three months, but industry experts say the closure signals that Suncor intends to do business in Colorado for the long term,” the Denver Post reports. “Meanwhile, the secrecy surrounding Suncor’s malfunction, triggered by extremely cold weather, and the following shutdown concern people who live near the refinery. They are worried about the pollution that may be released as the company brings operations back online over the next three months. While Suncor has said the refinery won’t be fully operational until the end of March, work at the site is ongoing as crews repair damaged equipment and work on maintenance to machinery used to make gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and asphalt. In a statement, Suncor said neighbors will see flaring and hear noise related to its operations. “There’s trucks. There’s movement. You wouldn’t know it was closed,” Olga Gonzalez, executive director of Cultivando, a community organization that monitors Suncor’s pollution, told the Post… “But the plant is controversial because it’s a large polluter, releasing chemicals into the air that can cause asthma and other breathing problems, and it’s facing mounting pressure from environmentalists to better control its air emissions. Since the closure was announced, the plant continues to release pollutants such as hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide, according to malfunction reports submitted between Dec. 21-29 to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Air Pollution Control Division… “Thus far, Suncor Energy’s public relations staff has declined to provide further details about the shutdown, what caused it and what the plan for restarting will be. In an emailed statement, Loa Esquilin Garcia, a company spokeswoman, told the Post the refinery experienced equipment damage and managers decided to put it in “safe mode” to inspect all units and repair damages. Matt Kimmel, a principal analyst at the global energy research and consulting firm Wood Mackenzie, told the Post the lengthy shut down indicates one or more pieces of critical equipment was damaged by the deep freeze… “In the days after the shutdown was announced, many people were hopeful it meant no pollution would be generated in the coming months. They saw it as an opportunity to compare Denver’s air quality before the shutdown, during and after. But that may not be possible since Suncor will have ongoing work that likely will create air pollution over the next three months. A consultant who works with Cultivando on the air monitoring advised Gonzalez not to expect zero pollution during the shutdown, especially since Suncor has said there will be flaring.”

Greeley Tribune: EPA grant to support air quality monitoring near 2 Greeley schools with nearby oil and gas operations
TREVOR REID, 1/19/23

“An environmental group will monitor air quality at two Greeley public schools with nearby oil and gas operations starting this year after receiving an Environmental Protection Agency grant for nearly $500,000,” the Greeley Tribune reports. “The EPA in November awarded funding to seven groups across the state to conduct air quality monitoring, including 350 Colorado, which plans to monitor air quality near Bella Romero Academy 4-8 Campus, 1400 E. 20th St., and Tointon Academy of Pre-Engineering, 717 71st Ave. Riley Ruff, the project lead and northern Colorado coordinator for 350 Colorado, told the Tribune the group will use a mobile air monitoring station to move between the two sites over two years. The group will be looking for methane emissions, volatile organic compounds and other pollutants associated with oil and gas operations. Patricia Nelson, who has opposed the oil and gas development near Bella Romero due to concerns about its effects on the health and safety of her son and other students, is volunteering on the project. She told the Tribune families she’s spoken with near the school indicated everybody would feel more comfortable if there were air monitors at the school, citing health and safety concerns about emissions from oil and gas production. State health officials monitored air quality near the school, detecting elevated levels of benzene in 2019. The source of the elevated benzene levels was never determined.”

Durango Herald: La Plata County commissioners direct staff on oil and gas setbacks
Reuben Schafir, 1/18/23

“La Plata County commissioners indicated approval for a draft of the setbacks section of the proposed chapter 90 of the land-use code, which regulates the gas and oil industry,” the Durango Herald reports. “The commissioners directed staff Tuesday to move forward with minor revisions of the chapter. If approved, the code would adopt the state’s rules regarding the mandatory distances between natural gas wells and different kinds of infrastructure. However, the proposed rules are also more restrictive than those adopted by the state in certain circumstances. In four cases, the county would require a larger setback than those enumerated in the rules developed by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. According to the county’s draft rules, oil and gas infrastructure must be a minimum of 500 feet from surface property lines, commercial buildings, industrial buildings, residential building units, high-occupancy buildings and existing gas and oil facilities. Perhaps the most noteworthy direction commissioners gave to staff was to add a rule mandating a nonnegotiable 500-foot setback for wellheads from residential and high-occupancy buildings. Operators may still apply to build infrastructure within 2,000 feet of residential building units and high-occupancy buildings according to the four so-called “offramps” provided in the COGCC’s rule. The current draft of the county’s language includes these offramps, with one modification. Building owners and tenants may allow an operator to install a well pad within 2,000 feet with informed consent; the county regulation defines and clarifies the definition of informed consent.”

EXTRACTION

Wall Street Journal: The Offshore Oil Business Is Gushing Again
Bob Henderson, 1/21/23

“The $1.2 billion Deepwater Titan sat idle in a Singaporean shipyard for five years, looking like an abandoned cruise ship with a derrick attached to its deck,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “Soon this vessel that spans nearly three football fields will depart for the deepest waters of the Gulf of Mexico, where its crew will be able to drill 8 miles below the seafloor in search of oil for Chevron Corp. The hunt for offshore petroleum is on again, fueled by a surge in global demand for energy, supply disruptions triggered by the war in Ukraine and crude prices that remain above prepandemic levels. Other giant rigs such as Titan that were dormant near the end of the last decade are also now operating in deep waters along the coast of Brazil, while rigs lacking propulsion are mining shallower waters in the Middle East after hitching rides to that part of the world on tugboats.”

Douglas Insights: Enhanced Oil Recovery Market by 2018-2027 
1/23/23

“Enhanced oil recovery refers to the process by which other reserves of oil that are naturally immobile are made mobile using thermal, physical, or chemical techniques… “Additionally, during the past few years, the gas and oil industry has increasingly used enhanced oil recovery technology due to the quick decline in the use of fossil fuels… “Moreover, many official bodies throughout the world are launching programs to extract oil using cutting-edge technologies in an effort to increase earnings from the current gas and oil reserves. For example, nations like India and China are offering financial incentives to get international firms to invest in the enhanced oil recovery industry… “One of the main trends driving the growth of the enhanced oil recovery industry is increasing R&D expenditure. Some municipal governments are primarily spending to guarantee the best possible use of the available oil resources… “One of the things impeding the growth of the enhanced oil recovery market is the environmental dangers connected to EOR technologies. Projects for enhanced oil recovery are to blame for widespread pollution of the groundwater, land, water, and air. Water is disposed of using various methods, including disposal from another brine deposit, reservoir reinjection, ocean disposal, and surface disposal.”

Reuters: Canada’s energy jobs transition bill sparks discord in oil heartland
Nia Williams and Steve Scherer, 1/22/23

“In Canada’s western oil patch, controversy is raging over federal government legislation intended to help the fossil fuel labour force transition to a greener economy, but union and community leaders are warning politicization of the Just Transition bill obscures the needs of workers,” Reuters reports. “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is expected to table its long-awaited workforce transition bill this spring, ahead of economic changes expected as they pursue ambitious goals to slash climate-warming emissions. The government of Alberta, Canada’s main crude-producing province, says the legislation will dismantle the oil and gas industry that makes up 5% of Canada’s GDP. “When I hear the words “Just Transition” it signals eliminating jobs and for Alberta, that is a non-starter!” Alberta’s Conservative Premier Danielle Smith wrote on Twitter last week. The oil and gas sector employs around 185,000 workers, making the bill a hot topic in Alberta ahead a provincial election in May. Smith is using the threat of job losses to attack Trudeau and rally her conservative base, although she has been criticised for misinterpreting how many jobs may be at risk… “Trudeau told Reuters in a recent interview that the sooner Alberta’s “political class” understood the future is not to be feared, the better… “Think tank Clean Energy Canada estimates there could be 200,000 clean energy jobs created by 2030. If done right, the bill could incentivise technologies like carbon capture and hydrogen and be Canada’s answer to the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, the $430-billion green energy subsidy package passed last year, the AFL’s McGowan told Reuters.”

Reuters: British Columbia reaches deal with more First Nations on resource management
1/20/23

“The western Canadian province of British Columbia (B.C.) on Friday announced a deal with four Indigenous First Nations to collaborate on land planning and managing the impacts of industrialization,” Reuters reports. “The deal with the Fort Nelson, Saulteau, Halfway River and Doig River First Nations, whose territories lie in the northeast of the province, comes days after another land use agreement with the nearby Blueberry River First Nations that is expected to restart stalled development in the Montney shale gas play. The B.C. government and a number of First Nations have been negotiating since 2021, when the B.C. Supreme Court ruled decades of natural resource extraction and industrial development had infringed on indigenous rights. Friday’s deal includes a “consensus document” to manage land, wildlife and restoration in the area. It also contains a new revenue-sharing approach to support First Nations communities, similar to the ones agreed with Blueberry River. However, other aspects of the Blueberry River agreement, such as an annual cap on land that can be disturbed for oil and gas development, were not included.”

CLIMATE FINANCE

The Hill: WTO chief calls for global carbon pricing
SHARON UDASIN, 1/20/23

“Adopting a global carbon pricing scheme could help countries streamline supply chains and mitigate concerns about competition, according to the head of the World Trade Organization (WTO),” The Hill reports. “A shared global carbon-pricing framework would best provide certainty for businesses and predictability for developing countries,” WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said Thursday evening at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Today there are at least 70 different — and “fragmented” — carbon pricing setups around the world, according to Okonjo-Iweala. That inconsistency ultimately hampers the decarbonization of trade and supply chains, the World Economic Forum stated following Okonjo-Iweala’s address. As a result, the WTO has begun working with the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the International Monetary Fund to streamline carbon pricing, Okonjo-Iweala confirmed. In addition to expressing her support for shared global carbon pricing framework, Okonjo-Iweala also called for the elimination of “skewed” import tariffs that plague national borders today. Such tariffs, she explained, favor high-carbon imports over those whose production have generated fewer emissions. “Because of countries’ widespread tendency to impose higher tariffs on relatively clean finished goods, but lower tariffs on often more-polluting inputs and intermediates, trade policy skews in favor of dirtier products,” Okonjo-Iweala said. This discrepancy has resulted in what Okonjo-Iweala described as “an implicit subsidy” for carbon dioxide production — equivalent to between $550 billion and $800 billion per year.”

TODAY IN GREENWASHING

The Review: Enbridge supports firefighter training in Hawkesbury
James Morgan, 1/22/23

“Enbridge is helping train firefighters in the Town of Hawkesbury,” The Review reports. “The gas company has contributed $5,000 to the Hawkesbury Fire Department for it to purchase textbooks and video materials for firefighter training… “Enbridge Eastern Region Operations Manager Dan Borris said the company makes efforts to assist fire departments with education on firefighting techniques. He noted how firefighters are often the first people at the scene when there is a natural gas related emergency.”

OPINION

South Bend Tribune: The Great Carbon Boondoggle, Part 1
Alan Guebert, 1/22/23

“Many policy choices are made on politics alone while other key decision-making elements, such as cost, science and even common sense, play a lesser or no role at all,” Alan Guebert writes for the South Bend Tribune. “…Today, these exercises of magical thinking cost billions and enrich local oligarchs and distant financiers who then, in turn, bankroll the campaigns of favor-delivering politicians to ensure their gravy train continues to run on time. Last November, the Oakland Institute, an independent policy think tank in Oakland, Calif., published a detailed report on one of these costly, gassy trains, Summit Carbon Solutions’ 2,000-mile carbon pipeline across Iowa, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, and Minnesota… “Although all of that scrubbed pleasant-speak may sound like an innovative, ag-based way to somewhat balance the amount of climate-changing carbon emitted by today’s intensive livestock and cropping systems, the Oakland Institute sees it as a pressurized pipeline of baloney. In fact, the Institute uses another descriptive B word in the title of its 31-page report that gets right to the heart of Summit’s plan; it calls it “The Great Carbon Boondoggle.” Both this week and next we’ll examine what Oakland found in its deep dive into Summit’s promises, partners and finances and why now more farmers seem to be denying Summit easements across their land than allowing them. First, however, Oakland explains, backers of Summit’s carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, overlook “the growing body of evidence exposing CCS as a false climate solution …” Indeed, “Despite billions of taxpayer dollars spent on CCS to date … it has ‘not been proven feasible or economic at scale.’” Even more damning, the report continues, “Over 95 percent of the CO2 captured by these plants” — mostly “ethanol, natural gas processing, or fertilizer plants” — “is currently used for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) … to boost oil production” that is then refined and burned to create even more CO2. Summit won’t say what the CO2 will, in the end, be used for, but maps of its proposed pipeline route show the five-state network ending in North Dakota, home of one of the nation’s largest “frac” oil fields, the Bakken, that relies almost entirely on enhanced oil recovery techniques to keep its thick crude oil pumping and its carbon-black river running. Furthermore, “Summit also claims the pipeline will ‘bolster the ethanol and agriculture industries,’ by making the ethanol produced at their partner facilities ‘net zero fuel’ by 2030.” More Grade A baloney, Oakland says. The think tank isn’t the only group questioning Summit’s grandiose Midwest Carbon Express. Farmers, too, are less than enthusiastic about granting Summit pipeline easements, no matter its size or depth, across their land… “So, if the Midwest Carbon Express pipeline isn’t “green” and isn’t wanted by environmentalists and landowners alike, why is it still such a talked-about issue in Midwestern agriculture? Two reasons: money and politics. More on both next week.”

Press of Atlantic City: US saves consumers from NJ’s pipeline posturing
Editorial Board, 1/22/23

“Maybe there is a limit to how much government will squeeze people and businesses for the sake of green crony capitalism,” the Press of Atlantic City Editorial Board writes. “This month the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission disregarded New Jersey’s opposition to a $980 million expansion of a natural gas pipeline through the state. The commission found that construction and operation of the project will provide more reliable gas service on peak winter days and will diversify its supply, which could lead to lower costs for customers. What a concept — assuring adequate and reliable supplies, maybe at a lower cost… “The Biden and Murphy administrations both claim to be true believers in forcing the public to buy energy from their preferred providers, and Gov. Phil Murphy sounds like he couldn’t care less how much N.J. residents and businesses have to pay as a result or how little difference it would actually make to the slowly shifting climate. FERC and the federal government seem to adhere more closely to their responsibilities to the public… “Climate-change fanatics had urged Murphy and his administration to oppose the pipeline upgrade. For them, posturing helps fund-raising and proclaims their righteousness. Murphy, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and even the state Division of Rate Counsel allied themselves with the pipeline opponents, saying that natural gas shortages were unlikely in New Jersey the next several years. Murphy might choose posturing over prudence at this time because he hopes for a shot at the U.S. presidency… “We’re reassured to see that at least the federal government is still able to be sensible about the need for reasonably priced energy.”

National Observer: Counting the costs and contradictions of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion
Marc Lee is a senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ B.C. office, 1/23/23

“Canada’s uneasy relationship between climate change and fossil fuel development was illustrated in November 2021 when seven atmospheric rivers hit southern B.C.,” Marc Lee writes for Canada’s National Observer. “…Among the shutdowns was the Trans Mountain pipeline that delivers Alberta crude and other refined petroleum products to B.C. The pipeline was taken offline for three weeks, followed by reduced capacity for more than five weeks, prompting restrictions on gas and diesel supplies. Construction of the pipeline’s much larger twin, the Trans Mountain expansion project (TMX), was delayed by the floods and landslides. In 2018, the federal government bought Trans Mountain from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion and committed to deliver on TMX at an estimated further cost of $7.4 billion. The TMX project was billed as “in the national interest” — despite substantial environmental impacts and opposition by many First Nations along its route — because it would reduce Canada’s dependence on exporting to the U.S. in favour of Asian markets. Over four years later, TMX has been plagued by delays and cost overruns. When purchased in 2018, total construction costs rose from an original $5.4-billion estimate in 2013 to $7.4 billion. It increased to $12.6 billion in 2020 and an astonishing $21.4 billion in 2022… “Trans Mountain says only 20 per cent of the cost increases will be passed on to the pipeline’s customers — oil companies. The other 80 per cent will be absorbed by Canadians. Robyn Allan, an economist who has closely tracked TMX’s progress, estimates that some $17 billion in TMX debt to Canadians will be written off by the federal government to make the pipeline appear commercially viable — another huge subsidy to the oil and gas industry. Even worse, higher prices are unlikely to be found in Asia due to higher transportation costs and lower prices for the heavy oil produced from Alberta due to differences in refining capacity… “TMX is scheduled to be completed by year’s end and will open as a project that could not be more ill-suited to this moment in history… “TMX would facilitate about 84 million tonnes (Mt) per year of CO2 emissions (upstream and exported). At $200 per tonne, that’s $16.8 billion annually in future damages, meaning every year TMX is in service, it could deliver a blow roughly equivalent to the $17 billion in damages B.C. experienced in 2021 due to extreme weather… “TMX symbolizes the contradictions in Canada’s climate policy. Never have Canadian politicians spent so much for so little, and at the wrong time.”

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