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Extracted

EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 11/11/22

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

By Mark Hefflinger

November 11, 2022

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PIPELINE NEWS

  • Globe and Mail: Indigenous investors plan bids in TC Energy’s $5-billion asset sale

  • The Narwhal: ‘You will be arrested’: Coastal GasLink security denies Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief access to monitor project construction

  • UpNorthLive: Enbridge opens safety operations center for Line 5

  • York News Times: Summit Carbon Solutions says they have hit 50% of easements for pipeline

  • Bloomberg: Kinder Morgan Fire Likely Led to Methane Cloud Seen From Space

WASHINGTON UPDATES

  • The Hill: Biden expected to announce stronger proposed methane regulations for oil and gas at climate conference

  • Bloomberg: Manchin ‘Not Comfortable’ With Hearing on Energy Regulator Glick

  • E&E News: Do GOP Election Gains Threaten Biden’s Climate Agenda? 

  • E&E News: White House wants lame-duck permitting bill

  • InsideEPA: Narrow GOP Gains Signal Scrutiny Of Biden Agenda, Permitting Debate

  • E&E News: Groups Hope Split Government Spurs Permitting Overhaul

STATE UPDATES

  • E&E News: Enviros pounce on wish lists post midterm ‘green wave’

  • KQED: Chevron Agrees to Pay $200,000 for 2021 Bay Fuel Spill at Richmond Refinery

EXTRACTION

  • EuroNews: Fossil fuel lobbyists outnumber almost every national delegation at COP27, data shows

  • Associated Press: Report: War-triggered gas boom threatens world climate goal

  • Associated Press: UN experts urge stringent rules to stop net zero greenwash

  • Canadian Press: Pathways Alliance president says oil industry will be judged on climate goals

  • Financial Post: MEG Energy CEO says carbon-capture project moving ahead as fast as possible

  • Montreal Economic Institute: Capping energy sector emissions would cost the Canadian economy $44.8 billion a year 

  • The Hill: Satellites scrutinize site-specific emissions in effort backed by Al Gore

CLIMATE FINANCE

  • Politico: Republicans to Wall Street: We’re so over you

  • MidJersey News: Lawsuit Filed to Divest New Jersey Pension Fund from Fossil Fuels

  • The Chronicle-Telegram: Oberlin College pledges to fully divest from fossil fuels

OPINION

  • Bloomberg: Climate Change Lawsuits Are the Best Way to Force Action

PIPELINE NEWS

Globe and Mail: Indigenous investors plan bids in TC Energy’s $5-billion asset sale
ANDREW WILLIS AND WENDY STUECK, 11/10/22

“Indigenous investors are lining up to bid on Canadian pipelines TC Energy Corp. put up for auction this week as part of a $5-billion asset sale program,” the Globe and Mail reports. “On Wednesday, TC Energy chief executive François Poirier outlined plans to sell several projects by the end of 2023 to help fund the Calgary-based company’s expansion, which is projected to cost $34-billion. Along with raising cash, he said streamlining one of North America’s largest pipeline operators would drive “simplicity of corporate structure and the impact on our ability to achieve our sustainability goals.” “…In a report, analyst Robert Hope at Scotiabank predicted TC Energy will sell its 50-per-cent stake in the 460-kilometre Grand Rapids pipeline, which connects refineries near Edmonton to oil sands properties north of Fort McMurray, and the 72-kilometre White Spruce pipeline, which feeds into Grand Rapids… “Bidders on TC Energy’s assets will include pipeline owners in Alberta and private equity funds, analysts predict, along with Indigenous communities, which increasingly are looking to equity stakes in resource projects to generate jobs, income and opportunities. Willow Lake Métis Nation chief executive officer Justin Bourque told the Mail in an interview he has already reached out to TC Energy to offer help in approaching communities. “I’m very interested in what the strategy looks like and how they’re trying to roll that out,” Mr. Bourque told the Mail. “I think they are in position to have substantial impact for multiple stakeholders if that’s part of their strategy, and it should be part of their strategy.” Mr. Bourque is also president of Athabasca Indigenous Investments, an umbrella group for 23 First Nations and Metis communities that acquired a minority interest in seven Enbridge Inc. pipelines for $1.12-billion in September… “We hope Indigenous equity is contemplated and that TC Energy is prepared to take a co-development approach on the structure of those deals with the Indigenous peoples that are impacted by the project,” Niilo Edwards, executive director of the First Nations Major Projects Coalition (FNMPC), a federally-funded group that supports First Nations pursuing equity stakes in major projects, told the Mail.

The Narwhal: ‘You will be arrested’: Coastal GasLink security denies Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief access to monitor project construction
Matt Simmons, 11/8/22

“Under an early November snowfall, a tense standoff slowly unfolded between Coastal GasLink security workers, RCMP and Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief Na’moks. “If you pass this gate, sir, my understanding is that you will be arrested by the RCMP,” a pipeline security guard told the Chief and his supporters. He was standing in front of a yellow gate across the access road to where the company is drilling under Wedzin Kwa (Morice River) about two kilometres away,” The Narwhal reports. “In 2019, the B.C. Supreme Court issued an injunction against anyone “obstructing, blocking, physically impeding or delaying access” in the area. Na’moks told the security workers why he was there — to monitor the pipeline construction as part of his responsibilities as Chief — and assured them he had no intention of impeding any work. He had previously visited the site numerous times without incident.  “I am Chief Na’moks of the T’sayu Clan,” he said. “We will not be going into your worksite, we will be staying away from the worksite and on the road.” “…Beside the gate, a sign notes the existence of the court order and states that anyone having notice of it is restrained and prohibited from physical interference with Coastal GasLink business. It also states that individuals are prohibited from “approaching within 10 metres of any individual or vehicle” being used for pipeline work and from “threatening or intimidating Coastal GasLink or other persons in a contractual or economic relationship with Coastal GasLink.” However, the court order does not mention “threatening or intimidating” nor proximity to employees or vehicles. TC Energy did not clarify why these terms are included in the signage. Canadian courts have confirmed that journalists have a Constitutional right to document events in an injunction zone and that injunctions do not apply to any journalist who is collecting or gathering information without interfering. A recent court decision has also warned that police should avoid interfering with the work of journalists by detaining them under an assumption that they would be released later. But the security guard suggested otherwise, warning The Narwhal not to cross the line… “The role of the security firm in working for the pipeline company has not been without controversy. Wet’suwet’en community members have accused the RCMP, Coastal GasLink and Forsythe of a “relentless campaign of harassment and intimidation” in a civil lawsuit filed with the B.C. Supreme Court this summer… “TC Energy did not directly respond to questions about why Chief Na’moks was denied access nor whether it believes a journalist should be arrested for documenting within an injunction zone.”

UpNorthLive: Enbridge opens safety operations center for Line 5
Josh Kurman, 11/10/22

“Enbridge employees cut the ribbon Thursday on the new Straits Maritime Safety Operations Center in St. Ignace,” UpNorthLive reports. “The center provides 24-hour surveillance of the Line 5 pipeline and allows operators to keep an eye on passing ships and make sure the Line 5 isn’t in any danger. And for the past four years, Enbridge has been developing ways to be proactive in protecting the pipeline, rather than reactive… “Only a small crew of around seven people works at the center, including four watchers who work across a 24-hour shift. “We still have a watch stander on watch 24/7,” Davanzo told UpNorth. “They’ll still monitor the cameras, the radars, they’ll check traffic, and we’ll still be proactive and engaged in protecting the straits.” “…When asked if Enbridge is concerned at all about the midterm election results and if they’ll have an impact on the current tunnel timeline, staff told UpNorth they don’t expect any issues as they continue to receive bipartisan support for this project to improve safety in the Straits of Mackinac.”

York News Times: Summit Carbon Solutions says they have hit 50% of easements for pipeline
Melanie Wilkinson, 11/10/22

“Summit Carbon Solutions, the company proposing to build a pipeline carrying carbon dioxide from many Midwestern ethanol plants to a sequester site in North Dakota, has announced it has acquired 50% of the needed easement agreements for its project, in its entirety,” the York News Times reports. “The Green Plains ethanol plant east of York would be one of the participating plants; therefore, the pipeline would run through York County, from the Green Plains site to Central City… “The company’s investment will be $4.5 billion and no government subsidies or assistance are to be used, Summit representatives have said in past meetings… “Company officials said they have acquired 46% of the easements they need in Nebraska. They did not provide specifications as to how many easements they have acquired in York County – but they did note in this week’s announcement that they have acquired more than 60% of the needed easements in Dakota, Merrick and Stanton Counties… “Last week, SCS told the York County Commissioners they had acquired 28% of the needed easements in York County, at that point… “SCS officials also told the county board certain extra steps will be taken in the construction of the pipeline here, to include four feet of cover instead of three, the installation of shut-off valves every 20 miles, 24-7 monitoring and using pipe that has a 10-inch diameter… “Both the company and the York County Commissioners agreed during last week’s meeting that discussions regarding haul route agreements will need to take place in the near future.”

Bloomberg: Kinder Morgan Fire Likely Led to Methane Cloud Seen From Space
Josh Saul and Aaron Clark, 11/10/22

“A methane cloud spotted over Alabama last month appears to have been caused by a natural-gas release following a fire at a Kinder Morgan Inc. compressor station, the pipeline giant said,” Bloomberg reports. “The flash fire was confined to a small area of its Gallion Compressor Station, Kinder Morgan spokesman Katherine Hil told Bloombergl. Workers “followed standard safety protocols by performing an emergency shutdown of the compressor station, resulting in a controlled release of natural gas from the facility to help extinguish the fire.” While deliberate releases during emergencies can limit damage and loss of life, the Kinder Morgan incident still spewed about 38,400 thousand cubic feet of gas — and thus methane — over a period of about 20 minutes. It underscores the tradeoffs posed by fossil fuels between safety and climate: the release could prove to have the same climate warming impact over a 20-year period as the annual emissions from about 11,700 US cars… “The Gallion fire occurred Oct. 20 during the commissioning of a so-called automation upgrade project, Kinder Morgan said. The cause is under investigation. Gallion is on the Southern Natural Gas pipeline system.”

WASHINGTON UPDATES

The Hill: Biden expected to announce stronger proposed methane regulations for oil and gas at climate conference
RACHEL FRAZIN, 11/11/22

“President Biden is expected to announce a proposal for stronger regulations on the oil and gas sector aimed at controlling emissions of a planet warming gas called methane,” The Hill reports. “The stronger methane regulations are part of a slew of climate-related actions that Biden is expected to announce during his trip to the COP27 global climate summit in Egypt. .. “The proposal strengthens a Biden administration proposal from last year that was expected to have cut methane emissions from regulated sources by 74 percent in 2030 compared to 2005 levels. The EPA press release says that taken together, its two methane proposals would reduce about 36 million tons of methane emissions between 2023 and 2035, which it said is nearly the planet-warming equivalent of greenhouse gases emitted from all of the country’s coal-fired power plants in 2020. .. “Among the new provisions is the creation of what’s being called a “super-emitter response program” that would require oil and gas operators to respond to credible reports of large methane leaks. The U.S., with the European Union, Japan, Canada, Norway and the United Kingdom, is expected to announce a joint declaration to minimize a practice of burning off excess gas called flaring during fuel production – and also to minimize methane and carbon dioxide emissions in fossil energy.” 

Bloomberg: Manchin ‘Not Comfortable’ With Hearing on Energy Regulator Glick
11/10/22

“Sen. Joe Manchin has decided against scheduling a confirmation hearing for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Richard Glick with only weeks left before the end of the current Congress,” Bloomberg reports. “The West Virginia Democrat is “not comfortable” moving forward with Glick’s renomination, Sam Runyon, spokeswoman for Manchin’s office, said Thursday. The decision comes days after Manchin criticized President Joe Biden’s remarks on shutting down coal plants… “If the Senate doesn’t act during the lame-duck session, the White House could still resubmit his nomination in early 2023. Last month, Glick said the White House and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) were pressing to get his renomination over the finish line. He has said he was “confident” he’ll be confirmed for another term… “Manchin, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that holds jurisdiction over the nomination, has criticized Glick and the commission’s Democrats this year for pushing a natural gas policy that scrutinizes pipelines and liquefied natural gas terminals.”

E&E News: Do GOP Election Gains Threaten Biden’s Climate Agenda? 
Corbin Hiar, 11/10/22

“Elections, it’s often said, have consequences. But that axiom might no longer apply to U.S. climate policy,” E&E News reports. “During the past two years, Congress has passed major climate, infrastructure and technology bills that are poised to sharply reduce the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels. And there’s not much Republicans can do to change that — even if they take control of the House following Tuesday’s election, as most forecasters continue to predict. If the Inflation Reduction Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the CHIPS and Science Act hadn’t passed, ‘then we’d have a completely different conversation,’ Princeton University professor Stephen Pacala, the chair of a National Academies committee that produced a net-zero emissions road map for the country in 2021, told E&E. ‘Execution risk is really the deal for the next two years.’”

E&E News: White House wants lame-duck permitting bill
Robin Bravender, 11/10/22

“Among the items on President Joe Biden’s lame-duck wish list: a permitting reform effort backed by West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin,” E&E News reports. “Biden hopes that Congress will advance Manchin’s effort to streamline permitting as part of a pending defense authorization package during the upcoming lame-duck session, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Thursday… “The president heads to COP 27 with historic momentum on climate, thanks to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and other significant steps that put us on an enduring path towards meeting our ambitions and clean energy goals,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters Thursday.

InsideEPA: Narrow GOP Gains Signal Scrutiny Of Biden Agenda, Permitting Debate
11/9/22

“Despite the expected clashes over the Biden administration’s environment agenda, some observers are expecting a divided Congress to continue debates about whether to ease permitting for energy projects,” InsideEPA reports. “Just because we are likely to have divided government, does not mean we should put all consideration of energy issues back on the shelf,” Bracewell’s Scott Segal said during the briefing. He cited a ‘long and proud tradition of energy and environmental statutes being adopted by a divided government because of the relative balance in leverage that occurs.’ As such, he suggested that legislation to ease permitting for energy projects could be one area of potential bipartisan agreement, along with legislation to address issues such as critical minerals… “The issue should ‘certainly [be] an early priority for the next Congress,’ if not the lame duck, Segal argued. … American Petroleum Institute official Frank Macchiarola during the briefing also downplayed the odds of a lame-duck agreement on permitting, without entirely ruling it out. ‘It is hard to get much done,’ when an election puts a party into power with ‘different ideas and different priorities,’ he said.”

E&E News: Groups Hope Split Government Spurs Permitting Overhaul
JEREMY DILLON, NICK SOBCZYK, 11/10/22 

“Advocates in the fossil fuel and clean energy industries are eyeing divided government as a chance to rekindle interest in a bipartisan permitting overhaul,” E&E News reports. “In the fall, a plan from Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) failed after pushback from both the progressive left and conservative right. But the fights in September highlighted a desire by many lawmakers to find a solution for project backlogs and sluggish environmental reviews… “Climate hawks in Congress remain optimistic about a potential deal. ‘I think it’s possible,’ Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) told E&E in an interview Wednesday. ‘The test is going to be: can you find the proper balance?’”

STATE UPDATES

E&E News: Enviros pounce on wish lists post midterm ‘green wave’
Hannah Northey, Lamar Johnson, Jack Forrest, 11/10/22

“National environmental groups eager to seize on a surprise Democratic wave that swept through the Midwest and mid-Atlantic are hatching plans to ensure stalled climate action and environmental priorities are quickly enacted into law,” E&E News reports. “Conservation groups, armed with an influx of funding from the Inflation Reduction Act and the bipartisan infrastructure package, are now dusting off playbooks in states like Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and Minnesota, where Democrats now hold a trifecta, controlling both chambers of the legislature and governorships. “It’s really like a green wave that we’re seeing across the country,” Nick Abraham, the League of Conservation Voters’ state communications director told E&E. “We’re seeing [that] the folks that ran on climate absolutely won.” “…Among top targets for environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council and LCV: Crafting and enacting legislation to codify aggressive renewable standards and climate action, tackling issues like “forever chemicals,” removing toxic lead water pipes, and ensuring polluters are held responsible for spills and contaminated sites… “Jon Sack, NRDC’s Midwest government affairs director, told E&E the Democratic wins represent a tremendous opportunity at a critical time, and that Midwestern Democratic governors that won four years ago are now preparing their second-term agendas, but now they’ll have legislatures to work alongside them.”

KQED: Chevron Agrees to Pay $200,000 for 2021 Bay Fuel Spill at Richmond Refinery
Ted Goldberg, 11/10/22

“Chevron has agreed to pay $200,000 in a settlement over a pipeline rupture at its Richmond refinery that led to the release of hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel into the San Francisco Bay in February 2021,” KQED reports. “The decision comes months after California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) investigators forwarded their findings on the spill to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office. “Corporations must be held strictly liable for any discharges of diesel into San Francisco Bay,” Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton said in a statement released Friday. Chevron will pay $70,000 in civil penalties that will go toward wildlife funds, and $130,000 to reimburse CDFW’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response, according to court documents. In October 2021, the Contra Costa Hazardous Materials Programs department posted a three-page report (PDF) by the oil company, which said its inspections failed to detect the corrosion on the pipeline that led to the release. According to that report, a small hole in the pipeline on the refinery’s Richmond Long Wharf allowed close to 800 gallons of diesel fuel mixed with water to spill and spread for several miles along the Richmond shoreline. The release led to the closure of Keller Beach at the Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline. In the report, Chevron also said it learned of the spill after a member of the public told a company employee about the fuel in the water. The cement-lined steel pipe that ruptured was used to carry ballast water or refined fuel between tankers docked at the wharf and the refinery complex. The company said the pipe failed due to internal corrosion.”

EXTRACTION

EuroNews: Fossil fuel lobbyists outnumber almost every national delegation at COP27, data shows
Charlotte Elton, 10/11/22

“More than 600 fossil fuel lobbyists have swarmed COP27 – more delegates than the combined total of the ten countries most impacted by climate change,” EuroNews reports. “636 oil and gas lobbyists registered to attend the COP27 event in Egypt, a 25 per cent jump on the number at last year’s conference. Lobbyists are advocates that work to influence political decisions on behalf of organisations, pressuring negotiators and steering the debate. The high number of fossil fuel lobbyists at COP27 was revealed by campaign groups Global Witness, Corporate Accountability and Corporate Europe Observatory. A spokesperson for the groups described the size of the fossil lobby as a “twisted joke.” “Tobacco lobbyists wouldn’t be welcome at health conferences, arms dealers can’t promote their trade at peace conventions,” they said. “Those perpetuating the world’s fossil fuel addiction should not be allowed through the doors of a climate conference. “It’s time governments got out of the pockets of polluters, come to their senses and help make COP27 the success the world vitally needs it to be.” “…At COP27, oil and gas lobbyists will work to protect the interests of the fossil fuel industry. For example, they could urge delegates development of oil fields in developing nations, and to push back against measures that ban new gas projects. Yesterday, leaders of island nations called on countries to pay for climate reperations by taxing big oil. Oil industry lobbyists will likely work to water down any agreements to this effect. The oil and gas lobby at COP27 is larger than any single national delegation with the exception of the United Arab Emirates, who are hosting next year’s conference.”

Associated Press: Report: War-triggered gas boom threatens world climate goal
Seth Borenstein, 11/10/22

“The war-inspired natural gas boom is undermining already insufficient efforts to limit future warming to just a few more tenths of a degree, a new report says,” according to the Associated Press. “Planning and build-up of liquified and other natural gas — due to an energy crisis triggered by Russian’s invasion of Ukraine — would add 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (1.9 billion metric tons) a year to the air by 2030, according to a report released Thursday by Climate Action Tracker at international climate talks in Egypt. That’s enough greenhouse gas to “hinder if not catastrophically hinder chances of achieving 1.5 degrees” Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times, the international warming-limiting goal, climate scientist Bill Hare, chief executive officer of Climate Analytics, one of the groups behind Climate Action Tracker, which monitors and analyzes climate promises and action, told AP… “This reaction to the energy crisis is an over reach that must be scaled back,” the report says… “The tracker report says the LNG planned build-up would eat up about 10% of that 460 billion ton budget on its own… “About 70% of the planned new gas production facilities are in North America, Hare told AP. Europe, which needs the gas but doesn’t have it, is investing in receiving systems. The tracker report said if everything is built up there will either be too much carbon pollution or stranded energy assets that won’t be used.”

Associated Press: UN experts urge stringent rules to stop net zero greenwash
Kelvin Chan, 11/8/22

“Companies pledging to get their emissions down to net zero better make sure they’ve got a credible plan and aren’t just making false promises, U.N. experts said in a report Tuesday urging tough standards on emissions cutting vows,” the Associated Press reports. “Released at the the U.N.’s flagship climate conference in the Egyptian seaside resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, the group of experts set out a number of strict recommendations for businesses, banks, and local governments making net zero pledges to ensure that their promises amount to meaningful action instead of “bogus” assurances. Countries are not included in the group’s scope as their emissions-cutting commitments are set out in the 2015 Paris deal. The group called the report a roadmap to prevent net zero from being “undermined by false claims, ambiguity and “greenwash.” “…Using bogus ‘net zero’ pledges to cover up massive fossil fuel expansion is reprehensible. It is rank deception,” Guterres said at the COP27 summit. “This toxic cover-up could push our world over the climate cliff. The sham must end.” “…So-called non-state actors include corporations, investors, and local and regional governments, which aren’t covered by the Paris Agreement’s requirements. Their voluntary carbon cutting pledges must be “ambitious, have integrity and transparency, be credible and fair,” the experts said. Among its 10 specific recommendations, businesses can’t claim to be net zero if they continue to invest or build new fossil fuel supplies, deforestation or other environmentally destructive projects. They can’t buy cheap carbon offset credits “that often lack integrity instead of immediately cutting their own emissions.”

Canadian Press: Pathways Alliance president says oil industry will be judged on climate goals
Amanda Stephenson, 11/10/22

“Not that many years ago, the idea of showcasing the Canadian oilsands at an international summit on climate change would have been laughable,” the Canadian Press reports. “It is just three years since green energy think-tank the Pembina Institute declared the oilsands as on a “collision course” with this country’s climate goals, and fewer than six years since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sparked fury in Alberta by commenting in a public forum that the province’s oilsands industry needs to be “phased out” as part of Canada’s transition off fossil fuels. So the fact that representatives of the Pathways Alliance — a consortium of Canada’s largest oilsands companies — are not only attending the United Nations’ COP27 climate conference in Egypt this week, but scheduled to make a presentation Friday in the federal government-hosted Canada Pavilion shows just how far the industry has come in terms of its willingness to be a full-fledged partner in the fight against climate change, Pathways president Kendall Dilling told CP… “Some environmentalists have expressed their frustration over the oil and gas sector’s presence at COP27, which is occurring even as the UN itself warns that the global climate crisis is becoming increasingly dire. Stand.Earth’s international program director Tzeporah Berman called the presence of Pathways at the Canada pavilion “embarrassing,” arguing in a series of tweets that the sector has a history of failed promises when it comes to the environment and climate change… “The key plank in the Pathways plan is a proposed carbon capture and storage network in northern Alberta, which could see member companies invest $16.5 billion before 2030.”

Financial Post: MEG Energy CEO says carbon-capture project moving ahead as fast as possible
Meghan Potkins, 11/10/22

“MEG Energy Corp. chief executive Derek Evans said the consortium of oilsands companies proposing to build a $16.5-billion carbon capture and storage network in northern Alberta is moving forward “as quickly as we can” on the megaproject,” the Financial Post reports. “During a conference call with investors Thursday, Evans pointed to announcements made by Ottawa in the fall economic update and praised the federal government for pursuing green technology incentives aimed at levelling the playing field with jurisdictions such as the U.S. — specifically through a proposed Canada Growth Fund which Evans said could provide more certainty to investors in major carbon-capture projects. “We have a 2030 target for this pipeline to be up and running,” Evans said. “I will tell you, it’s a very challenging timeline without the sort of regulatory certainty or the financial incentive certainty that we’re going to need to make a (final investment decision).” “…The comments come as MEG Energy pledged to boost share buybacks after the oilsands major met its debt target in a quarter in which profit jumped 189 per cent compared to last year.”

Montreal Economic Institute: Capping energy sector emissions would cost the Canadian economy $44.8 billion a year 
11/10/22

“A new study from the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) describes how the federal government’s proposal to cap the energy sector’s greenhouse gas emissions would cause substantial economic losses, without achieving any net reduction in global emissions. “Each barrel of oil that is not produced here will simply be produced somewhere else, often somewhere with more lenient environmental standards than ours,” says Olivier Rancourt, economist at the MEI and co-author of the study. “Ottawa simply does not have the power to affect international demand, and reducing the local supply will do nothing but export jobs and tax revenue.” The Canadian energy industry being largely an export industry, the authors state that our trading partners will turn to other producers, should Canada no longer be able to meet their demand. The authors estimate that the decline in production required to achieve the target mentioned by Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault would cost the Canadian economy between $44.8 billion and $79.3 billion a year. The Canadian energy industry is already very heavily regulated, and is subject to numerous environmental laws such as the federal carbon tax. Moreover, there is no good reason for the government to decide to target this sector specifically, given that GHG emissions have the same impact wherever they come from and whichever industry produces them. “Whether produced by Alberta’s energy sector or a Montreal manufacturer of private jets, the climate impact of a tonne of GHGs is the same,” says Rancourt. “Targeting a specific sector, as Ottawa is proposing to do, seems more like ideological obstinacy than evidence-based policy-making.”

The Hill: Satellites scrutinize site-specific emissions in effort backed by Al Gore
SHARON UDASIN, 11/9/22

“Oil and gas operations account for more than half of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, according to a new database backed by former Vice President Al Gore,” The Hill reports. “The global inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, released by the nonprofit Climate TRACE on Wednesday, homes in on facility-level emissions data for 72,612 sites worldwide. Of these facilities, 26 of the 50 biggest emitters were oil and gas production, processing and transport sites, per the database, presented on the sidelines of the United Nations climate change conference (COP27)… “The climate crisis can, at times, feel like an intractable challenge — in large part because we’ve had a limited understanding of precisely where emissions are coming from,” Gore, who is also a founding member of Climate TRACE, said in a statement. “This level of granularity means that we finally have emissions data that enable us to act decisively,” the former vice president continued. The availability of such information will help countries achieve the greenhouse gas cuts necessary “to prevent the most catastrophic impacts of the climate crisis,” he added. Although the top 500 individual emissions sources represent less than 1 percent of total facilities in Climate TRACE’s dataset, these sites accounted for 14 percent of global emissions in 2021, according to the inventory. Meanwhile, power plants alone were responsible for more than half of the emissions and three-fifths of the assets on the top 500 list. Breaking down the data to focus on different sectors, the inventory stresses that previous assessments had significantly underestimated emissions coming from oil and gas production, refining and transport. The new dataset, however, incorporated satellite-detected emissions from activities like natural gas flaring — the burning of excess gas — and methane leakage in the U.S., Russia, Turkmenistan, the Middle East and other global hotspots. Among the top countries that report their oil and gas production emissions to the U.N., Climate TRACE found that emissions are as much as three times higher than self-reported information.”

CLIMATE FINANCE

Politico: Republicans to Wall Street: We’re so over you
ZACHARY WARMBRODT, SAM SUTTON, 11/9/22

“Wall Street loves Republican tax cuts and deregulation. It’s going to hate the GOP’s plans for 2023,” Politico reports. “Conservatives, who are likely to be in the majority come January, are pressing GOP leaders to send a message to big financial firms: Stop appeasing the left with “woke” business practices, keep financing fossil fuels and cut ties with China. House Republicans are poised to have committee gavels and subpoena powers to back that up, while Senate control is more in doubt. GOP lawmakers are singling out major asset managers and their Washington trade groups as targets because of climate investing practices they see as hostile to oil, gas and coal. Some Republicans want to continue hauling in big bank CEOs to publicly testify — a tradition established by liberal Democrats. GOP senators are already demanding that law firms preserve documents related to how they advise clients on environmental and social initiatives, signaling a potential investigation. Wall Street firms and Washington lobbyists are preparing for subpoenas.”

MidJersey News: Lawsuit Filed to Divest New Jersey Pension Fund from Fossil Fuels
11/1/22

“Attorney William Riback filed a lawsuit (Docket No: HUD-L-003623-22) against the State of New Jersey to prohibit the State’s Pension Fund, worth $90 billion, from investing in the 200 largest oil and gas companies,” MidJersey News reports. “The State of New Jersey in its lawsuit against the major oil companies like Exxon admits that these companies are causing catastrophic damage including the palpable destruction of Superstorms Sandy and Ida. The lawsuit alleges that the State is a perpetrator because it has a substantial investment in the very oil and gas assets through its Pension Fund’s investments into the 200 largest oil and gas companies. “Divestiture is one small step in holding these 200 largest publicly traded oil companies responsible for the clear and present existential threat they have intentionally created. And the State of New Jersey cannot have it both ways, but must take every step to fulfill its mandate to protect the Public from the harms which will only get worse from here”… “The suit also asks the Court to have a jury to decide if investments in oil and gas are safe assets for the Pension Fund of 800,000 public employees to hold. These 200 largest publicly traded companies owe $1.4 trillion dollars which sits on these companies books as assets. But if $1.4 trillion dollar investment is to be reaped through extraction and consumption, they will act as mega-bombs destroying everything in their path. The only reasonable solution is that these assets must be abandoned which if not properly addressed now, will cause major financial distress for these companies first and foremost.”

The Chronicle-Telegram: Oberlin College pledges to fully divest from fossil fuels
Jason Hawk, 11/3/22

“Oberlin College no longer has any direct holdings in the fossil fuel business, and it has pledged to eliminate its indirect investments by 2025,” The Chronicle-Telegram reports. “After meeting in October, the board of trustees said it would join 76 colleges and universities across the nation and more than 1,500 higher-education institutions worldwide that have divested in excess of $40 trillion from the fossil fuel industry. That public statement was important “to make clear that fossil fuels are not a sustainable practice and we need to pivot,” Molly Niles Cornell told the Telegram. She is one of four members of the Class of 1965 who sit on the steering committee of the Oberlin Fossil Fuel Divestment Working Group. The student and alumni-led group called in May for the college to fully divest its fossil fuel holdings by 2025. “We understand that Oberlin’s existing investments in fossil fuel industries may be small and may be through indirect holdings,” it said in a prepared statement. “This does not change the importance of a clear and public policy. This action will set a powerful example to other institutions of higher learning.” In 2016, Oberlin College directed the managers of its more than $1 billion endowment fund to avoid investing in companies that refuse to acknowledge the impact of greenhouse gas emissions. It no longer invests directly in fossil fuels, and less than 1 percent of the endowment still has indirect ties to the industry. Cornell told the Telegram she is thrilled by the steps the college has taken “to dial it down to zero.”

OPINION

Bloomberg: Climate Change Lawsuits Are the Best Way to Force Action
Kirk Caldwell served as the 14th mayor of the city and county of Honolulu from 2013 to 2021, 11/1/22

“As the mayor of Honolulu from 2013 to 2021, I led the city when we filed a lawsuit in 2020 against some of the world’s biggest oil and gas corporations,” Kirk Caldwell writes for Bloomberg. “The lawsuit’s goal is to hold these companies accountable for their decades-long climate misinformation campaign, and the terrible damage global heating is bringing to our shores. Honolulu’s legal fight to make the polluters pay continues to win key victories and is proceeding toward a potentially explosive trial in state court… “Fossil fuel interests and their enablers have sought to publicly discredit and mischaracterize Honolulu’s lawsuit, even as state and federal judges have repeatedly rejected the companies’ arguments… “These days, rather than outright lie about the science of climate change, the industry pushes misleading narratives about how they are “responsibly” addressing the climate crisis they themselves created… “Big Oil is not a good-faith partner in climate solutions, and it remains an open question if the greenwashing and revisionism they push out today are only in response to suits like ours filed to get at the truth… “More than two dozen states and municipalities have now taken ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel majors to court… “Fossil fuel corporations have sought to escape these cases, but five circuit courts and 12 federal district courts have unanimously affirmed the right of our communities to seek accountability and the truth in state court. As these cases inch closer to trial, we can expect more misdirection and attacks–it’s clear they have enough billions in profits to pay operatives across the country. But just as tobacco and opioid companies had to ultimately answer for their deceptive and illegal behavior in court, so too will Big Oil.”

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