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EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 11/17/22

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

By Mark Hefflinger

November 17, 2022



  • Reuters: Carbon pipeline company sues Iowa county over local siting ordinance

  • Law360: Carbon Capture Co. Sues Iowa County Over Pipeline Rules

  • AgWeek: Summit Carbon Solutions files response to Minnesota pipeline questions

  • Pittsburgh Business Times: MVP investor takes $15M impairment on pipeline

  • Michigan Advance: Report: Michigan earns failing grade on pipeline information transparency

  • Law360: Houston Judge Says Oil Cos. Can’t End Contract Dispute

  • Reuters: Keystone oil pipeline issues resolved after bad weather caused volume cuts


  • The Hill: Kerry: U.S. backs proposed fossil fuel drawdown

  • E&E News: What a Republican House means for energy

  • The Hill: Climate hawks say midterms prove environment is a top voter issue

  • Politico: Pull Out Your Magnifying Glass 

  • Texas Tribune: Texas activists arrested in D.C. during protest against offshore oil export facility


  • E&E News: Local Officials Say Red Tape Delays Infrastructure Law’s Cash

  • New York Times: A House panel is weighing whether to seat a delegate from the Cherokee Nation


  • Post Independent: Garfield County puts new local control analysis for drilling to work

  • Port Arthur News: Port Arthur LNG project lines up potential major partner in Williams


  • N.S. protesters call on RBC to stop pipeline funding

  • IEEFA U.S.: Financial services giant TIAA has a long way to go to become a climate leader

  • Amazon Watch: Vanguard Ignores Request from Indigenous Leaders from Peru to Meet on Investment Risks to Amazon Rainforest and Rights


  • CBC: If oil and gas companies aren’t cutting emissions at peak profits, when will they get in the game?

  • Reason: Permitting Hell vs. Climate Hell at COP27


Reuters: Carbon pipeline company sues Iowa county over local siting ordinance
Clark Mindock, 11/16/22

“The developer of a Midwest carbon capture pipeline network has sued Shelby County in Iowa, saying its ordinance restricting the siting of hazardous pipelines is overruled by a federal pipeline safety law,” Reuters reports. “Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions LLC said in a complaint filed in Iowa federal court Tuesday that the rule, passed by Shelby County on Nov. 1, could stall a segment of the pipeline network that would connect several Midwest states. It says the Pipeline Safety Act overrules local ordinances, and wants the courts to bar the rule’s implementation. “The value of Iowa ethanol production, and the value of corn in Iowa — and throughout the Nation — depends on, and will likely increasingly depend on, carbon-reduction efforts of Iowa ethanol facilities,” Summit said in the complaint… “Summit filed an Iowa federal court lawsuit against similar ordinances in Story County on Monday. Carbon capture pipelines have been met with other local resistance in Iowa beyond the local ordinances. Landowners and conservation groups have pushed back through public comments and lawsuits against the projects claiming carbon capture and storage is a largely untested technology and that pressurized pipelines transporting liquefied CO2 present health dangers.”

Law360: Carbon Capture Co. Sues Iowa County Over Pipeline Rules
Nate Beck, 11/15/22

“A company that wants to build a pipeline carrying captured carbon dioxide argued in federal lawsuits filed this week that officials in two Iowa counties are overriding state and federal officials with recent ordinances requiring the line to sit up to a third of a mile away from residences,” Law360 reports. 

AgWeek: Summit Carbon Solutions files response to Minnesota pipeline questions
Jeff Beach, 11/16/22

“Summit Carbon Solutions has some answers for questions about its permit application for a carbon capture pipeline in two Minnesota counties,” AgWeek reports. “As part of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission docket, Summit on Nov. 14 added information on emergency response plans and argued that an environmental assessment worksheet is not needed. The Minnesota environmental group CURE — Clean Up the River Environment — has petitioned the PUC to require an environmental assessment worksheet, which could lead to a more in-depth environmental impact statement. Summit also said the portion of the pipeline in Otter Tail and Wilkin counties should be considered separately from the rest of project that is planned in Minnesota, noting that the southern portion that will connect to the main line in Iowa is more than 100 miles away from the northern portion that will connect to the main line in North Dakota. “Summit Carbon has not divided the larger network into smaller segments in an attempt to avoid environmental review,” the response says… “Some of the responses are the questions from the Minnesota Department’s Energy Environmental Review and Analysis, but also from CURE and other commenters on the controversial pipeline project. The PUC has indicated it will likely hold a public meeting in late 2022 or very early in 2023 to decide whether the Summit application should be accepted as complete and what to do with the petitions for an EAW… “The pipeline has met resistance from many landowners with concerns about damage to farmland, safety and property values. One public comment from Nicole Zempel of Granite Falls, Minnesota, says, in part: “I view it as nothing more than a government subsidy grab by wealthy investors and the industrial ag machine.”

Pittsburgh Business Times: MVP investor takes $15M impairment on pipeline
Paul J. Gough, 11/16/22

“The Mountain Valley Pipeline’s operational date remains very much in question,” the Pittsburgh Business Times reports. RGC Midstream LLC, one of the investors in the Mountain Valley Pipeline, has taken a $15.3 million impairment charge in its investment in the controversial pipeline. RGC, which is owned by Roanoke Gas owner RGC Resources Inc., said it had decided this month that an impairment in its investment in Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC had declined. The $15.3 million pretax loss reduces its investment in MVP from $29 million to $13.8 million, according to a filing this week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It follows the decision Nov. 4 that the MVP joint venture had taken an impairment charge of $583 million… “RGC Midstream owns about 1% of Mountain Valley Pipeline, a 303-mile pipeline in construction that would take Marcellus and Utica Shale gas through West Virginia and Virginia to Roanoke Gas and others. The pipeline work is currently stopped by legal and regulatory issues. It also owns less than 1% of MVP Southgate, which is a proposed extension of the pipeline into North Carolina. RGC Midstream is not the only MVP owner to take an impairment. NextEra Energy disclosed in February that it had taken an $800 million impairment in the first quarter of 2022. At the time, Next Era had said MVP had “a very low probability” of completion.”

Michigan Advance: Report: Michigan earns failing grade on pipeline information transparency

“A new report from the Pipeline Safety Trust concluded on Thursday that Michigan is among the worst states for public transparency regarding intrastate pipelines,” Michigan Advance reports. “The review, conducted annually by the Washington-based nonprofit watchdog group, looks at how easily members of the public can access information about pipeline safety and pipelines near their homes… “The Pipeline Safety Trust (PST) gave Michigan a “fail” rating, along with 14 other states and Washington, D.C. With an average score of one out of three, the state scored well on users’ ability to find the website, view a description of regulations and view transmission pipeline maps, but scored poorly or failed on all other eight criteria… “Although the Pipeline Safety Trust notes that many states have improved their scores in the last decade, only three states — Illinois, Washington and Nevada — received perfect scores in the 2022 report. The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) operates the state’s natural gas and pipelines website and regulates both natural gas rates and conditions for service… “The MPSC has no immediate comment on the Pipeline Safety Trust’s report, but we will review it as we work to further increase transparency about matters critical to our mission of serving the public by ensuring safe, reliable, and accessible energy and telecommunications services at reasonable rates,” Matt Helms, a spokesperson for the MPSC, told the Advance.

Law360: Houston Judge Says Oil Cos. Can’t End Contract Dispute
Catherine Marfin, 11/16/22

“A dispute between two Texas energy companies over oil deliveries to the Dakota Access Pipeline will continue in the courts after a Harris County district judge Wednesday determined there were major discrepancies between how the two parties were interpreting their contract,” Law360 reports.

Reuters: Keystone oil pipeline issues resolved after bad weather caused volume cuts
Nia Williams, 11/16/22

“The weather issues that prompted TC Energy (TRP.TO) to declare force majeure on Keystone oil pipeline deliveries this week have been resolved, the company said on Wednesday,” Reuters reports. “Calgary-based TC said on Tuesday it was curtailing volumes on the 622,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) pipeline due to severe weather-related impacts. The company did not specify the size or duration of the cut in volumes, but market players estimated it at about 7%… “The pipeline was hit by three separate storms between Nov. 4 and Nov. 11 that caused power failures at two pump stations on the U.S. part of the system and at the Patoka, Illinois, delivery station, causing the pipeline to temporarily shut down, one market source told Reuters.”


The Hill: Kerry: U.S. backs proposed fossil fuel drawdown
ZACK BUDRYK, 11/16/22

“U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said Wednesday that the U.S. will back proposals to phase out the use of “unabated” fossil fuels at the ongoing COP27 climate summit,” The Hill reports. “It has to be unabated oil and gas,” Kerry told Bloomberg in Egypt Wednesday. “Phase down, unabated, over time. The time is a question, but ‘phase down’ is the language we supported.” The “unabated” distinction will open the door to continual operation of fossil fuel developments that offset their greenhouse gas emissions with technology like carbon capture.”

E&E News: What a Republican House means for energy
Jason Plautz, 11/17/22

“Ahead of the midterm elections, many Republicans hoped a red wave would put pressure on the Biden administration’s energy agenda and help reverse it. But any plan to slow down clean energy spending looks more limited now, even as the GOP claimed a majority in the House yesterday,” E&E News reports. “…Democrats are already assured of keeping control of the Senate, meaning Republicans will have a harder time getting their way on appropriations and any plans for permitting reform. Still, Republicans will have power in the House to conduct oversight investigations and hold hearings on how the Biden administration spends billions of dollars in loans and grants passed in this year’s Inflation Reduction Act and last year’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act… “Yet the power of House Republicans to go after the Inflation Reduction Act “is really limited,” Conrad Schneider, advocacy director for the Clean Air Task Force, told E&E. “They can conduct oversight and ask questions, but they can’t really slow down the Treasury, the IRS and DOE from implementing these programs.” “…The cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s clean energy program — 10 years of federal tax credits written into the Inflation Reduction Act — is likely set in stone, climate policy advocates told E&E… “A campaign by House Republicans next year to slow the Biden clean energy initiatives would also run into clean energy policies pushed by Democratic state governors, and support for clean energy in some GOP-led states whose governors want the investment and jobs that come with these projects. Most of the large, investor-owned utilities also have clean energy goals.”

The Hill: Climate hawks say midterms prove environment is a top voter issue
ZACK BUDRYK, 11/17/22

“Democrats’ performance in the midterm elections has emboldened activists and climate hawks who say that voters were concerned about the environment even amid persistently high U.S. gas and energy costs,” The Hill reports. “Forecasters predicted a “red wave” election due to inflation — largely driven by fuel costs — and President Biden’s unpopularity. But Democrats held on to the Senate, and they appear likely to lose the House majority by a razor-thin margin. Exit polling indicated that despite high energy prices, and Republican attempts to tie them to Democratic policies, 9 percent of voters ranked climate change as their top issue — the same amount of people who said immigration was a top concern and more than those who answered the same for crime. Pete Maysmith, senior vice president of campaigns at the League of Conservation Voters, told The Hill the results stand in sharp contrast to the Republican rout of 2010. While those midterms are largely remembered as a referendum on the Affordable Care Act, he noted they were also marked by intense attacks on the 2009 emissions-trading “cap and trade” bill… “Meanwhile, Maysmith said, 2022 saw the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the most ambitious climate bill in U.S. history, and no such backlash developed. The difference, he told The Hill, is “because taking action on climate we know to be popular now even among Republican voters. It’s a different moment in time … I think Mother Nature deserves some credit for that.” “…But Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) told The Hill he suspects climate issues were also “front of mind” for many of the voters who made the difference. “Voters for whom [climate] was their top issue, they broke heavily Democrat,” Whitehouse told The Hill, indicating climate change can be a deciding factor “when you’re winning races by 2 and 4 and 6 points.” Whitehouse told The Hill the lack of voter blowback for the Inflation Reduction Act indicated a sea change on how the mainstream views climate action.”

Politico: Pull Out Your Magnifying Glass 

“Top Democrats on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee are urging the Army Corps of Engineers to tighten its scrutiny of permit applications, arguing that project proponents are increasingly seeking to evade stringent vetting and regulation by misrepresenting their plans and the scope of projects,” Politico reports. “Specifically, Chair Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chair Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.) called for the corps to revise its guidelines for wetlands permit reviews, to consider the ‘public interest’ of projects, and to weight cumulative impacts of projects, such as those that cross multiple bodies of water.”

Texas Tribune: Texas activists arrested in D.C. during protest against offshore oil export facility

“Four climate activists from Texas and Louisiana were arrested Wednesday morning in Washington, D.C., after staging a sit-in at the Department of Transportation, which could rule as soon as next week on one of four proposed offshore oil terminals in the Gulf of Mexico,” the Texas Tribune reports. “The activists say the terminals, designed to expand the nation’s oil export capacity by 6.5 million barrels a day, clash head on with the Biden administration’s aggressive climate goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and would enable decades of growth in U.S. fossil fuel production. “We’re asking President Biden and [Transportation Secretary] Pete Buttigieg to step up and be climate leaders and not approve this oil export project,” said Melanie Oldham, founder of Citizens for Clean Air & Clean Water of Freeport and Brazoria County, who traveled from Texas for the sit-in but was not among those arrested. “We hope they practice what they preach, what they told us in their campaigns.” “…The four proposed offshore terminals, all in Texas, would significantly increase capacity for the U.S. oil industry, which hit its monthly export record of 3.8 million barrels a day in July. Last month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency quietly issued its first endorsement for one of the projects — the Sea Port Oil Terminal (SPOT), jointly developed by Enterprise, Enbridge and Chevron 30 miles off the coast from Freeport. The EPA’s action came after a three-year review that saw robust public opposition… “The contingent of activists from the Gulf Coast and beyond, some intending to get arrested, saw Wednesday’s sit-in as a last-ditch effort to thwart the project. “We’re not going to leave until we hear that the Maritime Administration is not going to approve this project,” said Robin Schneider, Austin-based director of Texas Campaign for the Environment, before her arrest on Wednesday morning. By the evening, she and others were charged with unlawful entry and released. Growing oil production, Schneider said, contradicts commitments trumpeted by Biden and Buttigieg to advance a transition away from fossil fuels.”

Connor McLean, 11/16/22

“Since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) earlier this year, most of the focus has been on the bill’s impact on renewables, electrification, and the eventual energy transition. While those will undoubtedly have an impact on the US natural gas market, a more immediate impact could be felt from the expansion of the section 45Q tax credit, particularly as the US enters a period of pipeline infrastructure buildout to meet new LNG demand along the US Gulf Coast,” according to Factset. “…BTU Analytics has long highlighted the North to South Louisiana corridor as a region ripe for new pipeline projects given the level of drilling activity, high dry gas content, and proximity to the Gulf Coast… “In their third-quarter earnings, Williams directly cited the IRA as a factor in moving forward with the Louisiana Energy Gateway (LEG) pipeline project. Specifically, the proposed 1.8 Bcf/d pipeline will also be accompanied by a CO2 capture and sequestration project. While there are already multiple pipelines that run from North to South Louisiana, LEG will be unique in that the treatment facilities that strip out CO2 from the gas stream will be located at the outlet of the pipeline rather than be embedded in the gathering systems. Under this new setup, CO2 will be captured at the end of the pipeline and sequestered rather than vented at upstream treatment facilities. One of the key factors driving the capture of CO2 is the expanded tax credit under section 45Q. Instead of venting the CO2, a process that is extremely harmful to the environment, producers and midstream companies can now derive an economic benefit by capturing CO2 from the gas stream and sequestering it underground. Depending on how much CO2 is included in the gas stream, BTU Analytics estimates that the capture of CO2 could be worth as much as $0.33/Mcf before accounting for CO2 transportation and storage costs. While current estimates of CO2 content in the Haynesville sit around 3–5%, other plays with higher CO2 content could see even more uplift from carbon capture.”

E&E News: Local Officials Say Red Tape Delays Infrastructure Law’s Cash
ELLIE BORST, 11/16/22

“On the one-year anniversary of President Joe Biden signing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law, state and local officials asked lawmakers for more power to manage the spending,” E&E News reports. “Republican and Democratic witnesses during a hearing Tuesday agreed on two things: They’re grateful for the additional $110 billion to repair roads and bridges, but projects are often slowed by long timelines resulting from federal and state oversight. … Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), ranking member of the Transportation and Infrastructure panel, criticized the National Environmental Policy Act approval process. Projects getting federal assistance must go through the scrutiny. Jim Willox, Republican chair of Wyoming’s Converse County Commission, said, ‘The NEPA process is still cumbersome and counterproductive. There is little to no reason to go through the NEPA process to work or replace a bridge that’s been in place for decades.’”

New York Times: A House panel is weighing whether to seat a delegate from the Cherokee Nation
Emily Cochrane and Mark Walker, 11/16/22

“A House committee on Wednesday held a historic hearing exploring how and whether the House could seat a nonvoting delegate from the Cherokee Nation, a crucial first step toward fulfilling an overlooked provision in a nearly 200-year-old treaty that led to the nation’s forced removal from their ancestral lands,” the New York Times reports. “The session at the House Rules Committee marked the first substantive legislative move toward seating a delegate since Kim Teehee, a Cherokee Nation official with years of experience in Washington, was named to the post in 2019, and could pave the way for a vote in the coming months to seat her… “In granting Ms. Teehee, 54, and the Cherokee Nation a position in its ranks, the House would fulfill a once-overlooked stipulation in the Treaty of New Echota, which forced the nation to relinquish its ancestral lands in the South. It prompted the United States government to force 16,000 members of the Cherokee Nation on the Trail of Tears, a deadly trek to land in what is now Oklahoma. A quarter of those forced to leave — about 4,000 — died before they arrived, as a result of harsh conditions, starvation and disease. But the treaty, ratified by just a single vote in the Senate and signed by President Andrew Jackson in 1836, also declared that the Cherokee Nation would be “entitled to a delegate in the House of Representatives of the United States whenever Congress shall make provision for the same.” Should Ms. Teehee join the ranks of the House, she would join a half-dozen delegates who are able to sit on committees and introduce legislation, but cannot vote on the House floor for final passage… “But a number of questions remain before the House agrees to hold a vote on establishing the delegate position, including whether it would spark constitutional challenges, whether other tribes could pursue similar representation and the easiest legislative path for seating a delegate.”


Post Independent: Garfield County puts new local control analysis for drilling to work
Ray K. Erku, 11/16/22

“Amended state rules allowing oil and gas companies to seek a local variance to drill closer to occupied structures was put to work in Garfield County for the first time Monday,” the Post Independent reports. “County commissioners unanimously passed a proposal by Terra Energy Partners Rocky Mountain LLC to drill 21 new natural-gas wells on land about six miles south of Rifle. The new wells will expand an existing well pad, South Leverich, which rests about 640 feet away from Beaver Creek adjacent to County Road 317… “The need to pass a variance for oil and gas drilling stems back to Senate Bill 181. The 2019 bill made it so that drill sites in Colorado could not be within 2,000 feet of homes, schools, and other occupied structures. But, new state rules also allow oil and gas permit reviews at local levels. When SB-181 passed, the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission also adopted what’s called an Alternative Location Analysis. This analysis allows county and city governments to conduct a permit review on an operator intending to drill within the 2,000-foot setback rule… “According to Garfield County permitting specialist Amanda Petzold, there are four residential dwellings within the proposed site. All building unit owners have signed consent letters accepting the proposed location, she told the PI.”

Port Arthur News: Port Arthur LNG project lines up potential major partner in Williams

“The potential for LNG project growth in Port Arthur got a boost this week following a potential corporate agreement announcement,” Port Arthur News reports. “Sempra Infrastructure, a subsidiary of Sempra, has entered into a heads of agreement with Williams for the offtake of liquefied natural gas and development of associated natural gas pipeline projects to further connect abundant U.S. natural gas supplies in the Gulf Coast region to markets around the world. The agreement contemplates negotiation and finalization of two 20-year long-term sale and purchase agreements for approximately 3 million tonnes per annum of LNG in the aggregate from the Port Arthur LNG project under development in Jefferson County and the Cameron LNG Phase 2 project under development in Hackberry, Louisiana. Port Arthur LNG has the potential to become one of the largest LNG export facilities in North America. Phase 1 of Port Arthur LNG is permitted and expected to include two liquefaction trains and LNG storage tanks, as well as associated facilities capable of producing, under optimal conditions, up to approximately 13.5 Mtpa of LNG. Sempra Infrastructure is expecting to make a final investment decision for Phase 1 of the liquefaction project in the first quarter of 2023.”

CLIMATE FINANCE N.S. protesters call on RBC to stop pipeline funding
Skye Bryden-Blom, 11/16/22

“Protesters in Nova Scotia are calling on the Royal Bank of Canada to stop funding a pipeline in northern British Columbia,” reports. “They rallied in Dartmouth, N.S., on Wednesday in support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who have stood against the project since it was proposed in 2012. Protesters raised their voices outside the RBC on Portland Street because the bank is one of the Coastal GasLink pipeline’s largest investors. They carried signs and brought their own pieces of pipeline to the branch. Elder Thunderbird Swooping Down Woman said it’s about protecting the environment and supporting the Wet’suwet’en solidarity demonstrations that have popped up across the country. “If you look at other pipelines, the history of pipelines is that they do break,” she told GlobalNews. “There is no guarantee that this water is safe for future generations and that’s our responsibility.” “…Protester Deborah Luscomb said demonstrations like this one help generate support across Canada. “It’s raising awareness,” Luscomb told GlobalNews. “We need more people to stand up and say no.” In a statement, RBC said they respect the right of people to make their voices heard peacefully, adding the company supports energy projects that are developed in an environmentally and socially responsible way. “We strive to be the leading financial institution in Canada to work with Indigenous people towards reconciliation,” the statement said.

IEEFA U.S.: Financial services giant TIAA has a long way to go to become a climate leader

“The climate action plan issued by the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) displays disappointing ambition and is misaligned with industry standards and appeals from its climate-aware customer base, according to a new Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) report, TIAA Fails Clients on Climate… “The company’s climate action plan prioritizes only a small segment of its portfolio for immediate review and action. “TIAA has promised a fully developed net-zero plan for its assets under management, but the scope it has proposed for its first round is small and lags basic industry standards that address climate change,” said Tom Sanzillo, IEEFA director of financial analysis and author of the report. “Our initial review of the numbers suggests there is significant carbon exposure in each major asset class under management.”  The principal findings of the study suggest there is much work for TIAA and its principal subsidiary Nuveen to make a credible plan to reach its net zero goals.” 

Amazon Watch: Vanguard Ignores Request from Indigenous Leaders from Peru to Meet on Investment Risks to Amazon Rainforest and Rights

“The investment firm Vanguard ignored meeting requests with Amazonian Indigenous leaders and fishing representatives from Peru, whose livelihoods are threatened by Petroperú, a state-owned Peruvian oil company in which Vanguard is a bondholder,” according to Amazon Watch. “The delegation is traveling to Vanguard headquarters in Malvern, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, November 16, 2022. They will be joined in solidarity with local activists, demanding Vanguard listen to the message from Indigenous leaders. The Peruvian delegation, composed of Nayap Santiago (Wampís Nation), Nelton Yankur (Achuar people), and Carlos Chapilliquen (Cabo Blanco Fishing Association), are currently in the United States to speak with financial institutions about their continued financing and investments in extractive oil and gas companies that undermine biodiversity, the environment, and their communities’ health, food, and water security. One of these institutions invited for a meeting includes asset-management firm Vanguard, which holds Petroperú bonds. Beginning in early September, Amazon Watch, on behalf of the delegation, requested a meeting with top representatives of Vanguard, including the CEO and head of investment stewardship, and indicated a willingness to travel to the company’s headquarters in Malvern, Pennsylvania. A letter from Achuar and Wampis leaders outlining the adverse impacts of Petroperú investments was included with the meeting requests. Despite multiple meeting requests over the course of three months, Vanguard did not respond.”


CBC: If oil and gas companies aren’t cutting emissions at peak profits, when will they get in the game?
Laura Cameron is a policy analyst at the International Institute for Sustainable Development, working in the areas of fossil fuel subsidies, just transition and oil and gas policy in Canada, 11/17/22

“Canadian oil and gas companies were in Egypt last week for the global climate summit COP27 — among some 636 fossil fuel lobbyists — to position themselves as leaders in industry emissions reductions at an event hosted by the Canadian government,” Laura Cameron writes for the CBC. “What was not on the agenda was documented proof of success, because Canada’s top oilsands producers have invested very little of their money into decarbonization and have failed to reduce emissions. In fact, the sector’s emissions grew 20 per cent from 2005 to 2019. This despite their net-zero promises and record profits — expected to top $150 billion this year. Instead, Canadian oil and gas companies continue to ask for government handouts, from seeking $50 billion in taxpayer dollars to reach net-zero production to lobbying for a 75 per cent investment tax credit for carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects. Meanwhile, industry is opposing regulations that would limit their emissions, including the forthcoming oil and gas emissions cap policy… “Last month, Pathways Alliance made headlines with its plan to invest $24.1 billion in emissions reductions projects by 2030, but as usual, it pays to read the fine print. Spread out over eight years, this is only two per cent of the companies’ annual profits based on projected 2022 revenues, and the investment is conditional on even more government support.  Moreover, nearly a third of this pledge — over $7 billion — will actually be borne by the Canadian public, through the federal CCS tax credit. That’s on top of the billions in government support the industry already receives annually… “Rather than waiting on the bench, oil and gas companies need to get in the game and put their money where their mouth is. As Canadians grapple with the rising cost of living and the government tightens its purse strings, Canada’s oil and gas producers should be funnelling profits toward proven climate solutions, not lobbying and shareholders… “As it stands, it looks like Canada’s oil and gas sector is trying to run out the clock on climate action. But that’s not a winning strategy when we’re losing the game.”

Reason: Permitting Hell vs. Climate Hell at COP27

“Demand for fossil fuels will decline in this decade,” asserted Daniel Wetzel, the head of the International Energy Agency’s Tracking Sustainable Transitions unit. He called this a “truly pivotal moment” in the way the world will produce energy in the future,” Ronald Bailey writes for Reason. “He made this bold claim during a session today on scaling up global renewable energy production, based on an analysis of projected global energy production trends in a report by the IEA, World Energy Outlook 2022. Crucially the IEA’s analysis relies on scenarios in which governments are expected to deliver on their promises with respect to the future deployment of renewable energy technologies. Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Mario Loyola proceeded during the questions and answers session to elegantly puncture the sunny “stated policies” predictions of rapid renewable energy deployment as “a fantasy,” at least in the United States. The Biden administration has the stated policy of deploying enough low-carbon energy production to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent below their 2005 levels by 2030. Loyola argued that these ambitious goals are “totally impossible” to achieve because federal and state bureaucracies will only be able to issue “a tenth of the necessary permits under current law.” “…U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres in his opening remarks at COP27 declared, “We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator.” That’s totally hyperbolic, but as Loyola is entirely right that at least in the U.S., our constant stomping on our regulatory brake insures that all energy projects—not just renewable ones—are stuck in permitting hell.”

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