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Extracted

EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 11/9/22

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

By Mark Hefflinger

November 9, 2022

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PIPELINE NEWS

  • Oakland Institute: The Great Carbon Boondoggle: Inside the Struggle to Stop Summit’s CO2 Pipeline

  • Agriculture.com: CARBON CAPTURE CREATES NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR ETHANOL, PANELISTS SAY

  • Agri-Pulse: Carbon capture pipeline projects gain easements, still face opposition

  • Watertown Public Opinion: To stay competitive, South Dakota ethanol needs a carbon dioxide pipeline, says Summit

  • SDPB Radio: Summit reaches land deals on more than half of CO2 pipeline route

  • E&E News: Duckworth to FERC: Pipeline builder must fix damaged property

  • Reuters: Catholic nuns lose religious battle against Pennsylvania pipeline

  • Reuters: Pipeline operator TC Energy’s quarterly profit rises on robust energy demand

  • Real Assets: AIMCo gains controlling stake in US pipeline operator HEP

  • Prism Reports: How criminalizing protests stifles climate justice

WASHINGTON UPDATES

  • E&E News: Midterm nail-biter clouds Biden’s clean energy plans

  • DemocracyNow: Sunrise Movement on Midterm Election: If GOP Takes Congress, Climate Action Will Be Stalled, Reversed

  • New York Times: Draft Report Offers Starkest View Yet of U.S. Climate Threats

STATE UPDATES

  • KTLA: El Segundo oil refinery engulfed in flames (video)

  • Anchorage Daily News: ConocoPhillips records big profits, expects to start work at $8 billion Alaska oil project early next year

  • Casper Star Tribune: Oil and gas industry will not appeal lease sale ruling

  • Standard-Examiner: Utah youth in court to argue climate suit; state asks for dismissal

  • Al Jazeera: How US climate lawsuits could hold Big Oil accountable

EXTRACTION

  • Financial Post: Canada ruffles some feathers at COP27 by including oil and gas representatives in its delegation

  • Financial Post: ‘This is the evolution of energy’: Ottawa and Alberta kick in $461 million for clean hydrogen facility

  • Barron’s: Could Oil Reach $200 a Barrel? Some Traders Are Betting on It.

CLIMATE FINANCE

  • Press Release: Reclaim Finance welcomes new United Nations’ criteria on net zero

  • Stand.earth: Royal Bank of Canada: Surging Finance of Fires, Floods & Climate Chaos

TODAY IN GREENWASHING

  • Press release: More than $1.07 Million Raised at Enbridge Gas for United Way to Strengthen Local Communities

OPINION

PIPELINE NEWS

Oakland Institute: The Great Carbon Boondoggle: Inside the Struggle to Stop Summit’s CO2 Pipeline
11/8/22

“The Great Carbon Boondoggle: Inside the Struggle to Stop Summit’s CO2 Pipeline, unmasks the billion-dollar financial interests and high-level political ties driving the Midwest Carbon Express,” according to the Oakland Institute. “…Having failed to persuade enough landowners in Iowa to sign voluntary easements to construct the pipeline, Summit now seeks to obtain the land through eminent domain, which will be decided by the three-member Iowa Utilities Board (IUB). Summit claims that the project will capture, transport, and store 12 million metric tons of CO2 from its 32 bioethanol plants annually — the equivalent of taking 2.6 million cars off the road each year… “Summit also faces formidable opposition from Indigenous communities, who were not meaningfully consulted — all too familiar with the devastation such projects bring… “Finally, the report exposes that Summit Carbon Solutions’ economic profitability relies heavily on federal tax credits, grants and loans, and state-led incentives like low-carbon fuel markets. If the Midwest Carbon Express is eventually built, residents across the Midwest will bear the risks associated with the pipeline — potential leaks and ruptures, decreased property and crop values, increased violence against the Indigenous — while Summit Carbon Solutions, its financial backers, and Bruce Rastetter will reap the profits.”

Agriculture.com: CARBON CAPTURE CREATES NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR ETHANOL, PANELISTS SAY
Cassidy Walter, 11/8/22

“Between a total of six interruptions by passionate protestors, panelists at the National Carbon Capture Conference in Des Moines, Iowa, Tuesday morning discussed how carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) pipelines have the potential to create new opportunities for the U.S. ethanol industry,” Agriculture.com reports. “…Panelists discussed how lowering carbon intensity opens up new opportunities for the ethanol industry, such being used for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production… “Elizabeth Burns-Thompson, vice president of government and public affairs at Navigator CO2, says the opportunities don’t stop at the ethanol plant. By including fertilizer plants on the CCS pipeline, not only does the carbon intensity of the fertilizer go down, but so does the carbon intensity of the grain produced with the fertilizer and the ethanol produced with the grain. She also says in the future there is potential for carbon captured at ethanol plants to be used to produce plastics and other products made with petroleum today… “You really do need to start with the why because as we’ve seen, this is an emotional issue,” she says referring to the many interruptions throughout the panel by protestors shouting and chanting opposition to CCS pipelines. Concerns about safety, eminent domain, and water and air quality were raised.”

Agri-Pulse: Carbon capture pipeline projects gain easements, still face opposition
Steve Davies, 11/9/22

“Companies planning thousands of miles of pipelines to transport liquid carbon dioxide throughout the Midwest are making slow but steady progress in obtaining voluntary easements, but the projects still face fierce opposition from many property owners, including farmers,” Agri-Pulse reports. “I wouldn’t take $10 million for them to put a hazardous pipeline through our land,” Vicki Hulse, who has a small farm in Woodbury County, Iowa, told Agri-Pulse. “There’s no amount of money that they could pay me … I can tell you one thing, and you can print this statement: I am totally against eminent domain, and they will have to take me the full way.” “…Hulse and three other landowners were sued by Navigator for access to their land to conduct a survey. The case is ongoing, although the landowners won the initial round in September. Navigator did not respond to questions about the case… “SCS spokesman Jesse Harris told Agri-Pulse the company had secured 1,030 total miles through voluntary easements with 2,100 landowners who have signed a total of 3,400 agreements. “So, we’re making significant progress, and I think landowners are really starting to embrace this project in a significant way.” “…Opponents of the projects dispute the company’s figures. Food & Water Watch Iowa organizer Emma Schmit told Agri-Pulse based on maps she’s examined, the company appears to have only about 37.5% of the needed land in Iowa… “In Illinois, an attempt by Navigator to keep names private was rejected by the Illinois Commerce Commission, which said “there is no indication in the record that any of the landowners whose information was published in previous dockets have suffered any harm due to such publication.” Navigator also will have to keep fighting Vicki Hulse and three other landowners in their lawsuit, which is scheduled for trial in February. A Woodbury County district court judge denied the company’s request for an injunction in September that would have forced the landowners to allow surveyors to access their properties.”

Watertown Public Opinion: To stay competitive, South Dakota ethanol needs a carbon dioxide pipeline, says Summit
Kerry Kulkarni, 11/8/22

“Summit Carbon Solution visited Glacial Lakes Energy on Wednesday in Watertown to discuss with community leaders its plan to move liquefied carbon dioxide through a pipeline across the state and into North Dakota, where it will be stored below ground,” the Watertown Public Opinion reports. “ “Glacial Lakes purchases 1/6 of the corn in South Dakota,” said Summit Carbon Vice President of Government and Public Affairs Jake Ketznera. “We want to ensure that Glacial Lakes can keep doing that for the next 5-25 years from now.” “…To keep our small towns competitive, we have to keep looking for the next thing that makes us just a little bit better than all the other ethanol plants,” she told WPO. “There are going to be about 200 plants on these pipelines, and if we are not on the pipeline, what makes our product stand out? We don’t have anything to bring our carbon score down so as to keep Redfield and Glacial Lakes Energy locally owned and operated.” “…In our five states, we have not used or exercised eminent domain,” said Ketznera. “We sign landowners up every single day. Our goal as a company is 100% landowner agreements. (The use of eminent domain) could happen in the future, and it may, but it will be a very small number.” “…Ketznera said Summit could not comment on the litigation but that pipelines are already heavily regulated on a federal and state level through the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration and the Public Utilities Commission. “Those are the entities that can regulate us in regard to siting and those kinds of issues,” he said. “We are traveling through 18 counties in South Dakota and 31 counties in Iowa. If every county had its own rules and regulations, you’d never see another pipeline built in America again… It’s a partnership, but when it comes to the specific regulations from the state and federal level, we have to say we disagree with you, and we need to move forward.”

SDPB Radio: Summit reaches land deals on more than half of CO2 pipeline route
Josh Chilson, 11/8/22

“Summit Carbon Solutions has reached easement agreements with more than half of the landowners on the route of its proposed CO2 pipeline across the Midwest. That’s according to a press release from the company issued Tuesday,” SDPB Radio reports. “Summit’s CEO Lee Blank said the company has agreements with nearly 2,100 landowners totaling more than $200 million in payouts… “Summit has reached deals accounting for 49% of the route within the state. That’s less than Iowa (56%), Minnesota (55%), and North Dakota (53%), but more than Nebraska (46%). Some landowners have raised concerns over safety and the potential use of eminent domain. Several county commissions have passed moratoriums blocking new pipelines from being constructed.”

E&E News: Duckworth to FERC: Pipeline builder must fix damaged property
Mike Soraghan, 11/8/22

“Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth recently waded into the fight over a Midwestern pipeline, asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to ensure Spire Inc. restores the property it damaged during construction of the project,” E&E News reports. “It appears Spire has misrepresented some of the facts in their reports submitted to FERC and it does not appear that Spire is as engaged in restoring the landowner’s properties as necessary,” the Democrat wrote in a letter posted to FERC’s docket Monday. “As a United States Senator, I expect that Spire will be held responsible to fix the properties they have damaged.” Landowners have been complaining for years about their treatment during construction of the 65-mile-long Spire STL pipeline, which runs through rural Illinois into St. Louis. Their complaints are now part of a debate, with national implications, about whether the line should remain operational. Duckworth’s letter, dated Nov. 4, says her staff toured some of the sites in October and found the landowners’ claims to “not only be legitimate, but serious.” She noted problems with drainage, soil contamination, debris and large rocks buried along the path of the pipeline.”

Reuters: Catholic nuns lose religious battle against Pennsylvania pipeline
Clark Mindock, 11/8/22

“Catholic nuns who cited a Pope Francis climate-change encyclical to claim a natural gas pipeline on their property violates their religious beliefs waited too long to raise those concerns, a federal appeals court said on Tuesday rejecting their request for compensation,” Reuters reports. “The Adorers of the Blood of Christ sisters claimed the pipeline built on their property in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, by defendant Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co LLC defiles God’s creation by accelerating global warming and climate change, and thus violated their rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. But the 3rd U.S. Circuit of Appeals said the nuns had ample opportunity to raise those concerns when the project was being reviewed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and that the courts were the wrong place to first raise those issues… “Moreover, awarding a payout to the nuns after construction would risk adding undue financial burden to the pipeline operator, the court said… “The sisters’ 2020 lawsuit argued that the pipeline built and put into service in 2018 “substantially burden(ed)” their exercise of religion. The sisters said an encyclical letter, which in general instructs church members regarding their faith, issued by Pope Francis in 2015 called on the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics to work to preserve the environment for future generations. A Pennsylvania federal court awarded the sisters nearly $170,000 in compensation for the market value of the land after Transcontinental sued in 2017 to enforce the easement.”

Reuters: Pipeline operator TC Energy’s quarterly profit rises on robust energy demand
11/9/22

“TC Energy Corp reported an 8% rise in quarterly profit on Wednesday, as surging energy demand boosted the Canadian pipeline operator’s earnings from its businesses transporting natural gas,” Reuters reports. “Canada, the world’s fourth-largest crude producer, has been seeking ways to boost pipeline utilization amid a jump in U.S. LNG export volumes to Europe following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Earnings from TC’s Canadian natural gas pipelines rose to C$409 million ($304.32 million) for the July-September quarter, from C$343 million from last year… “The Calgary-based company’s net income attributable to common shares stood at C$841 million, or 84 Canadian cents per share, for the three months to Sept. 30, from C$779 million, or 80 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.”

Real Assets: AIMCo gains controlling stake in US pipeline operator HEP
Razak Musah Baba, 11/8/22

“Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) has gained a controlling stake in Howard Energy Partners (HEP) with the acquisition of Astatine Investment Partners’ interest in the US pipeline operator,” Real Assets reports. “AIMCo, which acquired an initial 28% stake in HEP in early 2017 from EnLink Midstream Partners for up to $500m (€505m), said it now holds 87% of the company with HEP’s management and other minority investors maintaining their 13% share. The terms of the transaction were undisclosed… “Founded in June 2011, HEP is a diversified energy platform business with strategically located midstream and downstream assets in the US. The company’s operations are mainly focused in the Eagle Ford Shale region of South Texas and the Marcellus Shale region of Northeast Pennsylvania. Texas-based HEP currently owns and operates more than 600 miles of natural gas gathering pipelines, a 200,000cfd natural gas processing plant, a 10,000b/d condensate stabiliser and a 220,000 barrel liquids storage terminal.”

Prism Reports: How criminalizing protests stifles climate justice
Ray Levy Uyeda, 11/8/22

“The past five years have been a watershed moment for protest and organizing in the U.S. High-profile grassroots campaigns against pipelines, in defense of Black lives, and for a transition to sustainable energy production and use have shaped and molded policy—but not always as intended. A legislative backlash has followed each wave of grassroots powers, often in the form of anti-protest laws that criminalize protest actions like marching on highways and obstructing oil pipeline construction,” according to Prism Reports. “Marketed as laws that guard “critical infrastructure”—pipelines, natural gas refineries, construction sites associated with pipelines—against obstruction from protesters, the legislation suppresses free speech and relies on disseminating climate change disinformation, experts say. And with anti-protest legislation, police and extractive companies have even more weapons in their arsenal to quiet the voices of those most affected by climate change.  “[Anti-protest laws] exist as a threat, as a kind of sword hanging over the heads of folks who are looking to come together and speak out about the climate crisis,” Elly Page, a lawyer who tracks anti-protest legislation with the International Center for Not-For-Profit Law, told Prism. The communities of color that bear the brunt of pollution and violence born of extractive industries are impacted first and worst by climate change’s ballooning consequences. But where protesting once offered people of color a way to speak directly to those in power, public and civic action is more criminalized than ever, community advocates say. Since 2017, 45 state governments and the U.S. Congress have considered the implementation of 246 anti-protest bills, 39 of which have been enacted in 20 states. The increase in this kind of legislation is “a part of a larger picture of attacking our ability to engage in our democracy, and that’s sort of part and parcel with restrictions on voter access and the right to vote,” Page said. The criminalization of protest began in the wake of actions against the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would have carried crude oil from Canada to southern export ports in the U.S. North Dakota was the first state to introduce an anti-protest law in 2017. Soon other states followed in North Dakota’s footsteps, having learned how to target specific protest tactics, with some state officials explicitly connecting their introduction of anti-protest legislation to an uptick of pipeline protests happening in other states.”

WASHINGTON UPDATES

E&E News: Midterm nail-biter clouds Biden’s clean energy plans
Jason Plautz, Miranda Willson, 11/9/22

“Tuesday’s midterm elections marked the start of a new chapter for President Joe Biden and his clean energy agenda. But just what that chapter looks like is up in the air. Numerous House races had not been called by early Wednesday morning, leaving control of the chamber uncertain. The Senate’s makeup also remained unclear, with key races in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Wisconsin set to determine majority control,” E&E News repots. “Hanging in the balance is the implementation of billions of dollars from infrastructure and climate laws at the Department of Energy and other federal agencies. Control of Congress will influence how much money flows to key energy and climate programs and how quickly the White House can spend the historic clean energy investments planned through laws such as this year’s Inflation Reduction Act… “Republicans — who were projected to take the House in the lead-up to the election — have vowed to ramp up oversight on the hundreds of billions of dollars of loan guarantees in the Inflation Reduction Act and could use budget cuts to restrict the administration’s deployment of clean energy funds… “The stakes would grow even higher if Republicans were to take control of the Senate, where they could slow down approval of the Biden administration’s nominees for key Cabinet positions. They also could make it unlikely that Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Richard Glick has a second term, unless Democrats act on his nomination before January… “If Democrats manage to hold onto both chambers of Congress, that would clear the way for a more forceful climate agenda and potentially open the door to even further clean energy spending… “Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also notched a victory over Republican nominee Tudor Dixon, a conservative political commentator. That outcome could help determine the fate of the controversial Line 5 oil pipeline. Whitmer has sought to shut down the aging oil pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac over safety concerns, while Dixon advocated for keeping the project in service.”

DemocracyNow: Sunrise Movement on Midterm Election: If GOP Takes Congress, Climate Action Will Be Stalled, Reversed
11/8/22

“The climate movement warns the midterm elections will either advance or torpedo climate initiatives in the U.S.,” DemocracyNow reports. “This comes as climate activists and scientists at the U.N. climate summit in Egypt cautioned that the world is heading toward climate disaster without deeper cuts in planet-heating emissions. “We are up against a ticking time bomb of an unrelenting climate crisis and an economic crisis that is bearing down on working people,” says Varshini Prakash of the Sunrise Movement, which has reached 3 million young voters to get out the vote in the midterms. Prakash also explains how parts of President Biden’s climate legislation passed this year could be stalled or reversed if Republicans take back control of Congress in 2023… “The outcome of the elections will be key in either advancing or torpedoing climate initiatives here and could undermine President Biden’s efforts to portray the U.S. as a climate leader — climate change-denying Republicans, if they win overwhelmingly… “For more, we’re joined by Varshini Prakash, co-founder and executive director of the Sunrise Movement, which has been helping to get out the vote… “And the stakes of this election, if either of those houses — if either the House or the Senate goes to Republicans, is essentially that we have lost even a greater shot at federal legislation. We are seeing Republicans running who have said before that climate change is [bleep]. That was Ron Johnson, sitting senator in Wisconsin, whom Mandela Barnes is running against, who Sunrise has endorsed. They don’t believe in climate action. And that is why this election is so critical, because what is on the ballot is not Democrat versus Republican, it is a chance at greater action to stave off the greatest crisis of our generation, or, frankly, willful denial, after decades of science, that will lead to our collective annihilation. And so, you know, that is what is on the ballot today.”

New York Times: Draft Report Offers Starkest View Yet of U.S. Climate Threats
Brad Plumer and Raymond Zhong, 11/8/2

“The effects of climate change are already “far-reaching and worsening” throughout all regions in the United States, posing profound risks to virtually every aspect of society, whether it’s drinking water supplies in the Midwest or small businesses in the Southeast, according to a draft scientific report being circulated by the federal government,” the New York Times reports. “The draft of the National Climate Assessment, the government’s premier contribution to climate knowledge, provides the most detailed look yet at the consequences of global warming for the United States, both in the present and in the future. The final report isn’t scheduled to be published until late 2023, but the 13 federal agencies and hundreds of scientists who are compiling the assessment issued a 1,695-page draft for public comment on Monday. “The things Americans value most are at risk,” says the draft report, which could still undergo changes as it goes through the review process. “More intense extreme events and long-term climate changes make it harder to maintain safe homes and healthy families, reliable public services, a sustainable economy, thriving ecosystems and strong communities.” As greenhouse gas emissions rise and the planet heats up, the authors write, the United States could face major disruptions to farms and fisheries that drive up food prices, while millions of Americans could be displaced by disasters such as severe wildfires in California, sea-level rise in Florida or frequent flooding in Texas… “Bigger hazards are on the way if global temperatures keep rising, the draft report says, although the magnitude of those risks will largely depend on how quickly humanity can get its fossil fuel emissions under control… “And it is hard to foresee how American society will react to other potentially wrenching changes produced by global warming, which, the draft report says, could also include increased crime and domestic violence, harm to mental health and reduced opportunities for outdoor recreation. “These compounding stressors can increase segregation, reliance on social safety net programs and income inequality,” the report says.

STATE UPDATES

KTLA: El Segundo oil refinery engulfed in flames (video)
Vivian Chow, 11/8/22

“Crews worked to extinguish a fire that ignited at a Chevron oil refinery in El Segundo on Tuesday,” KTLA reports. “A massive blaze could be seen burning inside one particular section of the refinery just west of Sepulveda around 6:15 p.m. It’s unclear what ignited the fire or what was housed in that portion of the building. Emergency crews with Los Angeles County Fire, El Segundo Fire and Manhattan Beach Fire departments were dispatched to the scene along with the Chevron Fire Department. Multiple fire crews could be seen working hard to extinguish the substantial flames. There is no current threat to nearby structures, officials told KTLA… “The cause remains under investigation.”

Anchorage Daily News: ConocoPhillips records big profits, expects to start work at $8 billion Alaska oil project early next year
Alex DeMarban, 11/7/22

“ConocoPhillips reported making huge profits in the latest quarter amid growing criticism that oil companies are benefiting as gas prices soar, and as President Joe Biden threatens to pursue a windfall profits tax on the industry,” the Anchorage Daily News reports. “A top official with the oil giant also told ADN on Thursday the company expects to start working early next year on the $8 billion Willow oil prospect in Alaska, an effort that could lead to more than 2,000 construction jobs in the coming years. ConocoPhillips, the largest oil producer in Alaska, reported earning $4.5 billion globally in the third quarter, while its Alaska operation brought in $580 million, according to the publicly traded company’s third quarter earnings report… “The left-leaning think tank Center for American Progress on Thursday targeted ConocoPhillips’ third-quarter profits as “obscene” and almost double a year earlier. “Oil companies have experienced record profits this year while Americans faced significant pain at the pump,” Jenny Rowland-Shea, director of public lands at the group, told ADN. “The top five oil companies have seen over 200% increases in quarterly profits, compared to 2021; a trend that has continued in quarter three.” Kara Moriarty, president of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, told ADN the state and industry receive more revenue when oil prices are high. “To be clear, the industry is not ‘war profiteering,’ ” she told ADN. “Rhetoric like this is not only untrue but meant to divide and mislead. We would advise the president to first unleash domestic energy production to help bring oil prices down.”

Casper Star Tribune: Oil and gas industry will not appeal lease sale ruling
Nicole Pollack, 11/7/22

“Wyoming’s oil and gas industry will not appeal a federal judge’s ruling this summer that the federal government legally paused new oil and gas leasing during the first quarter of 2021,” the Casper Star Tribune reports. “U.S. District Judge Scott W. Skavdahl sided with the Biden administration and several environmental groups — and against the state, Western Energy Alliance and the Petroleum Association of Wyoming — in the Sept. 2 decision. The Western Energy Alliance, a regional oil and gas trade group, announced days later that it would appeal, citing the “misapplication” of federal environmental laws. It and other industry members feared the outcome would afford federal officials too much leeway to delay and diminish future lease sales. But the Western Energy Alliance and the Petroleum Association of Wyoming (undecided at the time) have opted instead to move on from the lawsuit. Though the challenge targeted the postponement of leasing more broadly, Skavdahl did not consider federal actions taken after the lawsuit’s filing — disqualifying all arguments from industry and some from the state. “We are not going to appeal the ruling out of the Wyoming District because it was narrowly focused on the facts related to the first quarter 2021 lease sales and doesn’t have much applicability beyond it,” Western Energy Alliance president Kathleen Sgamma said in an email to the Star-Tribune… “The industry’s reversal came as little surprise to the environmental advocates on the other side of the dispute. “It’s such a well-reasoned decision that it would be very difficult to appeal,” Shannon Anderson, staff attorney for the landowners’ group Powder River Basin Resource Council, told the Star-Tribune. “I think it still holds true that (the Bureau of Land Management) has a lot of discretion to consider environmental impacts, to make sure they’re taking climate into account when they’re doing new leases,” Anderson  told the Star-Tribune.. “And we hope BLM really uses this decision going forward.”

Standard-Examiner: Utah youth in court to argue climate suit; state asks for dismissal
Mark Shenefelt and Harrison Epstein, 11/7/22

“On Friday, a handful of Utah teens and pre-teens took on their state in the court of law. In Natalie R. v. State of Utah, youth plaintiffs are suing the state by arguing that promotion of fossil fuels contributes to worsening air quality and violates their constitutional rights,” the Standard-Examiner reports. “Attorney Jeffrey Teichert, representing the state Board of Oil, Gas and Mining and numerous other state government defendants, urged 3rd District Judge Robert Faust to dismiss the suit. “The Utah Constitution does not guarantee a clean environment,” Teichert said in the Friday morning hearing. He said claims such as those lodged by the students “should be brought against polluters,” not the state… “Andrew Welle, an attorney for the Oregon-based nonprofit law firm Our Children’s Trust and one of several attorneys representing the students in the civil suit, told Faust that Teichert missed the point of the case. Welle said the suit rests on a “simple but profoundly important constitutional issue: Does the Utah Constitution allow the state to (allow fossil fuel developments) that it knows are taking years off the lives of these young plaintiffs?” With Utah’s nationally worst air quality, “the state, in the face of those dangers, is actively throwing fuel on the fire,” Welle said. “The state is responsible for vast quantities of air pollution.” He said it is a “core judicial responsibility” to decide whether to make a declaratory ruling that the state’s policies and actions violate the students’ due process rights… “Just hours later in Salt Lake City’s Washington Square Park, across the street from the courthouse, the plaintiffs and their attorneys held a demonstration to increase public awareness of the cases and their concerns. Natalie R., the 15-year-old lead plaintiff, spoke at the demonstration about the lawsuit, and why they believe it has merit to move forward. “This is not a legislative issue. My constitutional rights to life, health and safety is not something that can be put to vote. And on top of that, many of us plaintiffs can not vote, so that is why we take to the court system,” she said. “We’re hoping that Judge Faust will let us move forward so that we may present evidence at trial.”

Al Jazeera: How US climate lawsuits could hold Big Oil accountable
Hilary Beaumont, 11/8/22

“The state capital Honolulu is among 19 local governments across the United States seeking damages from energy giants, alleging they knew in the 1970s that burning fossil fuels would cause catastrophic climate change,” Al Jazeera reports. “But instead of deploying alternative energy systems, the industry launched a campaign to deceive the public about climate science so they could continue to sell their products, the Hawaiian lawsuit alleges. The earliest US lawsuits were filed in California in 2017. Since then, oil companies have shifted them to the federal court, which they see as friendlier, but judges have booted them back to the state courts. New Jersey filed the latest suit in October, accusing the industry of contributing to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Denise Antolini, a University of Hawaii law professor, told Al Jazeera the cases were having a “snowball effect”, as early successes encouraged more jurisdictions to sue. The Honolulu complaint was filed in 2020 and is now moving into the discovery phase… “The lawsuits could force executives to testify under oath, make companies pay for climate adaptation and change how firms do business, Antolini told AJ… “Disinformation works best when we anchor it in just a teeny sliver of truth, and then you just warp it, and that’s what they did – raise uncertainty, raise doubt where there was none,” Richard Wiles, president of the Center for Climate Integrity, told Al Jazeera… “But the slew of lawsuits across the US, if successful, could ultimately change how Big Oil acts in the long term, Wiles told AJ. “If the companies have to actually pay for all the damages they’ve caused, that’s going to be a huge disincentive.” “Maybe not for them to drill, but for people to invest in those companies because the liability is just too enormous … You only really need one win. The industry knows that – they know they’ve got to win them all. They can’t afford to lose any of these cases.”

EXTRACTION

Financial Post: Canada ruffles some feathers at COP27 by including oil and gas representatives in its delegation
Meghan Potkins, 11/8/22

“Canada’s delegation heading to the United Nations’ COP27 climate change conference this week in Egypt will not include Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but there will be a Canada Pavilion for the first time and it includes representatives from the oilsands industry, which is attracting some intense criticism,” according to the Financial Post. “Environmental groups and climate activists tell the Post the industry responsible for the country’s largest share of emissions should not be at an event dedicated to climate action. But that argument is being dismissed by some federal and provincial officials who argue Canada won’t meet its climate goals without significant input from industry… “The resource industry absolutely has to be there, because we have to have that honest, realistic conversation of what it’s going to take to get to net zero by 2050 (and) how difficult it is,” Alberta environment minister Sonya Savage told the Post… “There really is no solution without the industry. Yes, we acknowledge that we’re one of Canada’s largest emitters, but that’s also why we’re critical to the solution,” Pathways Alliance vice-president Mark Cameron told the Post from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, where COP27 is being held for the next two weeks. “The very simplistic solution is to stop production and give up 10 per cent of Canada’s GDP, but the more constructive solution is, how do we use technology to maintain this industry but reduce emissions? The problem is not energy; the problem is carbon emissions.” Part of the answer, say the Pathways Alliance and other heavy-emitting sectors of Canada’s economy, is making large investments in carbon-capture and storage projects and other clean technologies, ideally with direct or indirect support from governments in the form of loans, tax credits and grants… “We have to have that honest conversation and admission that oil and gas is going to continue to be used for decades to come,” he tod the Post. “It’s about reducing emissions in oil and gas. It’s not about getting off oil and gas.”

Financial Post: ‘This is the evolution of energy’: Ottawa and Alberta kick in $461 million for clean hydrogen facility
Gabriel Friedman, 11/8/22

“The federal and Alberta governments said they would contribute $300 million and $161 million, respectively, to entice Pennsylvania-based Air Products and Chemicals Inc. to build a $1.6-billion hydrogen facility outside Edmonton, one of the largest steps to date towards decarbonizing the oilsands,” the Financial Post reports. “Alberta’s oil and gas sector accounted for 27 per cent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 — more than any sector. That means Canada’s climate promises are unachievable without curbing the production of oil. Hydrogen could help. It is primarily an industrial chemical, but politicians and oil executives this year have become increasingly excited about its potential as a clean fuel export. The federal government has proposed that Alberta’s natural gas resources could be used in combination with carbon capture technology to produce liquid hydrogen. When burned as a fuel, liquid hydrogen releases no pollutants or carbon emissions… “Air Products has said it hopes to sell a significant portion of its low-carbon hydrogen to Calgary-based Imperial Oil Ltd., which would in turn use it as feedstock in a proposed “renewable diesel” facility in Alberta. Imperial also hopes to use some low-carbon hydrogen to create clean electricity, and for use as a fuel in downstream sectors, creating carbon offsets that the company said would make its proposed facility “net-zero.” The proposed Air Products facility would use natural gas and auto-thermal reforming, combined with carbon capture technology, to produce hydrogen, which the company estimates would capture 95 per cent of the carbon emissions.”

Barron’s: Could Oil Reach $200 a Barrel? Some Traders Are Betting on It.
Avi Salzman, 11/7/22

“Oil hasn’t yet climbed back to $100 per barrel, but options traders are increasingly setting their sights on another target—$200,” Barron’s reports. “The most actively traded Brent crude BRN00 –1.65%  options contract on Thursday was an option to buy Brent at $200 in March 2023. About half of the contracts to buy oil at that price appeared to be placed by one buyer who spent about $810,000 on the options, according to Robert Yawger, the director of energy futures at Mizuho Securities USA. But that buyer isn’t the only person making a bet that oil prices will hit $200, along with other bullish bets on where oil goes in 2023. “There have been people dipping their toes into those higher [options strike prices] over the last couple of days,” Yawger told Barron’s.”

CLIMATE FINANCE

Press Release: Reclaim Finance welcomes new United Nations’ criteria on net zero
11/8/22

“Reclaim Finance welcomes the report from the UN High-Level Expert Group on Net Zero (HLEG) (1), launched today at COP27 by Secretary General, António Guterres, and also welcomes his strongly positive response to HLEG’s findings. Research and campaign NGO Reclaim Finance calls on financial institutions, and the sectoral alliances of the Glasgow Financial Alliance on Net Zero (GFANZ), to incorporate the HLEG’s recommendations into their policies and guidelines. The HLEG has confirmed once more the reality that staying under 1.5°C requires an immediate halt to investment in new fossil fuel supply and for mechanisms to decommission existing fossil infrastructure… “Lucie Pinson, founder and director of Reclaim Finance, says: “Net-zero criteria are currently under attack by finance industry laggards. The High-Level Expert Group has done a great service to the international community by explaining why science-aligned standards for net zero are vital, and the key features that they must contain. At a time when so-called net-zero banks are pouring billions into new fossil fuel projects, it is particularly encouraging that the group has put the record straight: there can be no investments in new fossil fuel projects in a net-zero world. We now expect the net-zero financial alliances to update their guidance in light of these recommendations or they will lose any credibility.”

Stand.earth: Royal Bank of Canada: Surging Finance of Fires, Floods & Climate Chaos
11/7/22

“This report provides an urgent and up-to-date reckoning of the Royal Bank of Canada’s (RBC)’s fossil fuel financing, with a focus on the loans, underwriting and investments it has provided the largest fossil fuel expansionist companies from 2016 to September 30, 2022 (the end of Q3). This report also provides a comparison of fossil financing before and after RBC joined the Net Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA), a sub alliance of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net-Zero (GFANZ). This report reveals RBC: Provided more than $9.2 billion of financing and underwriting to top fossil fuel expansionists like Enbridge, ExxonMobil, Chevron, TC Energy and Saudi Aramco, since joining Glasgow Finance Alliance for NetZero (GFANZ); Loaned $1.944 billion to the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project; Currently holds over $16 billion of extreme fossil fuel companies on behalf of its clients, a $1.1 billion investment bump in these companies; This includes $6.1 billion in tar sands activity exposure, $5.4 billion in shale, $232 million in LNG, and $1.6 billion coal-exposed companies. RBC’s financing of extreme fossil fuels may exceed $10 billion in 2022, at its current rate, surpassing 2021 levels This includes $3.4 billion of financing to shale or fracking companies, $2.7 billion to tar sands companies, $1.4 billion to coal power companies and $1.3 billion with LNG companies so far in 2022.”

TODAY IN GREENWASHING

Press release: More than $1.07 Million Raised at Enbridge Gas for United Way to Strengthen Local Communities
11/8/22

“Enbridge Gas Inc. employees and retirees, supported by the company’s matching donation program, have once again demonstrated their tradition of giving by raising over $1,076,518 for United Ways across our service area in 2022. Our 2022 theme, “Show Your Local Love,” not only captured the the essence of the campaign, but also demonstrated how much our people care about the communities where we live and work. The enterprise-wide campaign that ran from Sept. 13 to 28, involved many creative fundraising events led by a group of dedicated employee volunteers. “It’s not just the energy we deliver; it’s the energy we put in,” said Jim Sanders, Senior Vice President of Operations for Enbridge Gas, and executive sponsor of the company’s 2022 United Way campaign. “This statement reflects our people’s unwavering spirit of giving back to the communities we serve and our commitment to supporting safe, vibrant and sustainable communities. I’m proud of our employees and retirees for their ongoing and generous contributions to United Way.”

OPINION

Jacobin Magazine: BlackRock Is Profiting Off the Climate Crisis
ADAM M. LOWENSTEIN, 4/4/22

“In his 2020 letter to CEOs, Larry Fink, the chairman and CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, proclaimed that “climate risk is investment risk.” A more accurate read, however, is that for companies like BlackRock, climate risk is proving to be a valuable investment opportunity,” Adam M. Lowenstein writes for Jacobin Magazine. “Today banks, investors, and asset managers have positioned themselves to make money no matter how — or whether — countries finally take meaningful steps to stop climate change. In fact, for some of the world’s largest, most powerful, and most globally integrated companies, the climate crisis is a win-win-win situation. If governments take little or no action, these companies will win simply by continuing to do what they already do. Companies will invest in green industries and technologies, and they’ll sell “environmental, social, and governance,” or ESG, investment products to those who want to feel better about how their money makes money. But these firms will also continue to invest in oil, gas, and coal, and offer investment services that embrace dirty industries. If the world does take action, firms like BlackRock will win by having portrayed themselves as responsible actors whose advice and consent is needed for climate action. These companies will be able to influence which solutions governments and international organizations implement — and which will remain off the table. They’ll be able to capitalize on trillions of dollars in public investments in green industries and technologies, while governments and taxpayers shoulder much of the up-front risk… “Hiding these firms’ enthusiasm for fossil fuels beneath soothing promises of green investments serves only to distract from the urgency of meaningful action and thus makes an already formidable challenge even more difficult… “BlackRock is “supporting the extractive economy while talking about how they are supporting the regenerative economy,” Behar told Jacobin. “These are two different paths, and by saying one thing and doing another, they damage their credibility.” “…The main barrier to climate action isn’t a technological one: The core tools needed to deal with this problem already exist,” Aronoff writes. “The problem has been power, and that the people proposing the most workable, reasonable solutions don’t have enough of it.”

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