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EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 3/15/23

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

By Mark Hefflinger

March 15, 2023



  • Topeka Capital-Journal: Keystone pipeline operator grilled on Kansas oil spill. Cleanup timeframe is uncertain.

  • Kansas Reflector: Keystone executive gives Kansas legislators vague answers on oil spill cleanup

  • Associated Press: Lawmakers fear spill on Keystone system in southern Kansas

  • The Telegraph: State files second order over 2022 oil spill

  • AgWeek: Safety concerns for Bismarck area dominate first Summit carbon pipeline hearings

  • KXNET: Former Bismarck mayor brings lawyer to pipeline hearing

  • Iowa Capital Dispatch: Wolf Carbon pipeline plans might be delayed

  • Hart Energy: CEO: Enbridge Building North American ‘Super System’ Through Investment, M&A

  • Bloomberg: Adelphia Gateway Loses Bid to Revive Gas Pipeline Approval Suit

  • Suffolk News-Herald: Citizens voice opposition to gas pipeline project

  • Reuters: Pembina Pipeline’s Cedar LNG project gets environmental approval


  • Reuters: Green groups sue Biden admin over approval of Alaska Willow oil project

  • E&E News: House Republicans unveil energy, permitting package

  • Bloomberg: Methane Emissions ‘Tax’ Draws Scrutiny On EPA’s Collection Role


  • Washington Post: Ohio sues Norfolk Southern over toxic train derailment

  • Colorado Newsline: Natural gas production likely cause of southern Colorado earthquakes, experts say

  • Associated Press: Despite objections, Chevron says it reported oil price data


  • Canadian Press: Oil and gas industry singing praises of Inflation Reduction Act as federal budget nears

  • Washington Post: A warmer world causes extreme drought and rain. ‘Indisputable’ new research proves it.


  • New York Times The Daily: What is E.S.G., and Why are Republicans So Mad About It? 

  • The Hill: Anti-ESG group launches mobile billboard campaign in DC ahead of expected Biden veto

  • Reuters: Credit Suisse sets more 2030 targets for emissions tied to loans

  • ING Further Restricts Lending To The Oil And Gas Industry


  • Times-Republican: Pipeline opposition gaining steam

  • Kansas Reflector: Kansas Legislature’s clumsy regulatory attempt would remove vital tool to fight climate crisis

  • New York Times: The Government Is This Close to Reining in Some of the Worst Air Pollution


Topeka Capital-Journal: Keystone pipeline operator grilled on Kansas oil spill. Cleanup timeframe is uncertain.
Andrew Bahl, 3/14/23

“The operator of the Keystone Pipeline said cleanup efforts of a north-central Kansas oil spill will continue to stretch on for at least the next several months but declined to provide a firmer timeframe to legislators Tuesday, the first time TC Energy has publicly answered questions on the incident,” the Topeka Capital-Journal reports. “Lawmakers grilled the company over their handling of the December spill, when 12,000 barrels of crude oil flowed from the Keystone pipeline into Mill Creek near Washington, representing the largest onshore oil spill since 2014… “I do appreciate TC Energy’s willingness to speak to the committee,” said Rep. Lindsay Vaughn, D-Overland Park. “But I do feel like a lot of the answers to my questions were evasive and we are still hearing from TC Energy what TC Energy wants to hear.” “…The company said that welding inspection and testing “were conducted within applicable codes and standards.” Moreover, Salsman said Tuesday that the company was undertaking a review of welds across the entire pipeline, which runs from Alberta to Texas, with a branch that juts into Illinois. A third-party analysis of what went wrong is ongoing and is expected in the weeks to come, Salsman noted… “But when asked how many similar welds might exist across the pipeline system, Salsman demurred. “I don’t have that particular information on hand. … It would not be a huge number,” he said. Rep. Leo Delperdang, R-Wichita, chair of the House Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee, said he was concerned about the potential for further welding issues across the pipeline, with the Keystone continuing across south-central Kansas to Cushing, Oklahoma. “I’m not going to say I’m not convinced, but I’d like to know what a very few (welds) means,” Delperdang told reporters. “Is that one or two or is that a couple hundred in the scheme of things? I don’t know what the meaning of that is.” Lawmakers said they were particularly concerned about this given an increase in seismic activity in south-central Kansas, near Wichita. That area has seen 37 measurable earthquakes in the past 365 days, Kansas Geological Survey data shows, though Salsman said such events are taken into account when engineering a pipeline project… “TC Energy has not made air or water test results public, though it has said it is conducting “continuous monitoring” and that all tests have been within the requisite standards. KDHE, however, did say that some chemicals were found downstream of the dam in the weeks following the spill. The agency has not yet made test results from December available to The Topeka Capital-Journal under the Kansas Open Records Act… “Zach Pistora, a lobbyist for the Kansas chapter of the Sierra Club, told the Journal the company should be publicly disclosing information on environmental impacts and questioned the viability of pipeline projects if they could not perform safely.”

Kansas Reflector: Keystone executive gives Kansas legislators vague answers on oil spill cleanup

“The Keystone oil pipeline was operating at the bounds of its permit when it burst and released almost 13,000 barrels of oil in northern Kansas, an executive from the company said Tuesday,” the Kansas Reflector reports. “Owners of the Keystone pipeline still don’t know why it ruptured in northern Kansas, spilling almost 13,000 barrels of oil into Mill Creek and onto surrounding farmland, an executive of the company said Tuesday. Gary Salsman, vice president of field operations for TC Energy, which owns the Keystone pipeline, testified before a joint meeting of two Kansas House committees in the morning and before the Senate Utilities Committee in the afternoon. He fielded pointed questions from lawmakers about the cause of the spill, cleanup and their concerns about TC Energy’s transparency… “But on questions of how long cleanup will take, why spills on the Keystone pipeline are becoming more frequent and how much longer a months-long no-fly zone for drones will prevent media and other interested parties in viewing the site, Salsman had little to share. TC Energy, based in Canada, is still reviewing the root cause of the spill, which involved a welding flaw that burst under stress of bending pipe. “We understand what happened,” Salsman said. “At this point, we don’t understand why.” Salsman said TC Energy expects to find out more about that in the next few weeks… “TC Energy has paid just more than $300,000 in fines for more than 20 previous spills. That’s 0.2% of the more than $111 million in property damage resulting from those spills… “But Salsman failed to answer pointed questions from Rep. Lindsay Vaughn, D-Overland Park, and Rep. John Carmichael, D-Wichita. Carmichael asked Salsman when he expected the work to be done. Salsman responded that TC Energy would be on site until the area is fully remediated, which the company expects to cost about $480 million… “Vaughn raised concerns about the rising number and increasing severity of spills along the Keystone pipeline, citing a 2021 Government Accountability Office report. She asked Salsman what the company makes of that trend and what it’s doing to avoid future spills… “Following the morning House committee, Salsman and other executives from TC Energy hurried out the door and refused to answer follow-up questions. They evaded journalists down three floors of the Kansas Statehouse. Reporters were told to direct follow-up questions about air and water quality, access to the site and the timeline for cleanup to a catch-all media email inbox. The company didn’t immediately answer Kansas Reflector’s follow-up questions… “Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, raised concerns about media being unable to access the site or use drones to get an aerial view and asked TC Energy could find a time to grant reporters access to the site to increase transparency.”

Associated Press: Lawmakers fear spill on Keystone system in southern Kansas
JOHN HANNA, 3/14/23

“State lawmakers worried Tuesday that southern Kansas is vulnerable to oil spills from the Keystone pipeline system because earthquakes have become more frequent there, as they questioned an executive for the pipeline’s operator about a massive spill in northeastern Kansas in December,” the Associated Press reports. “Gary Salsman, a vice president for field operations for Canada-based TC Energy, was briefing three Kansas legislative committees about the Dec. 7 rupture on the Keystone pipeline in Washington County, Kansas, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northwest of Kansas City… “But several lawmakers said they are nervous about the pipeline in the Wichita area, about 160 miles (260 kilometers) south of the Washington County spill site. The area began experiencing an increase in earthquakes in 2013, after Keystone opened its Kansas pipeline segment, tied to activities associated with hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in oil and natural gas production. “My concern is not this spill so much as what’s lurking, moving forward, especially as you get down south,” said Republican state Rep. Leo Delperdang, of Wichita, the House energy committee chair. “We get earthquakes. What happens with the ground movement?” During the House committees’ hearing, Rep. Jerry Stogsdill, a Kansas City-area Democrat, asked whether the Keystone pipeline needed “exceptional engineering” in southern Kansas… “Concerns that spills could pollute waterways spurred opposition to plans by TC Energy to build another crude oil pipeline in the same system, the 1,200-mile (1,900-kilometer) Keystone XL, across Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska… “Bill Pannbacker, a Washington County farmer and rancher, believes he might not be able to use part of his pasture for several years. The rupture occurred about 20 feet from his property line, and he told AP the crack initially sprayed oil droplets perhaps 200 yards up a hill before becoming a wider “gusher” that soaked about two acres… “Kansas City-area state Rep. Lindsay Vaughn, the top Democrat on the House Water Committee, asked Salsman why spills on the TC Energy pipeline are getting worse. Salsman didn’t answer the question directly, saying that the company has done full cleanups and taken corrective action following all previous incidents… “Vaughn told AP later that she wasn’t satisfied with the answer, and Zack Pistora, a lobbyist in Kansas for the Sierra Club, told AP people still don’t have any reasonable assurances that another oil spill won’t happen. “I appreciate the pleasantries,” he told AP, “but there are still some hard questions that didn’t get answered.”

The Telegraph: State files second order over 2022 oil spill
Ron DeBrock, 3/13/23

“Attorney General Kwame Raoul on Monday filed a second agreed interim order in an ongoing lawsuit over an oil pipeline spill near Edwardsville last year,” The Telegraph reports. “Raoul filed the order in Madison County Circuit Court requiring Marathon Pipe Line LLC (Marathon) to fully investigate the impact of the release of about 147,000 gallons of heavy crude oil from its pipeline on March 11, 2022. “…Raoul’s office filed the lawsuit in March 2022 based on a referral from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. The second agreed interim order will remain in place while litigation is pending.  “The order my office filed ensures Marathon takes necessary action to eliminate both environmental and human health risks from the areas impacted by the spill,” Raoul told the Telegraph. “My office is committed to ensuring the remediation of the affected water and soil surrounding Cahokia Creek while our lawsuit continues.” Raoul’s lawsuit alleges Marathon violated the Illinois Environmental Protection Act and endangered public health and the environment by causing or allowing a discharge of heavy crude oil to Cahokia Creek in an area that includes residential neighborhoods, commercial properties, agricultural properties, forested areas and a wetland. At least 10 animals died from the pipeline’s release of heavy crude oil to soil, wetlands and Cahokia Creek, according to Raoul. The state claims the release impacted at least 1.6 acres of wetland and seven miles of Cahokia Creek. The second agreed interim order announced Monday requires Marathon to report all actions taken to remove and properly dispose of the crude oil discharged into Cahokia Creek and the surrounding wetland habitat. Marathon also must submit and execute an investigation and remedial action plan – subject to the state’s review and approval – for the assessment of the areas affected by the release. Under the order, Marathon must reimburse the state for costs of oversight and report monthly on all work performed under the order.”

AgWeek: Safety concerns for Bismarck area dominate first Summit carbon pipeline hearings
Jeff Beach, 3/14/23

“Karl Rakow lives in a low area east of Bismarck, with a house near the route of a planned carbon capture pipeline. He said he talked with his wife about having to get scuba gear in case of a rupture, because carbon dioxide finds low areas, potentially robbing the air of breathable oxygen,” AgWeek reports. “Rakow was among the Bismarck area residents that waited all day Tuesday, March 14, to testify at the first North Dakota Public Service Commission meeting on the proposed Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline that would run east and north of Bismarck, where new housing developments are popping up. Rakow and others cited the 2020 rupture of a carbon pipeline in Satartia, Mississippi, where more than 40 people were hospitalized. Summit Carbon Solutions, the Iowa company behind the pipeline, says it has conducted rupture simulations but has yet to share those findings with the North Dakota Public Service Commission or with landowners along the route… “When asked if the state’s 500-foot setback from inhabited structures was far enough in the event of a puncture of a hazardous liquid pipeline, Powell said, “We’re comfortable with the risk associated with that.” “…But what Summit has called the world’s largest carbon capture and storage project has been met with resistance from some landowners… “Tuesday’s hearing started at 8:30 a.m., but with testimony and questions for Summit officials and experts, public testimony didn’t begin until 7:30 p.m. and was still going at 9 p.m. During the hearing, Powell was questioned at length about safety, route alternatives and construction by attorney Randy Bakke, representing landowners in the Bismarck area who opposed the pipeline. Bakke brought up the rupture in Mississippi and quoted reports that 45 people were sent to the hospital. But Powell maintained that by federal pipeline safety standards, only one person was injured… “Powell said Summit already has spent $100 million on route changes, including moving the route farther east of Bismarck to be outside the city’s planned area for future economic development.”

KXNET: Former Bismarck mayor brings lawyer to pipeline hearing
Joel Porter, 3/14/23

“On Tuesday, neighbors in Bismarck are getting their chance to raise their concerns about a proposed $5.5 billion carbon dioxide pipeline planned to run through North Dakota,” KXNET reports. “…On Tuesday morning, the Public Service Commission moved to the Heritage Center to make room for neighbors to hear about plans for a new gas pipeline… “This is way too close to Bismarck,” argued former Bismarck mayor John Warford. “It’s just a mile outside our extraterritorial area. It runs right through a rural residential area.” Warford is one of the most staunch opponents of the new pipeline and plans to continue to fight the idea. He says the new pipeline cuts right through his property — and that’s why he hired an attorney to be present at the public hearing… “Bakke then questioned Powell about pipeline safety, including an incident in a small town in Mississippi in 2020. “45 people had to have medical attention at local hospitals, including people who were caught in the vapor cloud while driving a vehicle. Correct?” Bakke asked. “Correct,” Powell answered… “Warford and his family have said no, but the pipe would run through his property regardless. “If the pipeline goes through that entire 320 acres, it’s useless except for some cows because nobody’s going to want to build there,” said Warford. “In fact, there’ll be setbacks that people cannot build there if Burleigh County Planning Commission has their way.”

Iowa Capital Dispatch: Wolf Carbon pipeline plans might be delayed

“An attorney for Wolf Carbon Solutions told state regulators on Tuesday that it’s unclear whether the company is on track to start construction of its proposed carbon dioxide pipeline in the second quarter of 2024, as it had initially planned,” the Iowa Capital Dispatch reports. “It’s too early to be able to tell when we would like to schedule our hearing,” said Amanda James, a Wolf attorney. “They’re just getting out in the field now, and so they’re working with landowners, property owners.” Wolf is one of three companies to file for a hazardous liquid pipeline permit with the Iowa Utilities Board, which it did in late February. That permit indicates the company will not seek eminent domain for any parcel of land that would host the 95 miles of pipe it intends to lay in far eastern Iowa. Pipeline companies’ potential use of eminent domain to force easements with unwilling landowners is deeply unpopular in the state, according to a recent Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll. The poll found that 78% of Iowans oppose eminent domain for the pipelines and 15% support it… “James said it might be possible to hold a scheduling conference in the first quarter of 2024 and schedule the final permit hearing for three or six months after, potentially delaying the IUB’s decision on the permit to late 2024… “Summit Carbon Solutions is set to meet with the IUB on Wednesday to schedule the rest of its proceedings.”

Hart Energy: CEO: Enbridge Building North American ‘Super System’ Through Investment, M&A
Chris Mathews, 3/14/23

“Enbridge Inc. is investing billions to grow its transportation and storage capabilities around North America, including several projects on the Gulf Coast,” Hart Energy reports. “The Calgary-based midstream company – among North America’s largest pipeline operators – has recently announced billions of investments, including deploying $2.4 billion on crude oil and natural gas pipeline transmission, storage, liquids terminals and renewable natural gas production. Enbridge also earmarked $1.75 billion for investment in new gas transmission modernization. “We’re creating that nice super system on the heavy side, on the light side, on the terminalling side,” Ebel told Hart Energy. “On the LNG side we’ve got gas pipelines, we’ve got LNG terminals that obviously lead to LNG exports. Last but not least, we’ve got stuff on the sustainability side.” The company is expanding its gas storage capacity on the Texas Gulf Coast through acquisition. Enbridge recently agreed to purchased Tres Palacios gas storage, a 35-Bcf salt cavern gas storage facility in Matagorda County, Texas, for $335 million. One of the drivers of gas demand on the Gulf Coast is an increase in liquefied natural gas export volumes, Enbridge said in regulatory filings. The company already connects with four Gulf Coast LNG facilities, and the company anticipates supplying two to three more in the future. Enbridge is also making moves in LNG on the western coast of Canada. The company acquired a 30% stake in Woodfibre LNG LP for $392 million in November 2022. Woodfibre will operate a 2.1 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) LNG export complex in Squamish, British Columbia. The company is moving forward on a $2.65 billion expansion of the southern segment of its British Columbia gas pipeline system to serve Woodfibre LNG and other customers in western Canada. Enbridge is also investing in its liquids footprint. The company said it is in negotiations with shippers for up to 95,000 bbl/d of incremental capacity on Enbridge’s Flanagan South Pipeline system, which transports crude oil from Enbridge’s terminal in Flanagan, Illinois, to Cushing, Oklahoma. In connection with the Flanagan South Pipeline open season, Enbridge decided to move forward with building the Enbridge Houston Oil Terminal (EHOT) to handle the incremental commitments. The $240 million EHOT project will be built at the terminus of the Seaway Pipeline, which originates in Cushing and moves crude to the Gulf Coast refining hub near Houston.”

Bloomberg: Adelphia Gateway Loses Bid to Revive Gas Pipeline Approval Suit
Samantha Hawkins, 3/14/23

“A Pennsylvania environmental board will hear a challenge to the state’s approval to build a natural gas compressor station, the Third Circuit ruled Tuesday, affirming the dismissal of an energy company’s lawsuit,” Bloomberg reports. “The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued an air quality plan approval for Adelphia Gateway LLC’s plans to build a compressor station in West Rockhill Township, Pa., as part of a natural gas pipeline system in Pennsylvania and Delaware. The town and several local residents appealed the state’s decision to the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board…”

Suffolk News-Herald: Citizens voice opposition to gas pipeline project
James W. Robinson, 3/14/23

“The bright Saturday morning of March 4 saw concerned citizens voice their opposition to the Virginia Reliability Project, a 48-mile expansion project that will be routed through Hampton Roads and Southeast areas of Virginia, including the cities of Suffolk and Chesapeake, as well as Isle of Wight and Southampton counties,” the Suffolk News-Herald reports. “The TC Energy and Columbia Gas pipeline project proposes to dig and replace 48 miles of transmission line, while adding 135 million cubic feet of high pressure gas per day… “However, Chesapeake Climate Action Network contends on its website that the project would “threaten three fragile and cherished bodies of water” — the Great Dismal Swamp, Chesapeake Bay, and the Nansemond River. Likewise, VRP would raises health concerns with communities within the project route being “near compressor stations” and 13 public schools and one hospital being “1.5 miles or less of the route.” Dubbed the “Virginia Ripoff Project,” members and supporters of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network went door to door in the Suffolk area to bring awareness to the project and the issues that it would cause… “Brown discussed how he and the group are letting the communities that will be affected by the project know of all the facts so they can make informed decisions.  “If you stand opposed to this pipeline project, there’s something that you can do now,” Brown said. “You can sign this petition, you can follow what we’re doing as a correlation together and we can speak out about this. Put pressure on elected officials to really take a closer look at what’s going on here. And make your voices heard.”

Reuters: Pembina Pipeline’s Cedar LNG project gets environmental approval

“Pembina Pipeline Corp (PPL.TO) said on Tuesday that its Cedar LNG project had received British Columbia’s environmental approval,” Reuters reports. “Cedar also received its first permit from the province’s energy regulator for about 8.5 kilometer pipeline that will connect the project into the Coastal GasLink pipeline. Pembina Pipeline said the project also entered into a memorandum of understanding with oil and gas producer ARC Resources Ltd (ARX.TO) for 20-year liquefaction services and they are working to finalize a supply deal for 1.5 million tonnes of LNG per annum (MTPA).”


Reuters: Green groups sue Biden admin over approval of Alaska Willow oil project
Timothy Gardner, 3/14/23

“Six environmental groups filed a lawsuit on Tuesday over the Biden administration’s approval of ConocoPhillips’ (COP.N) Willow oil and gas project in Alaska, which they claimed could be a stepping stone to more development in an ecologically sensitive region,” Reuters reports. “Trustees for Alaska, the Alaska Wilderness League, the Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society and other groups said the U.S. Interior Department approved Willow on public lands on the north coast of the state despite acknowledging and failing to mitigate “known harms” to Arctic communities, public health, wildlife and climate. The suit claims the administration failed to consider cumulative effects of Willow and essentially ignored elements of its new climate consideration guidelines for reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act, despite claiming to incorporate them. “The Biden administration has failed to listen to the science, the voices of Native leaders in the region and millions of people across America who have pleaded for the protection of air quality, subsistence resources and the global climate by rejecting Willow,” Karlin Itchoak, of The Wilderness Society, told Reuters.”

E&E News: House Republicans unveil energy, permitting package
Jeremy Dillon, 3/15/23

“House Republicans on Tuesday officially unveiled the text of their planned energy and permitting package set to hit the House floor by the end of this month,” E&E News reports. “Dubbed the “Lower Energy Costs Act,” the legislation combines bills advanced by the Energy and Commerce, Natural Resources and Transportation and Infrastructure committees over the past few weeks that focus largely on long-held Republican priorities. House leaders assigned the bill H.R. 1 to signify the legislation’s importance to the new GOP majority. “Every time we need a pipeline, road or dam, an average of almost 5 years and millions of dollars in costs get added to the project to comply with Washington’s permitting process. That’s too long,” Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in a video. “We can streamline permitting and still protect the environment. That’s a goal worthy of the number one.” “…Provisions from the Energy and Commerce Committee would promote natural gas exports, ease some permitting related to critical minerals and repeal the Democrats’ methane fee. From Transportation and Infrastructure, the package would limit the ability of states to block projects by using Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. Natural Resources Committee member Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) helped write the “BUILDER Act” to codify Trump-era rules to speed up environmental reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act… “Even though the legislation stems from the quest to accelerate permitting, a bipartisan goal, Democrats are rebelling against the bill as they look to bolster the administration’s energy agenda and defend the Inflation Reduction Act. Democrats have been near unanimous in opposing portions of the package as it moved through markup.”

Bloomberg: Methane Emissions ‘Tax’ Draws Scrutiny On EPA’s Collection Role

“The GOP is taking aim at energy tax provisions from last year’s tax-and-climate-law, advancing a bill to repeal a charge on methane emissions they say brings the EPA into the ‘tax collection business.’ Republicans on both the tax-writing House Ways and Means and the Energy and Commerce Committees said the bill, which would repeal a charge on methane emissions from specific oil and gas facilities, is just the beginning of the GOP’s attacks on the law enacted in August. The legislation, the Natural Gas Tax Repeal Act, may also open up a conversation on fixes needed to the Inflation Reduction Act.


Washington Post: Ohio sues Norfolk Southern over toxic train derailment
Andrea Salcedo, 3/14/23

“Ohio sued Norfolk Southern on Tuesday over a train derailment that caused an environmental disaster, displaced people from their homes and led to national political backlash,” the Washington Post reports. “Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R) announced the federal lawsuit in a news conference Tuesday afternoon, saying his state “shouldn’t have to bear the tremendous financial burden of Norfolk Southern’s glaring negligence.” “…The 58-count lawsuit filed Tuesday in the U.S. district court in northeastern Ohio is seeking at least $75,000 in damages, Yost said, but that amount will balloon because authorities are still calculating how much they’ve spent on the disaster. “The fallout from this highly preventable incident may continue for years to come, and there’s still so much we don’t know about the long-term effects on our air, water and soil,” Yost said. In response to the lawsuit, a Norfolk Southern spokesman told the Post the company is committed to cleaning up the town and providing financial assistance to those affected by the derailment. The company is also aware of residents’ concerns including their long-term health, property values and access to potable water, spokesman Connor Spielmaker told The Washington Post in an email.”

Colorado Newsline: Natural gas production likely cause of southern Colorado earthquakes, experts say

“One of the largest earthquakes to hit Colorado in decades rattled homes and businesses near Trinidad on the night of March 9, one of a series of six small quakes that were detected in western Las Animas County, not far from the Colorado-New Mexico border,” Colorado Newsline reports. “The area known as the Raton Basin has seen a significant increase in seismic activity since 2001, a surge that scientists attributed to nearby natural gas production and its associated waste injection wells, which pump tens of millions of gallons of water produced each year as a byproduct of gas extraction back into the Earth’s crust. “I think it’s highly likely that these earthquakes were induced by the wastewater disposal operations in the area,” Justin Rubinstein, a research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey, told Newsline. Rubinstein was the lead author of a 2014 USGS study that found that wastewater injection was “responsible for inducing the majority of” Raton Basin seismicity over the preceding 13 years. Other studies, including several from researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder, have reached similar conclusions, and “induced seismicity” from injection wells and other oil and gas operations has been observed in other states like Oklahoma and Kansas… “COGCC is aware of the seismic events that recently took place in the Raton Basin,” an agency spokesperson told Newsline. “In accordance with COGCC’s risk-based seismic hazard mitigation approach as it pertains to injection wells, COGGC has discussed applicable strategies with the relevant operators, and will continue to take appropriate steps as needed.”

Associated Press: Despite objections, Chevron says it reported oil price data
ADAM BEAM, 3/14/23

“Chevron said on Tuesday it reported how much money it made in January from selling gasoline in California, disclosing the data after regulators threatened to fine the company for not following a new law aimed at investigating the cause of the state’s high gas prices,” the Associated Press reports. “The law requires oil companies to report their monthly “gross refining margin,” the difference between how much refineries paid for crude oil and how much the company sold it for as gasoline. State lawmakers and regulators believe the data will give them a clearer picture of what has driven sharp increases in California’s gas prices, which are consistently the highest in the nation… “Of the big five oil companies that provide 97% of the state’s gasoline, four of them met the March 2 deadline for reporting January pricing data: Marathon Petroleum Corporation, PBF Energy Inc., Phillips 66 and Valero Energy Corp., according to the California Energy Commission, which collects the data. Chevron only submitted a “small fraction of the data required,” according to the commission, and objected to reporting anything else… “In a letter to the Energy Commission dated March 2, Chevron attorney Melissa Sladden asked the commission to delay enforcing the law in favor of a lengthy rule-making process to clarify which data must be reported. Sladden said the data required by the law “paints a false picture of actual refinery profit margins by significantly undercounting refinery costs.” “…Regulators responded by warning Chevron that the company had until Tuesday to disclose the data or face penalties, which could include fines of up to $2,000 per day. Allen told AP Chevron was “disappointed” that their letter to the Energy Commission that objected to disclosing the data was made public.”


Canadian Press: Oil and gas industry singing praises of Inflation Reduction Act as federal budget nears

“Canadian oil and gas companies are singing from the same songbook in the lead-up to the 2023 federal budget, and its title is the Inflation Reduction Act,” the Canadian Press reports. “The U.S. legislation, signed into law by U.S. President Joe Biden in August of last year, has been brought up again and again in recent weeks by industry leaders jockeying for support for emissions reductions projects. “Whether folks like it or not, you’re really competing against the IRA,” said Enbridge Inc. CEO Greg Ebel during his company’s annual investor day last week. He noted that his company has operations on both sides of the border and can choose whether to invest its capital in the U.S. or Canada. “And they (the Americans) have really put a lot of carrots on the table in terms of promoting people to invest there.” “…The IRA has been widely praised for kick-starting the global clean energy investment race. But here in Canada, some companies have said the U.S. incentives are so attractive that it’s impossible to compete. Last week, Calgary-based fuel producer Parkland Corp. announced it will not be going ahead with its plan to build a standalone renewable diesel complex at its refinery in Burnaby, B.C., in part because the company believes the incentives offered by the IRA give an advantage to producers south of the border. The Pathways Alliance, an oilsands industry group, has also argued that its proposed $16.5-billion carbon capture and storage transportation line project is currently at a competitive disadvantage to U.S. carbon capture projects… “Dan Woynillowicz, a B.C.-based climate and energy policy consultant, told CP companies have a point when they say the U.S. is right now offering more “carrots” for emissions reduction projects. But he added Canada has a national price on carbon, which the U.S. does not, as well as a federal clean fuel regulation and an expected mandated cap on emissions from the oil and gas sector. “We have a lot more on the pollution pricing and regulatory side here,” Woynillowicz told CP, adding he believes a combination of carrots and sticks is the best approach when it comes to reaching Canada’s climate goals.”

Washington Post: A warmer world causes extreme drought and rain. ‘Indisputable’ new research proves it.
Kasha Patel, 3/13/23

“Intense drought and heavy rainfall events occurred more often in the last eight years — the hottest years on record — than in the previous decade, according to a new study released in Nature Water on Monday,” the Washington Post reports. “Warmer global temperatures are increasing the extent, duration, and severity of these extremes, the authors found, and are having more of an effect than natural climate patterns. “As the world warms, we’re having more intense and more frequent wet and dry events around the world, which gives us a little insight into what’s going to happen in the future,” Matthew Rodell, a hydrologist at NASA and co-author of the study, told the Post. “This is an observation. It’s actual data.” Rodell told the Post researchers have expected to see more droughts and floods in a warmer world based on climate model predictions, but “it’s been really hard to prove.” This new analysis, which uses direct NASA satellite observations, provides “indisputable” evidence that warmer global temperatures are increasing such extreme events, Rodell said.


New York Times The Daily: What is E.S.G., and Why are Republicans So Mad About It? 
Michael Barbaro, 3/13/23

“The principle behind E.S.G. is that investors should look beyond just whether a company can make a profit and take into account other factors, such as its environmental impact and action on social issues. But critics of that investment strategy, mostly Republicans, say that Wall Street has taken a sharp left turn, attacking what they term “woke capitalism.”

The Hill: Anti-ESG group launches mobile billboard campaign in DC ahead of expected Biden veto

“An advocacy group that opposes environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing on Tuesday launched a mobile billboard campaign around Washington, D.C., ahead of President Biden’s expected veto of legislation targeting the investment practice,” The Hill reports. “Consumers’ Research, a leading anti-ESG group, is funding mobile billboards and a targeted digital ad campaign criticizing the use of the principles among major money managers such as BlackRock. The mobile billboards will circulate around Capitol Hill and downtown D.C. The mobile billboards will feature images that say “What does ESG really stand for?” with acronyms like “Erasing Savings Growth” and “Elitists Socialists Grifters,” according to images first shared with The Hill. “I applaud House leadership and the bipartisan efforts in the Senate that pushed this legislation to the finish line,” Will Hild, director of Consumers’ Research, said in a statement to The Hill. “Unfortunately, President Biden is going to use his first veto to further the progressive agenda instead of putting the interest of the American people first.” Biden is expected in the coming days to veto legislation that would have reversed an administration rule on ESG investing… “The legislation and Biden’s subsequent veto is part of a larger debate over ESG investing. Opposition to the practice has become a point of emphasis for conservatives, who view it as part of a broader “woke” agenda among Democrats that infringes on Americans’ rights to make their own decisions.”

Reuters: Credit Suisse sets more 2030 targets for emissions tied to loans

“Credit Suisse on Tuesday announced targets for cutting emissions tied to loans it makes to six sectors as well as restrictions on lending to the dirtiest fossil fuel projects, although climate activists said the announcements fell short of what was needed,” Reuters reports. “The Swiss bank (CSGN.S) set emissions reductions targets for 2030 for the power generation, commercial real estate, iron and steel, aluminium, and automotive sectors, with emissions intensity reduction goals ranging 31%-64%… “The bank also announced some restrictions on lending to companies involved in Arctic oil and gas, oil sands and deep sea mining… “Environmental groups have welcomed banks’ increased disclosure but accuse many lenders of lacking ambition and failing to cut their support for fossil fuels fast enough if the world is to limit global temperature rises to below 1.5 degrees Celsius. Responsible investment advocacy group ShareAction called on investors to vote against Credit Suisse’s climate strategy, which will be put to an advisory shareholder vote at its annual general meeting. “Credit Suisse’s new climate strategy is not fit for purpose – it ignores two of the most crucial areas of fossil fuel financing that would have enabled the bank to reach net zero by 2050,” Kelly Shields, ShareAction’s Campaign and Project Manager, told Reuters, referring to the bank’s oil and gas policy and the omission of capital markets activities.” ING Further Restricts Lending To The Oil And Gas Industry
Tsvetana Paraskova, 3/14/23

“ING is further restricting financing to the oil and gas industry, reducing the volume of traded oil and gas it finances and no longer financing midstream infrastructure for new oil and gas fields, the Netherlands-based bank said on Tuesday,” reports. “…Under the policy from last year, ING doesn’t provide dedicated upstream finance – lending or capital markets – for oil and gas fields approved for development after December 31, 2021. Now the bank is also expanding that approach to midstream oil and gas, it said today, adding that it would respect the existing commitments to its clients. Still, ING is not outright stopping financing for all fossil fuels, because “There simply isn’t enough green energy yet, and even in the future a net-zero world will not equal a completely fossil-free world.” Financing fossil fuels is a “balancing act,” ING said in today’s statement, noting that “We want to balance our climate action with our societal role to ensure energy remains affordable and available for people and companies.” Many banks have moved to restrict financing to fossil fuels over the past year, but ING has one of the most ambitious policies in lending to oil and gas.”


Times-Republican: Pipeline opposition gaining steam

“It looks like some members of the Iowa House and Senate are finally listening to rural Iowans and our concerns about proposed CO2 pipelines,” Julie Duhn writes for the Times-Republican. “Because so many concerned citizens have turned out at meeting after meeting and hearing after hearing to show their opposition, some legislators seem to be getting the message: CO2 pipelines would create unnecessary and negative public health and pollution risks throughout our state while enriching a tiny number of private corporations. Now we need to spread the word and get more legislators on board. Time is running short in this session to pass some commonsense measures that would protect landowners, farmers and rural communities from this unproven and potentially dangerous industry. Eminent domain should not be used for private gain. That’s why we need our state senators and representatives to pass HF565 right now before the CO2 pipeline industry runs over us all.”

Kansas Reflector: Kansas Legislature’s clumsy regulatory attempt would remove vital tool to fight climate crisis
Rabbi Moti Rieber is executive director of Kansas Interfaith Action, a statewide, multifaith issue-advocacy organization that works on a variety of social, economic and climate justice issues, 3/14/23

“I’ve been around the Kansas Legislature for a while now, and a topic that comes up regularly is legislative attempts to prevent policies to address the challenge of human-caused climate disruption,” Moti Rieber writes for the Kansas Reflector. “…This year, there’s an effort by the usual coterie of climate change deniers — now led by Sen. Mike Thompson of Shawnee — to create an issue of investment firms using environmental, social and governance factors (ESG) in their decisions. A couple of bills have been heard in recent weeks to restrict state investment in firms that take ESG into account. The director of KPERS testified that could cost the fund more than $3 billion over 10 years. I think of ESG legislation as the critical race theory of the economic sector: a nontroversy ginned up by right-wing talk radio and climate change-denying legislators. It may gin up the base, it may impress donors, but ESG legislation is culture war nonsense, not worthy of the Legislature’s time or effort. In fact, ESG guidelines are an important tool in addressing the climate crisis. There is a longstanding effort by faith organizations to divest their holdings from fossil fuels… “It is not in Kansas’ interests to allow climate change deniers in the Legislature to punish organizations or institutions that take a responsible position on fossil fuel investment, whether that be because of the values they hold, or because they, in their professional capacity, respond to changes in the investment environment. Nor is it in the state’s interest to use state power to defend an individual industry, no matter how important this industry might appear in the state’s self-definition. Kansas is already moving to being a clean energy bastion, and I applaud that movement.”

New York Times: The Government Is This Close to Reining in Some of the Worst Air Pollution
Dr. Dona Upson is a pulmonologist with the Veterans Affairs New Mexico Healthcare System and a professor of medicine at the University of New Mexico, 3/14/23

“For one 73-year-old patient in our hospital system, the simple act of breathing has become so difficult that a short walk during a medical appointment caused his blood oxygen levels to dangerously plummet,” Dr. Dona Upson writes for the New York Times. “…But I have seen too many patients getting sicker and sicker in the same ways. I see them in areas where the oil and gas industry exposes people to constant air pollution, from the San Juan Basin in the north to the Permian Basin in the south. The science is clear that when oil and gas are extracted and transported from wells, methane and other pollutants, including volatile organic compounds, leak out. V.O.C.s are known to form ozone and may cause cancer and birth defects, and affect the nervous system. Emissions from oil and gas production also produce nitrogen oxides, which can exacerbate lung disease… “This year, the federal government has a huge opportunity to reduce methane emissions, improve health and slow climate change… “While the E.P.A.’s proposal is strong, the agency should make it even more forceful by banning flaring in all but a few limited cases. Just last month, more than 75 lawmakers submitted comments agreeing that the E.P.A. must enforce stricter limits. The rule is not yet final, and some powerful voices, including the Railroad Commission of Texas, are calling on the E.P.A. to water down its key provisions. The oil and gas industry is also speaking up; it spent $124.4 million in 2022 on federal lobbying, including pressuring federal agencies on methane rules. The E.P.A. must not yield, and instead should strengthen the proposal so that communities can start seeing the benefits right away.”

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