Skip to Content


EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 4/20/23

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

By Mark Hefflinger

April 20, 2023



  • The Detroit News: U.S., Canadian delegates continue Line 5 treaty negotiations in D.C.

  • Cedar Rapids Gazette: Linn County supervisors restart consideration of pipeline rules

  • Summit-Tribune: Summit rep tells board it has 70% of easements, 24 miles in Hancock County

  • Summit seeking 100% volunteer easements

  • Hub City Radio: Recap of County Planning & Zoning Committee dealing with ordinance on pipelines

  • KMCH: Governor Appoints New State Regulators to Decide Pipeline Permits

  • WCBU: Q&A: Peoria City Manager Urich discusses pipeline, co-responder pilot program, gunshot detection

  • KTBS: Today marks year anniversary of pipeline explosion at BAFB that injured 2 men


  • Washington Post: Sen. Markey, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez reintroduce Green New Deal to shape climate law implementation

  • E&E News: Energy highlights from the House GOP debt ceiling bill

  • E&E News: This year or bust? Senators stress urgency in permitting talks.

  • Politico: GOP drops $1M on Manchin as Justice preps run

  • E&E News: Gas billed as ‘responsibly sourced’ is the opposite — report

  • The Hill: Biden to announce climate assistance funds in meeting with world leaders

  • Center for Biological Diversity: Federal Court Allows California Offshore Drilling Lawsuit to Proceed


  • Capital and Main: Bill Limiting Oil Drilling Without Landowners’ Consent Faces Headwinds at Colorado Legislature

  • The Ohio Newsroom: Gas and oil wells in Ohio are leaking. Who’s responsible for fixing them?

  • Big Pivots: Hydrogen: high hopes but also skepticism


  • Reuters: Oil-rich Alberta targets net-zero by 2050 in climate plan, no interim targets

  • Canadian Press: Oilsands wastewater seepage cleanup to be complete by end of May: Imperial

  • Global News: Suncor incident highlights ‘continued failure’ of Alberta regulator: First Nation chief

  • Guardian: They cleaned up BP’s massive oil spill. Now they’re sick – and want justice

  • Reuters: Permian in spotlight as energy dealmaking gathers steam


  • The Narwhal: Coastal GasLink, LNG Canada get $24-million break despite B.C.’s plans to shift away from subsidies


  • InsideClimate News: Washington’s Biggest Clean Energy Lobbying Group Pushes Natural Gas-Friendly Policy

  • DeSmog: Oil Sands Companies Are ‘Distorting Public Information’ on Google, Expert Says Ad data reviewed by 


  • Pipeline Fighters Hub: Double-Dipping of Federal Tax Credits for Carbon Pipelines?

  • Jamestown Sun: Bender: You’re footing the bill to turn North Dakota into a CO2 landfill

  • The Tennessee Gas Pipeline expansion is still a bad idea. Here’s why | Opinion

  • The Hill: Permitting reform can cut consumer energy costs and emissions

  • The Hub: Trevor Tombe: Capping oil and gas emissions is a bad idea

  • Colorado Sun: Opinion: Oil and gas are not the only things of value on public lands


The Detroit News: U.S., Canadian delegates continue Line 5 treaty negotiations in D.C.
Beth LeBlanc, 4/19/23

“Delegations for the United States and Canada met Friday for a third round of formal negotiations regarding Canada’s invocation of a 1977 treaty to stop Michigan from shutting down Line 5,” The Detroit News reports. “The meeting took place in person in Washington, D.C., under a “dispute settlement mechanism” of the 1977 Transit Pipelines Treaty, the Department of State said. The meeting marks the third time in the roughly 18 months since the treaty was invoked that the parties have met for formal negotiations, the State Department said, and the first time since July. “Constructive discussions will continue on issues regarding this important matter for our relationship,” the U.S. Department of State told the News. “Both sides agreed to meet again to continue discussions.” Global Affairs Canada on Wednesday released a statement on the negotiation session that followed the State Department’s nearly word for word… “The meeting continues a holding pattern for the Line 5 dispute since late 2021, when Canada invoked a 1977 treaty that the country’s officials said prevents the U.S. government or Michigan from disrupting the operation of Enbridge’s Line 5 oil pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac. The invocation of the treaty in October 2021 marked the first time the treaty was invoked since it was entered into between former President Jimmy Carter and former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in 1977. The treaty has since been invoked a second time, in August 2022, to prevent a shutdown of Line 5 in Wisconsin. Canada informed a federal district judge in Michigan in October 2021 that it had invoked the treaty a little more than two weeks after court filings indicated mediation talks between Enbridge and the state, which was suing to shutter the line, were largely at a dead end.”

Cedar Rapids Gazette: Linn County supervisors restart consideration of pipeline rules
Marissa Payne, 4/19/23

“The Linn County Board of Supervisors will start from scratch on its consideration of an ordinance governing how close to structures a hazardous pipeline could be built,” the Cedar Rapids Gazette reports. “The supervisors agreed Wednesday to send a proposed ordinance back to the Planning and Zoning Commission where the panel will consider changes addressing supervisors’ concerns about the regulation of pipelines, including a carbon-capture pipeline proposed by Wolf Carbon Solutions that would go through Linn County and other parts of Eastern Iowa… “In December, the three supervisors unanimously postponed voting on the ordinance to make extra safety considerations after members of the public voiced concerns with the proposal at the time and its setback waivers for dwellings and future growth areas… “We are not able to outlaw a pipeline coming through, but we are able to set some parameters around safety of our citizens and our land,” Supervisor Kirsten Running-Marquardt said. Supervisor Ben Rogers said sending the ordinance back to the Planning and Zoning Commission makes sense from a process and public engagement standpoint. That way, citizens for and against the pipeline or those who will be affected by its placement can have a two-way dialogue with the board.”

Summit-Tribune: Summit rep tells board it has 70% of easements, 24 miles in Hancock County
Rob Hillesland, 4/18/23

“Summit Carbon Solutions representatives and employees on April 17 updated Hancock County supervisors on the pipeline that is proposed to cross Hancock County,” the Summit-Tribune reports. “We are at, as of last week, 70% in Hancock County,” said Summit representative with TurnKey Logistics, Kaylee Langrell. “That’s almost 24 easement miles. We’re at 67.85% statewide as of last Wednesday (April 12).” “…Summit Vice President of Tax Joel Gustafson presented information on property tax revenues that the project would bring to Hancock County. He said the pipeline would, essentially, be assessed property… “Summit Senior Pipeline Manager Grant Terry addressed supervisors’ concerns about leak and incident response, including pipeline shutoffs. He said the company will have remote monitoring with access from Ames, 24 hours a day and seven days a week… “Supervisor Chair Sis Greiman recommended the company should provide multiple electric vehicles to the county for possible emergency response, citing the fact that combustion engines could fail due to CO2 density in a significant release. Terry noted Summit personnel would work with county and emergency response officials on education in advance of pipeline operation. He also said safety strategy can entail the use of dispersion analysis, but such information can aid sabotage efforts in the wrong hands… “Greiman also asked if odorant could be added. Terry responded that it is not added to a pure carbon line such as what Summit is proposing because it could potentially change the makeup of the CO2, which could create other concerns… “Terry said Summit will enter into a 50/50 split with partnering ethanol plants of premiums received for reduced carbon intensity scores under the existing tax credit system.” Summit seeking 100% volunteer easements
Eric Harrold, 4/19/23

“Kaylee Langrell, the stakeholder relations manager with TurnKey Logistics, a Houston-based consulting company representing Summit Carbon Solutions on nonenvironmental permitting, appeared before the O’Brien County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to provide a quarterly update,” reports. “The only thing that has changed is the number of easements we’ve acquired,” Langrell said. “We’re committed to 100 percent voluntary easements for the project.” Langrell said Summit has acquired 80 percent of the 34 easement miles it needs in O’Brien County. She said the project has acquired almost 68 percent of the easement miles it needs across the state, but things are slowing down. “People want to talk to their attorneys and get things correct,” Langrell said. “At the end of the day, it is a legal document.” “…Supervisor Nancy McDowell asked Langrell about a map of the northwest corner of the state that lacked county boundaries and showed a high density of unidentified pipelines. “It looks kind of full up there,” McDowell said. Langrell said maps displaying public utilities sometimes omit details like the county boundaries for safety reasons and most pipelines represented on the map were transporting natural gas. “We’re not hiding the fact that there is danger with the CO2 pipeline, there’s danger with any pipeline,” Langrell said… “She said people bring up Satartia, MS, the site of a pipeline rupture where a line used for enhanced oil recovery contained hydrogen sulfide. Langrell said hydrogen sulfide can become dangerous at 10 parts per million, but CO2 does not become dangerous until it reaches tens of thousands of parts per million. “If you have a pinhole leak in a pipeline like ours it isn’t going to pose a danger,” she said.

Hub City Radio: Recap of County Planning & Zoning Committee dealing with ordinance on pipelines

“On Tuesday night, the Brown County Planning & Zoning Committee held their meeting with the focus on the ordinance dealing with pipelines,” Hub City Radio reports. “…One of the items being considered is the setback distance. The ordinance puts it at 1500 feet.  Here is how one of the landowners reacted to it. Brown County Deputy State’s Attorney Ross Aldentaler talks about the Pipeline Safety Act that Congress passed. Brandi Naughton, Navigator’s Enviromental & Regulatory Manager, talks about the company’s view with regards to the 1500 foot setbacks in the ordinance. Navigator at this time has no plans for co2 pipelines inside Brown County.  Summit Carbon Solutions does and Trevor Jones who represented them focused on pipelines being regulated by Congress through PHMSA… “After close to two hours of debate on both sides. Chairman Beckler summarize what the role of the Brown County Planning & Zoning Board… “No action was taken by the committee. The Brown County Commission will hold a meeting next week Tuesday to determine the ordinance.”

KMCH: Governor Appoints New State Regulators to Decide Pipeline Permits
Janelle Tucker, 4/19/23

“Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has appointed a couple new state regulators to decide on the carbon pipeline permits – that means two of the three Iowa Utilities Board members who will decide whether three proposed carbon pipelines get state construction permits will be new to the job,” KMCH reports. “Last week, Governor Kim Reynolds announced she was appointing Erik Helland, a former Republican member of the Iowa House, to take over as Iowa Utilities Board chairman in May. Current board chairwoman Geri Huser’s term on the board extended until 2027, but a spokesman for the governor says Huser is stepping down at the end of the month. Governor Reynolds is appointing Sarah Martz to fill that slot. Martz is currently the director of engineering for utilities on Iowa State University’s campus. She previously worked for Alliant Energy. Both new members of the Iowa Utilities Board must be confirmed by the Iowa Senate.”

WCBU: Q&A: Peoria City Manager Urich discusses pipeline, co-responder pilot program, gunshot detection
Joe Deacon, 4/1923

“Peoria city leaders continue to have questions and concerns about the possibility of a carbon capture pipeline connecting to the BioUrja plant on the South Side,” WCBU reports. “The topic was discussed at the most recent city council meeting, and City Manager Patrick Urich notes the federal government has dedicated a lot of money in the form of incentives for companies to control their carbon dioxide emissions. Urich says some council members are adamantly opposed to a pipeline, while others want to hear more about the merits. In his latest monthly interview with WCBU reporter Joe Deacon, Urich also says it’s unclear whether the city has any legal authority to block a potential carbon capture pipeline… “There are certainly some members of the council that are adamantly opposed to any type of pipeline in the city… “So what can the city council do?… “Urich: That’s a really good question, and it’s a question that we still need to do a little bit more research on, about whether we have any legal authority to impose a moratorium or block it in any way… “I think the geography of Illinois is a little bit different than Mississippi. But obviously, it’s a point of concern. It’s a point of concern that’s being raised by the environmentalists about the safety of pipelines, and it really puts the environmental community and the public kind of at — I wouldn’t say “odds” — but at a different perspective than where our federal government is saying that we need to figure out ways that we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. They’re trying to (incentivize) big business to do that, and to think of a different way to capture and sequester carbon.”

KTBS: Today marks year anniversary of pipeline explosion at BAFB that injured 2 men
Adam Purland and Clay Moock, 4/19/23

“Today marks the one-year anniversary of a natural gas pipeline explosion at Barksdale Air Force Base that critically injured two men,” KTBS reports. “Adam Purland of Stonewall and Clay Moock of Haughton suffered extensive burns in the explosion that happened on April 19, 2022. Purland remains hospitalized, and Moock still receives treatment for his injuries. The anniversary of that day was recognized today by the men’s wives… “Energy Transfer LP, the oil and gas company that owned the pipeline that exploded, was fined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration last year for what was labeled a serious violation. According to the OSHA violation detail, ignition sources were not controlled near a leaking natural gas pipeline, exposing the two employees to fire hazards. Energy Transfer was cited for not providing a work environment “free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm.”


Washington Post: Sen. Markey, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez reintroduce Green New Deal to shape climate law implementation
Maxine Joselow, 4/20/23

“Today, Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) will reintroduce the Green New Deal, a sweeping but controversial proposal to wean the nation off fossil fuels in a decade while creating millions of well-paying jobs,” the Washington Post reports. “Why reintroduce the resolution in a divided Congress? Markey and Ocasio-Cortez told the Post they’re aiming to ensure that Democrats’ landmark climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act, is implemented in a way that upholds the Green New Deal’s core principles. “The Green New Deal jump-started the movement that won the IRA, a historic accomplishment that represents a major down payment on the Green New Deal goals,” Markey told the Post. “But there is much more work to do,” he told the Post. “We want to make sure it’s implemented so that front line environmental justice communities, who have for too long borne the brunt of the climate crisis, are getting the benefits which they were promised.” “…At a news conference on Capitol Hill today, the Democrats will unveil an “Implementation Guide” that advises states, localities, tribes and others on taking advantage of the spending in the Inflation Reduction Act and the bipartisan infrastructure law, according to a copy shared exclusively with The Climate 202. Markey and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) will also announce new legislation, the Green New Deal for Health, that seeks to help the U.S. health care system respond to climate change… “When we first introduced the Green New Deal, we were told that our vision for the future was too aspirational,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement. “Four years later, we see core tenets of the Green New Deal reflected in the Inflation Reduction Act — the largest ever federal investment in fighting climate change, with a focus on creating good, green jobs.” “…But Khanna told the Post he would encourage GOP lawmakers to support the bill for reasons unrelated to climate change. “Republicans don’t even have to be for climate science to embrace this,” he told the Post. “They should just be for protecting the health of communities.”

E&E News: Energy highlights from the House GOP debt ceiling bill
Jeremy Dillon, 4/20/23

“House Republican leaders unveiled their initial bid to raise the debt ceiling Wednesday with language to undercut President Joe Biden’s signature climate law,” E&E News reports. “After pressure from the right, Republican leaders agreed to target the Inflation Reduction Act’s clean energy and manufacturing tax incentives. In total, the Republican strategy would repeal or revisit 24 tax incentives that were established or tweaked by the law. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and his team did not appear keen earlier this week to scrap the credits, which are poised to create jobs in GOP districts. But the party’s right flank insisted on going after Biden’s signature accomplishment… “The GOP bill would repeal new emissions credits for nuclear energy, renewable energy manufacturing, domestic sourcing of electric vehicle components, hydrogen production and extensions of the wind and solar production credits. In sum, anything new passed by the Inflation Reduction Act would be repealed by the Republican debt plan, even as the incentives have driven historic clean energy-related investment in red and rural districts… “The debt ceiling bill seeks to reestablish the framework for energy credits that existed before the Inflation Reduction Act. That includes a return to sunset provisions for investment tax credits used by solar energy and benefits for offshore wind and carbon capture… “Key provisions include repeal of the Inflation Reduction Act’s methane fee for oil and gas operators, cutting back environmental justice funding, slashing efficiency grants and rebates and eliminating $27 billion for a clean energy bank that Republicans have dubbed a “green energy slush fund.”

E&E News: This year or bust? Senators stress urgency in permitting talks.
Jeremy Dillon, 4/19/23

“Senate negotiators offered glimpses Tuesday into how talks on permitting overhaul will likely play out over the coming weeks as they race to find compromise on reforms,” E&E News reports. “Speaking at a permitting event at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, lawmakers expressed urgency at solving the issue before electoral politics consume Capitol Hill in the next year. They eyed a potential Senate compromise version of a bill by the August recess. “With my heart of hearts, I think this is a defining moment,” Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said. “We get it done this year, or we don’t get it done.” “…EPW intends to hold a hearing on April 26; ENR announced plans to have a hearing on May 11. A host of fiscal 2024 budget hearings will likely focus on the topic as well. The hearings are meant to spur consensus among lawmakers ahead of informal deadlines, negotiators told E&E. “Personally, I think the deadline’s gotta be before the end of the year,” Senate Environment and Public Works ranking member Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said at the event. “I’d like to see it in the in the June region,” Capito added. “It’s going to depend on how fast we can negotiate and what kind of hard positions people are going to take. I think we have a bit of an idea of that, but you know, it’s a new year and it’s a new Congress, so we’ll see.” “…Capito noted that her must-haves in the negotiations include time-enforcement measures for agencies to complete environmental reviews as well as time limits on when judicial reviews can be filed against permits. She also intends to press for changes related to the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act, but she acknowledged that may prove a heavier lift than other points. “Getting successful legislation is about not just getting, but also giving up things that you really don’t want to,” Capito noted. “In order to get there, we’re going to have to have that mindset across the committees.” Manchin expressed similar ambitions. “The perfect can’t be the enemy of the good,” he said. “There’s not going to be a perfect piece of legislation. I’ve been here for over 12 years, and I’ve not had a perfect piece of legislation to vote on.”

Politico: GOP drops $1M on Manchin as Justice preps run

“The GOP push to knock out Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is on — 18 months before Election Day,” Politico reports. “Republican group One Nation, which is aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, is unloading more than $1 million on a campaign hitting Manchin for supporting Democrats’ marquee party-line bill last year, according to details shared with POLITICO. Simultaneously, a strategist close to GOP Gov. Jim Justice said that the governor has made up his mind and will likely launch his Senate campaign before the end of the month. Those two events will quickly animate the West Virginia race, which is key to the GOP’s path back to the upper chamber majority. Republicans are betting that Manchin’s deal with President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on climate, health care and taxes will damage his prospects in his red state, while Justice’s recruitment boosts their chances of picking up the seat. Manchin is bristling on a near-daily basis at Biden’s implementation of the so-called Inflation Reduction Act and keeps declining to support the president’s reelection. But Republicans are making clear that last year’s multibillion-dollar bill will be the centerpiece of their campaign to defeat him. Splicing in clips of Manchin close to Biden during the law’s signing ceremony, the new ad push claims that “100,000 West Virginia jobs are at risk thanks to Sen. Joe Manchin falling in line with D.C. liberals to pass the Inflation Reduction Act.”

E&E News: Gas billed as ‘responsibly sourced’ is the opposite — report

“A new report from two environmental groups raises a key question for the energy transition: How responsible is “responsibly sourced gas”?, E&E News reports. “The oil and gas industry is increasingly using the certification, which is partly based on whether gas is produced with little or no methane emissions. But Earthworks and Oil Change International has accused Project Canary — the most prominent provider of such RSG certifications — of “greenwashing”. In a recent report, the groups say their cameras caught high emissions at several production sites that were missed by Project Canary’s monitors. And they argue that the whole concept of certifying some natural gas as “responsibly sourced” supports the continued use of fossil fuels. “It is clear the industry has no intention of [forgoing] the opportunity to profit from ‘doing the right thing,’” the groups wrote in the report. The report calls for “pausing” certification systems until the data behind them is more transparent and the goal is changed to support a “managed decline” in the use of fossil fuels.

The Hill: Biden to announce climate assistance funds in meeting with world leaders

“During a meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF), Biden will announce that the U.S. is providing $1 billion for the Green Climate Fund, which pays for low-carbon and climate-resilient projects in developing countries,” The Hill reports. “Biden will also request $500 million over five years to support anti-deforestation efforts in Brazil – though Congress often does not allocate funds that the president asks for, according to a White House fact sheet… “The president will also call on other countries to take action — including in their overall goals as well as specific policy areas like electric vehicles. Biden will call for nations to set the collective goal of ensuring that electric vehicles make up 50 percent of sales of light duty vehicles and 30 percent of medium duty vehicles by 2030. The president has already set a domestic goal of making 50 percent of new car sales electric by 2030. A recent proposed climate regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency may be even more ambitious — the agency projects it could result in making 60 percent of new light-duty cars electric in model year 2030.” 

Center for Biological Diversity: Federal Court Allows California Offshore Drilling Lawsuit to Proceed

“A federal court today allowed a lawsuit challenging the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s failure to review outdated plans for offshore oil platforms near Huntington Beach to proceed. The judge rejected the Biden administration’s attempt to dismiss the case on the grounds the court did not have jurisdiction to hear it. The Center for Biological Diversity filed the lawsuit last year, after a major oil spill linked to Platform Elly in the region caused significant damage to wildlife and beaches. Today’s decision comes just days after Amplify Energy, the company operating the pipeline that was the source of the spill, announced its intent to restart drilling operations in the area. Amplify’s offshore platforms, located in an area known as the Beta Unit, were temporarily shut down following the spill. “This is an important victory in the fight to protect our coast from the dangers of offshore drilling,” said Kristen Monsell, oceans legal director at the Center. “I’m glad the court rejected the Biden administration’s baseless attempt to protect oil companies using decaying rigs to drill under decades-old plans. The law clearly requires the agency to review these plans, but it’s blowing off that obligation even after a devastating oil spill.”


Capital and Main: Bill Limiting Oil Drilling Without Landowners’ Consent Faces Headwinds at Colorado Legislature
Jennifer Oldham, 4/18/23

“Like many Coloradans in growing communities along the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains, Longmont resident Chris Klinke doesn’t know if an oil and gas company is extracting fossil fuels trapped in layers of shale beneath his home,” Capital and Main reports. “Two wells were drilled within a mile of his house last year. Klinke, the president of a climbing equipment company, had ignored multiple mailed offers to lease his mineral rights in 2021 as he concentrated on bringing the farmhouse on the historic land grant property up to code. He thought they “were standard” because he just purchased the property. Now he’s concerned he might “never see a dime” in royalty payments. “I feel like I’ve been robbed at gunpoint by this industry because I had no choice in the matter,” Klinke told state lawmakers at a recent committee hearing. The law requires oil and gas companies to send a lease offer and a notice of pooling to mineral owners.  The mountaineer is one of thousands of Coloradans who were unable to choose whether they wished to lease their oil and gas rights to operators, either because they never received an offer (which companies often send to the last address listed on a mineral title, rather than the last known residence), didn’t want drilling under their property or wanted to negotiate a better deal.   Conflicts between residents and operators are escalating as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, operations infringe on suburban neighborhoods. Disputes often arise after companies invoke a 72-year-old law that allows them to take private property owners’ mineral rights without their consent, paying them just 40% of the royalties consenting property owners often receive… “At least 39 states have “forced pooling” laws. The arcane statutes, written when oil existed in pools underground, ensured drilling occurred in an orderly way that didn’t disenfranchise mineral rights owners. In Colorado, property owners don’t hold their oil and gas rights in eight out of 10 cases. And many don’t know who does.”

The Ohio Newsroom: Gas and oil wells in Ohio are leaking. Who’s responsible for fixing them?
Erin Gottsacker, 4/18/23

“There are thousands of oil and gas wells scattered across eastern Ohio. They can leak for months without a fix,” The Ohio Newsroom reports. “More than 270,000 oil and natural gas wells dot the landscape of Ohio. They’ve accumulated over centuries and they’ve been a big economic boon for the state since the first one was drilled in 1860… “Rachel Wagoner, a journalist with Farm and Dairy Magazine, spent more than six months investigating this issue for her piece “Failure by design: Leaky gas and oil wells slip through the cracks.” She found that some companies don’t fix leaky wells – or take a long time to do so – despite rules put in place by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources… “These wells that I talk about in my story, they have an owner, so there is a responsible party who should be fixing them. But on top of that, the state is responsible for more than 30,000 orphan wells that have no owner. Some of them are leaking, some of them are not. But the state is tasked specifically to plug those wells. So, there’s just a long list of stuff that needs to be done.” “…For the well that I mentioned that has the bubbling gas coming up through the water, it’s at the edge of this fellow’s hayfield. In the fall, he would let his cattle graze in that field. He doesn’t feel safe doing that anymore. So, he has lost usable land that he would use to manage his animals. I’m sure it’s very much the same [for other landowners], just very specific problems to them. That doesn’t affect anyone else. But just because it’s not a widespread public safety issue doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter.”

Big Pivots: Hydrogen: high hopes but also skepticism
Allen Best, 4/14/23

“Colorado’s greatest hope in securing federal aid to lay the foundations for a hydrogen economy lies at Brush, 90 miles northeast of Denver,” Big Pivots reports. “There, Xcel Energy proposes to modify the Pawnee power plant to use hydrogen to fuel the existing steam boiler. The hydrogen is to be created from wind and solar generation, augmenting the natural gas that within a few years will replace coal now burned to produce the steam that then generates electricity… “Some environmental advocates remain wary. They point to research from Princeton University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association that suggests hydrogen’s potential as a clean fuel could be limited by a chemical reaction in the lower atmosphere. The research found that above a certain threshold, even when replacing fossil fuels, a leaky hydrogen economy could cause near-term environmental harm by increasing the amount of methane in the atmosphere. “We have a lot to learn about the consequences of using hydrogen, so that the switch to hydrogen, a seemingly clean fuel, doesn’t create new environmental challenges,” Amilcare Porporato, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Princeton, told BP… “Will Toor, the director of the Colorado Energy Office, was only slightly more circumspect in his language when I talked with him this week… “I think the combination of technology improvements and the economic course created by the production tax credits for hydrogen in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 has given a significant boost to making it possible to deploy hydrogen at a meaningful scale,” Toor told BP. 


Reuters: Oil-rich Alberta targets net-zero by 2050 in climate plan, no interim targets
Nia Williams, 4/19/23

“Canada’s main oil-producing province Alberta on Wednesday released a climate plan aiming for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, but did not announce any interim targets in a move that puts it at odds with the federal government’s strategy,” Reuters reports. “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has targeted a 40-45% cut in emissions by 2030 and will need to see major reductions from Alberta, the country’s highest-polluting province and the centre of the fossil fuel industry. Alberta Environment Minister Sonya Savage said the province is working on sector-specific emissions reduction targets but would not impose unrealistic interim goals, and singled out Ottawa’s 2030 goal of a 42% cut in oil and gas emissions. “That’s a random target attached to a random date,” Savage told a news conference in Calgary. “Before we regulate or impose limits on specific industries and interim targets there’s more work to be done. We have to see what’s achievable.” “…Climate policy think-tank Clean Prosperity welcomed the climate plan but told Reuters clear milestones are needed to show how Alberta will reach net-zero by 2050. “Otherwise this plan risks being an aspirational document rather than a roadmap to a low-carbon future,” Adam Sweet, Clean Prosperity’s Western Director, told Reuters.

Canadian Press: Oilsands wastewater seepage cleanup to be complete by end of May: Imperial

“Imperial Oil Ltd. says its cleanup efforts following recent high-profile wastewater releases from its Kearl oilsands site will be complete next month,” the Canadian Press reports. “The company has been under fire in recent months for its environmental performance. Imperial executives said Wednesday that they have completed the cleanup from a wastewater overflow from a containment pond in February, and are well on the way to fully remediating the tailings pond seepage that was discovered last May. Water tests after those releases confirmed toxic chemicals in local groundwater and at least one nearby water body. Imperial executives are expected to testify on Thursday before a House of Commons committee that is probing why it took nine months for First Nations and governments to find out what was happening with the company’s wastewater spills.”

Global News: Suncor incident highlights ‘continued failure’ of Alberta regulator: First Nation chief
Emily Mertz, 4/19/23

“The chief of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) says that Suncor’s release of muddy water into the Athabasca River further highlights the problems with Alberta’s energy regulator,” Global News reports. “Suncor reported six-million litres of water that exceeded sediment guidelines were released into the river from a pond at its Fort Hills oilsands mine in northern Alberta… “The ACFN sent a news release Wednesday, saying members are concerned about substances being released into the environment, and only being communicated with “after the fact.” “Suncor’s actions highlight the continued failure of the AER to prevent, properly communicate, or proactively regulate environmental catastrophes in the oilsands,” Chief Allan Adam said. “The AER needs to be disbanded and replaced with a new agency that is able to properly oversee industry. An agency that is rooted in the protection of our Section 35 and Treaty rights.” The nation said the Suncor incident — coming on the heels of the Kearl oilsands wastewater spill — is another example of “a systemic problem with the management and structural integrity of tailings ponds across the entire region, and a regulator that refuses to regulate.” “…However, the government of the Northwest Territories said that Alberta failed again to let it know about what’s going on in a watershed they share. “We are deeply concerned by this lack of information sharing and notification which is a commitment of our transboundary water management agreement,” Shane Thompson, the territory’s environment and climate change minister, said in a release… “Thompson told Gloal News he planned to raise the issue with his Alberta counterpart, Sonya Savage, in a meeting scheduled Wednesday.

Guardian: They cleaned up BP’s massive oil spill. Now they’re sick – and want justice
Sara Sneath, Oliver Laughland, 4/20/23

“After 18 rounds of chemotherapy, Samuel Castleberry is tired,” the Guardian reports. “…A single disaster unites the three of them. Thirteen years ago, they helped clean up BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the largest ever in US waters. They rushed toward the toxic oil to save the place they loved, joining forces with more than 33,000 others to clean up our coastlines. Now, they have active lawsuits against BP, saying the company made them sick. Since the cleanup, thousands have experienced chronic respiratory issues, rashes and diarrhea – a problem known among local residents as “BP syndrome” or “Gulf coast syndrome”. Others, like Castleberry and Ruffin, have developed cancer… ‘But while those who responded to the deadliest single terror attack in American history have been rightly cemented into public memory, coastal workers in some of the poorest parts of the country – those who laid their bodies on the line following the worst industrial catastrophe in a generation – have faded away, unrecognized and left to fight for themselves… “BP told many of its cleanup workers that they did not need to wear breathing protection because the toxic components of the oil had evaporated or were broken down in the waves, according to the company’s safety briefings. Despite receiving advice from the federal government to conduct biological monitoring by measuring toxins in the cleanup workers’ blood, skin or urine, BP didn’t collect evidence that could have shown whether toxins contained in the oil had entered workers’ bloodstreams, according to plaintiffs’ attorneys… “There is no class-action settlement for the cleanup workers and coastal residents who fell ill years after the spill. Due to the terms of an earlier settlement, they must sue BP individually to be compensated for their chronic injuries, and many of the cases are under a court order that prevents them from seeking punitive damages.”

Reuters: Permian in spotlight as energy dealmaking gathers steam

“Companies with a focus on the oil-rich Permian basin are likely to be at the center of the next wave of consolidation in the U.S. energy sector as favorable oil prices prompt cash-rich drillers to tap into the largest source of shale oil,” Reuters reports. “Top producers have built a war chest to fund acquisitions after reaping windfall profit in 2022 from skyrocketing oil prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The current oil prices are only making Permian assets more attractive to companies looking to quickly rebuild their depleting assets to take advantage of the world’s never-ending thirst for fossil fuel. “I think we’re in a good spot in terms of oil pricing for M&A, somewhere around $80 per barrel is where both buyers and sellers feel comfortable,” Andrew Dittmar, CEO of consultancy Enverus, told Reuters. “For all of 2023, we’re likely going to have a very active market and we’re gonna continue to see these deals hit.” At least three analysts have identified Diamondback Energy Inc, Matador Resources Inc and Permian Resources Corp as possible takeout targets.”


The Narwhal: Coastal GasLink, LNG Canada get $24-million break despite B.C.’s plans to shift away from subsidies
Sarah Cox, 4/19/23

“Coastal GasLink will pay almost $16 million less for its contentious pipeline over the next 25 years after the new BC Energy Regulator slashed a major charge for the project,” The Narwhal reports. “In one of its first orders of business, the regulator, which recently replaced the BC Oil and Gas Commission, additionally granted LNG Canada — the consortium of fossil fuel companies behind the LNG export facility in Kitimat, B.C. — a financial break that adds up to savings of $8 million over the project’s anticipated 40-year lifespan. The charges, known as levies, are intended to meet monitoring and other obligations and recover expenses associated with the Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline as well as the the first phase of the LNG Canada export project, which will cool gas from the pipeline to below 160 C, compress it and convert it into liquid for transport to Asia in ocean tankers… “The B.C. Greens and non-profit groups say the cuts amount to fossil fuel subsidies, despite B.C. Premier David Eby’s statement that governments cannot continue to subsidize fossil fuels and expect clean energy to “manifest somehow.” “…It’s very telling that one of the first priorities of the newly named regulator is to provide even more subsidies for two already hugely subsidized projects,” Julia Levin, associate director of national climate for the advocacy group Environmental Defence, told the Narwhal. She said the cuts amount to subsidies because they represent foregone revenue for the BC Energy Regulator, which is funded by industry.”


InsideClimate News: Washington’s Biggest Clean Energy Lobbying Group Pushes Natural Gas-Friendly Policy
Marianne Lavelle, 4/19/23

“On two of the most consequential decisions facing Congress and the Biden administration on energy and climate change, the nation’s newest and largest clean power industry group has decisively aligned itself with companies that want to preserve markets for natural gas,” InsideClimate News reports. “To the dismay of some in the clean energy community, the American Clean Power Association, or ACP, has praised House Republicans’ fossil-fuel friendly treatment of permitting reform, or the fast-tracking of big energy infrastructure projects crucial to both oil and gas, and wind and solar, companies… “The ACP’s new CEO—longtime bipartisanship advocate Jason Grumet—has blasted progressives for their opposition, which he has termed “solution denial.” He portrays them as naive idealists, who fail to recognize that clean energy projects won’t move forward without a compromise that allows fossil fuel infrastructure to advance as well, which he calls the only energy policy that is politically viable in a closely divided Congress… “Instead of giving renewable energy a bigger voice in Washington, ACP’s goal when it was formed two years ago, critics say the lobbying group risks being used to amplify the message of the biggest members of its coalition—the gas industry and utilities—under the banner of clean energy. “There are different ways to do clean energy policy, and ACP, based on who it is—who its dues-paying members are—does just as you would expect,” David Pomerantz, executive director of the Energy and Policy Institute, a nonprofit watchdog organization, told ICN. “ACP supports policies that are pro-clean energy in a way that is maximally financially beneficial toward large monopoly utility companies.” “…ACP’s board includes representatives from BP and Shell, and is led by executives of big utilities and power generation companies, including Leonardo Moreno, the president of AES Clean Energy, serving as board chair, and other officers from Xcel and Southern Power. Those companies are making significant investments in renewable energy, to be sure, but also maintain substantial portfolios of natural gas assets and rely on them for much of their revenue.”  

DeSmog: Oil Sands Companies Are ‘Distorting Public Information’ on Google, Expert Says Ad data reviewed by 
Geoff Dembicki, 4/20/23

“A lobbying and marketing group representing top Canadian oil sands producers paid Google to link its website to hundreds of search terms related to climate change over the past three months, according to advertising data reviewed by DeSmog. “That means that when people went on Google seeking information about global temperature rise or federal climate policy, one of the first links that appeared was the website for the Pathways Alliance, a group whose members account for 95 percent of oil sands production. “It’s kind of scary actually,” Priyanka Vittal, legal counsel for Greenpeace Canada, which recently filed a complaint with the Competition Bureau accusing the Pathways Alliance of making false and misleading claims about the oil sands industry’s climate impacts in television, newspaper and social media ads, told DeSmog. “It’s a little bit dystopian.” In early January, for example, Canadians who searched “how we can stop climate change” on Google would be directed to a Pathways Alliance site claiming oil sands producers are prepared to spend $24.1 billion by 2030  “on an ambitious, actionable plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.” In reality, those companies haven’t yet made a final investment decision on the carbon capture and storage technology at the heart of that plan. And “it remains the case that most details of these plans remain undisclosed,” claimed a late November analysis from the non-partisan Pembina Institute… “On a basic level, it’s a way of distorting public information,” Callum Hood, head of research for the Center for Countering Digital Hate, an international non-profit that tracks and exposes online disinformation and greenwashing, told DeSmog. “This is quite an effective way for oil and gas companies to promote content on Google search that portrays them as eco-friendly, as attempting to tackle climate change, when the truth is quite the opposite.” The Pathways Alliance didn’t respond to a request for comment… “Hood thinks the tech giant must create clearer guidelines prohibiting “greenwashing,” the practice of falsely representing a polluting company’s actions as being beneficial for the environment. “Google should be strengthening their policies on content that outright misleads or misinforms people about climate change,” he told DeSmog.


Pipeline Fighters Hub: Double-Dipping of Federal Tax Credits for Carbon Pipelines?
Paul Blackburn is an attorney specializing in pipeline law who has represented community and environmental groups including Bold Alliance for over a decade on pipeline projects, 4/19/23

“Summit Carbon Solutions argues that state regulators should rush approval of its carbon pipeline applications because it needs to build now so that its contracted ethanol plants can exploit the 45Z tax credit before it expires in 2027,” Paul Blackburn writes for the Pipeline Fighters Hub. “Section 45Z of the tax code provides a tax credit of up to $1.00 for each gallon of low-carbon ethanol produced, and up to $1.75 for each gallon of low-carbon aviation fuel.  Yet, it is unlikely that Summit’s contracted ethanol plants will be eligible to exploit the 45Z tax credit, such that there is no reason to rush the pipeline applications on its account. The short answer: 26 U.S.C. § 45Z(d)(4)(B)(iii) contains an anti-double dipping provision that prohibits transportation fuel production facilities that “allow” use of the 45Q carbon capture tax credit from also claiming the 45Z tax credit. The interpretation of this provision impacts not only carbon dioxide pipeline development, but also the efficacy of carbon capture commercial models, and the competitive positions of low-carbon fuel producers… “Summit could argue that because its contracted ethanol plants do not themselves claim the 45Q tax credit, such plants could instead claim the 45Z tax credit. However, for the reasons stated above, the IRS will likely not allow the ethanol plants contracted with Summit to claim the 45Z tax credit. As such, the 45Z tax credit is not a reason to rush state and local permitting of the Summit project. Ultimately, the interpretation of the 45Z anti-double dipping provision is up to the IRS and the courts. Until they provide greater clarity, it would seem imprudent for ethanol plants that are contracted with CCS pipeline projects to plan on claiming the 45Z tax credit. Counting on a $1.00 per gallon tax credit only to have it be clawed back by the IRS would be a financial disaster.”

Jamestown Sun: Bender: You’re footing the bill to turn North Dakota into a CO2 landfill
Tony Bender, 4/19/23

“Summit Carbon Solutions has been issuing cheerful press releases, lacking only smiley faces, about the benefits of their pipeline. Which mostly benefits them,” Tony Bender writes for the Jamestown Sun. “The project will dump megatons of toxic CO2 underground north of Bismarck. Hold it. Did I say “dump?” I meant “sequester.” That’s the proper Orwellian nomenclature. But some landowners are balking, and former Mayor John Warford has the crazy notion that this sort of “economic development” devastates property values, so there’s been a run on pitchforks, tiki-torches, and wokeness in Bismarck.mThe 2,000-mile pipeline, a Doug Burgum pipe dream, would transport deadly liquified waste from ethanol plants in five states here for “sequestration” (cough). One North Dakota ethanol plant would benefit… “Hold it again. Did I say “waste?” What I meant was, and admittedly, this is a new angle, “It’s a commodity.” That’s what former 8th District Rep. Dave Nehring said last week during a McIntosh County Commission meeting… “Fortunately, it’s foolproof except for that time a ruptured pipeline hospitalized 45 people in Collateral Damage, Mississippi. This “commodity,” however, will be 100% safely stored underground unless it migrates. Probably not into groundwater, though. Pollution never pollutes. “Commodities,” I mean… “Anyway, Summit would get $85 per ton in federal tax credits — about $1 billion annually. Taxpayers also surrender billions in corn subsidies each year. Meanwhile, Summit’s “misrepresenting” the property taxes this would generate. Century Codes 57-06-17.1 and 57-06-17.2 conveniently absolve carbon pipelines of property taxes for 10 years with no guarantee it’ll be viable that long. The state reimburses counties for the loss of those property taxes. This “industry” simply transfers taxpayer dollars to corporations. It’s hardly economic development.” The Tennessee Gas Pipeline expansion is still a bad idea. Here’s why | Opinion
Ted Glick is the president of 350NJ-Rockland, a climate advocacy group, 4/19/23

“In mid-February, Gov. Phil Murphy gave a speech in which, among other things, he moved up the state’s goal for net zero carbon energy sources to 2035 instead of 2050. Yet many environmental, climate and progressive groups, and more than a few media outlets, criticized this speech. Why?” Ted Glick writes for “The primary reason for this criticism is the seven new fossil fuel projects that are still alive in New Jersey that cumulatively, if built, would increase both the amount of health-impacting air pollution in towns and cities near the projects, as well as the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Empower New Jersey, a coalition of 120 groups opposing this fossil fuel build-out, estimates that if all seven projects are built there will be an up to 38% increase in greenhouse gas emissions, deepening the climate hole we’re scrambling around in. One of these seven projects, the Kinder Morgan company’s Tennessee Gas Pipeline East 300 Upgrade, has broken ground and is beginning construction of a new gas compressor station in West Milford, and the state DEP in late January approved the tripling in size of an existing gas compressor in Wantage. What is the purpose of this gas? It is not for the benefit of New Jersey residents… “But it will certainly help Kinder Morgan’s bottom line… “Governor, stop digging our climate and pollution hole. It’s past time to stop this and all the other hole-deepening, polluting fossil fuel projects. If you truly want to be a national climate leader, here’s your chance to stand out by canceling these unhealthy projects that will place us even further from your new stated climate goals. Don’t be afraid to stand up to big business and stand up for your constituents who live in these compromised areas.”

The Hill: Permitting reform can cut consumer energy costs and emissions
Elan Sykes is energy policy analyst at the Progress Policy Institute (PPI); Paul Bledsoe is PPI’s strategic adviser, 4/19/23

“America could have cleaner, cheaper energy if only we could agree to get out of our own way. The obstacle we have created is a thicket of federal and state regulations requiring energy projects to undergo lengthy, expensive, one-by-one government studies, in theory, to determine their environmental impact,” Elan Sykes and Paul Bledsoe write for The Hill. “But as Earth Day approaches, it’s time we align these regulations with the need to rapidly build clean energy infrastructure to both address the climate crisis and reduce consumer energy costs… “ Initially conceived as a quick and simple examination for most routine projects, the combination of project siting, NEPA review and issuing permits has morphed into a many-years-long process rife with opportunities for narrow interests to block projects even where they demonstrably serve consumer and public interests and cut emissions… “Fortunately for consumers and our climate, reforms that maintain protections for the natural environment while speeding up the review process now have a chance to become law, even in the current divided Congress… “These costs are obvious in New England, where permitting issues have prevented not only new natural gas pipelines but also clean and affordable electricity from Quebec hydropower and domestic offshore wind… “Even as we approach Earth Day and our recent environmental accomplishments, we must recognize that the large investments in clean energy in the bipartisan infrastructure bill and Inflation Reduction Act passed in the last Congress will not meet our cost reduction and climate goals if we cannot build new projects more quickly and efficiently. Widespread reforms and an updated process that accounts for new technologies and streamlines duplicative reviews can make American energy much cheaper and much cleaner. It’s time to help America build.”

The Hub: Trevor Tombe: Capping oil and gas emissions is a bad idea
Trevor Tombe is a professor of economics at the University of Calgary and a research fellow at The School of Public Policy, 4/20/23

“Putting a price on carbon emissions was once the backbone of the federal government’s climate policies. Today, it is anything but,” Trevor Tombe writes for The Hub. “In its latest budget, for example, the federal government lists its climate priorities and the tools it will use to achieve them. Interestingly, pollution pricing is rarely mentioned. And when it is, they are mostly referring to the system that large industrial emitters face rather than the one individual Canadians do. The government, it seems, is rapidly moving away from market-based approaches to lower greenhouse gas emissions and instead opting for more targeted initiatives, such as subsidies for hydrogen projects, carbon capture and storage, and clean electricity generation. Altogether, Budget 2023 might offer the equivalent of $70 billion over ten years in such tax-funded incentives… “The government appears set to soon announce the most significant departure from efficient climate policy yet: a cap on emissions from the oil and gas sector. This is a very bad idea… “To impose higher burdens on some activities but not others increases the cost of lowering emissions beyond what is necessary… “Second, a cap risks further undermining the strength of the government’s own case for putting a price on carbon in the first place… “Third, a cap on oil and gas emissions is unnecessary to achieve our emissions reduction goals… “To be clear, specific emissions targets like these may be a misplaced goal and, in any case, are incredibly difficult for a small open economy like Canada to meet. GDP growth, population growth, oil prices, and so on, have massive implications for future emissions. The difference between the government’s own low-growth and high-growth scenarios for 2030 is roughly 50 million tonnes—more than the current emissions of the entire electricity sector… “But to effectively and efficiently lower our greenhouse gas emissions, our priority should be consistent treatment of emissions across all regions and sectors. A cap on oil and gas emissions moves us further from this basic principle. And it comes with a high cost.”

Colorado Sun: Opinion: Oil and gas are not the only things of value on public lands
Forrest Merithew, of Fort Collins, is the founder and principal of Conatus Counsel, a fractional general counsel firm for passion and social impact businesses and brands, 4/19/23

“…The reality is that outdoor recreation provides a boon of sustainable assets and benefits to recreationists and communities, by supporting local businesses and economies and providing numerous health benefits, both physical and mental,” Forrest Merithew writes for the Colorado Sun. “…Historically, the way public lands are leased for oil and gas development has a significant negative impact on the outdoor recreation community and its potential, including for many “frontline” communities that are looking to diversify their economies. One problem with this system is that it puts oil and gas development ahead of all other uses of our public lands, taking time and resources away from land managers that impact their ability to manage for the protection and enhancement of our outdoor ecosystems for recreational use and returns that benefit us all… “It’s imperative that we continue to make progress that moves us toward a healthier and sustainable future. To do so, the Interior Department should take the next step and formalize these interim reforms, along with additional needed changes, through a durable rulemaking that will protect our public lands for many different kinds of use, including valuable outdoor recreation and conservation for future generations… “The recent steps are progress towards public land management that takes into account more than just industries that produce revenue for a few using lands owned by us all. We need the Interior Department to recognize the inherent value in the outdoors for all and better protect our public lands, waters, and climate. It should formalize a comprehensive set of long overdue reforms in a permanent rule that will comply with the Inflation Reduction Act and respond to Interior’s own recommendations for fixing a broken federal onshore oil and gas leasing system, resulting in wild landscapes for generations to come.”

Pipeline Fighters Hub