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EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 4/24/23

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

By Mark Hefflinger

April 24, 2023



  • Reuters: TC Energy says Keystone oil spill caused by fatigue crack

  • Nebraska Examiner: Massive pipeline spill caused by crack created during installation, third-party review concludes

  • Dakota Free Press: Careless Keystone Pipeline Installation Cracked Girth Weld, Caused 2022 Kansas Oil Spill

  • State Journal-Register: Zoning committee approves continued moratorium carbon dioxide pipelines

  • Waverly Newspapers: Navigator sues Bremer County over CO2 pipeline ordinance

  • Fort Madison Daily Democrat: Legislative forum focuses on pipeline concerns

  • LeMars Sentinel: Ethanol capture pipeline staffers provide update to supervisors

  • Terrace Standard: CGL pipeline disrupts amphibian migration: Kitimat environmental groups

  • WUSA: Fairfax County residents prepare for trial over gas pipeline through community

  • San Diego Union Tribune: ‘It’s unfair to the community’: Barrio Logan votes to oppose controversial biofuel plant’s pipeline plans

  • Cedar Rapids Gazette: Iowa Utilities Board fines companies $2 million for not having pipeline permits

  • Rolling Stone: Law-Enforcement Agencies Have Sent 35 Warnings About This Movie


  • E&E News: Catching carbon is a pillar of historic EPA power plant rules

  • Common Dreams: Earth Day Message to Biden: ‘End the Era of Fossil Fuels!’

  • Associated Press: Haaland defends Willow, says US won’t end oil drilling

  • Politico: BLM Chief: Staff Shortages Are The Biggest Hurdle To Speedy Energy Project Permitting 

  • InsideEPA: EEI Seeks To Omit Existing Gas Plants From GHG Rules, Wide Flexibility

  • Reuters: US Energy Dept clamps down on LNG export project extensions

  • The Hill: Natural gas plans on Texas coast anger locals, green groups


  • Grist: A new bill in Oregon could target environmental protesters as terrorists

  • WVPE: Holcomb signs bill to create a statewide energy plan into law

  • Carlsbad Current-Argus: Eddy County oil and gas drives some of the worst air pollution in New Mexico, study says


  • Guardian: Emissions from WA gas project with world’s largest industrial carbon capture system rise by more than 50%

  • Bloomberg: Suncor faces new pressure as birds found dead in oil sands pond

  • Canadian Press: Oilsands emissions could be underestimated by current measuring methods, study says

  • University of Alberta: Researchers discover a way to produce hydrogen and purify water at the same time

  • Guardian: Climate diplomacy is hopeless, says author of How to Blow Up a Pipeline


  • Reuters: Factbox: Industry targets of U.S. Republicans’ anti-ESG efforts


  • Washington Post: Fallout from Willow oil project lands hard on Harvard climate expert


  • Inforum: Letter: The Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline is a bad idea

  • Bloomberg: Why SCOTUS Should Grant Review of Suncor Energy v. Boulder County

  • ESG Investor: Business-as-usual no Longer an Option for Banks

  • Financial Post: Eric Miller: Why the world needs more Canadian natural gas

  • The Hill: Earth Day 2023 and our fatal affinity for fossil fuels

  • Los Angeles Times: Opinion: I grew up next to an L.A. oil well. California can protect others from what I went through


Reuters: TC Energy says Keystone oil spill caused by fatigue crack
Nia Williams, 4/21/23

“Canada’s TC Energy on Friday said a 14,000-barrel oil spill from its Keystone pipeline in rural Kansas in December was primarily due to a progressive fatigue crack, which originated during the construction of the pipeline,” Reuters reports. “The Calgary-based company released the findings after receiving an independent third-party root cause failure analysis (RCFA), as required by regulators… “TC said it has recovered 98% of the spilled product from the pipeline and cleaned up 90% of the Mill Creek shoreline… “The company said it is now investigating other sites along Keystone with similar characteristics, performing extra inspections on 300 miles (482 km) of the pipeline, and reviewing design guidelines, construction and operations. TC said the RCFA report found the fatigue crack came from a girth weld connecting a manufactured elbow fitting to the section of pipe constructed across Mill Creek. The girth weld was completed at a fabrication factory and met applicable standards. During construction, the pipe segment came under “bending stresses” that initiated a crack in the girth weld and also led to a deformation in the elbow fitting and a wrinkle in the adjacent piping, TC said. The design of the weld transition made the pipe in that location more susceptible to bending. “This resulted in the initiation of a circumferential crack in the weld, which led to failure through operations after over a decade,” TC said. The company said the RCFA findings are consistent with its own investigation released in February. TC also noted the segment of pipeline where the leak occurred had always operated within its temperature and pressure design limits, and never exceeded 72% of its Specific Minimum Yield Strength (SMYS).”

Nebraska Examiner: Massive pipeline spill caused by crack created during installation, third-party review concludes
PAUL HAMMEL, 4/21/23

“A third-party review of a pipeline spill that released 500,000 gallons of crude oil onto Kansas farmland and a nearby stream was caused by a crack in the metal pipe that eventually ruptured under pressure,” the Nebraska Examiner reports. “…The company said that during construction of this segment of the Keystone pipeline, which as completed in 2011, “inadvertent bending stresses sufficient to initiate a crack” occurred on the elbow fitting. Over time, and under the high pressure needed to push the oil down the pipeline, the crack worsened, eventually resulting in the leak… “Since 2009, the Keystone pipeline has experienced three failures on similar girth welds, according to PHMSA. In March, the agency ordered TC Energy to reduce the operating pressure to 923 ppsg on the segment of the Keystone pipeline from Steele City, Neb., to Cushing, Okla., due to a “repetitious pattern of failures related to the original design, manufacture, and construction.” “…Thousands of cubic yards of oil-soaked soil and other materials removed from the spill site were trucked to a landfill just outside Omaha… “A lobbyist with the Sierra Club of Kansas, however, told the Examiner the latest report just reaffirms that there were flaws in original design, material and installation of the Keystone pipeline that make more oil spills inevitable. “This shouldn’t give us any relief or assurance,” Zack Pistora of the Sierra Club told the Examiner. “This only reaffirms that it’s only a matter of time before another weld fails or a design flaw causes another disaster.”

Dakota Free Press: Careless Keystone Pipeline Installation Cracked Girth Weld, Caused 2022 Kansas Oil Spill

“After admitting that shoddy work on a girth weld caused the Keystone pipeline to leak tar sands oil near Freeman in April 2016, Canadian pipeline operator Transcanada—now TC Energy—inspected nine similar girth welds on its pipeline and reported they were sound and required no repair,” the Dakota Free Press reports. “They must not have checked the girth weld that blew out last December in Washington County, Kansas, very carefully… “The primary cause of the rupture was a progressive fatigue crack that originated at a girth weld connecting a manufactured elbow fitting to the pipe constructed across Mill Creek (in Kansas),” the operator of the pipeline, TC Energy, said in a press release Friday… “While the 2016 spill resulted from a bad weld, the 2022 spill resembles the 2017 spill in Marshall County, South Dakota, in that sloppy installation cracked the pipeline… “The report notes that throughout its operational history, the Milepost 14 segment operated below its temperature and pressure design limits; this section of the Keystone system has never operated above 72 percent Specific Minimum Yield Strength (SMYS)… “Note that last line: even operating well below capacity, the poorly constructed northern Kansas segment of the Keystone pipeline couldn’t hold its liquor and upchucked into Mill Creek. Last month the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration ordered Transcanada/TC Energy to inspect its girth welds again. Maybe they’ll take a closer look this time than they did after the 2016 Freeman spill.”

State Journal-Register: Zoning committee approves continued moratorium carbon dioxide pipelines
Patrick Keck, 4/21/23

“The Sangamon County Zoning and Land Use Committee endorsed an extended moratorium on the construction of carbon dioxide projects in the county during a Thursday evening meeting,” the State Journal-Register reports. “The committee made the decision following a closed doors session and would recommend the state’s attorney to draft a resolution that would then be voted on by the county board. The moratorium, first adopted in October, would be extended until Dec. 31, 2023… “Regardless of what the county stands to gain financially, opponents voiced their safety concerns during a public comment session at the end of the meeting. Thanking the committee for the moratorium, where counties such as Christian, Fulton, and Montgomery among others have also issued similar orders, Kathleen Campbell of Glenarm pushed the county to move to full opposition to Navigator’s petition to build a portion of its 1,300 mile pipeline in the state. “These citizens can’t offer you millions of dollars, but we who live in Sangamon County invest more here than Navigator ever could,” Campbell said before a nearly full county board chamber. “We invest our lives, our families, our homes, our volunteer work and our careers. The money we earn, we spend here rather than siphoning it off out of state.” “…Still, some public concern exists following a pipeline burst in Satartia, Mississippi… “My community does not want your company in our area,” said Craig Hall, 7th District county board member. “They have signs in their yards saying ‘we don’t want you’ and you’re still coming.” Legislation is also being pushed in the Illinois General Assembly that its advocates say will protect the state from any liability and prevent the use of eminent domain. House Bill 3119 has received bipartisan co-sponsorship and will be discussed Monday during a joint House committee subject matter hearing.”

Waverly Newspapers: Navigator sues Bremer County over CO2 pipeline ordinance

“A company proposing to build a carbon sequestration pipeline in Iowa, a portion of which runs through Bremer County, is suing the Bremer County Board of Supervisors, alleging that a zoning ordinance the board passed usurps federal and state laws, that it is written in bad faith, and that it interferes with the rights of the company and landowners’ rights,” Waverly Newspapers reports. “Navigator Heartland Greenway LLC, is asking the court to declare the ordinance unlawful and void it. If allowed to stand, the company says, it would, among other things, “establish a system by which no pipeline could ever be built in Iowa.” “…In the civil lawsuit, which was filed on April 12 by the company, its lawyer, Elizabeth A. Culhane, of Omaha, Nebraska-based Fraser Stryker PC LLO, objects to the scope of the ordinance; its “robust permitting process;” the setback requirements for the proposed route; the requirement that landowners apply for a permit from the county before signing an agreement with the pipeline company and the imposition of penalties by the county should the landowners violate the requirements. In a 36-page complaint to the U.S.District Court for the Northern District of Iowa Eastern Division, the company is asking the court to invalidate the ordinance and stop the county from “enforcing or implementing any resolution, ordinance, moratorium, ban, or other regulation that purports or intends to regulate any aspect of Navigator’s HGPS project, including but not limited to those regarding safety or the location or routing of the pipeline.” It also asks for costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees… “The suit claims that the ordinance “prescribes safety standards beyond those found in federal law, establishes a separate permitting system from that provided by Chapter 479B, mandates routing and siting rules that conflict with the IUB’s exclusive authority to determine a pipeline’s route, and threatens to punish landowners who enter into an agreement with any pipeline company.” “…The board met on Monday in a closed session to determine its response to the lawsuit. County Attorney Darius Robinson said the county’s outside counsel will file a response in the next few weeks. “It’s just a step in the process,” said Corey Cerwinske, the new supervisor for District 2. “The courts will define where jurisdiction lies. When we passed the ordinance, we were expecting to have a lawsuit filed.”

Fort Madison Daily Democrat: Legislative forum focuses on pipeline concerns
Angie Holland, 4/21/23

“At the final legislative forum of the year, the Navigator Greenway C02 pipeline was the sole topic of discussion,” the Fort Madison Daily Democrat reports. “Ray Menke, Andrew Johnson and other pipeline opponents drove home their concerns not only with the pipeline, but how the legislature and the Iowa Utilities Board have handled things… “Graber said he felt eminent domain should be something used in a “very, very limited and strict setting.” “There’s going to have to be a powerful reason why I’m going to take your land from whatever this project is. Even the house bill that we passed, I would have voted no for that if there was a better alternative, because I’m the guy who says ‘hey, it should be 100%,’” he said. “If it’s such a good project, something that needs to be done and it’s going to make people money, then they should pay people appropriately for the use of their property if they decide they want to grant them that easement.” “…Several landowners expressed frustration with the IUB and the lack of help they have received. West Point Mayor Joe Loving told the senator and representative that he and the residents of West Point are very concerned about the pipeline as it comes very close to the city. “Our nursing home is right there. I think it’s 1,400 feet from the nursing home,” he said. “People are very worried why this is coming close to there and close to our city and it does not give us the ability to build north. That will lock us in from expansion to the north of us or west. I’ve heard businesses will not come if the pipeline comes through there. We want expansion in our city.”

LeMars Sentinel: Ethanol capture pipeline staffers provide update to supervisors
Tom Lawrence, 4/24/23

“Summit Carbon Solutions has made $6.1 million in easement payments in Plymouth County, according to a report from company staffers,” the LeMars Sentinel reports. “…Risseeuw said the company will work with landowners to restore land disrupted to install the pipeline. Supervisor Don Kass said he is often asked by absentee landowners about the pipeline cutting through terraced farmland… “According to Gibson, the company has acquired 82.5 percent of easements in Plymouth County, covering 21.26 of the 25 miles the pipeline would traverse in the county. That’s far better than its statewide average of 67.85 percent, he said. That is about the same level as has been reached across all five states, Timmins said… “Plymouth County Emergency Services Director Rebecca Socknat said she wanted to ensure plans are in place for a major problem with that pipeline. Socknat said most emergency service responders in the county are volunteers and may not be trained to deal with a catastrophic event. “That is going to be a large-scale response that our responders are going to need support,” she said… “Socknat said she had not been contacted by anyone with Summit, and Gibson vowed to change that… “Opposition to the pipeline has arisen, with some landowners resisting it being built through their land or expressing disappointment that they have no say in the route selected… “Summit Carbon Solutions has some powerful political allies from both sides of the fence. Former longtime Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican who also served as ambassador to China during the Trump administration, is a senior policy advisor, and Jess Vilsack, the son of United States Secretary of Agriculture and former Gov. Tom Vilsack, a Democrat, is the company’s general counsel.”

Terrace Standard: CGL pipeline disrupts amphibian migration: Kitimat environmental groups

“Two local environmentalist groups are raising concerns about the Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline construction in a letter sent to B.C.’s energy regulator,” the Terrace Standard reports. “In the letter, the Kitimat Valley Naturalists (KVN) and Douglas Channel Watch (DCW) say CGL pipeline construction is affecting the migration of amphibians in the Kitimat wetlands. The groups claim that a high, continuous, above-ground steel barrier installed by CGL work crews has disrupted the natural movement of wildlife in the area. The steel barrier, which extends for about one kilometre along the Kitimat Hospital/Strawberry Meadows wetland, has only two small openings for water flow. The structure has hindered the migration of amphibians and other small wildlife, including martins and rabbits, according to the two groups… “Walter Thorne, a KVN and BC Nature board director, contacted CGL to address the issue. During a conference call, CGL representatives acknowledged the barrier as a temporary obstacle to migration and assured that efforts would be made to remove it in time for spring migration… “The groups question the feasibility of this solution, given the difficulty small creatures may face in traversing such an obstacle… “However, KVN argues that these relocation efforts were inadequate, as the amphibians were not moved upslope where they were attempting to migrate. The Kitimat Valley Naturalists and Douglas Channel Watch are calling for a more thorough assessment of the situation and increased consultation with local experts to mitigate the impact on the wetland ecosystem.”

WUSA: Fairfax County residents prepare for trial over gas pipeline through community
Matthew Torres, 4/21/23

“Pimmit Hills residents in Fairfax County are getting ready for a legal battle against Washington Gas over a project to install a new natural gas pipeline through the community,” WUSA reports. “The gas company filed a petition against four residents and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to reverse a decision made by the Board of Zoning Appeals in February 2022. By a 6-1 vote, the BZA determined that Washington Gas cannot replace the current pipeline on Route 7 by routing a new line through Pimmit Hills without additional reviews and approval from the county. With the trial set for April 25 and 26, residents including Christine Chen Zinner, who is one of the individual respondents in the lawsuit, told WUSA there are safety concerns. “Since the gas is not going into our homes, there should be additional safety precautions in place,” Zinner told WUSA. “It’s going to be right in the middle of our streets mere feet from our front doors.” “…This is not an ordinary pipeline,” Kurt Islet told WUSA. “It should need a special permit. This is not a sort of pipeline you put into this neighborhood where many homeowners are having to do work that might interface with that pipeline in the middle of the street.” The lawsuit from Washington Gas argues the BZA had not authority to reverse a part of the zoning administrator’s determination and forcing them to apply for a special permit. It alleges the BZA misconstrued the zoning ordinance. The lawsuit also accused the residents of incorrectly interpreting the law… “The Pimmit Hills Citizens’ Association also started a GoFundMe to help with legal fees. It has raised nearly $21,500 of its $23,000 goal as of Friday evening.”

San Diego Union Tribune: ‘It’s unfair to the community’: Barrio Logan votes to oppose controversial biofuel plant’s pipeline plans

“The Barrio Logan Community Planning Group voted unanimously Wednesday to oppose a controversial biodiesel plant’s plans for new construction in their neighborhood,” the San Diego Union Tribune reports. “New Leaf Biofuel wants to build an underground pipeline to connect its warehouses, a project its officials say would cut down on truck traffic in a neighborhood choked with diesel pollution. But residents say the pipeline would only make a dent in truck traffic there, and worry that more construction will only further cement the facility’s place in the community. The planning group agreed, voting 9-0 to oppose the project. The vote marks the culmination of a longstanding battle between New Leaf and the community, who voiced concerns in October saying “vomit-like” odors coming from the facility were making them sick. In November, regulators with the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District ordered the plant to immediately start mitigating the odors and mandated the installation of an odor-reducing system… “David Ortiz, a member of the planning group’s project review subcommittee, worried the pipeline would help New Leaf scale up its overall production. “It sounds like it’s helping (New Leaf) a lot and not doing much for the community, so it’s frustrating,” he told the Tribune.

Cedar Rapids Gazette: Iowa Utilities Board fines companies $2 million for not having pipeline permits
Tom Barton, 4/21/23

“The Iowa Utilities Board issued separate orders Friday assessing $2 million in civil penalties to two pipeline companies that have been operating hazardous liquid pipelines and underground storage facilities in the state for nearly three decades without obtaining permits from the Iowa Utilities Board,” the Cedar Rapids Gazette reports. “The board began a review last year of hazardous liquid pipelines and renewals of expiring permits, discovering Enterprise Products Operating did not have a current permit for approximately 750 miles of pipelines in Iowa that transport propane, butane and natural gasoline, according to a news release. It also found Sinclair Transportation Co. did not have a permit for a roughly 12-mile pipeline in Lee County that transports petroleum products, according to Iowa Utilities Board records. Neither company had been issued permits required to construct, maintain or operate a hazardous liquid pipeline in Iowa, the utilities board said in its release. The utilities board issued a total of $1.8 million in civil penalties against Enterprise for not obtaining permits for seven hazardous liquid pipelines and two hazardous liquid underground storage facilities. It issued a $200,000 civil penalty against Sinclair for operating its hazardous liquid pipeline without a permit… “Enterprise and Sinclair have since filed new petitions seeking a hazardous liquid pipeline permit. The petitions are pending with the Iowa Utilities Board.”

Rolling Stone: Law-Enforcement Agencies Have Sent 35 Warnings About This Movie
JANA WINTER, 4/21/23

“It’s a treacherous time. Russia is on the march. China is on the rise. Mass shootings are an American plague. And, above all, someone made a movie with a scary title,” Rolling Stone reports. “Rolling Stone has obtained an FBI alert issued earlier this month warning that the fictional film “How to Blow Up a Pipeline” could inspire real-life terrorist attacks on energy infrastructure. The nation’s premier domestic law-enforcement agency’s bulletin was one of at least 35 missives from at least 23 separate federal and state entities — a veritable alphabet soup of angst — issuing dire warnings about a commercial film’s threat to the nation’s fossil-fuel infrastructure. Since its release, there appear to have been zero attacks on the mass network of pipelines that carry oil and natural gas around the country, powering much of American life while also slow-cooking the planet. “The film has potential to inspire threat actors to target oil and gas infrastructure with explosives or other destructive devices,” says the April 6  bulletin from the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate. The bulletin — blasted out to police, government, and others involved in protecting infrastructure — urges personnel to keep an eye out for suspicious activity… “How to Blow Up a Pipeline does not, in fact, provide instructions on how to blow up a pipeline, as a senior weapons of mass destruction intelligence analyst with Maryland’s state Coordination and Analysis Center’s anti-terrorism division noted in an April 14 email… “The FBI declined to comment on its bulletin about a consumer product whose chief economic function is to bring people within purchasing proximity of high-priced popcorn… “The film may likely be harmless, but civil-liberties advocates and other experts say telling police nationwide that moviegoers could turn into terrorists might have serious and damaging consequences. “This kind of low-quality analysis is common and dangerous because it can prime police to overreact to nonthreatening activities and justify wrongful surveillance,” Jake Wiener, counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a nonprofit research group that advocates for privacy, free speech, and human rights, told RS… “Mike German, a fellow with the Brennan Center, told RS the memos could prompt law-enforcement officers to take overzealous action against environmental groups… “The FBI has responsibility for investigating environmental crimes, but too often sees itself as the protector of industry rather than protector of the public interest,” German told RS.


E&E News: Catching carbon is a pillar of historic EPA power plant rules
Jean Chemnick, 4/24/23

“The Biden administration’s upcoming attack on one of the nation’s largest contributors to climate change is expected to rest on a novel technology for capturing power plants’ greenhouse gas pollution, according to two people familiar with the deliberations,” E&E News reports. “That would be an aggressive — even transformational — approach from EPA, ushering in the most stringent regulations on fossil fuel plants in the nation’s history… “And the administration appears to have toughened its proposal in recent months, according to the two people, who were granted anonymity to speak freely about the still-unreleased proposal. They tell E&E the proposal would require power companies to capture most of their carbon emissions rather than letting it enter the atmosphere. No commercial power plants in the United States use carbon-capturing technology now, but the agency views it as ready to be used widely, the two people familiar with the discussions tell E&E… “New gas plants will be given a schedule by which they must begin using carbon capture systems or meet an alternative standard based on hydrogen… “Green groups including Evergreen Action and NRDC have filled EPA’s docket with comments arguing that even established coal and gas plants can now retrofit with carbon capture to reduce the bulk of their emissions. New gas plants, which escaped meaningful standards under the Obama administration, should be expected to capture as much as 90 percent of their CO2, Evergreen and NRDC wrote in separate comments… “But even if EPA taps carbon capture as the basis of its rules — and if it holds up in court — that may not mean a rapid expansion for the technology. Under the Clean Air Act, EPA sets emissions limits consistent with the “best available control technology” and then leaves it to utilities and states to decide how to meet it. The rules that EPA proposes this week could help carbon capture go mainstream. Or it could rapidly increase the percentage of electricity coming from wind, solar or other renewable sources or foster widespread use of some other technology, like hydrogen.”

Common Dreams: Earth Day Message to Biden: ‘End the Era of Fossil Fuels!’
JON QUEALLY, 4/23/23

“The Earth Day message delivered to President Joe Biden outside the White House on Saturday was clear: do everything in your power to bring the age of fossil fuels to an end while rapidly escalating the renewable energy transition that holds the key to a more sustainable future,” Common Dreams reports. “It was delivered by hundreds who turned out to march in downtown Washington, D.C. and rallied outside the president’s official residence despite rain and cold weather in the nation’s capitol… “During a rally in Freedom Plaza ahead of the march to the White House, Jean Su, the energy justice director for the Center for Biological Diversity, said, “We’re in trouble everyone, we’re in big trouble. But here’s the good news: President Biden has all the tools right now to actually turn this ship around.” Biden, Su continued, “can declare a climate emergency and stop all new fossil fuel approvals,” and revoke recent approvals of dirty drilling operations like the Willow Project in Alaska, new offshore leases in the Gulf of Mexico, and LNG export terminals in Texas that critics have said are a direct contradiction of the president’s stated climate goals.

Associated Press: Haaland defends Willow, says US won’t end oil drilling

“Interior Secretary Deb Haaland defended her department’s approval of the contentious Willow oil project on Friday, saying that despite President Joe Biden’s campaign promise to end new drilling on federal lands, “We’re not going to turn the faucet off and say we’re not drilling anymore,″ the Associated Press reports. “Speaking to the annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists, Haaland said the Biden administration is “following the science and the law when it comes to everything we do, and that includes gas and oil″ leases considered by her agency, which oversees U.S. public lands and waters. Despite Biden’s pledge, “We’re not going to say we’re not going to use gas and oil. That’s not reality,″ Haaland said. “So we are doing the best we absolutely can.″ Haaland’s comments came after the administration faced sharp criticism from some of its strongest supporters — especially young climate activists — after Interior approved the $8 billion Willow project on March 13… “Leaders of major environmental organizations and Indigenous groups had pleaded with Haaland, the first Native American Cabinet member, to use her authority to block the drilling project, which they say contradicts Biden’s agenda to cut planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. Environmental groups call Willow a “carbon bomb” and have mounted a social media #StopWillow campaign that has been seen hundreds of millions of times. Haaland, who opposed Willow when she served in Congress, joked Friday that as Interior secretary, “often I don’t have personal feelings.″ Still, Haaland’s views seemed apparent. She did not sign the secretarial order approving the project, leaving that to her deputy, Tommy Beaudreau, and declined multiple opportunities to say she personally supported the decision.” “…Activists said Friday they were not satisfied with Haaland’s response. “The Biden administration depends on voters under 30. That’s just a fact. And if they continue to greenlight disastrous fossil fuel projects and unnecessary lease sales, then they risk losing a key constituency in 2024,” Cassidy DiPaola, spokesperson for Fossil Free Media, a group that opposes oil and other fossil fuels, told AP.

Politico: BLM Chief: Staff Shortages Are The Biggest Hurdle To Speedy Energy Project Permitting 
Gloria Gonzalez, 4/21/23

 “If Congress is interested in getting energy projects approved more quickly by the federal government, it should increase funding to hire more people to evaluate them, Bureau of Land Management Director Tracy Stone-Manning said Friday,” Politico reports. “That bottleneck in processing the permits is a bigger obstacle than the review process required by the National Environmental Policy Act, Stone-Manning said during a panel discussion at the Society of Environmental Journalists conference… “Republicans have called for curbing rules under NEPA, a move that Democrats say could undermine its environmental safeguards, even as they press for changes to advance power grid and renewable energy projects. But Stone-Manning said the focus on NEPA overlooked a simpler solution. ‘I think the first thing Congress can do is support the president’s budget that increases our renewable energy management program by 77 percent,’ she said. ‘The biggest problem is having enough people to do the work.’”

InsideEPA: EEI Seeks To Omit Existing Gas Plants From GHG Rules, Wide Flexibility

“Electric utilities are suggesting EPA should not set greenhouse gas limits for existing natural gas-fired power plants as part of its forthcoming GHG regulatory package for the sector, arguing that officials would struggle to develop nationally applicable rules for various types of plants that can operate in multiple configurations,” InsideEPA reports. “EPA faces several challenges it must resolve before moving forward with any proposal for existing natural gas-based units under [Clean Air Act] section 111. Chief among those issues is the sheer diversity of the types of units and the range of operating characteristics of the existing turbine fleet,”  the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) writes in a recent white paper the group distributed at an April 13 meeting hosted by the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB). Omitting standards for existing gas plants would mean EPA’s regulatory package would impose GHG requirements only on existing coal-fired plants while strengthening limits for new gas-fired plants.”

Reuters: US Energy Dept clamps down on LNG export project extensions

“The U.S. Department of Energy on Friday announced it will change how it approves requests by companies to push back start dates for liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects to get a better picture of true demand for the fuel,” Reuters reports. “The DOE will now no longer consider a new application for a seven-year commencement extension, unless companies prove they have physically started construction on an LNG export facility, or faces extenuating circumstances. The new policy will not apply to companies that have applications pending. The measure is one in a series of new orders announced by the DOE’s office of fossil energy and carbon management aimed at keeping the U.S. on track to meet its goal of net zero emissions by 2050 while supplying allies with natural gas… “The agency also announced that it has made a decision on two pending applications. It will approve a first-time request by Port Arthur LNG, LLC and Sempra to extend the start date at the Texas terminal to 2028, and reject a second extension request by Energy Transfer’s Lake Charles Exports’ project in Lake Charles, Louisiana. In a related move, the DOE also issued a request for information from LNG industry participants on Friday on strategies and technologies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants throughout the LNG process.”

The Hill: Natural gas plans on Texas coast anger locals, green groups
SAUL ELBEIN, 4/23/23

“Environmentalists and local residents are sounding the alarm after the Biden administration approved two new liquefied natural gas terminals for the Texas coast,” The Hill reports. “The administration has billed the expansion of natural gas exports as a means both to help allies decarbonize and maintain U.S. influence in global energy markets. But local communities say that they’re being sacrificed for geopolitics, and environmental organizations argue that the Biden administration is neglecting the need for rapid climate action. “It doesn’t matter what mitigation Rio Grande LNG does, we are against it,” Jim Chapman of local group Save RGV [Rio Grande Valley] told news site this month, referring to one of the two projects. “There’s no mitigation that will make up for the harm that it’s going to do. Other than construction jobs, which go away, Rio Grande LNG is bringing nothing good to the Valley,” Chapman added. The decision over whether to permit the Texas LNG and Rio Grande LNG export terminals divided the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which in March held a roundtable on the need for more consultation from communities in the path of polluting infrastructure.“This procedural corner-cutting represents a gobsmacking departure, frankly, from the lessons I took away from the environmental justice roundtable we held just a month ago,” Commissioner Allison Clements said, as reported by the Houston Chronicle… “The Sierra Club has announced it will push FERC for a second hearing on the projects, which could lead to further delays. “The FERC and fossil fuel corporations are forcing dangerous gas plants on the Rio Grande Valley that do nothing to help our community so fossil fuel corporations can profit,” Rebekah Hinojosa, a local representative for the Club, told The Hill… “The approval of any new fossil fuel project is a failure of the Biden administration’s stated commitment to take action on both climate change and environmental justice,” Valentina Stackl of Oil Change International told The Hill.  


Grist: A new bill in Oregon could target environmental protesters as terrorists
Naveena Sadasivam, 4/21/23

“A bill that could stifle environmental protests has emerged in an unlikely place: the Democrat-controlled Oregon state legislature,” Grist reports. “Lawmakers in the Beaver State are considering a bill that could make “disruption of services” provided by so-called critical infrastructure, which includes roads, pipelines, electrical substations, and some oil and gas infrastructure, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines. The bill labels such activity “domestic terrorism.” The bill’s sponsor, Democratic state Representative Paul Evans, and other proponents argue that the legislation is necessary to adequately punish extremists who may seek to damage facilities that provide essential public services. The bill appears to be a direct response to the 2020 racial justice protests that turned violent in Portland and the breach of the state capitol in Salem by far-right protesters the same year… “That’s stuff that could happen at ordinary protests,” Nick Caleb, an attorney with the environmental nonprofit Breach Collective, told Grist. “Suddenly there’s enough Democrats that also think labeling things as terrorism will have an effect on stopping that type of disruptive activity.” “…In the last few months, state legislatures in Georgia, Tennessee, and Utah have all passed bills that increase penalties for interfering with or damaging critical infrastructure. A number of other states — including Minnesota, Illinois, North Carolina, and Oklahoma — have similar legislation pending. Over the last six years, at least 19 states have passed this kind of critical infrastructure law. The bills were first proposed after the 2017 Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline received national attention. In response, primarily Republican lawmakers explicitly cited the Standing Rock protests as the impetus for the legislation. But this year, lawmakers have mostly pointed to a more recent spate of attacks on electrical substations in North Carolina, Washington, and Oregon as the reason such critical infrastructure bills are needed.”

WVPE: Holcomb signs bill to create a statewide energy plan into law
Rebecca Thiele, 4/20/23

“Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a bill creating a statewide energy plan for Indiana into law on Thursday,” WVPE reports. “ It requires the state agency that oversees utilities to consider five things in most of its decisions: reliability, affordability, resiliency, stability and environmental sustainability… “Holcomb signed at least nine other energy and environment related bills on Thursday. That includes one that would increase industrial air permit fees, one that would encourage chemical recycling plants in Indiana, and one that aims to get a carbon capture and storage pilot program off the ground.”

Carlsbad Current-Argus: Eddy County oil and gas drives some of the worst air pollution in New Mexico, study says
Adrian Hedden, 4/21/23

“Eddy County was given an “F” grade for its air quality and ranked as one of the most polluted counties in the U.S. when it comes to ground-level ozone tied to fossil fuel development in the area, according to a recent study,” the Carlsbad Current-Argus reports. “Ozone when breathed can cause cancer and other respiratory illness and is tied to emissions from the oil and gas operations Eddy County is known for… “The American Lung Association in its annual report listed Eddy County as 19th among U.S. counties for ozone pollution – the only New Mexico county on the list, and 1st in the state ahead of metropolitan areas like Bernalillo and Doña Ana counties, which both also received “F” grades in the report for ozone pollution… “JoAnna Strother, regional senior director of advocacy at the Lung Association, told the Argus  high oil and gas operations were largely to blame for increased ozone levels by producing VOCs, along with climate change and specifically the aridification of the region bringing more heat to interact with the VOCs and create ozone. “Significant oil and gas operations are there in the Permian Basin. It’s one of the reasons we would anticipate higher ozone days,” Strother told the Argus. “We know that climate change also continues to be a problem with extreme heat. High sunlight and heat also contribute to ozone. We have the two main ingredients there that create ozone. That’s why it will be more difficult to clean up.”


Guardian: Emissions from WA gas project with world’s largest industrial carbon capture system rise by more than 50%
Adam Morton, 4/20/23

“Emissions from Chevron’s Gorgon gas development off Western Australia have increased by more than 50% despite it being home to the world’s largest industrial carbon capture and storage system,” the Guardian reports. “There has been a sharp drop in the amount of CO2 stored underground at the liquefied natural gas plant over the last three years, data released by Chevron showed. The development off the Pilbara coast was approved on the condition the company store about 4m tonnes of CO2 a year that would have otherwise escaped from reservoirs during extraction and been released into the atmosphere. The company was to pump that CO2 into a natural reservoir 2km beneath Barrow Island. But the CCS development was delayed for more than three years and has failed to reach its promised storage level since it began operating in August 2019… “Last year’s drop in CO2 storage coincided with a big jump in onsite emissions from the Gorgon LNG operation, from 5.5m tonnes to 8.3m tonnes. It made the facility Australia’s biggest single major industrial emitter, according to government data… “A company spokesperson acknowledged the decline in emissions storage, and told the Guardian it was working on a project to improve a pressure management system that was preventing more CO2 being injected under the island. This would “enable carbon dioxide storage rates to increase over time”. Climate campaigners tell the Guardian the failure of the Gorgon CCS project to deliver what was promised illustrates how little progress the technology has made despite decades of promises. Kim Garratt, an investigator with the Australian Conservation Foundation, told the Guardian CCS developments were “being slapped on to otherwise unacceptable projects to make them seem like reasonable options”.

Bloomberg: Suncor faces new pressure as birds found dead in oil sands pond

“Canada’s second largest oil company Suncor Energy found 32 dead birds at one of its oil sands mining operations and now faces additional scrutiny from regulators and investors as it seeks to improve its corporate citizenship after a series of operational and environmental problems,” Bloomberg reports. “Oil sands companies like Suncor use scarecrows as well as speaker systems that make cannon sounds to frighten ducks and loons and prevent them from landing on the toxic tailings ponds that result from processing ultra-heavy oil. Despite efforts to prevent birds from landing in the ponds, where they can become stuck and die, Suncor reported it found 32 birds, a muskrat and a vole. The Alberta Energy Regulator, which oversees energy development in Canada’s most oil-rich province, reported Saturday that it had an inspector on site to gather and review information… “The incident is the second operational mishap this week and comes as Suncor has been working to put such issues behind it.”

Canadian Press: Oilsands emissions could be underestimated by current measuring methods, study says
Bob Weber, 4/24/23

“New federal research suggests greenhouse gas emissions from the Alberta oilsands may be significantly underestimated, adding to a growing pile of studies that say our understanding of what is going into the atmosphere is incomplete,” the Canadian Press reports. “In a paper published last week in a prominent U.S. science journal, Environment and Climate Change Canada researchers used new ways of measuring oilsands emissions that resulted in figures at least 65 per cent higher than those reported by industry. “We found that (emissions) are higher than the CO2 estimates that are reported in the greenhouse gas reporting program,” lead author Sumi Wren of Environment Canada told CP… “Their figures suggest the oilsands could be releasing about 31 million tonnes of unreported carbon dioxide into the atmosphere a year. As well, that potential under-reporting goes back to at least 2018… “The discrepancy is quite large,” Wren told CP. “It’s large enough to point to the need to understand why we’re seeing this…What this work does is point to the importance of having atmospheric measurement to ensure that what is being reported is accurate.”

University of Alberta: Researchers discover a way to produce hydrogen and purify water at the same time

“University of Alberta researchers have developed a new catalyst that could revolutionize how we generate power and purify water. When placed in any type of water and provided with a small amount of power, the catalyst produces hydrogen that can be fed into a fuel cell to generate electricity along with distilled water that is safe to drink. The catalyst was discovered almost entirely by chance when Robin Hamilton was creating an electrode for an undergraduate student working on a waste biomass upcycling project. He mixed up a combination of powders and allowed them to sit overnight in water, intending to finish the cell the following day. When he returned in the morning, the mixture was bubbling — a reaction that was extremely out of the ordinary.  “It ends up being that when you mix these two things together, they interact, they work together and hydrogen comes off. It floored us,” says Hamilton, a senior research associate in the Department of Chemistry… “The catalyst they created is made with material that is non-toxic and plentiful. It’s easy and inexpensive to produce, making it an affordable and accessible alternative to current catalysts on the market, which require materials that are expensive and in limited supply… “You could turn oil sands tailings ponds into usable fuel while purifying the water. It sounds incredulous, it sounds like it’s too good to be true, but it’s not,” adds Veinot… “We’re in a unique circumstance in Alberta in that Edmonton is going to be a hydrogen hub. The U of A has a history in energy involvement, and the chemistry department has a history of involvement with energy with respect to the oilsands,” says Veinot. “We now have a pivotal opportunity to push this forward to the next level.”

Guardian: Climate diplomacy is hopeless, says author of How to Blow Up a Pipeline
Damien Gayle, 4/21/23

“As activists around the world take increasingly desperate actions against destructive projects, Andreas Malm told the Guardian he had not “a shred of hope” elites were prepared to take the urgent action needed to avert catastrophic climate change. “If we let the dominant classes take care of this problem, they’re going to drive at top speed into absolute inferno,” Malm told the Guardian. “Nothing suggests that they have any capacity of doing anything else of their own accord because of how enmeshed they are with the process of capital accumulation.” “…Published at the beginning of 2021, How to Blow Up a Pipeline sent shock waves through the climate movement, less than a year after the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns brought an abrupt end to its biggest ever mass mobilisation. From 2018 onwards, Extinction Rebellion and the climate strike movement brought tens of thousands on to the streets. But even as public opinion swung behind their calls for radical change, emissions and investments in fossil fuels continued to grow. The problem, Malm told the Guardian, was their absolute commitment to non-violent civil disobedience – the most stringent rule of XR, in particular – which left fossil capital nothing to fear from public opinion in bourgeois states where “capitalist property has the status of the ultimate sacred realm”. Instead of disruptive protests and mass rallies, Malm called for a campaign of sabotage of fossil fuel infrastructure, to break the taboo against targeting property. Or, he contended in one of the book’s epigrams, “property will cost us the earth.”


Reuters: Factbox: Industry targets of U.S. Republicans’ anti-ESG efforts
Ross Kerber, 4/22/23

“Republican federal and state lawmakers, governors, and attorneys general are pushing back on growing efforts by investors and executives to include environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in their business decision making,” Reuters reports. “In all 39 bills targeting aspects of ESG were filed as of the end of 2022, of which 9 had been passed, 14 were proposed, and 16 were dead, according to law firm Morgan Lewis… “Attorneys general from 21 states told 53 of the largest U.S. fund firms in March that their participation in industry-wide groups like the Net Zero Asset Managers (NZAM) initiative could be “inconsistent with your clients’ financial interests” such as investors who do not share ESG goals. In addition, legislation pending in states, including Texas and Florida, aims to limit the consideration of ESG factors by pension funds, which could cut off fund firms from public contracts. Top fund firms such as BlackRock Inc (BLK.N) and State Street Corp (STT.N) – both NZAM members – have said their ESG efforts only support clients concerns, for instance the view that climate change poses investment risks. To date only one major U.S. asset manager, Vanguard Group, has left NZAM, and says it still considers climate risks relevant to investors.”


Washington Post: Fallout from Willow oil project lands hard on Harvard climate expert
Steven Mufson, 4/22/23

“A Harvard scholar who sits on the board of ConocoPhillips — the company spearheading the contentious Willow oil drilling project in northern Alaska — has become the flash point of a debate on the merits of environmentalists trying to change corporations from the inside,” the Washington Post reports. “Jody Freeman, founder and director of Harvard Law School’s environmental and energy law program, has spent the past 11 years on the board of ConocoPhillips. Freeman, who was paid $367,584 for her work at ConocoPhillips last year alone, has said that she brings a unique viewpoint to the big oil company, one of the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. “No single director can transform any company or industry,” Freeman told the Post. “But I believe that I make a positive difference, and if I did not, I would not do this work.” But in the wake of the Biden’s administration approval of the Willow project, climate activist groups, including Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard, have called on Freeman to quit the ConocoPhillips board. “The time has come to choose between your Harvard leadership responsibilities and your loyalties to the fossil fuel industry,” the group told the Post. It added that even the scaled back version of the Willow project approved by the Biden administration “is still a carbon bomb that our world cannot afford.” In the decade since Freeman got a seat on the ConocoPhillips board, the oil giant has increased the size of its oil and gas production, hardly the direction many climate activists favor… “Professor Freeman, until now, you have justified your position as helping reform ConocoPhillips from the inside,” added the letter from Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard. “The Willow Project makes clear that this isn’t working.” The group has also called attention to communications between Freeman and a colleague, John Coates, who was preparing to work for the Securities and Exchange Commission. Climate activists say these communications, first reported by The Guardian, pose further evidence of Freeman’s conflicts of interest.”


Inforum: Letter: The Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline is a bad idea
Bruce Johnson, Bismarck, 4/22/23

“Summit’s plan to build a sprawling pipeline to collect and dispose of up to 12 million tons of carbon dioxide per year is a bad idea not just for citizens and landowners that live near the pipeline but especially for taxpayers,” Brad Johnson writes for Inforum. “This whole scheme is based on carbon credit legislation passed in the Inflation Reduction Act — the act that virtually no member of Congress had the opportunity to read and study what was in it before it was passed. If Summit is able to collect and bury 12 million tons of carbon dioxide each year as they propose, they will receive about $1 billion per year in Q45 credits… “There are better ways to spend $1 billion of taxpayer money — child care, school lunches, student debt relief or just not spend it at all… “The best and cheapest way to get carbon out of our air is to stop putting it there in the first place. We don’t need ethanol… “The Renewable Fuel Standard that mandated the blending of ethanol back in 2005 was considered by many a boondoggle. Carbon capture is just another federal boondoggle to support another wasteful federal boondoggle.”

Bloomberg: Why SCOTUS Should Grant Review of Suncor Energy v. Boulder County
Gale Norton, former Secretary of the Interior, 4/20/23

“The US Supreme Court may soon address crucial litigation that threatens to undermine constructive debates on climate change policies,” Gale Norton writes for Bloomberg. “In 2018, Colorado municipalities—the City and County of Boulder and San Miguel County—filed a public nuisance lawsuit against ExxonMobil and Suncor, seeking damages for costs associated with climate change. But the case, one of nearly two-dozen coordinated lawsuits nationwide—has a more ambitious objective to engineer shifts in transportation and power generation via the courts to reach climate goals… “Now, the Supreme Court is weighing if it will take up the case and provide guidance about the right judicial setting for these cases—federal court or state court… “If the growing number of climate lawsuits around the country are each decided in various state courts, a string of fragmented and contradictory rulings will result, which would hamper the ability of elected leaders and federal agencies to craft coherent policies… “If the cases were carried through to final judgment, local judges and juries would determine massive and complex issues with far-ranging economic impacts, and the number of lawsuits would multiply… “Significantly, restoring the proper constitutional separation of powers has been an important theme in the Supreme Court’s recent decisions. In West Virginia v. EPA, the court reined in administrative agency actions that exceeded congressional grants of authority. It enunciated the “major questions” doctrine: when federal agencies issue regulations with sweeping economic and political consequences, they must have clear statutory direction from Congress… “That same concern for proper constitutional roles is implicated in the state-court climate liability suits. By establishing liability rules that punish oil and gas companies, such cases can tilt the direction of energy development. While this direction may or may not be desirable, it is the type of fundamental policy that should be determined by elected officials, not by insular state court judges… “A patchwork of litigation by municipalities should not determine America’s path forward on energy and climate. The Supreme Court should grant review of this petition so we can ensure that liability battles don’t threaten democratically determined energy policies.”

ESG Investor: Business-as-usual no Longer an Option for Banks
Jessye Waxman, Senior Campaign Representative, Fossil-Free Finance Campaign, Sierra Club,4/14/24

“As US and Canadian banking majors begin to publish their 2023 proxy statements, there has been a troubling mischaracterization of climate-related shareholder resolutions, misleading investors into thinking these resolutions are something they’re not,” Jessye Waxman writes for ESG Investor. “This year, investors filed resolutions at seven major US and Canadian banks — Bank of America, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, and Royal Bank of Canada — urging these banks to adopt policies to phase-out clients engaging in new fossil fuel exploration and development. Analysis in the banks’ opposition statements would have investors believe these resolutions call for an immediate cessation of business relations with energy sector clients, and for a stymying of activities that would help high-emitting companies decarbonize. These claims are a misrepresentation of resolutions that simply aim to reduce banks’ exposure to climate-related risks… “Specifically, these guardrails are meant to limit greenwashing and help banks ensure their financing actually helps their high-emitting clients to transition. There is currently a serious mismatch in banks’ rhetoric around climate, and their financing activities… “As global regulators increasingly crack down on greenwashing, and as civil society actors escalate efforts to hold financial institutions accountable on climate commitments, the risks have never been higher for banks… “These shareholder proposals also encourage banks to be mindful of facilitating and upholding business plans that invest in the development of new assets at disproportionate risk of becoming stranded assets… “US and Canadian banks need to get on board. Since joining the Net Zero Banking Alliance in 2021, these banks have poured tens of billions of dollars into coal, oil, and gas companies — companies currently developing the equivalent of billions of barrels of oil beyond what is compatible with the International Energy Agency’s net-zero pathway… “For banks to credibly claim involvement in the transition of energy sector clients, they cannot pursue a business-as-usual path. Big US and Canadian banks clearly need specific transition guardrails. This AGM season, investors should welcome the opportunity to communicate their preferences for increased risk management.”

Financial Post: Eric Miller: Why the world needs more Canadian natural gas
Eric Miller is president of Rideau Potomac Strategy Group, 4/23/23

“As we look for patterns to explain our world, one clear correlation is that economic prosperity drives energy consumption. Over the past 30 years, the size of the world economy has more than doubled and natural gas consumption has almost doubled,” Eric Miller writes for the Financial Post. “…The bottom line is when countries need energy, they will not tell their citizens to go without. Rather, they will turn to the sources available to them — and too often this means coal. Canada has an abundance of energy resources, including being the fifth largest natural gas producer in the world. Of its top 10 peers, Norway is the only other country with an economy-wide price on carbon. This means Canadian natural gas is arguably ethically superior to that produced by its competitors… “Canada would arrange financing — some combination of public and private capital — to build or convert power plants to run on natural gas. A consortium of Canadian firms would build the facilities and supply the operating systems, all while ensuring that Canadian environmental standards are embedded throughout. These investments would be underwritten by long-term supply agreements for Canadian natural gas. For this to work, Canada needs to be able to move its energy where it is needed. Since 2005, 18 liquified natural gas (LNG) export terminals have been proposed, but only LNG Canada in Kitimat, B.C. is close to completion… “Most importantly though are the economic opportunities for First Nations… “If Canadian gas is “kept in the ground” and not sent to Asia or Europe, these regions will either burn coal or use gas that is produced under a less rigorous regulatory regime and no carbon price. Both scenarios leave the world worse off.”

The Hill: Earth Day 2023 and our fatal affinity for fossil fuels
Brad Bannon is a Democratic pollster, 4/21/23

“The starting point for any discussion of Earth Day 2023 is the climate report released late last month by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Think about the IPCC members as the scientists in disaster movies who try to warn indifferent political officials about the doomsday natural disasters that predictably devastate the earth after their scientific advice is ignored,” Brad Bannon writes for The Hill. “…Fortunately, most Americans understand the alarming need to confront the crisis head-on — even if Republicans in Congress don’t… “A new national survey by the Pew Research Center demonstrates that the public sees the connection between the climate emergency and fossil fuels. Seven out of every 10 people favor President Biden’s goal of net-neutral carbon emissions by 2050. About the same number of people believe that the government should prioritize the development of clean energy such as wind and solar power over fossil fuels like oil and coal… “The GOP’s fatal affinity for fossil fuels is an insult to public opinion… “Republican indifference and the avarice of the Big Oil companies have generated billions of dollars in federal subsidies for the fossil fuel industry. The oil companies, the ultimate welfare queens, are reaping record profits but they’re still on the government dole… “While Americans want to focus more on development of clean energy, many Republicans want to reduce the small amount of money that we have started to spend on alternatives to fossil fuels to respond to the looming climate emergency… “Earth Day is a chance to celebrate the world’s natural splendors or an opportunity to mourn its impending decline. But the anniversary must herald the urgency to act to preserve our natural legacy. We ignore the climate crisis at our own peril!”

Los Angeles Times: Opinion: I grew up next to an L.A. oil well. California can protect others from what I went through
Nalleli Cobo is an environmental justice advocate and the winner of the 2022 Goldman Environmental Prize for North America, 4/24/23

“I grew up 30 feet from an oil well. We couldn’t open the windows of our South L.A. home because of what was in the air. I couldn’t play outside for more than a few minutes without feeling sick,” Nalleli Cobo writes for the Los Angeles Times. “At the age of 9, I started organizing to shut down the drilling that was making me, my mother, my sister and our community sick. I helped found a grassroots campaign called “People Not Pozos,” Spanish for “wells.” Over a decade later, it’s a campaign I and others are continuing across California as toxic drilling continues in our midst. When I was about 11, I was diagnosed with asthma. By the time I turned 19, we had shut down the drilling in our South L.A. neighborhood, but not before I was diagnosed with stage 2 reproductive cancer. I lost my ability to bear children as a result… “My experience, like that of others who live in neighborhoods polluted by oil drilling, is a constant reminder that those in power do not value our health and well-being. It’s a signal that some communities are expendable, that our lives don’t matter as much as the fossil fuel industry’s profits… “It’s time for the Legislature to go further. A bill up for its first committee hearing Tuesday would help hold oil drillers legally responsible for the harms they cause by drilling so close to where people live. SB 556, also by Gonzalez, would make oil drillers presumptively liable for illnesses linked to their operations within the setback zone… “Protecting us with laws like SB 556 is the job we elected lawmakers to do. All Californians have a right to breathe clean air, drink clean water and live in a healthy environment.”

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