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EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 4/26/23

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

By Mark Hefflinger

April 26, 2023




  • E&E News: Manchin On IRA: ‘I Would Vote To Repeal My Own Bill’

  • Washington Post: Senate environment panel to debate permitting overhaul

  • Big Oil, Renewables Team Up To Push Permitting Reform

  • E&E News: Biden Plans New EPA Power Plant Rule. Will SCOTUS Kill It? 

  • E&E News: EPA won’t require carbon capture at all power plants — sources

  • Guardian: John Kerry: relying on technology to remove carbon dioxide is ‘dangerous’

  • E&E News: GOP scrambles to address energy concerns with debt bill

  • Utility Dive: FERC clears NextDecade, Glenfarne LNG export projects after revising carbon, environmental justice reviews

  • Washington Post: Biden announces reelection bid as climate activists demand more


  • Carlsbad Current-Argus: More New Mexico land must be saved from oil and gas to prevent climate crisis, study says

  • Asbury Park Press: Why Democrats say the NJ, Atlantic coast is under threat from oil and gas drilling



  • Enbridge: Natural gas: A versatile tool to address ‘both energy security and deep decarbonization goals’


  • Spokane FAVS: Letter to the Editor: Pipeline Threatens Our Safety

  • The Tyee: How Not to Handle an Oilsands Spill


Politico: Why is Biden backing Manchin’s pet pipeline?

“The Biden administration is supporting an embattled natural gas project championed by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin — angering climate advocates and prompting some Capitol Hill Democrats to question the president’s motives,” Politico reports. “Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm voiced support in a letter to regulators this week for the $6.6 billion Mountain Valley pipeline, which would carry gas 303 miles through West Virginia and Virginia to mid-Atlantic and Southeastern markets. It’s not sitting well with progressive lawmakers and environmentalists, who are still burning after the administration approved a massive oil project in Alaska… “Some lawmakers smell chicanery. “This has all the hallmarks of a backroom, Faustian deal with Joe Manchin,” Rep. Jared Huffman of California, a senior Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, told Politico… “The West Virginia Democrat, who chairs the Senate energy committee, has stalled the confirmation process for FERC’s fifth commissioner, leaving the agency vulnerable to political stalemates on critical decisions. Additionally, President Joe Biden needs all Democrats — including Manchin — to stand united against Republican attempts to extract concessions in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. On the GOP wish list: repealing key sections of Biden’s landmark climate law… “Manchin’s still unhappy: Granholm’s support for the pipeline doesn’t appear to be persuading Manchin, who has continued to disparage the administration’s rollout of the Inflation Reduction Act. On Monday, he said he would vote in favor of its repeal if the White House continues its “radical climate agenda.”

Bloomberg: Carbon Deal Targets US Pipeline Seeking to Tackle Corn-Based Ethanol Emissions
Kim Chipman and Tarso Veloso Ribeiro, 4/26/23

“A project to build a giant pipeline to remove carbon produced by the corn-based ethanol industry struck its first agreement to sell carbon-removal credits, part of a broader push to improve the green credentials of the fuel,” Bloomberg reports. “Summit Carbon Solutions, which is building the $5.5 billion pipeline through the heart of America’s Corn Belt, said it will sell credits valued at up to $30 million to NextGen CDR Facility, a joint venture of Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi Corp. and climate consultancy South Pole. Together with two other deals that the joint venture announced Wednesday, the transactions equal a quarter of all certified carbon removals to date, according to NextGen… “Low-carbon fuel markets like California, as well as federal government incentives, are motivating producers to seek ways to hit net-zero or even negative carbon emissions. For Ames, Iowa-based Summit, the deal is part of its plan to monetize the potential environmental benefits of the project, which it hopes to have up and running by the first half of 2025 to tap potentially lucrative US tax incentives… “The pipeline has more than two-thirds of landowner approvals needed for its route across five US Midwestern states, though it still faces opposition from environmentalists and some farmers citing concerns over safety and property rights… “NextGen is seeking to secure more than 1 million tons of carbon removals by 2025, with an average target price of $200 a ton, Philip Moss, NextGen chairman and head of tech carbon removals at South Pole, told Bloomberg. The venture is backed by companies including UBS Group AG and Swiss Re, who have also agreed to buy credits.”

AgWeek: At Minnesota pipeline hearings, public can point questions at Summit Carbon Solutions
Jeff Beach, 4/25/23

“When the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission holds its first public meetings on a controversial carbon capture pipeline, people will get a chance to ask questions of the company behind the $5.5 billion project — Summit Carbon Solutions,” AgWeek reports. “…The meeting schedule is: May 2: 6 – 9 p.m. at Breckenridge High School in Wilkin County; May 3: 1 – 4 p.m. and 6 – 9 p.m. at the Bigwood Event Center in Fergus Falls in Otter Tail County. May 4: 6 – 9 p.m. online at Charley Bruce of the PUC told AgWeek there will be short presentations from the commission, from the Minnesota Department of Commerce on environmental impact, and from Summit Carbon Solutions. The public can then ask questions of either agency or Summit or make comments. That differs from the process in North Dakota, where the public has been able to provide testimony at public hearings, but has not been able to direct questions at Summit officials or the Public Service Commission. North Dakota’s PSC also does not take online comments. In Minnesota, an online comment period is open until May 28… “Summit’s original timeline was to obtain permits in 2022; begin construction in 2023 and be operational in 2024. It has yet to obtain any permits and its estimated cost has increased from $4.5 billion to $5.5 billion.”

U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA): Pipeline Safety: Carbon Dioxide Pipeline Safety Public Meeting

“The CO2 Public Meeting 2023 will be held on May 31- June 1, 2023, in Des Moines, Iowa, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (MT). Anyone who would like to attend the public meeting must register by May 12, 2023. Individuals requiring accommodations, such as sign language interpretation or other aids, are asked to notify PHMSA no later than May 12, 2023. This public meeting and forum will be held in person and via webcast. The agenda and instructions on how to attend will be published once they are finalized on the following public meeting registration page: Submitting Comments: You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. PHMSA–2023–0013.”

North Platte Telegraph: FERC comments due Monday on Trailblazer Pipeline conversion to CO2
Todd von Kampen, 4/25/23

“The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says it expects “no significant impact” on the environment from converting most of the 41-year-old Trailblazer Pipeline from natural gas to carbon dioxide transportation,” the North Platte Telegraph reports. “FERC will take public comments through 5 p.m. ET Monday on its “environmental assessment” clearing the way for the three-state pipeline’s conversion, the agency said in a March 31 filing… “Lincoln County commissioners Aug. 8 approved a letter of support for Trailblazer’s proposed conversion… “Instead of sending gas eastbound toward Beatrice, the western 392 miles of Trailblazer would send carbon dioxide captured in Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado westbound to a commercial-scale carbon sequestration hub in eastern Wyoming. That hub is expected to go online next year… “Because Tallgrass intends to shift rather than increase its natural gas delivery capacity, Trailblazer’s conversion “would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment,” FERC said in its March 31 filing… “If FERC allows abandonment of Trailblazer’s use for natural gas, the 392 miles tapped for carbon dioxide transport “would not be subject to the Commission’s jurisdiction” in the future, the March 31 filing adds.”

WAND: Illinois lawmakers, advocates consider future of carbon capture storage
Mike Miletich, 4/24/23

“There is an ongoing debate in Springfield about how Illinois should move forward with carbon capture and storage technology,” WAND reports. “Some argue that it could play a vital role in reaching the state’s 100% carbon-free goal by 2050. Although, environmental advocates told lawmakers Monday that they should protect communities from pollution and explosions. The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition said a recent report from the University of Illinois Prairie Research Institute found that the state is “woefully unprotected” from risks associated with capturing, transporting, and injecting fossil fuels into the earth. “With Illinois’ unique geological features, our state is poised to become a ground zero state for CCS infrastructure and waste storage,” Christine Nanniceli, a Beyond Coal senior campaign representative with Sierra Club Illinois, told WAND. “And we are currently unprepared and unprotected from the newly emerging scale of this threat.” Sierra Club Illinois is also concerned about the future for farmers who don’t want pipelines built through their land. Advocates said House Bill 3119 could protect property rights, land, water, and livelihoods. “Simply put, this debate is about whether Illinois will grant authority to large corporation to force land owners to have industrial waste transported near their homes and store it under their property and then leave the taxpayers of Illinois holding the bag for any disastrous consequences which may occur in the years to come,” Christian County farmer Karen Brocklesby told WAND. ADM and the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association are supporting a plan encouraging the state to store more carbon dioxide underground. Still, Rep. Ann Williams (D-Chicago) and other statehouse environmental leaders told WAND they’re skeptical about using carbon capture technology because they argue it will increase pollution intensity at power plants. “We need to recognize and acknowledge and handle the regulatory gaps at both the federal and state levels to ensure that Illinois land owners, local drinking water, public health, and our climate are adequately protected,” Williams told WAND.

Illinois Radio Network: Lawmakers, interest groups debate CO2 pipelines
Greg Bishop, 4/25/23

“What kinds of regulations there will be on future carbon sequestration projects in Illinois depends on if common ground can be found,” Illinois Radio Network reports. “…During a joint hearing of Illinois House and Senate committees Monday, the Sierra Club’s Christine Nannicelli said there’s skepticism the process is a net positive on the environment. “And so we are asking for the state legislature to act and to make sure that Illinois taxpayers, our land and our climate are adequately protected,” Nannicelli said. There are competing bills lawmakers are discussing with environmental groups, industry associations and private citizens… “Illinois Farm Bureau’s Bill Bodine told IRN they have discussed the issues with industry representatives and have gone from opposed to neutral to the industry-favored legislation. “Now the proposal we’ve negotiated with the industry isn’t perfect, we will admit that, but it does create protections for property rights issues associated with carbon storage that we believe will be amongst the strongest in the country,” Bodine told IRN.

Holt Independent: Holt County Board of Supervisors Proceedings

“The Holt County Board of Supervisors met as a Board of Equalization with all members present,” the Holt Independent reports. “County Assessor Tim Wallinger, County Treasurer Shelly Ross and County Clerk Cathy Pavel were also in attendance… “Jane Kleeb & Tom Genung with Bold Nebraska & the Easement Action Team were present to discuss carbon pipelines and landowner property rights.”

Des Moines Register: Pipelines operated by oil companies for decades without permits, but Iowa law limits penalties
Donnelle Eller, 4/25/23

“A large Texas oil company has operated seven hazardous liquid pipelines and two undergrounds storage facilities in Iowa for two decades without the required permit, state regulators have determined,” the Des Moines Register reports. “They fined Enterprise Products Operating LLC of Houston $1.8 million. But its liability would have been $67.8 million were it not for a state law that caps violations at $200,000 each, the Iowa Utilities Board said in an order released last week. A three-person IUB panel also ordered Sinclair Transportation Co., a subsidiary of Dallas-based Holly Energy, to pay $200,000 for operating nearly 12 miles of unpermitted hazardous liquid pipeline that runs through Lee County in southeast Iowa. Sinclair, operating for nearly a year without a permit, would have paid $355,000 without a cap, the board said. The companies, which use the pipelines to transport refined petroleum products, told the board in separate March hearings they were unaware until notified by the state that they were operating the pipelines and storage facilities without permits. They had acquired the pipelines from previous owners.”

KABC: Oil leak closes part of Sepulveda Boulevard, emits strong odor in Rancho Park

“Part of Sepulveda Boulevard remains shut down on Tuesday as crews continue to clean up an oil leak in West L.A.,” KABC reports. “An estimated 1,000 gallons of oil started seeping out of the ground at Sepulveda and West Sardis, a little before 6 p.m. Monday night. Firefighters created dams to contain the oil that left a strong odor in the area. They believe only about 20 to 40 gallons made it to the storm drain… “At this point, they have not conclusively determined whose pipe it is. It’s still going to take some time, but regardless, all the appropriate actions are taking place,” Capt. Erik Scott of the LAFD told KABC.


E&E News: Manchin On IRA: ‘I Would Vote To Repeal My Own Bill’
Jeremy Dillon, 4/25/23

“Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Joe Manchin threatened Monday evening to back efforts to undo Democrats’ historic climate legislation that he helped write if the Biden administration continues to implement the law in a direction he disagrees with,” E&E News reports. “The comments represent an escalation in tone for the West Virginia Democrat as he attempts to ensure the White House follows through on a host of fossil fuel provisions and strict electric vehicle tax incentive qualifications that he alleges have so far been ignored.”

Washington Post: Senate environment panel to debate permitting overhaul
Maxine Joselow, 4/26/23

“The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today will hold a closely watched hearing on speeding up the permitting process for energy projects,” the Washington Post reports. “Committee Chair Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.) plans to lay out his priorities for a permitting deal that would benefit clean-energy projects, according to a copy of his prepared remarks shared with the Post. “I know we can build infrastructure and create economic opportunity while also protecting the air we breathe, the water we drink and the communities we call home from pollution,” Carper plans to say. He will add that a bipartisan permitting package should accomplish the following goals: Lower greenhouse gas emissions and preserve the nation’s bedrock environmental laws; Encourage community engagement in project development, especially in disadvantaged communities; Provide clean-energy businesses with “certainty and predictability.” Big Oil, Renewables Team Up To Push Permitting Reform
Tsvetana Paraskova, 4/25/23

“U.S. renewable energy associations and the biggest oil and gas industry lobby are united by a common cause—getting permitting reforms done to unlock the full benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act and boost domestic energy production,” reports. “In one of the most unusual ‘alliances’ in recent months, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and industry groups of clean energy producers and utilities have been urging Congress to amend the legislation on project permitting, including shortening the timelines for review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). As Congress is discussing a debt ceiling deal, associations in both the oil and gas industry and the renewable energy sector are meeting with lawmakers to offer their viewpoints and express concerns about how a slow permitting process is hindering pipeline and offshore wind construction, and grid upgrades and expansions. The oil lobby and the clean energy sector could even send joint delegations for talks with lawmakers soon, representatives of the industry groups tell the Financial Times… “Permitting delays present obstacles for the oil and gas industry, too, API says, as it has been calling for years for meaningful commonsense reform to permitting processes.”

E&E News: Biden Plans New EPA Power Plant Rule. Will SCOTUS Kill It? 

“Less than a year after the Supreme Court settled one battle over EPA’s climate authority, the Biden administration is teeing up round two,” E&E News reports. “EPA is expected to soon propose the strongest-ever restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from fossil-fuel-fired power plants, the nation’s second-largest contributor to global climate change. The regulation would follow the Obama administration’s signature 2015 Clean Power Plan, which the Supreme Court ruled out of bounds 10 months ago using the “major questions” doctrine, a legal theory that says Congress must explicitly authorize agencies to regulate significant issues — and one that conservatives are likely to wield against President Joe Biden’s power plant rule.”

E&E News: EPA won’t require carbon capture at all power plants — sources
Jean Chemnick, 4/26/23

“EPA’s upcoming climate rules are expected to rely on carbon capture technology. But that doesn’t mean fossil fuel power plants will use it,” E&E News reports. “The agency’s draft regulations on the nation’s sprawling power sector will require utilities to slash their carbon emissions to levels that could be achieved by using carbon capture systems. But to get there, they wouldn’t have to actually use that technology, experts tell E&E. The rules, which are expected to be proposed within two weeks, treat power plants that run less often differently than behemoth plants that generate baseload electricity, two people who are familiar with the rules and were granted anonymity to speak freely told E&E. Facilities that burn natural gas and coal but run less frequently or at lower capacity are expected to face lighter requirements for lowering emissions — and they could use hydrogen or other upgrades, like heat-rate improvements, to comply with the rules. Operators who agree to close their plants early may not face any obligations at all. Other plants could comply with the rules by investing in renewable energy, hydrogen or other ways to generate power… “But just because the agency tailored its rules around emissions levels that could be met with carbon capture systems doesn’t mean utilities will be compelled to install them, Mike O’Boyle, senior director for electricity at Energy Innovation, told E&E… “Utilities have little experience capturing carbon, O’Boyle told E&E. Only a few U.S. power plants have ever used the technology, and no commercial units are using it now. The technology faces challenges that run the gamut from being expensive to difficulties in siting and permitting pipelines and storage, to community acceptance.”

Guardian: John Kerry: relying on technology to remove carbon dioxide is ‘dangerous’
Fiona Harvey, 4/25/23

“Relying on technology to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is “dangerous” and a cause for “alarm”, John Kerry has warned,” the Guardian reports. “The US special presidential envoy for climate said in an interview that new technologies may not prevent the world from passing “tipping points”, key temperature thresholds that, once passed, could trigger a cascade of unstoppable physical effects. “Some scientists suggest that it’s possible there could be an overshoot [of global temperatures, beyond the limit of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels that governments are targeting] and you could clawback, so to speak – you have technologies and other things that allow you to come back,” Kerry told the Guardian. “The danger with that, which alarms me the most and motivates me the most, is that according to the science, and the best scientists in the world, we may be at or past several tipping points that they have been warning us about for some time,” he said. “That’s the danger, the irreversibility.” He called on governments to deploy renewable energy faster, along with related technologies such as electric vehicles… “The US president, Joe Biden, has come under severe criticism from climate activists, despite his green investment push, for pressing ahead with investment in fossil fuels… “Kerry robustly defended these actions, on the grounds that more fossil fuels were needed temporarily because of the war in Ukraine, and said some oil and gas expansion could occur within climate limits, particularly if carbon capture and storage, or other ways of reducing the impact of the fossil fuels, could be used. “Gas usage is an automatic 30-50% reduction over oil and coal. It’s not clean, it’s cleaner,” he told the Guardian. “So now the question is, can carbon capture and storage be deployed at a scale that makes it possible to meet our goals?”

E&E News: GOP scrambles to address energy concerns with debt bill
Jeremy Dillon, Kelsey Brugger, Emma Dumain, Manuel Quiñones, 4/26/23

“House Republican leaders agreed overnight to tweak their debt ceiling bill up for a vote this week to address a rebellion from biofuel boosters on Capitol Hill,” E&E News reports. “Midwestern lawmakers have for days expressed serious reservations about provisions that would ax subsidies for biofuel plants. Those concerns are piled onto a list of energy-related questions some Republicans have raised about House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s initial bid to raise the nation’s borrowing limit. But Wednesday morning, after an extended hearing on the legislation, the House Rules Committee approved tweaks to the bill ahead of floor debate. Changes included scrapping three sections on carbon capture and biofuel credits. “I’m thrilled everyone is talking about biofuels — period,” Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa), who met with McCarthy (R-Calif.) for hours to voice her concerns, told reporters. “Because we’ve been talking about how important they are for two years up here, and I’m glad to see people finally covering it.” “..Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), the chair of the House Agriculture Committee, told E&E the ethanol issue is “key to my stakeholders” but downplayed the anxiety over the issue in the agriculture community at large.”

Utility Dive: FERC clears NextDecade, Glenfarne LNG export projects after revising carbon, environmental justice reviews
Ethan Howland, 4/25/23

“Liquefied natural gas export projects being developed in Texas by NextDecade and Glenfarne Energy Transition cleared a major hurdle Friday when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission revised its previous approval of them in response to a court order,” Utility Dive reports. “FERC included a social cost of carbon estimate for both projects and conducted additional analysis to consider how they would affect environmental justice communities around them as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit required in its August 2021 Vecinos decision. The decisions in NextDecade’s $11.5 billion Rio Grande project and a related $2.4 billion, 135-mile pipeline, known as Rio Bravo, to be built by an Enbridge subsidiary and in Glenfarne’s Texas LNG project struck an “appropriate middle ground,” FERC Acting Chairman Willie Phillips said April 20 during the agency’s monthly meeting. FERC Commissioner Allison Clements dissented, saying FERC should have prepared a supplemental environmental impact statement that would have given the public a chance to comment on the agency’s updated analysis. The decisions will spark additional litigation, possibly leading to delays, she said in similar dissents against the two decisions. Opponents to the projects will likely ask FERC to reconsider its decisions in a required first step before appealing them in court, Nathan Matthews, a senior attorney with the Sierra Club, told Utility Dive Friday before the agency released its decisions.. “FERC staff estimated the social cost of carbon for the Rio Grande terminal to be $20 billion and the cost for the Rio Bravo pipeline to be $2 billion. FERC staff pegged the social cost of carbon for the Texas LNG project at $2 billion. Those estimates satisfy NEPA’s requirement that the agency take a “hard look” at the projects’ greenhouse gas emissions, FERC said… “In its updated environmental justice reviews, FERC staff expanded the scope of its analysis from a 2-mile radius around the planned LNG terminals to 50 kilometers, or about 31 miles. As a result, FERC assessed the impacts of the Rio Grande terminal and the Rio Bravo pipeline on 286 and 106 communities, respectively, up from four and 21 in the original analysis.”

Washington Post: Biden announces reelection bid as climate activists demand more
Maxine Joselow, 4/26/23

“President Biden on Tuesday officially announced his 2024 bid for reelection, saying in a video that he wants to “finish the job” he started,” the Washington Post reports. “The decision comes as polls suggest that few Democrats are enthusiastic about Biden running again, yet many think he has the best chance of defeating former president Donald Trump or another Republican nominee.  Although Biden has made climate change a priority and helped push through the Inflation Reduction Act, some environmental groups have said the president must do more to win over climate-conscious voters. “Rhetoric and more promises of great things to come in a second term are not enough,” Kierán Suckling, president of the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund, said in a statement. “Biden needs to start acting with true boldness and urgency today.” A coalition of youth-led groups — including the Sunrise Movement, March for Our Lives and Gen Z for Change — also sent a joint letter to Biden on Tuesday criticizing the administration’s recent approvals of fossil fuel projects, including ConocoPhillips’s Willow oil drilling project in Alaska.”


Carlsbad Current-Argus: More New Mexico land must be saved from oil and gas to prevent climate crisis, study says
Adrian Hedden, 4/21/23

“New Mexico lagged behind the rest of the U.S. in protected public land, according to a recent study, meaning oil and gas operations on federal land were a key contributor to worsening pollution and climate change,” the Carlsbad Current-Argus reports. “The study on the state of biodiversity in New Mexico and environmental impacts, published by the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance in partnership with national climate change advocacy group EcoAdapt, reported only 6.1 percent of lands in the state was protected for wildlife management. That’s less than half the 12.6 percent of lands protected nationally, even as New Mexico and federal officials worked toward the “30×30” initiative to conserve 30 percent of public land from development by 2030. That would mean New Mexico must conserve another 18 million acres to meet the target, the study read. At stake if the lands go unprotected, the report read, was air quality and other environmental aspects of the land in New Mexico, more than a third of which is managed by federal agencies like the Bureau of Land Management within the U.S. Department of the Interior… “Priority areas for conservation the study read, included Carlsbad Caverns, the Gila and Aldo Leopold wilderness areas and unprotected BLM lands in the Otero Mesa and Bootheel region. “Most of these public lands are vulnerable to threats like oil and gas development, hardrock mining, commercial logging, and road fragmentation,” the report read. “Additional federal public lands protections could substantially increase overall land protections statewide.”

Asbury Park Press: Why Democrats say the NJ, Atlantic coast is under threat from oil and gas drilling
Amanda Oglesby, 4/24/23

“Two New Jersey Democrats are renewing a call for Congress to permanently ban offshore oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic ocean,” the Asbury Park Press reports. “U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. are urging Congress to support the Clean Ocean and Safe Tourism, or COAST, Anti-Drilling Act, which would permanently block the federal Department of Interior from issuing leases to explore, develop or produce oil or gas along the Atlantic Coast. The bill was first introduced in 2015 but has so far failed to be signed into law. At the event on Monday in Long Branch, Booker and Pallone said the anti-drilling act would protect New Jersey and other Eastern Seaboard states from drilling-related oil spills, like those that have ravaged coasts along the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska and California. “This is going to take a persistent, unyielding, determined… fight to continue to protect New Jersey’s coastline,” Booker said during the Long Branch event, which was not open to the public.


Associated Press: Kansas has new anti-ESG law amid raft of culture war vetoes
JOHN HANNA, 4/25/23

“Kansas officials won’t be allowed to use environmental, social and governance factors in investing public funds or deciding who receives government contracts because the state’s Democratic governor is allowing a Republican measure to become law without her signature,” the Associated Press reports. “Gov. Laura Kelly’s decision Monday came after she vetoed more than a dozen other anti-transgender, anti-abortion and culture war measures approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature… “The new anti-ESG law, taking effect July 1, is part of a larger push from conservatives across the U.S. against what they see as “woke” practices pushing liberal climate or diversity goals. At least nine states have enacted such laws; Montana’s GOP governor signed a bill last week, and a measure cleared Indiana’s GOP-controlled Legislature on Monday… “Last month, 19 GOP governors issued a statement calling ESG a “direct threat to the American economy, individual economic freedom, and our way of life.” Utah’s Republican state treasurer told a GOP gathering that ESG “opens the door to authoritarianism” and is “Satan’s plan.” “…In announcing that the Kansas measure was becoming law, Kelly didn’t touch on how investment managers for the state and its pension system for teachers and government workers will be required to “consider only financial factors” when making investment decisions.”

Associated Press: Indiana lawmakers give approval to anti-ESG investing bill
TOM DAVIES, 4/24/23

“Indiana Republicans pushed through a proposal Monday taking a stand against socially and environmentally conscious investing although disagreements within their legislative majorities narrowed it from what conservatives first sought,” the Associated Press reports. “House members voted 66-29 for final passage of the bill aimed at preventing leaders of the state’s pension funds for teachers and other government workers from investing any of their some $45 billion with firms that consider environmental, social and governance principles in their investment decisions. The bill now goes to Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb for his decision whether to sign it into law. The Indiana pension fund board has said it hasn’t followed so-called ESG investment strategies, which have become the target of Republican lawmakers across the country who argue they are focused more on pushing political agendas rather than earning the best returns. Such a ban is needed in Indiana to ensure that “financial returns trump all,” Republican Rep. Ethan Manning of Logansport, the bill’s sponsor, told AP… “Much of the public testimony before Indiana lawmakers in support of the ESG limitations had nothing to do with state pension investments. Legislative committees heard a litany of complaints from businesses, including those in coal mining and firearms production, about difficulties they blame on corporate ESG policies.”


Enbridge: Natural gas: A versatile tool to address ‘both energy security and deep decarbonization goals’

“Global energy security and climate goals are parts of the same sentence—and American natural gas exports are the action verb,” according to Enbridge. “Today, the Energy Futures Initiative, led by former U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, released a report in Washington, DC entitled The Role of U.S. Natural Gas Exports in a Low-Carbon World, highlighting the opportunity for additional growth in what is already a booming U.S. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export industry. “Two unprecedented events—the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—have severely disrupted global energy markets. Countries, mainly in Europe but also throughout the world, have struggled to deal with the ensuing shocks to their energy supplies,” reads the report. “At the same time, the threat of climate change remains, and demands that energy solutions address both energy security and deep decarbonization goals.” Natural gas, a cleaner alternative than other conventional energy sources, “can help countries meet both energy security needs and decarbonization goals,” adds the report. “As the world’s biggest natural gas exporter, the United States plays a crucial role in helping countries address both goals on a global scale.” At Enbridge, we also believe that natural gas is key to society’s transition to a cleaner energy future by: displacing coal in power generation; backstopping the intermittency of renewables; contributing to a lower-carbon footprint. “Natural gas is essential to a clean, reliable and affordable energy future,” Enbridge President and CEO Greg Ebel said last month at our 2023 Enbridge Day event for the investment community. “LNG is the best way to enhance energy security and reduce emissions, and we’re obligated to share our abundance in North America with the world.” “…The Role of U.S. Natural Gas Exports in a Low-Carbon World report was sponsored in part by Natural Allies for a Clean Energy Future, of which Enbridge is a member.”


Spokane FAVS: Letter to the Editor: Pipeline Threatens Our Safety
Rev. Gen Heywood, Faith Leaders and Leaders of Conscience, 4/25/23

“As people of faith and conscience, we call for halting TC Energy’s plans to add more fracked gas to the Gas Transmission Northwest (GTN) pipeline through its “GTN Xpress,” Rev. Gen Heywood writes for Spokane FAVS. “GTN Xpress is dangerous for our wetlands, water sources and our communities, particularly for those of us in Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake where the pipeline runs under the Spokane River, near Ridgeline High School, and under Valley Real Life’s church playground near our Saltese wetlands… “Adding more fracked gas to an aging pipeline is a threat to humans and wildlife. An expansion will result in more leaks, widen the “blast zone” of potential explosions and risk the safety of our communities. Recently, Pipeline Safety Trust detailed GTN Xpress’ risks to our communities and the environment. Regulators must listen to what these pipeline experts say. We, along with nearly 400 faith leaders in Idaho, Washington and Oregon, are asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to deny this dangerous and immoral project. We are grateful that Governor Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson have both asked FERC to deny the project. We ask Senators Murray and Cantwell to share in protecting creation by calling on FERC to reject GTN Xpress.”

The Tyee: How Not to Handle an Oilsands Spill
David J. Climenhaga is an award-winning journalist, author, post-secondary teacher, poet and trade union communicator, 4/26/23

“Anyone who watched the head of the Alberta Energy Regulator refusing to answer questions Monday during the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development’s hearings into Imperial Oil’s Kearl site tailings pond spill last May has to wonder what the actual purpose of the provincial agency is,” David J. Climenhaga writes for The Tyee. “But don’t worry. The AER wants you to know it’s on the job — closely examining Hollywood’s output to ensure no impressionable moviegoer is influenced to blow up critical infrastructure… “Alberta Energy Regulator CEO Laurie Pushor repeatedly refused to answer Edmonton Strathcona MP Heather McPherson’s pointed questions Monday about when the so-called “regulator” informed Alberta’s United Conservative Party government of the spill. The federal parliamentary committee’s hearing was called to discover why continuing seepage from the site wasn’t reported to Environment Canada or nearby First Nations communities for nine months, until a 5.3-million-litre spill became known in February. “By failing to answer my questions, Pushor has shown extreme contempt for Parliament,” McPherson said in a statement. “More importantly,” the NDP MP continued, “he has shown contempt for Canadians, particularly the impacted First Nations and Métis communities.” She said the federal NDP will raise a point of privilege in the House of Commons “to compel the AER to provide clarity on when Danielle Smith and the UCP knew about the ongoing seepage and spill.” The same day, however, the AER issued a statement of its own, assailing American film director Daniel Goldhaber’s How To Blow Up a Pipeline, which the Guardian’s reviewer dubbed “a propulsive eco-thriller.” “…The release of this movie should not be taken lightly,” huffed the regulator in a statement published Monday. “Provincial and federal agencies across North America are preparing for scenarios where activists, inspired by the film, may turn to sabotage to get their message across, putting themselves, their communities and industry in danger.” Plus, presumably, since the boss was on the stand facing a question he’d really prefer not to answer, they’d rather you got caught up in a saga about fictional terrorists… “We Albertans may not be able to be confident our provincial officials are working very hard to prevent leaks and spills of toxic materials, but at least we know that when the going gets tough, the tough review movies.”

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