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EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 5/24/23

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

By Mark Hefflinger

May 24, 2023



  • Axios: CO2 pipeline opponents seek federal moratorium

  • Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Minnehaha County pipeline ordinance delayed after split amendment vote

  • KFYR: Carbon dioxide pipeline debate: ND lawmakers ask AG to investigate Summit Carbon Solutions’ investors

  • NTV: Carbon pipeline finds local support, nears easements on two-thirds of Nebraska route

  • Reuters: Energy Transfer slams US denial of LNG extension, seeks rehearing

  • The Reminder: Protesters host rally, march to oppose Eversource pipeline project

  • No Pipeline Community Paddle set for May 27 in Eden

  • The Narwhal: ‘Heartbreaking’: an overhead view of Coastal GasLink sediment spills into Wet’suwet’en waters, wetlands


  • Press release: Congressional Leaders & Climate Advocates Condemned MAGA Republicans’ “Default on America” Act that Rolls Back Clean Energy Progress and Community Protections

  • The Hill: Foreign exports, not domestic demand, to drive controversial gas expansion, agency finds

  • E&E News: Interior’s Oil Plan Is Coming. Here’s What To Watch

  • InsideEPA: White House Begins Reviewing EPA Rule Implementing IRA Methane Fee


  • Texas Public Radio: San Antonio company captures CO2, but one expert says it does more harm than good

  • Carlsbad Current-Argus: Protests rally ahead of federal oil and gas lease sale in southeast New Mexico

  • Wyoming State Daily: Wyoming Reportedly On Shortlist For $14 Billion Petroleum Refinery

  • Beaumont Enterprise: Mid-County refinery storage, distribution facility fined by state

  • Associated Press: ‘Leap of faith:’ Alaska pursues carbon offset market while embracing oil

  • Texas Tribune: Texas Republicans want to shield oil and gas from federal climate regulations. Their bill would have little impact, experts say.

  • E&E News: N.Y. regulator to consider hydrogen, CCS for zero-carbon grid


  • E&E News: U.N. slams carbon removal as unproven and risky

  • Associated Press: Black children are more likely to have asthma.

  • E&E News: 20 oil and gas firms emit half of industry methane — report

  • Reuters: Methane hunters tap new technology to reshape policing of US greenhouse emissions 

  • InsideClimate News: Companies Object to Proposed SEC Rule Requiring Them to Track Emissions Up and Down Their Supply Chains

  • Bloomberg: Canada Wildfires Raise Threat of Another Oil-Sands Shutdown

  • Carbon Herald: Wood Teams Up With Teck On First Carbon Capture Plant

  • Chemistry World: Cheaper method to capture carbon dioxide could shake up industry

  • InsideClimate News: What Is Produced Water?


  • CNBC: ‘Go to hell, Shell’: Climate protesters try to storm stage at oil giant’s annual shareholders meeting

  • DemocracyNow: Climate Activists at Africa Energies Summit in London Demand End to Fossil Fuel Projects

  • Press release: Climate groups target RBC’s environmental racism in ad campaign at RBC Brooklyn Half Marathon

  • Bloomberg: Sumitomo Mitsui Rules Out Funding $5 Billion Uganda Oil Pipeline

  • Energy Intelligence: Divestments Nudge Majors Toward Climate Targets

  • NPR: Insurance firms need more climate change information. Scientists say they can help


  • Prince George Citizen: Opinion: Indigenous nurse opposed to pipeline wants attacks to stop

  • Teen Vogue: Billionaires Contribute to Climate Change the Most — and Determine Climate Policy

  • Bloomberg: California Teaches Florida and Texas a Lesson in ESG

  • The Tyee: Here’s the Only Path to Real Change in Alberta


Axios: CO2 pipeline opponents seek federal moratorium
Jason Clayworth, 5/23/23

“Federal regulators are hosting a two-day conference about carbon dioxide (CO2) pipeline safety at the downtown DSM Marriott next week,” Axios reports. “Opposition to pipeline projects that would transport CO2 across Iowa and much of the Midwest has been building for months. Critics plan to use the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) meeting to lobby for a federal moratorium on the proposals… “Next week’s meeting is a follow-up to the additional safety measures put in place after a 2020 CO2 pipeline rupture in Mississippi… “Groups like Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI) are now asking PHMSA — the primary federal agency that approves permits for hazardous materials — to halt future projects until further safety regulations are created… “Some rural Iowa towns rely on volunteer fire departments and may not be prepared to deal with pipeline ruptures, Susan Stoefen, a CCI member from rural Scott County, said in a press statement. The pipeline companies “are treating our communities like guinea pigs,” she said… “Polk County Supervisors have for months considered and may still act to oppose the project, county administrator John Norris tells Axios. The PHMSA meeting starts May 31 at 8am.”

Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Minnehaha County pipeline ordinance delayed after split amendment vote
Dominik Dausch, 5/23/23

“After more than three hours of testimony between state representatives, farmers, ethanol plant owners and carbon pipeline companies, Minnehaha County commissioners must wait another two weeks to decide if an ordinance meant to bring pipelines under county oversight will come to fruition,” the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports. “Minnehaha County Board of Commissioners were forced to delay a final vote on Ordinance MC16-179-23, an ordinance amendment that creates new regulations and processes on transmission pipelines ― including pipelines used for carbon sequestration ― to a June 6 commission meeting. The proposed ordinance amendment would institute various setbacks on pipelines in the county… “Commissioner Joe Kippley brought three amendments to the ordinance, which were discussed by the board, one of which prevented the final vote on the entire ordinance. The most controversial proposed amendment reduced the minimum setback for residential areas to 330 feet. According to this amendment, measurements would also begin at the point of the physical structure closest to a proposed pipeline, which would potentially further truncate any setbacks… “A motion to amend the ordinance was split in an equal 2-2 vote. Because of the tie vote, the decision on the amendment is unresolved and prevented the commission from making a final vote on the ordinance as a whole.”

KFYR: Carbon dioxide pipeline debate: ND lawmakers ask AG to investigate Summit Carbon Solutions’ investors
Joel Crane, 5/23/23

“A proposed Summit Carbon Solutions carbon dioxide pipeline has sparked a bitter debate in North Dakota,” KFYR reports. “…For some, this represents a serious threat. “It feels terrible. It makes you angry, it makes you sad, it makes you just, I can’t describe it,” Sue McLean of Menoken told KFYR. “Water will get me wet, oil will get me dirty, gas might rupture and I might have a problem, but this will kill me.” The concern? Carbon dioxide is heavier than air, and if a pipeline carrying CO2 were to rupture near a population center, people could be in danger. “There’s going to be a lot of damage and a lot of death,” Representative Lori VanWinkle, R-Minot told KFYR… “Now, 31 lawmakers say Summit’s purchase of land would violate recently-passed North Dakota laws because of their investors. “We respectfully ask for an Attorney General investigation into the investors of the proposed Summit Carbon Solutions carbon pipeline,” said Senator Jeff Magrum, R-Hazelton. Senator Magrum says foreign countries like China have invested in Summit, which would violate House Bill 1135 and Senate Bill 2371. Those bills prohibit foreign governments from owning land in the state. “Make no mistake, a 99-year easement is an acquisition of a property right, and allowing such a pipeline to potentially fall under foreign control is something we should be very cautious about,” Representative SuAnn Olson, R-Baldwin told KFYR… “Many of those in attendance Tuesday plan to voice their concerns to the Public Service Commission next week. The North Dakota Public Service Commission will hold another public hearing about the project at the Heritage Center in Bismarck on June 2. The last one lasted about 14 hours, and many who attended didn’t have a chance to speak.”

NTV: Carbon pipeline finds local support, nears easements on two-thirds of Nebraska route
Steve White, 5/23/23

“America’s heartland could be key to our low-carbon future. Now, a proposed pipeline may be getting closer to construction as 70 percent of landowners in one local county are on board,” NTV reports. “As he works on an irrigation system in a field, Greg Greving recently received what you might call seed money. “There was a lot of neighbors we talked and said might as well sign up, take the money and run,” he said with a laugh… “Compensated for land rights and prepared damages to the tune of $33 million, that’s money in landowners pockets today,” Rob Latimer told the Merrick County board. Latimer represents Summit Carbon Solutions which plans to build a 2,000 mile pipeline to capture carbon from ethanol plants in five states and transport it to North Dakota to be sequestered. Greving told NTV he’s on board because it will lower the carbon footprint of the local ethanol plant. “We need to make sure our corn gets into the cars in California,” he said of his belief in lower the carbon footprint of ethanol. Nebraska regulates oil pipelines but has no state oversight of projects like this as Summit goes county by county giving updates to little fanfare… “The company says it’s closing in on two-thirds of the route through Nebraska with plans to begin construction late this year or early 2024.”

Reuters: Energy Transfer slams US denial of LNG extension, seeks rehearing
Curtis Williams, 5/23/23

“Pipeline operator Energy Transfer slammed the U.S. Department of Energy’s denial of an export-permit extension to its Louisiana liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project in a DOE filing, seeking a rehearing,” Reuters reports. “The DOE had denied Energy Transfer’s request for a three-year extension of its multi-billion-dollar Lake Charles LNG project, saying the request did not meet its criteria for granting second extensions. The decision caused one potential customer to suspend contract talks, it said. The denial violates U.S. law governing such regulations, “raising serious constitutional concerns of lack of due process and impermissible takings,” it wrote in a filing on Monday. The rejection wrongly relied on a interpretation that “will likely result in a project’s demise,” the company said in its request for reconsideration… “A person familiar with the DOE’s thinking told Reuters, “All currently operating U.S. liquefied natural gas export facilities secured a financial investment decision, were constructed, and commenced exports within the original seven-year authorization window provided by DOE.” “…The LNG developer has spent $350 million in development costs, and struck deals for 7.9 million tons of LNG offtake, or almost 50% of the proposed plant’s output, it said. Energy Transfer is ready to enter into an engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contract by mid July, it wrote.”

The Reminder: Protesters host rally, march to oppose Eversource pipeline project
Sarah Heinonen, 5/23/23

“What do we want?” an organizer asked through a bull horn, as she marched along E. Columbus Avenue. “Clean air,” came the call back from a crowd of sign holding protesters,” The Reminder reports. “Residents, organizers and activists from Springfield, Longmeadow and around the state gathered at Stearns Square on May 21 to oppose a natural gas pipeline proposed by Eversource, before marching to the Bliss Street Regulator Station, the end point for the pipeline. Organizations and supporters from around Western Massachusetts attended the rally, setting up information tables in the park, while Afro-Puerto Rican musicians, Bomba de Aqui entertained attendees. David O’Leary, one of the organizers, explained that people’s concerns were three-fold. “There’s the climate conversation, there’s the cost conversation and the safety,” he told the Reminder. “There’s a lot of opportunity to be switching over to sustainable sources. [Eversource is] spending $60 million, we could be investing it in making our housing stock more energy efficient.” “…Eversource has stated that the Western Massachusetts Natural Gas Reliability Project will protect residents from heating outages if there is damage to the existing pipeline, which runs through Agawam. Lederman expressed skepticism that a redundant pipeline would act as a failsafe… “Rusty Polsgrove, an environmental justice organizer with Arise Springfield, told the Reminder the movement against the pipeline was “about the health and well-being” of friends and neighbors. We are fighting for the public health of our city and the state.” “…The protesters then set off on the march to the Bliss Street Regulator Station, just over a half-mile away. The chanting crowd received honks and waves of support from passing motorists.” No Pipeline Community Paddle set for May 27 in Eden

“A coalition of community members and leaders of local organizations against the Mountain Valley Pipeline Southgate Extension have organized the “No Pipeline Community Paddle” for May 27 along the Dan River,” reports… “The event is expected to last until 5 p.m. and has already drawn registration from more than 40 paddlers from North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia, according to event organizers.”

The Narwhal: ‘Heartbreaking’: an overhead view of Coastal GasLink sediment spills into Wet’suwet’en waters, wetlands
Matt Simmons, 5/23/23

“Sleydo’ Molly Wickham was composed and quiet as she stared out the window of a helicopter flying over vast stretches of TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline on Wet’suwet’en territory (yintah),” The Narwhal reports. “A wing chief of the Gidimt’en clan, Sleydo’ was part of a small group on a monitoring flight to document the contentious project’s impacts as soaring temperatures rapidly melted last winter’s heavy snowpack… “It was 30 C on May 17 as the helicopter passed over an area known as the Gosnell. Here, the scale of the impacts became clear — sections of the pipeline submerged in floodwaters, a tributary of Wedzin Kwa turned murky brown, stranded equipment and wetlands stained with sediment. For kilometres, the site was inundated with water and we circled silently, taking it all in. “The scale of damage that is happening on the territory is heartbreaking,” Sleydo’ told the Narwhal. “But it’s also what we knew was going to happen, which is why we’ve been fighting so hard.” Coastal GasLink has struggled to control erosion and keep sediment out of wetlands, creeks and rivers since construction began in 2019. B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Office has fined TC Energy more than $450,000 for dozens of infractions… “While The Narwhal observed what appeared to be environmental damage in areas outside of the 11-kilometre zone affected by the stop work order, it is not clear whether regulators plan to take further action. TC Energy did not respond to The Narwhal’s interview requests and did not provide a statement… “Karla Tait, a C’ihlts’ehkhyu clan member and director of clinical services at the Unist’ot’en healing centre, told the Narwhal the government orders don’t appear to be making much of a difference. “It doesn’t seem like it has impacted the flow of traffic in and out,” she told The Narwhal on a phone call the weekend after the flight. “We travel these roads out here regularly — we live here — and it’s business as usual.”


Press release: Congressional Leaders & Climate Advocates Condemned MAGA Republicans’ “Default on America” Act that Rolls Back Clean Energy Progress and Community Protections

“Yesterday, May 22, the Climate Action Campaign (CAC), Fossil Free Media, and other partners convened a press call to condemn MAGA Republicans in Congress for continuing to play politics with our economic security by propelling the nation toward default with their “Default on America Act,” all while trying to repeal popular clean energy incentives and fast-tracking dirty energy projects. This call came on the same day that President Biden met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to resume negotiations over raising the nation’s debt ceiling. Speakers, including Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Ed Markey (D-MA), and Representatives Raul Grijalva (AZ-07) and Melanie Stansbury (NM-01), urged the president to continue to stand strong against extreme Republican demands to roll back historic climate and clean energy investments passed in the Inflation Reduction Act, as well as include so-called “permitting reform” that puts polluters over people as a part of any deal. Additionally–one day after the press call–76 leading environmental, environmental justice, and public health groups representing millions of members and supporters from across the country sent a letter to President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, and House Minority Leader Jeffries urging them to take the “dirty deal off the negotiating table.” The organizations further stated in their letter, “The policy proposals being offered by Republicans, from so-called ‘permitting reform,’ to repeal of landmark climate investments in the Inflation Reduction Action, to capping funding that allows the Administration to implement core environmental laws, are a recipe for disaster.” “Republican permitting proposals to fast track fossil fuel projects should be off the table during this negotiation. Republicans have taken tax breaks that Donald Trump gave billionaires off the table. Republicans have taken defense spending off the table. We need to make sure that fast tracking of fossil fuel projects is also taken off the table,” said U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA)… “The debt ceiling negotiators just use my community and communities all along the MVP route as a bargaining chip, once again, even though we’ve defeated bad deals like this over and over and over again. To me, this really feels like a manufactured crisis on behalf of the fossil fuel industries and the petrochemical industries to strip away the meager protections that we have to participate in the process,” said Russell Chisholm, Managing Director of the Protect Our Water, Heritage Rights (POWHR) Coalition. “To me it just really, ultimately feels like another betrayal of our communities”

The Hill: Foreign exports, not domestic demand, to drive controversial gas expansion, agency finds
SAUL ELBEIN, 5/24/23

“Support for expanding America’s fossil fuel industry is often cast in the rhetoric of energy independence. But foreign sales, not American demand, are driving a projected decades-long rise in natural gas production, a new federal report has found,” The Hill reports. “U.S. natural gas production is expected to rise until 2050, according to a report released Tuesday by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), which said most of the demand fueling that increase will be driven by exports to foreign markets. U.S. domestic gas demand will stay flat or decline as renewables come online, the report found. But those exports are also projected to drive up U.S. gas prices. In part, that will result from supply being redirected overseas to higher-price markets. Another factor is the gas export process itself, which relies on the extremely energy-intensive process of compressing and refrigerating gas until it is a liquid dense enough to be worth shipping across the ocean… “Anne Rolfes, director of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, a group opposed to the LNG expansion, told The Hill the EIA’s projections may “underestimate how gas prices might spike because they don’t take two important factors into consideration: storms and the spot market.”  In the first instance, there is the risk of a hurricane knocking out a Gulf Coast export facility — which would disrupt markets, leading to a scramble as former customers contracted to buy from that facility struggled to find new sources of supply on “spot markets,” where gas is sold off on an ad hoc basis, Rolfes told the Hill… “In the second, there is the role of the spot market, where companies can often make more money than using the industry’s standard long-term contracts… “Lorne Stockman of climate nonprofit Oil Change International argues the EIA’s projections underestimate the importance of government action in helping guide the direction of markets. He told the Hill the agency has a blind spot concerning the role of government action that often implicitly casts fossil fuel growth as inevitable. None of their scenarios, for example, include a world in which climate conscious foreign governments set limits on gas imports, or in which the US government becomes more bearish on the fuel. “All their analysis assumes a kind of neoliberal economics ideal in which the main factors influencing outcomes are supply, demand and price,” Stockman told the Hill. “This has been at the source of EIA’s long-running failure to accurately project renewables growth and generally underestimate renewables and overestimate fossils.”

E&E News: Interior’s Oil Plan Is Coming. Here’s What To Watch
Heather Richards, 5/24/23

“Biden administration officials in recent weeks hosted private listening sessions with environmental groups and oil companies ahead of the release of proposed oil and gas regulations that could represent some of the White House’s most lasting steps on public lands to help address climate change,” E&E News reports. “Major oil companies like Exxon Mobil Corp., as well as influential environmental groups like the Sierra Club, met with Interior Department and White House officials, according to the administration’s regulatory agenda, in efforts to shape the long-anticipated draft regulations on bonding, fees and other economic aspects of drilling on public land. Originally planned for release in 2022, the rules were heavily influenced by the Inflation Reduction Act, last year’s climate law that included new floors for bonding and royalties. A draft of the Interior Department’s rules is expected to come out by next month, according to recent testimony in a federal court case from Nada Culver, deputy director of policy and programs at the Bureau of Land Management. A key question is whether Interior will use the regulations as a vehicle for more aggressive climate reforms. Over the objections of the oil and gas industry, some green groups are urging the White House to do more than what was laid out in the Inflation Reduction Act to limit the oil industry’s reach on federal land.”

InsideEPA: White House Begins Reviewing EPA Rule Implementing IRA Methane Fee

“The White House regulatory office is reviewing EPA’s draft proposal for implementing the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA) oil and gas methane fee, a package also expected to start discussion of proposed updates to related reporting rules to enable more accurate calculation of the sector’s methane emissions,” InsideEPA reports. “The move signals continuing EPA efforts to advance methane controls, with officials separately preparing to finalize tougher methane emissions standards for both new and existing oil and gas facilities. Stakeholders have been grappling with precisely which facilities will be subject to the IRA methane fee over time, with the statute requiring the fee to take effect starting in 2024 while also providing for an exemption for facilities once they are covered by EPA’s upcoming emissions standards.”


Texas Public Radio: San Antonio company captures CO2, but one expert says it does more harm than good
Josh Peck, 5/24/23

“Martin Keighley said he joined CarbonFree as its CEO four years ago because he wanted to be part of the solution to climate change — and make money while doing it,” Texas Public Radio reports. “…Keighley and San Antonio-based CarbonFree have an ambitious goal: to capture 10% of all industrial emissions of carbon dioxide by 2050 Those industrial CO2 emissions account for roughly one fifth of all global emissions… “We talk about CCU and CCS,” Keighley told TPR. “Carbon capture utilization and carbon capture storage.” “…CarbonFree currently operates one carbon capture plant, called SkyMine, next door to a San Antonio cement factory. That plant runs on the CCU model, where it captures some of the cement plant’s emissions and uses a chemical process to turn them into several products… “But he told TPR a forthcoming CarbonFree facility called SkyCycle will produce a product that can store carbon for centuries or millennia — precipitated calcium carbonate, or PCC. PCC is used as a filler in numerous products… “The SkyCycle plant will capture carbon from an Indiana US Steel plant. It will operate as a CCUS plant because it will both utilize and store carbon through PCC. To Keighley and many others, carbon capture is a win-win for the environment and their bottom line. Stanford Civil and Environmental Engineering professor Mark Jacobson is one of carbon capture’s biggest critics. He told TPR doing nothing would be better than supporting the technology. “Carbon capture is a scheme of the fossil fuel industry,” Jacobson told TPR. “I mean, they go hand-in-hand. It’s just a way for the fossil fuel industry to extend themselves.” Jacobson is a strong proponent of a full and immediate transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy… “He told TPR he believes technologies like carbon capture are tools the fossil fuel industry can use to keep their plants running with promises of reduced emissions… “Jacobson added that carbon capture companies rarely live up to big claims about emissions reductions… “Even for hard-to-abate industrial emissions, which is the focus of CarbonFree, Jacobson told TPR carbon capture is still not useful… “It’s better to replace fossil fuel plants with renewable electricity,” Jacobson told TPR. “These are all just greenwashing schemes. Sure companies can make money off of it, but it’s not useful for the environment.”

Carlsbad Current-Argus: Protests rally ahead of federal oil and gas lease sale in southeast New Mexico
Adrian Hedden, 5/24/23

“Federal land managers planned to offer more than 10,000 acres of public land for auction to the oil and gas industry in New Mexico and Oklahoma this week, drawing protests from environmental groups demanding the sale be halted,” the Carlsbad Current-Argus reports. “The Bureau of Land Management’s May 25 lease sale was set to include about 3,279 acres in Eddy, Lea and Chaves counties, in southeast New Mexico’s Permian Basin region, and another 6,844 acres in Cheyenne County, Oklahoma… “Letters of opposition to the sale were delivered to the BLM’s field offices in Carlsbad, Farmington, Las Cruces and Albuquerque this week, with a rally planned outside BLM New Mexico headquarters in Santa Fe on the day of the sale. The letter was signed by more than 200 environmental groups in New Mexico and other western states, calling on the agency to end the use of public land for fossil fuel extraction. “We are shocked and dismayed that in spite of a clear scientific, political, and public consensus that action for the climate requires we begin to phase out fossil fuels, the BLM is continuing the legacy of sacrifice zones in New Mexico by moving forward with the auction of additional public and ancestral lands to more oil and gas leasing and drilling,” read the letter. The letter called out President Joe Biden for promises the groups contended Biden made on the campaign trail to phase out oil and gas drilling.”

Wyoming State Daily: Wyoming Reportedly On Shortlist For $14 Billion Petroleum Refinery
Kevin Killough, 5/22/23

“Canadian businessman and “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary announced on Fox Business’s “The Money Show” last month that he plans to build a $14 billion refinery. He later appeared again on Fox Business and said that he was in talks with three states that have the pipeline infrastructure to support the project,” Wyoming State Daily reports. “O’Leary said that, despite all claims to the contrary, the world isn’t going to eliminate the use of fossil fuels for another 50 years. Randall Luthi, Gov. Mark Gordon’s energy czar, said at a Joint Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee meeting Friday in Kemmerer that he heard Wyoming is a possible location for the project… “Rep. Scott Heiner, R-Green River, asked why HF Sinclair found it advantageous to produce the biodiesel here and ship it to California, where it would incur higher shipping costs than if it were produced closer to where it was consumed.  “Why don’t they do it in their own backyard rather than Wyoming?” Heiner said.  Cooper said that, in the same way California is consuming wind energy produced in Wyoming, they will pay premiums to have their refining capacity in Wyoming. “They don’t want it in their backyard,” Cooper said. Pete Obermueller, president of the Petroleum Association of Wyoming, said the conversion to biodiesel was entirely related to the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard.  The regulation, he said, requires refineries to blend biodiesel or corn ethanol at increasingly higher rates every year. To meet the standards, the refineries have to buy a certain amount of renewable identification numbers.  “Think of it like a sage grouse mitigation bank. You buy these RINs in order to meet your renewable fuel standard,” Obermueller told the audience, WSD reported. 

Beaumont Enterprise: Mid-County refinery storage, distribution facility fined by state
Courtney Pedersen, 5/23/23

“Energy Transfer’s Nederland terminal has been fined by a state agency for illegally releasing oil, grease and “suspended solids” into nearby water,” the Beaumont Enterprise reports. “On May 9, the Energy Transfer Nederland Terminal was fined $29,400 by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality… “Texas Commission on Environmental Quality documents say that the company failed to comply with the effluent limitations for oil and grease and total suspended solids.” In addition to the fine, the company has to submit written certification of compliance with the permitted effluent limitation within 130 days. The written certification should include specific corrective actions the facility implemented to achieve compliance… “Human health or the environment has been exposed to insignificant amounts of pollutants that do not exceed levels that are protective of human health or environmental receptors as a result of the violation,” Texas Commission on Environmental Quality documents state.

Associated Press: ‘Leap of faith:’ Alaska pursues carbon offset market while embracing oil
Becky Bohrer, 5/23/23

“Alaska’s push to become a bigger player in the clean energy market is in the spotlight this week at a conference convened by its Republican governor, even as the state continues to embrace new fossil fuel production, including the controversial Willow oil project on the petroleum-rich North Slope,” the Associated Press reports. “At the Alaska Sustainable Energy Conference in Anchorage on Tuesday, Gov. Mike Dunleavy signed a measure he successfully pushed through the Legislature that would allow the oil-reliant state to cash in on the sale of so-called carbon credits to companies looking to offset their carbon emissions. Projects could include credits for improving a forest’s health through thinning or by allowing trees to grow bigger, thereby increasing a forest’s potential to hold carbon. “This bill is going to allow us now to have conversations worldwide with individuals involved in the carbon market. Just like oil, just like gas, just like our timber, this is a commodity that can be monetized now,” he said. Lawmakers cast the bill as allowing Alaska to have the best of both worlds — continuing to permit oil drilling, mining and timber activities while also stepping into the potentially lucrative market for sequestering carbon dioxide. But some watching Alaska’s foray into this sector wonder if the program will gain traction as Dunleavy and lawmakers have said the aim isn’t restricting emissions but generating a new revenue stream. “There’s kind of a field-of-dreams quality to this issue. ‘If you plant the trees and create credits, will anyone buy them?’” Barry Rabe, a political scientist who studies environmental and climate politics at the University of Michigan’s Gerald Ford School of Public Policy, told AP.  “What’s just not clear is what that market would look like and whether or not purchasers … will find that an attractive investment,” he told AP. “That’s the leap of faith.”

Texas Tribune: Texas Republicans want to shield oil and gas from federal climate regulations. Their bill would have little impact, experts say.

“Texas could soon have a new law that aims to make the state a sort of safe haven for the oil and gas industry by shielding it from federal climate and environmental regulation,” the Texas Tribune reports. “But experts tell the Tribune the measure — which would do little to change environmental enforcement in Texas — would be more symbolic than anything. Texas Republicans in both chambers have supported House Bill 33, authored by state Rep. Brooks Landgraf, R-Odessa, as a way to ward off federal climate rules under President Joe Biden, who pledged that the U.S. would cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, among other goals to slow climate change. The president’s climate agenda has been viewed by many Texas Republicans as disastrous for the nation’s biggest oil and gas state… “HB 33, which was approved by the House before being altered by a Senate committee, seeks to shelter the industry from what Republicans have called “federal overreach” by barring state agencies from enforcing federal regulations on oil and gas operations if those regulations do not exist under Texas law.The language is similar to a bill proposed in Louisiana two years ago that would have made it a “fossil fuel sanctuary state.”

E&E News: N.Y. regulator to consider hydrogen, CCS for zero-carbon grid
David Iaconangelo, 5/22/23

“The Public Service Commission will explore how new energy technologies could “support reliability” as the grid transitions to renewable power,” E&E News reports. 


E&E News: U.N. slams carbon removal as unproven and risky
Corbin Hiar, 5/24/23

“A United Nations panel is casting doubt on the promise of using machines to remove vast amounts of carbon dioxide from the air and sea in order to fight climate change,” E&E News reports. “The skepticism from the high-profile organization sent shock waves through the emerging industry of carbon removal companies that many scientists say will be essential for the world to stabilize, or one day reduce, global average temperatures. It comes as the Biden administration is preparing to pour billions of dollars into the industry. The panel questioned the technical and economic viability of startups seeking to clean up carbon that’s already been dumped into the sky, igniting pushback from an industry that is gaining popularity but so far has not captured sizable amounts of warming gases… “In recent years, Congress has provided billions of dollars in subsidies to help establish the direct air capture industry in the U.S. But the U.N. panel appears to favor so-called natural approaches. “Engineering-based removal activities are technologically and economically unproven, especially at scale, and pose unknown environmental and social risks,” the panel wrote in a lengthy note released last week. “These activities do not contribute to sustainable development, are not suitable for implementation in the developing countries and do not contribute to reducing the global mitigation costs, and therefore do not serve any of the objectives of the Article 6.4 mechanism.” The panel based its conclusions in part on input it received from several groups that are critical of carbon removal such as the Center for International Environmental Law and Friends of the Earth. Only a few carbon removal companies provided information to the panel while it was developing its note. The fledgling industry is now scrambling to provide feedback to the United Nations before it makes any final decisions on the Paris Agreement’s emissions trading system… “The industry’s delayed response indicated that it was unprepared to participate in a process that was important in its evolution, Burns of American University told E&E.

Associated Press: Black children are more likely to have asthma.

“Amid the balloons, cake and games at his best friend’s birthday party on a farm, 5-year-old Carter Manson clutched his small chest,” the Associated Press reports. “…Black children are more likely to have asthma than kids of any other race in America. They’re more likely to live near polluting plants, and in rental housing with mold and other triggers, because of racist housing laws in the nation’s past. Their asthma often is more severe and less likely to be controlled, because of poor medical care and mistrust of doctors. About 4 million kids in the U.S. have asthma. The percentage of Black children with asthma is far higher than white kids; more than 12% of Black kids nationwide suffer from the disease, compared with 5.5% of white children. They also die at a much higher rate. Across America, nearly 4 in 10 Black children live in areas with poor environmental and health conditions compared to 1 in 10 white children. Factories spew nitrogen oxide and particulate matter. Idling trucks and freeway traffic kick up noxious fumes and dust. The disparities are built into a housing system shaped by the longstanding effects of slavery and Jim Crow-era laws. Many of the communities that have substandard housing today or are located near toxic sites are the same as those that were segregated and redlined decades ago. “The majority of what drives disparities in asthma, it’s actually social and structural,” Sanaz Eftekhari, vice president of corporate affairs and research of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, told AP. “You can tie a lot of the asthma disparities back to things that have happened, years and years and decades ago.” “…An Asthma Allergy Foundation of America report examining asthma disparities found that Black renters were more likely to report the presence of mice, cockroaches or mold in their homes. Black people also live in older housing at higher rates, exposing them to triggers like dust and mold. In Hartford, 63% of Black households live in structures built before 1960, according to DataHaven, a nonprofit community organization… “Dr. Mark Mitchell, a former director of Hartford’s health department and a founder of the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice, has tried to sound the alarm on Hartford’s asthma rates… “Mitchell recalled how, in the mid ’90s, he examined about 30 kids and found that a third of them had asthma. He urged the state to look into what he believed was a clear pattern of disparities. “They told me … we don’t really know who has asthma and doesn’t have asthma, and besides, it’s not unusual for a third of inner-city kids to have asthma,” Mitchell, who is now associate professor of climate change at George Mason University, told AP.

E&E News: 20 oil and gas firms emit half of industry methane — report
Carlos Anchondo, 5/23/23

“Twenty oil and gas producers were responsible for half of the industry’s methane emissions in the United States in 2021, according to a new analysis of data reported to EPA,” E&E News reports. “The report from sustainability consultancy ERM examined 309 oil and gas companies, finding that some are making strides in cutting methane emissions while others continue to emit at high levels. The analysis — prepared for the nonprofits Ceres and the Clean Air Task Force — labeled Hilcorp Energy Co. the largest methane emitter in the industry for the third consecutive year. Hilcorp — which calls itself “a leader in taking on legacy oil and gas assets” — was followed by Exxon Mobil Corp., Caerus Oil and Gas LLC, ConocoPhillips and Diversified Energy Co. PLC as the biggest dischargers of methane. Nick Piatek, a Hilcorp spokesperson, told E&E the company’s “production growth is due primarily to acquisition of late in life oil and gas properties, many of which initially have a high potential to emit.”

Reuters: Methane hunters tap new technology to reshape policing of US greenhouse emissions 
Liz Hampton, 5/23/23

“Charlie Barrett walks through an oilfield in New Mexico’s southeastern desert, where the air smells of rotten eggs and old pumpjacks sit among shrub oaks, and turns on an infrared camera that can detect emissions from oil and gas equipment,” Reuters reports. “Barrett, who works for environmental group Earthworks, is hunting for methane – a greenhouse gas accounting for about a third of global warming that has become a focus for the oil industry’s and the Biden administration’s climate agenda. He points the $120,000 camera at a thin metal pole sticking out of the ground near a rusty storage tank. The rotten egg smell is a telltale sign of hydrogen sulfide, which can be found in the state’s natural gas alongside the main component, methane, meaning gas is seeping out somewhere nearby. Sure enough, the camera’s viewfinder captures a dark stream of methane spewing out of the pole… “Environmentalists like Barrett have searched for leaking wells and pipelines for years. But they cannot trespass on private property – where most oil and gas infrastructure resides – and their cameras are not equipped to measure the volume of methane coming from a facility, information that regulators need to decide whether to pursue their complaints. That is about to change: Early next year, an affiliate of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), a climate activist group that aims to slash methane emissions from energy and farming by 30% this decade, will launch a satellite dedicated to finding methane emissions. Unlike existing commercial operators that operate on subscription, MethaneSAT will freely provide its location and methane scale data to the public. The company aims to scan 80% of the world’s oil and gas producing regions. Activist groups are also about to be empowered by new Biden administration regulations that propose requiring oil and gas companies to address so-called super-emitting emissions – those of at least 10 kilograms (22 lbs) per hour – that are documented by outside groups like Earthworks or EDF. The fact that these groups will be armed with never-before publicly available precision information means even companies operating in remote areas will no longer be able to hide their emissions. “Accountability will come, whether it is through the work of grassroots organizations or the new satellites coming online this year,” Marcelo Mena, former environment minister of Chile and head of Global Methane Hub, which secured over $300 million in funding from more than 20 major philanthropic institutions to help reduce methane emissions, told Reuters.

InsideClimate News: Companies Object to Proposed SEC Rule Requiring Them to Track Emissions Up and Down Their Supply Chains
Emma Ricketts, 5/23/23

“As accusations of “green hypocrisy” are flung back and forth in the corporate world, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has been inching toward a standard to help conscientious investors make informed choices. But the effort is facing plenty of opposition from industry, not to mention Republican lawmakers who oppose President Biden’s climate agenda,” InsideClimate News reports. “Under draft rules released last year, the SEC would require the large, publicly traded companies it regulates to track and disclose their greenhouse gas emissions in three climate-related “Scope” categories, based on the emissions’ source. It’s the No. 3 category that has executives up in arms: heat-trapping gases emitted not at the companies’ own facilities, but up and down their far-flung supply chains. It’s not just that many companies find the requirement burdensome, consuming resources yet to be imagined. Some argue these estimates would be wildly inaccurate. “If you’re just reporting for the sake of reporting, investors will take that information and trade on it,” John Godfrey, senior director of government relations at the American Public Power Association, told ICN. Environmentalists counter that Scope 3 emissions comprise the largest chunk of heat-trapping gases released into the atmosphere. If they’re not being tracked and reported, they say, how can the United States move toward a lower-emissions future?”

Bloomberg: Canada Wildfires Raise Threat of Another Oil-Sands Shutdown
Kevin Orland, 5/24/23

“Abetted by an unseasonably hot spring, hundreds of wildfires have ignited across the Canadian province of Alberta, choking the skies with smoke and forcing the evacuation of about 40,000 people,” Bloomberg reports. “The blazes in Canada’s top energy-producing province have knocked out a fifth of the nation’s natural gas output at times and are expected to put a dent in economic growth numbers for the month of May. Alberta’s tar sands, whose 3.25 million barrels of daily oil output make Canada the world’s fourth-largest crude producer, have so far been spared, but officials are warning that conditions are ripe for fires to spring up anywhere, anytime. That possibility has companies, investors and the residents of the oil sands’ unofficial capital of Fort McMurray—which almost burned to the ground seven years ago—on high alert.”

Carbon Herald: Wood Teams Up With Teck On First Carbon Capture Plant
Violet George, 5/23/23

“Global consulting and engineering company Wood has announced its support for Teck Resources Limited (Teck) in the development of a new carbon capture plant,” the Carbon Herald reports. “The pilot carbon capture facility is considered to be a first-of-its-kind solution for capturing CO2 emissions from sulfide ores in the smelting process at the Teck smelter in Trail, British Columbia. As the project is still in its detail design phase, Wood says it will pave the way for more sustainable practices to start being adopted by the steel and mining sector around the world… “By teaming up to deliver this innovative pilot project and applying our extensive minerals, metals and CCUS expertise, we are proud to support Teck in leading the way with new industry solutions,” Kris Homer, Vice President of Minerals and Metals at Wood, told the Herald.

Chemistry World: Cheaper method to capture carbon dioxide could shake up industry
Bárbara Pinho, 5/23/23

“Scientists have created a guanidinium sulfate salt that can capture and store carbon dioxide at ambient pressures and temperatures, with little energy input. The strategy could change how industry captures, transports and stores the gas,” Chemistry World reports. “An international team of scientists charged an aqueous Gua2SO4 solution with carbon dioxide and saw a single-crystalline guanidinium sulfate-based clathrate salt form at ambient conditions. Because the solution encased carbon dioxide without forming strong bonds with the gas, researchers were able to easily reverse the process to release the gas again. Cafer Yavuz, a researcher from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia and one of the study authors, told CW that releasing trapped carbon dioxide has never been so easy. ‘All you have to do is just take this [resulting precipitate], shovel it into water, the water dissolves the salt and CO2 comes up,’ he explains. ‘It’s almost like the tablets we use to drink vitamin C. You put it in the water and bubbles [appear]. It’s CO2 coming up.’ After the carbon dioxide was released, the team found that the resulting Gua2SO4 solution was immediately ready for another cycle of carbon dioxide uptake. Currently, the most common method of removing carbon dioxide from a gas stream involves capturing the molecule via chemisorption, usually using an amine sorbent. While this strategy is highly selective for carbon dioxide, the energy demand is high. Gua2SO4 captures the gas equally well without expending nearly as much energy… “Because the resulting powder is stable at ambient conditions, the clathrate could be useful to carry and store CO2, as well as capture it from industrial sources.”’

InsideClimate News: What Is Produced Water?
Liza Gross, Dylan Baddour, 5/23/23

“Produced water” is water that returns to the surface as wastewater during oil and gas production,” InsideClimate News reports. “The water typically contains hydrocarbons from the deposit as well as naturally occurring toxic substances like arsenic and radium, salts and chemical additives injected into the well to facilitate extraction. These additives include carcinogens and numerous other toxic substances that have the potential to harm human health and contaminate the environment. The content and toxicity of produced water vary considerably, depending on the geology of the petroleum deposit.  Produced water is the largest waste stream from fossil fuel extraction. Methods to extract fuels from aging oilfields and unconventional, or fracked, shale formations typically require far more water than conventional operations.  Oil and gas operators recycle some of their wastewater to extract more fuels but some operations require freshwater. Produced water is generated wherever oil and gas is extracted, with Texas, Illinois, California and Oklahoma, leading other oil and gas producing states such as Colorado and Pennsylvania. Wastewater that isn’t reused is typically injected underground, raising concerns for nearby landowners in Texas. In California, a local water board allows oil companies to sell their wastewater to farmers for irrigation, claiming the practice is safe. But an Inside Climate News investigation found that the board relied on scant evidence produced by an oil industry consultant and never reviewed long-term impacts on plants, soil, crops and wildlife… “Lax oversight of produced water disposal endangers the health of nearby communities and the environment.”


CNBC: ‘Go to hell, Shell’: Climate protesters try to storm stage at oil giant’s annual shareholders meeting
Sam Meredith, 5/23/23

“Chief Executive Wael Sawan and the firm’s board of directors on Tuesday were shielded by security staff as climate protesters unsuccessfully tried to storm the stage at the British oil giant’s annual shareholders meeting,” CNBC reports. “The acrimonious meeting, which was held at the ExCeL London exhibition center, was repeatedly disrupted by protesters before they were removed by security staff. Proceedings were scheduled to get underway at 10 a.m. London time (5 a.m. ET) but waves of disruption delayed the meeting for well over an hour. Protesters could be heard singing to the tune of “Hit the Road Jack,” “Go to hell, Shell, and don’t you come back no more” as Sawan, Chairman Andrew Mackenzie and other directors looked on. It comes as climate-focused investors seek to ramp up pressure on the energy major after an extraordinary run of record profits. Follow This, a small Dutch activist investor and campaign group with stakes in several Big Oil companies, tabled a resolution at Shell’s shareholders meeting. Climate Resolution 26 calls on Shell to align its climate targets with the landmark Paris Agreement and commit to absolute carbon emissions cuts by 2030. These cuts, Follow This says, should include emissions generated by customers’ use of their oil and gas, known as Scope 3 emissions… “Shell, which is aiming to become a net-zero emissions business by 2050, has recommended shareholders vote against the motion tabled by Follow This. The company described Climate Resolution 26 as “unclear, generic and would create confusion as to Board and shareholder accountabilities.”

DemocracyNow: Climate Activists at Africa Energies Summit in London Demand End to Fossil Fuel Projects

“In London, climate activists rallied outside the Africa Energies Summit Wednesday demanding fossil fuel companies, including Shell and Total, drop their support for oil and gas projects in Africa. Protesters say the 900-mile East African Crude Oil Pipeline through Uganda and Tanzania would be the largest, longest pipeline of its kind in the world, emitting 53 million tons of carbon per year, displacing 100,000 people and threatening protected wildlife and water resources. This is Rhiannon Osborne of the People’s Health Movement. Rhiannon Osborne: “TotalEnergies and other fossil fuel monsters present at this conference are leaving thousands without livelihoods and homes, fueling war, exacerbating the climate crisis and pushing the country deeper into poverty and crippling debt. This summit must not be normalized.”

Press release: Climate groups target RBC’s environmental racism in ad campaign at RBC Brooklyn Half Marathon

“RBC is the target of a new digital ad campaign by climate and environmental justice groups who are still seething after a contentious shareholder meeting last month in Saskatoon. The ads shame RBC for financing environmental racism through the fossil fuel industry around its sponsored RBC Brooklyn Half Marathon, the largest half marathon event in the U.S. “The Royal Bank of Canada has a responsibility to its customers and the environment to divest from harmful projects and invest in renewable energy and climate solutions. It’s time for the bank to take accountability for its role in perpetuating environmental racism, poisoning my family and community, and working towards creating a more just and equitable future,” said Roishetta Ozane, Fossil Fuel Finance Campaigner at Texas Campaign for the Environment. Ozane was representing communities from the Gulf Coast as part of a group of Indigenous and Black frontline leaders at RBC’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on April 5. A majority of the frontline delegation was barred from entering the AGM’s main room – despite having proper proxies – harassed, and threatened with arrest. RBC’s racist actions at its shareholder meeting affirm it’s doubling down on corporate colonialism, racism, and Indigenous sovereignty violations.”  

Bloomberg: Sumitomo Mitsui Rules Out Funding $5 Billion Uganda Oil Pipeline
Taiga Uranaka and Takashi Umekawa, 5/18/23

“Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. said it isn’t financing an oil pipeline in East Africa, joining a growing list of financial firms distancing themselves from the project,” Bloomberg reports. ““We are not currently involved,” the Japanese bank’s Chief Sustainability Officer Masayuki Takanashi, said at a media briefing Tuesday. Takanashi was responding to a question about the East African Crude Oil Pipeline project, which is planned to carry oil 900 miles from the fields of western Uganda to the coast of Tanzania. He declined to say if the bank had participated in the project in earlier stages. Environmental group in February said the bank was a financial advisor which at the time had not withdrawn from the project.”

Energy Intelligence: Divestments Nudge Majors Toward Climate Targets
Deb Kelly, 5/23/23

“Western majors have been selling assets at a steady clip in recent years in an effort to support short-term financial requirements and longer-term strategic goals,” Energy Intelligence reports. “Divestments have also been a core element of majors’ strategies to cut greenhouse gas emissions to help achieve climate-related objectives. Sales could accelerate ahead of looming 2030 emissions targets as investors, regulators and stakeholders increase pressure on companies to offload their most polluting assets. The pandemic-driven downturn in 2020 led to a serious cash crunch, putting more pressure on Western majors to offload assets after they were forced to cut dividends, capital spending and raise debt. With attention now back on shareholder returns, capital discipline and the energy transition, companies want to hang onto only the most profitable — and preferably lowest-carbon — assets as they seek to fulfill their climate commitments. Divestments alone, however, may not be enough to keep 2030 emissions objectives intact as companies reprioritize upstream production. The five leading Western majors — BP, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Shell and TotalEnergies — divested roughly $16 billion of assets in 2022, almost half the $30 billion sold in 2021, a tally of figures in companies’ reports shows. They are currently targeting more than $30 billion worth of potential oil and gas disposals in the coming years… “Going forward, companies acknowledge they will have to offset rising operational emissions from new investments, including biofuels, with improved efficiency and greater use of carbon capture, electrification and renewable power to achieve their 2030 targets.” 

NPR: Insurance firms need more climate change information. Scientists say they can help
Rebecca Hersher, 5/23/23

“Climate-driven floods, hurricanes, wildfires and heat waves cause billions of dollars of damage every year in the United States. Federal scientists hope that better access to climate data will help one industry adapt: property insurers,” NPR reports. “Insurance companies are on the hook to pay for repairs after disasters, and even to rebuild entire homes and businesses that are destroyed. The growing cost to insurers was on full display last year, when Hurricane Ian caused more than $100 billion of damage in Florida, at least half of which was insured. As climate-driven extreme weather gets more common, insurance companies nationwide raise prices, or cancel policies altogether, leaving homeowners in the lurch. Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana, Colorado, Oregon and California have all seen insurers fold, cancel policies or leave the state after repeated floods, hurricanes and wildfires… “Now, two federal science agencies are trying to help. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) say they will create a research center that focuses on bringing climate change data to the insurance industry. The goal is to help insurers understand how often and how severe floods, fires, heat waves and other climate-driven disasters will be in the future, so that companies can adjust their businesses to cope with that risk… “The industry group the American Property Casualty Insurance Association told NPR the new research center will be “extremely beneficial” to property insurers. “Climate change is a significant concern to the property casualty insurance industry as our nation faces the prospect of increased frequency and severity of major natural disasters including hurricanes, wildfires, and floods,” Karen Collins, a vice president at the trade group, wrote in an email to NPR. “Insurers strongly support increased investments that help advance the latest science.”


Prince George Citizen: Opinion: Indigenous nurse opposed to pipeline wants attacks to stop
Cynthia George Taha, Bellingham, Wash., 5/23/23

“An Open Letter to The Office of The Wet’suwet’en Hereditary chiefs: The pipeline went through. Now we must move forward and heal,” Cynthia George Taha writes for the Prince George Citizen. “…I’ve been a registered nurse for almost 31 years. I’ve never had my career harmfully attacked as I have had this past year, by non Wet’suwet’en pipeline bloggers from northern B.C. who didn’t like my opposition. I succeeded at national and international levels as a nurse… “The following experiences ruined it: a half-true article was published about me on a northern B.C. blog aimed at anti-pipeline Wet’suwet’en in October 2022; An expired nursing license from 2013 was posted on Twitter by a pro pipeline blogger who I don’t know. They were asking where I worked; A blogger who literally stalks native women was using my 83-year-old mother’s photo, refusing to stop; That same person showed a photo of my autobiography released by Amazon, voicing intent to harm. The pipeline went through, so stop attacking us who have opposed. To my true leaders, hereditary chiefs, please intervene by leading a healing path… “I’m sure some community members find the events horrifying. Our legacies are now defined with the history of this. Let’s get our values in sync to move on for our grandchildren to live in a healthier nation.”

Teen Vogue: Billionaires Contribute to Climate Change the Most — and Determine Climate Policy

“It literally costs the Earth to live like a billionaire,” Rebekka Ayres writes for Teen Vogue. “Private jets, yachts, and those seemingly obligatory space missions all add up to an unsustainable carbon footprint that far exceeds that of the average citizen. But even if we put the astronomical vanity projects aside, the status of billionaires as beneficiaries of an unjust economic system places them among the top polluters on the planet. According to a 2022 Oxfam report, 125 of the world’s richest billionaires each emit over a million times more carbon than the average person in the bottom 90%, and a solid 50-70% of billionaires’ emissions are thought to result from their investments. The report found that their annual investment emissions are together equivalent to the carbon emissions of France, a country with a population of 67 million. This stark imbalance goes to show that any serious conversation about climate justice needs to target the outsize influence of the superrich in order to be effective… “Bankrolling blockbuster climate initiatives has become a fashionable pastime among the ultra-rich, but philanthro-capitalism will never save us. Economic inequality and climate inequality reinforce each other, and it appears that extreme wealth concentration could be undermining our ability to meaningfully tackle each of these issues. In tandem with a robust wealth tax to finance renewable infrastructure, a progressive carbon tax that accounts for investment emissions would incentivize those with the largest footprints to reduce them. It would likely compel shareholders to take a stronger stance on environmental governance, and a financial motive to withdraw their investments if a company fails to lower emissions and is taxed… “More than ever, we need to keep up the fight for effective, equitable climate action through activism that understands climate change as a class issue that impacts communities across the world very differently — and build global coalitions from the ground up.”

Bloomberg: California Teaches Florida and Texas a Lesson in ESG
Matthew A. Winkler, 5/24/23

“Back in 2015 when California had the seventh-largest economy in the world, outperforming the rest of the US, economist Irena Asmundson attributed her native state’s trajectory to a government increasingly in harmony with the diversity of its constituents,” Matthew A. Winkler writes for Bloomberg. “…California’s innovation and prosperity are the consequence of stakeholder-centric environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies furthering sustainability, consistent with Adam Smith’s invisible hand in the free market economy… “In Florida and Texas, as well as half a dozen other states where gun death rates, bans on abortion and opposition to clean energy are ubiquitous, ESG and Fink are the purported boogeymen, disingenuously assailed as woke by Governors Ron DeSantis – who is forecast to enter the 2024 presidential race as soon as today – and Greg Abbott, and whose gerrymandered legislatures reduce Black voter representation and prohibit companies like BlackRock from managing state pension funds or underwriting their debt obligations… “The Republican-controlled legislature in Texas stunned many of the state’s biggest boosters when bills encouraging fossil fuel and stymying renewable energy development were introduced, even though Texas is No. 1 in the nation in wind power and has the resources to overtake California in solar installations… “The attack on ESG is a losing proposition for Florida and Texas, as evidenced by the increase in borrowing costs to taxpayers since major banks and other companies were excluded from doing business with the states and their local governments last year… “All of which proves the convergence of public policy and the preferences of citizens creates the surest path to growth.” 

The Tyee: Here’s the Only Path to Real Change in Alberta
Andrew Nikiforuk, 5/24/23

“Amid the smoke of raging wildfires another damn Alberta election seems to be rumbling down a familiar road of bitumen-paved illusions,” Andrew Nikiforuk writes for The Tyee. “To no one’s surprise neither the NDP or the United Conservative Party really want to address the root of the province’s dysfunction: its traumatic addiction to bust-and-boom oil revenues with no institutional checks or balances on their corrosive power.  This refusal to change explains much about the province’s enduring political dysfunction — its perpetual fiscal rollercoaster (it is always either cutting or splurging); its one-party Soviet-like rule; its indifference to environmental pollution in the oil sands; its aversion to a sales tax; its slavish deference to oil interests; its failure to deal with more than $260 billion worth of abandoned wells, pipelines and other oil liabilities; its growing political extremism and its increasingly aggressive posture to the rest of Canada. History shows that petrostates are twice as likely to engage in conflict with their neighbours than non-petrostates. They invariably turn into intolerant bullies because they have the money to do so… “By definition a petrostate is any country or jurisdiction (from Wyoming to Nigeria) where revenue from oil, gas or coal exports exceeds 10 per cent of GDP. Because of growing bitumen exports to the United States, Alberta’s dependence often exceeds 26 per cent… “Governments captured by industry dramatically lowered royalties and accelerated development — as many as 100 projects since 1996. They ignored environmental liabilities. They allowed oil lobbyists to write the rules for regulators. They spent like fools and taxed like idiots. They did not act like owners and performed like pimps for pipelines… “Given the poverty of discussion about these issues during this election here’s what citizens must consider if they are to elect representatives capable of restoring Alberta’s democracy and ending its petro- dysfunction. 1. Introduce a sales tax and a direct tax regime… 2. Take all oil and gas revenue off the table and save the money for future generations. 3. Behave like an owner and raise royalties. 4. Clean up the mess and address the industry’s $260-billion liabilities. 5. End the war profiteering… “As I noted in 2012, 2014 and 2015, nothing will change in Alberta’s petrostate until its citizens embrace representative taxation (and pay their own way), shut down the oil revenue roller coaster and save for a rainy day. Or months of wildfires… “Are Albertans courageous enough to demand their political parties change this dynamic before the next oil bust?”

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