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Extracted

EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 9/13/22

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

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips September 13, 2022

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PIPELINE NEWS

  • Truthout: Manchin’s Pipeline Deal Must Be Blocked, 77 Democrats Say in Letter

  • FOX Business: Green groups slam Dems’ natural gas pipeline side deal as a ‘betrayal’

  • WVTF: Congress weighs options that could have significant impact on the future of the MVP

  • Times Citizen: Order against Summit reversed

  • KCAU: Navigator files lawsuit against 2 Siouxland landowners

  • KIWA: Residents Bar Surveyors From Entering Property To Measure For Carbon Pipeline

  • Dakota News Now: Matters of the State: PUC Chair talks pipeline process amid Summit’s scrap with landowners

  • Bismarck Tribune: Pipeline spill leaks into creek near Williston; investigators continue to monitor cleanup

  • Reuters: Trans Mountain pipeline camp workers evacuated due to wildfires in British Columbia

  • SlashFilm: How To Blow Up A Pipeline Review: A Startling And White Knuckle-Inducing Visual Manifesto [TIFF]

WASHINGTON UPDATES

  • E&E News: Biden ‘committed’ to permitting deal with Manchin

  • The Hill: Progressives flex against Manchin side-deal on permitting reform

  • E&E News: As Dems squabble, GOP floats its own permitting bill

  • Press release: Capito Leads Colleagues in Introducing Comprehensive Regulatory and Permitting Reform Legislation

  • Reuters: U.S. seeks to restore safety rules sparked by Gulf oil spill

  • Associated Press: Judge restores oil lease on land sacred to US, Canada tribes

STATE UPDATES

  • Carlsbad Current-Argus: ‘Environmental rights’ to be considered by New Mexico lawmakers, amid oil and gas concerns

  • Press release: Oil and Gas Permits on Public Lands in California Routinely Violate Federal Law

EXTRACTION

  • Texas Observer: AN ELEVENTH-HOUR, HAIL-MARY CLIMATE REMEDY

  • Reuters: Canadian natural gas companies shut in production due to weak pricing

  • Reuters: Tamarack Valley to buy Deltastream for $1.1 bln in Canada’s fast-growing Clearwater

  • Bloomberg: Why Fracking Won’t Solve The Global Oil And Gas Squeeze

  • University of Illinois Chicago: A breakthrough discovery in carbon capture conversion for ethylene production  

OPINION

  • Roanoke Times: Editorial: Government moves favoring MVP make Appalachian property owners feel like political sacrifices

  • NorthJersey.com: Pallone must join Dems to stop sneaky fossil fuel side deal | Opinion

PIPELINE NEWS

Truthout: Manchin’s Pipeline Deal Must Be Blocked, 77 Democrats Say in Letter
Sharon Zhang, 9/12/22

“A group of 77 House Democrats are urging the chamber’s leadership to oppose the inclusion of a host of pro-fossil fuel provisions in the upcoming must-pass government funding bill, including a side deal made with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) to fast track a major fracked gas pipeline,” Truthout reports. “The Democrats, led by House Committee on Natural Resources Chair Raúl Grijalva (D-Arizona), say that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) must ensure that efforts to weaken fossil fuel project permitting regulations — which are slated to be included in the upcoming continuing resolution to fund the government — are taken out… “The letter comes as Indigenous and Appalchian climate activists protested in Washington, D.C. last week to speak out against the Manchin and Big Oil deal, saying that Democrats’ approval of projects like the Mountain Valley Pipeline sacrifices their communities for the profits of fossil fuel corporations. “The Manchin dirty deal is more than a dirty deal and a give-away to the fossil fuel industry,” Maury Johnson, co-chair of the Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights Coalition, which helped to lead the protest, told Truthoutt. “If it is passed it will decimate the environmental and social justice laws put into place over the several decades.” “…Last week, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) announced that he would not vote for the continuing resolution if it included the Mountain Valley Pipeline deal. “Combating climate change is more important than fossil fuel profits. I will not vote for any bill that makes it easier for Big Oil to destroy the planet and that includes approving the Mountain Valley Pipeline,” Sanders said on Twitter. “The Continuing Resolution must not be held hostage by Big Oil.”

FOX Business: Green groups slam Dems’ natural gas pipeline side deal as a ‘betrayal’
Thomas Catenacci, 9/12/22

“Environmental groups lambasted Democrats’ side deal to green-light a West Virginia natural gas pipeline, saying such a provision would be a “betrayal,” FOX Business reports. “The groups argued that the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), a 304-mile West Virginia-to-Virginia natural gas pipeline that is under construction, would mark a setback for federal environmental and endangered species protections… “Members of both parties who claim to believe in property rights must come out against the abuses that MVP and other pipelines impose on landowners,” David Sligh, the conservation director for Wild Virginia which has fought the pipeline, told FOX Business. “Members of all parties should oppose an attempt to slip this atrocity into a continuing resolution or another big must-pass bill… “Sligh added that approving the MVP pipeline would be a “betrayal” from both Democratic and GOP lawmakers and noted it would impact mainly Republican-leaning districts. More than 80 other environmental and conservation groups penned a letter Wednesday to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., saying the MVP pipeline would lock the U.S. into a “climate catastrophe” and “accelerate the wildlife extinction crisis in this country.” “…Meanwhile, 72 House Democrats including Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., wrote a letter Friday to Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., urging them to reject the permitting reform deal. “The inclusion of these provisions in a continuing resolution, or any other must-pass legislation, would silence the voices of frontline and environmental justice communities by insulating them from scrutiny,” they wrote.

WVTF: Congress weighs options that could have significant impact on the future of the MVP
Michael Pope, 9/13/22

“Congress may soon take action to allow a pipeline to carry fracked natural gas from West Virginia into Virginia,” WVTF reports. “Members of Congress are about to consider a continuing resolution to keep the government operating. It’s one of those must-pass bills that often gets loaded with other items that are a priority for leadership. Now members of Congress are talking about adding language to facilitate the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a project that’s been held up for years with legal delays and community opposition. Mike Town at the League of Conservation Voters told WVTF this is not the right way to go about doing this. “Senator Joe Manchin made it very clear that he wants this process to be done in a way that moves forward the Mountain Valley Pipeline,” Town told WVTF. “So it isn’t about whether or not the Mountain Valley Pipeline deserved to move forward or not, and we think that is wrong.” “…But David Sligh at Wild Virginia told WVTF adding it to a continuing resolution is an underhanded way to accomplish that. “It feels like an attempt to hide it and to force it through,” Sligh told WVTF. “And frankly that’s what has happened with the MVP for years now is that various officials have pushed this thing no matter what the facts, no matter what the law. And that’s why we are where we are today.”

Times Citizen: Order against Summit reversed
Elaine Loring, 9/12/22

“Summit Carbon Solutions, one of the hazardous pipeline companies with plans to cross Hardin County, was granted a Motion to Reconsider with the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB), in reference to presenting an emergency response plan,” the Times Citizen reports. “This plan would have asked how Summit would “equip Hardin County and others similarly situated to meet the prime objective of protecting the health, safety and property of the public.” According to court documents, in July the (IUB) had originally issued an order that Summit produce “risk assessment and modeling information” and its “emergency response plan” for their pipeline, which zig zags the entire north and south length across the county, affecting population centers of New Providence, Eldora, Steamboat Rock, Ackley and Iowa Falls. On Aug. 3, Summit filed a motion to reconsider the ruling. In turn, on Aug. 12, Hardin County Attorney Darrell Meyer filed a Resistance to Summit’s Motion to Reconsider with the IUB. “No one is a fan of eminent domain either,” Meyer told the Citizen. “And we come around to making appointments at the end of this year. Being on the Condemnation Board will have more importance than it has in a generation. That Condemnation Board will determine the value of property, then it goes through court system after that.” Meyer also told the Citizen getting the pipeline companies to decide on not building a pipeline would be an “uphill battle. It’s hard to stop a train. How do you get in the way of 7 billion dollars? Congress set the table by creating 45Q tax incentives and we ‘re just stuck in the middle of these forces. Someone (the pipeline companies) wants to take advantage of incentive created by Congress, and we’re getting squeezed in the middle.”

KCAU: Navigator files lawsuit against 2 Siouxland landowners
Wesley Thoene, 9/8/22

“Navigator Heartland Greenway, LLC, is suing four Iowa landowners to gain access to their land to survey it as part of their proposed carbon dioxide pipeline. The four landowners are in in Woodbury, Clay, and Butler counties,” KCAU reports. “…The court filings showed that the certified mail was sent on February 3 and received by three of the landowners. The certified mail was refused for the Woodbury County property. Navigator said it tried to make arrangements to survey the property but was refused multiple times. When a Navigator land agent visited the property on June 29, Victoria Hulse handed the agent a letter from their attorney and refused them onto their property. In Clay County, the landowner also refused Navigator to survey the land. Navigator claims that on March 17, Koenig and his spouse told the company’s representatives to leave, claimed they were trespassing, and called the sheriff. The representatives left after explaining the situation to the sheriff. The company’s representative then visited the property about a month later and was confronted by the landowner’s wife, claiming she threatened him, saying, “Get off my land before I let the dog go.” “…Koening and William and Victoria Hulse filed counterclaims against Navigator on September 7, claiming that Iowa Code 479B.15 violates the Iowa Constitution, specifically Article I, 18. The counterclaim asks to hold any action using that code until a final decision on its constitutionality is rendered. The counterclaims said the specific state code failed to compensate landowners for the surveying of the private landowners’ land. The landowners are also claiming a temporary relief against Navigator may be allowed, claiming Navigator has “threatened to and intends to enter upon Counterclaim Plaintiff’s Property to conduct a survey of unknown type and duration and unknown examination upon the Property against Landowner’s will, thus violating their constitutional rights.”

KIWA: Residents Bar Surveyors From Entering Property To Measure For Carbon Pipeline
MARK MCHUGH, 9/12/22

“Surveyors who were hired by a company that wants to build a carbon capture pipeline across Iowa are running into opposition when they try to gain access to some properties in northeast Iowa,” KIWA reports. “Delaware County Supervisor Shirley Helmrichs told KIWA at least 18 property owners or residents called the sheriff’s office last week with complaints about survey crews trespassing on their land — but their claims had to be rejected. Helmrichs told KIWA most residents she’s heard from are barring the pipeline surveyors from entering their property. Landowners are voicing concerns over eminent domain, loss of quality farmland, the mission of this project, and safety. They plan to address the Manchester City Council at their regular council meeting on September 12th. Some residents may claim that they haven’t been properly notified about the pipeline project, but Helmrichs told KIWA they may have gotten something in the mail.”

Dakota News Now: Matters of the State: PUC Chair talks pipeline process amid Summit’s scrap with landowners
9/12/22

“On this week’s Matters of the State, South Dakota Public Utilities Chair Chris Nelson breaks down the permit approval process for a project like the proposed CO2 pipeline from Summit Carbon Solutions,” Dakota News Now reports. 

Bismarck Tribune: Pipeline spill leaks into creek near Williston; investigators continue to monitor cleanup
JACKIE JAHFETSON, 9/12/22

“A pipeline spill detected over the weekend released more than 400,000 gallons of oilfield wastewater, with contamination entering a tributary of the Missouri River and causing some fish to die, state investigators said Monday,” the Bismarck Tribune reports. “Zavanna LLC estimates about 9,800 barrels, or 411,600 gallons, of produced water spilled about 7 miles northeast of Williston. The produced water, a byproduct of oil production, reached Stony Creek, which empties into the Missouri River, Bill Suess, spill investigation program manager with the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality, told the Tribune. The spill occurred about 7 to 8 miles from the river, Suess told the Tribune, adding that there are a number of stock dams in place to mitigate contamination. Several chub minnows and small carp have been reported as wildlife impacts, Suess said. Department of Environmental Quality personnel are inspecting the site and will continue to monitor the investigation and cleanup. Most of the land near the spill site is agricultural land, and there are no reports of affected drinking water at this time, Suess told the Tribune… “A spill report shows that an anomaly was detected through the pipeline monitoring system on Sunday. A Zavanna employee went to inspect the neighboring well pads and located the spill. Hodges told the Tribune the pipeline is believed to have been leaking for no more than five days before it was detected.”

Reuters: Trans Mountain pipeline camp workers evacuated due to wildfires in British Columbia
9/12/22

“A camp housing workers for the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion project in southern British Columbia was evacuated on Monday due wildfires in the region, although flows on the existing pipeline are not impacted, Trans Mountain Corp said,” Reuters reports. 

SlashFilm: How To Blow Up A Pipeline Review: A Startling And White Knuckle-Inducing Visual Manifesto [TIFF]
ERIN BRADY, 9/12/22

“What is proper activism, actually? Is it organizing in the streets? Sharing an infographic on Instagram? Boycotting certain brands with unsavory political leanings? The answer to this question is one that is still being debated to this day, and it will likely never have a clear answer due to the broadness of activism as a term,” SlashFilm reports. “Activism can be both hyper-local and hyper-broad, and thus, the actions needed to combat certain causes need to vary by their grander importance. In the case of climate change, Daniel Goldhaber’s “How To Blow Up a Pipeline” argues that the time for peaceful demonstrations and quiet gestures has long passed. Based on the non-fiction book by Andreas Malm, the film centers around a diverse group of climate activists as they do exactly what the title suggests — blow up a West Texas pipeline in order to disrupt the oil trade right before Christmas. While the premise alone will likely cause people to already proclaim it “the most important movie of the year,” it shouldn’t be boxed in by that alone. Thanks to its incredibly strong ensemble and relentlessly tense pacing, “Pipeline” could arguably be a dark horse contender for one of the best films of 2022 so far.”

WASHINGTON UPDATES

E&E News: Biden ‘committed’ to permitting deal with Manchin
Jael Holzman, 9/12/22

“The White House said Monday that President Joe Biden is “committed” to permitting reform legislation promised to West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin,” E&E News reports. “…Today, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the president remained behind the accord. “Without compromise, there would be no deal,” Jean-Pierre told reporters Monday morning aboard Air Force One, according to a White House transcript. “The president is committed to the deal.” Biden is standing by his pledge to Manchin even as dozens of progressive lawmakers and environmental activists ramp up pressure on the president to jump ship from the agreement… “Jean-Pierre was tight-lipped about whether the president was as enthusiastic about that plan, simply stating, “We support that deal and that vote, and we will work with Congress to determine the best pathway.” “…House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told Bloomberg television today the Senate would go first on the spending continuing resolution. It’s unclear how House Democrats plan to secure enough votes for passing a CR with permitting language.”

The Hill: Progressives flex against Manchin side-deal on permitting reform
RACHEL FRAZIN, 9/13/22

“Progressive lawmakers opposed to Sen. Joe Manchin’s push for changes to the environmental review process are flexing their muscles, making a concerted effort to stop congressional leaders from fulfilling a deal with the West Virginia Democrat,” The Hill reports. “The liberal House members are specifically pressing Democratic leaders to not include permitting reform to a stopgap funding measure Congress must pass by the end of the month to prevent an Oct. 1 government shutdown… “But turning that deal between leaders and Manchin into reality is proving difficult. While only a broad outline of the permitting reform has been released publicly, it has already come under fire from progressives and other Democratic lawmakers who argue it would contribute to climate change and hurt the environment. They’ve raised concerns that it will speed up polluting and planet-warming fossil fuel projects, and that it could limit local input in projects that have the potential to harm communities. In the upper chamber, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is the main liberal opponent. He gave a speech on the Senate floor decrying the measure as “a huge giveaway to the fossil fuel industry.”  In the House, a large coalition of Democrats have come out against the deal, asking Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) not to put it into government-funding legislation… “The widespread opposition among Democrats poses a quandary for House leadership, as they won’t want to burn the bridge with Manchin, who they may need to pass legislation in the future. They also don’t want to anger a third of their members or risk shutting down the government ahead of the midterm elections. By coming out in large numbers, progressives showed they may be able to rally a big group of members to block the permitting reform push… “I don’t know how a CR vote will go if it includes the permitting rider, but the opposition is loud and only getting louder. I encourage leadership to listen to its caucus and keep us out of a shutdown standoff that nobody wants,” Grijalva, a former progressive caucus chairman, told The Hill.  “Give us a clean CR and let these dirty permitting provisions stand up to congressional scrutiny on their own. Now is not the time to roll the dice on a government shutdown,” he added.”  

E&E News: As Dems squabble, GOP floats its own permitting bill
Kelsey Brugger, Jeremy Dillon, Hannah Northey, 9/13/22

“Republican senators on Monday offered their own permitting legislation to counter an ongoing effort from Democrats,” E&E News reports. “Environment and Public Works ranking member Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) yesterday blasted Democrats for not inviting Republicans to the table to help draft the permitting bill. Republicans have long harped on the cumbersome permitting system, but they have cast doubt on a deal Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) struck with Democratic leaders for his vote on last month’s climate bill… “As the Senate GOP shopped its offer, House Democrats continued to gather support from members opposed to advancing a permitting overhaul in tandem with a stopgap government funding measure. In addition, major environmental groups, including the League of Conservation Voters, came out against the effort… “Despite its mostly partisan bent, Capito told reporters Monday the legislation is not meant to be taken as an all-or-nothing approach. Instead, she said, it is meant to fill the void from the lack of legislative text from Democrats… “GOP lawmakers have been slow to back the deal, preferring to wait for finalized text before publicly endorsing the strategy. Capito’s bill and its broad support among Republicans at least indicate interest for action, she said… “Manchin did not have a firm update on when his own permitting language would be released. “I’m not in charge of that … but we’ve been working on all the technical changes, so hopefully, should be soon,” Manchin told reporters. Even as the Senate looks to pick up momentum, progressives opposed to the permitting deal were bolstered by additional voices coming out against the deal yesterday. House Natural Resources Chair Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) secured an additional five lawmakers to a coalition he has assembled to oppose attaching the reform package to the spending bill — 79 lawmakers have now announced their opposition… “Major environmental groups like the League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Climate Power also came out against an effort that would attach the permitting deal to the funding bill.”

Press release: Capito Leads Colleagues in Introducing Comprehensive Regulatory and Permitting Reform Legislation
9/12/22

“Today, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, led 38 of her Republican colleagues in introducing the Simplify Timelines and Assure Regulatory Transparency (START) Act, comprehensive federal regulatory permitting and project review reform legislation. “Since our calls for action and offers to see legislative text from the permitting ‘deal’ remain unheeded, Republicans are introducing this legislation today to deliver solutions to the roadblocks, delays, and postponements of key infrastructure projects across the country,” Ranking Member Capito said… “Ranking Member Capito’s bill is cosponsored by 38 senators, including, U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), John Thune (R-S.D.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)… “BILL DETAILS: Section 2 – Codifies the Trump Administration’s modernized National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations; Section 3 – Codifies the Trump Administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule’s definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act; Codifies the Trump Administration’s Section 401 Certification Rule under the Clean Water Act to prevent state actions that unreasonably block energy projects; Prohibits the use and adoption of the Biden Administration’s interim estimates for the “social cost of greenhouse gases” and any other estimates that may raise gasoline prices… “Grants states the sole authority to promulgate or enforce any regulation, guidance, or permit requirement regarding hydraulic fracturing on or under any land within their boundaries… “Expedites the approval for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project within 21 days of enactment. This section paves the way for another American energy revolution by taking concrete steps to buck the policies that are holding American energy producers back to the benefit of hostile regimes with inferior environmental standards…”

Reuters: U.S. seeks to restore safety rules sparked by Gulf oil spill
9/12/22

“The Biden administration on Monday proposed offshore drilling safety measures that it said would help prevent oil spills and protect workers and the environment,” Reuters reports. “The proposal aims to restore safety provisions put in place by the Obama administration in 2016 following the fatal 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon spill, the worst in United States history. The Trump administration had revised the rules in 2019 to reduce what the oil and gas industry said was a financial burden… “The rule revisions would tighten technical requirements of blowout prevention systems and mandate speedier failure investigations. They also require companies to submit failure data directly to BSEE rather than to third parties… “Environmental group Oceana reacted to the proposal by calling for the end to offshore drilling. “While the new safety measures being proposed are a step in the right direction, no operator can promise there wont’ be another disaster like BP’s Deepwater Horizon blowout,” Oceana campaign director Diane Hoskins told Reuters.”

Associated Press: Judge restores oil lease on land sacred to US, Canada tribes
Matthew Brown, 9/9/22

“A federal judge on Friday ordered the Biden administration to reinstate a drilling lease that has been in dispute for decades on land near the Blackfeet Indian Reservation that is considered sacred to Native American tribes in the U.S. and Canada,” the Associated Press reports. “The 10-square-mile (25-square-kilometer) oil and gas lease in the Badger-Two Medicine area of northwestern Montana was first issued in 1982. It was cancelled in 2016 under then-U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, at the request of the Blackfoot tribes and conservation groups. There have been efforts to declare the area a national monument or make it a cultural heritage area, and tribal leaders have bitterly opposed drilling in recent decades. But U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said Jewell lacked the authority to withdraw the lease so many years after it was sold and after several prior studies examined the environmental and other impacts of drilling in the area. He ordered Interior Department officials to reinstate the lease and issue a drilling permit to Solenex LLC, the Louisiana company that holds the lease. Leon issued a similar order in 2018 that was later overturned on appeal… “The Badger-Two-Medicine is adjacent to Glacier National Park and is the site of the creation story of the Blackfoot tribes of southern Canada and Montana’s Blackfeet Nation. The Blackfeet had intervened in the case on the side of the government, and tribal Historic Preservation Officer John Murray told AP the fight against drilling would continue. “We’ve lived under this kind of reckless threat to our sacred lands for decades, and we will never surrender to roads and drill rigs in the Badger-Two Medicine,” Murray told AP.

STATE UPDATES

Carlsbad Current-Argus: ‘Environmental rights’ to be considered by New Mexico lawmakers, amid oil and gas concerns
Adrian Hedden, 9/9/22

“A right to an environment free of pollution and associated dangers could be considered by New Mexico voters if the purported “green amendment” was passed by the Legislature in the upcoming session,” the Carlsbad Current-Argus reports. “Such a measure failed to reach the governor’s desk in previous sessions, but lawmakers are likely to reintroduce the amendment that would create a ballot question to codify “environmental rights” into law… “Opponents of the legislation said it could expose New Mexico to future litigation, placing decision-making authority with the court system rather than the state administration and lawmakers. This could also stymie industries like oil and gas or agriculture, critics argued, and add another layer of regulatory burden to activities important to New Mexico’s economy… “The panel shared the language of the 2023 version of the bill, intended to be introduced during the upcoming 60-day legislative session starting in January. “The people of the state shall be entitled to clean and healthy air, water, soil and environment; a stable climate; and self-sustaining ecosystems, for the benefit of public health, safety and general welfare,” read the language that would be added to New Mexico’s Bill of Rights. “The state shall protect these rights equitably for all people regardless of race, ethnicity, tribal membership status, socioeconomics, or geography.” Sedillo Lopez told the Argus pollution impacted New Mexicans, specifically people of color, disproportionately and the green amendment would strengthen the state’s protections for vulnerable, low-income and minority-majority communities. She pointed to language added to the latest version of the bill that required the state consider race and ethnicity, along with Indigenous communities and socioeconomics when making decisions that could impact the environment.”

Press release: Oil and Gas Permits on Public Lands in California Routinely Violate Federal Law
9/8/22

“Community groups, tribes, and conservation organizations are calling for federal agencies to address routine failures to protect low-income communities and communities of color in California’s San Joaquin Valley from pollution caused by nearby oil and gas extraction on public lands. In a letter to leaders at the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Interior, and Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the groups call out BLM’s continuing violations of multiple federal laws when issuing permits to drill new oil and gas wells on existing leases. In extensive comments submitted to BLM, the groups document how the Bakersfield Field Office routinely issues permits without evaluating the impacts to air quality, water quality and scarcity, climate change, local species, or public health, all while denying nearby communities an opportunity to review and comment on the permits. Experts warn that these violations are pervasive in the agency’s permitting program and that BLM must comprehensively address its illegal failures to protect communities and the environment from oil and gas drilling. BLM must ensure that federal laws designed to reduce health-harming air and water pollution are upheld… “Signed by the Chalon Indian Council of Bakersfield of the Chalon Indian Nation, Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, the Central California Asthma Collaborative, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, The Wilderness Society, Friends of the Earth, Center for Biological Diversity, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice, and Patagonia, the letter offers solutions to the serious shortcomings in the drilling permit program, while also emphasizing that the Biden administration must phase out oil drilling on public lands to help prevent the worst climate catastrophes, including on public lands that BLM manages.”

EXTRACTION

Texas Observer: AN ELEVENTH-HOUR, HAIL-MARY CLIMATE REMEDY
DELGER ERDENESANAA, 9/12/22

“It’s another day on the Gulf Coast, and locals are fighting yet another fossil fuel infrastructure project,” the Texas Observer reports. :Texas billionaire Kelcy Warren’s company, Energy Transfer, has proposed a pipeline dubbed “Blue Marlin” that would carry crude oil from an export terminal in Nederland to an offshore port in Louisiana waters. “This thing, given Energy Transfer’s track record, is a disaster waiting to happen,” John Beard, a former Exxon Mobil employee and an environmental justice leader in Port Arthur, which is part of the same petrochemicals-dominated Golden Triangle area as Nederland, told the Observer… “We don’t need the oil, so why are we transporting it and putting people at risk?” Beard asked. The specter of never-ending fossil fuel expansion like the Blue Marlin pipeline and port has cast a pall over the brand-new Inflation Reduction Act… “But thanks to West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin’s devotion to the fossil fuel industry, the Inflation Reduction Act perversely ties its clean energy incentives to additional oil and gas leases… “In other words, the new law is deeply contradictory. For that reason, environmental justice advocates like Beard are not embracing the reform. “It gives a pass for the fossil fuel industry,” he told the Observer… “And the act “provides enormous subsidies for technologies that oil and gas companies might pivot to,” Cohan told the Observer… “The Inflation Reduction Act also pins some of its hopes on carbon capture technology—the part of the bill that worries Cohan the most… “While many have criticized the auctions of new oil and gas leases mandated by the new law, Cohan told the Observer he’s more concerned about whether the carbon capture provisions will become so generous that they subsidize oil and gas production. Notably, the law includes very little in the way of regulations and consequences for pollution, apart from a new fee on methane leaks from oil and gas facilities. That lack of teeth is why some who voted for the Inflation Reduction Act are calling it inadequate.”

Reuters: Canadian natural gas companies shut in production due to weak pricing
Nia Williams, 9/12/22

“Two Canadian natural gas producers on Monday said they had temporarily reduced production due to pipeline bottlenecks that led to a collapse in western Canadian gas prices in the second half of August,” Reuters reports. “Tourmaline Oil, Canada’s largest gas producer, cut its third-quarter output by 1.5%, or 7,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), although its full-year production guidance remains unchanged at 507,000 boepd. Kelt Exploration Ltd reduced its full-year 2022 production forecast by 1,500 boepd to around 29,000 boepd. Spot natural gas prices at the AECO hub in western Canada tumbled last month and briefly turned negative as maintenance on TC Energy’s NGTL pipeline system cut capacity, leaving gas stranded in Alberta and at the Station 2 hub in British Columbia. “The company shut-in significant gas volumes on certain days in both Alberta and British Columbia,” Kelt said in a statement.”

Reuters: Tamarack Valley to buy Deltastream for $1.1 bln in Canada’s fast-growing Clearwater
Rod Nickel and Arunima Kumar, 9/12/22

“Canada’s Tamarack Valley Energy Ltd said on Monday it will buy oil producer Deltastream Energy Corp for C$1.425 billion ($1.10 billion) in Alberta’s small but fast-growing Clearwater play,” Reuters reports. “The Clearwater produces 91,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), according to RBC, accounting for less than 2% of Canada’s total oil production based on Canada Energy Regulator data. But output has doubled during the past year, providing a fast-growing oil source for the world’s fourth-largest oil producer at a time when much-larger oil sands projects are expanding only slowly. Well licensing is more active in the Clearwater than anywhere else in Western Canada, RBC said… “The purchase is by far the biggest Clearwater deal yet. There have been 13 other Clearwater deals since the second quarter of 2020 worth a combined C$940 million, Tom Pavic, president of Sayer Energy Advisors, told Reuters.”

Bloomberg: Why Fracking Won’t Solve The Global Oil And Gas Squeeze
David Wethe, 9/12/22

“A tsunami of oil and gas from the technique called fracking has made the US the world’s biggest producer of both, giving the country the energy independence its leaders have sought for decades and upending the geopolitics of the world energy trade,” Bloomberg reports. “Now, with the world crying out for more oil and gas, American frackers are theoretically in a position to provide it. Instead, they are riding the brakes, having changed their business models to focus on generating profits for investors rather than increasing production… “America’s new dominance undercuts OPEC’s ability to control the oil market. OPEC tried to drive North American frackers out of business starting in 2014 by flooding the market with crude, provoking a price crash. Although some frackers went bust, overall they proved nimble, innovating to reduce production costs and stay alive. The abundance of shale gas has helped the US cut its use of coal, the most polluting fossil fuel, nearly in half since 2008. What’s more, American gas is now available on world markets, thanks to a process that enables it to be super-cooled into liquefied natural gas and transported via ship.”

University of Illinois Chicago: A breakthrough discovery in carbon capture conversion for ethylene production   
9/9/22

“A team of researchers led by Meenesh Singh at University of Illinois Chicago has discovered a way to convert 100% of carbon dioxide captured from industrial exhaust into ethylene, a key building block for plastic products. Their findings are published in Cell Reports Physical Science. While researchers have been exploring the possibility of converting carbon dioxide to ethylene for more than a decade, the UIC team’s approach is the first to achieve nearly 100% utilization of carbon dioxide to produce hydrocarbons. Their system uses electrolysis to transform captured carbon dioxide gas into high purity ethylene, with other carbon-based fuels and oxygen as byproducts. The process can convert up to 6 metric tons of carbon dioxide into 1 metric ton of ethylene, recycling almost all carbon dioxide captured. Because the system runs on electricity, the use of renewable energy can make the process carbon negative. According to Singh, his team’s approach surpasses the net-zero carbon goal of other carbon capture and conversion technologies by actually reducing the total carbon dioxide output from industry. “It’s a net negative,” he said. “For every 1 ton of ethylene produced, you’re taking 6 tons of CO2 from point sources that otherwise would be released to the atmosphere.” “…Among manufactured chemicals worldwide, ethylene ranks third for carbon emissions after ammonia and cement. Ethylene is used not only to create plastic products for the packaging, agricultural and automotive industries, but also to produce chemicals used in antifreeze, medical sterilizers and vinyl siding for houses.” 

OPINION

Roanoke Times: Editorial: Government moves favoring MVP make Appalachian property owners feel like political sacrifices
Mike Allen, 9/12/22

“The 303-mile long, dreary and aggravating saga of Mountain Valley Pipeline has taken yet another lumbering turn even as construction on the deeply controversial project remains stalled. The turn might or might not push the pipeline toward completion, even as it absolutely compounds MVP’s abysmal PR profile,” Mike Allen writes for the Roanoke Times. “MVP opponents had reason to celebrate earlier this year as the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond dealt setback after setback to the 6-year-old, $6.6 billion project, which has already cut a wide swath through private and public properties in Southwest and Southside Virginia… “Yet the environmental groups, community activists and property owners who want to make sure MVP is never completed soon had to put the champagne back in storage… “However, there’s absolutely no guarantee that the D.C. court would prove friendlier to MVP in practice. Not to mention, the optics of Manchin’s intervention when MVP was unable to pull off a judge swap on its lonesome were pretty awful, considering the project’s association with wresting property away from homeowners through eminent domain and earning slaps on the wrist for hundreds of environmental violations. The people of Appalachia who never wanted the pipeline forced down their throats in the first place feel like they were callously sacrificed for the sake of political machinations, and they’ve vowed to fight even harder. With that anger and anguish churning the air, FERC responded to public comment on the MVP deadline extension with a tone-deaf response to those who voiced worries about potentially corroded pipes exposed to the elements for years. FERC declared that “concerns raised by commenters on this matter do not justify additional analysis.” “…The government — a few federal judges excepted — has been and remains in MVP’s corner. Those who have seen their property seized and viewsheds marred feel more cornered than ever. MVP continues to play the role of Goliath, unlikely to be mourned by anyone other than its investors if any David at last succeeds with a slingshot legal gambit.”

NorthJersey.com: Pallone must join Dems to stop sneaky fossil fuel side deal | Opinion
Matt Smith is the New Jersey State Director at the advocacy group Food & Water Watch, 9/10/22

“Even though it took too long to pass and does not go far enough, the Inflation Reduction Ac) became the biggest climate-focused law in the nation’s history when it was signed into law in August. But it came with a catch: To get West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin to vote with his party, Senate leaders agreed to introduce a separate piece of legislation that would fast-track permit approvals for climate destroying fossil fuel projects,” Matt Smith writes for NorthJersey.com. “…This has put lawmakers who champion climate and environmental justice in a bind; they did not make any agreement to fast track legislation as a favor to a coal millionaire. That’s why dozens of Congressmembers are speaking out against Manchin’s dirty deal. And we need more leaders, including our own Rep. Frank Pallone, to join them… “Polluters think this process is unfair to them — and that is why they insist it needs to be ‘reformed.’ But that is simply a code word for curtailing the review processes that protect our health and safety… “Dozens of lawmakers — and hundreds of grassroots and environmental organizations — have already stood up to oppose Manchin’s dirty deal… “For years, Pallone has long understood the urgency of the climate crisis and the need for federal regulators to protect our health and safety. He even called NEPA “the most important of all environmental legislation.” As chair of the House Energy Committee, Pallone has fought previous efforts to weaken key environmental protections and has strengthened environmental reviews for fossil fuel pipelines and other polluting projects. In the wake of passing a much-heralded climate law, Pallone should join his colleagues in defeating the fossil fuel industry’s sneaky attempt to secure a victory of its own.”

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