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EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 9/15/23

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

By Mark Hefflinger

September 15, 2023



  • The Hill: Biden administration gives states more authority to block pipeline projects

  • E&E News: EPA bolsters states’ control of water, infrastructure permitting

  • Dakota Scout: Navigator suspending pipeline plans in South Dakota

  • KELO: Navigator shifts land teams out of South Dakota

  • Des Moines Register: Navigator says it’s ‘pausing’ efforts to buy land easements ‘in some parts of Iowa’

  • Law360: Judge Trims CO2 Pipeline’s Challenge To Iowa Zoning Rules

  • WOWT: Iowa Utilities Board hears testimony on concerns, risks of carbon pipeline

  • DeSmog: Satartia Poisoning ‘Was an Anomaly,’ Says Carbon Capture CEO

  • Radio Iowa: Candidate Haley backs carbon pipelines, but without use of eminent domain

  • Press release: TVA, TC Energy Invest $1.25 Million in Carbon Capture Study

  • The Center Square: Pipeline problems could cut off nation’s 100-year gas supply


  • Axios: Al Gore: “Mistake” to think big oil, gas are part of a climate solution


  • E&E News: U.S. fossil exports wipe out carbon cuts — report

  • E&E News: FERC staff rejects pressure to weigh in on EPA, other agency rules

  • E&E News: Republican-Led ESA Group Meets, Hears From Industry 

  • E&E News: Green group to launch ‘experts of color’ database



  • NBC News: ‘Peak oil’ could be on the horizon, but new fossil fuel projects are pushing ahead

  • Reuters: OPEC says IEA estimate of peak fossil fuel demand by 2030 not ‘fact-based’

  • Reuters: BP sticking with energy transition strategy, says interim CEO

  • E&E News: Sole U.S. power plant CCS project restarts after 3 years

  • Public Citizen: Petra Nova Carbon Capture Project Gets a Second Chance at Failure

  • The Verge: Amazon will pay an oil company to help it meet climate goals

  • Researchers use carbon capture and utilization technology to recycle industrial carbon dioxide

  • New York Times: Meet the Oil Man in Charge of Leading the World Away From Oil


  • CBS News: Climate change protesters block entrance to Citigroup headquarters in Lower Manhattan; 2 dozen arrested

  • Globe and Mail: Canadian oil and gas stocks soar but remain a tough sell for investors


  • Cherokee Chronicle Times: Letter to the Editor

  • NRDC: From Dams to DAPL, the Army Corps’ Culture of Disdain for Indigenous Communities Must End

  • The Hill: Biden Administration Continues Its Anti-Democratic ‘Sue-And-Settle’ Masquerade 

  • Newsweek: Gas Exports Are America’s Hidden National Security Vulnerability

  • The Hill: We can’t normalize climate catastrophe. Biden must act 


The Hill: Biden administration gives states more authority to block pipeline projects

“The Biden administration is giving states and tribes more authority to block certain projects, like pipelines that run through their waters, on water quality grounds,” The Hill reports. “A new final rule from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) undoes the Trump administration’s efforts to limit states’ authority to block such projects. Specifically, the new Biden rule allows a state or tribe to consider any aspect of the project with the potential to impact water quality as it weighs whether to approve or block a project… “Several Democratic governors praised the rule in a statement issued by the Biden administration. “EPA’s action will better protect New Mexico’s water quality at a time when federal and state protections are needed most,” New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) told The Hill. The Clean Water Act gives states the authority to approve or reject projects that run through their waters.  The Trump administration sought to limit that authority, a decision that came after Democrat-led states used the law to block two major projects: a coal shipping port in Washington state and a pipeline that would have run between Pennsylvania and New York. In addition to the change regarding pollution, the Biden administration also said its rule encourages “early engagement” between industry and the states or tribes.” 

E&E News: EPA bolsters states’ control of water, infrastructure permitting
E.A. Crunden, 9/14/23

“The Biden administration is restoring significant state and tribal authority over water resources and expanding their leverage on infrastructure permitting decisions, including for pipelines,” E&E News reports. “With a final rule announced Thursday, EPA reversed Trump-era limitations on state permit approvals, a move the agency said would bolster state and tribal abilities to protect their waters. In addition to restoring certain oversight powers, the move also gives states, tribes and territories a direct role in determining the duration of review processes… “At issue is a provision of the Clean Water Act enabling states, tribes and territories to sign off on — or deny — permit certification based on concerns over threats to their water resources. Under former President Donald Trump, EPA limited Section 401 certification oversight from “the activity as a whole” to discharges alone, a move that sparked major backlash from some states and environmental groups. The Biden administration is now walking back that erosion of powers, while also expanding state authorities… “On a call with reporters Thursday, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water Radhika Fox said that the new rule heavily clarifies what needs to be in a permit application, as well as define the scope of review… “A range of state officials have already expressed support for the move, including a number of Democratic governors, including the heads of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Mexico and North Carolina, along with environmental department leaders from New York and Washington state… “Advocates are also celebrating the regulation. Jim Murphy, the National Wildlife Federation’s director of legal advocacy, told E&E the rule was a watershed moment for protecting the environment. “This rule ensures that the people who know these waters best are able to make thoughtful, informed decisions about projects that could harm them,” Murphy told E&E. “If you care about safe drinking water or if you enjoy fishing, swimming or boating, you should be glad that states and tribes are able to review proposed projects like dams, pipelines and mines.”

Dakota Scout: Navigator suspending pipeline plans in South Dakota

“A carbon sequestration company planning a pipeline through the upper Midwest is suspending operations in South Dakota,” the Dakota Scout reports. “Navigator CO2 this week alerted landowners along its proposed route here and in northwest Iowa that it’s no longer pursuing a route through the five eastern South Dakota counties that had been targeted for the line. “The project is getting shut down permanently,” read correspondence sent between a Navigator representative and at least one landowner that was reviewed and corroborated by The Dakota Scout. “Negotiations are no longer on the table because the project is getting shut off.” 

KELO: Navigator shifts land teams out of South Dakota
Bob Mercer, 9/14/23

“A statement issued by Navigator on Thursday strongly suggests the company is pulling back from the South Dakota part of its plan to build a carbon-dioxide pipeline,” KELO reports. “The news comes a week after the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission rejected Navigator’s permit application and one day after the commission officially issued its order denying Navigator’s request to pre-empt pipeline ordinances in Minnehaha and Moody counties… “As we are evaluating the next steps of permitting in South Dakota, we have paused some of our right of way work in certain areas, like South Dakota and some parts of Iowa, which has meant releasing a few of the land agent contract teams working on behalf of the project,” the company’s statement said. “The remaining land teams will be reallocated to ensure coverage across the footprint and continued conversations with landowners. Navigator remains committed to project development in a collaborative fashion, and is continuing to work towards that goal,” the company’s statement continued. Elizabeth Burns-Thompson, the company’s vice president for government and public affairs, declined an invitation from KELO to further comment Thursday evening.”

Des Moines Register: Navigator says it’s ‘pausing’ efforts to buy land easements ‘in some parts of Iowa’
Donnelle Eller, 9/14/23

“Northwest Iowa landowner Amy Solsma wants to believe a message she received from a Navigator CO2 Ventures agent, saying the Omaha company is no longer interested in buying access to her family’s farm for its $3.5 billion carbon capture pipeline,” the Des Moines Register reports. “Tessa Kostas, a Navigator land agent, texted Solsma and a neighbor, saying she was canceling her meetings with the families because the “project is getting shut down permanently,” according to text messages that Solsma shared with the Des Moines Register… “Last week, South Dakota regulators denied the company’s request to build a pipeline through the state. Navigator said it’s “pausing some of our right of way work in certain areas, like South Dakota and some parts of Iowa,” while the company assesses the South Dakota decision… “In the meantime, Navigator said it’s “releasing a few of the land agent contract teams working on behalf of the project,” the company told the Register in an email. “The remaining land teams will be reallocated to ensure coverage across the footprint and continue conversations with landowners,” the company said. “Navigator remains committed to project development in a collaborative fashion, and is continuing to work towards that goal.” South Dakota residents are getting the same message, according to the Dakota Scout, an independent Sioux Falls publication… “The projects have sparked widespread opposition, with Iowa landowners, residents and politicians concerned about pipeline safety, their impact on farmland and underground drainage tiles, and the use of eminent domain, which would enable companies to force unwilling landowners to sell them access to their property for the projects. Solsma told the Register she shares many of the same concerns that others have, but Navigator and Summit’s bid to use eminent domain top her complaints… “It’s like saying someone saying, ‘Well, I’m gonna move into your house and live in your second bedroom. And I can do whatever I want … you don’t have any say,'” Solsma told the Register… “On Friday, North Dakota regulators are expected to weigh Summit’s request they reconsider its application.”

Law360: Judge Trims CO2 Pipeline’s Challenge To Iowa Zoning Rules
Nate Beck, 9/14/23

“An Iowa federal judge has found that a company seeking to build a carbon dioxide pipeline across the Midwest can’t claim that rules passed by two Iowa counties restricting the line’s route are a government taking, trimming the developer’s attempt to invalidate the rules,” Law360 reports. 

WOWT: Iowa Utilities Board hears testimony on concerns, risks of carbon pipeline
Joe Harris, 9/14/23

“Developer Summit Carbon Solutions is fighting to build a carbon capture pipeline,” WOWT reports.”…However, there are concerns the pipeline could pose a danger to people, wildlife, and historical places. On Tuesday, Summit brought witnesses to testify in front of the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) trying to calm those fears… “The board also heard about the major peril this pipeline could cause if something goes wrong. In 2020, a CO2 pipeline owned by Denbury Inc. ruptured around a mile from the town of Satartia, Mississippi. Yazoo County Emergency Management Director Jack Willingham’s department responded to the incident. He testified Thursday, saying they found people short of breath, disoriented, and some on the brink of death. “They were going to die,” Willingham said. “Their respirations had dropped down to nothing if it wasn’t for my responders throwing them all on a UTV and getting them out of that area.” Willingham said it wasn’t safe for people to return to their homes even 14 hours after the pipe burst. “The highest concentrations of CO2 found at that time were inside the residences,” he said. “If they had been sheltering in place, they still would’ve been at dangerous levels above what is supposed to be accepted.”

DeSmog: Satartia Poisoning ‘Was an Anomaly,’ Says Carbon Capture CEO
Taylor Noakeson, 9/14/23

“I’m not saying don’t tell the truth, I’m saying it’s the level of truth that you give.” This was advice provided by James Millar, president and CEO of the International CCS Knowledge Centre, to an audience attending a panel discussion at a carbon capture conference held in Edmonton, Alberta on Wednesday,” DeSmog reports. “ Millar spoke freely about countering scientific studies, damage control, and a Mississippi CO2 leak that hospitalized dozens of people… “Millar was speaking to an audience about communications strategies for industry representatives dealing with opposition to carbon capture projects. Millar, who recommended consistent messaging and tight message control to the audience, made several off-the-cuff remarks… “A press release from the International CCS Knowledge Centre issued in May 2022, upon the appointment of Millar to the role of president and CEO, noted that he provided “public affairs direction to TransCanada Corporation (now TC Energy) during planning and development of major infrastructure projects including the Keystone XL and Energy East pipelines.” Both the Keystone XL and Energy East projects were canceled. Millar warned the audience that carbon capture pipelines may suffer the same fate. “If we don’t do public engagement right, there aren’t going to be projects,” he said. “The activists are using the same playbook that they used against Gateway, TMX, Line 5, KXL, Energy East, and they’re now using it on CCS.” Panel moderator Spencer Schecht of the Washington DC based Global CCS Institute agreed that promoting CCS is “an uphill battle.” “There’s always an incredulously cocked eyebrow towards CCS,” he said… “Claiming “Satartia was an anomaly,” Millar imitated how an industry representative might respond to public concerns that mention the incident. He listed several factors that allegedly contributed to the disaster, including torrential rains, the location of the pipeline, and the buckling of a weld. “All an opponent has to say is ‘don’t do CCS, or you’re going to have people walking around like zombies foaming at the mouth like they did in Satartia,’” Millar said. “You scare people. You share this information and they’ll be against it.” “…Millar argued CCS “opponents” have a tactical advantage in public discussions, as they can make simple and effective arguments while industry representatives have to go into considerable detail to refute them. He added that “CCS causes earthquakes” is just three words.”

Radio Iowa: Candidate Haley backs carbon pipelines, but without use of eminent domain
O. Kay Henderson, 9/15/23

“Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley says she favors development of pipelines that could make the ethanol industry carbon neutral, but Haley says landowners who don’t want the pipelines on their property should not be forced to sign easements,” Radio Iowa reports. “I don’t want us to just be energy independent. I want us to be energy dominant and I think we do that by having an all-of-the-above energy approach, but we have to always be respectful of the rights and freedoms of hardworking Americans,” Haley said during an interview with Radio Iowa, “and so I’m not a supporter of eminent domain.” “…It’s not that we don’t want these pipelines. I think there’s good that can be done with that and it’s actually good for not only energy, but it’s good for the environment,” Haley told Radio Iowa. “We just want to be sure that we’re very conscious of the eminent domain part, to make sure that no one is taking advantage of that.” “…On Saturday, Haley is among nine GOP presidential candidates who’ll be speaking at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition’s fall fundraiser in Des Moines.”

Press release: TVA, TC Energy Invest $1.25 Million in Carbon Capture Study

“The Tennessee Valley Authority announced Thursday that it will work with TC Energy to jointly invest $1.25 million to study carbon capture technology to reduce emissions at TVA’s natural gas facilities in Ackerman, Mississippi, and in Drakesboro, Kentucky. TVA is exploring a number of options to decarbonize its power grid, and the goal of the partnership is to conduct a feasibility study to determine the costs, technical challenges, and operational impacts of carbon capture technology.  Information from this study will be used to assess future asset decisions for the TVA fleet.     “TVA is a clean energy leader, and we are focused on reducing carbon emissions in an efficient and cost-effective manner,” said Dr. Joe Hoagland, TVA Innovation Research vice president. “Exploring all available technologies to eliminate carbon will allow us to move faster as we work to be net-zero by 2050.” “… We are excited to work with TVA to evaluate solutions that will lower the carbon intensity of reliable, baseload natural gas power facilities,” said Omar Khayum, TC Energy vice president of Energy Origination and Development. 

The Center Square: Pipeline problems could cut off nation’s 100-year gas supply
Anthony Hennen, 9/14/23

“A recent analysis determined the United States sits on a century’s worth of gas supply, but industry experts warn there aren’t enough pipelines to access it,” according to The Center Square. “The report from the Potential Gas Committee, part of the Colorado School of Mines, found that the country had technically recoverable gas resources of 3,353 trillion cubic feet, a 0.5% decrease from its 2020 estimate. Despite this, however, total future supply has hit the highest level recorded by the committee in 60 years… “Steven Sonnenberg of the Colorado School of Mines noted they have seen a “bit of a plateau in recent years,” but “proved reserves are also increasing,” which represents more drilling activity from companies. The U.S. consumes about 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas annually, Sonnenberg noted, which would mean the country has a “100-year resource of natural gas” with its proven and estimated supply… “The committee acknowledges that without more pipelines, the gas supply will sit unused. “The availability of pipelines to get the product out of the shale gas fields in particular — there’s only so much they can get to market without more of that infrastructure,” Committee President Kristin Carter told Center Square. “For that reason, you might have inactive wells … those things will put a hold on the resource assessments.”


Axios: Al Gore: “Mistake” to think big oil, gas are part of a climate solution
Andrew Freedman, 9/14/23

“Al Gore has a mix of optimism and hope at the pace of decarbonization but seethes with frustration over the players he thinks are blocking faster progress,” Axios reports. “…He also detailed his increasingly confrontational stance toward the fossil fuel industry… “He denounced as-yet unproven technologies at scale (like direct air capture) designed to address greenhouse gas emissions, potentially without rapid transition to cleaner energy sources. Between the lines: The fossil fuel industry plans to continue to rely on fossil fuels as its core business, Gore argued. He blasted their talk of becoming more diverse energy players, or moving beyond their oil and gas divisions, as mere greenwashing and distraction… “Despite the increasingly clear effects of climate change, “the fossil fuel industry still has a degree of control over the conservative movement, the Republican Party, their allies in various sectors. And I have to believe that that’s going to, to begin to fade,” Gore told Axios. “We’re not far away from a genuine political tipping point.” “…It has probably never been realistic to expect the fossil fuel industry to play a genuinely meaningful role in helping us decarbonize society,” Gore told Axios. “No matter what they have said, no matter what thoughtful men and women in the industry know is ultimately the right thing to do, they are powerfully incentivized by their shareholders to continue” drilling for oil and gas, thereby adding to human-caused global warming, he told Axios. “Their culture, their skills, their network, all drive them in that same direction. The bankers that finance them are making handsome profits from it,” he told Axios… “What animates Gore is a perceived disconnect between how fossil fuel companies portray themselves on climate, and what they’re actually doing. “They have had an incentive to portray themselves as the the prime source of the advice we need to solve this crisis. And they have apparently, parlayed that perception into a series of strategies to delay and block action,” Gore told Axios. “It’s not fair to ask them to do it if they’re not capable of doing it. But it is fair to ask them to stop the blocking of everyone else’s efforts to solve the crisis,” Gore told Axios. “If you can’t help and if you won’t help, get out of the way!”

Maxine Joselow, 9/15/23

“…Peters and Hickenlooper are not the only lawmakers focused on permitting, despite the looming threat of a shutdown,” the Washington Post reports. “Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), the top Republican on the panel, met yesterday to discuss a possible permitting deal. “We are in agreement that we must act to accelerate our permitting system and are committed to reaching a bipartisan solution that prioritizes American energy security, reliability and affordability,” Manchin and Barrasso said in a joint statement yesterday after the meeting. Barrasso told the Post in a brief interview before the meeting that he was “optimistic” about the negotiations, giving a thumbs up as he boarded the Senate subway. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), one of the most vocal climate advocates in the Senate, suggested he would only vote for a permitting package that includes transmission language.  “We have to do something for transmission; we have to make it easier to build clean energy,” Schatz told The Climate 202. “And we are not going to enact the American Petroleum Institute’s wish list and call it permitting reform.” “…Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), another climate hawk, told the Post he is willing to entertain some trade-offs. “Everything around here is going to be a compromise in this environment,” Heinrich told the Post. “You just have to figure out what a good deal looks like and accept that you’re not going to get the perfect right now.”

E&E News: U.S. fossil exports wipe out carbon cuts — report

“Carbon emissions from U.S. exports of fossil fuels are erasing hard-won domestic greenhouse gas reductions — and are on track to prevent the United States from meeting its climate goals,” E&E News reports. “That’s the crux of a new analysis by Jeremy Symons, an independent environmental consultant and former EPA climate adviser under former President Bill Clinton. “Climate change is a global problem, and we have to look at our global footprint,” Symons told E&E. “And that includes exports.” “…Symons’ report indicates that fossil fuel exports became a more important part of the U.S. climate picture in the last two years of the Obama administration. That’s when a decadeslong ban on crude oil exports was reversed and liquefied natural gas was shipped from the Gulf Coast for the first time. Since then, the amount of carbon the United States is shipping abroad has ballooned… “Symons uses EIA’s forecast to show that U.S. fossil fuel exports — especially oil and gas — are growing at a pace that overwhelms those gains in emission reductions. In 2030, the United States will be exporting 2.9 gigatons a year of carbon equivalent in the form of fossil energy, the report states. That’s 6 ½ times what it sold abroad in 2005. That means U.S. emissions could be 6 percent higher in 2050 than they were in 2005… “Symons told E&E he wasn’t looking to revamp formal U.N. accounting norms. But he told E&E the disconnect between U.S. climate objectives and the volume of carbon-based fuel the nation is shipping abroad is too great for policymakers to ignore. “When you look at these trends, facts lead you inevitably here: We have to tackle climate change at both the supply side and the consumption side. We can’t just pick one,” he told E&E.

E&E News: FERC staff rejects pressure to weigh in on EPA, other agency rules
Catherine Morehouse, 9/13/23

“FERC staff pushed back against the idea that the commission should be more involved in other agency rulemaking processes during a House hearing on Wednesday,” E&E News reports. “ GOP lawmakers grilled David Ortiz, who directs FERC’s Office of Electric Reliability, on a letter sent by Commissioner James Danly alleging that EPA did not sufficiently solicit FERC input on its proposal to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Discussions about FERC’s role in the proposed EPA rules has been elevated in recent months following the letter written by Danly. House Republicans proposed a bill that would require FERC to review and comment on certain agency actions that could impact power grid reliability and the commission is assessing the rule as part of its technical conference on reliability in November.”

E&E News: Republican-Led ESA Group Meets, Hears From Industry 
Nidhi Prakash, 9/14/23

“A Republican-led group aiming to rewrite the Endangered Species Act held its first meeting Wednesday, hearing from industry groups that say the law has stymied businesses and disincentivized private landowners from reporting endangered species,” E&E News reports. “We had good personal accounts, I think, from a variety of folks from different industries and perspectives. Local government, ranching, mining,” Congressional Western Caucus Chair Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) told E&E. The working group heard from representatives of the Wyoming Farm Bureau, the Southern Arizona Business Coalition, the Gulf Energy Alliance and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, among others. The forum happened a day after Democrats and green groups held an event celebrating the successes of the ESA in preventing species from extinction over the past 50 years. Natural Resources Chair Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) told E&E the end goal is to write legislation that would retool the ESA. He argues the law in its current form hurts farmers, ranchers and other industries.”

E&E News: Green group to launch ‘experts of color’ database
Robin Bravender, 9/13/23

“An organization aimed at boosting diversity within the environmental movement is rolling out a new database this week to help Congress hear from more non-white expert witnesses,” E&E News reports. “Green 2.0 is rolling out a new “experts of color database” Thursday, featuring more than 150 people of color who can testify before Congress on environmental issues including coral reefs and climate change. In 2022, 62 percent of congressional witnesses from nongovernmental organizations identified as white, Green 2.0 found, and many hearings included no witnesses of color. Andrés Jimenez, executive director of Green 2.0, called it “simply unacceptable that there are so few speakers of color in congressional hearings when there are so many outstanding, exceptionally qualified experts of color in the environmental sector.” The group wrote letters to congressional committees with environmental jurisdiction in 2021 urging them to boost the racial and ethnic diversity of their witnesses. “Hearings are an integral element of the policy making process, and the inclusion of witnesses of color is key to ensuring that people across our nation have their voices heard,” the letter said. “As committees discuss pollution, water, energy, infrastructure, conservation, and many other environmental policies there must be greater inclusion and collaboration with communities of color.”


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Like Zillow for rocks: Pa. state geologists are building a digital map of deep layers for CO2 storage
Anya Litvak, 9/14/23

“The Pennsylvania Geological Survey and partners are building a web tool to help potential developers of carbon storage projects peruse the state’s geological offerings. Like a Zillow for rocks,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. “With almost $1 million from the U.S. Department of Energy, state geologists will be testing hundreds of rock samples and using that data to extrapolate if and where might be a good place to permanently store a climate menace that belches out of smoke stacks across the region… “Now, with billions of federal funds available for the development of such projects and many billions more in tax incentives — each metric ton of CO2 captured equals $85 in tax credits — Pennsylvania may be poised for carbon storage development. First, though, interested parties will need to drill test wells. And before that, they’ll need to figure out where to drill. Despite Pennsylvania’s century and a half of drilling holes in the ground and pulling out millions of years of geological history in core samples and drill cuttings, there are only seven wells that hit the basement rock… “The researchers will subject existing cores and cuttings, most donated by the industry, to a series of tests to gauge how permeable or porous the different layers are, what kinds of minerals are found there, whether the rock is brittle and how much pressure it can withstand. These characteristics will help determine if a particular formation might be a good sponge for CO2 or a suitable cap rock. The work will take two years and will culminate in decades worth of physical knowledge represented in a digital and publicly accessible format. While Ms. Carter told the Gazette that the goal of the work isn’t to site projects but rather to “make sure that people have a good understanding of what’s beneath their feet,” the Department of Energy is definitely encouraging the development of CO2 capture and storage hubs.” 

Great Bend Tribune: Oil production water spills into Quivira
Dale Hogg, 9/13/23

“A host of state and federal agencies are investigating the spill of over 2,000 barrels of “produced” water from oil production into the Rattle Snake Creek about three miles upstream of the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in Stafford County, said Matt Lara, communications director for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment,” the Great Bend Tribune reports. “The spill was first reported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages the refuge, at approximately 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, he told the Tribune. The Kansas Corporation Commission is the lead agency on this spill with KDHE and Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 7 advising.  “Approximately 90,000 gallons of produced water and minimal amounts of crude oil were discharged from a production pipeline over Rattlesnake Creek,” he told the Tribune. “A stream advisory has been issued for Rattlesnake Creek for livestock watering due to potentially high chlorides.” “…In addition, a plan to dam the creek and pump contaminated water from it is being developed, he told the Tribune.” 


NBC News: ‘Peak oil’ could be on the horizon, but new fossil fuel projects are pushing ahead
Nidhi Sharma, 9/13/23

“Demand for fossil fuels is set to peak by the end of the decade, according to a new projection from the International Energy Agency — but it might not be enough to curb the worst impacts of climate change or outpace new fossil fuel projects,” NBC News reports. “An upcoming report by the agency, an intergovernmental organization that tracks global energy markets, estimates that demand for oil, gas and coal will begin dropping over the next few years, said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol in an email to NBC News… “In a recent report, researchers from the environmental nonprofit Oil Change International found that new fossil fuel projects could expand over the next few decades, particularly in the global north. In the U.S., much of the projected growth was concentrated in fossil fuel hot spots such as the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico, and along the Gulf Coast. The researchers found that the U.S. accounted for more than one-third of projected global oil and gas expansion through 2050, the most of any nation, followed by Canada and Russia. “If renewables are being added on top of fossil fuels instead of replacing fossil fuels, we’re not actually solving the climate crisis,” Kelly Trout, research co-director at Oil Change International, told NBC. “Every new fossil fuel project around the world is incompatible with a liveable future.” Ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit next week, Trout told NBC world leaders like President Joe Biden need to phase out fossil fuels to adequately address climate change. Thousands of climate activists plan to gather in New York City on Sunday for the March to End Fossil Fuels to call on Biden to stop approving new fossil fuel projects like the Willow Project, a massive oil drilling project in Alaska.”

Reuters: OPEC says IEA estimate of peak fossil fuel demand by 2030 not ‘fact-based’

“The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said on Thursday data-based forecasts do not support the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) projection that demand for fossil fuels would peak in 2030,” Reuters reports. “IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in an op-ed in the Financial Times on Tuesday that new IEA estimates show “this age of seemingly relentless growth is set to come to an end this decade, bringing with it significant implications for the global energy sector and the fight against climate change.” OPEC, de facto led by top oil exporter Saudi Arabia, in its statement on Thursday said what made the projections “so dangerous” is they are often accompanied by calls to stop new oil and gas investments. “Such narratives only set the global energy system up to fail spectacularly,” OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais said in the statement. “It would lead to energy chaos on a potentially unprecedented scale, with dire consequences for economies and billions of people across the world.” OPEC said the projections do not factor ongoing technological progress by the oil and gas industry to cut emissions and that 80% of the world’s energy mix comes from fossil fuels, the same as three decades ago.”

Reuters: BP sticking with energy transition strategy, says interim CEO
Ron Bousso and Dmitry Zhdannikov, 9/13/23

“BP’s (BP.L) interim CEO Murray Auchincloss said on Wednesday the company won’t be derailed from its energy transition strategy by former leader Bernard Looney’s abrupt resignation amid misconduct allegations,” Reuters reports. “BP scaled back its energy transition strategy earlier this year but still stands out among rivals as the only oil major with plans to cut oil and gas output by 2030 by 25%… “Auchincloss told staff in a brief town hall meeting on Wednesday that the company’s aims were unchanged. “Our strategy hasn’t changed. And our focus remains on performance – quarter by quarter,” Auchincloss, who was previously chief financial officer, told staff, according to a company spokesperson… “Murray is already the power behind the throne, he has been key in all the major decisions. The strategy is owned by the board and it is unlikely to change,” one company source told Reuters… “BP plans to invest $55-$65 billion in solar and wind power, biofuels, hydrogen and other low-carbon businesses by 2030, when they will account for half of capital expenditure… “(The BP board) have enough flexibility within the current strategy to focus more on cash flow,” a second source close to the company told Reuters. “No-one wants to go out again and say that they will do less on climate change.”

E&E News: Sole U.S. power plant CCS project restarts after 3 years
Carlos Anchondo, 9/14/23

“The only U.S. power plant project ever to capture carbon dioxide at scale is back online after being idle for more than three years,” E&E News reports. “The Petra Nova project, which captures CO2 from a coal-fired unit at a power plant outside of Houston for use in enhanced oil recovery, started operations on Sept. 5, according to a statement Wednesday from JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corp., which owns the facility. That makes Petra Nova the third utility-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) project on a power plant operating worldwide, along with one in Canada and one in China. Petra Nova runs on Unit 8 of the W.A. Parish plant, which has other gas- and coal-fired units without carbon capture. The CCS project was mothballed in May 2020 amid low oil prices in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic. Brent, the international oil benchmark, is roughly three times higher now than in May 2020.”

Public Citizen: Petra Nova Carbon Capture Project Gets a Second Chance at Failure

“The reopening of the Petra Nova carbon capture project in Fort Bend County will help fossil fuel companies greenwash their reputation and provide little or no benefit to the environment or the neighboring communities, environmental advocates said today in response to Wednesday’s announcement that the facility has restarted operations at the W.A. Parish coal-fired power plant,” according to Public Citizen. “Petra Nova first opened in 2016 but was mothballed in May 2020. During that time, the carbon capture project, billed as the biggest in the world, failed to deliver on its promise. The Japanese corporation JX Nippon, now the sole owner of Petra Nova, announced the facility restarted on Sept. 5 at the Parish plant, located near Richmond and owned by NRG Energy. Adrian Shelley, Texas director of Public Citizen, said: “Projects like Petra Nova provide cover for the polluting fossil fuel industry by obscuring what happens when you burn coal. The effects of coal use at Parish are well-documented: air pollution, ash contaminating water supplies, and greenhouse gas emissions. The most significant cost of this pollution is human lives. Researchers at Rice University have attributed 178 yearly premature deaths to Parish. Petra Nova is an excuse to keep burning coal and extends the lifespan of one of the country’s most infamous and deadly coal plants. Texans want clean air and clean energy. Only fossil fuel barons want carbon capture because, without it, the time is up on their dirty, polluting fuels.”

The Verge: Amazon will pay an oil company to help it meet climate goals
Justine Calma, 9/12/23

“Amazon is the latest tech giant to buy into the idea of filtering carbon dioxide out of the air as a way to combat climate change. The company is backing an oil giant, Occidental Petroleum, to help it do just that,” The Verge reports. “ Amazon announced today that it plans to purchase 250,000 metric tons of carbon removal from Occidental subsidiary 1PointFive. This is the latest in a stream of announcements from Big Tech companies turning to emerging carbon removal technologies to help them meet their climate goals… “But much of the carbon removal industry has deep ties to oil and gas. And when companies like Amazon pay to deal with their pollution this way, it doesn’t necessarily stop them from continuing to create more of the pollution by burning fossil fuels… “Amazon says that the CO2 will then be sequestered underground to keep it from escaping back into the atmosphere. Occidental, however, has also used carbon removal to sell what it calls “net-zero oil,” produced by shooting CO2 into the ground in order to push out hard-to-reach oil reserves… “Amazon’s announcement today is a pretty big purchase for the burgeoning carbon removal industry, but it still represents a fraction of the company’s greenhouse gas emissions.” Researchers use carbon capture and utilization technology to recycle industrial carbon dioxide
Chung Ang University, 9/14/23

“…Scientists are now looking into carbon capture and utilization (CCU) technology as a promising approach to expanding CO2 storage and conversion at a low cost,” reports. “Global CCU research, however, is largely limited to only about 20 conversion compounds. Given the variety of CO2 emission sources, it is critical to have a wider range of chemical compounds, which necessitates delving deeper into processes that can convert CO2 even at low concentrations. A team of researchers from Chung-Ang University in Korea are conducting research on CCU processes that use waste materials or abundant natural resources as raw materials to ensure their economic feasibility. The team, led by Professor Sungho Yoon and Associate Professor Chul-Jin Lee, recently published a study where they discuss the utilization of industrial CO2 and dolomite—a common and abundant sedimentary rock that is a rich source of calcium and magnesium—for the production of two commercially viable products: calcium formate and magnesium oxide… “In their study, the researchers used a catalyst (Ru/bpyTN-30-CTF) to add hydrogen to CO2, which resulted in the production of two value-added products, calcium formate and magnesium oxide. Calcium formate, a cement additive, de-icing agent, and animal feed additive, is also used in leather tanning. Magnesium oxide, in contrast, is extensively used in the construction and pharmaceutical industries. The process was not only viable but also extremely rapid, yielding the products in just 5 minutes at room temperature. Moreover, the researchers estimated that this process could reduce global warming potential by 20% when compared to traditional calcium formate production methods.”

New York Times: Meet the Oil Man in Charge of Leading the World Away From Oil
Max Bearak, 9/14/23

“On a craggy desert plateau in Uzbekistan, a renewable energy company from the United Arab Emirates is putting up more than 100 wind turbines,” the New York Times reports. “And on the other side of this vast, landlocked Central Asian nation, the same company’s owners, Emirati fossil-fuel investors, are pouring billions of dollars into a gas plant expansion. The Emirates, made wealthy by decades of oil exports, want to be seen as a climate-friendly renewable energy superpower, even as it helps lock developing nations around the world into decades more fossil fuel use. Straddling that split is one man: Sultan al-Jaber… “And this year, the United Nations has in effect vested Mr. al-Jaber with one of humanity’s most pressing tasks: steering its annual global climate negotiations, which are set to begin in November in Dubai… “Over six months of preparation for the summit, known as COP28, Mr. al-Jaber said, he has consulted everyone from academicians to financiers to Indigenous leaders to fellow oil executives to understand why past summits have yielded such little progress. His conclusion was that the fossil fuel industry had little to do with it. “That was not one of the findings,” he told the Times. Instead, he told the Times, progress was stymied because climate advocates and fossil fuel interests vilified each other… “Advocates for bold climate action have been outraged by his approach, which rests on bringing fossil fuel companies to the table, and which he claims will break that cycle of recrimination. A group of 133 U.S. Senators and European Union lawmakers signed a letter this year calling for him to be replaced. Multinational fossil fuel companies have a well-documented track record of countering climate science through misinformation and lobbying campaigns, even as now-public internal documents have revealed they were well aware of the effects of their products on the atmosphere… “There is a large consensus that investing billions into new oil and gas projects flies in the face of clear warnings we’ve been getting from the scientific community for many years,” Scott Zimmerman, who manages a database of oil and gas projects at Global Energy Monitor, a research organization, told the Times.


CBS News: Climate change protesters block entrance to Citigroup headquarters in Lower Manhattan; 2 dozen arrested
DAVE CARLIN, 9/14/23

“At least 24 people were arrested during a climate protest outside the headquarters for Citigroup in Tribeca,” CBS News reports. “Thursday morning’s demonstration comes a few days before the start of Climate Week. Outside Citigroup headquarters in Tribeca, crowds of workers and customers could not get in because some climate change demonstrators were making sure of it. There were two dozen arrests, and no injuries.  Organizer Alice Nascimento of New York Communities for Change told CBS New York disrupting the start of the work day was the attention-grabber they hoped for because, her group claims, Citigroup funds the fossil fuel industry. “What we’re looking at is the leadership the CEOs we’re looking at the presidents our election officials to really take action,” Nascimento told CNS. “Oil gas and coal companies would never be able to build pipelines or gas terminals or liquified natural gas… so they are actually just as complicit.” “…On Sunday, many of the same demonstrators from outside Citigroup will March to the U.N. from Columbus Circle. “The world is not paying enough attention. Whether this is the right methodology, I’m not really sure, but the world should be playing much more attention,” Tribeca resident Lawrence Kimmel told CBS. Daily demonstrations are planned for Climate Week, because those participating say there is no time to wait.”

Globe and Mail: Canadian oil and gas stocks soar but remain a tough sell for investors
TIM SHUFELT, 9/14/23

“On numbers alone, oil and gas stocks are hard to argue against right now. Crude prices have topped US$90, global supply is tight, demand is strong and years of debt reduction and cost cutting at the company level has the oil patch generating plenty of cash,” the Globe and Mail reports. “The stocks themselves are hot – up more than 20 per cent in the past three months at the sector level on the TSX. But Canadian oil and gas remains a tough sell for investors, big and small. For most of the past year, they have been pulling money out of Canadian energy ETFs, with August seeing a record monthly outflow of more than $500-million. According to some energy-fund managers, the sector is being widely ignored by the investing public. There are lots of reputational issues at play, not least of which is the sector’s carbon footprint. In the world of environmental, social and governance, or ESG, investing, the Alberta oil sands continue to be a pariah… “On the institutional side, there’s a recognition of the fact that ESG pressures are not going away,” David Sherlock, chief investment officer at SAGE Connected Investing in Calgary, told the Globe and Mail… “In the span between the global financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian energy sector was a great place to lose money… “You would think performance alone would be enough to attract people,” Mr. Nuttall told the Globe and Mail. “ESG and divestment and the government’s anti-sector stance has created so much noise, that it hasn’t allowed as many people to see what we see.” “…Investors have lots of reasons beyond the principled to divest of fossil fuels, Mike Thiessen, co-CIO and chief sustainability officer at Genus Capital Management, told the Globe and Mail. The oil and gas industry’s fortunes are highly volatile, and subject to a potent cocktail of risks, Mr. Thiessen told the Globe and Mail. “Do you really want to take on all the legal and geopolitical risks with oil and gas? A lot of our investors are saying ‘no.’ ”


Cherokee Chronicle Times: Letter to the Editor
Don Johannsen, 9/14/23

“I am a landowner in Cherokee County affected by the Summit Carbon Solutions Hazardous Sequestration Pipeline.  I am opposed to this pipeline with safety being my primary concern,” Don Johannsen writes for the Cherokee Chronicle Times. “To better understand the consequences in the event of a rupture the Iowa Utility Board required Summit to perform a dispersion model analysis to quantify the risk to people living in close proximity to the pipeline.  Summit has developed this model, but the IUB made the decision to keep the results confidential. In South Dakota the Public Service Commission decided to make the dispersion models available to the general public. These model results for an 8” pipeline are alarming and show a danger zone 1855 feet wide centered over the entire length of the pipeline. Everyone within this zone would be subjected to a CO2 level of 40,000 ppm which is considered as “Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health”… “The IUB consists of three members appointed by the Governor and serve at her discretion. The Governor has a duty to protect the citizens of Iowa and should direct the IUB to make the dispersion model available to the general public. I feel every citizen of Iowa has the right to know the extent of the risk this pipeline poses. Please contact the Governor’s office at 515-281-5211 or email at and urge her to make the dispersion model public. “

NRDC: From Dams to DAPL, the Army Corps’ Culture of Disdain for Indigenous Communities Must End
Troy Pretends Eagle, 9/13/23

“One of the privileges of being a member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate tribe is that I can travel the world knowing that whatever happens to me out there, I have a place to call home,” Troy Pretends Eagle writes for NRDC. “…Until I joined the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), I didn’t realize just how often the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) had taken tribal lands in the Upper Midwest and beyond in order to build dams that flooded entire communities, transforming landscapes as well as lives. These are the wounds I didn’t know we had—wounds inflicted by deliberate calculations that deemed Indigenous communities expendable. Like a broken record, the betrayals of the federal government—the broken treaties, the broken promises, the broken trust—play over and over again. Last week, the Corps released a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) that left open the possibility of DAPL continuing to shuttle Bakken crude oil beneath the Missouri River at Lake Oahe, the main water source for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “We’re furious that the Army Corps has addressed none of our major concerns during the review process,” wrote Janet Alkire, the tribe’s chairwoman, in a statement. Among the concerns are the dismal safety record of the pipeline operators, inadequate emergency response plans, conflicts of interests with the EIS preparation and the oil industry, and an overall lack of transparency that includes “inaccurate characterizations of tribal consultation.” Again, this behavior by the federal government is nothing new… “The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other members of the Great Plains Tribal Water Alliance (GPTWA) have spent years pushing for the Corps to complete an Environmental Impact Statement in order to ensure the pipeline’s owner, Energy Transfer LP, is held accountable. Since 2016, the GPTWA has fought for the most basic protections—the same protections afforded to predominantly white Bismarck, North Dakota, when the city’s concerns over DAPL contaminating its water supply led to the pipeline’s rerouting to Standing Rock. A threat to water is a threat to life. The Standing Rock Sioux rely on Lake Oahe for drinking water and irrigation for their crops. The lake’s ecological health is crucial for subsistence hunting and fishing… “Now is the time for our healing journey to progress from treating our wounds to demanding justice. To become an activist means to understand how to care for my family and my community, and to protect the ecosystem for future generations. It’s something I learned from the elders—to keep safe what we have left. It is something I feel I just have to do.” 

The Hill: Biden Administration Continues Its Anti-Democratic ‘Sue-And-Settle’ Masquerade 
Benjamin Zycher is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, 9/13/23 

“They now make no efforts even to be subtle. ‘They’ are the Biden administration agencies that regulate leasing for energy exploration in federal lands and waters, and leftist environmental groups driven by ideological imperatives,” writes for The Hill. “These agencies, deeply politicized, have cut deals with the ideological groups, and nobody was at the table to represent the taxpayers’ interests. The groups themselves, meanwhile, have little interest in actual environmental improvement, but an overwhelming interest in using regulation to make energy more expensive and reduce ordinary people’s living standards. The latest example is the recent sue-and-settle dance between groups led by the Sierra Club, and the National Marine Fisheries Service, in which the feds agreed to remove 6 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico from future oil and gas leasing. This is purportedly being done to protect the Rice’s whale… “Sue-and-settle in general is an obvious end-run around Congress’s authority to enact policies, and the limitation on administrative agencies to implement only those policies that Congress has approved. It is therefore a collusive arrangement between ideological interest groups and federal bureaucracies. Such collusion affects interstate commerce significantly, and there is no reason in principle that it would be limited to the fossil energy sector… “Sue-and-settle, therefore, is a threat to democracy and also to all industries and businesses, and should be opposed by all of them… “Congress must preserve its legislative powers by taking steps now to end it.”

Newsweek: Gas Exports Are America’s Hidden National Security Vulnerability
Retired Lieutenant General Russel L. Honoré led Joint Task Force Katrina in New Orleans following the devastating Category 5 hurricane. He is currently head of The Green Army, an organization dedicated to finding solutions to pollution, 9/13/23

“When Russian President Vladimir Putin first invaded Ukraine in February 2022, America’s oil and gas industry was ready to wrap itself in the flag. Industry executives rushed to make the case that the United States needed to increase production—and quickly,” Russel L. Honoré writes for Newsweek. “…For the remainder of that year, the United States did increase output to Europe, sending 64 percent of our exported gas to ports in France, the Netherlands, the U.K., and other nations. That’s only part of the story. In this same time, gas export terminals here in the U.S. continued to send shipments to China and other buyers outside Europe… “The security and geopolitical risks of this wholesale of American gas are difficult to overstate… “When it comes to China—or any adversary—gas is a zero-sum game. The more we send this non-renewable energy, the less remains here at home. Sharing this fuel, even with our allies, also leaves the United States at a disadvantage… “When the U.S. exports gas, Americans and the climate lose. The liquefaction process serves only one purpose: to export gas overseas. U.S. manufacturers, power plants, and homes that still use gas as a fuel source use it in its gaseous form. Liquefaction leaves Americans with a diminished domestic fuel source—and with more pollution. It’s time for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the administration to stop acting like the oil and gas industry’s business partners and reprise their role as regulators. With large profits to be made in lucrative foreign markets, there’s no chance that the industry will ever put the public interest, America’s national interest, or the climate ahead of their bottom line. The administration and our federal government writ large must stop promoting this fossil fuel around the globe. Its sale brings cash into a handful of multinational corporations, but only at the cost of our climate, frontline communities, and America’s vital national interests.”

The Hill: We can’t normalize climate catastrophe. Biden must act 
Rep. Rashida Tlaib represents Michigan’s 12th District. Jean Su is energy justice director at the Center for Biological Diversity, 9/13/23

“It’s not normal that children growing up in Detroit and across the United States today will hold summer memories of wildfire smoke, heat alerts and flooded streets. It’s not normal for millions of Americans to wonder when they can safely spend an afternoon outside, or take a clean breath. It’s not normal for this summer to reach record-breaking temperatures. But without urgent action from President Biden — leader of the world’s top producer of the oil and gas driving this crisis — this summer’s blistering temperatures, catastrophic flooding and wildfires will be remembered as just the start of something much worse,”Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Jean Su write for The Hill. “That’s especially true for communities on the frontlines of fossil fuel pollution, low-income communities and people of color who suffer the worst smog, heat and other climate hazards. These deadly, unprecedented conditions will only get more supercharged the longer we extract and burn climate-heating fossil fuels. Calling it “our new normal” sets up a dangerous complacency. It also lets President Biden and those in power off the hook. This isn’t a moment for defeatism. It’s a moment for empowerment — to demand the climate action necessary to save millions of lives and preserve our planet and its ecosystems. That’s why thousands are preparing to take to the streets of New York on Sept. 17 to urge President Biden and other world leaders to phase out production of fossil fuels. The march comes ahead of United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres’s landmark climate ambition summit, where attending leaders will be expected to commit to no new fossil fuel projects and present their phaseout plans. President Biden can and must make this commitment — not just to join the summit’s first leaders in ending the fossil fuel era, but to regain the public trust in handling what he calls “the existential threat to humanity.”  “…Fossil fuels are driving this crisis. And normalizing the climate catastrophe we’re experiencing is exactly what the oil and gas industry wants so it can keep making record profits at the expense of our planet. There’s still time to rewrite our future and avoid the worst of climate catastrophe, but we need President Biden to move with urgency, courage and purpose. Nothing else will do.”

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