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Extracted

EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 9/20/22

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

By Mark Hefflinger

September 20, 2022

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PIPELINE NEWS

  • Roll Call: Pipeline’s backers have financial, campaign ties

  • Daily Energy Insider: Sens. Warner, Kaine introduce bill to give public more say in pipeline proposals

  • Gidimt’en Checkpoint: URGENT UPDATE: Coastal Gaslink Poised to Drill Wet’suwet’en Headwaters

  • KTIV: What a carbon pipeline rupture in Mississippi tells us about safety in Siouxland

  • KWWL: Delaware county farmers speak out against proposed Navigator pipeline

  • Waverly Newspapers: Supervisors vote to hire attorney for pipeline ordinance, representation

  • Summit-Tribune: Summit reports carbon pipeline has secured 52% of Hancock County easement miles

  • S&P Global: Whistler Pipeline, Cheniere plot gas pipeline in Texas to Corpus Christi LNG terminal

  • KRIS: Pipeline explosion near Chapman Ranch, Bishop reported; officials report no injuries

WASHINGTON UPDATES

  • Politico: Revenge? Republicans weigh tanking Manchin’s permitting plan

  • E&E News: GOP fumes over climate law. Is there a will for repeal?

  • E&E News: ‘There’s so much to do’: Greens want more rules, faster

  • E&E News: Panel To Review Climate Limits On Fossil Fuel Development

  • E&E News: Oil Industry Joins Biden Admin Opposition To NEPA Lawsuit 

STATE UPDATES

  • Farm Forum: Thune introduces bill to limit methane monitoring in South Dakota, nationwide

  • Livingston Parish News: Livingston Parish Council approves year-long moratorium on injection wells with carbon capture sites looming

  • Associated Press: Midwestern partnership backs hydrogen as clean energy source

  • Colorado Sun: Colorado is falling behind on its mandate to cut greenhouse gases 

EXTRACTION

  • Reuters: U.S. refiners eye Canadian oil once strategic reserve turns off taps

  • Bloomberg: Oil Sands Carbon-Capture Goals May Strain Alberta Labor Force

  • Wall Street Journal: Private Oil Drillers Are Hitting Their Limits

CLIMATE FINANCE

  • Barron’s: ESG’s Beginning Is Messy, But It’s Here to Stay

TODAY IN GREENWASHING

  • Canadian Energy Centre: NYC billboards to feature message about importance of Canada’s energy to Reconciliation

OPINION

  • Journal News: Schumer’s pipeline deal is dirty. Here’s why it’s harmful to New York | Opinion

PIPELINE NEWS

Roll Call: Pipeline’s backers have financial, campaign ties
Benjamin J. Hulac, 9/19/22

“Politicians backing an unfinished West Virginia gas pipeline at the center of debate in Congress have received thousands of dollars in contributions from the companies behind the project, hold stock in those companies or both,” Roll Call reports. “Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., introduced legislation on Sept. 12 to change federal permitting law by, among other steps, limiting how long environmental reviews can take… “The top-ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Capito, according to financial disclosure records, owns between $2,002 and $30,000 of stock in NextEra Energy Inc., a utility and one of the companies behind the Mountain Valley Pipeline.  Her husband, Charles Capito, owns between $15,001 and $50,000 in NextEra stock, according to the senator’s latest annual disclosure statement. Congressional rules allow the disclosure of financial assets in ranges, making it difficult to pinpoint a given member’s assets. Another disclosure shows Charles sold between $1,001 and $15,000 in stock on May 26… “Since construction began on the project in 2018, Capito has received $10,000 in campaign donations from Equitrans’ political action committee, or PAC… “Manchin has received $10,000 from the same PAC, which also gave $7,500 to Sen. John Barrasso’s campaign… “In a statement to CQ Roll Call, Kelley Moore, a spokeswoman for Capito, said: “Senator Capito voted for the STOCK Act, and both she and her husband, Charlie, continue to comply with its disclosure provisions.” Since the 2017-18 campaign cycle, NextEra’s PAC has given $15,500 to political committees of Manchin’s, $10,000 to Schumer’s campaign, $6,000 to McKinley’s, $3,500 to Miller’s and $2,500 to Capito’s… “Mike Hamilton, chief of staff to McKinley, told Roll Call the contributions did not influence the congressman’s advocacy for the pipeline.   “Congressman McKinley supports completion of the MVP pipeline because it is good for West Virginia and good for America,” Hamilton told Roll Call.. “Miller’s spouse, Matt Miller, owns between $50,001 and $100,000 in NextEra stock, records show.  Asked about financial and campaign ties between Miller and the project, Tatum Wallace, a spokesperson for the congresswoman, told Roll Call the project should be finished quickly to lower energy costs and boost the local economy.  “When it comes to Congresswoman Miller’s votes and priorities in Congress, the only things she considers are her West Virginia values and the well-being of her constituents, state and country,” Wallace told Roll Call.  

Daily Energy Insider: Sens. Warner, Kaine introduce bill to give public more say in pipeline proposals
Dave Kovaleski, 9/19/22

“U.S. Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) are sponsoring legislation to strengthen the public’s ability to evaluate natural gas pipelines being considered by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and provide input on them,” Daily Energy Insider reports. “Their bill – the Pipeline Fairness, Transparency, and Responsible Development Act – would make it easier for the public to offer FERC input and clarify the circumstances under which eminent domain may be used. The bill would also require public comment meetings to be held in every locality through which a pipeline would pass at every stage of the review process. This would minimize situations where individuals are forced to commute long distances with little time to comment. Additionally, the bill would improve the process by which landowners are notified of a pipeline application… “Among other provisions, it would specify that eminent domain takings of land under conservation easement be given fair compensation not just for the land value but for the lost conservation value of the land.”

Gidimt’en Checkpoint: URGENT UPDATE: Coastal Gaslink Poised to Drill Wet’suwet’en Headwaters
9/18/22

“Coastal Gaslink equipment is now in position to drill beneath the Wedzin Kwa river, which provides drinking water for Wet’suwet’en villages and has served as a key salmon spawning area for millenia,” according to Gidimt’en Checkpoint. “Wet’suwet’en territory is unceded, unsurrendered, and sovereign, and Wet’suwet’en people have never provided Free, Prior, and Informed Consent to the Coastal Gaslink pipeline’s destructive construction operations. To date, Wet’suwet’en resistance to drilling beneath Wedzin Kwa has delayed the destruction of Wet’suwet’en waters for approximately two years. In the fall of 2021, Wet’suwet’en and allies sustained a two-month long blockade of this drill site called Coyote camp, until a series of militarized RCMP attacks on Wet’suwet’en community members and supporters resulted in dozens of arrests. In advance of CGL’s drilling operations, Wet’suwet’en community members have faced increased surveillance and harassment from RCMP’s C-IRG unit (a police unit created to facilitate pipeline construction) and a series of private security contractors. Wet’suwet’en village sites remain under 24 hour surveillance, while police have made several arbitrary violent arrests, including with pepper spray. RCMP and CGL’s private security contractor Forsythe were served a lawsuit by Wet’suwet’en community members who have been subject to this continuous surveillance and harassment. Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and community members recently hosted a week of ceremony to protect and honour Wedzin Kwa, included rafting tours of a historic Wet’suwet’en village site within the headwaters area. We will never stop defending our yintah the way our ancestors have done for thousands of years. The pipeline will never be put into service.”

KTIV: What a carbon pipeline rupture in Mississippi tells us about safety in Siouxland
Matt Hoffmann, 9/19/22

“Opponents to proposed carbon pipelines are honing in on a federal government report, which found problems with a similar pipeline that leaked in Mississippi,” KTIV reports. “…According to that report, 200 nearby residents were evacuated. The Climate Investigations Center, a non-profit opposed to the carbon pipeline projects, says 49 people were sent to the hospital because of the rupture. “That was the first time in history that we know of recording the World Health Organization that people have been sickened by CO2 from the pipeline. And so we really need to look at this as instructive here,” Dan Zegart, an author with the Climate Investigations Center, told KTIV. It’s important to note that government regulators say the rupture in Mississippi was caused by “natural force damage” and not a man-made disaster. But opponents say it could happen again, even with enhanced security measures. “And the lessons that can be learned from that have not been learned because the companies are resisting even admitting that carbon dioxide was the gas that caused those injuries,” Dan Zegart told KTIV… “Both companies say their pipelines will learn from the mistakes of the one that ruptured in Mississippi. And we’re going to interview both companies regarding safety tomorrow, Sept. 20, so our viewers can hear from the companies directly.”

KWWL: Delaware county farmers speak out against proposed Navigator pipeline
Max Tedford, 9/19/22

“Farmers in Delaware county are saying no to the proposed navigator pipeline, that would funnel liquid carbon dioxide from South Dakota to Illinois. The farmers are saying they will not let surveyors on their land and plan to fight it in court,” KWWL reports. “For the Burkles family, that battle started when Navigator surveyors came to their farm on Labor Day. “I don’t want an easement on my property that someone else is entitled to and I don’t want to be forced to give up that easement,” Dennis Burkle told KWWL… “They said,’Oh, we’re the survey crew.’ and I said you do not have permission, it’s a holiday,” Mindy Burkle told KWWL. “Like what are you doing out here.” Despite being asked to leave, they say the surveyors refused. “I stood at the fenceline and they kept telling me they had the right, but no paper proof at all,” Mindy told KWWL. Eventually the Delaware sheriff was called and the surveyors left, saying they would need a court order to return. However according to Sheriff John Leclere this was just one of many calls they received on the 5th and 6th of September… “Burkle told KWWL if Navigator sends a court order, he plans to fight it… “Burkle is not alone, several farmers nearby had similar experiences, and plan to join him in blocking Navigator from their land. Linda Rului, also from Delaware county told KWWL she’s not willing to give up any of her farmland… “One of the surveyors said, this is IUB ground, we have the right to survey,” Hoffman told KWWL. “Comments like that do not wash very good with anybody. Any farmer or any land owner. There seems to be a sense of arrogance.” Hoffman told KWWL along with the bad attitude he’s seen, he’s concerned about a private company like Navigator having the ability to use eminent domain against him and other landowners. “The fact that they’ve got this eminent domain law in their back pocket worries everybody and I think they’re abusing the whole system by turning that on us when it’s a private company coming around wanting to buy your farm,” he told KWWL… “We’re gonna put up a wall against this,” Hoffman said representing the group of around fifteen farmers. “We’re farmers, we’re American, Iowa farmers, and we’re here to support everybody here and they’ll do the same for us. We’re gonna fight this all the way to South Dakota where they want to pump it or down to Illinois.”

Waverly Newspapers: Supervisors vote to hire attorney for pipeline ordinance, representation
ANELIA K. DIMITROVA, 9/19/22

“Bremer County Supervisors voted on Monday to hire a Des Moines attorney to guide the county in its efforts to craft an ordinance regarding local guidelines for hazardous liquids pipeline routing,” Waverly Newspapers reports. “…The supervisors had filed an objection with the Iowa Utilities Board, the entity that has primary jurisdiction over hazardous liquids pipeline routing in the state, based on issues of eminent domain and safety, among others… “On Monday, during the brief discussion in chambers at the Bremer County Courthouse, the supervisors asked Lindsey Lambert, the county Building, Zoning and Sanitation administrator, about the progress of the draft ordinance. She said she had consulted with Shelby County, whose ordinance was prepared by the same attorney, Tim Whipple of Ahlers & Cooner, P.C… “If the P&Z board were to approve the ordinance, it would be placed before the supervisors for their meeting next Monday, Sept. 26, Lambert added. Lambert told the supervisors that the attorney will represent the county should any issues arise after the ordinance is adopted. Supervisors Dewey Hildebrandt and Tim Neil, who are both running for the open seat in District 3, created after the recent redistricting, voted unanimously to approve the hiring of the attorney… “We’re working with all the other 98 counties in the state to see about eminent domain, to see what we can do to get things stopped, but if we can’t, you have to have a plan B,” Neil, the current District 2 supervisor, told Waverly Newspapers. “We are working on getting the ordinances and all that stuff in place to protect their land and as much as we can, to make sure they preserve the land to the very best ability. If it’s going to happen any way, you don’t want to be caught off guard.”

Summit-Tribune: Summit reports carbon pipeline has secured 52% of Hancock County easement miles
Rob Hillesland, 9/19/22

“Hancock County supervisors on Sept. 19 questioned Derek Montgomery of Summit Carbon Solutions, who provided an update on the company’s proposed pipeline project that would cut across Hancock County,” the Summit-Tribune reports. “Montgomery reported that 52% of Hancock County voluntary easement miles for the project have been secured by land agents for the project, up from 23% at his last quarterly update meeting with county supervisors on June 6… “Getting out and talking to people has really helped with the land acquisition,” he said. “We’re still looking for community investment opportunities. Please let us know what we can do as far as that is concerned. We really want to invest in the local communities.” He said the company’s community contributions can include assisting county 4-H and Extension Services as well as having a presence at county fairs. He also cited area tree and creek cleanup projects, saying Summit donates time or financing locally across its infrastructure territories almost daily… “Supervisor Sis Greiman noted an urgent need to closely communicate with county emergency management officials. “I think our residents would be more confident if we had a plan in place for that,” Greiman said… “Angie Nelson of KIOW Radio noted having heard from landowners along the proposed route, who claim to have been threatened to enter into easement agreements with the company. “We would like to get the names of the land agents, because we don’t want anything like that as part of our project,” Montgomery said… “Hancock County Attorney Blake Norman suggested there could be something such as a third-party trust formed. He said its sole purpose would be to address potential pipeline-related problems and repairs of landowners long into the future. With that or something similar in place, he noted that if Summit terminated its commitments to the pipeline, there would be assistance means available to them.”

S&P Global: Whistler Pipeline, Cheniere plot gas pipeline in Texas to Corpus Christi LNG terminal
Dylan Chase, 9/19/22

“Cheniere’s Corpus Christi Liquefaction LNG terminal would receive a new source of feedgas from Texas’ Permian Basin as soon as 2024, midstream developer WhiteWater Midstream said Sept. 19 in announcing plans for a new natural gas pipeline,” S&P Global reports. “Cheniere has partnered in a joint venture with the WhiteWater-backed Whistler Pipeline to build the ADCC Pipeline, a 42-inch, intrastate pipeline that will run 43 miles between the terminus of the Whistler Pipeline in Agua Dulce, Texas, to Corpus Christi LNG terminal on the Texas Gulf Coast, the companies said Sept. 19. The ADCC line will offer initial maximum capacity of 1.7 Bcf/d in gas supply but can be expanded to deliver up to 2.5 Bcf/d. The ADCC project comes as midstream operators across Texas undertake a slew of new pipeline infrastructure projects to support booming demand for LNG exports from the Gulf Coast… “In addition to the Whistler expansion, midstream infrastructure projects are expected to add around 4.1 Bcf/d in takeaway capacity from the Permian Basin by 2024, with much of that gas bound for demand centers in the Gulf Coast and beyond. WhiteWater’s greenfield Matterhorn Express Pipeline is slated to add around 2.5 Bcf/d in takeaway capacity when it enters service in the third quarter of 2024, while Kinder Morgan expects to wrap expansions on its Gulf Coast Express Pipeline and Permian Highway Pipeline assets by the end of next year.”

KRIS: Pipeline explosion near Chapman Ranch, Bishop reported; officials report no injuries
Myra Sanchez, 9/19/22

“A fiery oil well explosion between Chapman Ranch and Bishop is currently under investigation,” KRIS reports. “Bishop Police Chief Edward Day told KRIS the explosion occurred just after 3 p.m. at 3013 County Road 10, between Bishop and Chapman Ranch. Officials on the scene said there are no reported injuries, and no structures are in danger at this time. Firefighters from the Annaville Fire Department and Nueces County Emergency Services District #1 are still on the scene fighting an active fire caused by the explosion. Officials are trying to determine what caused the oil well explosion.”

WASHINGTON UPDATES

Politico: Revenge? Republicans weigh tanking Manchin’s permitting plan
CAITLIN EMMA, BURGESS EVERETT and SARAH FERRIS, 9/19/22

“Senate Republicans say Joe Manchin can’t count on them to save his energy permitting deal with Democratic leaders, potentially upending efforts to attach the centrist’s proposal to a must-pass government funding bill,” Politico reports. “With progressives already balking, several Republicans told Politico Monday night that they might not provide the votes needed to break a filibuster of permitting reform, a key cog of this summer’s Democratic climate, health care and tax deal. Though easing construction of energy projects is a longstanding core GOP goal, the party’s senators told Politico they were under no obligation to cough up perhaps a dozen or more votes that Democrats need to get Manchin’s vision done… “Given what Senator Manchin did on the reconciliation bill, [it’s] engendered a lot of bad blood,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told Politico. “There’s not a lot of sympathy on our side to provide Sen. Manchin a reward.” “…Manchin is warning Republicans that it would be “horrible politics” for them to reject legislation that would speed up both fossil-fuel and clean energy projects. “Something you’ve always wanted, and you get 80 percent of something, and you’re gonna let the perfect be the enemy of the good?” Manchin told Politico. “It’s a shame that basically the politics is trumping policy that we’ve all wanted for the last 10 or 12 years.” Negotiators still aren’t close to an agreement — making it highly unlikely that any bill will move this week, senior aides told Politico… “Depending on how Democrats structure the votes on the stopgap spending plan, Republicans may be able to block the addition of permitting reform to the legislation. Democrats could play hardball and roll the permitting measure into the short-term spending bill right before the funding deadline, essentially daring Republicans to vote to shut down the government… “Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called the plan a “corrupt deal” among Democrats, while Sen. Roger Wicker put it this way: “I don’t think that’s going to go anywhere.”

E&E News: GOP fumes over climate law. Is there a will for repeal?
Jeremy Dillon, Nick Sobczyk, 9/20/22

“When Democrats passed their health care overhaul in 2010, it helped launch a yearslong struggle from Republicans to kill it off. Will the recently enacted climate, health care and tax law be a similar target? For the short-term, the answer is no. For the long-term, the answer is still up in the air,” E&E News reports. “Republican lawmakers may not like the Inflation Reduction Act, with its $369 billion in climate spending, but they admitted in recent interviews that any effort to repeal it would be an uphill battle. President Joe Biden will wield the veto pen for the next 2 1/2 years, making new spending in the law nearly impossible to retract. Republicans pointed to 2025, the earliest they could act, even if Congress flips control next year. “By that time things are going to be implemented,” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) told E&E, of any 2025 effort to kill the law. “As we’ve seen, it’s really difficult to repeal stuff once they are two years in.” That doesn’t mean Republicans have given up entirely. Some are eyeing provisions they’d like to pick off, like the electric vehicle tax credit, mineral sourcing requirements and increased spending on the Internal Revenue Service. “I can’t speak specifically to specific pieces, but yes, I believe that we will try to unwind a number of the bad policies that were enacted,” Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), the ranking member on Finance, told E&E.. “Republicans would likely need to return to the reconciliation process to unwind the Democrats’ law. Such a prospect is not guaranteed, though, especially as the chamber is expected to remain closely divided for at least the next two years.”

E&E News: ‘There’s so much to do’: Greens want more rules, faster
Kelsey Brugger, 9/19/22

“Advocates are pushing President Joe Biden to ramp up executive action on the environment, arguing the pace of rulemaking has so far been sluggish,” E&E News reports. “Groups want the president to strengthen a number of oil and gas and vehicle emissions rules, quickly hire attorneys and other staff, and set up tax credits stemming from the Inflation Reduction Act. “There is so much to do,” Margie Alt, executive director for the Climate Action Campaign, which is made up of a dozen environmental and public health groups, told E&E. “This is our moment to get the climate crisis under control.” Advocates tell E&E significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions can come from a handful of rules: tighter standards for heavy-duty trucks and cars, EPA restrictions on oil and gas methane pollution, limits on hydrofluorocarbons, efficiency standards for household appliances like furnaces and water heaters, and traditional smog and soot rules… “At this point, advocates are cautiously optimistic stringent environmental regulations will help get the U.S. on track to hit the climate targets Biden promised on the campaign trail — a 52 percent emissions drop below 2005 levels. Research has shown the Inflation Reduction Act will get the U.S. to a 40 percent reduction, a figure that skeptics find too generous… “Helping guide executive actions will be Democratic power broker John Podesta. Also, Ali Zaidi will assume the role of domestic climate adviser today after Gina McCarthy stepped down.”

E&E News: Panel To Review Climate Limits On Fossil Fuel Development
Heather Richards, 9/19/22

“A House Natural Resources subcommittee will consider legislation this week that would tether fossil fuel development on public lands and waters to national climate targets,” E&E News reports. “The Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee will review the ‘Public Lands and Waters Climate Leadership Act of 2022,’ H.R. 8802, from full committee Chair Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and a host of other Democrats… “The climate-focused reform of public land energy development would build on changes included in the recently enacted climate spending package, the Inflation Reduction Act. That law includes increased royalty rates and new methane fees. The new bill is co-sponsored by several prominent Democrats, including Energy and Mineral Resources Chair Alan Lowenthal of California. It would bar the Interior Department and the Forest Service from issuing new oil, gas and coal permits or leases until the agencies have inked a strategy to bring fossil fuel development on public lands into compliance with several national commitments to reduce greenhouse gasses. Those climate targets include slashing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, decarbonizing the nation’s electricity grid by 2035 and reaching net-zero emissions for the U.S. economy by 2050. Interior would also have to create a ‘climate screening tool,’ under the bill, to gauge whether the impact of life-cycle emissions from individual fossil fuel decisions on public lands matches up with the national targets.”

E&E News: Oil Industry Joins Biden Admin Opposition To NEPA Lawsuit 
Niina Farah, 9/19/22

“An oil industry trade group and the state of Louisiana on Friday joined the Biden administration’s calls to dismiss litigation over a massive offshore lease sale that was revived under the new climate bill,” E&E News reports. “The American Petroleum Institute and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) had been fighting for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to overturn a ruling from a lower bench that axed the more than 80-million-acre lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico. The legal fight is now moot, API and Landry said, after Lease Sale 257 was revived Wednesday under a provision of the Inflation Reduction Act. The state and trade group also asked the D.C. Circuit to toss out the lower court’s requirement for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to conduct a new National Environmental Policy Act analysis for the sale. ‘NEPA is a procedural statute only; when Congress directs an agency to take a specific action, NEPA does not apply,’ API and Landry wrote in a Friday filing. ‘And the Inflation Reduction Act is targeted and decisive; any statute that would prevent Interior from completing Lease Sale 257 must give way to the Act’s specific commands.’”

STATE UPDATES

Farm Forum: Thune introduces bill to limit methane monitoring in South Dakota, nationwide
Dominik Dausch, 9/16/22

“Livestock are the nation’s top producers of methane and a contributor to global warming, but a new bill from U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from monitoring emissions,” Farm Forum reports. “Thune jointly introduced the bill with U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, on Wednesday that would prohibit the EPA from allocating any of the organization’s funding toward monitoring methane emissions from cattle. “Farmers and ranchers – the people who work tirelessly to help feed America and the world – should not be subject to government surveillance as part of a broader effort to implement radical climate policies that would threaten their ability to operate,” Thune said in a news release. The senator is a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, a key player in overseeing legislation on agricultural and rural matters. The Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 included a section called the Methane Emissions Reduction Program, a major change to previous methane policy. The program provides a $20 million provision to the EPA to fund monitoring methane emissions. It also includes a charge for certain methane-producing facilities that exceed emission thresholds. The charge, which is the first time the federal government has directly levied any fee on greenhouse gas emissions, would start at $900 per metric ton of methane in 2024 and increase to $1,500 per metric ton in 2026, according to a report from the Congressional Research Service. “This common-sense legislation would protect South Dakota livestock producers and their operations from government snooping,” Thune added.

Livingston Parish News: Livingston Parish Council approves year-long moratorium on injection wells with carbon capture sites looming
David Gray, 9/9/22

“The Livingston Parish Council unanimously approved a year-long moratorium on carbon capture injection wells amid concerns over plans from two out-of-state companies to build separate sequestration hubs on opposite sides of the parish,” the Livingston Parish News reports. “The vote was taken following more than an hour of discussion from residents and council members, who all spoke against the projects planned for the north and south ends of the parish. They expressed concerns that the projects could jeopardize their communities and waterways, and many were angered by the perceived lack of benefit for Livingston Parish. “I, for one, am tired of Livingston Parish being everyone else’s dumping ground,” said Council Chairman Jeff Ard. “If you’re going to force it down our throats, you’re going to pay us to bring it here.” Councilman Shane Mack, whose district covers one of the planned hubs, proposed the moratorium so the council could work on ordinances regulating the practice locally “to ensure that the quality of life and safety of the people of Livingston Parish is protected.” During the meeting, Mack amended his original ordinance to focus specifically on Class VI injection wells, which are used to inject carbon dioxide into deep rock formations, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Currently, the parish does not have an ordinance regulating Class VI wells… “But opponents say it is unproven, expensive, and does not capture enough emissions to outweigh the possible risks of pumping large quantities of CO2 underground. There are two looming carbon capture hubs in Livingston Parish. Oxy Low Carbon Ventures (OLCV), a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum in Houston, reached an agreement with Weyerhaeuser in March to lease 30,000 acres of land in Holden for the project… “The other planned hub will be located on the south end of the parish underneath Lake Maurepas, one of three spots Pennsylvania-based company Air Products plans to store CO2 from an upcoming $4.5 billion energy complex in Ascension Parish. The CO2 would be injected deep underground in wells across Livingston, St. James, St. John the Baptist, and Tangipahoa parishes. The state land would include the Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area and Lake Maurepas.”

Associated Press: Midwestern partnership backs hydrogen as clean energy source
JOHN FLESHER, 9/19/22

“Seven Midwestern states are teaming up to accelerate the development of hydrogen as a clean-energy alternative for automobiles and factories that rely largely on climate-warming fossil fuels, governors said Monday,” the Associated Press reports. “The partnership includes Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, whose economies are dominated by agriculture and heavy industry such as steel and automobile manufacturing…  “Some environmentalists are skeptical because most commercially produced hydrogen in the U.S. comes from natural gas, which emits greenhouse pollutants carbon dioxide and methane. But hydrogen can be derived using electric currents from wind, solar or other means that produce few if any emissions contributing to global warming. Such “clean hydrogen” releases only water as a byproduct when used in a fuel cell… “States in the Rocky Mountains and the Deep South announced regional associations earlier this year. Another was proposed for the Los Angeles Basin in California. The Midwestern Hydrogen Coalition hasn’t committed to joint pursuit of federal funding, although smaller groups of states or industries might seek grants. Instead, the seven-state partnership will focus on boosting development, markets, supply chains and a work force for clean hydrogen, according to a joint statement. It will take advantage of assets such as the region’s pipelines and tanks for distributing and storing ammonia, which consists largely of hydrogen and is a key ingredient in fertilizer.”

Colorado Sun: Colorado is falling behind on its mandate to cut greenhouse gases 
Michael Booth, 9/19/22

“Colorado has fallen alarmingly behind statutory goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions for 2025 and 2030, state officials show in a new progress assessment, prompting clean air advocates to renew calls for more aggressive action on consumer and business driving habits and a shift to transit spending,” the Colorado Sun reports. “The projected gap is widest in transportation, where state estimates put 2025 carbon dioxide emissions essentially unchanged from current levels if stronger new policies are not added. State air pollution control officials have estimated Colorado needs to cut 10 million tons of annual carbon emissions from transportation to meet legislated goals of 26% cuts from 2005 levels by 2025… “While Colorado is lauded nationally for scheduling aggressive closures of coal-fired plants in the largest emissions sector, power generation, those closures may need to be sped up even further for the state to meet the greenhouse gas goals, critics noted. An analysis of the new progress report by Western Resource Advocates shows a gap of 1.3 million annual tons of carbon emissions in projections for 2025. .. “Given the poor results so far, Heidi Leathwood, climate policy analyst for the nonprofit advocacy group 350 Colorado, told the Sun Colorado should not be endorsing electric companies building new natural gas-fired power plants to fill in gaps as they close coal-fired plants. Nor should they permit more oil and gas drilling, or rely solely on the slow process of switching to electric vehicles to clean up the transportation sector. The glaring results in the transportation sector, which is now nearly equal to power generation in its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, highlight the frustrations of environment advocates who say the state has canceled or delayed rulemaking that would have had an impact. State officials in 2021 withdrew a proposal to limit commuting and work trips at large employers, after stiff opposition from business groups, even though the initial plans had no enforcement mechanism. State air pollution control officials also put off until sometime in 2023 adopting so-called Advanced Clean Truck rules similar to those in California, which will steer large fleet owners toward replacing diesel and other fossil fuel vehicles with cleaner electric or other power sources.”

EXTRACTION

Reuters: U.S. refiners eye Canadian oil once strategic reserve turns off taps
STEPHANIE KELLY AND NIA WILLIAMS, 9/20/22

“U.S. refiners are expected to buy more Canadian oil after the Biden administration ends releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) this fall, traders said, adding this should boost the price of Canadian barrels at a time of tight global supply,” Reuters reports. “…The releases have weighed on the price of Western Canada Select (WCS), the benchmark Canadian heavy grade. That oil, because it has similar qualities to the sour crude that dominates U.S. reserves, has traded at around $20 a barrel below U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for much of the summer. In 2021 the average WCS discount was $12.78 a barrel, according to the Alberta Energy Regulator. The WCS discount to WTI is expected to narrow as the SPR supply dwindles, market sources told Reuters… “Foreign buyers have turned to discounted Russian barrels, tempering Canadian crude exports… “Some market participants worry that limited pipeline capacity from Canada to the United States could cause bottlenecks. This could cause a glut in the Alberta hub, which could in turn drive down prices there. Enbridge Inc is once again rationing pipeline capacity, in a practice known as apportionment, on its Mainline system as Canadian output has risen. That system ships the bulk of Canadian crude exports to the United States. Apportionment fell steeply last year when the Line 3 pipeline expansion opened and stopped entirely from March until July, but Enbridge has since started rationing capacity on its Mainline again.” 

Bloomberg: Oil Sands Carbon-Capture Goals May Strain Alberta Labor Force
Robert Tuttle, 9/19/22

“The Canadian oil industry’s C$12 billion (US$9.1 billion) plan to store carbon emissions underground probably will strain Alberta’s labor force, according to the president of the group organizing the effort,” Bloomberg reports. “The bulk of the construction work will happen between 2025 and 2030, Kendall Dilling, president of the Pathways Alliance, told Bloomberg. With the effort expected to require tens of thousands of workers, oil-sands companies are looking to stagger projects to make the workforce challenge more manageable. In addition to the initial capital outlays, roughly another C$12 billion will be needed to operate the equipment over its lifespan, Dilling told Bloomberg.”

Wall Street Journal: Private Oil Drillers Are Hitting Their Limits
Collin Eaton and Benoît Morenne, 9/19/22

“Dozens of small drillers helped fuel a resurgence in the busiest U.S. oil patch over the past two years. But they tapped many of their best drilling spots, and will have to ease their rapid pace of drilling as their inventory shrinks, analysts and executives say,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “Private oil companies in the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico emerged from the pandemic-induced oil downturn last year as a growth engine for U.S. shale, now running almost half of the working drilling rigs there, up from a quarter before the pandemic. Their publicly traded rivals are restrained by shareholders pushing for conservative spending and using leftover cash to pay investors and reduce debt. After growing rapidly, most smaller producers now have, on average, around six years of drilling locations that could generate returns at low prices, according to data provided to The Wall Street Journal by energy analytics firm Enverus Inc. Energy executives say those limitations will likely lead them to slow their drilling. “Can private companies maintain this pace indefinitely? The answer is no,” James Walter, co-chief executive of publicly listed Permian Resources Corp. , a new company formed by the combination of Colgate Energy Partners III LLC and Centennial Resource Development Inc, told the Journal. “There’s just not enough companies of scale, with enough quality inventory.” The constraints will likely lead many private producers to level out activity or sell themselves to larger companies that would temper their growth, executives and analysts say… “Many private drillers are looking to sell themselves to larger public companies, now that deal appetite has grown with higher oil prices, motivating them to preserve more of their inventory, analysts and executives told the Journal. Others are choosing to continue drilling to quickly sell oil at elevated prices and distribute the cash to investors, they told the Journal.”

CLIMATE FINANCE

Barron’s: ESG’s Beginning Is Messy, But It’s Here to Stay
Bianca Taylor is partner at Tourmaline Group, a research boutique working at the nexus of climate, policy and finance, 9/20/22

“It’s Climate Week in New York City and the financial capital is responding to more ESG backlash. While the acronym ESG stands for “environmental, social, and governance,” what it means depends on who you ask,” Bianca Taylor writes for Barron’s. “…The backlash tussle is often attributed to American culture wars, but there are powerful, more nuanced forces at work. ESG wasn’t born in the U.S., and it wasn’t intended as a values-based decision-making process… “ESG indexes use bespoke processes to produce a single number for each company. But those assessments lump together disparate environmental, social and governance factors. It’s unclear what that final number communicates.  It is also unclear whether the rankings measure climate change’s impact on profits—or the company’s impact on the environment… “Flows into ETFs with ESG mandates have gone from less than $10 billion in 2015 to over $40 billion in 2020. Total global assets under management with an ESG mandate have reached close to $40 trillion from about $20 trillion in 2016. Growth is expected to continue, reaching $50 trillion by 2025, representing over a third of total global AUM. The 2022 World Wealth Report from consultants Capgemini shows that 55% of high-net-worth investors want their investments to have positive environmental, social and governance impacts. And as confusing as ESG scores might be, 78% of ultra-high-net-worth investors are likely to request an ESG score from their wealth manager. Beginnings are messy, and ESG will need to mature. But it is here to stay.”

TODAY IN GREENWASHING

Canadian Energy Centre: NYC billboards to feature message about importance of Canada’s energy to Reconciliation
9/20/22

“A Canadian Indigenous leader is lending his voice to a Manhattan billboard campaign this month, hoping it will bring global understanding that the country’s energy industry is playing an important role in bettering the standard of living of many First Nations People in Canada. “Partnerships with Canada’s energy sector offer an incredible opportunity to pull our next generation out of poverty,” said Dale Swampy, president of the National Coalition of Chiefs. “These partnerships advance the path of Reconciliation.” Swampy, whose organization represents about 80 First Nations communities across Canada, hopes his message during New York’s Climate Week – one of the largest environment-focused events in the world – helps shine a light on the strong relationship many Indigenous communities have with Canada’s oil and gas and cleantech industries and the role economic and environmental partnerships have in the pursuit of Reconciliation. “It’s important people also understand that the oil and gas industry is taking its commitment to tackle climate change seriously and that the inherent relationship our people have with the environment is helping projects to be developed more responsibly,” said Swampy. “Yet unfortunately there are some coordinated groups who are preying on the desperation of some of our people to turn world opinion against Canada’s oil and gas industry,” said Swampy, a member of the Samson Cree Nation. As a result, Indigenous communities lost out as governments have in the past bowed to extremist pressure and denied projects such as the Keystone XL and Northern Gateway pipelines, which would have brought hundreds of millions of dollars of economic growth to communities, he said. The $65,000 campaign, sponsored by the Canadian Energy Centre (CEC), features Swampy and the simple message “Indigenous partnerships with oil and gas advance the path of Reconciliation.”

OPINION

Journal News: Schumer’s pipeline deal is dirty. Here’s why it’s harmful to New York | Opinion
Alex Beauchamp is the Northeast Region Director at the national environmental advocacy group Food & Water Watch, 9/16/22

“Climate activists in New York and around the country are up in arms over the dirty pipeline deal reportedly struck between Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York and the Senate Majority Leader, and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia — their so-called “permitting reform” bill,” Alex Beauchamp writes for the Journal News. “According to a one pager outlining the agreement, this dangerous legislation will fast-track fossil fuel projects, gut crucial environmental review processes and silence the public’s voice in energy decision making. A leaked draft bearing the American Petroleum Institute’s watermark makes clear who stands to gain from this proposal — the fossil fuel industry. Schumer’s dirty deal would be a disaster for the climate… “Now that the decision rests with Schumer himself, he is apparently unwilling to put public health and climate stability ahead of shortsighted political machinations. The dirty pipeline deal would expedite the approval processes for the exact kind of projects that Schumer himself once decried. What’s worse, it would not only speed up federal approvals for fossil fuel projects, but also hamstring states’ ability to stop them as well. In effect, Schumer’s deal threatens New York’s power to stop the fossil fuel projects he so often claims to oppose.That’s why New York’s climate movement has so quickly mobilized to stop Schumer’s deal… “This is a moment for New York leaders to show which side they are on: that of the poisoning, polluting fossil fuel industry (and its money), or that of human health and our planet. Schumer must choose people over fossil fuels and drop his dirty deal.”

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