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Extracted

EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 9/22/22

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

By Mark Hefflinger

September 22, 2022

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PIPELINE NEWS

  • Bloomberg: Manchin Unveils Energy Bill Boosting West Virginia Gas Pipeline

  • WOWK: Gov. Justice weighs in on Mountain Valley Pipeline bill

  • MyLloydminsterNow: Kenney sends signals to Washington as he prepares to exit office

  • CBC: Coastal GasLink warned more than 50 times over environmental violations during pipeline construction

  • Radio Iowa: Iowa judge sets initial hearing over Navigator pipeline dispute

  • Fort Madison Daily Democrat: Supervisors join with ISAC for pipeline comments

  • WeAreIowa.com: Landowners share concerns over potential carbon dioxide pipelines in Iowa

  • Natural Gas Intelligence: FERC Delivers Positive EIS for Enbridge’s Pipeline Extension to Plaquemines LNG

  • Reuters: Canada’s Pieridae in talks with government, TC Energy about east coast LNG project

  • WPSD: Governor presents $30 million in funding for natural gas pipeline in Pennyrile region

  • AgWeek: Deadline for North Dakota natural gas pipeline project extended for third time

  • Natural Gas Intelligence: Enbridge to Improve Native Relations as Line 5, Infrastructure Face Legal Hurdles

  • Inforum: More than 8,000 gallons of oil spill in Williams County after pipeline ruptures

WASHINGTON UPDATES

  • Press release: MANCHIN RELEASES COMPREHENSIVE PERMITTING REFORM TEXT TO BE INCLUDED IN CONTINUING RESOLUTION

  • Politico: Manchin sets up new Congress clash with release of energy permitting bill

  • New York Times: Manchin’s Gas Pipeline Deal Irks Both Parties, Snarling Spending Bill

  • E&E News: Manchin permitting bill release fails to appease skeptics

  • Politico: Senate progressives are looking to separate stopgap government funding and energy permitting reform — another possible hurdle for the deal made with Joe Manchin.

  • E&E News: Oil wish list or renewables boost? Manchin bill may be both

  • People vs Fossil Fuels: Climate Justice Groups Slam Manchin’s Permitting Legislation as a “Dirty Deal”

  • Route Fifty: Why the Permitting Reform Debate Isn’t Going Away Anytime Soon

STATE UPDATES

EXTRACTION

  • Press release: Michael R. Bloomberg Launches New $85 Million Campaign to Stop Rapid Rise of Pollution From the Petrochemical Industry in the United States

  • Bloomberg: Canada Should Mimic Manchin Climate Support Bill, Enbridge Says

  • CBC: Consumers say they can’t keep up with natural gas prices as Enbridge applies for another increase

CLIMATE FINANCE

  • Canadian Press: Fossil fuel sector needs investment to reduce emissions: RBC exec

OPINION

  • Resilience.org: Why Manchin’s side deal or “permitting reform” must be blocked

  • The Atlantic: Manchin’s New Bill Could Lead to One Big Climate Win

  • The Hill: Quit Big Oil: Our health is a stake

PIPELINE NEWS

Bloomberg: Manchin Unveils Energy Bill Boosting West Virginia Gas Pipeline
Ari Natter and Erik Wasson, 9/21/22

“A stalled $6.6 billion natural gas pipeline would get preferential treatment under legislation intended to fast-track energy projects that was made public on Wednesday evening by Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia,” Bloomberg reports. “…If passed, the measure would mark a victory for the oil and gas industry and other energy developers that have long sought to accelerate the securing of federal permits and scale back environmental reviews that can lead to years of delay and hundreds of millions of dollars in extra costs. Yet its path forward is uncertain. The bill faces hostility from Republicans seeking political payback for the pivotal vote by Manchin, a moderate Democrat, on President Joe Biden’s climate and spending legislation that was passed by Congress last month. There’s also opposition from progressive Democrats, who see that same legislation as a bad deal for the climate. Manchin, who has estimated he might need as many as 20 Republican Senate votes for his permitting bill to counter Democrat defections, said Tuesday that Republican opposition is the result of “revenge politics.” He said the Senate leadership still plans to attach his bill to government funding legislation, setting up a possible confrontation could force a government shutdown Oct. 1 if it’s not resolved in the next week… “But Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia expressed unhappiness with the measure as written. He told Bloomberg that while he was “receptive to many of the permitting reform provisions,” the pipeline extends through 100 miles of his state and he wasn’t given an opportunity to share his constituents’ concerns. Republican senators, whose votes will be needed to pass the bill, told Bloomberg they would study the text but expressed skepticism. “We are not sure that the administration is committed to implementing the changes that are needed “ Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota told Bloomberg… “But Jamal Raad, executive director of the environmental group Evergreen Action, told Bloomberg, “A dirty backroom deal to force through fossil fuel infrastructure has no place in a continuing resolution to fund the government.”

WOWK: Gov. Justice weighs in on Mountain Valley Pipeline bill
Mark Curtis, 9/21/22

“West Virginia Governor Jim Justice is now weighing in on the dispute over the Mountain Valley Natural Gas Pipeline that is currently stalled in the U.S. Senate,” WOWK reports. “…I can’t speak good words about what Bernie Sanders has contributed to any of us… Between Pennsylvania, Ohio and us, we’re sitting on a natural resource of natural gas that is off the chart. The biggest I think in the world,” Justice told WOWK. “Bernie Sanders has managed to torpedo a lot of things… The Mountain Valley Pipeline is monstrously important. Absolutely to the State of West Virginia, and more important to our nation. I mean we need energy independence,” Justice told WOWK. Senate Republicans have so far balked at including the pipeline in the resolution until they see the exact wording and provisions of the bill.” 

MyLloydminsterNow: Kenney sends signals to Washington as he prepares to exit office
Gerry Lampow, 9/21/22

“Premier of Alberta and leader of the UCP Jason Kenney is signalling to Washington that he is still interested in a pipeline to move North American energy products given what he calls “the Americans’ desperate need for more reliable energy,” MyLloydminsterNow reports. “Speaking at the Heavy Oil Show in Lloydminster, regarding the loss of the Keystone XL pipeline, he says a lot of the work has been done and the province is presently in a joint-venture with TC Energy. While a lot of the equipment has been auctioned off, there is pipe and related infrastructure in the ground, so if they can get some certainty from Washington, he thinks “they can get it done.” “The capital markets are unlikely to back this given all of the political uncertainty. So if the U.S. is really serious about this, instead of positioning a carrier group in the Persian Gulf to protect OPEC’s supply, how about investing a fraction of that in a state-investment in re-starting KXL. Make it a state-owned enterprise, I don’t like doing that, but if it’s necessary so be it. We could potentially go in on a joint-venture. Capitalize it. Go to the market. Let mid-stream companies bid on it and build it. And I think that could get done in 18-months.”

CBC: Coastal GasLink warned more than 50 times over environmental violations during pipeline construction
Betsy Trumpener, 9/21/22

“Coastal GasLink has now been warned more than 50 times about environmental violations during construction of its natural gas pipeline across northern British Columbia, according to the province,” CBC reports. “In an email to CBC News, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change said it had issued a total of 51 warnings, 16 orders, and levied two fines — penalties of more than $240,000 “for repeated non-compliance” — since construction on the pipeline started in 2019. Many of the warnings relate to the failure to protect sensitive waterways and wetlands from sediment and erosion that can harm fish habitat and water quality, a violation of the project’s environmental assessment certificate… “The EAO said the release of turbid water flows toward Fraser Lake resulted in a plume of sediment in the water that could be seen from the air… “The lake’s south shore is home to about 1,000 people in the village of Fraser Lake, and the site of a popular provincial park… “But Coastal GasLink denies responsibility for the environmental violation at Fraser Lake. In an email to CBC News, Coastal GasLink said the company’s own investigation, which included aerial and ground studies and water quality monitoring, determined that the “sediment plume was not a result of project activities” but rather from public roads… “In July, the EAO and Coastal GasLink signed a compliance agreement requiring the company to follow “more proactive measures” to control erosion and sedimentation for all new construction along the pipeline route, according to the government. A ministry news release said failure to comply could “result in escalating enforcement action, up to and including stop-work orders… “Several Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and their supporters want to stop the construction of the pipeline, whose path runs through their traditional territories. This year, 19 pipeline opponents were charged with criminal contempt for defying a court order to stay away from construction sites. On Sunday, opponents said despite two years of blockades, Coastal GasLink was set to drill beneath the Wedzin Kwa River, also known as the Morice River.”

Radio Iowa: Iowa judge sets initial hearing over Navigator pipeline dispute
O. KAY HENDERSON, 9/21/22

“A northwest Iowa judge has scheduled a hearing on September 30 to consider a couple’s request that a carbon pipeline developer be at least temporarily barred from conducting surveys on their Woodbury County land,” Radio Iowa reports. “Navigator has sued William and Vicki Hulse of Moville, accusing the couple of violating a state law that allows its agents to access to land along its proposed pipeline route. The Hulses have filed a counter claim, arguing the law is an unconstitutional taking of private land. Brian Rickert, an attorney for the pipeline developer, is urging the judge to expedite the case… “Brian Jorde, the couple’s attorney, told the judge there’s no legal deadline for completing the land surveys along the pipeline route. “There is no urgency other than the company’s own investor wish list to get this done,” Jorde said. “They haven’t filed for eminent domain rights. They have no permit application on file.” “…Jorde, the attorney for the couple refusing to let pipeline surveyors on their property, told the judge he’ll be citing a recent Supreme Court opinion on property rights. “Once the constitutional right, the right to foreclose or prevent unwanted entry onto a property is destroyed, you can’t un-ring that bell,” he said. “You cannot go back.” Jorde has filed similar claims for landowners in Clay and Butler Counties.” 

Fort Madison Daily Democrat: Supervisors join with ISAC for pipeline comments
Angie Holland, 9/20/22

“Tuesday, the Lee County Board of Supervisors approved participating in the Iowa State Association of Counties’ (ISAC) pipeline intervention survey,” the Fort Madison Daily Democrat reports. “Supervisor Ron Fedler said he was in support of participating in the survey. He said he felt ISAC’s written remarks to be entered into the Iowa Utility Board docket for the pipeline would carry more weight… “Supervisor Garry Seyb said most of the board attended Thursday’s public meeting with Navigator and IUB. “It was very obvious where landowners and the taxpayers in general sit as far as this CO2 pipeline,” he said. “I think it’s also important to note that over 40 counties have done the same thing that we’ve done, is sent letters of opposition to this pipeline to the state of Iowa.” “…Ultimately, Seyb said, it’s up to the Iowa Utility Board’s three members to decide how much weight they give to objections… “Supervisors discussed safety concerns with regard to the pipeline as well as the potential decrease of property values. Supervisor Chuck Holmes said he thought all the discussions held at Thursday’s pipeline meeting were an “intended distraction from the real issue, which is that with their own figures, there’s no real benefit to the public.” “Their carbon capture sequestration program is only going to reduce the earth’s carbon content by 0.04%,” he said. “So there’s really no public benefit. And isn’t that the basic requirement, to be a public benefit to this? At four hundredths of one percent, that’s no perceptible public benefit to having the pipeline in place.” Holmes said it’s only with federal tax credits Navigator is able to proceed.”

WeAreIowa.com: Landowners share concerns over potential carbon dioxide pipelines in Iowa
Dave Downey, Lydia Bermel, 9/21/22

“Multiple proposed carbon dioxide pipelines would run through dozens of Iowa counties,” WeAreIowa.com reports. “The proposed Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline, Navigators CO2 Ventures’ Heartland Greenway pipeline and ADM/Wolf Carbon Solutions’ Mt. Simon Hub pipeline have brought debates to Iowa communities, with some concerned over land ownership, environmental effects and safety… “I also am very concerned with the safety of it. I mean this is a very new and unknown process for Iowa,” Beth Klahsen, a Polk County landowner, told WeAreIowa… “Iowa is the breadbasket of the world. If we keep putting pipelines under our valuable soil, how are we going to feed the world in the future?” Margaret Glasscock, another Polk County landowner, told WeAreIowa… “In Clay County, a lawsuit and countersuit are underway between a landowner and Navigator, as reported by Reuters… “The Polk County Board of Supervisors is weighing whether or not to oppose the project and will vote in a upcoming meeting. It hasn’t been decided when that will be, according to their office.”

Natural Gas Intelligence: FERC Delivers Positive EIS for Enbridge’s Pipeline Extension to Plaquemines LNG
JACOB DICK, 9/21/22

“One of the key pipeline projects to supply Venture Global Inc.’s Plaquemines LNG export terminal in Louisiana could be built with limited and mostly temporary impacts, FERC staff concluded in a recently published draft environmental impact statement (EIS),” Natural Gas Intelligence reports. “The draft EIS published Friday is the latest step for Enbridge Inc.’s proposed Venice Extension project is the latest step for the firm’s plan to expand existing transmission infrastructure across coastal Louisiana (No. CP22-15-000). The project could add three miles of additional pipeline, new compressor and metering facilities and upgrades to water-side infrastructure. Enbridge could also abandon parts of its existing pipeline network and at least two existing compressor facilities. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff wrote that the majority of the negative impacts from the project would end after construction and are proposed for existing infrastructure or sites that already have a heavy industrial presence. With the mitigation methods proposed in the project design, FERC staff concluded “project effects would be reduced to less-than-significant levels, except for climate change impacts that are not characterized in this EIS as significant or insignificant.” “…The draft EIS for Plaquemines came alongside a glut of other reviews from FERC staff, including an EIS for the Commonwealth LNG terminal proposed for Cameron, LA. In Commonwealth’s review, FERC staff included environmental justice considerations, such as an impact to visual resources and cumulative environmental impacts to marginalized communities. FERC staff also included an environmental justice analysis in the review for Plaquemines, but ultimately concluded the impacts to low-income and largely minority communities around the project would be “insignificant and temporary.”

Reuters: Canada’s Pieridae in talks with government, TC Energy about east coast LNG project
Nia Williams, 9/22/22

“Pieridae Energy (PEA.TO), one of the companies proposing a liquefied natural (LNG) gas terminal on Canada’s east coast, has asked the federal government to help ensure pipeline operator TC Energy would be able secure permits to expand gas supply pipelines in a timely fashion,” Reuters reports. “Pieridae Chief Executive Alfred Sorensen told Reuters its Goldboro LNG project can only go ahead if TC expands capacity on its existing pipeline network. “There’s no other way. Without TC Energy there is no Goldboro LNG project,” Sorensen told Reuters… “Calgary-based Pieridae has proposed building a 2.4 million-tonne-per-annum export terminal in Nova Scotia, which would cost around $3 billion and begin shipping in 2027, if construction could start next year. Spanish company Repsol (REP.MC) is also considering an LNG export terminal in New Brunswick. However TC’s existing pipeline network is not large enough to ship the amount of gas that would be required. TC did not respond to questions about discussions with Pieridae, but in a statement to Reuters said it has “virtually no spare capacity” on its pipelines due to high energy demand… “Many oil and gas industry players say Canada’s regulatory process for new pipelines is too lengthy and onerous, while environmental groups argue past projects were not properly scrutinized. TC’s Energy East and Keystone XL oil pipelines were both scrapped after years of delay. Its Coastal GasLink pipeline in British Columbia, which will supply the Shell-led (SHEL.L) LNG Canada project, is under construction but facing ongoing protests from First Nations.”

WPSD: Governor presents $30 million in funding for natural gas pipeline in Pennyrile region
Leanne Fuller, 9/21/22

“Gov. Andy Beshear on Wednesday presented $30 million in state funding to help build a natural gas pipeline through Trigg, Christian and Todd counties that will have the capacity to serve Caldwell and Lyon counties,” WPSD reports. “The governor’s office says the new line spanning roughly 50 miles will open a large area of west Kentucky up for industrial development. In a news release bout the announcement, the governor’s office says the funding was made available thanks to the passage of House Bill 1, based on the recommendation of Rep. Jason Petrie of Elkton. The bill allocates the $30 million to the project over the next two years, with half going out this fiscal year and the other half going out in the next fiscal year.  “Currently, the region is served by a small pipeline from Tennessee, and with so much recent economic development, and even more coming, there’s a need to expand that supply,” Beshear said in a statement included in the news release. “When world-class companies look to locate here, they need world-class infrastructure to support their needs. I’m happy to be alongside these other leaders to announce that that’s exactly what we’re going to do in building this line.”

AgWeek: Deadline for North Dakota natural gas pipeline project extended for third time
Ann Bailey, 9/21/22

“The North Dakota Industrial Commission for the third time has extended its deadline for companies to submit bids for grants to assist with construction of a high-pressure transmission pipeline,” AgWeek reports. “The state of North Dakota extended the deadline to Dec. 15, 2022, after it received no bids by the Aug. 15 deadline for the pipeline that would carry natural gas from east to west to existing and proposed agricultural manufacturing plants in Grand Forks. The previous deadline was May 15, 2022. The North Dakota Industrial Commission voted at its Aug. 26 meeting to extend the deadline to Dec. 15, Justin Kringstad, North Dakota Pipeline Authority director, told AgWeek. The pipeline project would be funded, in part, by $150 million which North Dakota legislators made available to the industrial commission during a special session in November 2021… “No companies had submitted bids for the $150 million between Aug. 26, 2022, and Sept. 19, 2022, Kringstad told AgWeek… “Meanwhile, Kringstad AgWeek there are other companies besides WBI Transmission interested in the pipeline project, but they have not yet submitted bids… “If no companies submit bids for the grant by the Dec. 15, 2022 deadline, the North Dakota Legislature likely would consider whether to modify the grant proposals during the 2023 Legislative session, Kringstad told AgWeek.”.

Natural Gas Intelligence: Enbridge to Improve Native Relations as Line 5, Infrastructure Face Legal Hurdles
GORDON JAREMKO, 9/21/22

“After being rescued from a Wisconsin tribal lawsuit by the Canadian government regarding its Line 5 oil pipeline, Enbridge Inc. has made a corporate vow to improve relations with native communities across North America,” Natural Gas Intelligence reports. “We recognize the deep and meaningful connections that Indigenous nations have to water, land and the environment,” Enbridge management said in a 36-page Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan (IRAP). The Calgary-based pipeline and utility conglomerate acknowledged that its network is rife with potential native rights sore spots. “Enbridge has consulted and engaged with more than 340 Indigenous groups in Canada and the United States,” the company stated. The IRAP makes 22 commitments that “require us to focus on our role as an energy company whose projects and operations span treaty and tribal lands,” as well as the Canadian National Métis Homeland, along with unceded lands and the traditional territories of indigenous nations, tribes, governments and indigenous groups.” Among the commitments, Enbridge set a target of growing native employment to 3.5%. The figure would about match the estimated native share of the North American population. Work on the IRAP included 50 native representatives. Native cultural awareness training is to be compulsory for all Enbridge staff, according to the IRAP. Quarterly native participation “sharing circles” also are to be held. An indigenous economic development task force and a native environmental advisory group are planned. Native suppliers, contractors and environmental field workers would be sought under the plan. Enbridge management said early recruitment efforts have had encouraging results in British Columbia (BC), a hotbed of strained tribal relations with industry.”

Inforum: More than 8,000 gallons of oil spill in Williams County after pipeline ruptures
Jeremy Turley, 9/21/22

“An estimated 8,400 gallons of crude oil spilled from a pipeline in Williams County, N.D., on Tuesday, Sept. 20, according to a news release from the state Department of Environmental Quality,” Inforum reports. “Stealth Oilwell Services, a third-party contractor, struck a pipeline owned by Enable Bakken Crude while digging in the ground. Enable Bakken Crude is a subsidiary of Texas-based Energy Transfer, which operates the Dakota Access Pipeline. The spill about 14 miles south of Tioga impacted agricultural land, but no oil flowed into water sources, according to paperwork filed by an Energy Transfer employee… “The pipeline was shut down after the spill, and workers have recovered most of the spilled oil.”

WASHINGTON UPDATES

Press release: MANCHIN RELEASES COMPREHENSIVE PERMITTING REFORM TEXT TO BE INCLUDED IN CONTINUING RESOLUTION
9/21/22

“Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, released the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2022, the comprehensive permitting reform text to be included in the Continuing Resolution (CR). As part of the Inflation Reduction Act signed into law on August 16th, 2022, Chairman Manchin secured a commitment from Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, and President Biden to pass this comprehensive permitting reform package before the end of the fiscal year on September 30th, 2022… “On the need for permitting reform: “No matter what you want to build, whether it’s transmission pipelines or hydropower dams, more often than not, it takes too long and drives up costs. You can double your cost within a five to six, seven-year period from what the original cost may have been… “On Republicans’ unwillingness to support critical permitting reform: “Let’s look at our constituents. If my Republican friends and colleagues are attacking me personally, take it away from me personally, because that’s going to be hard to go home and explain. To say, ‘We did this and we voted against it because of Joe Manchin’ makes no sense whatsoever. None whatsoever. So, we’re in this quandary right now. They’re going to vote and it ‘s going to be in the CR. And if they’re willing to say they’re going to shut down the government because of a personal attack on me, or by not looking at the good of the country, that is what makes people sick about politics. It makes me sick about politics. You know me, if it looks good, I don ‘t care whether it was a Republican or Democratic idea. I’m for it. As long as I can go home and explain it, it makes sense.” “…To learn more about the Mountain Valley Pipeline, click here.”

Politico: Manchin sets up new Congress clash with release of energy permitting bill
JOSH SIEGEL, 9/21/22

“Sen. Joe Manchin released a bill designed to update the nation’s energy permitting rules on Wednesday, setting up the latest round of brinkmanship that will test whether the West Virginian can bend Congress to back his energy policy priorities yet again,” Politico reports. “The bill — which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer agreed to tie to a budget resolution that must pass by the end of the month to keep the government running — would put in place changes that Manchin has sought for years that would benefit both fossil fuels projects like new pipelines as well as the clean energy and power grid projects critical to President Joe Biden’s climate goals… “The text of his permitting bill — clocking in at 91 pages — hews closely to leaked summaries that have circulated in recent weeks… “Most controversially, it would direct federal agencies to “take all necessary actions” to issue new permits for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a project delayed by legal setbacks that would deliver West Virginia’s natural gas to Virginia and North Carolina. While it does not legislatively approve the Mountain Valley Pipeline, it would accelerate the re-permitting of the project, and it would give the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit jurisdiction over all future legal challenges to the project, taking the case away from the Fourth District, where environmentalists had found success in delaying its construction… “Democrats who support the legislation say the permitting bill’s most important reforms would give the federal government more power to plan, build and spread out the costs for transmission lines that often face delays of a decade or more due to public opposition at the local level and are critical to spreading clean energy around the country. The bill would allow the federal government to take over the approval process by unilaterally granting a construction permit for a transmission line that the secretary of Energy has determined to be in the national interest, regardless of any state opposition. That is a step further than new authorities granted in the bipartisan infrastructure law that enabled the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to overrule states that oppose a new line, but only after states have done their own reviews.”

New York Times: Manchin’s Gas Pipeline Deal Irks Both Parties, Snarling Spending Bill
Emily Cochrane and Lisa Friedman, 9/21/22

“When Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia agreed in late July to supply his crucial vote allowing Democrats to pass their landmark climate change, health and tax legislation, he extracted a promise in return: Congress would pass a separate bill by the end of September making it easier to build a natural gas pipeline in his state,” the New York Times reports. “Now lawmakers in both parties are balking over a deal they insist they were never a part of, prompting a dispute that threatens to derail a government spending bill that must pass by next weekend to stave off a shutdown… “Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the independent in charge of the Budget Committee, has said he would oppose Mr. Manchin’s legislation, meaning that at least 11 Republicans would need to back it in the 50-50 Senate to scale the 60-vote threshold to move it past a filibuster if the rest of the Democratic caucus backs it… “We have Joe Manchin, who is trying to hide behind a fig leaf of an agreement he made with Chuck Schumer about trying to cut a little bit of that red tape,” Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming and the No. 3 Senate Republican, said this month. “If you’re now looking for Republicans to support and give you more cover than you have right now, you’re not going to find it with us.” “…Some Democrats and environmental groups objected that those changes would make it easier to build oil pipelines, liquefied natural gas terminals and other fossil fuel infrastructure that will undermine progress on climate change while also making it more difficult for communities to challenge harmful projects. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, pressed on Wednesday for Mr. Manchin to endorse Ms. Capito’s alternative, adding that failure to do so could mean that the West Virginian had “traded his vote on a massive liberal boondoggle in exchange for nothing.”

E&E News: Manchin permitting bill release fails to appease skeptics
Jeremy Dillon, George Cahlink, Nick Sobczyk, 9/22/22

“Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Joe Manchin released his much-anticipated permitting reform bill Wednesday, but the text does not appear to have calmed the progressive rebellion and Republican indifference to the effort,” E&E News reports. “The West Virginia Democrats’ text largely mirrors an outline released in recent weeks. It includes new timelines for permitting and a list of priority projects to accelerate. The bill also includes efforts to ease Clean Water Act and grid approvals, according to a summary… “But the odds of approving the bill only seem to be getting longer. Progressives remain adamant in their opposition. And one prominent Democrat slammed the proposal in the immediate aftermath of its release. “[The Mountain Valley pipeline section] is completely unacceptable,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) told reporters Wednesday night. “I was not consulted about it. I will do everything I can to oppose it.” “…Allowing a corporation that is unhappy about losing a case to strip jurisdiction away from the entire court that is handled the case is [unprecedented],” Kaine added. “It would open the door for massive abuse and corruption, so I can’t support it.” “…Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has also balked at the agreement. Others have asked it be decoupled from spending talks… “But Republicans appear set to build a case against Manchin’s plan. On the Senate floor Wednesday before its release, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called the bill a “weak, reform-in-name-only legislation.” “…Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), however, said he had already heard from his state’s Public Utilities Commission, which has concerns about FERC preempting state authority. Progressive opposition remains perhaps the biggest obstacle to the legislation advancing in either chamber. Many are pushing to consider Manchin’s plan as stand-alone legislation… “Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), another leading progressive, was circulating a letter among Democratic senators Wednesday asking party leaders to keep it off the spending CR… “Natural Resources Chair Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), who has led House opposition, continued to trash the permitting Wednesday as a giveaway to fossil fuel companies. “The very fact that this fossil fuel brainchild is being force-fed into must-pass government funding speaks to its unpopularity,” he said in a statement. “My colleagues and I don’t want this. The communities that are already hit hardest by the fossil fuel industry’s messes certainly don’t want or deserve this. Even Republicans don’t want this.”

Politico: Senate progressives are looking to separate stopgap government funding and energy permitting reform — another possible hurdle for the deal made with Joe Manchin.
Burgess Everett, 9/21/22

“Senate progressives are looking to separate the stopgap funding bill from Sen. Joe Manchin’s permitting legislation, a move that could complicate Democratic leaders’ plans of rolling the two together, according to multiple sources familiar with the effort,” Politico reports. “Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) is organizing a letter from a handful of liberal senators asking for the two votes to be held separately. That would allow critics of permitting reform to vote against it without voting to shut down the government. Supporters include Democratic Sens. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who has been vocal in opposing permitting reform. These senators join a group of House progressives that made a similar plea earlier this month. The senators wrote in the letter to Schumer that when it comes to permitting reform and the environment they “believe such important issues should be examined through detailed committee consideration and a robust floor debate separate from the urgent need to see that the government stays open.” Notable: They are not explicitly threatening to vote against a funding/permitting combo. But the senators clearly have concerns with the permitting effort: “We have heard extensive concerns from the environmental justice community regarding the proposed permitting reforms and are writing to convey the importance of those concerns, and to let you know that we share them.”

E&E News: Oil wish list or renewables boost? Manchin bill may be both
Benjamin Storrow, 9/22/22

“The transition to a clean energy economy will involve trade-offs. Few are as stark as those in the permitting bill unveiled Wednesday by Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat,” E&E News reports. “The bill could provide a significant boost to transmission infrastructure, which is needed to ensure widespread renewable adoption. Where permitting a transmission line can now take a decade, the bill would limit federal environmental reviews to two years, put a statute of limitation of 150 days on legal challenges and give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission more authority to permit transmission lines. But Manchin’s proposal could also lead to the construction of more fossil fuel projects, producing more greenhouse gas emissions and blunting attempts to green the U.S. economy. It would expand a program aimed at expediting federal permitting reviews to include offshore oil leases and approve the Mountain Valley pipeline, which would carry natural gas from West Virginia into Virginia… “Greg Wetstone, president and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy, told E&E permitting reform is needed to fully realize the emission-cutting benefits of the climate spending law Congress passed earlier this year… “But if the transmission reforms would benefit the climate, critics said other parts of the bill would lead to more emissions… “Peter Erickson, a researcher at the Stockholm Environment Institute, told E&E Manchin’s permitting deal would likely be a net positive for emissions if its fossil fuel provisions were limited to approval of the Mountain Valley pipeline. But the emissions benefits would be eroded by provisions that would make it easier to produce oil and gas from federal lands or waters, he told E&E before the details of Manchin’s proposal were released.

People vs Fossil Fuels: Climate Justice Groups Slam Manchin’s Permitting Legislation as a “Dirty Deal”
9/21/22

“Grassroots and frontline climate justice leaders with People vs. Fossil Fuels, a coalition of over 1,200 groups working to stop new fossil fuel infrastructure, slammed the draft permitting legislation that Senator Manchin released today as a “dirty deal” that would directly harm communities, undermine environmental justice, and worsen the climate emergency. Over 650 organizations have signed a letter calling on Congress to oppose Manchin’s side deal. On September 8, People vs. Fossil Fuels, the Stop MVP coalition, and Protect Our Water Heritage and Rights organized a major protest in DC against the dirty deal and the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Despite Senator Manchin’s claims, the pipeline will not alleviate energy woes and does not match the anticipated drop in demand. Responses to Manchin’s permitting legislation released today: “Manchin’s deal equals a climate catastrophe for Appalachia, Coastal communities and the World! We will NOT be sacrificed! We call on the House AND Senate to give America a clean “Manchin free” bill. Strengthen NEPA, and let pollution overburdened communities be heard, and heeded!” – John Beard, Executive Director of the Port Arthur Community Action Network… “This deal is nothing short of a criminal act, a giveaway to Big Oil and Gas at the expense of Indigenous, Black, Brown, and economically challenged communities. It violates a core tenet of Environmental Justice – that our voices matter, that our community input is needed on projects that impact our lives, water, air and bodies. Sen. Manchin and Democrat leadership are proving once again that they are not for the people, but only for profit. This dirty deal must not pass.” said Joye Braun, National Pipelines Organizer, Indigenous Environmental Network,  Cheyenne River Sioux member… “Farmers and ranchers have, for the past decade, stood with allies to protect the land and water from risky fossil fuel projects. Sen. Manchin wants to take away property rights and side with pipelines over people,” said  Jane Kleeb, Founder, Bold Alliance.

Route Fifty: Why the Permitting Reform Debate Isn’t Going Away Anytime Soon
Kery Murakami, 9/20/22

“Even if Sen. Joe Manchin succeeds in getting his proposed overhaul of environmental regulations for infrastructure attached to a critical spending bill, Republicans plan to push for further changes, including restoring Trump-era policies,” Route Fifty reports. “…Even if Manchin, a Democrat, gets the changes he wants, including a two-year limit for the federal government to issue permits for energy projects, Republicans say they will seek even more sweeping changes and will press for them if they win control of Congress in this fall’s elections. “I’d like to see something more,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, who is in line to chair the Environment and Public Works Committee if Republicans capture the Senate, told Route Fifty when asked about Manchin’s proposals… “Even if Manchin gets his way, Capito noted during the call that her plan is much “broader.” And indeed environmental groups say that as much as they oppose Manchin’s proposal, they are even more against what Capito is backing… “Naadiya Hutchinson, government affairs manager for WE ACT for Environmental Justice, echoed that view. “I’m deeply concerned about Capito’s bill. It is even worse than [Manchin and Schumer’s] side deal,” Hutchinson told RF… “Hutchinson, with WE ACT, told RF she was also concerned about a provision in Capito’s bill that would give states sole authority over the oil and gas drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” saying it would increase the practice in Republican states. Adam Carlesco, staff attorney for the environmental group Food & Water Watch told RF Capito’s proposals are “really problematic.” “They would codify everything that the Trump administration did,” Carlesco told RF. “We’ve seen what this would look like in the 1960s. There was a reason a river in Cleveland was on fire.”

STATE UPDATES

Associated Press: Ohio oil refinery fire kills 2 people; plant shut down
9/21/22

“A fire at an oil refinery in Ohio killed two people and the facility was shut down Wednesday, officials said,” the Associated Press reports. “The fire started Tuesday night at BP’s Husky Toledo Refinery, BP spokesperson Megan Baldino said in a statement. There was no word on how it started or the extent of the damage. Baldino said Wednesday that the two workers had died but did not provide their names or further details about the injuries they sustained. She said all other staff were accounted for and the plant was safely shut down. The refinery, located just east of Toledo, can process up to 160,000 barrels of crude oil per day and “has been an important part of the region’s economy for more than 100 years,” according to BP’s website. In addition to its own fire department, the company said it worked closely with local fire crews.”

Must Read Alaska: Senators and Peltola urge Deb Haaland to permit Willow
Suzanne Downing, 9/20/22

“U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Congresswoman Mary Peltola today sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, urging her Bureau of Land Management to complete the permitting process for the Willow Project in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska by the end of the year, so that construction can start this winter,” Must Read Alaska reports. “In their letter, the Alaska delegation noted that the project has been developed under the strictest environmental standards in the world and is strongly supported by Alaska Native leaders, labor leaders, the State of Alaska, lawmakers from both parties, and President Joe Biden. “The expeditious approval of this crucial project would greatly benefit Alaska, our nation, and the world, while demonstrating the Administration’s commitment to addressing inflation, high energy costs, the need for greater energy security, and environmental justice initiatives,” the delegation wrote. “After years of study and review, both the Administration and Alaskans can feel confident that the Project will abide by the strictest environmental considerations in the world, while being constructed and operated by a company with an impressive record of safe and responsible development on the North Slope… “Political observers have noted that the Democrats controlling the White House are likely to allow the Willow project to be permitted in order to help the campaign of Peltola, as she runs for the two-year congressional seat.”

Native News Online: Tribe, Conservation Groups Sue to Stop Mining Project 
JENNA KUNZE, 9/20/22

“The Fort Belknap Indian Community in Montana and three conservation organizations are standing against a proposed mining project that threatens to compound past mining damage in the Little Rocky Mountains,” Native News Online reports. “On Monday, Sept. 19, the Tribe — along with Montana Environmental Information Center, Earthworks, and Montana Trout Unlimited — filed a motion to intervene in support of the Montana Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) more stringent environmental review of proposed mining exploration at a reclaimed mine site near the Fort Belknap Reservation… “In Feb. 2022, the Montana DEQ finished an environmental assessment of the property and concluded that a more comprehensive review, called an Environmental Impact Statement, was necessary to analyze the potential impacts on areas of tribal cultural significance… “Ployhar appealed that decision with the Board of Environmental Review in May 2022. According to Earthjustice and the Indian Law Resource Center, which represents the tribe and the organizations in the appeal, Ployhar is the subject of an ongoing enforcement action by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality for alleged illegal exploration activities at seven other sites in the Little Rockies. In July 2022, DEQ issued a $516,567 penalty to Ployhar… “In its brief for the intervenors, attorneys cited Gros Ventre Tribe v. United States, “[i]t is undisputed that the Zortman-Landusky mines have devastated portions of the Little Rockies, and will have effects on the surrounding area, including the Fort Belknap Reservation, forever. That devastation, and the resulting impact on tribal culture, cannot be overstated.”

EXTRACTION

Press release: Michael R. Bloomberg Launches New $85 Million Campaign to Stop Rapid Rise of Pollution From the Petrochemical Industry in the United States
9/21/22

“Today, UN Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions Michael R. Bloomberg launched Beyond Petrochemicals: People Over Pollution, a new campaign that aims to halt the rapid expansion of petrochemical and plastic pollution in the United States. Drawing on the success of Beyond Coal, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, and Bloomberg’s Beyond Carbon campaign, Beyond Petrochemicals will turbocharge existing efforts led by frontline communities to block the expansion of more than 120 proposed petrochemical projects concentrated in three target geographies – Louisiana, Texas, and the Ohio River Valley. Beyond Petrochemicals will also work to establish stricter rules for existing petrochemical plants to safeguard the health of American communities. “Petrochemical plants poison our air and water – killing Americans and harming the health of entire communities. And with many heavily-polluting new projects planned around the U.S., we’re at a critical moment for stopping them,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions and founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies. Beyond Petrochemicals will scale the work being done by frontline groups and aligned organizations who are leading the fight to end petrochemical pollution in these communities, including Beyond Plastics, the Bullard Center at Texas Southern University, Defend Our Health, Earthjustice, Earthworks, Hip Hop Caucus, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, and Rise St. James among others, and will continue to work with additional organizations and leaders to accelerate efforts to halt petrochemical expansion in Louisiana, Texas, and the Ohio River Valley. Resources Legacy Fund will help support Beyond Petrochemical’s partners to achieve the campaign’s goals… “If built, the more than 120 proposed petrochemical projects in the U.S. will lock in decades of toxic pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. New research from RMI – supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies – reveals that this expansion would double emissions from the petrochemical and refinery industry to comprise 15% of the total U.S. carbon budget, making it nearly impossible for the U.S. to meet its Paris Agreement climate goals.”

Bloomberg: Canada Should Mimic Manchin Climate Support Bill, Enbridge Says
Robert Tuttle, 9/21/22

“Canada should follow the example set by the Inflation Reduction Act, which motivates US energy companies to adopt carbon-reduction technology with generous credits rather than emissions caps, according to an Enbridge executive,” Bloomberg reports. “The legislation passed last month offers nearly $370 billion to address climate change with grants and tax credits for more renewable fuel and power development. Long sought by the Biden administration, the law passed last month after West Virginia’s holdout Democrat Senator Joe Manchin brokered a compromise that made it more palatable to the oil industry by tying renewable projects on federal land and water to more drilling leases. “That’s a lot of carrot and I think its going to help accelerate their advancement toward an important goal,” Colin Gruending, Enbridge’s president of liquids pipelines, told Bloomberg. “Canada has done a good job of providing tax credits but there can be more here to level the playing field.” “…Canadian crude produced from oil sands is among the most carbon intensive in the world. The government is offering 50% tax credits for projects that would store carbon emissions underground. Many affiliated with the energy industry say the reduction target is too ambitious and could strain the oil patch labor force.”

CBC: Consumers say they can’t keep up with natural gas prices as Enbridge applies for another increase
Meg Roberts, 9/22/22

“Sitting on the back patio of her house, Lynda McCarthy carefully sifts through her neatly organized Enbridge Gas bills,” the CBC reports. “Living on a fixed income with her husband in Newcastle, Ont., a small community in Durham Region east of Toronto, the 73-year-old keeps a close eye on expenses and sticks to a strict budget. “This was a total shock to get my Enbridge bill,” she told the CBC. That bill is up by $55 a month after Enbridge got the Ontario Energy Board’s approval for an 18 to 23 per cent price increase that went into effect July 1.  “I thought there must be some mistake here. I called Enbridge. No, there was no mistake,” McCarthy, who moved with her husband into a smaller home to cut costs, told the CBC. “You feel secure, you have a good budget and you are managing, and suddenly there are all these extra expenses.” Enbridge Gas says the war in Ukraine paired with increased global demand is pushing natural gas prices to historic highs. which the company says it’s expecting to continue for some time to come. That’s why, Enbridge says, it’s asking for another increase, which if approved would start Oct. 1.  “Even if it’s a small increase at this point, a few per cent could translate into another $100 in the course of the year for an average consumer, so it’s not a small amount,” Warren Mabee, an assistant professor of geography and the director of Queen’s University’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy, told the CBC. “It’s not something I think people will just shrug off.”

CLIMATE FINANCE

Canadian Press: Fossil fuel sector needs investment to reduce emissions: RBC exec
Amanda Stephenson, 9/20/22

“Even as a growing number of activists urge financial institutions to take action against climate change by reducing funding to the fossil fuel sector, executives with Canada’s largest bank say this country won’t reach its net-zero goals without the oil and gas sector,” the Canadian Press reports. “While increasingly, global financial institutions have been supporting the scaling up of green technology projects using innovative new methods of financing, such as green bonds, Lindsay Patrick — head of ESG and strategic initiatives for RBC Capital Markets — said Tuesday that there’s growing recognition within the financial sector that some of these innovative tools may need to be used to support more conventional industries as well. “There’s a very strong view that those green investments themselves aren’t going to be enough to get us to the full transition we need to achieve by 2050, and they don’t support the decarbonization of many heavy industry sectors that have an important role to play,” said Patrick, who was in Calgary for the Energy Disruptors Summit, a three-day conference that aims to tackle issues related to the global energy transition, in an interview… “The new idea is to support companies that aren’t 100 per cent green, but that have specific projects that are aligned with a 1.5 degree scenario,” she told CP, adding there may be opportunities for banks to invest in emission reduction projects in the oil and gas, industrial manufacturing, metals and mining, transportation, and other heavy emitting industries.” “…But RBC Capital Markets CEO Derek Neldner — who also spoke at Tuesday’s conference in Calgary — said the bank has estimated it could cost $2 trillion to get Canada to its committed target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. He told CP in order to minimize the social and economic consequences of such a massive shift, investments will have to be made not just in renewable technology, but also in improving the environmental performance of every other industry… “In recent months, the Canadian oil and gas sector has rolled out a flurry of announcements of proposed projects — from hydrogen plants to renewable diesel facilities to carbon capture and storage — aimed at lowering the industry’s emissions profile.”

OPINION

Resilience.org: Why Manchin’s side deal or “permitting reform” must be blocked
Mary Wildfire, 9/20/22

“It seems the mainstream narrative is that the IRA (Inflation Reduction Act) is a big step toward addressing the climate crisis while the side deal is a step backwards, but we may not be able to stop it. I disagree; from my perspective, the giveaways to the fossil fuel and nuclear industries in the IRA make it most likely a net negative for the environment,” Mary Wildfire writes for Resilience.org. “…But at least the IRA has a lot of good stuff in it, which might outweigh the bad in some reckoning. Not so the so-called side deal, or permitting reform, which is usually described as Manchin’s price for supporting the IRA. He and his cronies point out that greasing the way for fossil fuel projects, which is what permitting reform does, will also help renewable projects deploy sooner. This is not a good bargain for those concerned about leaving a livable planet for our children, or for the frontline communities impacted by existing and proposed projects. Even solar or wind projects should have the free, prior and informed consent of the communities in which they’re placed, after all. And what we desperately need is reduced fossil fuel use, not more energy of all kinds. My concerns about all this were amplified by information from Paul Blackburn of Bold Alliance, on a webinar for the VOICES Coalition… “Blackburn says there hasn’t been much CCS work because the subsidies, under 45Q of the tax code, weren’t sufficient… “But the IRA raised those subsidies mightily, to the point where for many entities it will more than cover the entire cost, and thus become a windfall, cancelling tax liabilities for very profitable industries… “But the key is that, according to Blackburn, the oil industry is looking to Enhanced Oil Recovery in its old depleted fields for its next source, as the shale fields are depleting—they’ve already pretty much exhausted the sweet spots. And they can get as much oil out by ramming in CO2 as they got originally, potentially doubling an old field’s productivity. Even if the CO2 used for this EOR process remains permanently in the well, the oil it pushes out, when burned, is likely to emit twice that much CO2. Clearly, this is not “green.”

The Atlantic: Manchin’s New Bill Could Lead to One Big Climate Win
Robinson Meyer, 9/21/22

“About a year ago, one of the worst things that can happen to any climate journalist happened to me: I started to care about power lines,” Robinson Meyer writes for The Atlantic. “I began to care, specifically, about transmission lines, the subset of power lines that traverse great distances and carry electricity from one region of the country to another… “We need to electrify most of the economy in order to eliminate carbon pollution; by 2050, the country must build new transmission lines at twice the pace it does today, according to Princeton’s Net-Zero America report… “Senator Joe Manchin’s so-called permitting-reform bill, which is due to be released today, will likely make it easier, faster, and cheaper for the country to build the kind of major new transmission lines that climate change requires. Yet these measures will come at a cost for environmentalists: The bill may authorize some fossil-fuel projects, and it may make it harder for green groups to block new infrastructure projects in court. The trade-offs may be dicey for climate advocates to accept, but its transmission components, considered alone, could very well amount to a win for the climate… “Building more transmission makes sense, and it’s one of the cheapest ways for Americans to reduce their energy costs while fighting climate change. That doesn’t mean it’s a sure thing. The same dynamics that make building new transmission hard may also make it tough to reform the system.”

The Hill: Quit Big Oil: Our health is a stake
William S. Becker is a former U.S. Department of Energy central regional director, 9/22/22

“What do cigarettes and oil have in common? The answer: Both are deadly, but the industries that produce them covered up the risks to continue profiting from Americans’ addiction to their products. Both actively promoted their products even though their own scientists warned them about the dangers. Executives from both industries denied any wrongdoing while testifying before Congress,” William S. Becker writes for The Hill. “What’s the difference between cigarettes and oil? The answer: Tobacco companies are paying billions of dollars every year in perpetuity to compensate states for health care costs related to smoking. However, big oil companies are paying nothing for the damages caused by global warming… “The damages from oil and gas consumption are much more egregious. They go beyond climate change. The American Lung Association reports more than 137 million adults and children — 40 percent of us — live in places where air pollution from tailpipes and power plants can cause lung diseases, including cancer. People can choose not to smoke; they can’t choose not to breathe. At last count, at least 20 states and localities had filed lawsuits against oil companies, most of them focused on the industry’s failure to disclose what it knew about climate change… “We will see whether the courts apply the same level of accountability to the oil industry as they applied to cigarette manufacturers. Meantime, Congress need not wait. It can make up for past mistakes by ending billions of dollars it spends annually to subsidize oil and gas production; putting a price on carbon to reflect its real impacts on society and the environment; explicitly authorizing the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gas pollution if carbon pricing proves insufficient to meet America’s pollution reduction goals, and passing “polluter pays” legislation like that introduced by Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) to tax the oil and gas companies most responsible for carbon pollution. Oil companies don’t need more help from Congress — our communities clearly do.”

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