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EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 3/31/22

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

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips March 31, 2022



  • WDBJ: Mountain Valley Pipeline drops appeal of State Air Pollution Control Board decision

  • Press release: Pipeline Safety Trust Releases Paper Detailing Significant Safety Risks and Massive Regulatory Shortfalls in Carbon Dioxide Pipeline Regulation

  • Iowa Public Radio: Iowa landowners push lawmakers to stop the use of eminent domain for carbon pipelines

  • Des Moines Register: Iowa politics, ag heavyweight Bruce Rastetter sets sights on $4.5 billion carbon capture pipeline

  • AgWeek: Iowans warned of ‘legislative trick’ in fight against carbon pipelines


  • KIOW: Area Pipeline Objections Reach the State Level 

  • Aberdeen News: Brown County commissioners to consider resolution Tuesday that would oppose CO2 pipeline

  • Onida Watchman: Eighteen offer input at pipeline hearing: Application for Party status due April 8

  • YES Magazine: Organizing Across State Lines to Stop a Pipeline


  • E&E News: Dems press case for windfall profit tax on energy companies

  • E&E News: Biden and Manchin speak different languages on hydrogen

  • Politico: House GOP readies bills to unleash energy on federal land



  • Carlsbad Current-Argus: Heinrich, U.S. senators urge Biden to transition from oil and gas amid Russia conflict

  • Williston Herald: Trade groups urge Biden to change course and support domestic oil and gas production

  • Bakersfield Californian: Kern, Bakersfield win federal grants supporting energy technology


  • Reuters: Canada’s oil industry at odds with Trudeau over new 2030 climate plans

  • Canadian Press: Opinions split over benefits of carbon capture tax credit

  • Reuters: Suncor says Edmonton refinery fire put out, one injured

  • BNamericas: Spotlight: Mexico’s LNG export project pipeline

  • CNN: An A380 superjumbo just completed a flight powered by cooking oil


  • Reuters: World’s top banks pumped $742 bln into fossil fuels in 2021 – report

  • Cleanup Carlyle: The Carlyle Group is Cashing in on Climate Chaos

  • E&E News: Anti-ESG backlash grows as Ky. advances ‘boycott’ bill

  • Purdue Exponent: Rethinking the endowment: Faculty seek to shift Purdue’s endowment toward renewable energy


  • The Hill: How are we still subsidizing climate change?


WDBJ: Mountain Valley Pipeline drops appeal of State Air Pollution Control Board decision
Joe Dashiell, 3/30/22

“The Mountain Valley Pipeline has dropped its appeal of a decision by the State Air Pollution Control Board,” WDBJ reports. “In December, the board denied a key permit for the Lambert Compressor Station in Pittsylvania County. The compressor station is part of the MVP Southgate project, that would extend the pipeline 70 miles from Chatham to Alamance, North Carolina. Tuesday, a federal appeals court in Richmond granted MVP’s request to dismiss the appeal.”

Press release: Pipeline Safety Trust Releases Paper Detailing Significant Safety Risks and Massive Regulatory Shortfalls in Carbon Dioxide Pipeline Regulation

“In response to the recent flurry of multibilliondollar CO2 pipeline proposals driven by the expanded tax credit incentives provided by the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure bill, The Pipeline Safety Trust (PST) released a report prepared by the independent consultant Accufacts highlighting the multitude of issues a major CO2 pipeline buildout poses. Carbon dioxide has different physical properties from products typically moved in our current hazardous hydrocarbon liquid or natural gas transmission pipeline system. Those differences pose unique safety hazards to the public. “CO2 is an asphyxiant which is heavier than air and therefore, after a pipeline rupture, a plume can maintain a lethal concentration over large distances,” PST executive director Bill Caram said. “There are little to no regulations around appropriate siting, limiting dangerous and corrosive impurities, or building the pipelines to withstand the unique properties of transporting high pressure CO2.” PST believes existing federal regulations do not allow for the safe transportation of CO2 via pipelines and calls on the Pipeline Hazardous Materials and Safety Administration (PHMSA) to update its regulations of CO2 pipelines as quickly as possible. PHMSA currently exercises no jurisdiction over pipelines transporting CO2 as a gas or liquid, and only regulates CO2 pipelines with a concentration of more than 90% carbon dioxide compressed to a supercritical state, rendering any pipeline moving CO2 in any other state or with less than 90% purity entirely unregulated by the federal pipeline safety agency. There are also no regulations requiring the addition of an odorant to help detect leaks and ruptures, establishing an appropriate process for determining a potential impact area in case of a rupture, limiting dangerous impurities, or several other common-sense regulatory needs. “We hope this report highlights the multitude of unique risks and regulatory shortfalls of CO2 pipelines and we call on PHMSA to close these regulatory absences as quickly as possible to make the upcoming buildout safer to the people who will live around them,” Caram said. 

Iowa Public Radio: Iowa landowners push lawmakers to stop the use of eminent domain for carbon pipelines
Kendall Crawford, 3/30/22

“Iowa farmers gathered at the state Capitol on Tuesday to ask legislators to prevent the construction of carbon capture pipelines through their land without their permission,” Iowa Public Radio reports. “…But more than 100 farmers came from across the state to protest involuntary use of their land for the projects. “This land is a part of us,” said Kathy Stockdale, whose land in Hardin County would house two pipelines if eminent domain, or the involuntary seizure of land for public use, is granted… “Marian Kuper, who also owns land in Hardin County, told IPR she wanted to see her representatives tackle the issue head on and prohibit the companies from using eminent domain in their projects. She said she feels the Iowa farmers’ interests aren’t being represented… “Environmental groups, like Iowa’s Sierra Club and Food and Water Watch chapters, helped to organize opposition to the pipeline. They have been outspoken in their consideration of carbon capture as a “false solution” to the climate crisis… “Only a handful of state legislators attended the “staged public hearing.” Sen. Jeff Taylor, R-Sioux County, said the state government has an obligation to protect individual property rights. Earlier in the session, his proposed bill to ban eminent domain for the companies failed to gain traction. “I would still like to see the power of eminent domain stripped from the Iowa Utilities Board. They should not be using it for private companies,” he said. “If that can not be done this session, I will be back next session.” “…Some landowners said they felt the pipeline project would have a negative economic impact on farmers. Dan Tronchetti, who owns land in Greene County, said he’s concerned that his land value could be hurt by the pipelines. He said he doesn’t feel the pipelines are in the public’s economic interest. “I wake up every morning and usually my first thought is how can I convince the Iowa Utilities Board that this hazardous liquid CO2 pipeline is a mistake for the citizens of Iowa,” he said.

Des Moines Register: Iowa politics, ag heavyweight Bruce Rastetter sets sights on $4.5 billion carbon capture pipeline
Donnelle Eller

“Bruce Rastetter, an Iowa agricultural heavyweight and the force behind a proposed $4.5 billion carbon capture pipeline, says the massive project could spark a renaissance for the renewable fuel industry,” the Des Moines Register reports. “…Rastetter is betting that renewable fuels can be part of the climate change solution at a time when electric vehicles are eclipsing gas- and ethanol-burning engines as the future of transportation… “But Rastetter’s plan also has gained a diverse coalition of critics, from property owners concerned about potential damage to their land to environmentalists who say it’s the wrong approach to a problem that demands wind- and solar-based solutions. They staged a rally in the Iowa Capitol rotunda Tuesday, pushing the Legislature to take strong measures against Summit’s potential use of eminent domain to amass the needed land… “Most notably, Rastetter as president of the Iowa Board of Regents in 2011 tapped Iowa State University to help develop a plan to farm 800,000 acres in Tanzania — a proposal, later abandoned, that critics said would have displaced thousands of refugees who settled there… “Jesse Mazour, an Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club organizer, told the Register the Summit project’s likely use of eminent domain to force the sale of pipeline easements is similar to Rastetter’s alleged “land grab” in Africa. “He’s taking land to enhance his own personal wealth.” “…Altogether, Summit has attracted about 400 investors, Kirchhoff told the Register, around 60% of them Iowans: farmers, ethanol plants and their shareholders, and business owners. Kirchhoff told the Register Summit expects to raise an additional $1 billion in the coming months… “But some Iowa environmentalists say the carbon capture project is a false climate solution, and the federal tax money would be better invested building more wind, solar and other renewable energy sources. Kathy Carter and her husband, Lou, have no plans to give Summit easements to cross 40 acres of timber she owns near Rockford, in north central Iowa. She told the Register the couple recently decided to move 60 miles north to her hometown last year, after struggling for years with odor from Rastetter’s large cattle and hog operations near his rural Alden headquarters. “We couldn’t open a window because of the smell.” Carter told the Register  the land is the last remaining acreage of her family’s farm. “I feel I’m being followed by a dark Bruce Rastetter cloud.”

AgWeek: Iowans warned of ‘legislative trick’ in fight against carbon pipelines
Jeff Beach, 3/30/22

“A Republican lawmaker told Iowans not to be fooled by a “legislative trick” that allows legislators to appear to be against eminent domain for carbon capture pipelines but does not pin down their true position,” AgWeek reports. “Rep. Jeff Shipley, a Republican from Birmingham in southeast Iowa, was referring to a March 24 vote approving an amendment that would put a temporary hold on hearings for carbon capture pipelines . Shipley noted that it was done on a voice vote. “That was a legislative trick to cloak the actual thinkings and positions of legislators and to obfuscate that from the view of the people… “Iowa Sen. Jeff Taylor, whose district is in northwest Iowa, said the delay on hearings until February 2023 does little for landowners in the path of the pipeline. With the next legislative session not starting until mid-January, “that will give us two weeks — two weeks to solve the problem. That’s not going to happen.” Taylor, who previously offered a bill that would strip eminent domain authority from the Iowa Utilities Board, said the moratorium should be pushed back to the end of the session. “I would like some kind of protections, at the very least, against harassment for landowners,” Taylor said. That drew applause from the crowd, who also heard complaints from landowners about pipeline company surveyors being on their property without seeking permission. There were also concerns about safety involving the hazardous liquid carbon dioxide.”

Kailey Foster, 3/30/22

“On Tuesday, farmers, legislators, and activists joined together to call for a more permanent solution when comes to the issue of eminent domain,” KOEL reports. “This request comes after an amendment passed through the house that would block pipeline companies from using eminent domain until March 1, 2023… “However, some people think this isn’t enough to help those affected by the pipeline. Steve Kenkel is a county supervisor for Shelby County. He also is a farmer. While his operation is not directly impacted by the pipeline, he says that the pipeline does impact him and his elected role. “I’m here because I think the process is flawed. It’s flawed, and that’s the reason I’m here. Our board, we take the deposition because there’s been no public input, nothing at the local level, that it’s up the property owners to decide the feet and where this goes. Okay, and I’m here to fight for that. Shelby County is one of 28 counties that will be affected by the Summit pipeline. Kenkel says that are many people that are unaware they are going to be directly impacted by it. “These people, the city council, the mayor; weren’t even notified that there was a hazardous pipeline coming here. We have people that have been asking if its in their own backyard. They didn’t even know about it again, because there have been no public hearings. So, I’m gonna start with my first question: why is the transparency of local control being bypassed for hazardous pipelines in Iowa? He says that when it came to the pipeline, there was no board of supervisors that met to approve or disapprove, which is typically the process when it comes to projects with a public purpose.”

KIOW: Area Pipeline Objections Reach the State Level 
AJ Taylor, 3/30/22

“The local angst over the Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline project issue is now heading up to the state level,” KIOW reports. “Residents have voiced their opinion at the city and county levels in Hancock, Cerro Gordo, and in Worth Counties. Each of the meetings have been tense as farmers are unrelenting about giving up their family farmland to a pipeline project which will transport carbon through 20 plus counties from ethanol plants to bedrock in the Dakotas. Opponents of proposed carbon pipelines have staged what they’re calling a public hearing in the Iowa Capitol rotunda. Shelby County Supervisor Steve Kenkle says there’s been little public input and county officials lack the authority to have any say about the projects. Kenkel lives on a century farm near Earling, about a mile from the proposed route for the Summit pipeline. Some of the other speakers were landowners who don’t want to sell easements on their property so the pipelines can pass through. They oppose letting the Iowa Utilities Board invoke eminent domain authority so property can be seized for the projects.”

Aberdeen News: Brown County commissioners to consider resolution Tuesday that would oppose CO2 pipeline
Elisa Sand, 3/30/22

“A resolution opposing a proposed carbon sequestration pipeline is expected to be discussed during the next Brown County Commission meeting on Tuesday,” the Aberdeen News reports. “Commissioners heard public comments at the end of this week’s meeting from Jared Bossley, who owns land along the proposed route of the Summit Carbon Solutions line… “Bossley voiced both concerns and his opposition to the pipeline and asked commissioners their positions… “I’m here to try and figure out where the commission is at,” Bossley said. “Me, I’m against it.” He said he’s worried about what would happen to people and animals in the immediate area if the pipeline were to break. He also noted concerns about the proposed route and how it cuts through property. Bossley said other counties, including Spink and McPherson, have already expressed opposition to the project… “Following Bossley’s comments, Commissioner Dennis Feickert noted his opposition, calling the project a “federal money grab.” “…In other action Tuesday, commissioners approved updates to the county’s zoning ordinances with respect to transmission pipelines. Pipelines will now have to be at least 1,500 feet away from schools, day cares, churches, residential structures or any structure with a living quarter inside. Property owners could waive the minimum setback distance, according to the ordinance, but each waiver would subject to approval by the board of adjustment. The pipeline also must be buried 72 inches, or 6 feet, underground.”

Onida Watchman: Eighteen offer input at pipeline hearing: Application for Party status due April 8
Sheila Ring, 3/30/22

“The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) heard public input into a proposed carbon dioxide (CO2) pipeline during a public hearing last Tuesday, March 22,” the Onida Watchman reports. “…PUC chair Chris Nelson joined by Commissioner Gary Hanson and Acting Commissioner Josh Haeder heard more than three hours of input from eighteen individuals during the hearing… “Nelson clarified an issue of grave concern for many in attendance, that the PUC has no authority regarding eminent domain, and eminent domain issues must be resolved in circuit court. He also stated that persons directly interested in the project may be granted party status if application is made before 5:00 p.m. on April 8… “John Potash drove from Sioux City, Iowa to show support for the environmental benefits of the project relating that the carbon produced by ethanol needs to be dealt with and touting the financial benefit to landowners and taxpayers. Landowners present testified to their concerns regarding eminent domain, safety, transparency, whether pipeline alternatives were considered, and the future of the pipeline… “Other concerns expressed included the difficulty in locating a route map, safety, potential for sale of easements if the pipeline does not come to fruition, eminent domain, responsibility for pipeline ruptures, crossing heritage lands, and crossing rangelands with native grasses. Dakota Rural Action’s Chase Jensen said that he has been working to empower landowners who have approached the agency with concerns and cited safety; eminent domain; lack of transparency including poor flow of information, poor treatment from land agents, and surveys conducted without landowner permission; and lack of acknowledgement of the pipeline as a climate change funding model as issues his constituents have encountered.”

YES Magazine: Organizing Across State Lines to Stop a Pipeline
Ray Levy Uyeda, 3/30/22

“Emily Sutton loves the Haw River, with its boulders and whitewater, perfect for rafting. The river’s 110 miles flow through rural North Carolina, touching six counties in the state. But the Haw, which Sutton advocates for as its “riverkeeper” with the Haw River Assembly, is also the backdrop of an ongoing battle against a proposed pipeline, which threatens the health of the river and those who enjoy it,” YES Magazine reports. “…The pipeline was originally supposed to be completed in less than a year and cost financial partners $3.5 billion. But four years of coordinated cross-state grassroots resistance to the pipeline’s construction has thus far prevented the Mountain Valley pipeline corporation from laying even an inch of pipeline in North Carolina soil… “And this cross-state collaboration is only one of many where people power is waging a concerted, and increasingly successful, campaign against fossil fuel corporations and the harmful extraction they promise. Pipeline corporations often rely on silence and intimidation—social ills that splice communities and convince neighbors of their isolation from each other. But organizers in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Nebraska are proving that building collective community power can successfully counter Big Oil’s moneyed interests… “There’s a blueprint, organizers say, of what to do when a pipeline threatens already vulnerable communities. The first step is to educate neighbors and those who care about the land. The second is to make the building process as legally untenable as possible by advocating for the passage of new city and county laws, demonstrating a pipeline’s fallibility to state environmental agencies.”


E&E News: Dems press case for windfall profit tax on energy companies
Nick Sobczyk, 3/31/22

“Democrats are ramping up their efforts to tax the profits of energy companies, part of a larger strategy to blame high gas prices on oil companies for alleged gouging after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” E&E News reports. “Senate Budget Chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced yesterday he would hold a hearing next week on his version of a windfall tax, citing an “unprecedented level of corporate greed.” “To a significant degree, pathetically, large corporations are using the war in Ukraine and the pandemic as an excuse to raise prices significantly to make record-breaking profits,” Sanders said at a hearing yesterday on the administration’s fiscal 2023 budget proposal. “This is taking place at the gas pump, at the grocery store and virtually every other sector of the economy.” Sanders’ bill, the “Ending Corporate Greed Act,” would slap a 95 percent tax on excess profits of corporations with more than $500 million in yearly revenue, effectively reinstating a law enacted during both world wars. It would apply to companies across the economy, but Sanders has stressed its potential impact on oil companies, arguing that Chevron Corp. would have paid an additional $12.9 billion in 2021 had it been in effect last year. Another group of Democrats, meanwhile, is pushing a separate bill specific to the oil and gas industry — the “Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act.” That legislation, introduced by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), would put a 50-percent-per-barrel tax on the difference between crude oil prices and the average between 2015 and 2019, with revenues returned to consumers as a rebate.”

E&E News: Biden and Manchin speak different languages on hydrogen
Scott Waldman, 3/31/22

“The void on climate policy between President Biden and Sen. Joe Manchin might be filled by hydrogen,” E&E News reports. “Both agree that expanding the use of hydrogen is essential if the U.S. is going to cut its carbon emissions. Hydrogen could be used to power tomorrow’s cars, power plants and cargo ships. That’s where the similarities end. Biden’s version of hydrogen is made using renewable energy and would replace fossil fuels. Manchin, by contrast, envisions relying on fossil fuels to produce hydrogen. Now, Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, wants the Biden administration to put one of its four new hydrogen hubs in his backyard… “Funding for the hydrogen hubs was tucked into the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that Manchin helped write. It included $8 billion for the creation of four regional clean hydrogen hubs and specifically called on the Department of Energy to designate individual hubs that use fossil fuels, nuclear and renewable energy. It also required one of the hubs to be located in Appalachia… “The cheapest way to create hydrogen currently is to strip it from fossil fuels in a process known as steam methane reforming. That so-called gray hydrogen is dominant today and has a high rate of carbon dioxide emissions. Blue hydrogen, which Manchin supports, uses carbon capture and storage to reduce those emissions… “The White House wants a hydrogen economy based on renewable energy. Green hydrogen is made through a process in which electrolysis separates it from oxygen molecules in water. The electricity required for the process can be generated by renewable resources.”

Politico: House GOP readies bills to unleash energy on federal land

“House Republicans plan to introduce a package of bills today calling on the Biden administration to restart lease sales on public lands for fossil fuel production,” Politico reports. “The six bills, all from members of the Natural Resources Committee, come after months of attacks from Republicans who blame the Biden administration for rising energy prices amid the Russian attack on Ukraine. The latest attacks came yesterday in a hearing on the Biden administration’s fiscal 2023 budget request, where Republicans charged that the president’s energy policies were harming the country. “The president’s budget surrenders America’s energy independence and attacks American energy companies so that we are more reliant on foreign nations for our energy needs,” said Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.), ranking member on the House Budget Committee, at a hearing yesterday.”

Matthew Choi, 3/30/22

“The c-suite of some of the nation’s biggest oil and gas firms will be going before the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee on April 6, where Democrats will grill executives on the country’s high gasoline prices,” Politico reports. “The executives include Chevron CEO and Chair Michael Wirth; Exxon Mobil President and CEO Darren Woods; Shell USA President Gretchen Watkins; BP America’s Chairman and President Dave Lawler; Devon Energy President and CEO Richard Muncrief; and Pioneer Natural Resources CEO Scott Sheffield, Oversight Subcommittee Chair Diana DeGette announced… “The House Natural Resources Committee had scheduled its own hearing for April 5, but Democrats on the committee canceled after the invited witnesses declined to testify. The invited guest list to that hearing included executives from EOG Resources and Occidental Petroleum. Devon Energy was also invited to testify, but opted to attend the E&C subcommittee hearing instead, a spokesperson told Politico.”


Carlsbad Current-Argus: Heinrich, U.S. senators urge Biden to transition from oil and gas amid Russia conflict
Adrian Hedden, 3/30/22

“U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) joined with four other senators in urging the administration of President Joe Biden, via a recent letter, to support the nation’s shift away from fossil fuels in light of the recent energy crisis brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” the Carlsbad Current-Argus reports. “…The senators argued the rising prices were hurting American consumers, and that the situation was emblematic of the need for the U.S. to shift away from fossil fuels like oil and gas. New Mexico, Heinrich’s home state, could be particularly impacted by such an energy transition as it ranks second in the nation for oil production, and ninth in natural gas, and fossil fuels provide for about a third of the state’s budget. He and the other lawmakers argued Biden could use powers provided by the Defense Production Act to support increased manufacturing capacity for technologies that would reduce demand for oil and gas such as electric fuel pumps and other appliance, along with renewable energy installations.”

Williston Herald: Trade groups urge Biden to change course and support domestic oil and gas production
By Renée Jean, 3/30/22

“North Dakota’s oil and gas industry were among trade groups urging President Joe Biden to address rising energy prices and ensure the nation’s energy security by encouraging domestic oil and gas production,” the Williston Herald reports. “The letter was sent by a coalition of 10 oil and natural gas trade associations, including the North Dakota Petroleum Council. President of NDPC Ron Ness was on Fox’s “Cavuto: Coast to Coast” show to talk about the letter, along with U.S. Oil & Gas Association President Tim Stewart. “Oil and natural gas is the backbone of our economy and president Trump recognized that early on in his run for presidency and he made our country, America, the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas,” Ness said. “This president could change the price of gas tomorrow if he would come to the podium and announce that his administration is changing direction, he’s directing his federal agencies to work with industry, approve permits, approve pipeline projects, urging the financial sector to invest in oil and gas and grow product non America.” “…Stewart, meanwhile, said there are 4,000 or so permits awaiting approval. Simply approving those right now would be an immediate step the Biden administration could take now to boost future oil and gas production to permanently replace Russian fuel.”

Bakersfield Californian: Kern, Bakersfield win federal grants supporting energy technology
BY JOHN COX, 3/29/22

“A pair of federal grants announced Tuesday will provide technical know-how to help Kern County’s energy sector and other parts of the community confront some of the biggest challenges of the 21st century while also generating local employment,” the Bakersfield Californian reports. “Kern and Bakersfield were among only 22 communities nationwide to receive pledges of technical assistance help, known as Communities Local Energy Action Program grants, from the U.S. Department of Energy. The county work will focus on carbon capture and sequestration — a nascent technology designed to help address climate change — while the city-led effort deals with cost-efficient use of energy and microgrids that allow facilities to operate even when power from utilities has to be shut off… “Lead planner Lorelei Oviatt said the coalition behind the effort will look for a property owner willing to host the project, which she estimated will eventually attract as much as $100 billion in investment. The facility would receive carbon by pipeline or rail and, using energy from a proposed solar array measuring as large as 30,000 acres, produce hydrogen energy and so-called green concrete. Carbon would also be injected deep underground as a way of gradually ridding the atmosphere of greenhouse gases.”


Reuters: Canada’s oil industry at odds with Trudeau over new 2030 climate plans
Nia Williams, 3/31/22

“Canada’s first emissions reduction roadmap relies heavily on the oil and gas sector to help Ottawa reach its 2030 climate goal, but there is a still a big gap between what industry and government say are achievable cuts,” Reuters reports. “Oil and gas is Canada’s highest-polluting sector, accounting for 26% of total emissions. If Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is to meet its climate target of reducing overall emissions 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2030, the oil and gas industry will need to make drastic cuts. So far Canada has missed every emissions reduction goal it has ever set and oil and gas pollution has risen 19% between 2005 and 2019. Canada’s new Emissions Reduction Plan, announced on Tuesday, aims to cut oil and gas emissions by 42% from current levels by 2030… “Ottawa is relying on a handful of levers to slash oil and gas emissions, such as cutting methane output and new technologies including carbon capture and storage (CCS), Dave Sawyer, principal economist at the Canadian Climate Institute, told Reuters… “Industry’s job is to keep costs down and transfer the risk from their shareholders to someone else, so there’s a discussion here around subsidizing emissions reductions,” Sawyer told Reuters. That is despite a surge in cashflows from rising crude prices as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupts global oil supplies.”

Canadian Press: Opinions split over benefits of carbon capture tax credit
Amanda Stephenson, 3/30/22

“A forthcoming federal tax credit for carbon capture and storage is spurring debate between those who say it will help Canada achieve its emissions reduction goals, and those who view it as a thinly veiled subsidy for the oil and gas industry,” according to the Canadian Press. “…Though details have not yet been made available, the federal government’s emissions reduction plan released Tuesday stated that advancing carbon capture and storage projects features in the mix of “every credible path” to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, including scenarios laid out by the United Nations and the International Energy Agency… “The technology is expensive and has been slow to scale up, in spite of having been around for decades. There are only a small handful of CCS projects currently up and running in Canada, but many proposed projects, including ones by Enbridge Inc., ATCO Ltd., TC Energy, Capital Power, and Pembina Pipeline Corp… “We’re competing for international capital for these projects,” Cameron told CP. “And jurisdictions like the U.S., like Netherlands, like Norway, have very, very generous financial terms for carbon capture and storage.” “…However, some environmental organizations are calling on the Trudeau government to scrap its pledged tax credit, saying funding carbon capture and storage is another way of subsidizing fossil fuel production. “I understand the government’s under a lot of pressure from industry, especially oil and gas, who continue to hold out hope that there’s some kind of tech solution that doesn’t involve reducing the amount of oil and gas that we extract,” Sven Biggs, of Stand Earth, told CP. “But so far the science just doesn’t back that point of view up.” Biggs told CP his organization would rather see federal money be put toward advancing renewable energy technology and helping to transition oil and gas workers in affected communities, rather than offering a tax credit to oil companies that are currently enjoying record profits due to high commodity prices.”

Reuters: Suncor says Edmonton refinery fire put out, one injured

“Suncor Energy Inc said on Wednesday it had extinguished a fire at its 146,000-barrel-per-day Edmonton refinery in Canada’s Alberta that broke out in the morning and caused one injury,” Reuters reports. “…As a result of the incident, one injury was reported and the individual was transported by ambulance to the hospital. Our first priority is to ensure the individual receives proper care,” the spokesperson told Reuters. The company, in a Facebook post on March 28, said it was shutting down process units at the Edmonton refinery for planned maintenance, which would cause increased flaring… “It was the latest safety incident for the company after CEO Mark Little pledged to improve its record earlier this year, following the death of an employee on Jan. 6, the fourth fatality at a Suncor facility since late 2020, according to Scotiabank.”

BNamericas: Spotlight: Mexico’s LNG export project pipeline

“Despite uncertainties affecting the midstream sector, Mexico has a rich portfolio of LNG export projects that are being evaluated by both public and private players,” BNamericas reports. “According to the BNamericas database, the country has 12 large-scale midstream projects in early stages, while five are currently in construction. Projects in early stages total potential investment of US$7.84bn, while projects under construction total US$2.3bn. The largest projects in the pipeline are two new LNG liquefaction terminals, Energía Costa Azul, which is under construction and expected to come online in late 2024, and the Amigo LNG project, where construction is due to start this year and finish in 2027. Each project has a budget of US$2bn. Northern Mexico’s proximity to cheap US shale gas, available natural gas transport capacity via existing pipelines, and access to both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, make the area attractive for exports to Asia, Europe and the rest of Latin America.”

CNN: An A380 superjumbo just completed a flight powered by cooking oil
Julia Buckley, 3/30/22

“It’s huge, it’s wide, and it’s potentially a lot more sustainable. The Airbus A380, a behemoth of the skies, has completed a trial flight powered on cooking oil,” CNN reports. “The test airplane completed a three-hour flight from Blagnac Airport in Toulouse — Airbus’ French headquarters — on 25 March. It was powered by Sustainable Aviation Fuel, or SAF — predominantly made of used cooking oil and waste fats — and operating on a single Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine. Airbus then followed up with a second A380 flight, using the same cooking oil fuel, on March 29, flying from Toulouse to Nice… “The fuel used was supplied by TotalEnergies, a company based in France’s Normandy region. It was made from Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA), which is free of both aromatics and sulfur… “The company hopes to get its aircraft certified to fly on SAF by the end of the decade. Currently, Airbus aircraft can be powered by up to 50% SAF, blended with traditional kerosene.”


Reuters: World’s top banks pumped $742 bln into fossil fuels in 2021 – report
Simon Jessop, 3/30/22

“The world’s top banks provided $742 billion in finance to the fossil fuel industry in 2021, little changed on the prior year, a report on Wednesday showed, despite growing calls to rein in lending to help tackle global warming,” Reuters reports. “Banks are increasingly in the crosshairs of investors and campaigners over their role in bank-rolling coal, oil and gas – the leading causes of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Most leading banks have pledged to reach net-zero emissions across their financing by 2050. But, despite the International Energy Agency saying no new oil and gas fields should be developed for the world to hit its climate goals, the report showed finance continues to flow. Last year, $185.5 billion was provided to the 100 companies doing the most to expand production, the Banking on Climate Chaos report, authored by NGOs including Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack and Oil Change International, said… “These financial institutions are directly complicit in undermining a climate stable future for us all and must immediately end their support of any further fossil fuel infrastructure expansion,” Alison Kirsch, research and policy manager at Rainforest Action Network, told Reuters.Overall lending to the fossil fuel sector remained dominated by North American banks including JPMorgan (JPM.N), Wells Fargo (WFC.N), Scotiabank (BNS.TO) and RBC (RY.TO), all of which increased their financing over 2021, the report said. For tar sands, which require high levels of energy to extract oil, financing rose 51% to $23.3 billion, the report said, led by Canadian banks including TD.”

Cleanup Carlyle: The Carlyle Group is Cashing in on Climate Chaos

“We can’t let up the pressure now. While companies across the globe are divesting from fossil fuels, private equity firms continue to invest billions in oil, gas, and coal (all while evading public scrutiny). With around $24 billion in fossil fuel investments and partnerships with some of the worst polluters in America, the Carlyle Group is one of the biggest culprits. Meanwhile, the Carlyle Group’s founder, David Rubenstein, has used his billions to hide behind philanthropy, attaining positions of power at respected institutions, including the Kennedy Center, the Harvard Corporation, and the National Gallery of Art… “The Carlyle Group is heavily invested in fossil fuel projects that drive climate change. They have among the largest fossil fuel portfolios and at least 68 fossil fuel companies. Their energy portfolio is fueling major environmental problems. Carlyle partnered with Hilcorp Energy, the dirtiest private oil company in the US, whose methane emissions — a greenhouse gas many times stronger than carbon dioxide — dwarf those of ExxonMobil… “Carlyle has been tied to even more environmental injustices. Rubenstein’s firm is the former majority stakeholder of the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery, a now shuttered oil refinery standing over the predominantly Black neighborhood of Grays Ferry in South Philadelphia. The struggle of Grays Ferry residents to hold the refinery to account was documented in a July 2020 front-page New York Times Magazine investigation entitled “Pollution Is Killing Black Americans. This Community Fought Back.”

E&E News: Anti-ESG backlash grows as Ky. advances ‘boycott’ bill
Adam Aton, 3/28/22

“Momentum is building in red states to hit back at Wall Street’s green rebranding,” E&E News reports.” In Kentucky, a bill that has passed both legislative chambers would direct the Bluegrass State to pull state investments, like retirement funds, from financial firms that “boycott” fossil fuels…” 

Purdue Exponent: Rethinking the endowment: Faculty seek to shift Purdue’s endowment toward renewable energy

“Legislation asking Purdue for a plan to transition endowment investments away from fossil fuels and toward renewables is up for vote in April in the University Senate,” the Purdue Exponent reports. “The bill requests that Purdue Research Foundation, the institution that stewards Purdue’s endowment, develop a renewable energy investment plan by the end of the fiscal year. “We want it to be more than just focused on divestment,” Jonathan Rienstra-Kiracofe, a professor in the College of Science and author of the legislation, told the Exponent. “It’s also an investment, so it’s as much as a call for divestment it’s a call for investment.” Purdue’s endowment was valued at $3.58 billion in 2021, according to a report by the National Association of College and University Business Officers. Roughly 3.5% of that is invested in the energy sector, Rienstra-Kiracofe told the Exponent. If passed, the bill will ask PRF to shift the allocated funds from energy companies that focus on fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. The bill itself doesn’t have the power to mandate the creation of an endowment investing plan, but if passed, it represents the will of the faculty.”


The Hill: How are we still subsidizing climate change?
Tefere Gebre is the chief program officer of Greenpeace USA and former executive vice president of the AFL-CIO, 3/30/22

“Sorting trash and recyclables is a tough, dirty job. If that’s what you do to make ends meet, you deserve some basic dignity: decent wages, health care, job security and a lunch break would be a bare minimum,” Tefere Gebre writes for The Hill. “…Politicians, including President Biden, have talked about eliminating fossil fuel subsidies. These payments act as “atta-boys” for large corporations who take pride in minuscule steps to stop destroying our planet… “Our government has subsidized this industry for decades, despite the fact that a majority of voters want to end fossil fuel subsidies. Of the roughly $20 billion in direct payments given to the fossil fuel industry every year, a whopping $15 billion comes from the federal government. Fossil fuel extraction projects that are already underway would produce enough climate pollution to push us well beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming. Continuing to explore for and develop new reserves of coal, oil and gas would spell climate catastrophe — that’s not where Americans’ tax dollars should be going. The second reason is that fossil fuel pollution is racism in action. Extracting, refining and burning fossil fuels releases all kinds of toxic pollution, intensifying the dangerous impacts of climate change. And, too often, Black, Brown, Indigenous and working-class communities are harmed the most… “The last reason to end the subsidies? Fossil fuel companies are blocking climate solutions. Subsidies, like those provided by the U.S., indirectly help fund lobbying efforts. Between 2000 and 2016, fossil fuel interest spent nearly $2 billion to derail climate legislation. It is ludicrous, then, for the U.S. to devote funds to climate resilience and climate solutions — as the Build Back Better plan proposes to do — and also continue providing the biggest polluters with dollars that could be used to derail those same solutions. Democracy works best when it acts in the interests of its citizens, not corporate profits.” 

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