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EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 5/17/22

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

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips May 17, 2022

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PIPELINE NEWS

  • Michigan Advance: Indigenous citizens from U.S., Canada, Siberia converge for Line 5 ‘eviction’ anniversary

  • CBC: Jason Kenney makes a timely pitch for Alberta oil to U.S. senators. But will it work?

  • Globe and Mail: Jason Kenney, Jonathan Wilkinson out of sync on energy security ahead of U.S. Senate appearance

  • Herald & Review: Proposed pipeline will bring Iowa C02 to Decatur, eventually

  • S&P Global: Pipeline to supply Tellurian’s Driftwood LNG project clears environmental review

  • Natural Gas Intelligence: U.S. Liquids Pipeline Safety Improving, Say Trade Groups

  • Press release: Gulf Coast Express Pipeline Announces Open Season for Expansion Project

  • Associated Press: $230M Settlement Reached Over 2015 California Oil Spill

  • Journal Courier: FBI seeks information in arson at pipeline repair site

WASHINGTON UPDATES

  • Politico: ANOTHER GO AT SOCIAL COST TRANSPARENCY

  • Politico: RED STATES OPEN SECOND FRONT AGAINST CALIFORNIA WAIVERS

STATE UPDATES

  • Bismarck Tribune: Project Tundra, Blue Flint carbon capture get early funding endorsement

  • Casper Star Tribune: Wyoming, energy industry tell judge oil and gas leasing pause was illegal

EXTRACTION

  • E&E News: Meeting climate goals could save 50K+ lives yearly

  • Offshore Energy: TotalEnergies launches drone-based detection campaign for methane emissions across oil & gas assets

CLIMATE FINANCE

  • Salt Lake Tribune: U. of U. may dump oil and gas stocks, but it will take at least a year. Why the wait?

OPINION

PIPELINE NEWS

Michigan Advance: Indigenous citizens from U.S., Canada, Siberia converge for Line 5 ‘eviction’ anniversary
LAINA G. STEBBINS, 5/13/22

“If Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had her way, Friday would have marked one year since the two 20-inch underwater pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac last saw a drop of Canadian crude oil,” Michigan Advance reports. “Instead, the flow of oil through the twin Line 5 pipelines has not ceased — although neither has the rising tide of international pipeline resistance… “Indigenous citizens from tribes in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Maine, Canada and even Siberia, Russia, joined together Friday in Mackinaw City on the anniversary of the attempted Line 5 “eviction.” The numerous speakers uplifted treaty rights, shared Native wisdom and spoke out against extractive industries that disproportionately build into Indigenous lands. Chelsea Fairbank of Maine, whose doctoral work focuses on extractive fossil fuel sites on land that impacts Indigenous people in particular, said all residents of Turtle Island (North America) and beyond must break their “colonial relationship to land.” Indigenous activists and their supporters are “pushing back against the monsters of our world,” Fairbank said, pointing to oil infrastructure like Line 5 in Michigan and Line 3 in Minnesota. Both are owned by Enbridge and snake through treaty territories. She and others spoke to the importance of protecting treaty lands and waters from the dangers that fossil fuel projects can bring, like potential damage to manoomin (wild rice) in the Great Lakes region… “All 12 federally recognized tribes in Michigan publicly oppose the Line 5 pipeline and its proposed tunnel-enclosed replacement.”

CBC: Jason Kenney makes a timely pitch for Alberta oil to U.S. senators. But will it work?
Mark Gollom, 5/17/22

“With skyrocketing gas prices, Washington scrambling for more oil and the U.S. midterm elections around the corner, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s appearance before a U.S. Senate committee to pitch his province’s oil couldn’t come at a better time,” the CBC reports. “The premier, who has championed his province as a trustworthy source of energy to the U.S., will speak today before the energy and natural resources committee. He was invited by its chair, West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, a critical swing vote in the evenly divided Senate, who, just over a month ago, visited Alberta to tour the oil sands and meet with executives and key players in the province’s oil industry… “Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported last month that the Biden administration officials were seeking ways to boost oil imports from Canada, but with one big caveat — they don’t want to resurrect the Keystone XL pipeline. Not long after being sworn in as president, Joe Biden fulfilled a campaign promise by signing an executive order scuttling the 1,897-kilometre pipeline expansion, as part of the administration’s effort to fight climate change. “I think we’ve never been in a position of more flux on what exactly U.S. energy policy is,” Coleman told CBC. “Obviously we have an administration that came in and, at that time, the [Democrats] seemed to be reasonably unified in terms of restraining oil and gas production. “The first step was obviously killing Keystone XL. It’s just a very different moment now.” “…But high gas and oil prices are a “major voter concern” heading into this fall’s midterms which, so far, Republicans have been effective in linking to Democrats, Christopher Sands, director of the Wilson Center Canada Institute, told CBC… “What will they concede to get it? This is where Kenny’s visit could be an opportunity: if Democrats see a favour to Canada and Alberta as not the worst concession they could make … the hearing could be the start of some constructive negotiations.”

Globe and Mail: Jason Kenney, Jonathan Wilkinson out of sync on energy security ahead of U.S. Senate appearance
EMMA GRANEY, 5/16/22

“On Tuesday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney will sit in front of the U.S. Senate committee on energy and natural resources in Washington and make a pitch: Help get another pipeline built to further fortify North American energy security,” Emma Graney writes for the Globe and Mail. “Mr. Kenney is in the U.S. capital at the behest of Wyoming Senator John Barrasso and Joe Manchin, the Democratic senator who chairs the energy committee and is a vocal supporter of fossil fuels. Mr. Manchin visited Alberta last month for a whirlwind tour, taking in the oil sands and meeting with leaders in the critical-minerals sector as well as energy-company chief executives. The Alberta Premier will appear at the U.S. Senate committee meeting on the same day as federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, who will participate virtually. Mr. Wilkinson told The Globe and Mail on Monday that he will emphasize the importance of energy security, but at a broader level that includes new energy sources such as hydrogen, rather than just oil and gas. And he threw cold water on any hopes from Alberta for a new oil pipeline, saying that he’s heard no interest for one during previous conversations with the White House. For Mr. Kenney, a key part of his message will be highlighting to senators just how integrated the Canadian and American energy systems truly are. He will also underscore the fact that the lion’s share of oil imported by the United States – 62 per cent – comes from Alberta. “If [senators] really want to completely end U.S. dependence on OPEC, then they need to help us get another pipeline built,” he said. “That’s not about crying over spilled milk of KXL. It’s just stating the obvious.” “…Still, Mr. Kenney hopes his visit to the U.S. will result in congressional pressure on the Biden administration “to get off the fence” and do more to oppose Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s efforts to shut down Enbridge Line 5. The 1,038-kilometre pipeline transports up to 540,000 barrels of petroleum a day to Ontario through Wisconsin and Michigan. “While they’re pleading with Saudi Arabia to increase production and trying to lift the oil embargo on Venezuela and on Iran, it’s bizarre that they are ignoring, effectively, an effort by the Michigan Governor to stop the shipment of 600,000 barrels a day of Canadian energy to the U.S. market,” he said.

Herald & Review: Proposed pipeline will bring Iowa C02 to Decatur, eventually
Tony Reid, 5/15/22

“The answer to America’s sky-high pollution problems could be locked underground in the Central Illinois prairie more than a mile beneath Decatur,” the Herald & Review reports. “That’s the gamble being taken on the future of emissions control by Archer Daniels Midland Co. The company, with major agricultural processing facilities in Decatur, recently announced it’s partnering with a firm called Wolf Carbon Solutions LLC, which will build and operate a 350-mile pipeline from Iowa to Decatur for the transport of carbon dioxide, or C02… “The piping will initially connect the Decatur storage facility with ADM ethanol processing plants in Cedar Rapids and Clinton, Iowa. But, working on the Iowa Field of Dreams idea that if you build it, they will come, the pipeline will have built-in extra capacity. So the opportunity is there to connect in the future to other industrial customers looking to drain away their C02 environmental headaches, and might see the pipeline to Decatur filled with up to 12 million tons a year of the gas… “But during a recent presentation to the Scott County, Iowa, Board of Supervisors, Wolf Carbon Adviser Nicholas Noppinger said the company plans to have a more precise route by the summer, and public hearings in Iowa are expected in July. He added that if everything goes to plan, the pipeline would likely be operational in 3 to 3 ½ years. In Iowa, meanwhile, where farmland faces being crisscrossed by various carbon capture pipelines in addition to the ADM-Wolf endeavor, a foreshadowing of some of the opposition we might see in Central Illinois has already bubbled to the surface… “Some of the opposition, however, is focused on the whole principle of carbon sequestration, and whether it really is good for our collective environmental future. The Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club, for example, said C02 pipelines “will extend the life of the polluting ethanol industry and industrial agriculture practices that have contributed to our climate crisis…” “…During its board meeting, several of the Scott County, Iowa, supervisors, including farmer John Maxwell and Ken Croken, questioned whether the pipeline makes economic and environmental sense as the U.S. moves away from fossil fuels and toward electric vehicles, especially if it’ll be multiple years before it is operational.”

S&P Global: Pipeline to supply Tellurian’s Driftwood LNG project clears environmental review
Corey Paul, 5/16/22

“Tellurian’s proposed 37-mile Driftwood Pipeline natural gas transportation project cleared a draft environmental review by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, advancing toward a key permit for construction,” S&P Global reports. “FERC staff determined in a May 13 draft environmental impact statement that the project would result in some “adverse environmental impacts” but that those would not be significant with recommended mitigation measures. The permitting review stopped short of drawing conclusions about the potential climate impacts of the project… “It would interconnect with existing and proposed gathering, intrastate and interstate pipelines along the route and bring gas to a delivery point at the Driftwood LNG facility just south of Lake Charles, Louisiana, near Carlyss in Calcasieu Parish, according to a resource report filed by Driftwood. Tellurian has secured enough commercial support to reach a final investment decision on Driftwood LNG and is now in financing talks. The developer said March 28 that it gave the go-ahead to its contractor to start limited construction of the first phase of the LNG project… “FERC staff’s approach in the Driftwood pipeline review was consistent with other recent pipeline cases following a decision by the commission’s Democratic majority in March to suspend an overhaul of the agency’s pipeline permitting policy and revisit it after seeking more public comment. The policy changes had called on FERC to take a harder look at the need for projects and at their impacts on climate, among other revisions. But the policies drew intense pushback from lawmakers and industry officials, including Charif Souki, Tellurian executive chairman and founder.”

Natural Gas Intelligence: U.S. Liquids Pipeline Safety Improving, Say Trade Groups
MATTHEW VEAZEY, 5/13/22

“The safety of U.S. liquids pipelines has improved across several key metrics over the past five years, according to a new joint report from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL),” Natural Gas Intelligence reports. “…Citing 2017-2021 data tracked and maintained by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, API and AOPL reported a 31% drop in liquids pipeline incidents impacting people or the environment and a 17% decrease in total pipeline incidents. A 2019 study observed a 36% decline in liquids pipeline incidents. The drop in the number of incidents noted in the most recent study occurred “even while pipeline mileage and barrels per day” increased nearly 10%, API and AOPL said…. “The government’s own data shows liquids pipelines are getting safer,” said AOPL’s Andy Black, president. The API-AOPL report also found a 32% decrease in pipeline incidents affecting people or the environment during the five-year span that were caused by corrosion, cracking or weld failure. Moreover, it concluded that operations and maintenance incidents impacting people and the environment dropped 34% during the period.”

Press release: Gulf Coast Express Pipeline Announces Open Season for Expansion Project
5/16/22

“Gulf Coast Express Pipeline LLC (GCX) today announced an open season to solicit commitments for an expansion project on its system. Upon achieving a final investment decision (FID), the project will increase GCX’s capacity by nearly 570 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d). The project will involve primarily compression expansions on the GCX system to increase natural gas deliveries from the Permian Basin to South Texas markets. Pending customer commitments, the target in-service date for the project is December 1, 2023… “GCX is jointly owned by subsidiaries of Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE: KMI), DCP Midstream, LP (NYSE: DCP), an affiliate of ArcLight Capital Partners, LLC, and Kinetik Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: KNTK) with an ownership interest of 34%, 25%, 25% and 16% respectively.”

Associated Press: $230M Settlement Reached Over 2015 California Oil Spill
5/16/22

“The owner of an oil pipeline that spewed thousands of barrels of crude oil onto Southern California beaches in 2015 has agreed to pay $230 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by fishermen and property owners, court documents show,” the Associated Press reports. “Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline agreed to pay $184 million to fishermen and fish processors and $46 million to coastal property owners in the settlement reached Friday, according to court documents. The company didn’t admit liability in the agreement, which follows seven years of legal wrangling. The agreement still must undergo a public comment period and needs federal court approval. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for June 10. “This settlement should serve as a reminder that pollution just can’t be a cost of doing business, and that corporations will be held accountable for environmental damage they cause,” Matthew Preusch, one of the attorneys who represented the plaintiffs, told AP… “On May 19, 2015, oil gushed from a corroded pipeline north of Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara County, northwest of Los Angeles, spreading along the coasts of Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties. It was the worst California coastal oil spill since 1969 and it blackened popular beaches for miles, killing or fouling hundred of seabirds, seals and other wildlife and hurting tourism and fishing. A federal investigation said 123,000 gallons spilled, but other estimates by experts in liquids mechanics were as high as 630,000 gallons. Federal inspectors found that Plains had made several preventable errors, failed to quickly detect the pipeline rupture and responded too slowly as oil flowed toward the ocean… “Plains has applied for permission to build a new pipeline but it is facing an uphill battle. The emerging debate is playing out amid the global climate crisis and as California moves toward banning gas-powered vehicles and oil drilling, while record gas prices have left consumers with sticker shock at the pumps. A complex environmental review of the pipeline plan is not expected until October.”

Journal Courier: FBI seeks information in arson at pipeline repair site
David C.L. Bauer, 5/16/22

“The FBI is seeking information about an arson and criminal damaging that took place last month at a pipeline repair site,” the Journal Courier reports. “About midnight April 21, an excavator was used destroy a trailer and a sandblaster at the Harvel site. The person responsible also set fire to the excavator and a semi-tractor trailer. Damage was estimated at several hundred thousand dollars. Pipeline maintenance contractor Vance and Associates is offering up to a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.”

WASHINGTON UPDATES

Politico: ANOTHER GO AT SOCIAL COST TRANSPARENCY
Matthew Choi, 5/16/22

“Senate Environment and Public Works ranking member Shelley Moore Capitois re-upping her inquiry into the White House’s social cost of greenhouse gases, leading a group of Senate Republicans in a letter asking for more transparency into the SC-GHG working group,” Politico reports. “Capito raised concerns that the administration was relying on the metric, which places a dollar value on greenhouse gas pollution, to halt natural gas infrastructure — a priority she has been vocal about, particularly following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The letter is Capito’s third request for insight into the working group, but she writes she has yet to receive any response. “As a result of your lack of transparency to date and unresponsiveness to our oversight requests, we cannot evaluate the full extent of what the Working Group is doing or how the Administration is using Working Group products to inform policy,” she writes.

Politico: RED STATES OPEN SECOND FRONT AGAINST CALIFORNIA WAIVERS
Matthew Choi, 5/16/22

“A group of 17 red states on Friday challenged EPA’s reinstatement of California’s waiver allowing the state to enforce more stringent greenhouse gas standards through model year 2025 vehicles,” Politico reports. “This legal challenge is the same as one raised by the states last month in lingering litigation over the Trump EPA’s revocation of California’s waiver — that the Clean Air Act’s 50-year-old waiver program for California is entirely unconstitutional, whether it’s used for greenhouse gases or conventional pollutants, because it favors one state. “The Act simply leaves California with a slice of its sovereign authority that Congress withdraws from every other state,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said. The lawsuit is led by Ohio and joined by Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.”

STATE UPDATES

Bismarck Tribune: Project Tundra, Blue Flint carbon capture get early funding endorsement
AMY R. SISK, 5/16/22

“North Dakota officials have given an initial thumbs up to loan requests for two carbon capture projects, and they suggest regulators consider four other energy projects seeking state funding,” the Bismarck Tribune reports. “Technical advisers for the state’s new Clean Sustainable Energy Authority last week endorsed Minnkota Power Cooperative’s request for a $150 million loan for Project Tundra, its effort to capture and bury carbon dioxide emissions from the coal-fired Milton R. Young Station power plant in Oliver County. They also recommended supporting a $34 million loan request from Midwest AgEnergy Group and Carbon America Developments for a carbon capture project at Blue Flint Ethanol in McLean County… “Minnkota’s $150 million request this round asks for more than what’s left. The co-op indicated in its application that it might ask for another $150 million loan down the road. That would require the Legislature to authorize more money for the energy authority. Lawmakers gather for their next legislative session in Bismarck in early 2023… “Co-op leaders have said they anticipate making a final decision by the end of the year about whether to move forward with Project Tundra. Minnkota has increased its cost estimate for the project, from $1 billion to $1.45 billion. Fladhammer attributed the change to global supply chain and inflation-related issues. “Out of an abundance of caution, we continue to evaluate whether these material, equipment and labor-related issues are short-lived or if they will persist for several years.”

Casper Star Tribune: Wyoming, energy industry tell judge oil and gas leasing pause was illegal
Nicole Pollack, 5/13/22

“The Biden administration’s extended delay of onshore oil and gas leasing in the U.S. is illegal, attorneys for the state of Wyoming and industry groups argued Friday in a federal courtroom in Cheyenne,” the Casper Star Tribune reports. “Attorneys representing the state of Wyoming and the Western Energy Alliance told U.S. District Judge Scott W. Skavdahl that the absence of new onshore oil and gas leasing under the Department of the Interior violates statutory requirements set by Congress. At minimum, said Travis Jordan, Wyoming’s counsel, the Mineral Leasing Act requires that the federal government hold a lease sale four times each year. “The floor is quarterly lease sales, and the ceiling is as the (Interior) Secretary deems necessary,” Jordan said. The Department of the Interior has not held an onshore lease sale since President Joe Biden took office. It is currently moving forward with a lease sale scheduled for June in an effort to comply with a court order to resume quarterly sales issued in a separate, but similar, case moving through a federal court in Louisiana. According to the agency, it has had no choice but to postpone the lease sales planned for previous quarters… “The state of Wyoming and the Western Energy Alliance believe the Department of the Interior overstepped its bounds and don’t think its justifications will hold up to scrutiny. So far, no challenge to the agency’s actions on oil and gas leasing has been decided in federal court. Wyoming’s case was among the first in the country to reach oral arguments.”

EXTRACTION

E&E News: Meeting climate goals could save 50K+ lives yearly
Sean Reilly, 5/16/22

“Ending the use of fossil fuels in electricity generation, transportation and several other key sectors would save more than 50,000 lives annually, researchers conclude in a new paper,” E&E News reports. “The paper, published online today in the journal GeoHealth, is the latest to forecast enormous public health gains as a side benefit to avoiding the worst effects of climate change. The corollary is that the pace of the shift to what the study calls a “clean energy economy” will be a continuing matter of life and death for vulnerable populations. The sooner the United States acts to cut emissions, “the more preventable death and disease from energy-related air pollution can be avoided,” the authors, from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, wrote. Besides carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, the production and consumption of coal, oil and natural gas directly or indirectly spawn the fine particles often dubbed soot, a pollutant linked to a wide array of sometimes lethal health effects. The drop in overall soot concentrations accompanying the elimination of fossil fuels would therefore prevent more than 53,000 premature deaths each year, with the accompanying health benefits stemming from fewer illnesses and death valued at $608 billion annually, according to the study’s findings. The halt to tailpipe pollution from cars, trucks and other “on-road” vehicles would account for the biggest share of prevented deaths, 11,700, the authors found. Not far behind would be the lives saved by the reductions resulting from an end to fossil fuel use in homes, apartments and commercial buildings and by the elimination of coal and other combustion sources in power generation. The other three energy-related sectors covered by the study are oil and gas production, off-road vehicles, and refining.”

Offshore Energy: TotalEnergies launches drone-based detection campaign for methane emissions across oil & gas assets
Melisa Cavcic, 5/16/22

“French energy giant TotalEnergies is working to reduce methane emissions from its operations through a drone-based detection campaign across all its operated oil and gas assets,” Offshore Energy reports. “TotalEnergies revealed on Monday that it has launched a drone-based emissions detection and quantification campaign across all its upstream oil and gas operated sites, as part of its commitment to identify, quantify, and reduce methane emissions linked to its operations… “As explained by TotalEnergies, AUSEA consists of a miniature dual-sensor mounted on a drone, capable of detecting methane and carbon dioxide emissions, while at the same time identifying their source.  With this technology, measurements can be taken at all types of industrial facilities, whether onshore or offshore, since it supplements measurements taken using traditional techniques such as infrared cameras, ground sensors, and satellites… “In addition, the AUSEA technology is being further developed to move from a manual to an autonomous mode in order to increase the frequency of methane emission measurements. In line with this, the deployment of this technology will also be extended to TotalEnergies’ other activities, particularly at its refineries.” 

CLIMATE FINANCE

Salt Lake Tribune: U. of U. may dump oil and gas stocks, but it will take at least a year. Why the wait?
Tim Fitzpatrick, 5/14/22

“University of Utah President Taylor Randall says the school is still looking at divesting oil and gas holdings in its $1 billion endowment, but it will be at least another year before such a move occurs,” the Salt Lake Tribune reports. “Those on campus pushing for divestment would like to see a faster pace. Speaking to The Salt Lake Tribune editorial board recently, Randall said the state’s flagship university is in the process of hiring a new chief investment officer and is restructuring management of the U.’s endowment with the idea of aligning the school’s investments more closely with its values. The endowment’s fossil fuel holdings were estimated last year at $60 million to $90 million. Randall said a divestment plan put forth by the U.’s Ad Hoc Committee for Divestment and Strategic Reinvestment Investigation, which was passed by the U.’s academic senate a year ago, remains the plan the school is pursuing, but the board of trustees wanted to set new priorities for investment management first… “Piper Christian, a student member of the committee, would like to see a more timely response to the eight recommendations and is concerned that the process laid out by the trustees is “vague.” “A timeline ought to be established for the board’s deliberation and ultimate verdict, and a plan laid out for how the various constituencies of the university (students, faculty, staff, and others) will be included in this deliberation,” Christian said in a statement. “Once the board of trustees reaches a decision, the university should be informed of which of the eight recommendations were adopted, and a summary of how the decision was reached. Taking the aforementioned measures will ensure transparency and accountability.”

OPINION

Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan: Letter: Deny CO2 Pipeline Request
Carol Hoines, Sioux Falls Leanbe Farms Limited Partnership, 5/16/22

“This letter is concerning Summit CO2 Pipeline application known as Docket HP22-001. They’re proposing a hazardous pipeline running across portions of farmland across our state. I’m urging the PUC to not grant approval for this permit,” Carol Hoines writes for the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan. “…There is no final map for this project to even consider a permit, thus, a permit shouldn’t be granted. Summit Carbon Solutions is a private company, not a public utility. The pipeline is not for public use. CO2 is hazardous and poses a threat to people and the environment, as well as social and economic conditions. No regulations are in place for such a pipeline, and the facts from the 2021 Mississippi break haven’t been disclosed to the public. The pipeline puts people’s safety in danger when a break occurs. Farmers wouldn’t be able to get liability insurance for their land. Tile lines and operations would be disrupted for years, resulting in crop loss and added expense… “Placing the pipeline in farmland doesn’t allow for the orderly development of the land. Housing developments or businesses in the fastest growing counties of South Dakota probably wouldn’t build on top of a pipeline. Why not build it across parks or non-tillable areas where heavy equipment isn’t required on a regular basis. The PUC shouldn’t grant this permit. Protect the people from this hazardous pipeline. These privately backed companies shouldn’t manipulate or try to force the PUC board’s decision.”

Food & Water Watch: Capitalists, Cronies and Crooked Deals: Iowa’s Carbon Pipeline Scam
Emma Schmit and Phoebe Galt, 5/16/22

“Three corporations have proposed nearly 2,000 miles of hazardous carbon pipelines across Iowa. Summit Carbon Solutions, Navigator CO2 Ventures and Archer-Daniels Midland/Wolf Carbon Solutions hope to cash in on carbon capture. And they’ll use public money to do it — at the expense of Iowans, our land and our futures,” Emma Schmit and Phoebe Galt write for Food & Water Watch. “In order to build the pipelines, the three corporations will claim eminent domain. This will allow them to seize private lands for “public use”; in this case, for the pipelines. We won’t let this happen — 80% of Iowans oppose the use of eminent domain for carbon pipelines. But Iowa’s 2022 legislative session has been a glaring disappointment. Across every corner of the state, constituent concerns have been ignored in favor of corporate interests. Despite overwhelming public pressure, the legislature failed to address carbon pipelines this session. The biggest reason? Money. The catalyst behind the recent surge in CCS development is government funding. Our tax dollars have become a cash cow for Wall Street, guaranteeing investors massive profits. FWW analysis found that more than 20 billion of our tax dollars could finance Iowa’s three proposed carbon pipelines. A single federal tax credit, Section 45Q, could funnel almost $2 billion a year to Summit, Navigator and ADM/Wolf. Over the 12 years that the projects are eligible for the Section 45Q credit, the companies would make $23 billion… “Carbon pipelines will take private land from Iowans, while posing serious safety risks… “But none of Summit, Navigator and ADM/Wolf’s private investors will face these risks. Instead, they’ll be sitting back, feet up, watching their profits skyrocket… “The people we elected to serve us are selling us out. But it’s not too late to stop them. Ultimately, Iowans across the state are deeply opposed to the carbon capture scams and we will not back down. The campaign to stop carbon pipelines from crisscrossing Iowa is far from over. The permit approval process will stretch into 2023 and 2024. We will continue fighting for the land, communities and future of Iowa every step of the way.”

NRDC: Update: Reasons Remain to Stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline
Amy Mall, 5/16/22

“In September 2020 I blogged about the five top reasons to stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). I wrote that the pipeline is unnecessary and that it would perpetuate our dependence on dirty energy while imperiling the climate as well as clean water and the wellbeing of local communities,” Amy Mall writes for NRDC. “Construction began on the pipeline, but because of all the flaws in the plans, several court cases have overturned approvals that it wrongfully received from four different federal agencies during the Trump administration. Right now, the pipeline is on hold because it is missing those essential federal permits… “MVP construction is only 55.8% complete. Not “nearly 95%” as claimed by pipeline supporters… “What’s left to be constructed? 429 risky crossings of streams, creeks, rivers and wetlands. These water crossings require massive ground disturbance, either drilling a tunnel beneath a waterway or digging a trench (and possibly blasting) right through one. The risks come not only from the water crossing construction, but also from the damage to the surrounding landscape… “The result of the construction to date, under the old but now voided permits, has been more than 300 violations of water quality protections alleged by the states of Virginia and West Virginia. And the land that would be crossed with the remaining construction includes some of the steepest slopes, public land in the Jefferson National Forest, and endangered species habitat—areas that are extremely vulnerable to destructive land disturbance. When you consider the bulldozing and drilling that would be required to achieve more than 400 new water crossings, combined with the extremely steep slopes and MVP’s poor record of compliance with state environmental protection laws, clearly the risks are significant… “It’s still the case that no one needs the dirty gas that could be transported by MVP… “It was initially scheduled to be completed by December 2018, yet now the company projects a completion date of late 2023—five years behind schedule, and many doubt even that date. Clearly there is no urgency… “It would still be a climate disaster: It’s been estimated that the full life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (excluding construction emissions) generated by MVP would be almost 90 million metric tons annually, equivalent to the emissions from 23 average U.S. coal plants or over 19 million passenger vehicles driven every year… “MVP remains a bad idea, and should not be allowed to restart construction.”

Northern Ontario Business Review: Indigenous Leaders: First Nations and mining industry are finding common ground
Ian Ross, 5/16/22

“If one were to do on-the-street interviews in Canada’s big cities to ask about the relationship between Indigenous people and mining companies, Ken Coates said, the responses would most likely be “those two are always at each other’s throats,” Ian Ross writes for the Northern Ontario Business Review. “But what would surprise most people, he said, is that many of Canada’s largest multi-billion-dollar business deals in recent years have involved collaborations between corporations and First Nations. Coates, a distinguished fellow at the MacDonald-Laurier Institute, gathered three notable Indigenous consultants from Northern Ontario — Michael Fox, JP Gladu and Glenn Nolan — for a recent webcast on how this relationship has evolved over the years. A half-century ago, mines were developed on Indigenous traditional territory “without a whisper of consultation” with nearby impacted communities, Coates said. But a combination of landmark court decisions favouring First Nations, international recognition of Indigenous and treaty rights, and a shift in corporate thinking has compelled industry to realize there’s no way a natural resource project can be advanced without First Nations engagement and participation… “Coates noted Alberta producers like Syncrude and Suncor have involved First Nation and Métis communities in the whole development cycle from exploration to development, the environmental monitoring and remediation at the end. “If you’re part of the whole process, that makes a huge deal.” “…Going from “protest to proponency” was part of a learning curve, Fox said, that changed the dynamics of the relationships with industry… “To get the relationship off on the right foot, Nolan recommends a company show respect for the community’s connection to the land. A company must be an attentive listener when local objections are raised on how work is done in the territory, and information on any activity must be shared in a timely manner… “Environmental protection can be the main consideration with some communities in negotiating an agreement. Others are more “commercially focussed,” he said, mentioning the Timmins-based Wabun Tribal Council, signatories to dozens of exploration and impact benefit agreements with mining companies.”

Foreign Policy: How Private Oil Companies Took Over U.S. Energy Security
Gregory Brew is a postdoctoral fellow at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale University, 5/16/22

“In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, concerns over energy security have surged. The price of crude oil soared past $120 per barrel, while the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States exceeded $4. Despite the looming threat of climate change and the need to decarbonize the economy, Sen. Joe Manchin and other congressional lawmakers argue that the best way for Washington to address the current crisis is to increase domestic oil and gas production,” Gregory Brew writes for Foreign Policy. “On the surface, that appears to make sense. Fossil fuel production is intimately linked to energy security—that is, a nation’s ability to meet its energy needs with steady supplies at manageable prices. The more oil a nation produces, the less vulnerable it is to outside supply shocks. But unlike other major oil-producing nations such as Saudi Arabia or large consumers such as China, the United States depends on private companies—rather than state-owned entities—to execute the exploration, production, refining, transportation, and marketing of its energy products. And unlike those state-owned entities, which pursue commercial opportunities in service of national priorities, private oil companies are motivated only by profit… “Throughout the 20th century, concerns over impending oil shortages frequently compelled U.S. policymakers to push U.S. oil companies to increase production at home and abroad… “They claimed the United States could be made self-sufficient—“energy independent,” as it would later be known—provided the domestic industry received sufficient support and prices stayed high enough to sustain investment in new production. What the independents wanted, in effect, was federal policy to subsidize domestic drilling, protecting their operations from competition with imported oil… “The current strategy assumes that greater fossil fuel production is ultimately conducive to U.S. security. Both history and the encroaching threats of climate change suggest this is a risky course for the United States to take. Instead of allowing the oil and gas industry to dictate energy policy, the United States should take the initiative and define national security on its own terms.”

National Review: Canceling Federal Oil and Gas Leases Isn’t about Climate Change
BENJAMIN ZYCHER is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, 5/16/22

“The Biden administration last week canceled a large oil and gas lease sale — over 1 million acres — in the Alaska Cook Inlet as well as two sales in the Gulf of Mexico. The Interior Department argued that the Alaska cancellation was “due to lack of industry interest in leasing in the area,” but that is obvious balderdash, as “industry interest” cannot be measured until the extent and value of the actual bids are made clear,” Benjamin Zycher writes for the National Review. “Could that asserted “lack of industry interest” have anything to do with the larger context of official hostility to investment in fossil-fuel discovery, production, and such ancillary infrastructure development as pipeline expansion and modernization? For oil and gas producers to lack interest despite high prices is the opposite of what elementary economics would predict, so it’s reasonable to wonder why… “The administration is arguing that the National Environmental Policy Act provides authority for the cancellation of lease sales on grounds of climate change… “Instead, it would be a vast understatement to observe that “climate change” has become the default excuse for any number of adverse events — no further explanations needed — including many unrelated to climate phenomena. It also is the go-to rationale for the administration’s perverse ideological opposition to fossil fuels generally, and its various policy stances in pursuit of the Biden net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions goal. That objective is impossible simply as a matter of engineering, even apart from the staggering costs of pursuing it… “The Alaska and Gulf cancellation will reduce global temperatures in 2100, again roughly, by 23 one-hundred thousandths of a degree Celsius. One might hope that the Fifth Circuit panel would ask the central cost-benefit question: Does canceling these leases actually make a dent in climate change, and if so, is it worth the cost?”

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