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Extracted: Daily News Clips 5/5/21

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

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips May 5, 2021

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EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 5/5/21

PIPELINE NEWS

  • FacebookTreaty People Gathering in Northern Minnesota
  • FacebookFLOW for Water: Join fellow Michiganders on May 13 at Oil & Water Don’t Mix events in Mackinaw City and Lansing
  • AP: CorpsDakota Access oil pipeline to stay open during review
  • BloombergBiden Administration Embraces Trump-era Support for Pipeline
  • ReutersArmy Corps sees no cause to shut Dakota pipeline during review -filing
  • Politico Morning EnergyPLAYING ON REPEAT
  • KFYRDAPL’s environmental review could be finished March 2022, according to the U.S. Army Corps
  • Financial PostAs clock ticks down on Enbridge’s Line 5, anxiety grows in Sarnia and Michigan
  • Calgary Herald: VarcoeSuncor CEO says halting Line 5 would ‘increase prices and hit consumers’
  • WSJMichigan Wants to Close Oil Pipeline Under the Great Lakes. Canada Says No.
  • Press releaseVOICES Coalition holds Congressional Briefing on needed FERC reforms
  • Roanoke TimesAnother delay, cost increase for Mountain Valley Pipeline
  • Press releaseEquitrans Midstream announces first quarter 2021 results
  • WDBJThree women run 415 miles to protest the Mountain Valley Pipeline
  • Roanoke TimesPhotos: A long run in protest of the Mountain Valley Pipeline
  • APOil pipeline builder agrees to halt eminent domain lawsuits
  • MLK50Pipeline ordinance on hold until July: Memphis City Council attorney wants more time to look over ordinance; company agrees to pause project, drop eminent domain lawsuits
  • Politico Morning EnergyPIPELINES IN THE STREAM
  • BloombergHow the Keystone XL Fight May Signal the Demise of Pipelines

EXTRACTION-RELATED

  • ReutersSuncor delays major maintenance at oilsands plant as COVID-19 surges
  • Press releaseGovernment of Canada approves the NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. 2023 North Corridor System Expansion Project
  • NOLA.comLouisiana is home to 5 of the 13 U.S. oil refineries emitting high levels of this carcinogen
  • Colorado SunSuncor refinery’s bid for new permit gets rough hearing as advocates want to “end the cycle of problem, apology, repeat”
  • Victoria AdvocateEnvironmental activists convene at Lavaca Bay to oppose crude oil exports, ship channel project

CLIMATE FINANCE & DIVESTMENT

  • BloombergBanks Earn Big on Green Bonds But Really Clean Up With Fossil Fuel
  • Press release2021 Banking on Climate Chaos Report

OPINION

  • The GazetteLETTER: Line 3 expansion detriment to Minnesota
  • Bemidji PioneerLETTER TO THE EDITOR: The environmentally friendly thing to do
  • Bemidji PioneerLETTER TO THE EDITOR: Enbridge is investing in our communities
  • Daily MemphianOpinion: Breweries, distilleries unite to oppose proposed pipeline
  • Baton Rouge AdvocateOur Views: Safe and reliable pipelines spurned by anti-oil Biden administration

PIPELINE NEWS

Facebook: Treaty People Gathering in Northern Minnesota

“Northern Minnesota, Jun 5 at 9 AM MDT – Jun 8 at 3 PM MDT
Rise up. We rise together for treaties. We rise together for climate. We rise together for our water. We rise together for one another. As Enbridge builds Line 3 through Anishinaabe treaty land and the Mississippi Headwaters, we continue to stand strong in our resistance. We will not stand by and watch a fossil fuel corporation line its pockets as so much is destroyed, producing oil we don’t need. On June 5-8, we will gather in Northern Minnesota to put our bodies on the line, to stop construction and tell the world that the days of tar sands pipelines are over. Only a major, nonviolent uprising – including direct action – will propel this issue to the top of the nation’s consciousness and force Biden to act. We are rising. Join us. Click here to sign up and learn more: Treatypeoplegathering.com”

Facebook: FLOW for Water: Join fellow Michiganders on May 13 at Oil & Water Don’t Mix events in Mackinaw City and Lansing
5/4/21

“Join fellow Michiganders on May 13 at Oil & Water Don’t Mix events in Mackinaw City and Lansing demanding that Enbridge comply with Gov. Whitmer’s lawful order to shut down the dangerous Line 5 oil pipeline before it bursts. We want to inform as many people as possible about this issue and so we’re promoting events to build a broader public awareness about the aging pipelines under the Straits of Mackinac. When more people learn about the pipelines, we’ll have more power to prevent an oil spill at the heart of the Great Lakes together. “If you ever think you’re too small to be effective, you’ve never been in bed with a mosquito!” – Wendy Lesko”

AP: Corps: Dakota Access oil pipeline to stay open during review
By DAVE KOLPACK, 5/3/21

“FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The Biden administration on Monday reiterated that the Dakota Access oil pipeline should continue to operate while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducts an extensive environmental review, although the Corps said again that it could change its mind,” according to AP. “The Standing Rock Sioux and other tribes have filed for an injunction asking U.S. District Judge James Boasberg to shut down the pipeline while the Corps conducts a second review, expected to be completed by March 2022. The tribes and environmental groups, encouraged by some of Biden’s moves on climate change and fossil fuels, were hoping he would step in and shut down the pipeline north of the reservation that straddles the Dakotas border… Earthjustice attorney Jan Hasselman, who represents Standing Rock, reacted by citing Biden’s discussion with world leaders on addressing climate change and the president’s promise to be more sensitive to concerns by Indigenous leaders and tribal governments. “Given all this, it’s baffling that when it comes to the Dakota Access pipeline, Biden’s Army Corps is standing in the way of justice for Standing Rock by opposing a court order to shut down this infrastructure while environmental and safety consequences are fully evaluated,” Hasselman said.”

Bloomberg: Biden Administration Embraces Trump-era Support for Pipeline
Ellen M. Gilmer, 5/3/21

“The Biden administration is endorsing Trump-era arguments against shutting down the Dakota Access pipeline, a boost for company lawyers fighting to keep the project in service,” Bloomberg reports. “Justice Department lawyers on Monday reiterated an argument they made last year that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other pipeline opponents “have not met the applicable standard” for securing a court order that would temporarily halt the oil project. “It is possible that in the EIS process the Corps would find new information, but to date the Corps is not aware of information that would cause it to evaluate the injunction factors differently…”

Reuters: Army Corps sees no cause to shut Dakota pipeline during review -filing
5/3/21

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it does not believe a judge should order the Dakota Access oil pipeline shut while environmental review continues, according to court filings on Monday,” Reuters reports. “…The Army Corps said on Monday that it expected to complete an environmental review of the 570,000-barrel-per-day DAPL out of North Dakota by March 2022, when it will consider whether to issue a new permit for the line. That judge is now considering whether to grant a request by Native tribes to require that the line cease flows and be emptied while the assessment is carried out.
The Corps, under the direction of President Joe Biden, said at a hearing last month it had no immediate plans to force a DAPL closure.”

Politico Morning Energy: PLAYING ON REPEAT
5/4/21

“The Biden administration is repeating arguments from the Trump era on the Dakota Access pipeline as it asserts the pipeline should not be shut down while it undergoes an environmental review. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers argued the tribes seeking a shutdown “have not met the applicable standard” to do so, reaffirming an argument it used under former President Donald Trump.”

KFYR: DAPL’s environmental review could be finished March 2022, according to the U.S. Army Corps
By Morgan Benth,

“BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) – The Army Corps of Engineers gave their status report ordered by Judge James Boasberg, saying the environmental review should be finished by March of next year. However, the Corps added no new information has been found that would lead to shutting the pipeline down during the review,” KFYR reports. “In more filings Monday afternoon, tribes in opposition to the pipeline made it clear through court documents they don’t support the state intervening in the Dakota Access Pipeline case… Two tribal nations, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and MHA Nation, are both heavily involved as well, but for different reasons. Standing Rock has long been concerned about an oil spill polluting their water supply as it crosses the Missouri River north of the reservation. “Outsiders come in and exploit resources and it’s the tribe that bears the burden,” said the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s attorney Jan Hasselman. The MHA Nation is dependent on the pipeline for their tribe’s economic well-being, as 60% of the oil they produce is brought to market through the pipeline.
With opposing viewpoints on what needs to be done here, the tribes said they’re still respecting each other’s sides. “I can guarantee you that the relationship between our relatives to the south, Standing Rock, and ours at MHA Nation are so intertwined. It’s often not us, our two nations, but outsiders who want to see a fight. Who want to see us pull apart. And we’re doing everything to show that’s not what we do, that’s not what we’re going to do,” said MHA Nation Tribal Chairman Mark Fox.”

Financial Post: As clock ticks down on Enbridge’s Line 5, anxiety grows in Sarnia and Michigan
Geoffrey Morgan, 5/5/21

“CALGARY — For Mike Bradley, the mayor of Sarnia, the impending shutdown of a pipeline that supplies fuel to his city’s biggest employers has been “hovering” for seven months,” the Financial Post reports. “That anxiety has been steadily building ahead of a deadline this month imposed by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer for Enbridge Inc. to shut down its Line 5 pipeline, which crosses through Michigan, where it delivers more than half of the state’s propane needs, en route to deliver oil to Ontario, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In November, Whitmer cancelled the easement that allows Enbridge’s pipeline to pass under the straits and provided a deadline of May 12 to shut the line down. Enbridge, for its part, has vowed to defy the order that comes into force next week in a move that lawyers say will make its case more difficult to argue in state and federal courts… “Anytime there’s uncertainty about the source of what drives a particular economy, it does have an impact when you’re trying to recruit companies and industries into the area,” Bradley said. “When you’re in the economic development game, you’re always trying to eliminate anything that could be an impediment and the longer this goes on, the more of that anxiety is there.”

Calgary Herald: Varcoe: Suncor CEO says halting Line 5 would ‘increase prices and hit consumers’
Chris Varcoe, 5/5/21

“The head of oilsands giant Suncor Energy isn’t pulling any punches about Line 5,” according to the Calgary Herald. “The threatened shutdown of the pipeline by the state of Michigan won’t just hurt oil refiners, but consumers in Canada, says Mark Little. Suncor Energy’s chief executive joined a chorus of Canadian business leaders, analysts and politicians warning recently about the painful ramifications if Michigan succeeds in closing Enbridge’s existing pipeline that moves western Canadian oil to Central Canada through the state. “This is a significant month because the governor has called for the line to be shut down. We don’t think that they have the authority to do that,” Little said Tuesday on a first-quarter earnings call. “If this line gets shut down, it takes half of the oil that flows into Ontario refineries and stops it from flowing there. This will have a consequence on the people in Ontario and Quebec.”

WSJ: Michigan Wants to Close Oil Pipeline Under the Great Lakes. Canada Says No.
By Vipal Monga and Paul Vieira, 5/5/21

“TORONTO—Canada is fighting to stop U.S. officials from closing a vital cross-border oil and gas pipeline as a deadline to shut it looms,” according to WSJ. “The dispute erupted in November, when Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced she was revoking a permit that allows Enbridge Inc.’s Line 5 pipeline to run along the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac, between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. She gave the company until May 12 to shut the pipeline. The 645-mile conduit carries more than a half million barrels of oil and natural gas liquids each day from Superior, Wis., to refineries in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Ontario and Quebec. Canadian officials and Enbridge say closing the pipeline would choke off almost half of the supply used to make gasoline, jet fuel and home-heating oil for Ontario and Quebec, the most populous parts of the country. The closure could lead to higher fuel costs and thousands of job losses in the refineries that process the oil, officials say.”

Press release: VOICES Coalition holds Congressional Briefing on needed FERC reforms
5/4/21

“Washington, D.C. – The VOICES (Victory Over InFRACKstructure, Clean Energy inStead) coalition today held a virtual Congressional briefing to call upon Congress to undertake meaningful legislative reforms to the Natural Gas Act to address the ongoing abuses of power and law by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) when it comes to their rubberstamp approval of fracked gas infrastructure projects. Participants included Congressman Jamie Raskin, Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán, nonprofit representatives, and members of frontline communities impacted by natural gas pipelines and their infrastructure. The event was part of the VOICES Coalition’s efforts to bring attention to FERC’s repeated abuses and seek
reform of the Natural Gas Act. Testifiers during the hearing outlined the key reforms that VOICES is calling for, including ending the abuse of tolling orders, the need to consider climate change impacts of projects, and prohibiting the use of eminent domain before all approvals for a project have been received. “As chair of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, I was disturbed by
allegations that the FERC process allows natural gas companies to abuse landowners and farmers who live along proposed pipeline routes. So, I decided to investigate and dig deeper into the issues we were hearing about at FERC, and what we found was frankly appalling. The FERC process demands immediate reform, and I
am committed to addressing these issues through continued oversight of FERC and through legislative reform,” said Congressman Jamie Raskin, chair of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.”

Roanoke Times: Another delay, cost increase for Mountain Valley Pipeline
Laurence Hammack, 5/4/21

“Mountain Valley Pipeline said Tuesday it will take longer, until summer 2022, and cost more, $6.2 billion, to complete a natural gas pipeline that will run through Southwest Virginia,” Roanoke Times reports. “The latest in a series of such announcements was made by Equitrans Midstream Corp., the lead partner in the joint venture. When construction began four years ago, the project was expected to be finished by late 2018 at a cost of $3.7 billion. In a conference call with financial analysts to discuss first quarter results, Equitrans attributed the latest setback to a change in the permitting process for about 420 stream and wetland crossings that remain for the 303-mile pipeline to make. Legal challenges by environmental groups forced Mountain Valley to abandon a blanket permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It now plans to seek individual permits to trench through some of the water bodies in Virginia and West Virginia, while asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to allow drilling tunnels under others. Despite numerous delays and cost increases, the company continues to paint a rosy picture for investors and the public.”

Press release: Equitrans Midstream announces first quarter 2021 results
5/4/21

“…Mountain Valley Pipeline: In February 2021, MVP JV requested revocation of its Nationwide Permit 12, previously issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps), and initiated an alternative permitting process with the Army Corps and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) related to the project’s remaining waterbody and wetland crossings. MVP JV has submitted an individual permit application to the Army Corps, as well as related applications for 401 water quality certifications to West Virginia and Virginia, for approximately 300 crossings. Additionally, MVP JV submitted a Certificate Amendment application to the FERC, requesting a change to utilize the boring method for approximately 120 crossings. In March and April 2021, respectively, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection submitted requests to the Army Corps seeking to extend the 120-day review period to evaluate the respective 401 water quality certification applications. ETRN expects and supports that some additional review time will be granted. Accordingly, ETRN no longer expects that MVP JV will have the necessary waterbody and wetland crossing approvals by Q3 2021. MVP JV is now incorporating the winter 2021/2022 season into its project schedule and, as a result, is targeting a full in-service date during the summer of 2022 at a total project cost of approximately $6.2 billion. As of March 31, 2021, ETRN funded approximately $2.3 billion and, based on the total project cost estimate, expects to fund a total of approximately $3.1 billion and to have an approximate 47.8% ownership interest in MVP. ETRN will operate the pipeline.
MVP Southgate: Based on the adjustment to MVP’s targeted full in-service date and current expectations regarding timing of MVP Southgate permit approvals, ETRN is targeting commencing construction during 2022 and placing the project in-service during the spring of 2023. The approximately 75-mile pipeline is designed to receive gas from MVP in Virginia for transport to new delivery points in Rockingham and Alamance Counties, North Carolina. With a total project cost estimate of approximately $450 million to $500 million, MVP Southgate is backed by a 300 MMcf per day firm capacity commitment from Dominion Energy North Carolina and, as designed, the pipeline has expansion capabilities that could provide up to 900 MMcf per day of total capacity. ETRN has a 47.2% ownership interest in MVP Southgate and will operate the pipeline.”

WDBJ: Three women run 415 miles to protest the Mountain Valley Pipeline
By Lindsay Cayne, 5/2/21

“BENT MOUNTAIN, Va. (WDBJ) – The Mountain Valley Pipeline protest community came together Sunday at the Bent Mountain Center to thank and commend three women who are running and cycling alongside the MVP construction path,” WDBJ reports. “MVP protesters held a feast to celebrate the women who are running and cycling 415 miles from West Virginia to Virginia, paralleling the pipeline. “We’re all runners, so to be able to take something that we enjoy to be able to raise awareness to the issues that are happening, it’s important to us,” MVP protest runner Katie Thompson said. Sarah Hodder, Merecedes Walters and Thompson started their 10-day relay-style running and cycling journey April 24 and as of Sunday, May 2, have two days left. Their goal is to protest the building of the MVP and help document the community and environmental impact of the pipeline. “I’m a trail runner, and I feel like it’s my responsibility to speak out against environmental impacts like the pipeline,” MVP protest runner Mercedes Walters said.”

Roanoke Times: Photos: A long run in protest of the Mountain Valley Pipeline
Heather Rousseau, 5/3/21

“Three women opposed to the Mountain Valley Pipeline are running some 415 miles on public roads to follow the approximately 303 miles of the pipeline route as they try to raise awareness and donations against the project. They passed through the Roanoke Valley on Monday,” Roanoke Times reports. “Three women are running on public road to roughly parallel the approximately 303 miles of the Mountain Valley Pipeline route trying to raise awareness and donations against the MVP. Mercedes Walters, 32, of Washington, D.C., runs down on Adney Gap Road from Bent Mountain on Monday morning before turning on Dillons Mill Road in Blackwater. Walters came up with the idea for the run which takes fellow runners from West Virginia and a support crew on a ten day journey which began on April 25 in Wetzel County, W.Va. The runners are doing the route in relay mode, five miles at a time, and about 50 miles a day with a $10,000 fundraising goal for to Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights (POWHR) and The Monacan Indian Nation, whose ancestral lands are being crossed by pipeline construction.”

AP: Oil pipeline builder agrees to halt eminent domain lawsuits
By ADRIAN SAINZ, 5/4/21

“MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A company seeking to build a disputed oil pipeline over an aquifer that provides drinking water to 1 million people agreed verbally Tuesday to stop pursuing lawsuits against Tennessee property owners who refused to sell access to their land for construction,” AP reports. “Plains All American Pipeline spokesman Brad Leone said the company will put an agreement in writing with the Memphis City Council to set aside lawsuits filed against property owners fighting the Byhalia Connection pipeline. Leone spoke at a council committee meeting in which members discussed a proposed city law making it difficult for the pipeline to be approved and built… “Most property owners along the path of the pipeline signed deals granting Byhalia access to their land. Property owners who haven’t agreed to receive payment in return for easements on their land have been sued, with the pipeline company’s lawyers trying to use eminent domain rights to claim property. A hearing had been set for May 14 for a judge to hear arguments about whether Byhalia has a legal right to take the land. Leone said the cases would be dismissed and the pipeline company plans to explore alternatives to the current route. “A major part of that pause is not moving forward with the eminent domain lawsuits as mentioned,” Leone told the committee. “That’s absolutely something that we will agree to do.”

MLK50: Pipeline ordinance on hold until July: Memphis City Council attorney wants more time to look over ordinance; company agrees to pause project, drop eminent domain lawsuits
by Carrington J. Tatum, 5/4/21

“The Memphis City Council and Byhalia Pipeline agreed Tuesday to a temporary cease-fire in their fight over the project’s development and an ordinance against it while the council’s attorney reviews the measure and its effects, including legal ramifications,” according to MLK50. “The council’s Public Works, Solid Waste and General Services Committee voted without objection to hold the measure until its July 6 meeting after council attorney Allan Wade said he wasn’t involved in drafting the proposal and that it’s too broad. “In my observation of how we’ve proceeded here, we have basically relied on outside lawyers to draft this ordinance and provide it to you,” Wade told the committee. “I’m not sure I have seen any effort by this body to do its due diligence that we would normally do if we were moving this down the road.” …Justin J. Pearson, a co-founder of MCAP, said he’s disappointed by the committee’s decision and that the proposed ordinance would offer protection for the aquifer against potentially harmful projects beyond the Byhalia Pipeline. “The lack of protection of our aquifer is irresponsible and we have to address it,” Pearson said. “Our leaders do not need to negotiate with this company. The pipeline is all risk to us and absolutely no benefit for Memphis.”

Politico Morning Energy: PIPELINES IN THE STREAM
5/4/21

“A group of environmental organizations is challenging in federal court a Trump administration rule change that lets oil and gas pipelines cross over streams with minimal environmental review. The complaint was filed in the same federal court in Montana whose chief judge briefly froze the construction of new oil and gas pipelines last year, until that decision was overturned by the Supreme Court.”

Bloomberg: How the Keystone XL Fight May Signal the Demise of Pipelines (VIDEO)

“With the development of renewable energy accelerating, the pipeline business increasingly finds itself against the ropes. The Biden administration dealt a death blow to Keystone XL, and the fate of similar projects remains uncertain. As fossil fuel dependency begins to wane, this multibillion dollar industry could soon go the way of the dinosaurs.”

EXTRACTION-RELATED

Reuters: Suncor delays major maintenance at oilsands plant as COVID-19 surges
Nia Williams, 5/4/21

“CALGARY — Canada’s Suncor Energy will delay major maintenance at its oil ands base plant in northern Alberta until at least June as the region battles a COVID-19 outbreak, the company’s chief executive said on Tuesday,” according to Reuters. “The confirmation of the delay to maintenance on the U2 upgrader, which has capacity to produce 240,000 barrels per day, comes as infections have been surging in the Wood Buffalo region, home to Canada’s vast oilsands. Wood Buffalo has more active cases per capita than anywhere else in Alberta, and the province has the highest rate of infection in Canada. The country is the world’s fourth-largest crude producer.
The oilsands are in the middle of their busiest season for maintenance, which involves flying thousands of extra workers onto sites and housing them in workcamps. Union officials have said many tradespeople are reluctant to travel to the oilsands in the middle of Alberta’s third wave. “Our view was that the labour situation was already stressed, the last thing we wanted to do was to overstress that,” Little said on a quarterly earnings call. “We are hoping with the acceleration of vaccinations we will be in a much better situation to efficiently and safely execute the turnaround.”

Press release: Government of Canada approves the NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. 2023 North Corridor System Expansion Project
5/4/21

“OTTAWA, ON – Today, the Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., announced that the Government of Canada has approved the NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL) 2023 North Corridor System Expansion Project with 37 conditions. This decision was based on facts, science, Indigenous knowledge, the public interest, and careful consideration of the concerns of potentially impacted Indigenous communities. Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples is a top priority for the Government of Canada. Over the past eleven months, Natural Resources Canada undertook extensive Crown consultations as part of fulfilling our duty to consult and accommodate and mitigate potential impacts on the rights and interests of Indigenous communities. These consultations followed a thorough review of the project by the Commission of the Canada Energy Regulator (CER). The proponent must comply with 37 binding conditions related to safety, environmental and wildlife protection, Indigenous engagement, and protection of Indigenous rights and interests. As part of these conditions, NGTL will create 786 hectares of land for caribou habitat – thirty times more habitat than will be impacted by the project. NGTL will be required to establish an Indigenous Working Group for the Red Earth and Chinchaga Caribou Ranges. This will ensure Indigenous involvement in the efforts to create new caribou habitat, given the importance of caribou to their culture, traditional land and resource use, and intergenerational transfer of knowledge. This $632-million project is of significant importance to workers in Alberta. It will power our economic recovery by creating up to 1,740 jobs and contributing about $425 million to Alberta’s GDP. The North Corridor Project provides natural gas producers better access to markets for their products and contributes toward the phase-out of coal-fired electricity by 2030. Supporting the phase-out of coal-fired electricity is a key part of the government’s plan to fight climate change, exceed our Paris climate targets, and move forward on our path to reach net-zero by 2050.”

NOLA.com: Louisiana is home to 5 of the 13 U.S. oil refineries emitting high levels of this carcinogen
BY HALLE PARKER, 4/30/21

“A new effort to measure the levels of benzene, a cancer-causing air pollutant, along the perimeters of U.S. refineries found that five of the 13 facilities with the highest levels are in Louisiana,” according to NOLA.com. “What’s more, the refinery with the worst emissions was Delek USA’s Krotz Springs refinery, located 45 minutes west of Baton Rouge along the Atchafalaya River, according to the report by the Environmental Integrity Project, a national environmental nonprofit. There, fenceline monitors measured an average net concentration of 31.1 micrograms per cubic meter of benzene. That’s more than triple the level allowed before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency steps in. A 2015 EPA rule requires oil refineries to install air pollution monitors on their fencelines to measure how much benzene is escaping into surrounding areas. If the annual average exceeds 9 micrograms per cubic meter, refineries must search for the cause and take steps to fix it. Benzene is a component of oil and gasoline, and Eric Schaeffer, the nonprofit’s executive director, said it’s not surprising to see it leak out of industrial plants. “You’re always going to have some, a little bit of benzene in the air around refineries and chemical plants,” he said. “But it’s also a very potent carcinogen.”

Colorado Sun: Suncor refinery’s bid for new permit gets rough hearing as advocates want to “end the cycle of problem, apology, repeat”
Michael Booth, 5/3/21

“Neighbors and environmental advocates pleaded with state air pollution regulators over the weekend to deny or severely limit permits for Suncor Energy’s metro Denver fuel refinery, offering their own modeling showing the proposed permit will violate EPA caps and extend a record of tainting the region,” Colorado Sun reports. “Endorsing the major oil and gas refinery in a renewed state permit would be an affront to both neighbors who have suffered from health effects caused by local polluters, and to state laws seeking cuts to greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade, the objectors said. Addressing the Air Quality Control Commission Saturday morning at the first of two public comment sessions, dozens of speakers said Suncor has not earned the draft permit drawn up by staff of the Air Pollution Control Division, even after spending millions recently to clamp down on emissions into surrounding neighborhoods. “Every child in Colorado deserves to live, learn and play in a healthy and safe community,” said Shaina Oliver, a northeast Denver resident and local organizer for pollution cleanup. “They are demanding justice in every breath.”

Victoria Advocate: Environmental activists convene at Lavaca Bay to oppose crude oil exports, ship channel project
By Chase Rogers, 4/25/21

“POINT COMFORT — More than a dozen environmental activists in kayaks kicked off from the shoreline and into Lavaca Bay Sunday morning as part of a demonstration against oil exports and plans to deepen and widen the Matagorda Ship Channel,” Victoria Advocate reports. “Participants, many of whom camped overnight on Magnolia Beach after demonstrations the day before, came from Houston, Austin, Brownsville and others place across the state to join environmental activist Diane Wilson, who said she has gone nearly three weeks without food as part of a hunger strike.”

CLIMATE FINANCE & DIVESTMENT

Bloomberg: Banks Earn Big on Green Bonds But Really Clean Up With Fossil Fuel
Tim Quinson, 5/5/21

“While investment bankers are on pace to earn record fees this year from selling green bonds, they still make far more money arranging debt issues and loans for fossil-fuel companies. The numbers speak for themselves: $887 million of revenue from green…

Press release: 2021 Banking on Climate Chaos Report
5/5/21

“The 2021 Banking on Climate Chaos report is the most comprehensive analysis on fossil fuel banking produced to date. This 12th annual version of the report expands its scope to investigate the fossil fuel financing and policies of the world’s 60 largest banks to over 2,300 companies. It also highlights case studies of bank financing for destructive fossil fuel projects and companies around the world. The report is prepared by Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International, Reclaim Finance, and Sierra Club, and endorsed by hundreds of organizations around the world. We are pleased to share the 12th edition of the annual fossil fuel finance report: Banking on Climate Chaos 2021. The report was published today by Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International, Reclaim Finance and Sierra Club, and endorsed by more than 300 organizations from 50 countries. This edition’s expanded scope looks at the world’s 60 largest private sector banks, and finds that together they financed fossil fuels with $3.8 trillion since the Paris Agreement was adopted. Despite a massive global drop in fossil fuel demand and production last year, banks’ 2020 fossil fuel financing numbers still remained above 2016 levels, and the overall trend of the last 5 years remains headed in the wrong direction.
JPMorgan Chase remains the world’s worst funder of climate chaos, though Citi came in a close second in 2020. Worst in Canada: RBC. Worst in the UK: Barclays. Worst in the EU: BNP Paribas. Worst in Japan: MUFG. Worst in China: Bank of China.”

OPINION

The Gazette: LETTER: Line 3 expansion detriment to Minnesota
4/30/21

“With respect to the recent debate about the Line 3 tar sands pipelines, I would like to say that they are unnecessary and dangerous. Minnesotans, and people around the country, don’t need to choose between good jobs and protecting the environment. Enbridge, and those that support Line 3, have misrepresented the necessity of the harmful pipeline. They plan to expand the pipeline in a futile attempt to save a dying industry. New pipe-lines leak just as much as the old in a mile by mile comparison. What’s really important is that all pipelines leak. I’m speaking about this subject because as a Minnesotan who has lived by our great rivers my entire life, I hate to see them destroyed. As an advocate for workers’ rights, I want to see families able to choose jobs in sustainable markets that are also sustaina-ble for the environment. Minnesota doesn’t need this pipeline for jobs.”

Bemidji Pioneer: LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The environmentally friendly thing to do
5/5/21

“All of the pipe used to build the existing Line 3 is old, outdated and needs to be replaced. Enbridge has agreed to do this across their system. They have done so everywhere else and the final section to be replaced is under construction in Minnesota right now. Not only has this project created thousands of jobs, but the benefits are wide-ranging in the communities along the pipeline routes. Thanks to those thousands of pipeline workers, cities and towns in northern Minnesota are getting an incredible boost, and small businesses are rapidly reaping the benefits.
I cannot express enough how grateful we are for the increase in traffic and business in towns like Park Rapids.”

Bemidji Pioneer: LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Enbridge is investing in our communities
5/5/21

“After a trying and troubling 2020, 2021 has been a bright light for many of us, and we’ve learned to embrace the positive events and projects that are happening around us. One of those projects I want to highlight today is the Line 3 pipeline replacement project. Following years and years of environmental studies, permitting and meetings, construction work is now underway to fix the nearly 60-year-old Enbridge pipeline. Construction is almost 60% complete, and we have been blown away by the benefits we are already seeing. Elected officials, business owners and members of our communities alike have recognized the increase in visitors we have had through Bagley in part because of the over 5,000 Line 3 pipeline workers who are working on this project. We are seeing increased sales at our local businesses and more friendly faces on the streets.”

Daily Memphian: Opinion: Breweries, distilleries unite to oppose proposed pipeline
By Memphis brewers and distillers, 5/4/21

“Many, if not all of us, can appreciate the inherent value of protecting our natural assets, particularly water. As brewers based in Memphis, we have a very deep appreciation for our community’s water quality. Our businesses are built on it, benefit from it, deliver it across the country and quite frankly couldn’t live without it.
And, in no small part, we chose Memphis in which to do business because of it. While that may sound self-serving, and it may be, we believe it is serving Memphis as well. The quality of our water is a shared asset for every single citizen of our community. It flows freely, clearly, and consistently… We collectively express our opposition to the Byhalia Oil Pipeline. We oppose risking the most simple, clear, natural resource of our community – water. We stand together in support of the proposed ordinance designed to protect our aquifer from contamination by hazardous materials that is being considered by the City Council on May 4. Water is the foundation of our health; we can’t live without it. It is the foundation of our businesses; we can’t brew without it. Water – our water, pure and simple – needs to be protected by us all, for us all.
Whether water, beer, or any other spirit created in Memphis, let’s all raise a glass to collectively protect our assets.”

Baton Rouge Advocate: Our Views: Safe and reliable pipelines spurned by anti-oil Biden administration
Staff Editorial, 5/3/21

“Last year, we were looking forward to the day when a new administration would be avoiding fights with our neighbor to the north, so often targeted with tariffs and rhetoric from the outgoing administration of President Donald Trump. Here we go again, eh? The problem with Canada in the new administration of President Joe Biden: oil and gas. Or more specifically, energy pipelines. Biden snubbed Canada’s interests — and by the way, those of our Gulf Coast refineries — by canceling the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline. Now, Biden’s ally Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, has aped the policies of Washington by ordering Canadian energy company Enbridge to shut down its Line 5. That is a key part of the crude oil network that delivers energy from Alberta to refineries in the U.S. Midwest and eastern Canada…”

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