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EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 5/6/22

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

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips May 6, 2022

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PIPELINE NEWS

  • World Pipelines: PHMSA issues proposed civil penalty to Colonial Pipeline Co.

  • KUMV: Bridger Pipeline discuss 145-mile pipeline proposal at Public Service Commission meeting

  • AgWeek: Fufeng project unhurt by natural gas pipeline setback, Grand Forks leaders say

  • Facebook: Appalachians Against Pipelines: Today, a group of pipeline fighters gathered at the Wells Fargo in downtown Blacksburg to call on this evil bank to divest from all fossil fuels and the toxic Mountain Valley Pipeline. 

  • Pipeline Fighters Hub: Landowner Experiences with Eminent Domain & Pipelines (VIDEO)

  • Pipestone Star: Pipeline running through Pipestone County to be decommissioned

WASHINGTON UPDATES

  • E&E News: Manchin open to methane fee in climate, energy talks

  • E&E News: Biden admin unveils long-awaited EJ strategy

STATE UPDATES

  • The Lens: Louisiana legislator pushes bills benefiting the oil and gas industry — and her husband

  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pa. DEP ‘re-evaluating’ oil and gas air pollution rule as deadline looms

EXTRACTION

  • Canadian Press: Record profits for oil companies should be invested in climate action, says Guilbeault

  • Climate Change News: Amid record profits, tar sands companies want more subsidies for carbon capture

  • Financial Post: Canadian Natural Resources profit more than doubles on surging oil prices

  • Axios: April sets record for highest CO2 levels in human history

  • Press release: Enbridge and Humble Midstream to Develop Low-carbon Hydrogen and Ammonia Production and Export Facilities at Enbridge Ingleside Energy Center

CLIMATE FINANCE

  • The Conversation: How treaties protecting fossil fuel investors could jeopardize global efforts to save the climate – and cost countries billions

OPINION

  • PennLive.com: A ‘Marshall Climate Plan’ would aid U.S., Europe while averting climate catastrophe 

  • Albuquerque Journal: NM faith leaders join call to protect Chaco Canyon

  • The Hill: To transition to clean energy, we must update mining practices

PIPELINE NEWS

World Pipelines: PHMSA issues proposed civil penalty to Colonial Pipeline Co.
Sara Simper, 5/6/22

“The US Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a Notice of Probable Violation (NOPV) and Proposed Compliance Order to Colonial Pipeline Co., which includes multiple probable violations of Federal pipeline safety regulations (PSRs). The proposed civil penalties amount to US$986,400,” World Pipelines reports. “From January through November 2020, PHMSA conducted an inspection of Colonial Pipeline Co.’s procedures and records for control room management (CRM) in Linden, NJ, Hebert, LA, Greensboro, NC, and Alpharetta, GA. PHMSA made preliminary determinations that Colonial Pipeline Co. was in probable violation of several PSRs, including a probable failure to adequately plan and prepare for manual shutdown and restart of its pipeline system. PHMSA informed Colonial Pipeline of the alleged non-compliance items shortly after the 2020 inspections concluded. The NOPV alleges that failures to adequately plan and prepare for a manual restart and shutdown operation contributed to the national impacts when the pipeline remained out of service after the May 2021 cyberattack.”

KUMV: Bridger Pipeline discuss 145-mile pipeline proposal at Public Service Commission meeting
Michael Anthony, 5/5/22

“Bridger Pipeline met with the Public Service Commission Thursday to discuss their latest proposal to construct an oil pipeline in McKenzie and Golden Valley counties,” KUMV reports. “The operator is requesting a permit to build a 145-mile pipeline from a station near Baker, Montana, to Johnson’s Corner near Watford City. About 80 miles are in North Dakota. Officials with the company spoke on how they would handle any potential spills and how this could impact the local wildlife… “Landowners in the area and representatives for construction laborers expressed concern about Bridger’s construction process and how they hire contractors. They recommended that they make sure they choose a contractor capable of properly placing the pipeline underground in rough, uneven terrain. Karl Rockeman, the Director of Water Quality for the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality told the commission in a statement that they have no objection to the construction, but recommended a thorough evaluation of the leak detection system… “Officials are hoping to begin construction as soon as possible and hope to have it operational by the end of the year… “Bridger Pipeline and its sister company Belle Fourche Pipeline were sued this week for spills from pipeline leaks in Montana and North Dakota in 2015 and 2016.”

AgWeek: Fufeng project unhurt by natural gas pipeline setback, Grand Forks leaders say
Sam Easter, 5/5/22

“Grand Forks’ major corn-milling project is not threatened by a lack of interest in building a state-spanning natural gas pipeline, multiple city leaders told the Herald this week,” AgWeek reports. “Those reassurances come after no proposals were received by the state of North Dakota prior to a May 1 deadline to construct a major pipeline ferrying natural gas from western North Dakota to the eastern side of the state. Lawmakers last year made significant financing available for the project last year, part of a $150 million package for pipeline infrastructure. In an April 29 letter first reported by The Associated Press, WBI Energy Transmission told North Dakota leaders that the construction of a state-spanning pipeline is not “commercially viable at this time,” owing to “high project cost estimates, increased regulatory uncertainty and limited in-state customer demand potential.” The letter also mentioned the rising cost of construction materials. The setback appears to jeopardize flow of natural gas to the eastern side of the state, where significant projects like Grand Forks’ new corn-milling plant are expected to depend on the resource. But city leaders point out that a proposal for a smaller project linking Grand Forks to a nearby Minnesota natural gas pipeline has received interest and appears likely to go ahead as planned. Both City Administrator Todd Feland and local Economic Development Corporation CEO Keith Lund told AgWeek that means the corn-mill project, from China-based Fufeng Group, does not stand to lose momentum from a slowdown in the larger pipeline project.”

Facebook: Appalachians Against Pipelines: Today, a group of pipeline fighters gathered at the Wells Fargo in downtown Blacksburg to call on this evil bank to divest from all fossil fuels and the toxic Mountain Valley Pipeline. 
5/4/22

“This protest is part of a series of rallies organized by Third Act Virginia at evil banks across the state. Check out this press release from Third Act Virginia: “Old and Bold” Climate Activists Pressure Blacksburg Wells Fargo Branch. Third Act Virginia, a group of senior activists committed to ending climate desecration from fossil fuels, will stage a prayerful protest at the Wells Fargo Bank’s 200 N Main Street branch on Wednesday, May 4 beginning at noon. Wells Fargo is one of four major American banks targeted by Third Act which are the world’s leading bankers for oil and gas exploitation. JP Morgan Chase, Citi, and Bank of America are the others. Third Act members nationwide have pledged to close all their accounts with the banks if they have not ended all lending and underwriting of new fossil fuel development by the end of 2022. The tone of the elders’ protest, which will begin with a direct appeal to Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf, will be respectful but unwavering in petitioning Wells Fargo to immediately begin divestiture from oil and gas companies. Bloomberg reports that as of March 2022 Wells Fargo had loaned such companies $188 billion since the Paris Climate Agreement was signed in 2015… “The May 4 demonstration will include an invocation by a local lay minister who is a Third Act member, an “Earth Prayer” circle featuring readings by several participants, a call for global banks to sever connections with the Russian-owned Gazprom energy colossus, and distribution of Third Act literature.”

Pipeline Fighters Hub: Landowner Experiences with Eminent Domain & Pipelines (VIDEO)
5/5/22

“The Nebraska Easement Action Team (NEAT) hosted a brunch and panel discussion in Norfolk on May 1st: “Landowner Experiences with Eminent Domain & Pipelines.” The discussion focused on landowners sharing their experiences with bullying land agents, surveying, and eminent domain threats — on both Keystone XL and new proposed carbon pipelines (and for some unfortunate folks, both) — along with an overview from attorney Brian Jorde with Domina Law Group on the growing landowners’ legal co-ops that are forming under the Easement Action Teams in Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota. SPEAKERS: Jane Kleeb, Bold Nebraska / Bold Alliance; Brian Jorde, Attorney, Domina Law Group & Nebraska Easement Action Team; Ed Fischbach, South Dakota landowner (CO2); Eileen Kenyon, Iowa landowner (CO2); Randy Thompson, Nebraska landowner (KXL); Art Tanderup, Nebraska landowner (KXL); Bev and Bob Krutz, Nebraska landowners (KXL & CO2); Jeanne Crumly, Nebraska landowner (KXL & CO2).”

Pipestone Star: Pipeline running through Pipestone County to be decommissioned
Sirrina Martinez, 5/5/22

“A pipeline owned and operated by Oklahoma-based Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P that runs through part of Pipestone County is scheduled to be decommissioned sometime before the end of 2022,” the Pipestone Star reports. “Following years of conversation with Magellan, the National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have made a joint announcement that they are working with the company to develop a plan to decommission and abandon a pipeline that includes a half-mile section that runs underneath federal property, including the northwest section of Pipestone National Monument and the center of the Pipestone Creek Unit of the Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge… “The eight-inch in diameter line, which transports refined petroleum products from Sioux Falls to Marshall, passes through about a quarter-mile of both the National Park Service land and the USFWS refuge. Pipestone National Monument consults with 23 tribal nations on a range of management topics, Blacik said. Throughout the discussions with Magellan, the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife have been welcoming feedback from the affiliated tribes regarding the process of planning for abandonment… “One of many concerns of both the NPS and members of the affiliated tribes who quarry catlinite (the stone used in making the sacred pipe) is the potential impact a spill could have on the quarries sitting near the pipeline. Bud Johnston, a tribal Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and former quarrier from 1984-1998 at Pipestone National Monument, told the Star that the nature of the stone is what could make it susceptible to contamination. “Pipestone is a clay that was under pressure for a couple of million years,” Johnston told the Star. “So it’s basically a porous material that absorbs. People say that stone gets harder when it dries and it does a little bit, but it is basically mud. If anything else gets poured into it,it’s going to be absorbed by the clay.” Johnston, who still carves pipes from stone quarried by others at the monument, told the Star that the stone is culturally significant to many tribes, and that it is also a major reason for the city of Pipestone being on the map.”

WASHINGTON UPDATES

E&E News: Manchin open to methane fee in climate, energy talks
Nico Portuondo, 5/6/22

“Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Joe Manchin expressed optimism yesterday that a fee on methane emissions could be part of a bipartisan climate and energy package currently being negotiated behind closed doors,” E&E News reports. “But the West Virginia Democrat said certain conditions would need to be met — namely, that pipelines would not be penalized if they are not able to build infrastructure to trap the potent greenhouse gas. “We are working on negotiations that they will not be able to [apply] a methane fee if a pipeline is prohibited from being able to take the methane off,” he told E&E… “Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) detailed the perceived need for the new exemption, arguing that proposed methane fees don’t make any sense when producers are struggling to get permits from the Biden administration for the gathering pipeline infrastructure needed to deal with methane flaring… “Right now, putting a fee on methane when it’s not even feasible to be able to take the methane off … it’s just basically designed to take someone out of business,” Manchin told E&E. The proposal may be tough to swallow for progressives, who already had expressed frustration at the previous methane fee deal for being too friendly to fossil fuel companies with its millions in additional subsidies.”

E&E News: Biden admin unveils long-awaited EJ strategy
Pamela King, Kelsey Brugger, 5/5/22

“The Justice Department and EPA today rolled out a multipronged plan for addressing pollution and climate impacts in vulnerable communities,” E&E News reports. “During an event at DOJ headquarters this afternoon, Attorney General Merrick Garland and EPA Administrator Michael Regan revealed plans to set up a new Office of Environmental Justice, establish a comprehensive environmental justice strategy and reinstate a popular enforcement tool… “Longtime DOJ lawyer Cynthia Ferguson has been tapped to serve as acting director of the new environmental justice office, which will be housed in DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD). The new office — which fulfills a goal laid out by President Joe Biden in his January 2021 Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad — will coordinate with DOJ’s existing divisions “in the collective pursuit of environmental justice,” the department said in a press release… “Under the strategy, DOJ will prioritize enforcement in overburdened and underserved communities. Asked how he would prioritize which communities are targeted, Garland did not offer specifics and said merely that the office would select communities “most impacted.” The new office will be tasked with examining environmental justice impacts of investigations, and U.S. attorneys will be called on to designate environmental justice coordinators. It will involve education and training for staff… “DOJ also announced that it plans to publish an interim final rule restoring its ability to use supplemental environmental projects, or SEPS, which allow violators to carry out EPA-approved projects in exchange for lower fines.”

STATE UPDATES

The Lens: Louisiana legislator pushes bills benefiting the oil and gas industry — and her husband
SARA SNEATH FOR FLOODLIGHT, 5/6/22

“Less than a week after a carbon dioxide pipeline operated by Denbury Resources burst in a rural Mississippi community — sending nearly 50 people to the hospital — Louisiana Republican Sen. Sharon Hewitt filed a bill drafted by Denbury into her own state’s legislature,” Sara Sneath writes for The Lens. “The law, passed in 2020, could make it more difficult for Louisiana landowners to push back against CO2 pipelines, which are used to transport carbon pollution captured from fossil fuel projects. The bill was introduced and signed into law the same year that Hewitt’s husband earned up to $4,999 in royalties from Denbury, according to Hewitt’s 2020 financial disclosure statement. That wasn’t the first time Hewitt, who is considering running for governor, has used her political influence to help her family’s finances, according to public records shared with Floodlight in partnership with The Lens, The Illuminator and The Guardian, that show she also pushed for laws that would benefit her husband’s company… “In the past three years, she has introduced, co-sponsored and voted on at least seven pieces of legislation that would benefit the oil company her husband works for or his fossil fuel investments. “It’s so brazenly personal. It boils down to the level of the individual and their bank account,” Itai Vardi, a researcher at the Energy and Policy Institute (EPI), a watchdog group focused on revealing the influence of fossil fuel companies, told the Lens. “It seems like she’s just trying to fend off these lawsuits that are aimed at her husband’s and other companies’ bottom lines. It’s one level above your standard Louisiana legislator who might own stocks in Exxon.” “…Critics say her financial ties and legislative actions are an example of how Louisiana lawmakers are deeply intertwined with the oil and gas industry and avoid corporate accountability which, in turn, makes the state more vulnerable to climate change-driven storms and flooding. “There is a point at which it goes beyond conflict of interest to the abdication of duty,” Carroll Muffett, the president and CEO of the Center for International Environmental Law, a non-profit focused on strengthening laws to protect the environment and human health, told the Lens.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pa. DEP ‘re-evaluating’ oil and gas air pollution rule as deadline looms
LAURA LEGERE, 5/6/22

“Pennsylvania environmental regulators are “re-evaluating” their overdue rule for cutting air pollution from oil and gas well sites even as they face a deadline to finalize the new standards or risk the loss of federal highway funds,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. “On Wednesday, the state Department of Environmental Protection withdrew the rule from consideration by the state’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission, which was scheduled to vote on it at an upcoming meeting on May 19. DEP spokesman Neil Shader said the department pulled the rule after the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee sent a disapproval letter that triggers a legislative review process that could stretch through the end of the year… “In its letter, the Republican-led House committee wrote that the rule has “a fatal flaw” because it did not follow a 2016 state law that requires conventional oil and gas wells to be regulated independently from those tapping the Marcellus and Utica shales… “The disapproval letter echoes a complaint made in a lawsuit by the state’s conventional oil and gas producers, who are seeking court action to block the rule from applying to their well sites… “Environmental advocates said there was no time to waste. “Methane is a growing climate threat and Pennsylvania urgently needs to adopt these regulations,” Joseph Otis Minott, executive director of the Philadelphia-based Clean Air Counci, told the Gazettel. “At this point, it is likely that EPA will sanction Pennsylvania shortly for not adopting the rule. Unless DEP can figure out how to quickly adopt the rule, the EPA sanctions will be quite draconian.”

EXTRACTION

Canadian Press: Record profits for oil companies should be invested in climate action, says Guilbeault
DARRYL DYCK, 5/5/22

“Canada’s big oil companies are making record profits this year and should be using some of that extra cash to invest in things that curb their greenhouse gas emissions, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault said Thursday,” the Canadian Press reports. “His remarks come a week after Cenovus CEO Alex Pourbaix told analysts during a company conference call that a new federal tax credit isn’t good enough to convince the major oilsands producers to start building a proposed carbon capture and storage project… “The new refundable investment tax credit introduced in the recent federal budget is worth 50 to 60 per cent of the investment for carbon capture, and 37.5 per cent for transportation, storage or use of the emissions. Projects that go to enhanced oil recovery — where the captured emissions are used to squeeze more oil out of the ground — won’t qualify… “Last year the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers asked Ottawa to design the tax credit so it pays for 75 per cent of the cost of carbon capture projects. Pourbaix said the industry will need more than what was offered to move on the investments. But Guilbeault said in an interview Thursday that isn’t going to happen. “We won’t be putting even more and more money on the table,” he said. “They have to invest as well.” “…And he said they have the money to do it. The same day Pourbaix talked about the tax credit, Cenovus reported its best first-quarter profit ever, of $1.6 billion. A year ago, profits were $220 million… “These companies are making record profits, they should be investing some of them into ensuring that they have a future,” Guilbeault said.

Climate Change News: Amid record profits, tar sands companies want more subsidies for carbon capture
Chloé Farand, 5/5/22

“Canadian tar sands producers are calling for larger subsidies to help them decarbonise their operations while reporting record profits following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” Climate Change News reports. “…Under the plan, oil and gas companies would be eligible for a 50% tax credit until 2030 for investing in carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) projects… “But companies producing some of the world’s dirtiest oil say it is not enough to convince producers to develop large-scale CCUS… “On Monday, Canadian tar sands producer MEG Energy Corporation posted record results in the first quarter of the year, with net earnings more than double that of the same period in 2021. The next day, CEO Derek Evans told analysts that the Alberta government should top up the CCUS tax credit to cover 75% of the costs, leaving oil firms responsible for just 25% of the investments, the Financial Post reports… “The industry’s stance has prompted outrage from Canadian environmentalists. “Carbon capture is not a climate solution – it’s a greenwashing strategy used to justify more fossil fuel production,” Julia Levin, from the Environmental Defence Canada, told Climate Home. “Oil and gas companies know these are dead-end technologies which won’t make a dent in emissions, but are using them anyway to delay the clean energy transition and get more taxpayer money into the pockets of executives and shareholders.” “Tar sands companies are swimming in cash, yet are only willing to reduce pollution if the taxpayer foots the bill,” Keith Stewart, senior energy strategist with Greenpeace Canada, told Climate Home. “Rather than wasting public money on carbon capture subsidies for fossil fuels, Canadian governments should be going all in on renewable energy and the electrification of transport, heating and cooling…There may be a role for carbon capture from hard-to-abate industrial applications, but not for traditional fossil fuels like the tar sands where it can at best address only a tiny portion of the pollution.”

Financial Post: Canadian Natural Resources profit more than doubles on surging oil prices
Meghan Potkins, 5/5/22

“Canada’s largest oil and gas producer, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., reported net profit Thursday of $3.1 billion in the first quarter of the year — more than doubling its net earnings compared to the same period last year,” the Financial Post reports. “Soaring energy prices helped the Calgary-based company post net earnings of $3.1 billion, or $2.63 per share, for the first three months of the year, compared to $1.38 billion, or $1.16 per share, in the previous year… “Some analysts had thought the company might hike its dividend for a third quarter in a row and were disappointed Thursday. Though CNRL did indicate that once the company’s net debt reaches $8 billion, it will deploy more free cash flow to shareholders beyond the 50 per cent it had previously committed… ”During a conference call with investors Thursday, CNRL CEO Tim McKay was also asked about the company’s capital spending plans for decarbonization — a common theme in the earnings calls for Canadian energy firms this quarter. McKay said the group of six companies, including CNRL, that make up the Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero alliance, submitted an application to the province of Alberta for pore space at the end of April for the group’s proposed carbon sequestration project… “The company founded by billionaire oilman N. Murray Edwards is now the fourth most valuable publicly traded oil and gas producer on the continent behind only Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips.”

Axios: April sets record for highest CO2 levels in human history
Andrew Freedman, 5/5/22

“Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached the highest levels on record for any calendar month during April, averaging 420 parts per million (ppm) for the first time since observations began in 1958, according to new data,” Axios reports. “…The new data, which comes from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, shows that April had a monthly average CO2 concentration of 420.02 ppm. This is up from 316 ppm at the start of the Mauna Loa record… “It is likely May will be higher still,” Pieter Tans, who tracks greenhouse gases for NOAA, told Axios. Looking at his agency’s data and the trends from year-to-year and decade-to-decade, Tans said it’s difficult to see any progress being made in bringing levels of global warming pollutants down. “The world effectively has made no serious progress compared to what is required,” Tans told Axios. “We really need to focus on decreasing emissions and we haven’t had much success globally because the rate of increase of CO2 remains as high as it has been in the last decade…Especially CO2 has a longevity of hundreds to thousands of years, so we are really making a very long-term climate commitment,” Tans told Axios.

Press release: Enbridge and Humble Midstream to Develop Low-carbon Hydrogen and Ammonia Production and Export Facilities at Enbridge Ingleside Energy Center
5/6/22

“Enbridge Inc. and Humble Midstream, LLC (Humble), an EnCap Flatrock Midstream portfolio company, are pleased to announce the joint development and marketing of a low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia production and export facility which will be located at the Enbridge Ingleside Energy Center (EIEC), near Corpus Christi, Texas. Enbridge and Humble plan to develop a utility scale ultra-low carbon production facility, capable of supplying both low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia to meet the growing global and domestic demand. Up to 95 percent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) generated in the production process will be sequestered in newly developed carbon capture infrastructure, including facilities to be owned and operated by Enbridge, making this a fully integrated low-carbon solution. Enbridge’s affiliate, Texas Eastern Transmission Pipeline, is expected to provide the transportation service for feed gas that will be used for the production process. Both hydrogen and ammonia have zero CO2 emissions at the point of use.”

CLIMATE FINANCE

The Conversation: How treaties protecting fossil fuel investors could jeopardize global efforts to save the climate – and cost countries billions
Rachel Thrasher, 5/5/22

“Fossil fuel companies have access to an obscure legal tool that could jeopardize worldwide efforts to protect the climate, and they’re starting to use it. The result could cost countries that press ahead with those efforts billions of dollars,” The Conversation reports. “Over the past 50 years, countries have signed thousands of treaties that protect foreign investors from government actions. These treaties are like contracts between national governments, meant to entice investors to bring in projects with the promise of local jobs and access to new technologies. But now, as countries try to phase out fossil fuels to slow climate change, these agreements could leave the public facing overwhelming legal and financial risks. The treaties allow investors to sue governments for compensation in a process called investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS. In short, investors could use ISDS clauses to demand compensation in response to government actions to limit fossil fuels, such as canceling pipelines and denying drilling permits. For example, TC Energy, a Canadian company, is currently seeking more than US$15 billion over U.S. President Joe Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL Pipeline. In a study published May 5, 2022, in the journal Science, we estimate that countries would face up to $340 billion in legal and financial risks for canceling fossil fuel projects that are subject to treaties with ISDS clauses. That’s more than countries worldwide put into climate adaptation and mitigation measures combined in fiscal year 2019, and it doesn’t include the risks of phasing out coal investments or canceling fossil fuel infrastructure projects, like pipelines and liquefied natural gas terminals. It means that money countries might otherwise spend to build a low-carbon future could instead go to the very industries that have knowingly been fueling climate change, severely jeopardizing countries’ capacity to propel the green energy transition forward.”

OPINION

PennLive.com: A ‘Marshall Climate Plan’ would aid U.S., Europe while averting climate catastrophe 
Larry Shapiro is associate director for program development for the Rockefeller Family Fund, 5/4/22

“The Biden administration’s short-term response to the war in Europe, which consists in part of shifting a portion of exported U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Asia to Europe, has merit. But a long-term strategy of shifting Europe from an addiction to Russian gas to an addiction to U.S. gas would be folly,” Larry Shapiro writes for PennLive.com. “Even though natural gas consists largely of methane, a greenhouse gas far more potent than carbon dioxide, several Pennsylvania candidates for governor are now floating their own misguided ideas about ramping up gas production in the Commonwealth. This isn’t just bad for the planet, it’s also nonsensical. No Pennsylvania governor has the authority to lift restrictions on interstate gas pipelines, and the governors of New York and New Jersey have already thwarted the construction of proposed pipelines. As evidenced by a recent United Nations report on climate change, long-term reliance on gas spells climate catastrophe. Any significant and sustained increase in LNG exports from the United States to Europe would take years and could only take place if billions of dollars are invested in gas infrastructure in both the United States and Europe… “Our government must figure out a way to gain and use extraordinary powers to deal with the climate emergency and Europe’s energy problem in tandem through a new “Marshall Climate Plan” — an emergency plan to shift away from fossil fuels toward energy efficiency and renewables on a scale that can address the climate crisis… “President Harry Truman and Secretary of State George Marshall exercised critically important leadership to alleviate European suffering right after World War II. President Joseph Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken need to exercise similarly visionary leadership right now. Our country needs a “Marshall Climate Plan” to assist Europeans, Americans, and residents of the rest of the world — many of whom face catastrophic threats from climate change — to support massive efforts to reduce reliance on fossil fuel as quickly as possible.”

Albuquerque Journal: NM faith leaders join call to protect Chaco Canyon
BY REV. ANDREW BLACK / PUBLIC LANDS FIELD DIRECTOR AT NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF EARTHKEEPERS 360; JOSEPH BROPHY TOLEDO / CULTURAL ADVISOR AND SPIRITUAL LEADER FROM THE JEMEZ PUEBLO; AND SISTER JOAN BROWN / EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF NEW MEXICO INTERFAITH POWER AND LIGHT, 5/5/22

“More than a thousand years ago, Indigenous people created a vibrant community at Chaco Canyon, in what is modern-day New Mexico, where they celebrated spiritual traditions, observed the heavens using ancient observatories, and developed an urban center unlike any other. For more than 300 years, the people of Chaco worked extensive agricultural lands, built massive stone buildings containing hundreds of rooms, worshiped in ceremonial kivas and created a powerful economic center for the region,” Rev. Andrew Black, Joseph Brody Toledo, and Sister Joan Brown write for the Albuquerque Journa. “Today, Chaco Canyon continues to be a place of prayer, healing and pilgrimage for many pueblo and tribal communities throughout the nation… “Unfortunately, in recent years, excessive oil and gas development near Chaco has put all of this in jeopardy. The roads, pipelines and other infrastructure fragment critical wildlife habitat and threaten water supplies, while continuous development and the use of fracking threaten some of the most important pre-Columbian artifacts in the nation… “As faith leaders from New Mexico, we must speak up to ensure this spectacular sacred region is cared for into the generations. It is our moral responsibility as a nation, and our sacred task as spiritual leaders, to speak out and work to protect places of such remarkable cultural, spiritual, historical and ecological significance. Thus, we are writing in strong support of increased protections for the cultural treasures, wildlife and local communities of the Chaco Canyon from the serious harms that are posed by runaway oil and gas development… “We have joined over 250 other faith leaders from around the country in supporting the administration’s common-sense plan to protect one of the most magnificent sacred landscapes in the American Southwest. We hope all people of faith will join us in this support.”

The Hill: To transition to clean energy, we must update mining practices
John W.S. Dunmore is a federal lobbyist and federal policy associate with Sierra Club’s Federal Lands Protection Program, working on public land issues to ensure a decent quality of life for all, 5/5/22

“Transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy is not just an option — it’s the path forward if we want a livable planet for all. But as critical mineral demand rises to power technologies like electric cars, trucks and buses that help us move toward a 100 percent clean grid, we must also make sure that the way we extract these resources is sustainable, ethical and pro-worker, as well as abides by environmental and human rights laws,” John W.S. Dunmore writes for The Hill. “Right now, this bold vision forward is being dragged backward by the antiquated 1872 mining law, which, since its inception, was designed to prioritize the interests of mining companies over Indigenous rights, conservation, recreation, renewable energy development and other land uses. America has undergone tremendous change in the past 150 years, and yet this archaic law still governs 350 million acres of our public lands — nearly 15 percent of our country — threatening some of our most treasured spaces and putting communities at risk… “Beyond this, mining companies are not held responsible for cleaning up their messes, and also haven’t paid royalties on minerals extracted from public lands for one and a half centuries… “We cannot repeat the mistakes of the fossil fuel industry and create the very same “sacrifice zones” in the process to extract critical minerals needed for the clean energy transition… “If we want to make the transition toward a clean energy economy, there is a clear way forward: Congress must pass House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rep. Raul Grijalva’s (D-Ariz.) Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act of 2022, H.R. 7580 to bring our mining laws into the 21st century, ensure our communities and treasured places are protected, put an end to subsidizing mining projects that poison our land, along with finally compensating taxpayers for the use of our public land.”

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