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EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 6/15/22

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

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips June 15, 2022

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PIPELINE NEWS

  • WIBW: AG urges Corps of Engineers to not redundantly review pipeline projects

  • Journal Courier: Illinois activists protest multi-state carbon dioxide sequestration pipeline

  • South Dakota Public Broadcasting: Explained: Two new carbon capture pipelines planned for S.D.

  • Vicksburg Post: Carbon leak in Satartia prompts federal focus on pipeline safety

  • Pen City Current: West Point concerned with pipeline location

  • Press release: TC Energy showcases ESG initiatives at inaugural forum

  • Prairie Mountain Media: Spill from buried pipeline near Erie reported

  • Press release: Gevo’s Northwest Iowa RNG Project Hits Major Milestone; Begins Injecting Dairy RNG into Natural Gas Pipeline

WASHINGTON UPDATES

  • Press release: Lawmakers, Organizations Warn Biden Against Rushed Pipeline Restart Off California Coast

  • Reuters: Biden demands oil companies explain lack of gasoline as prices rise

  • E&E News: Whitehouse predicts fossil fuel ‘payday’ in West Virginia case

  • Politico: PROBING OIL MARKETING

STATE UPDATES

  • Capital and Main: Advocates Fear Top Democratic Lawmaker Will Kill California Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill

EXTRACTION

  • BBC: Yemen tanker: UN crowdfunding to prevent catastrophic oil spill

  • Globe and Mail: Alberta, energy sector press Ottawa to clarify how climate targets will be reached

CLIMATE FINANCE

OPINION

  • Washington Post: We already achieved ‘energy independence.’ What good did it do us?

PIPELINE NEWS

WIBW: AG urges Corps of Engineers to not redundantly review pipeline projects
Sarah Motter, 6/14/22

“Attorney General Derek Schmidt has urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to not redundantly review pipeline projects and hamper efforts to fight record-setting gas prices,” WIBW reports. “Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says on Tuesday, June 14, that he opposed the latest effort by President Joe Biden’s Administration to add requirements for the nation’s energy producers. He said the regulatory action would further hamper efforts to maintain reliable sources of energy and fight record-setting fuel prices. AG Schmidt said he joined 20 other state attorneys general to send a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to object to its proposed review of Nationwide Permit 12… “However, he said the current review is the second in two years and he argues that the review is redundant and would harm the domestic energy industry. “This so-called review won’t address the real concerns facing our citizens – prominently, historically high energy prices. It will instead inject unnecessary, duplicative, and inequitable red tape into an already bureaucratically laden process,” the attorneys general wrote. “Far from alleviating our current crisis, the Corps appears to be poised to take measures that will undermine NWP 12′s purpose and further jeopardize the Nation’s energy security and prosperity.” The AG argued that changing the rules would undermine projects already underway across the nation… “Schmidt indicated that the comments are his latest effort to push back against unnecessary policy changes by the Biden Administration which he said have repeatedly undermined the nation’s energy security. He said this has resulted in higher fuel prices for every American.”

Journal Courier: Illinois activists protest multi-state carbon dioxide sequestration pipeline
Ben Singson, 6/15/22

“Some Illinois residents are pushing back on a yet-to-be-built carbon dioxide pipeline that would run through the state,” the Journal Courier reports. “The pipeline, dubbed the “Heartland Greenway” by Texas-based infrastructure company Navigator CO2 Ventures, would begin in Iowa and run 5-feet deep underneath 13 Illinois counties, including Morgan, Scott, Brown, Schuyler and Pike… “Illinois activists are opposing the pipeline on the grounds of safety, environmental effects and land usage. Several residents cited the February 2020 rupture of a carbon dioxide pipeline in Satartia, Mississippi, as an example of what they are worried about happening if the Heartland Greenway ever failed. A pipeline operated by Denbury Resources began leaking carbon dioxide into the small town of Satartia, hospitalizing dozens and forcing hundreds to evacuate.  “People were walking around like zombies,” Central Illinois Healthy Community Alliance board member Joyce Blumenshine said… “Morgan County organic farmer Mary Agnes cited groups including the Coalition to Stop CO2 Pipelines in saying the spots in Christian County where Navigator plans to drill are on top of aquifers — rocks and sediment that hold groundwater. “… Me, as a farmer, I don’t want that toxic stuff anywhere close to my organic farm,” she said. “I’ve worked too hard and put too (many) dollars in.” “…Blumenshine believes carbon sequestration is the wrong way to fight climate change, saying “it will just enable industries that rely on natural gas or coal fire power to continue with the excuse or Band-Aid approach that they’re going to capture carbon and sequester it.”  “…Pamela Richart, secretary for the Eco-Justice Collaborative, said the Heartland Greenway would be disruptive to farming land in the state. She said construction of the pipeline would alter the makeup of Illinois’ topsoil, compact it and cut off drainage tiling that runs underneath it… “As for land usage, Richart said local landowners are uninterested in having their land used for the pipeline. She said many farmers and rural residents “have already been forced by eminent domain to allow oil and gas on their properties in the past.”

South Dakota Public Broadcasting: Explained: Two new carbon capture pipelines planned for S.D.
Joshua Haiar, Slater Dixon, 6/14/22

“There are two carbon-capture pipelines planned for South Dakota. Corn growers and ethanol companies say the projects are good for the economic future of farmers, and good for the environment. But opponents doubt those environmental claims,” South Dakota Public Broadcasting reports. “Ethanol producers can get more money for their product in states with stricter emission standards by shrinking their carbon footprint… “Ultimately, you’re just delaying the release of that CO2 into the atmosphere from dry ice, or a soda, or in another food or beverage. When you inject it into a geological formation for permanent sequestration, it’s not going to get released back into the atmosphere,” Chris Hill with Summit Carbon Solutions told SDPB… “However, some environmental groups are skeptical of carbon capture, arguing it does nothing to address the root causes of pollution. Some landowners worry that spills from the pipeline could damage soil and water sources, a worry Navigator says it’s addressed.”

Vicksburg Post: Carbon leak in Satartia prompts federal focus on pipeline safety
Alex Rozier, 6/14/22

“On Feb. 22, 2020, a breach in a carbon pipeline owned by Denbury Inc. left 49 people near Satartia, Miss. hospitalized, and about 300 residents were forced to evacuate,” the Vicksburg Post reports. “A Huffington Post story last year shed light on the chaos and its aftermath. The pipeline burst unleashed a cloud of green fog, along with an odor like “rotten eggs.” People nearby struggled to breathe, with some collapsing in their homes, the article reported. In May, over two years since the incident, the federal agency in charge of pipeline safety — the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, or PHMSA — released its findings from an investigation… “But PHMSA also found that Denbury had, among other errors, failed to prepare for such natural hazards, failed to alert local emergency officials about the incident, and failed to educate nearby residents about the pipeline before the breach. In its report, the agency proposed a civil penalty of $3.9 million against Denbury, which the company can either accept or contest. As a result of the pipeline failure, PHMSA also announced it would begin a new rulemaking to update safety standards… “Specifically, PHMSA said it will update standards for emergency preparedness and response, as well as alert pipeline operators to better anticipate hazards from natural causes like what happened in Satartia.”

Pen City Current: West Point concerned with pipeline location
Chuck Vandenberg, 6/14/22

“The location of the proposed Heartland Greenway CO2 pipeline has created some concern for the West Point City Council,” the Pen City Current reports. “…Ryan Keller, a representative with CR3 Connect, a lobbying group for the pipeline, was present at the meeting but didn’t offer any comments in the public portion of the meeting, when asked by Mayor Paul Walker… “Lee County Supervisor Ron Fedler said at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting that the city had concerns with the proximity to the pipeline. Fedler is a West Point resident and former mayor. “Their big concern is that pipeline and how close it’s coming to the west and north side of the city,” Fedler told the board. “They want that changed. They don’t want it that close to the city because it would really hinder further development that way. Nobody’s going to build that close to or over the top of a pipeline.” “…A meeting is set for June 30th at 11 a.m. in Donnellson at the Pilot Grove Savings Bank to update county officials. The meeting isn’t to take public comment, but to discuss operational safeguards with county officials.”

Press release: TC Energy showcases ESG initiatives at inaugural forum
6/14/22

“TC Energy Corporation today will showcase the Company’s progress on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) matters at its inaugural ESG Forum. The Company continues to take deliberate and defined action to achieve its sustainability goals, including its climate-related goals to reduce emissions intensity from operations 30 per cent by 2030 and to position to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Some of the Company’s latest ESG highlights include: Joined the UN Global Compact – the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative that is aligning companies’ actions with universal principles on human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption… “In the first half of 2022, TC Energy has made additional advancements towards ESG and energy transition goals including: Began evaluating a plan for a hydrogen production hub in Crossfield, Alberta, together with partner Nikola Corporation (Nasdaq: NKLA)… “Initiated a collaboration with GreenGasUSA to explore development of transportation hubs for renewable natural gas (RNG) from sources including farms, wastewater treatment facilities and landfills. Advanced the proposed Alberta Carbon Grid (ACG) project, a collaboration with Pembina Pipeline Corporation (TSX: PPL). In March, the Government of Alberta confirmed that the ACG project will move forward into the next stages of the province’s CCUS process. Continued investing in emerging technologies such as Carbon Clean’s innovative carbon capture technology for heavy industry. The Company views the Carbon Clean technology as highly promising to reduce GHG emissions on many of its current assets. Continued to progress a $25 billion secured capital program, which includes projects to modernize and electrify current systems, displace higher emissions fuel sources with cleaner-burning natural gas, and provide enhanced access to overseas LNG markets. Announced signing of option agreements to sell a 10 per cent equity interest in the Coastal GasLink Pipeline Limited Partnership to Indigenous communities across the project corridor. The equity option recognizes the important relationship that TC Energy and Coastal GasLink have with the Indigenous groups along the approved pipeline route and the desire to be true partners.”

Prairie Mountain Media: Spill from buried pipeline near Erie reported
ELLA COBB, 6/13/22

“The Town of Erie has been notified of a spill from a buried pipeline outside of Erie limits last month,” Prairie Mountain Media reports. “According to a press release from the town, Western Midstream reported a release of exploration and production exempt liquid from a buried line east of 119th Street and north of Jasper Road. Exploration and production exempt liquids may consist of drilling wastes, saltwater and other wastes associated with the exploration, development or production of crude oil or natural gas wells, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The leak was discovered due to a vegetation change on May 19 during an aerial survey. The volume of the release is currently unknown. According to the town, assessment activities of the release are underway and further information will be provided as it becomes available.”

Press release: Gevo’s Northwest Iowa RNG Project Hits Major Milestone; Begins Injecting Dairy RNG into Natural Gas Pipeline
6/14/22

“Gevo, Inc.  announced that its renewable natural gas (“RNG”) project in Northwest Iowa (the “RNG Project”) has been producing biogas and is now upgrading and injecting RNG into the natural gas pipeline. The RNG Project generates renewable natural gas captured from dairy cow manure. The manure for the RNG Project is supplied by three dairy farms located in Northwest Iowa totaling over 20,000 milking cows. When at full operational capacity, the RNG Project is expected to generate approximately 355,000 MMBtu of RNG per year, which will be transported and sold in California. BP Canada Energy Marketing Corp. and BP Products North America Inc. (collectively, “bp”) will market the RNG in California on behalf of Gevo, and Gevo expects that the RNG Project will generate between $16 and $22 million of Project EBITDA1 per year beginning by 2023 depending on a variety of assumptions, including the value of credits under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard Program (“RFS”) and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (“LCFS”) in California. Gevo expects to be able to get approval for Renewable Identification Numbers (“RINs”) through RFS and carbon credits from LCFS later this year or next year.”

WASHINGTON UPDATES

Press release: Lawmakers, Organizations Warn Biden Against Rushed Pipeline Restart Off California Coast
6/14/22

“A coalition of groups today joined eight Southern California members of Congress in urging the Biden administration not to issue fast-track authorization for the repair and restart of Amplify Energy’s offshore oil pipeline, which ruptured off the California coast in October. Today’s coalition letter asks the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and other federal agencies to conduct a full review of the San Pedro Bay Pipeline repair project. That would reverse an Army Corps of Engineers plan for fast-track authorization under Nationwide Permit 12… “Its October rupture spilled tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean, closing miles of beaches and fisheries, and killing and injuring birds and marine mammals. The letter expresses the expectation that robust environmental analyses will result in denial of a permit allowing Amplify to repair and restart this pipeline. The letter also asks the Biden administration to protect California’s coastal resources and communities from future spills from aging infrastructure like this by delivering on the campaign promise of ending federal fossil fuel leasing. In January the Center for Biological Diversity urged Amplify Energy to decommission the pipeline and the associated offshore rigs or seek authorization under the Marine Mammal Protection Act for the impacts to marine mammals from the industrial repair process. The company has not done so, nor has the Fisheries Service required the company to seek authorization. The Center also submitted a request in January to the Army Corps of Engineers urging the agency to ensure full compliance with the Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and Endangered Species Act before issuing any permit to Amplify Energy.”

Reuters: Biden demands oil companies explain lack of gasoline as prices rise
Trevor Hunnicutt, 6/15/22

“U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday demanded oil companies explain why they aren’t putting more gasoline on the market, sharply escalating his rhetoric against industry as he faces pressure over rising prices,” Reuters reports. “Biden wrote to executives from Marathon Petroleum Corp, (MPC.N) Valero Energy Corp, (VLO.N) and Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) and complained they had cut back on oil refining to pad their profits, according to a copy of the letter seen by Reuters. “At a time of war, refinery profit margins well above normal being passed directly onto American families are not acceptable,” Biden wrote, adding the lack of refining was driving gas prices up faster than oil prices. “The lack of refining capacity – and resulting unprecedented refinery profit margins – are blunting the impact of the historic actions my Administration has taken to address Vladimir Putin’s Price Hike and are driving up costs for consumers.” The letter is also being sent to Phillips 66, (PSX.N) Chevron Corp, (CVX.N) BP (BP.L) and Shell (SHEL.L), a White House official, who declined to be identified, told Reuters… “But in recent days, Biden has taken the fight to major oil companies, which are riding rising energy prices to record earnings… “He said they should provide “concrete ideas” to increase oil refining along with an explanation for why they may have cut such capacity in the last two years.”

E&E News: Whitehouse predicts fossil fuel ‘payday’ in West Virginia case
Jean Chemnick, 6/15/22

“One of the Senate’s most outspoken critics of fossil fuels accused the industry of bankrolling a decadeslong effort to reshape the Supreme Court so it could demolish regulations. All of them,” E&E News reports. “It took patience and planning, but what a payoff when you succeed!” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said on the Senate floor yesterday. “And now it’s payday.” Whitehouse timed his remarks for a Supreme Court ruling, expected as soon as today, in a case that could curtail EPA’s power to curb carbon emissions at power plants. He accused fossil fuel donors of sinking hundreds of millions of dollars into nurturing legal theories, scholars and judges that could get rid of regulation. The case in question, West Virginia vs. EPA, was launched by Republican state attorneys general and the coal industry to challenge a regulatory model for reducing emissions at fossil fuel power plants. At issue is the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which never took effect. Environmental lawyers expressed surprise last year when the high court agreed to review a lower court’s decision to strike down a Trump-era replacement rule that sought to establish a narrow reading of EPA’s regulatory authorities under the Clean Air Act. The petitioners, led by West Virginia, have urged the court to consider legal doctrines that could have ramifications not only for EPA’s Clean Air Act authorities but for a host of regulatory functions performed by agencies across the federal government. These include the nondelegation doctrine, which holds that Congress cannot task agencies with shaping regulations, and the major questions doctrine, which demands that Congress settle all politically or economically important questions with prescriptive statutory language. Whitehouse said those theories had no constitutional basis and were invented by fossil fuels-based think tanks and legal foundations that function as “factories where doctrines are crafted, reverse-engineered from the results the big donors want.” The goal, he said, is to disable agencies’ regulatory function — not only for climate change, but for other environmental concerns, public health, and other issues in the public interest.”

Politico: PROBING OIL MARKETING
Matthew Choi, 6/14/22

“Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee are asking five public relations firms and the American Petroleum Institute to cough up internal documents detailing the work they did for fossil fuel companies,” Politico reports. “The committee asked API, FTI Consulting, Story Partners, DDC Advocacy, Blue Advertising and Singer Associates to submit documents and information related to the firms’ work on marketing or influence campaigns by June 27. The request stems from the episode last year when former Exxon Mobil lobbyist Keith McCoy was caught on video saying the company only backed a carbon tax for publicity and never pushed for one in discussions with lawmakers. “The Committee seeks greater understanding of this cooperation among industry, trade associations and PR firms to influence public opinion and policymaking in ways that prevent the United States from addressing the climate crisis,” Chair Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif,), chair of its oversight panel, wrote. Read the letters here. In a statement, API spokesperson Megan Bloomgren said with record inflation and rising energy costs, “we need solutions to unlock more American energy to keep the lights on and meet demand while reducing U.S. emissions. And that’s exactly what our industry has been focused on. Any suggestion to the contrary is false.”

STATE UPDATES

Capital and Main: Advocates Fear Top Democratic Lawmaker Will Kill California Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill
Aaron Cantu, 6/13/22

“One of California’s biggest environmental bills with a chance of passing into law this session would divest billions of dollars from fossil fuel companies by directing managers of California’s public pension and teachers’ retirement funds to stop investing in the 200 largest oil, gas and coal companies,” Capital and Main reports. “If it becomes law, California would join New York and Maine in dropping planet-warming assets. Some have called the bill merely a symbolic gesture, but as the legislation would apply to the two largest pension funds in the country, its passage would be a significant development for the broader fossil fuel divestment movement. Supporters of the bill, including the California Faculty Association and 150 climate-focused organizations, say every dollar divested from the industry means less emission of greenhouse gasses, helping to stave off the worst of the climate crisis. But SB 1173 has met with steep resistance. It barely passed in the Senate last month, where it received 10 no votes, including from vocal champions of the oil and gas industry. Another nine legislators, including several Democrats, did not vote, which is functionally the same as voting no. Now that the legislation is in the Assembly, advocates are focusing on a key potential roadblock: Assemblymember Jim Cooper (Sacramento), a Democrat, who chairs the Public Employment and Retirement Committee. The bill will be heard before Cooper’s committee on June 22, and Cooper’s past opposition to divestment legislation troubles supporters, according to Miriam Eide, the coordinating director for Fossil Free California. Opponents of the bill say it may violate the fiduciary duty of fund managers to invest in ways that are the most financially beneficial for pensioners. “Given who Cooper is, I think it’s absolutely possible the bill makes it through the committee, and also absolutely possible he uses his power as chair to shut it down,” Eide told Capital & Main. “So we’re doing all we can — we’ve beaten the odds, [the bill] beat odds in the Senate, and we think it can happen again.” “…But Sen. Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), who sponsored the bill, said CalPERS and CalSTRS would have eight years to divest and another five if necessary, and managers could even refuse to implement it based on their own good faith analysis. Environmentalists also argue that divestment from fossil fuels simply makes good economic sense, since the climate crisis demands a rapid shift to clean energy over the next two decades. They hope that Cooper and other members of the Assembly retirement committee agree. Because there are currently only six committee members, including four Democrats, they need Cooper to at least not actively oppose the bill.”

EXTRACTION

BBC: Yemen tanker: UN crowdfunding to prevent catastrophic oil spill
David Gritten, 6/14/22

“The UN has launched a crowdfunding drive to raise $5m (£4.1m) in two weeks for an operation to remove a million barrels of crude oil from a decaying supertanker off Yemen’s Red Sea coast,” the BBC reports. “The FSO Safer has had virtually no maintenance since the start of Yemen’s devastating civil war seven years ago. The UN has warned that the vessel will soon break apart or explode, causing an environmental catastrophe. But work to prevent such a disaster has been delayed due to a funding shortage. UN member states have only pledged about $60m of the $80m needed for the initial operation to transfer the oil to another vessel. An additional $64m is needed for a long-term replacement for the Safer. “We’re trying to get to this $80m figure by the end of this month. It’s doable, but it’s going to take a push and that’s why we’re calling on the public to help us to cross the finish line,” David Gressly, the UN humanitarian co-ordinator for Yemen, told an online briefing. He added: “$20m is really not much when you look at the overall cost that this catastrophe would have. If indeed there were a spill, the estimates that we’ve received on the clean-up alone would be $20 billion.”

Globe and Mail: Alberta, energy sector press Ottawa to clarify how climate targets will be reached
EMMA GRANEY, 6/14/22

“Industry groups and Alberta want Ottawa to move quickly to clarify and implement policies intended to get Canada on track to meet its 2030 climate goals if the oil and gas sector is to have any chance to deliver steep emissions cuts under tight timelines,” the Globe and Mail reports. “Confidential government documents obtained by The Globe and Mail show that federal bureaucrats identified only about half of the emissions cuts required from the pollution-heavy oil and gas sector just weeks before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled his March climate plan. Government officials have said the internal analysis presents an incomplete picture because it doesn’t reflect all of the new policies Ottawa will implement to push for steeper emissions cuts… “The Prime Minister and Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault told the House of Commons on Tuesday their emissions reduction plan is achievable. It pledges at least a 40-per-cent cut in emissions below 2005 levels by 2030. For the oil and gas sector, that translates to an 81-megatonne cut from the industry’s 2019 levels… “The emissions reduction plan includes a new investment tax credit, an emissions cap, a strengthened industrial carbon-price system and a stricter clean-fuel standard to speed uptake of technology. The government says the policies will spur changes in how oil is extracted, and encourage the use of carbon capture, utilization and storage – a major part of the energy sector’s plan to reduce emissions, particularly in the oil sands. However, with less than eight years to go before the 2030 deadline, many of those policies aren’t yet in place or fully developed. And industry groups and the Alberta government say time is running out for companies to plan, build and launch new emissions-reducing technology by the end of the decade. The Oil Sands Pathways to Net-Zero Alliance, a group of companies that operate about 95 per cent of oil sands production and plan to hit net-zero by 2050, is counting in part on a huge new pipeline to transport captured carbon to where it can be sequestered underground. But Mark Cameron, a senior adviser with the alliance, said construction on the project would have to start around 2025 to help the industry reach its 2030 targets.“Final investment decisions on capture projects and the transportation line will require greater policy certainty,” Mr. Cameron said.

CLIMATE FINANCE

Stanford Social Innovation Review: The Business Case for Indigenous Rights
Moira Birss & Kate Finn, 6/14/22

“As the effects of climate change worsen and concern about the need to protect the environment and biodiversity grows, financial regulators are now turning their attention to how companies report on climate-related risks to investors and the public,” the Stanford Social Innovation Review reports. “ In the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has initiated a process, including releasing a draft rule this March, that requires companies to disclose financial risks related to climate change. Overseas, the European Commission is in the process of developing a taxonomy of investment products to encourage more sustainable investments. One crucial factor that businesses and investors may overlook in assessing climate risks is Indigenous and tribal peoples’ rights. Studies have proven that biodiversity preservation and climate stability are best ensured when Indigenous and tribal people’s rights—especially land rights—are respected… “However, when Indigenous and tribal peoples attempt to defend their land rights, they are often threatened, attacked, and even killed… “Even within the narrow interpretations of the business mandates to maximize profit and protect investors, the failure to respect Indigenous and tribal peoples’ rights exposes companies and their investors to pervasive legal, political, reputational, and operational risks. These risks can take the form of project delays and even cancelations, resulting in significant financial loss. Yet companies directly implicated in land-rights abuses rarely disclose to investors the risks inherent in operating on and/or near Indigenous and tribal peoples’ lands, which can affect the finances of companies—not to mention these harmful actions can accelerate environmental degradation, climate change, and human-rights abuses… “As advocates working at the intersection of Indigenous rights, human rights, environmental protection, and investor accountability, we argue that companies should adopt more robust due diligence in accounting for Indigenous and tribal people’s rights… “If Indigenous or tribal peoples choose to withhold consent or refuse to enter negotiations, a project cannot legally proceed, because it violates their right to self-determination over their lands, territories, and resources. In short, a license to operate requires any business to solicit FPIC in a rights-based process and with an outcome that fully respects an Indigenous community’s decision.”

Investment Executive: SEC charges oil sands tech firm
James Langton, 6/14/22

“U.S. regulators levelled securities fraud charges against a Canadian oil sands company and a couple of its former executives,” Investment Executive reports. “The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Petroteq Energy Inc. — an oil sands mining technology company that’s incorporated in Canada and trades on the TSX Venture Exchange, but has its head office in California — for making false and misleading disclosures in regulatory filings. The alleged disclosure failings involved misstating the company’s assets, failing to disclose related-party transactions, and misleading investors in an unregistered securities offering about the company’s use of the funds being raised. The SEC also charged the firm’s former executive chairman, Aleksandr Blyumkin, and former chief financial officer, Mark Korb, for their roles in the alleged disclosure failings. Petroteq and Blyumkin agreed to settle the charges against them, without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings. They consented to an order, which finds that Petroteq violated securities laws and orders it to correct its disclosure and to pay a US$1-million penalty.”

OPINION

Washington Post: We already achieved ‘energy independence.’ What good did it do us?
Catherine Rampell, 6/13/22

“Good news: We’re energy independent again. Huzzah! Bad news: “Energy independence” has turned out to be a hollow victory,” Catherine Rampell writes for the Washington Post. “Gasoline is inching toward $5 per gallon nationwide, and Americans are furious. Fortunately, Republican politicians have been arguing for months that they have a solution: Just “return” the United States to “energy independence,” as we experienced under former president Donald Trump. Easy peasy. “We have the skills, and we have the resources right here in the United States to be energy independent,” says Sen. Joni Ernst. (R-Iowa). “We shouldn’t be subjected to these prices.” Other GOP lawmakers have even given a specific timeline for this elusive goal. “We have watched this president go after energy, so we can no longer be energy independent,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said over the weekend. His pitch to midterm voters: “In 156 days, we’re going to become energy independent.” Astonishingly, McCarthy and his fellow Republicans have delivered on their promise early. Because, as it turns out, the United States is already energy independent — and has been for six months, according to data available through March. “Energy independence” is a political slogan in search of a concrete definition, but based on context, conservatives appear to be referring to situations when the United States sells more oil and petroleum products to the rest of the world than it buys from other countries. The United States initially became a net exporter of oil and petroleum products in late 2019, while Trump was in office, for the first time since at least the 1950s.. There were a few months in late 2020 and early 2021 when that vaunted new trend reversed, and the United States again imported slightly more than we exported. But even then, total petroleum production and consumption still remained nearly even. That was the loss of “energy independence” that Republicans often decry, and (incorrectly) blame on President Biden’s supposed “war on fossil fuels” rather than the pandemic and its volatile effects on petroleum markets… “If we actually want to get energy costs down, if we want to completely insulate ourselves from global price shocks, what we ultimately need is the technological investments that keep energy cheap, reliable and, coincidentally, clean. That means investing in renewables, including: installing grid-scale solar wherever possible. Encouraging consumers and businesses to transition to electric vehicles, stoves and heat. And especially, developing better battery technology.”

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