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EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 6/21/22

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

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips June 21, 2022

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PIPELINE NEWS

  • Globe and Mail: Re-opening Keystone pipeline talks won’t address high oil prices, Yellen says after meeting with Freeland

  • NWIowa.com: Navigator talks CO2 pipeline in O’Brien

  • Oskaloosa Herald: Mahaska Supervisors to protest pipeline

  • Nebraska Easement Action Team: Landowners Meeting: Tallgrass Trailbazer Proposed Gas-to-CO2 Pipeline Conversion (VIDEO)

  • Prairie Public Broadcasting: ND Pipeline Authority Director: Still a ‘lot of interest’ on a natural gas pipeline

  • WWLP: MEPA officials to visit proposed pipeline site

WASHINGTON UPDATES

  • CBC: Questions raised as Kenney joins Alberta energy minister at Washington energy meeting

EXTRACTION

  • E&E News: Canadian enviros seek to replicate U.S. climate lawsuits

  • MyMcMurray: Alberta Energy Minister Savage invites F1 driver Vettel for oilsands visit

OPINION

  • Reuters: Column: White House tries to blame U.S. refiners for its own overheating error

  • The Hill: Biden’s proposed windfall profits tax will make America less energy secure

  • National Post: Rex Murphy: Hypocrisy, your name is Sebastian Vettel

PIPELINE NEWS

Globe and Mail: Re-opening Keystone pipeline talks won’t address high oil prices, Yellen says after meeting with Freeland
BILL CURRY AND MARK RENDELL, 6/20/22

“Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen have pledged to help central banks tackle inflation by cutting back on deficit spending, but Ms. Yellen was cool to reopening Keystone pipeline talks as a way to reduce oil prices,” the Globe and Mail reports. “The two politicians made the comments on Monday, during a day of events in Toronto that included private meetings, a public, hour-long armchair discussion and an afternoon news conference… “Ms. Yellen said addressing inflation is primarily a responsibility of central banks, but added that she and U.S. President Joe Biden are considering a range of policy options that could help, including reducing the deficit, and raising some taxes while considering a gas tax cut. The Alberta government has urged the Biden administration to address high oil prices by reversing its 2021 decision to cancel the Keystone XL oil pipeline that would have carried Canadian crude to U.S. refineries. Ms. Freeland said she raised the matter of Keystone privately on Monday, but Ms. Yellen indicated she did not view it as a solution to high prices. “I don’t see it as short term measure to address the current situation. And longer term, we remain committed to our climate-change objectives. But you know, it’s really up to the President to consider,” Ms. Yellen said, during the afternoon news conference… “Lisa Baiton, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, told the Mail energy companies are in discussions with the government about increasing production, but transportation issues could hamper the efforts. “Currently, Canadian producers are reaching record production and record exports. However, our transportation infrastructure is nearing capacity and will only grow by just over a half million barrels per day with the completion of the Trans Mountain expansion next year.”

NWIowa.com: Navigator talks CO2 pipeline in O’Brien
Randy Paulson, 6/20/22

“A question-and-answer session of the proposed Heartland Greenway carbon-capture pipeline took up much of the O’Brien County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, June 14,” NWIowa.com reports. “…Elizabeth Burns-Thompson, vice president of government and public affairs for Navigator, said the company began its surveying activities for the project in February. No easement offers have been made yet, although she said that process will start in mid-July… “Steve Lee, Navigator’s executive vice president of engineering and construction, spoke about safety concerns with the project. He referenced a recent report from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration that listed findings from the federal investigation into the February 2020 carbon dioxide pipeline breach in Satartia, MS… “A lot of it comes down around emergency response notification as well as just public awareness of having CO2 and the different aspects of CO2 versus natural gas or chlorine or an anhydrous pipeline,” Lee said. “The industry has really taken that into account by looking at proactive measures.” One measure he said Heartland Greenway has taken involves looking at plume modeling, which predicts where concentrations of air pollutants would spread in the event of a pipeline rupture. On the public emergency response side, the company also would work with local emergency responders to prepare for a pipeline leak scenario and identify high-consequence areas or HCAs… “Supervisor Dan Friedrichsen asked when the company would start working with emergency management services in the area on safety planning. Lee said as soon as possible. The county’s emergency management agency coordinator, Jared Johnson, attended the meeting and asked Lee how far the CO2 would travel around Hartley if a leak happened. Lee said an initial estimate came back at 850 feet based on the Areal Location of Hazardous Atmospheres (ALOHA) model… “Supervisor board chair Dennis Vanden Hull noted how the handout said the Heartland Greenway would foster a $121 million growth of net farm income in its first 10 years. Burns-Thompson said that and other figures provided were “educated economic estimates.” “…Supervisor Tim Overmire asked how long the company would warranty farmers’ tile lines that get damaged from the pipeline project. Lee said those, as well as impacted crop yields, would be covered by Navigator for the life span of the pipeline.”

Oskaloosa Herald: Mahaska Supervisors to protest pipeline
CHANNING RUCKS, 6/20/22

“The Mahaska County Board of Supervisors is preparing to protest a proposed carbon pipeline,” the Oskaloosa Herald reports. “At their regular meeting June 20, the board discussed a draft of a letter to be finalized and sent to the Iowa Utilities Board opposing a proposed carbon pipeline that would impact The Herald area, named the Heartland Greenway Project. If built, the pipeline would run through 36 counties in Iowa, including Mahaska and Wapello Counties… “I have had a lot of conversation with people, and I have not found anyone positive about it,” said Supervisor Chuck Webb. “And a lot of issues that have been coming up, that have been thrown at me, that are negative.” Residents of Mahaska County have expressed concerns that Webb echoes, particularly about a lack of sufficient research regarding the effects a pipeline like this could potentially have. “There’s a lot of unknowns with this thing, and it’s a poor time to find it when it’s in the ground — all these negatives happening. I don’t know that we’ve got near enough research on this thing,” Webb told the board. The pipeline is of particular concern to the community of Fremont, where its path would run near the school. Members of the Fremont community attended the board meeting to represent their concerns to the supervisors. Supervisors voted to submit their letter in protest of the pipeline on behalf of the citizens of Mahaska County. However, final decisions regarding the pipeline rest with the Iowa Utilities Board.”

Nebraska Easement Action Team: Landowners Meeting: Tallgrass Trailbazer Proposed Gas-to-CO2 Pipeline Conversion (VIDEO)
6/20/22

“Tallgrass Energy has proposed a dangerous and unproven conversion of its existing “Trailblazer” gas pipeline to instead carry carbon dioxide,” according to the Nebraska Easement Action Team. “Landowners on the existing Trailblazer route are encouraged to join the meeting via phone or computer and learn more about CO2 pipelines and “carbon capture” technology, as well as your rights under easement terms, and how landowners are joining together to form legal co-ops for representation — like the Nebraska Easement Action Team (https://NebraskaEasement.org). SPEAKERS: Brian Jorde, Attorney, Domina Law Group & Nebraska Easement Action Team; Paul Blackburn, Attorney & Pipeline Expert; Jane Kleeb, Bold Nebraska.

Prairie Public Broadcasting: ND Pipeline Authority Director: Still a ‘lot of interest’ on a natural gas pipeline
Dave Thompson, 6/20/22

“North Dakota Pipeline Authority director Justin Kringstad said there’s still a lot of interest in a pipeline to bring Bakken natural gas to eastern North Dakota,” Prairie Public Broadcasting reports. “North Dakota would provide $150 million in seed money for the project. The state Industrial Commission had to extend the deadline for companies to indicate their interest until August 15th, after WBI Energy backed out. However, Kringstad said the urgency surrounding the need for more gas in eastern North Dakota is still there. “I’ve been talking with some folks in the Red River Valley, to find out who could use that gas, how timely it is and what type of volumes,” Kringstad said. “They key is getting all these parties aligned, so it can support a project of that scale. The urgency is certainly still there.”

WWLP: MEPA officials to visit proposed pipeline site
Kayleigh Thomas, 6/21/22

“Officials with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Office will visit Springfield and Longmeadow Tuesday to discuss a proposed natural gas pipeline expansion project,” WWLP reports. “Officials will visit the site of the project this morning to view existing conditions there and the location of proposed structures associated with the expansion. Tuesday night, they will host a virtual public consultation and video conference at 7:00 p.m. It will serve as an opportunity for the office to hear advice and comments from agencies, officials, and citizens on the possible environmental impacts of the project. Local environmental groups have been advocating against the pipeline since its proposal.”

WASHINGTON UPDATES

CBC: Questions raised as Kenney joins Alberta energy minister at Washington energy meeting
6/20/22

“Premier Jason Kenney will join Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage in Washington, D.C., this week to meet with U.S. Congress members and participate in sessions on energy security,” the CBC reports. “Savage will travel south on Monday with meetings scheduled for Tuesday on Capitol Hill, before attending an oilsands workshop Wednesday with Kenney… “Kenney said he was looking forward to productive discussions on the trip, and that Alberta is ready to stand by the United States in creating a stable, affordable and ethical energy system. The premier’s participation in the trip has been questioned by some in light of his announcement last month of his intention to resign as UCP leader. While Kenney will stay on as premier until a new leader is chosen, Duane Bratt, a political scientist at Mount Royal University, told CBC this sort of travel is surprising for an official in a de-facto temporary position.  “This is going well beyond a caretaker role,” Bratt told CBC. “What sort of discussions can you have … knowing that you’re not a decision-maker at all? You’re walking in with no credibility.” Bratt told the CBC he doesn’t think Kenney should be going on the trip in the first place but added that it will be telling to see how U.S. lawmakers respond to him. “Based on everything we’ve seen over the last month, he is acting in a sense as if May 18th never happened.”

EXTRACTION

E&E News: Canadian enviros seek to replicate U.S. climate lawsuits
Lesley Clark, 6/21/22

“Canadian environmentalists are launching a new effort to sue the fossil fuel industry over climate change, hoping to imitate similar lawsuits in the United States and abroad,” E&E News reports. “The Sue Big Oil campaign began last week with a website that asks British Columbians to sign a declaration calling on local governments to set aside $1 per person for a community fund to do more about climate change, including taking the industry to court to seek damages… “Our communities saw last year just how much climate change costs us,” Andrew Gage, a staff lawyer with Vancouver-based West Coast Environmental Law, told E&E. “But none of those costs appear on the balance sheets of the huge fossil fuel companies most responsible for causing climate change.” He said the group is proposing that the local governments file a class-action lawsuit… “Though nearly two dozen U.S. cities, counties and states have gone to court seeking to hold oil and gas corporations accountable for localized climate effects, no such litigation has been tried in Canada… “A group of Canadian law professors argued for the lawsuits in a 2019 letter, noting that the cities of Toronto and Victoria had considered lawsuits against fossil fuel companies, and a number of Canadian communities had asked federal and provincial governments for legislation to clarify the rules for such litigation. The legal experts concluded at the time that there was a “solid legal basis” for Canadian governments to sue, one of the authors, Stepan Wood, director of the Centre for Law and the Environment at the University of British Columbia’s Peter A. Allard School of Law, told E&E… “Canada’s oil and gas industry represents a major sector of its economy, but Wood told E&E the litigation should not be seen as an “attack on Canada’s resource industries; it’s an opportunity for them to step up and be responsible.”

MyMcMurray: Alberta Energy Minister Savage invites F1 driver Vettel for oilsands visit
TOULA MAZLOUM, 6/20/22

“German Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel did not wear his helmet that says “climate crime” during Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix and Alberta’s Energy Minister Sonya Savage welcomed the gesture,” MyMcMurray reports. “Vettel instead used his “No War” helmet which he has worn in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine since the start of the season on Sunday. Savage responded to Vettel’s gesture with a tweet inviting him to visit Alberta’s oilsands. Vettel was criticized on Friday by Savage after he wore a t-shirt saying “stop mining tar sands” at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Friday and Saturday where she accused him of “hypocrisy.” She said “a race car driver sponsored by Aston Martin, with financing from Saudi Aramco, [is] complaining about the oilsands.”

OPINION

Reuters: Column: White House tries to blame U.S. refiners for its own overheating error
John Kemp, 6/17/22

“The White House has sought to deflect the blame for high gasoline prices onto refiners for cutting capacity and not making enough fuel, but the real source of the price increases is the attempt to run the economy “hot”,” John Kemp writes for Reuters. “In conjunction with the Federal Reserve, White House policy has been to run the economy as fast as possible to minimise unemployment and under-employment, especially among the most disadvantaged groups in the labour market… “In trying to lower fuel prices and tame inflation, the White House has focused on gasoline, which is the price most visible to consumers and therefore the most politically sensitive ahead of congressional elections in November. But the most severe fuel shortage is actually in middle distillates, a category including diesel, jet fuel and kerosene, which is hitting freight hauliers and airlines hardest. Increased costs for moving freight and passengers are, in turn, spilling over into faster price increases for a broad range of merchandise and services. Shortages of diesel and jet fuel are also pulling up the international price of crude, and with it, gasoline prices for motorists… “Rather than blaming refiners for not making enough fuel, the White House needs to realise that its attempt to run the economy as fast as possible has caused it to overheat. To bring inflation under control, the economy needs a period of slower growth to allow fuel production and other supply-side measures of industrial capacity to catch up.”

The Hill: Biden’s proposed windfall profits tax will make America less energy secure
Bernard L. Weinstein is emeritus professor of applied economics at the University of North Texas, 6/20/22

“On June 10, while visiting Los Angeles, President Biden pointed at big energy companies as the culprits for rising gasoline prices,” Bernard L. Weinstein writes for The Hill. “He lambasted the industry by claiming they would rather use their record profits to buy back stock than to drill for oil. He also pressured domestic companies to ramp up production while simultaneously threatening them with a windfall profits tax… “But this won’t happen overnight, especially in a regulatory and policy environment that remains basically hostile to fossil fuels. Recent examples include the curtailment of new leases for drilling; regulatory and legal obstacles for new pipeline development; increased mandates for ethanol blending; and environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) regulations designed to discourage new financing of fossil fuel projects… “Those advocating for a windfall profits tax need to take a hard look at economic and fiscal realities… “In practice, imposing a tax on the earnings of energy companies likely would backfire, leading to less — not more — oil and gas production… “After focusing for more than a decade on the need to reduce carbon emissions, we now face a new paradigm as the war in Ukraine has returned energy security to center stage. Though still pushing renewable energy and electric vehicles, Biden says he wants more domestic oil production while consumers and businesses are demanding lower energy prices. A revived windfall profits tax won’t get us there. Instead, it likely would raise prices, increase our reliance on imports, and do nothing to stimulate more domestic production. If the past is prologue, it will actually diminish America’s energy security.”

National Post: Rex Murphy: Hypocrisy, your name is Sebastian Vettel
Rex Murphy, 6/20/22

“Gargantuan mining dump trucks. Certain aircraft carriers. I’m just trying to draw up a list of machines that rival a Formula One race car in their dependence on good old fossil fuels,” Rex Murphy writes for the National Post. “…It doesn’t take much to guess that what ignited my interest in these stats was, in Sherlock Holmes’ immortal phrase “the curious incident” of the Formula One race car driver — that is his career — who runs a sideline campaign against fossil fuels, and in particular — naturally — the Alberta “tar sands.” His name is Sebastian Vettel and he was in Montreal this past weekend for the Canadian Grand Prix (he placed 12th). Within the racing world he is a celebrity, a four-times world champion. And like so many others who win fame in some high area of human accomplishment — tap-dancing, accelerated hot-dog consumption, acting — he “uses” his fame to preach a cause. Hence he showed up at the Grand Prix sporting a T-shirt with an anti-Canadian oilsands message.It is perhaps unfortunate — some suggest hypocritical, but I see that as far too judgmental — that his cause contradicts his career. It puts a strain on  the credibility of one or the other. He is either a conflicted Formula One race car driver, or a global warmist of limited passion… “And simultaneously Vettel is a fervid evangelist against the discovery and production of … oil and gas. Without either of which his miracle of a machine would be little more than a very colourful jigsaw of metal and carbon fibre on exhibit in some mall parking lot.”

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