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EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 6/22/22

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

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips June 22, 2022

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PIPELINE NEWS

  • Bloomberg: Filing in Wrong Court Sinks Suit Over Mountain Valley Pipeline

  • Law360: DC Circ. Nixes Challenge To FERC Pipeline Powers

  • APG Wisconsin: Would closing Line 5 result in another pipeline across county

  • WOWT: Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska requests impact study on proposed carbon dioxide pipelines

  • WGGB: Protesters gather over proposed Eversource pipeline extension

  • Associated Press: Developer holds open houses on proposed Tennessee gas line

  • Construction Dive: Proposed, under construction, abandoned: 6 key US pipeline projects

  • NRDC: Ghost Pipelines: How Landowners Suffer, Long After a Project Gets Canceled

WASHINGTON UPDATES

  • E&E News: Oil CEOs will visit White House for emergency meeting

  • Houston Chronicle: Gulf Carbon Capture Projects Hang in Balance

  • Texas Tribune: Four Texas Democrats in Congress warn Biden against restricting U.S. oil exports

  • E&E News: After winter drilling permit slump, BLM approvals back up

  • Politico: THE SHAPE OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT

STATE UPDATES

  • High Country News: A community poisoned by oil

  • CapRadio: How idle oil wells leaked explosive levels of methane in Bakersfield

EXTRACTION

  • Reuters: Exxonmobil CEO expects tight oil market to last years

  • Reuters: Exxon joins oil majors in Qatar’s mega-LNG expansion project

CLIMATE FINANCE

  • Fossil Free CA: Fossil fuel-funded cop kills California climate legislation

TODAY IN GREENWASHING

  • Press release: Cenovus announces significant commitment to education and recognition for Indigenous people across Canada

OPINION

  • The Trek: A Call for Thru-Hikers to Learn About the Mountain Valley Pipeline

  • Anchorage Daily News: OPINION: Alaska is not close to a natural gas pipeline

  • Globe and Mail: Gordon Pape: Pipelines have performed better than most during the market pull-back. Here are three to consider

PIPELINE NEWS

Bloomberg: Filing in Wrong Court Sinks Suit Over Mountain Valley Pipeline
6/21/22

“Property owners challenging FERC’s approval of Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC’s plan build its pipeline across their land in Virginia filed their lawsuit in the wrong court, the D.C. Circuit affirmed Tuesday,” Bloomberg reports. “Other parties unsuccessfully challenged the agency’s decision to grant Mountain Valley a certificate of public convenience and necessity at the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit before plaintiffs Cletus and Beverly Bohon and others had filed their trial court-level lawsuits. Once those original parties had filed their appeals, its jurisdiction became exclusive under the Natural Gas Act, the panel said.”

Law360: DC Circ. Nixes Challenge To FERC Pipeline Powers
Keith Goldberg, 6/21/22

“The D.C. Circuit Court on Tuesday affirmed the dismissal of landowners’ constitutional challenge to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of the $6 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline project, saying the case attempted an end run around the agency’s Natural Gas Act authority,” Law360 reports. “An appeals court panel said a lower court correctly dismissed the suit lodged by several landowners claiming that Congress unconsitutionally delegated eminent domain authority to FERC, which the agency in turn, delegates to pipeline companies.”

APG Wisconsin: Would closing Line 5 result in another pipeline across county
FRANK ZUFALL, 6/22/22

“An organization called Oil & Water Don’t Mix (OWDM) held a zoom press conference on Wednesday, June 8, claiming that court documents in a lawsuit filed by the Bad River Tribe of Wisconsin against Enbridge Energy contains an estimate from an Enbridge consultant that removing Line 5, a crude oil pipeline that crosses northern Wisconsin and lies on the bottom of Lake Michigan, would only cost consumers a half-cent a gallon,” APG Wisconsin reports. “During that press conference, there was also discussion on whether closing Line 5, which OWDM advocates, would result in the creation of another pipeline across Wisconsin to handle the volume of crude oil and natural gas currently carried in Line 5… “However, Earnest also predicted the closure of Line 5 “without an operation re-route” would result in a shortage of propane for a minimum of several years in the Upper Midwest and Ontario,” resulting in prices “. . . expected to be elevated and volatile,” and the creation of new infrastructure would also add to cost. During the June 8 press conference, two Wisconsin reporters questioned OWDM on their contention that there exist enough existing infrastructure to reroute the product currently flowing throw Line 5, including 334,700 barrels per day of crude oil, a contention OWDM also made for permanently closing Line 5. The question was asked because Enbridge has a corridor of four existing pipelines from Superior to northeastern Illinois… “Enbridge has discussed adding an additional pipeline through that four-pipeline corridor to be called Line 66 and has even surveyed the corridor for that new pipeline, but has not announced it will build that pipeline. It was believed the need for a new pipeline, Line 66, was the building of new Line 3 across Minnesota that increased the crude oil output to Superior. In opposition to another pipeline through the corridor, in 2018 a group was formed in Wisconsin to raise awareness called “80 feet is Enough.” “…If Line 5 were closed, it would put pressure on how to move the 540,000 barrels of crude oil and natural gas that flows through Line 5 currently or possibly offer another justification to build Line 66. The Record asked Enbridge if Line 5 were closed would it result in another line through northwestern Wisconsin and Sawyer County. Julie Kellner, Enbridge communication specialist, responded without mentioning the four-pipeline corridor.”

WOWT: Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska requests impact study on proposed carbon dioxide pipelines
Jacob Comer, 6/21/22

“The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska is asking for an environmental impact study regarding two pipelines,” WOWT reports. “The Winnebago Tribal Council has unanimously approved a new resolution that requests an environmental impact study for two proposed pipelines: The Summit Carbon Pipeline and the Navigator Heartland Greenway Carbon Pipeline… “If built, the pipelines would be placed north of the Winnebago Indian Reservation and cross the Missouri River. The Winnebago Tribe is downstream of the proposed build sites. “The Winnebago Tribe has consistently opposed the issuance of pipeline permits that could negatively impact our lands or water,” the resolution states. “An environmental impact study would outline the effects of the proposed pipelines on the environment and should provide sufficient information to evaluate the relative merits of the proposed pipelines and alternatives. The permit-issuing bodies cannot make reasoned or informed decisions without this information. Nor can the general public.” The resolution requesting the impact study was sent to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Woodbury County and the Dakota County Commissioners. The Tribal Council requested each entity provide a response to the Tribe in writing. “CO2 is deadly when inhaled, what happens when this pipeline fails? The pipeline construction path is placed on the ancestral lands of the Nebraska Tribes, what happens when they disturb our ancestors’ burial sites? There is just too much unknown for these pipelines, that’s why it’s important that this study be conducted. It’s our duty to protect mother earth,” said Winnebago Tribal Secretary Lorelei DeCora. Winnebago Tribal Chairwoman Victoria Kitcheyan told WOWT the Tribe supports those who could be negatively affected by the pipelines. “The Winnebago Tribe stands in solidarity with area farmers who oppose these pipelines and the use of eminent domain to acquire access to lands without landowner consent,” Kitcheyan told WOWT. “The health, well-being and rights of everyone is important to us all.”

WGGB: Protesters gather over proposed Eversource pipeline extension
Matt Sottile and Ryan Trowbridge, 6/21/22

“There was a large gathering on Tuesday in Longmeadow as people voiced their opposition to a proposed Eversource natural gas pipeline,” WGGB reports. “State environmental protection officials were at Longmeadow Country Club and they were greeted by neighbors, as well as a number of elected officials, who have been strongly opposed to this proposal for years and are continuing to fight it. “I will be very angry and upset and I will do everything I can to fight it for as long as I can,” said Vicki Deal from Longmeadow. Deal is one of the Longmeadow residents who has been fighting a proposed Eversource natural gas pipeline for years. “It’s terrifying. They shouldn’t be allowed to build it. It’s not needed,” Jane Winn with the Berkshire Environmental Action Team told WGGB. On Tuesday, officials from the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act visited the site and answered questions from the large group of protestors about environmental and health concerns… “State Senator Eric Lesser, a candidate for lieutenant governor, was also in attendance and said he’s drawing up formal opposition to the project. “I would much rather see us investing in alternative forms of energy, whether that’s wind weather, that’s solar…ways we can power homes and provide energy to people and a renewable way,” Lesser explained. Another point of concern is placing a pipeline in a residential neighborhood after natural gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley killed an 18-year-old and injured 22 others in 2018. “We’ve already seen what happens in the Merrimack Valley when their nice little station doesn’t correctly assess what the pressure is…There’s obviously a lot of anger at an unnecessary project that’s being proposed,” Winn told WGGB.

Associated Press: Developer holds open houses on proposed Tennessee gas line
6/22/22

“Energy developer Enbridge is hosting a series of open houses this month to discuss its plan to build a 125-mile methane gas pipeline in Tennessee between Trousdale and Roane counties,” the Associated Press reports. “The Tennessee Valley Authority is considering turning to gas as it moves to shut down coal-burning power plants. Environmental groups have denounced the plan, asking TVA to look harder at renewable energy options and energy efficiency. In addition to the climate damage, they argue that gas pipelines can be dangerous and that gas prices are highly volatile. TVA officials argue that gas provides reliability and flexibility as a fuel that can be called upon at any hour of any day.”

Construction Dive: Proposed, under construction, abandoned: 6 key US pipeline projects
Julie Strupp, 6/21/22

“It’s a complicated time to build a new oil or gas pipeline in the U.S. While the fossil fuel industry continues to see healthy demand and profits amid skyrocketing gasoline prices and war in Ukraine, construction costs are rising and stricter environmental regulations are on the horizon as pressure to transition to renewable energy grows,” Construction Dive reports. “…An increasing focus on climate change and the transition to renewable energy is putting downward pressure on the country’s pipeline industry, according to Westwood Global Energy Group, an energy market research firm. The numbers bear this out: In North America in 2022 there are 4,044 miles of pipeline under construction with another 17,841 miles planned, an Underground Construction analysis found, an expected 13.4% decline from last year… “Enbridge’s Ridgeline expansion across the Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee would boost capacity and potentially service a new Tennessee Valley Authority plant… “The project is in the preliminary stages, and the company held a public meeting for area landowners in the first week of May, according to the Lebanon Democrat… “Ames, Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions wants to build a pipeline to gather carbon dioxide produced by ethanol plants across the Midwest and send it to North Dakota, where it would be stored underground permanently… “Houston, Texas-based Tellurian estimated construction on the Driftwood Pipeline expansion could begin later this year and could begin operation by 2023… “The Mountain Valley Pipeline stretches from northwest West Virginia to southern Virginia. The project is years behind schedule and its costs have ballooned to $6.6 billion from $3.8 billion, according to AP News. In March, Chickahominy Pipeline LLC canceled the project, which would have stretched more than 80 miles and through five counties, from Charlottesville to Charles City County in central Virginia… “Bismarck, North Dakota-based WBI Energy proposed a pipeline that would have stretched from the oil patch in the west to the eastern part of the state. However, at the beginning of May it decided not to move forward with the project, saying it was not viable “due to regulatory uncertainty, limited in-state demand and rising construction, labor and land-acquisition costs,” per AP News.”

NRDC: Ghost Pipelines: How Landowners Suffer, Long After a Project Gets Canceled
Nicole Greenfield, 6/21/22

“Finding out that your property lies in the path of a proposed pipeline can come as a shock. Even more shocking is learning—oftentimes from a stranger knocking at your door—about the pipeline company’s ability to take your property if you refuse to sell,” NRDC reports. “…After Dominion and its ACP partner, Duke Energy, canceled the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in July 2020, the Averitts, who had been in the process of challenging the company in court, regained control of their land, but not without a serious financial and emotional toll… “A pipeline’s demise is often only the beginning for many landowners. It can take years to fix the damage—if it can be fixed at all. By the time a company has abandoned a project, it may have already dug up the land, cleared huge swaths of forest, or laid pipe. And that’s just the environmental toll. Landowners can get stuck with permanent easements on their properties, spending their life savings on court battles, or reluctantly selling what is in many cases their only valuable asset. A pipeline may never come online, but it can still upend lives and shatter dreams… “Sometimes, the threat of eminent domain can re-emerge with an entirely new project. In Nebraska, TransCanada (now TC Energy), the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline, condemned Jeanne Crumly’s land for the project. The pipeline was killed, releasing the land back to the Crumlys. Almost before she could breathe a sigh of relief, an agent from Summit Carbon Solutions showed up at her door. Summit is one of two companies in Nebraska trying to build risky, unregulated pipelines that would transport carbon dioxide to underground storage in an attempt to fight climate change. “It’s exceedingly disheartening,” Crumly says, who is worried that another big company will now claim her family’s land. “These corporations have all the money and all the time in the world, and they just keep plugging away.” Crumly and other Nebraskans are exhausted after the years of fighting KXL and not eager to engage in another battle. But they’re prepared and ready to fight once again, she says, “for principle, for an inheritance, for the best interest of the land.” In the Midwest, Bold Alliance, a network created during the KXL fight, continues a similar mission of connecting landowners, including through the Nebraska Easement Action Team, a nonprofit education and legal defense fund. And as Bold Alliance ramps up efforts to resist the construction of carbon pipelines in the region, the eminent domain lawyers from the KXL days have agreed to represent landowners once again.”

WASHINGTON UPDATES

E&E News: Oil CEOs will visit White House for emergency meeting
Scott Waldman, 6/22/22

“Responding to President Joe Biden’s call for an explanation of soaring petroleum prices and surging industry profits, oil and gas executives will visit the White House tomorrow for an emergency meeting with Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm,” E&E News reports. “Granholm and White House officials will meet with executives from BP PLC, Chevron Corp. and Phillips 66 Co., the companies confirmed to E&E News. Other oil majors, including Shell PLC and Exxon Mobil Corp., didn’t confirm their attendance… “Facing political heat for gasoline prices averaging around $5 a gallon nationwide, Biden has sought to partly shift blame to oil and gas companies, which he said are sitting on 9,000 unused drilling leases on public lands and also cutting refining. Biden told reporters Monday that he wants the oil and gas companies to justify profits of $35 billion in the first quarter, a time when gas prices have skyrocketed to historic levels due to supply constraints, increased demand and Russia’s war on Ukraine. “They don’t want to get caught in a position where eventually they’re going to move to alternative energy, renewable energy, and they don’t want to get stuck,” Biden said. “Well, guess what? There’s a logical transition to be made here. And I want an explanation from them as to why they aren’t refining more oil.” “…The purpose of tomorrow’ emergency White House meeting is to discuss steps that energy companies can take to increase refining capacity and cut gas prices, according to DOE. Administration officials want the companies to bring “actionable, near-term solutions,” the department said. Frank Maisano, a senior principal at law and lobbying firm Bracewell LLP, which represents clients in various energy sectors, told E&E companies are waiting for the administration to stop putting roadblocks in front of production and transportation of oil and gas. “The administration has to come to grips with a couple of the complexities of the marketplace, and one of those complexities is the mixed signals they’re sending on everything from leases to pipelines to production to OPEC,” he told E&E.

Houston Chronicle: Gulf Carbon Capture Projects Hang in Balance
James Osborne, 6/21/22

“Plans to turn the Gulf Coast into a hub for carbon dioxide storage face a critical hurdle, as Democrats in Congress debate whether to again expand tax credits to spur development,” the Houston Chronicle reports. “Four years after Congress raised the carbon capture tax credit to $50 for every ton of carbon dioxide stored underground, developers remain reluctant to sink billions of dollars into projects they say remain uneconomical at current levels of government support… “But these and other projects are unlikely to happen without an increase in the carbon capture subsidy to at least an $85 per ton direct payment, enabling corporations without large tax bills to take advantage, developers and policy makers say. “Right now carbon capture pays $50 a ton in tax credits, not cash. (Storing the carbon) costs $15 per ton so you need to get capture costs down to $35, which isn’t feasible right now,” Jeff Brown, who heads a division of former energy secretary Ernest Moniz’s Energy Futures Initiative, told the Chronicle. “If you raise it to $85 per ton direct payment, that will let you do a fair number of things, like coal plants and blue hydrogen (where natural gas is converted to hydrogen and the resulting emissions are stored underground).” Last year President Joe Biden included an $85 per ton payment for carbon capture in his sweeping Build Back Better legislation, also extending the deadline to begin construction until 2031. That legislation never passed Congress, and now Democrats are weighing whether to try and pass narrower legislation to expand tax credits for clean energy, including carbon capture. The question is whether Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who has held up several climate initiatives since Biden took office, would vote to expand tax credits for carbon capture. While he supports the technology and its potential to help his home state’s coal and natural gas industries, he has questioned the cost of raising the subsidy, said an energy attorney close to the negotiations, who requested anonymity to discuss behind the scenes talks. Democrats “are running out of time,” he told the Chronicle. “They probably need to get this wrapped up by Aug. 1 if they’re going to get this passed before midterms” in November… “At a conference for the carbon capture industry in Washington last week, executives fretted that without an increase in government subsidies their projects would never attract investors. Michael Brownlie, a division director at the Australian energy giant Macquarie Group, told the audience his company was eager to invest in carbon capture projects, but the financial incentives simply were not there. “Projects need to be able to generate enough cash flow to pay us back,” he said. “One day you might put carbon dioxide on a pipeline and the highest bidder takes it. That’s the dream but we’re a long way from that.”

Texas Tribune: Four Texas Democrats in Congress warn Biden against restricting U.S. oil exports
PATRICK SVITEK, 6/21/22

“Four Texas Democrats in Congress are warning President Joe Biden against restricting U.S. oil exports as a way of fighting high gas prices,” the Texas Tribune reports. “We urge you and your administration to reject any well-intentioned but misguided calls to curtail American crude oil and/or petroleum exports in reaction to the high gasoline and diesel prices currently seen at the pump,” the Texas Democrats say in a new letter to Biden. “As you know, domestic gasoline prices are set by an international benchmark (Brent), and restricting US crude exports would lower global supply and increase costs here at home.” The letter was led by two South Texas Democrats, Reps. Henry Cuellar of Laredo and Vicente Gonzalez of McAllen, and the other Texas Democrats who signed were Reps. Sylvia Garcia and Lizzie Pannill Fletcher of Houston. Other signatures come from California Democratic Rep. Lou Correa and Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio It is the latest example of how Cuellar and Gonzalez are on edge over Biden’s approach to the oil and gas industry as Americans deal with high prices at the pump. The average U.S. gas price has hovered around $5 per gallon in recent days. Last week, Cuellar and Gonzalez separately pushed back on a letter Biden wrote to major U.S. oil refiners, telling them to increase supply and that “historically high” profit margins are unacceptable. Gonzalez urged Biden to “stop with the blame game,” while Cuellar said the letter “does not resolve the issue at hand.” Now the lawmakers appear concerned the Biden administration may try to issue new restrictions on U.S. oil exports… “The lawmakers argue that curtailing U.S. oil exports would lead to costly inefficiencies because “refineries would no longer have the flexibility needed to optimize output.”

E&E News: After winter drilling permit slump, BLM approvals back up
Heather Richards, 6/21/22

“The Biden administration’s oil and natural gas drilling approvals on public lands rose this spring from a winter low point that alarmed the oil industry,” E&E News reports. “On average, the Bureau of Land Management has approved nearly 300 oil or gas permits per month since January, giving operators permission to punch new wells on federal lands in states like Wyoming and Colorado. Applications for permits to drill, or APDs, have attracted attention under the Biden White House as an indicator of whether the administration’s climate focus will influence day-to-day oil and gas development on federal lands. Initially, even as administration officials talked about climate change — and paused leasing on federal lands and waters to review the federal oil program — the drilling approvals in President Joe Biden’s first year outpaced those from the Trump administration’s first year (Energywire, July 13, 2021)… “Still, many environmental activists have expressed frustration at the sales and the rate of permitting, seeing it as a continuance of the status quo. They have slammed the Biden administration for not keeping its campaign promise to retire the oil program. “The more public lands sacrificed to Big Oil, the more economic damage, death, and destruction baked into our future,” Nicole Ghio, senior fossil fuels program manager at Friends of the Earth, told E&E in a statement ahead of the lease sales. “To stave off the worst of climate change, Biden must keep his promise and end all new leasing on public lands and waters.”

Politico: THE SHAPE OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT
Matthew Choi, Kelsey Tamborrino, 6/21/22

“POLITICO’s Zack Colman has a deep dive on the shifting sands of the environmental movement, where some of the most storied organizations are changing course to confront their pasts with racism and focusing on environmental justice as much as the natural environment,” Politico reports. “But some long-time advocates fear doing so is drifting away from the original message of the movement and leaves it squarely in the Democratic camp — possibly at the cost of Republican relationships needed to advance policy should the GOP retake Congress…”

STATE UPDATES

High Country News: A community poisoned by oil
Adam Mahoney, 6/22/22

“When I visited Christina Gonzalez and her family in April, she sat slumped in her family’s worn black faux-leather couch, trying to recall which explosion had shaken her neighborhood the most. The seven decades they’ve lived in Wilmington, California, are marked by the dates of the high-octane industrial fires that have erupted at each of the five refineries that surround their home,” High Country News reports. “…When that refinery blew, there were black dots everywhere,” Christina told HCN, her short dark red hair framing her face, which was marked by lines from the stress. “All over the cars, the house, our fruit trees and patio furniture. “It was raining oil,” she told HCN. She retired soon after that… “Poor health, she says, is a painful but routine fact of life in her South Los Angeles community, an 8.5-square-mile tract surrounded by the largest concentration of oil refineries in California, as well as the third-largest oil field in the U.S., and the largest port in North America. A recent Grist investigation found that since 2020, Wilmington has experienced a dramatic rise in deaths related to Alzheimer’s, liver disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes and diabetes — all conditions known to be exacerbated by high levels of pollution. Illness has spread through the Gonzalez home, too. Christina has been diagnosed with lung disease, lupus and fibromyalgia, while her daughter, Jennifer Gomez, 42, has acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the blood cells. Jennifer’s husband has had two heart attacks, and her teenage son has “been hospitalized more times than a 90-year-old” for multiple severe respiratory infections… “Since 2000, more than 16 million pounds of toxic chemicals, primarily hydrogen cyanide, ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, have been spewed into Wilmington’s air from industrial sites in the city, according to the EPA… “You can’t go outside without hearing trucks from the port going down your street, seeing a cloud of smoke from one of the refineries filling the air, or tasting the sulfur,” Christina told HCN. “I’ve gotten to the point where you could say I’m depressed. “I get tired of calling the doctors to make appointments because I’m having breathing problems,” she added, “and then with the pandemic, being stuck inside watching my daughter (Jennifer) get so severely sick with leukemia.”

CapRadio: How idle oil wells leaked explosive levels of methane in Bakersfield
Manola Secaira, 6/21/22

“Cesar Aguirre first became aware of a potential methane leak in Bakersfield about a month ago. He says that he heard the news from a resident who reported hearing a “hissing” sound coming from an oil well near their home,” CapRadio reports. “And sure enough, after investigation, the California Geologic Energy Management Division, or CalGEM, confirmed the report. They found dozens of oil wells in need of remediation, with 21 leaking explosive levels of methane gas in various neighborhoods in Bakersfield. This means that the invisible fumes could ignite and put residents at risk.  Other impacts from these gas leaks had already taken their toll. When Aguirre, who’s a local organizer with the Central California Environmental Justice Network, went door-to-door to talk to Bakersfield residents, people told him about a range of symptoms.  Many residents told him that they’d been experiencing dizziness, fatigue and headaches – all evidence of exposure to the gas… “These particular leaks came from “idle wells,” a term used to describe a well that once produced oil or gas but has later been abandoned by its operator. Recent reports estimate that there are about 35,000 idle wells in California.   When improperly abandoned, idle wells can contaminate air and drinking water. CalGEM has plugged 1,400 of these kinds of wells since 1977, which the state reports has cost around $29.5 million… “Although Aguirre is encouraged by CalGEM’s recent response, he says that the situation could have been avoided if earlier action was taken. One company responsible for some of the idle wells had long delayed orders from CalGEM to plug and abandon them… “Citing the situation in Bakersfield, advocates rallied in Sacramento on June 14 and called on Governor Gavin Newsom to create a buffer of 3,200 feet between oil wells and communities. They also demanded that the state halt all new oil and gas permits. “Some people even have homes built on top of abandoned oil and gas wells,” Ilonka Zlatar, president of 350 Sacramento, which is a local chapter of a nationwide environmental group, told CapRadio. “And they’re very concerned about what this means for the safety of their families and their homes.”

EXTRACTION

Reuters: Exxonmobil CEO expects tight oil market to last years
Andrew Mills and Yousef Saba, 6/21/22

“ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods on Tuesday said it would take time for energy market volatility to end and that he expects three to five years of fairly tight oil markets,” Reuters reports. “Speaking at a panel at the Bloomberg Qatar Economic Forum in Doha, Woods added that the company had asked the U.S. administration for a more efficient investment process. He also pointed out that ExxonMobil is one of the few companies in the U.S. actively investing in refining and had started an aggressive investment programme since 2017… “U.S. President Joe Biden this month accused the U.S. oil industry, and ExxonMobil in particular, of capitalizing on a supply shortage to fatten profits after a report showed inflation surging to a 40-year record high. Biden told reporters the company had “made more money than God”. Asked about the comment on Tuesday, Woods said: “We tend to look past the political rhetoric that we see day in day out.”

Reuters: Exxon joins oil majors in Qatar’s mega-LNG expansion project
Andrew Mills and Sabrina Valle, 6/21/22

“QatarEnergy on Tuesday signed a deal with Exxon Mobil Corp  for the Gulf state’s North Field East expansion, the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, following agreements with TotalEnergies , Eni  and ConocoPhillips,” Reuters reports. “Qatar is partnering with international companies in the first and largest phase of the nearly $30 billion expansion that will boost Qatar’s position as the world’s top LNG exporter. The companies will form a joint venture and Exxon will hold a 25% stake in that, QatarEnergy CEO Saad al-Kaabi told Reuters… “In all, the North Field Expansion plan includes six LNG trains that will ramp up Qatar’s liquefaction capacity from 77 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 126 mtpa by 2027. The fifth and sixth trains are part of a second phase, North Field South”.

CLIMATE FINANCE

Fossil Free CA: Fossil fuel-funded cop kills California climate legislation
CJ Koepp, 6/21/22

“Today amidst a historic mega-drought, wildfires, and fossil-fueled public health crises, Assemblymember Jim Cooper, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Public Employment and Retirement, refused to allow Senate Bill 1173, California’s Fossil Fuel Divestment Act, to be heard in his committee. This one-man veto allows the state’s pensions to continue to invest billions from public funds into the fossil fuel industry, for now. This decision is a moral failure that disproportionately impacts young people, Indigenous communities, communities of color, and low-income communities. Climate chaos has already cost California billions in damages and health costs from fossil fuel pollution and climate disasters. Jim Cooper, who has just been elected Sacramento County Sheriff, has reported $36,350 in Big Oil campaign contributions from this election season alone. Since the bill was introduced in February, it has gained the support of 143 unions, cities, and organizations, inspiring Californians to make thousands of calls, write nearly 20,000 letters, and organize dozens of meetings with legislators to advocate for SB 1173. All across the state, the fossil fuel industry’s power to kill climate legislation has been exposed. The coalition promises to return with similar legislation next year, and will turn up the pressure directly on CalPERS and CalSTRS to live up to their fiduciary duty. Youth organizers will gather tomorrow morning at the Capitol for an action and press conference to chart the path forward to pension divestment.” “…This vote follows the release of a comprehensive report from Fossil Free California, which revealed that CalPERS and CalSTRS have used their influence as shareholders to obstruct climate action at major fossil fuel corporations, including BP and Shell, as well as financial institutions around the world. Since 2009, the funds’ failure to divest has cost their members over $17.4 billion in returns.”

TODAY IN GREENWASHING

Press release: Cenovus announces significant commitment to education and recognition for Indigenous people across Canada
6/21/22

“Cenovus Energy Inc. today announced a new and significant commitment to Indspire that will support initiatives across Canada aimed at enhancing education and recognizing the outstanding achievements of Indigenous people. Cenovus will donate $1 million over four years, becoming a partner with Indspire, an Indigenous national charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people. “We have supported the creation of long-term economic and social value for Indigenous communities, and provided meaningful opportunities since Cenovus was created more than a decade ago,” said Trent Zacharias, Cenovus’s Director, Community & Indigenous Affairs. “This partnership is an opportunity to further directly invest in supporting education initiatives that can bring sustained change for Indigenous people and their communities across Canada, and contribute to advancing overall reconciliation. It’s also our way of recognizing and honouring the rich history and contributions of Indigenous people in Canada during National Indigenous History Month.” Over the four years, Cenovus will be involved across Indspire’s national programs and initiatives that support Indigenous education and celebrate success stories. The investment by Cenovus includes funding by the company of 25 annual scholarships of $5,000 each for Indigenous students, matched by the Government of Canada for a total of 50 awards. The donation also supports a gathering for Indigenous youth as well as the yearly Indspire Awards, recognizing outstanding individual achievement.”

OPINION

The Trek: A Call for Thru-Hikers to Learn About the Mountain Valley Pipeline
Callia, 6/21/22

“There are many times out here when despite the incalculable variables and odds, you end up exactly where you are meant to be with the people you are meant to be with,” Callia writes for The Trek. “ Like the day I walked through a trailhead parking lot at the exact moment folks participating in Walk for Appalachia’s Future were gathering to protest the Mountain Valley Pipeline… “Advocates at the trailhead spoke of the “highly secretive” $19.5 million deal between the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Mountain Valley Pipeline. According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the conservation stewardship agreement includes the largest monetary contribution package in the history of the conservancy. The money from Mountain Valley is intended to enhance the Appalachian Trail Hiker experience, protect the views from the trail and conserve high-priority tracts of land. “They didn’t involve any of us in the deal.” An organizer proudly wearing an Appalachians Against Pipelines shirt explained. By “us,” the organizer meant the diverse coalition of advocates who have been fighting the pipeline for years… “The ATC refuses to release the full conditions of the agreement to local stakeholders… “You don’t need to be a professional environmental advocate to feel empowered to learn more and support the movement to protect the future of these mountains. In fact, long gone is the time when natural resource management is decided by professionals behind closed doors and excludes the true experts that live by and depend on “the resource.” For those of you who recreate on the AT from elsewhere, now is the time to listen, learn, and take lead from the boots on the ground who have been fighting this fight for almost a decade. Read up on Appalachians Against Pipelines, Protect Our Water Heritage Rights, Appalachian Youth Climate Coalition, 7 Directions of Service. If you have the means, contribute your dollars to this work.”

Anchorage Daily News: OPINION: Alaska is not close to a natural gas pipeline
Roger Marks is an economist in private practice in Anchorage. From 1983-2008, he was an economist with the State of Alaska Department of Revenue Tax Division, 6/21/22

“It has become customary in Alaska over the past 30 years for gubernatorial candidates to say a North Slope natural gas pipeline is closer than ever, and only they can make it happen,” Roger Marks writes for the Anchorage Daily News. “We hear, again, how high natural gas prices make the dream possible. That doesn’t mean the project is viable. Prices are high now because supply bottleneck and inflationary forces are impeding gas production worldwide. That would be true here, too. The current Alaska cost estimate was made in 2019, pre-COVID and pre-inflation. No one knows what the project would cost now, but it would be much more than estimated then. Alaska gas faces the age-old challenge it has always faced: competition. There is just too much other stranded gas out there that can be brought to market for less cost. Worldwide, there are about 200 North Slopes’ worth of gas reserves. Much of this gas is sitting at tidewater, and unlike Alaska gas, it does not need an expensive pipeline to move it to the point where all other projects start… “Because of the large size and high cost, investors will require gas shippers commit to pay to move the gas every day for up to twenty years, regardless of the market price, cost, or whether they actually have gas. That is a huge, risky commitment. It was the Palin administration’s failure in 2007 to appreciate the fundamental financial nature of these commitments that caused the state to overstate the potential returns from the project, and lose several hundred million dollars in the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA) venture… “We are as close to a gas pipeline as we are to a Mid-East peace plan. It would be refreshing to hear someone say, “Vote for me. I will not waste your money on fantasies.”

Globe and Mail: Gordon Pape: Pipelines have performed better than most during the market pull-back. Here are three to consider
Gordon Pape, 6/22/22

“Almost all stocks decline in a bear market, but pipeline companies are doing better than most,” Gordon Pape writes for the Globe and Mail. “The reason is twofold. For starters, global demand for oil and natural gas is keeping their lines full and their pumps working at maximum capacity. There’s no indication this will end soon, even with growing talk of a recession. Second, the high dividends paid by these companies offer attractive yields that help put a floor under their prices. Here’s a look at the three pipeline companies we have recommended in my Income Investor newsletter. TC Energy owns and operates 93,300 km of natural gas pipelines and 653 billion cubic feet of storage in Canada, the US, and Mexico. It also has a 4,900 km network of oil pipelines, which supply Alberta crude to the U.S. market… “It also received approval from the Alberta government to move forward to the next stage of its joint venture with Pembina Pipeline to build and operate a carbon capture and storage hub. The next step is to enter into an evaluation agreement to further assess the viability of the project… “Enbridge Inc. is a leading North American energy infrastructure company. Its core businesses include liquids pipelines, which transport approximately 30 per cent of the crude oil produced in North America; gas transmission and midstream, which transports approximately 20 per cent of the natural gas consumed in the US; and gas distribution and storage, which serves approximately 3.9 million retail customers in Ontario and Quebec… “Pembina owns and operates an integrated system of pipelines that transport various products derived from natural gas and hydrocarbon liquids produced primarily in Western Canada. The company also owns and operates gas gathering and processing facilities and an oil and natural gas liquids infrastructure and logistics business. Pembina reported record first-quarter results and the stock soared to an all-time high.”

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