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EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 6/7/22

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

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips June 7, 2022

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PIPELINE NEWS

  • Des Moines Register: Appeals court upholds 8-year sentence of Des Moines activist in Dakota Access Pipeline sabotage

  • Associated Press: Court upholds ‘terrorism’ sentencing of pipeline saboteur

  • Aberdeen News: Gubernatorial candidates Jamie Smith and Steven Haugaard attend pipeline rally

  • Dakota News Now: Landowners unite against Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline

  • KXN: CO2 pipeline debate represents divide within NDGOP

  • Mississippi Valley Publishing: Petition, letter opposing pipeline going to IUB

  • KFYR: Public Service Commission holds hearing for Enhanced Oil Recovery pipeline project

  • Law360: Montana Tribes Drop Keystone Pipeline Challenge

  • Law360: Pa. Enviro Consultants Can’t Join Case Over Mariner Pipeline

  • Bloomberg: Louisiana probes source of methane cloud spotted near pipelines

  • Popular Resistance: WALK FOR APPALACHIA’S FUTURE CONNECTS STRUGGLES IN THE REGION

WASHINGTON UPDATES

  • Politico: ANTI-LNG CAMPAIGN KNOCK’S ON BIDEN’S FRONT DOOR

  • E&E News: Committee to examine oil and gas industry methane impacts

STATE UPDATES

EXTRACTION

  • Bloomberg: Oil Giants Ready for Climate Strategy Shift in Top Court Pursuit

  • University of Calgary: Alberta’s deep coal seams could be ideal place to permanently store carbon dioxide, new project shows

  • Bloomberg: Canada’s Oil Prices Trail Futures as Refining Costs Rise

CLIMATE FINANCE

  • Financial Times: US Treasury takes aim at World Bank over climate change inaction

TODAY IN GREENWASHING

  • Press release: Cenovus announces enhanced long-term sponsorship of the Calgary Stampede

OPINION

  • Toronto Star: Supporting Line 5 comes at the expense of tribal rights and the environment

  • Calgary Herald: Varcoe: Higher prices, rising output — Alberta energy resource production to top $163B this year

  • New York Times: The Supreme Court Is Pursuing a Very Dangerous Strategy for the Environment

PIPELINE NEWS

Des Moines Register: Appeals court upholds 8-year sentence of Des Moines activist in Dakota Access Pipeline sabotage
William Morris, 6/6/22

“A Des Moines environmental activist imprisoned for sabotaging construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline has failed to convince an appellate court it should cut her eight-year sentence because a lower court erred in applying a terrorism enhancement,” the Des Moines Register reports. “Jessica Reznicek, an activist connected to the Catholic Worker Movement, and fellow Iowan Ruby Montoya repeatedly vandalized construction sites connected to the 1,172-mile pipeline in 2016 and 2017, setting a bulldozer on fire and using oxy-acetylene torches to damage pipeline valves across Iowa… “Reznicek pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to damage an energy facility and in June 2021 was sentenced to eight years in prison. She appealed that sentence, but on Monday, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a short, unsigned opinion that her sentence will stand… “The appeal focused on the decision by Iowa U.S. District Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger to apply a terrorism sentencing enhancement, applicable to crimes “calculated to influence or affect the conduct of government” by intimidation, coercion, or retaliation. That enhancement increased Reznicek’s original recommended sentencing range 37 to 46 months, to 210 to 240 months — a maximum of 20 years — although the final sentence from Ebinger was less than half that. Monday’s decision does not address Reznicek’s argument that, because she was opposing a private development and damaging private property, the terrorism enhancement was inapplicable. Instead, the appellate court notes that “any error was harmless” because Ebinger stated on the record that she would have imposed the same sentence with or without the terrorism enhancement. The ruling comes amid opposition to proposed carbon capture pipelines that would run across Iowa, carrying liquefied carbon dioxide from ethanol plants and other agricultural industries to sequestration sites in North Dakota and Illinois. Ebinger said at the time of the sentencing that the sentence needed to be harsh to deter others from acting out… “In claiming credit for their attacks, the women said their “direct action” was needed to protect natural resources and indigenous people’s sovereignty and to stand up against what they felt to be unchecked and lawless corporate power. “Our conclusion is that the system is broken and it is up to us as individuals to take peaceful action and remedy it, and this we did, out of necessity,” Montoya said in a July 2017 news conference… “A group of Reznicek’s friends and fellow activists have launched a campaign to free her, gathering to date 15,000 signatures on a petition to Congress and President Joe Biden. They are calling for repeal of the terrorism law applied to her and a pardon or commutation of her sentence. Monte Pinger, a spokesman for the campaign, said in a statement that they were “frightened” by what they see as a decision allowing judges to impose terrorism enhancements “without accountability.”

Associated Press: Court upholds ‘terrorism’ sentencing of pipeline saboteur
6/6/22

“A federal appeals court on Monday upheld an eight-year prison sentence for an environmental activist who tried to sabotage the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline,” the Associated Press reports. “Jessica Reznicek pleaded guilty in June 2021 to a charge of conspiracy to damage an energy facility for vandalizing construction sites on the 1,200-mile (1,930-kilometer) pipeline in 2016 and 2017. Iowa U.S. District Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger included a terrorism-related enhancement in her sentencing, finding that the crime was “calculated to influence or affect the conduct of government.” Reznicek appealed that enhancement, arguing that she was acting against a private company. But the appeals court found that “any error was harmless” in Ebinger’s sentencing because the judge had noted she would have imposed the eight-year sentence regardless of the terrorism enhancement, the Des Moines Register reported.”

Aberdeen News: Gubernatorial candidates Jamie Smith and Steven Haugaard attend pipeline rally
Alexandra Hardle, 6/7/22

“Gubernatorial hopefuls Jamie Smith and Steven Haugaard were both present at a rally in opposition to Summit Carbon Solutions’ carbon sequestration pipeline,” Aberdeen News reports. “…A permit for the pipeline is under consideration by the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, but it hasn’t been without concerns with a host of landowners and counties filing petitions to provide official comment on the issue. Also in attendance were Greg Brooks and Scott Moore, who are both Republican candidates for District 23 House of Representatives. Several county commissioners from Spink, Brown and McPherson Counties were also at the rally…  “If the landowners wanted to get behind this and do something with this, I think that’s their prerogative. Using eminent domain for private industry is not something that I can support,” Smith told the News… “Haugaard told the Aberdeen American News that he is opposed to the project, and previously spoke at a Public Utilities Commission in Sioux Falls. In addition to being opposed to the project, Haugaard also said that he is interested in focusing on eminent domain reform. Eminent domain is going to affect growing cities like Sioux Falls, he said… “During the rally, Haugaard spoke in front of the crowd about Dan Lederman, who currently serves as chairman of the South Dakota Republican Party. Lederman is also a prominent lobbyist for Summit. “I think that’s such an incredible conflict of interest. It’s just unspeakable,” said Haugaard… “Brian Jorde, a lawyer with Omaha-based Domina Law Group, is representing a group of more than 130 landowners in South Dakota who are opposed to the pipeline. He’s also representing landowners in all five of the affected states… “Jorde emphasized the importance of work being done at the county level, and urged all counties to enact moratoriums. Moratoriums would essentially put everything on hold until ordinances are passed concerning carbon sequestration pipelines. But Jorde’s main message to landowners was not to sign an easement. “There’s no reason to sign it because they have no approvals from the state,” said Jorde… “Jane Kleeb, a resident of Nebraska who has been working to fight the pipeline also spoke at the rally… “Kleeb similarly urged people to not sign easements. The first offer is never the best offer, she said, emphasizing the importance of negotiations. In addition, there are people who have signed over portions of their property because they signed easements for the Keystone XL pipeline. “Once you sign that easement, you’re signing your land over forever,” said Kleeb. 

Dakota News Now: Landowners unite against Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline
Sarah Parkin, 6/3/22

“Landowners in Spink County and the surrounding areas are coming together to oppose the Summit Carbon Solutions CO2 pipeline set to run through their properties,” Dakota News Now reports. “Ed Fischbach of Spink County is just one landowner whose property is along the pipeline’s main route. After Fischbach and other landowners were told that Summit would not rule out using eminent domain if necessary in November of 2021, the landowners began to organize an opposition. ”I had farmers coming up to me, tapping me on the shoulder and asking me for my phone number. They all said, ‘We’ve got to stop this. We’ve got to organize. Let’s exchange names and phone numbers.’ That’s how we all got started with the landowner opposition movement,” Fischbach told DNN… “The group of concerned landowners has held public meetings in areas such as Aberdeen, Leola and Highmore since October of 2021. Fischbach and other landowners are concerned about the pipeline’s effect on their livestock, and who would be responsible if it leaked. ”Any of us with livestock, whether you have any kind of an animal. If that leaks, what’s it going to do? A lot of the insurance companies, farmers are checking into their liability policies and finding out that they aren’t going to get covered on this because of the hazardous material that its carrying and the pollution that it is,” Fischbach told DNN.  Fischbach’s neighbor, Doug Braun, is along the alternative route for Summit’s pipeline. He tells DNN they want to build the pipeline between his home and his 4,000 head of cattle. ”There’s multi-million dollars sitting on the hill, and you just can’t let somebody come in with no liability and they’re not going to be responsible of killing all those cattle. That’s umpteen-million dollars,” Braun told DNN. For these reasons, the group of landowners is filing a motion to dismiss Summit’s request to extend their permit application deadline with the Public Utilities Commission. “Rather than granting them an extension, let’s kick the whole permit and make them start over, because the reason they’re asking for and extension is because they can’t get people to sign,” Fischbach told DNN. 130 landowners from South Dakota will be represented by Brian Jordie from Domina Law Group in Omaha. The Public Utilities Commission will hear the motion to both extend the permit application deadline and the motion to dismiss it on June 8th. ”We’re forced to spend money out of our own pockets, thousands of dollars now, to hire legal counsel to represent us to try to protect our own property that none of us asked for this to begin with. So, by working together, with a single legal representation, we can cut our costs and present a united voice,” Fischbach told DNN… “Across the five states where our project is proposed to operate, the company has secured more than 1,400 voluntary easements. We look forward to continuing to engage landowners, answer their questions, and secure additional voluntary easements.”

KXN: CO2 pipeline debate represents divide within NDGOP
Josh Meny, 6/6/22

“Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions is developing the Midwest Carbon Express. It will be the largest carbon capture and storage pipeline ever, KXN reports. “….But, like many other major energy projects, we can expect the state to pursue money from the Clean Sustainable Energy Fund, which draws its money from the interest generated by the Legacy Fund. Many conservatives would like to have those earnings earmarked to offset tax cuts for all North Dakotans. The contention surrounding the project illustrates the greater philosophical divide within the NDGOP, playing out in the statewide primary right now… “If I were looking at some big picture things, frankly I would be looking at carbon sequestration and storage, and who’s gonna play ball with that,”  Rep. Rick Becker told KXN. Becker claims that Burgum is contributing to candidates who support Summit Carbon Solution’s Midwest Carbon Express Pipeline, thereby indirectly targeting those who do not support the project. “But, that’s where the money trail leads. That’s where you have all these different entities gearing up to support the same people. So, what the goal is we’ve got a new frontier called CO2, and what they want is a legislature that will do what will enact their vision,” said Becker.”

Mississippi Valley Publishing: Petition, letter opposing pipeline going to IUB
Robin Delaney, 6/7/22

“A petition signed by 118 residents, and a letter from Lee County Supervisors, both opposing Navigator CO2 Ventures’ plan to construct a pipeline to transport captured carbon dioxide in its liquid form through a portion of the county, are to be sent to the Iowa Utilities Board,” Mississippi Valley Publishing reports. “Guys, this is the easiest thing I’ve ever done — finding opposition to it. There were two people that thought it would be a good idea to wait and see what the offer was from the pipeline,” Ray Menke told supervisors when turning in the petition Monday… “Supervisors decided to send the letter after several Lee County residents expressed opposition to the pipeline at recent meetings. Supervisor Ron Fedler said one farmer said he had plans to develop his land in the future that may be hindered by the pipeline route. “That’s the other bad thing. They’re offer you a price for the land. They’re going to pay you whatever the market price is today,” Menke added… “Menke said the pipeline company has kept details “under the radar” and that West Point Mayor Paul Walker didn’t know about the project until he was approached about the petition. “When I get this many landowners saying ‘no,’ I really think I’m obliged to listen and report what their feelings are,” Fedler said. Supervisor Garry Seyb Jr. said he too had heard from several residents that have safety concerns about the project and the fact that “this pipeline is different.” Menke said the pipeline company led some to believe it would be following a similar route as other pipelines on the right of way, but that he recently learned the carbon dioxide pipeline will be hundreds of feet away from existing pipelines… “However, at the very end of Monday’s meeting, Ryan Keller, who is handling public relations for the project, said Navigator officials are eager to address the concerns and better inform residents. Keller said Navigator has not even submitted an application yet and a route has not yet been confirmed… “He said it is difficult to arrange for Navigator officials to attend regular supervisor meetings in all the 36 affected Iowa counties, but that Navigator representatives will be in Lee County on June 30 if a special meeting could be arranged… “I had no idea there was that much opposition. I saw it on the agenda and decided to come down just to hear that,” Keller said, adding that they have not even approached landowners yet because a set route has not been determined.

KFYR: Public Service Commission holds hearing for Enhanced Oil Recovery pipeline project
Michael Anthony, 6/6/22

“Oil producers have been drilling in the Bakken for decades, and industry officials say there is still plenty of work to be done. In order to get the most oil out of the ground, new methods such as Enhanced Oil Recovery are needed, and that’s what one company is planning to test with their latest project,” KFYR reports. “By injecting materials such as natural gas into the ground, oil producers say they can extend the production life of a well. The technique, which is known as Enhanced Oil Recovery, is being tested by various operators including Continental Resources. They are asking the Public Service Commission for approval on a three-mile pipeline that would take natural gas from the WBI pipeline to their well pad as part of a pilot project in northwestern North Dakota. “The end goal is to ultimately produce anywhere from 25% to 60% additional oil reserves from what the original estimates are for the wells,” said Daymond Bennett, Continental Team Lead Reservoir Engineering. The commission heard from the company Monday in Williston, questioning them on safety and permitting. While the short pipeline is straightforward, commissioners are excited to see the effectiveness of EOR… “An environmental consultant told the commission that the site was environmentally safe.”

Law360: Montana Tribes Drop Keystone Pipeline Challenge
Clark Mindock, 6/6/22

“A fight between the federal government and Montana tribe over approvals for the TC Energy’s Keystone Pipeline came to and end Monday, over a year after President Joe Biden revoked a key permit for the project,” reports. “U.S. District Judge Brian Morris granted a joint stipulation for dismissal filed last month in the case, which was stayed in early 2021 after the president revoked a key cross-border permit that would allow TC Energy to construct, connect, operate and maintain the pipeline…”

Law360: Pa. Enviro Consultants Can’t Join Case Over Mariner Pipeline
Matthew Santoni, 6/6/22

“Property owners trying to sue over damage allegedly done by construction of the Mariner East 2 pipelines can’t use two proposed expert witnesses, as they had a “glaring conflict of interest” stemming from their employer’s work consulting for Pennsylvania agencies on the pipeline, a state administrative board ruled Monday,” Law360 reports. “

Bloomberg: Louisiana probes source of methane cloud spotted near pipelines
Josh Saul, 6/6/22

“Louisiana is investigating the source of a cloud of methane that was spotted from space near multiple natural gas pipelines,” Bloomberg reports. “The state began its probe after Bloomberg News contacted the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources about a concentration of the planet-warming gas detected May 28 by a European Space Agency satellite… “If the release lasted an hour at the rate estimated by the geoanalytics firm, it would have roughly the same short-term impact as the annual emissions from about 800 US cars… “The release under investigation likely originated within six miles of gas pipelines owned by Kinder Morgan Inc. and Boardwalk Pipelines LP and about eight miles from an Energy Transfer pipeline, according to Kayrros. None of the three operators contacted by Bloomberg said they were responsible. Louisiana’s Department of Natural Resources said it was first made aware of the methane cloud by Bloomberg. “We are currently trying to see if there are any potential sources (wells or pipelines) that look to be close enough to have caused such a release,” Patrick Courreges, a representative for the state department, told Bloomberg. He told Bloomberg the agency is reaching out to the nearby operators and its field agents are looking for any physical evidence, such as a ruptured pipeline or disturbed ground.”

Popular Resistance: WALK FOR APPALACHIA’S FUTURE CONNECTS STRUGGLES IN THE REGION
Margaret Flowers, 6/6/22

“Activists just completed the “Walk for Appalachia’s Future” through West Virginia, North Carolina and Virginia to highlight the impacts of fossil fuel extraction on communities and the land. At each stop, they held events with local activists to learn about their struggles and make broader connections. The Appalachian region is a sacrifice zone – rich in mineral wealth that is extracted by large corporations without benefit to the people. West Virginia is the fifth poorest state in the US with low education attainment and high rates of physical and mental diseases. Clearing the FOG speaks with two organizers of the walk, Maury Johnson and Melinda Tuhus, about the conditions that led to organizing the walk and what they have learned along the way as well as the people’s vision for the region.”

WASHINGTON UPDATES

Politico: ANTI-LNG CAMPAIGN KNOCK’S ON BIDEN’S FRONT DOOR
Matthew Choi, 6/6/22

“A coalition of Louisiana environmental groups, former oil and gas workers and others launched a summer-long campaign over the weekend protesting the expansion of liquefied natural gas terminals across the Gulf Coast,” Politico reports. “Targeted at FERC and the Biden administration, the ad campaign is primarily focused on the Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, region where President Biden has a home. “Would DC politicians allow this here?” one ad reads, picturing industrial construction sites on the Louisiana coast. “You’d never let them in Rehoboth. Help us stop them in Louisiana.” The campaign comes as the administration and FERC are increasingly under pressure to greenlight more natural gas pipelines and terminals as the Russian invasion of Ukraine limits global fuel supplies and skyrocketing fuel prices continue to hurt voters’ pockets. But the Louisiana coalition is trying to press the administration to consider the environmental justice impacts of the gas facilities. “[T]hese massive multi-hundred-acre industrial sites destroy huge swaths of the Louisiana coast. They prevent the surrounding land from absorbing flood waters and deflecting storm surges during hurricanes,” said a spokesperson for the campaign in an email. “Even worse than that, they’re contributing massively to climate change by spewing methane into the atmosphere.”

E&E News: Committee to examine oil and gas industry methane impacts
Heather Richards, 6/6/22

“The House Science, Space and Technology Committee will hold a hearing this week to examine the U.S. oil and gas sector’s methane footprint,” E&E News reports. “The hearing will look into new leak detection technology, novel approaches to measuring and mitigating leaks and ongoing federal research to fill knowledge gaps about the scale of the industry’s methane output. The committee will also discuss challenges to achieving large-scale methane emissions reductions… “Oil and gas operations represent as much as a third of methane emissions, but climate groups and some lawmakers argue that the full impact of fugitive gas from the oil patch is only now being fully understood thanks to technology like infrared cameras. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have increasingly bandied ways to address methane emissions amid concerns about worsening climate change. Negotiators of the stalled “Build Back Better Act” have weighed including a methane fee — a penalty on producers for exceeding a cap on emissions relative to the amount of gas sold at market.” 

STATE UPDATES

Los Angeles Times: 9th Circuit Court blocks permits for fracking off California coast
CHRISTIAN MARTINEZ, 6/3/22

“The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday blocked fracking off the California coast, ruling that the federal government must complete a full environmental review before approving permits for such offshore oil drilling platforms,” the Los Angeles Times reports. “The decision prevents the Interior Department and other federal agencies from issuing permits for “well stimulation” through hydraulic fracturing until a complete environmental impact statement is issued “rather than the inadequate [environmental assessment] on which they had relied.” “Today’s decision is a win for our communities, our environment, and the rule of law,” California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta said in a news release. “Offshore drilling — particularly fracking — pollutes our waterways, damages our environment, and exacerbates climate change. We saw the risks of offshore drilling firsthand with the Huntington Beach oil spill last year, and we see it every day in the form of the climate crisis.” “…The decision stems from a 2016 lawsuit brought by the state, the California Coastal Commission and environmental groups alleging that “federal agencies violated environmental laws when they authorized unconventional oil drilling methods on offshore platforms in the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf off the coast of California,” according to court records. The plaintiffs argued that the environmental assessments of fracking done by federal agencies, including the Interior Department, were inadequate and incomplete… “Federal agencies “failed to take the hard look required” by the National Environmental Policy Act when issuing their environmental assessment, the 9th Circuit panel wrote.”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: A pro-Herschel Walker gas giveaway fuels Democratic outrage
Greg Bluestein, 6/5/22

“A long line of cars formed at a Chevron gas station south of downtown Atlanta on Saturday as word spread that a political action committee was handing out $25 vouchers. Now the pro-Herschel Walker group’s giveaway is fueling a different sort of backlash. The initiative by 34N22 was designed to highlight rising gas prices, a top issue for Republicans hoping to capitalize on inflation and economic uncertainty to unseat U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock. Motorists in the heavily Democratic area were handed vouchers — a combined $4,000 worth — along with flyers promoting Walker, a former football player who is now the Republican nominee. Outside the gas station, volunteers held signs declaring “Warnock isn’t working.” Democrats and voting rights groups quickly criticized the stunt, questioning how offering fuel vouchers to support a political candidate could be allowed in a state that bans groups from distributing refreshments to waiting voters in line to cast ballots. “This is illegal,” declared LaTosha Brown, a cofounder of Black Voters Matter. “Meanwhile, also in Georgia, giving out water to those waiting to cast a ballot is considered illegal voter influence,” said state Sen. Michelle Au, a Johns Creek Democrat. The PAC referred to a memo from attorney Kory Langhofer that asserted the program was “entirely lawful and permissible” because the vouchers were given without any condition, such as a requirement to vote for Walker or appear in an advertisement. “Warnock’s campaign is upset about 34N22′s community outreach program, not because of any earnest legal concerns, but because they don’t want the public to know Warnock has contributed to record gas prices and the pain Georgians are feeling at the pump,” wrote Langhofer, whose experience includes serving as a lawyer for Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign… “But several influential Democrats argued that the PAC’s move could have violated Georgia law that states: “Any person who gives or receives, offers to give or receive, or participates in the giving or receiving of money or gifts for the purpose of registering as a voter, voting, or voting for a particular candidate in any primary or election shall be guilty of a felony.”

EXTRACTION

Bloomberg: Oil Giants Ready for Climate Strategy Shift in Top Court Pursuit
6/7/22

“Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., and other oil giants are adjusting their legal strategies in pursuit of another Supreme Court petition, the next step in a yearslong attempt to steer the climate liability cases away from potentially explosive trials in state courts,” Bloomberg reports. “Attorneys for industry defendants fighting misinformation lawsuits from US cities, states, and counties have until June 8 to file a petition to justices, which they confirmed in March oral arguments is their next step after a series of decisions to keep climate suits in state courts. The US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit decision in Colorado’s lawsuit will likely be the case oil giants throw to the high court this time around, using a conflicting victory in the Second Circuit, New York v. BP PLC, as their headlining claim. “Exxon Mobil intends to seek Supreme Court review from the Tenth Circuit’s decision, and so in some sense, this Court will be weighing in on an issue on which in our view, there already is a circuit conflict,” energy industry attorney Kannon Shanmugam of Paul, Weiss Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP told Bloomberg. This will be the second time companies have called for justices to weigh in on technical aspects of the cases in pursuit of getting them tossed entirely in federal venues. The Supreme Court handed the companies a win in May 2021 that sent many of the lawsuits back to circuit courts for a closer look, but judges continued to send the cases back to state judges. The new Supreme Court petition will likely be lead by the decision in New York v. BP PLC, but also could include national security concerns stemming from the energy crisis spurred by Russian’s invasion of Ukraine, according to Loyola University New Orleans law professor Karen Sokol, who has written amicus briefs on behalf of climate plaintiffs in Delaware. “The industry is willing to fight this out on the procedural level, basically, forever,” she told Bloomberg..

University of Calgary: Alberta’s deep coal seams could be ideal place to permanently store carbon dioxide, new project shows
Mark Lowey, 6/6/22

“A new pilot project led by Calgary-based clean energy company Cv̄ictus, and involving a University of Calgary research team led by Dr. Chris Clarkson, PhD, shows that deep, unmineable coal seams in Alberta could provide the ideal medium for permanently storing CO2,” according to the University of Calgary. “This successful pilot provides a proof-of-concept of, and critical data for, the secure storage of CO2 in deep coal seams, and in particular the Mannville coals in Alberta,” says Clarkson, professor in the Department of Geoscience in the Faculty of Science. The field pilot, done near Red Deer, involved drilling a CO2 injection well 1,500 metres deep into the Mannville coal seams, along with an observation well. This enabled the project team to both inject CO2 and monitor subsurface movement of fluids, including CO2. Monitoring and surveillance conducted during and after CO2 injection are critical for understanding the permanence of CO2 storage, Clarkson notes… “Previous studies have identified depleted oil and gas reservoirs or deep saline aquifers in Alberta as potential places for permanently storing CO2. However, an ongoing concern with these approaches is ensuring the CO2 is contained and doesn’t migrate out of the CO2 injection target zone. This largely depends on the quality of the overlying caprock acting as a seal. Depleted oil and gas reservoirs typically have multiple zones drilled in them, so potentially there could be a cross-flow of CO2 from the injection target zone to another zone. As for storing CO2 in deep saline aquifers — as the Shell Quest CCS facility near Edmonton does — this method is technically challenging and very expensive… “The coal naturally adsorbs CO2 in a near liquid-like state onto its internal surface, Clarkson says. Due to this strong adsorption, the CO2 is not easily released from coal without a large decrease in the geological formation’s pore pressure.”

Bloomberg: Canada’s Oil Prices Trail Futures as Refining Costs Rise
Robert Tuttle, 6/6/22

“Canadian heavy crude prices have collapsed relative to futures prices because of high refining costs rather than the pipeline bottle necks that have plagued the industry in the past, according to a Toronto-based analyst,” Bloomberg reports. “Western Canadian Select discount to the benchmark West Texas Intermediate grew to more than $20 barrel on Friday, the widest since November, data compiled by Bloomberg show. In recent years, a shortfall of export pipelines was resulted in a widening discount to as much as $50 a barrel for Canadian heavy oil. Now, the cause is related to the quality of Canadian crude, Rory Johnson, managing director and market economist at Price Street wrote on Twitter. The situation is similar to last fall when the discount also exceeded $20 a barrel, Johnson said, referencing a note from November. About half the discount to the benchmark, at that time, was due to the quality of the crude oil… “The high-sulfur, heavy nature of oil produced in the oil sands of Northern Alberta means it always trades at a discount to lighter oil grades because it’s more expensive to refine. Higher natural gas costs, which climbed almost 10% on Monday, make refining heavy crude more expensive.”

CLIMATE FINANCE

Financial Times: US Treasury takes aim at World Bank over climate change inaction
Camilla Hodgson in London and Aime Williams in Washington, 6/5/22

“The World Bank Group leadership is facing renewed criticism from Joe Biden’s administration to step up its climate change efforts, after a blunt complaint from the US Treasury about its failure to take the level of action required,” the Financial Times reports. “A letter to the international financial institution headed by Donald Trump appointee David Malpass, seen by the Financial Times, said progress had been made to meet Treasury secretary Janet Yellen’s requests but there remained “specific gaps and room for increased climate ambition”. The letter also urged more “forceful and constructive leadership”. A US Treasury official said that while it “appreciated” the steps taken by the World Bank in 2021, it “continued to make clear” its position about the bank falling short on its climate ambitions… “The US Treasury letter to World Bank senior management included a series of requests about avoiding the financing of fossil fuel projects, in particular to help developing countries shift away from coal. The World Bank chose not to join the numerous countries and development banks that pledged at last year’s UN COP26 summit to end public financing for coal, oil and gas internationally in 2022, and the group’s climate plan does not include a deadline for phasing out direct and indirect fossil fuel financing. The letter also asked that the institution “only support gas investments in limited circumstances” and where there were “no other credible options”. Treasury officials have also made clear in meetings with civil society organisations that they are dissatisfied with the climate policies of multilateral development banks, and the World Bank in particular, according to a person familiar with the meetings.”

TODAY IN GREENWASHING

Press release: Cenovus announces enhanced long-term sponsorship of the Calgary Stampede
6/6/22

“Cenovus Energy Inc. today announced a new and substantial long-term sponsorship agreement with the Calgary Stampede. The four-year, Champion level sponsorship builds on more than a decade of involvement with the Stampede. The enhanced relationship, which runs through 2025, includes premier sponsorship of the Saddle Bronc competition and a new fan experience with company volunteers handing out treats and other giveaways to lucky fans seated in the designated Cenovus Energy Zone during the rodeo. In addition, the agreement provides opportunities for Cenovus staff to volunteer at the Stampede, which runs from July 8 to July 17. “At Cenovus, one of our core values is ‘Do It Together,’ which really aligns well with the Stampede theme of ‘We’re Greatest Together’,” said Alex Pourbaix, Cenovus President & Chief Executive Officer. “After the challenges of the last two years, I can’t think of a better way to support this vibrant city than to bring our community together to celebrate Calgary’s spirit at The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.” Cenovus has provided significant support to the Calgary Stampede and Calgary Stampede Foundation since the company’s inception in 2009, including funding to support construction of the Cenovus Legacy Trail, operation of the Stampede School, as well as past sponsorship of the Stampede’s Family Day and year-round safety programs.”

OPINION

Toronto Star: Supporting Line 5 comes at the expense of tribal rights and the environment
Michelle Woodhouse is water program manager at Environmental Defence and Whitney Gravell is president of Bay Mills Indian Community, 6/6/22

“Why is Canada supporting Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline when doing so means bulldozing through Indigenous rights, threatening the Great Lakes, and pushing us deeper into a climate crisis?” Michelle Woodhouse and Whitney Gravell write for the Toronto Star. “The Canadian government talks a big game about reconciliation, climate change, and freshwater protection. Yet they support Enbridge’s 70-year-old, poorly maintained Line 5 pipeline (which violates Indigenous treaty rights) and their proposed investment in new fossil fuel infrastructure in the Great Lakes. This is unacceptable.Recently, the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa, whose territory is located within Wisconsin, filed for an injunction to evict Enbridge and Line 5 from its territory. Bay Mills Indian Community, whose  territory is located in Michigan, has intervened as a litigating party to remove Line 5 from the Straits of Mackinac. All 12 Tribal Nations in Michigan have also passed resolutions calling for Line 5’s closure. Every day Line 5 remains open poses a major risk. It has already had major spills — more than 4.5 million litres over its lifetime. It’s just a matter of time until a catastrophic spill happens. This imminent threat to the ways of life and economic well-being for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples is why Tribal Nations in both Canada and the United States want the pipeline shut down. Michigan and Wisconsin Tribal Nations signed treaties in 1836, 1837, 1842, and 1854 with the United States government. These treaties retain the rights to be able to hunt, fish and gather in their traditional territories. Line 5 is a direct threat to these rights and the ecosystems that sustain them. Enbridge and the Canadian government are trying to circumvent Tribal rights and avoid a mandated shutdown by the State of Michigan by calling upon a 1977 pipeline treaty. They are also advocating for a tunnel to be built through the ecologically and culturally sensitive Straits of Mackinac and a rerouting of Line 5 around Bad River Band territory. Not one Tribal Nation wants this and are resisting these efforts within the U.S. legal system. Enbridge and the Canadian government continue to argue that they cannot manage without Line 5. However, analysis by an industry expert, which relied on Enbridge’s own data, shows viable alternatives to Line 5 exist that would have negligible impacts on gas prices. A planned Line 5 shutdown that doesn’t involve laying new pipeline or building an underwater tunnel is within reach. The question is: will Canada help make it happen?”

Calgary Herald: Varcoe: Higher prices, rising output — Alberta energy resource production to top $163B this year
Chris Varcoe, 6/7/22

“More hydrogen, more geothermal, more oil and more natural gas. Alberta is an energy powerhouse and output is expected to keep climbing through the next decade — with production topping $163 billion in value this year — even as the debate grows about peak demand for fossil fuels and decarbonization efforts continue to gather steam,” Chris Varcoe writes for the Calgary Herald. “The Alberta Energy Regulator’s annual outlook report, released last week, forecasts the province will see production of most energy sources increase through 2031… “The regulator’s report indicates total estimated production of all sources of energy will climb by 18 per cent over the next decade, along with modestly higher capital expenditures coming from the oil and gas sector… “The long-term forecast largely depends on the demand for liquid fuels. In the absence of policies that would reduce fossil fuel consumption, it is too early to predict a rapid decline in crude oil demand,” the report states… “This is a sector that is certainly going through changes … but in the same vein, it is something that will be here for a long time,” Tristan Goodman, president of the Explorers and Producers Association of Canada, told the Herald… “Up to $800 million a year in capital spending will flow into helium, geothermal and hydrogen and other “emerging sources” this decade, the AER says. Several proposed hydrogen production projects have been announced in the past year in Alberta. Domestic hydrogen production, which sat at 2.5 million tonnes last year, is expected to jump to 3.7 million tonnes next decade.”

New York Times: The Supreme Court Is Pursuing a Very Dangerous Strategy for the Environment
Sambhav Sankar is the senior vice president of programs at Earthjustice, an environmental law group, 6/5/22

“If you continue to harbor doubts that the Supreme Court’s conservatives are advancing an ideological agenda, the next few weeks will probably lay those to rest,” Sambhav Sankar writes for the New York Times. “Before breaking for the summer at the end of this month, the court is likely not only to strike down or severely curtail the constitutional right to an abortion and expand gun rights but also undermine important environmental protections. From my perspective as an environmental lawyer and a former clerk for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, a case that looms large is West Virginia v. E.P.A., which should be decided within weeks. The justices will determine how much authority the Environmental Protection Agency has to address the climate crisis by regulating emissions of climate-warming carbon dioxide from power plants… “Why is the court going beyond calling balls and strikes, as Chief Justice John Roberts memorably described his role, to take a case it arguably doesn’t have jurisdiction to hear? Some of the court’s conservatives seem eager to assist polluting industries by undercutting the power of agencies to regulate in the public interest. More specifically, certain justices have signaled their interest in sharply limiting the E.P.A.’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in the West Virginia case by invoking and expanding a “major questions” doctrine. That doctrine invites unelected judges to second-guess Congress when lawmakers give an agency the authority to regulate on matters that have “major” political or economic significance… “This profound disconnect between the will of the people and the court’s deregulatory agenda on the environment could not come at a more dangerous time. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that our window to avert irreversible climate harm is closing fast. If the Supreme Court chooses this moment to pursue an agenda of limiting federal regulatory power, it will serve the interests of corporations — particularly fossil fuel companies — while pushing people and the planet closer and closer to the point of no return.”

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