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EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 6/8/22

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

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips June 8, 2022

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PIPELINE NEWS

  • West Virginia Public Broadcasting: Finish Mountain Valley Pipeline To Deter Russia, Manchin Says

  • KELO: S.D. regulators could extend date to decide CO2 permit

  • Des Moines Register: Poet, world’s largest ethanol producer, joins Navigator CO2’s $3 billion carbon capture pipeline project

  • Press release: NAVIGATOR CO2, POET SIGN LETTER OF INTENT TO CAPTURE, TRANSPORT, AND STORE FIVE (5) MILLION TONS OF CO2 ANNUALLY

  • Summit-Tribune: Hancock County supervisors discuss pipeline concerns with Summit official

  • News Channel Nebraska: Navigator Heartland Greenway pipeline discussed at Madison County meeting

  • Pipeline Fighters Hub: Meet the 45Q Tax Credit Piggies!

  • KQDS: Enbridge, Line 5 Supporters Kick Off Safest Way Tour in Superior

  • Star Journal: Pipeline coalition to make a Rhinelander stop to promote ‘Line 5’

  • Press release: The Law Offices of Frank R. Cruz Announces Investigation of Energy Transfer LP (ET) on Behalf of Investors

WASHINGTON UPDATES

STATE UPDATES

  • Grand Forks Herald: Can captured carbon and geothermal energy generate electricity? North Dakota could provide the answer.

  • Environmental Health News: Colorado is the first state to ban PFAS in oil and gas extraction

EXTRACTION

  • Canadian Press: Cenovus CEO says future of energy is ‘diversification’, not ‘transition’

  • Washington Post: Oil and gas companies underreported methane leaks, new study shows

  • New York Times: Shell, the Oil Giant, Will Sell Renewable Energy to Texans

  • Associated Press: Environmental groups challenge EU support for gas projects

CLIMATE FINANCE

  • Press release: Financial Community to Engage 40 Canadian Corporate Issuers for Alignment on Net-zero Transition

OPINION

  • The Hill: Calls to boost natural gas can’t ignore fuel combustion’s deadly impacts

  • The Hill: CO2 level just passed an important benchmark – a measure of humanity’s war on nature

PIPELINE NEWS

West Virginia Public Broadcasting: Finish Mountain Valley Pipeline To Deter Russia, Manchin Says
Curtis Tate, 6/7/22

“U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin has called for the immediate completion of a stalled natural gas pipeline as an alternative to Russian energy,” West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports. “Manchin said the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which stretches 300 miles across West Virginia and Virginia, can help European countries rely less on Russia for natural gas. The pipeline is mostly complete but tied up in federal court. Environmental groups have successfully brought the project to a halt over concerns about impacts on waterways and endangered species. But Manchin, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said the pipeline should be completed now. “That one pipeline coming out of West Virginia will put 2 billion cubic feet of gas a day into the market,” he said. “That can be accomplished in eight months. They’re 95 percent completed.”

KELO: S.D. regulators could extend date to decide CO2 permit
Bob Mercer, 6/6/22

“The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission will hear arguments Wednesday on whether to let a proposed carbon-dioxide pipeline have more time on its application for a state permit,” KELO reports. “…Commission staff attorneys Kristen Edwards and Amanda Reiss filed a memo that supports a request from the Iowa-based company to push back the deadline to June 15, 2023. Landowners along the route have filed a motion asking the commission to dismiss the application altogether because SCS has changed six miles of a route that is proposed to run 469 miles through eastern South Dakota between Iowa and North Dakota. Edwards and Reiss said dismissal isn’t necessary. They cited a variety of past dockets where routes changed during the permitting processes. “Information filed to date does provide a specific route, and staff will make our recommendation to the commission based on that route. Any future route changes are purely speculative. However, if they do occur, staff will reassess our position and make a recommendation to the commission for the proper path forward at that time,” the two staff attorneys wrote.”

Des Moines Register: Poet, world’s largest ethanol producer, joins Navigator CO2’s $3 billion carbon capture pipeline project
Donnelle Eller, 6/7/22

“Poet, the world’s largest ethanol producer, said Tuesday it’s joining Navigator CO2 Ventures’ $3 billion carbon capture pipeline, one of three developers propose building through Iowa and neighboring states,” the Des Moines Register reports. “Texas-based Navigator said it will transport 5 million metric tons of liquefied carbon dioxide annually from 18 Poet plants in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota, where the biofuels company’s headquarters are located… “Poet has 12 ethanol plants in Iowa, the state that produces the largest quantity of the biofuel as well as corn, from which it is primarily distilled. About half the state’s corn crop goes to ethanol production. “We recognize that now is the time to take bold action to preserve our planet for future generations,” Jeff Broin, Poet founder and CEO, said in a statement. “This project is another significant step in utilizing bioprocessing to accelerate our path to net-zero.” “…The projects are controversial, with hundreds of Iowa residents filing objections with state regulators, questioning whether the pipelines are needed, are safe and should be allowed to cross valuable farmland. With the addition of Poet, Navigator said its 1,300-mile Heartland Greenway pipeline is slated to collect about 10 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually from 33 plants across Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota and South Dakota. Navigator’s pipeline will be designed to have the capacity to capture 15 million tons of carbon annually….”

Press release: NAVIGATOR CO2, POET SIGN LETTER OF INTENT TO CAPTURE, TRANSPORT, AND STORE FIVE (5) MILLION TONS OF CO2 ANNUALLY
6/7/22

“Navigator CO2 Ventures LLC (“Navigator”) announced today that they have signed a Letter of Intent to provide carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) services to POET, the world’s largest producer of biofuel and a global leader in sustainable bioproducts, on Navigator’s Heartland Greenway system. The agreement outlines Navigator’s integrated CCUS services for approximately five (5) million metric tons of POET’s biogenic CO2 annually and establishes a collaborative path for the development of a central carbon offset marketplace and carbon use logistics platform. The system will phase in 18 of POET’s bioprocessing facilities across Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota, and is on schedule for operational in-service in 2025. “We recognize that now is the time to take bold action to preserve our planet for future generations,” said Jeff Broin, POET Founder and CEO. “POET has been a leader in low-carbon biofuels and CO2 capture for commercial use for decades, and this project is another significant step in utilizing bioprocessing to accelerate our path to net-zero. We choose our partners carefully, and we believe Navigator has the expertise to deliver long-term value to rural America by further positioning agricultural commodities as a viable source of low-carbon liquid fuels to power our future.”  With the addition of POET to the platform, Navigator’s Heartland Greenway system will provide CCUS services for more than 30 industrial processors across the agriculture and food production value chains, representing over ten (10) million tons of annual CO2 emissions, including the two (2) largest bioethanol producers in the United States, in addition to highly efficient single-site production facilities. Navigator’s unique platform will now mobilize efforts to deliver up to 15 million tons annually of CCUS services through new pipeline laterals and parallel development of multiple storage sites.”

Summit-Tribune: Hancock County supervisors discuss pipeline concerns with Summit official
Rob Hillesland, 6/7/22

“Hancock County supervisors pressed a number of concerns about the proposed Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline during a project update from Derek Montgomery on June 6,” the Summit-Tribune reports. “Montgomery noted partnering with 32 Iowa ethanol plants and communicating with several others about joining the project. He said one goal is to “keep ethanol plants open and keep (corn) prices high.” He noted ethanol plants are required to reduce carbon scores, which is vital to them remaining open. Supervisor Sis Greiman argued that Hancock County, with its rural agricultural emphasis and abundance of crops, is not contributing to carbon concerns. “New York maybe does have a carbon footprint, but we don’t with our plants,” Greiman said. “So, don’t tell us we have a carbon problem.” Greiman noted Hancock County has more drainage districts than most Iowa counties and thus could be more adversely impacted by a pipeline… “Greiman also voiced concerns about how payments for crop damages would be reduced each year for a period of about three years… “Supervisor Gary Rayhons noted it is an issue of concern if farmers have to work around pipe in the ground… “Greiman asked what will happen when tile hundreds of yards away from the construction site blows up, potentially much later or on a lateral of a drainage district. “Any damage caused by the project, Summit Carbon Solutions will be on the hook for it,” Montgomery said. “We will take responsibility for any damage we cause.” Montgomery noted that the project is estimated to generate $1.2 million in additional property taxes, which would be paid to the county by Summit. When questioned, he said there could be some depreciation of the figure in future years… “Montgomery said the company would have to get back to supervisors about whether permits would allow carbon dioxide to be taken back out of storage for various uses. He said the same about Rayhons’ request to see the number of dollars spent on easements in the county.”

News Channel Nebraska: Navigator Heartland Greenway pipeline discussed at Madison County meeting
Ryan Pattee, 6/7/22

“Madison County commissioners were given a project update for another potential carbon dioxide pipeline in Madison County,” News Channel Nebraska reports. “…Representing the pipeline at Tuesday’s meeting was John Keen a contractor with Navigator and Andy Roberts the plant manager at Valero Energy in Albion. They were there to answer questions the commissioners may have about the pipeline. “So the basic surveys of the land [in Madison County] have been completed,” Keen said. “Over 70% of the landowners in Madison County gave voluntary survey permission…we’re carefully tracking those individuals and property owners who have concerns and following up and addressing with them.” Keen said that once these surveys have been completed, Navigator will move on to offering Easements to landowners. Documents provided said the pipeline would pay for three years for landowners, with payments being made on 100% of the yield that would have been made in year one, 80% for year two, and 60% for year three… “According to its website, Navigator said Madison County alone would receive over $1 million in annual direct property taxes if approved. Wayne County would receive over $700,000 and Stanton would get over $33,000. The pipeline would also travel through Boone, Dixon, and Dakota counties, according to that same webpage they would receive $408,726, $467,488, and $752,971 respectively.”

Pipeline Fighters Hub: Meet the 45Q Tax Credit Piggies!
Paul Blackburn, 6/8/22

“If you want to cut to the chase, the answer is that the IRS 45Q tax credit rules are so flexible that the credits from a single development project may be owned by an unlimited number of entities that have an ownership interest in either carbon capture equipment and/or a sequestration site,” Paul Blackburn writes for the Pipeline Fighters Hub. “…So, who are the tax credit piggies? We actually cannot and will not ever know. It depends on who owns the carbon capture equipment, who is the permittee for sequestration and EOR wells, and who owns other industrial use facilities. Since Summit and Navigator have not disclosed their business structures and contracts, we don’t know how the 45Q tax credits will be sloshing around in their particular hog troughs. And, since 45Q tax credit reporting will be made via federal tax returns, all the tax credit claims will be confidential. No one outside of the IRS will ever know the full scope of the 45Q tax credit piggie multiverse… “The 45Q tax credit program would essentially turn waste carbon into a commodity and create a new national carbon commodity industry served by a market that sets the price for carbon and distributes tax credits based on need. Imagine that: a new industry based entirely on federal tax credits. Given (a) the ambitious nationwide pipeline development plans outlined by multiple supporters of the 45Q tax credit, (b) legislative proposals for massive increases in the 45Q program’s per ton amounts, and (c) the oil industry’s admitted need for massive amounts of carbon for EOR, the 45Q hog trough multiverse appears to be the goal. To boldly go where no tax credit piggie has gone before!”

KQDS: Enbridge, Line 5 Supporters Kick Off Safest Way Tour in Superior
Rusty Mehlberg, 6/7/22

“Supporters of the Enbridge Line 5 relocation project got a chance to see what will be going into the ground Tuesday,” KQDS reports. “Enbridge and the Wisconsin Jobs and Energy Coalition hosted local leaders, trade union representatives, and tribal members at their Superior terminal to get an up-close up look of the 30-inch diameter steel pipe, as well as the opportunity to sign it. “It’s really exciting to be able to be here today and have this piece of pipe,” Lorraine Little, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Enbridge, told KQDS, “so people can get close and see how thick it is and how substantial it is and help understand what goes in the ground, what is Line 5, what does it look like.  So they get an up close and personal experience.” “…Little told KQDS it plays a vital role in the local energy needs for Wisconsin and Michigan, as well as keeping energy prices as affordable as possible… “Little told KQDS this tour and pipe showcases how many different organizations are coming together to support what they say is the safest way to transport oil and natural gas across the country… “The 34-foot section of pipe on display will be making stops in Mellen and Hurley for people to see… “While support is high in the Northland for this project, Line 5 has received opposition elsewhere across its 645-mile path for possible environmental impact.”

Star Journal: Pipeline coalition to make a Rhinelander stop to promote ‘Line 5’
6/7/22

“The Wisconsin Jobs & Energy Coalition will be in Rhinelander June 8 as part of its “Safest Way Tour,” to speak about the Enbridge Line 5 relocation project in Ashland, Bayfield and Iron counties,” the Star Journal reports. “According to a press release the organization is a “coalition of Wisconsin labor, business and agricultural groups working together to ensure safe, affordable and reliable energy.” “…According to wijobsandenergy.com Line 5 transports an average daily capacity of 540.000 barrels of light crude oil, light synthetic crude oil and natural gas liquids… “The event in Rhinelander will include speeches from elected officials, local business people, tribal members and labor leaders. There will also be a 34-foot section of the pipe on display.”

Press release: The Law Offices of Frank R. Cruz Announces Investigation of Energy Transfer LP (ET) on Behalf of Investors
6/7/22

“The Law Offices of Frank R. Cruz announces an investigation of Energy Transfer LP (“Energy Transfer” or the “Company”) (NYSE: ET) on behalf of investors concerning the Company’s possible violations of federal securities laws. On August 8, 2019, Energy Transfer disclosed that in mid-2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) Enforcement Staff initiated a non-public formal investigation “regarding allegations that diesel fuel may have been included” in the drilling mud at the Tuscarawas River HDD [i.e., Horizontal Directional Drilling Activities].” On this news, Energy Transfer’s stock fell $0.65, or 4.6%, over two trading days to close at $13.38 per share on August 12, 2019, thereby injuring investors. Then, on December 16, 2021, FERC publicly issued to Energy Transfer the Order To Show Cause and Notice of Proposed Penalty, directing the Company to show cause why it should not be assessed a civil penalty in the amount of $40 million. The order alleged that the HDD crews intentionally included diesel fuel and other toxic substances and unapproved additives in the drilling mud during its HDDs under the Tuscarawas River. On this news, Energy Transfer’s stock fell $0.24, or 2.8%, over two trading days to close at $8.25 per share on December 20, 2021, thereby injuring investors further. Follow us for updates on Twitter: twitter.com/FRC_LAW.”

WASHINGTON UPDATES

Politico: STATES CAN ONLY DO SO MUCH ON CLIMATE
Matthew Choi, Kelsey Tamborrino, Gavin Bade, 6/7/22

“A lot of climate activists have found some solace in state and local action to combat climate change after sweeping efforts in Congress collapsed late last year,” Politico reports. “During the Trump administration, state and local governments picked up a lot of the slack to keep emissions in check. But 22 governors from both parties are telling House and Senate leadership today that they can’t do everything and Congress needs to pass a comprehensive climate package. “At the state level, we are doing our part by innovating and accelerating climate solutions. We are getting more zero emission vehicles on our roads, rapidly transitioning to clean energy, improving energy efficiency, supporting overburdened communities and displaced workers, cutting harmful emissions, and strengthening resilience. But this is not enough to reach our country’s climate goals,” the governors write. “The U.S. House of Representatives previously approved a transformative $550 billion climate package for this purpose, and it is critical that any climate package include a similar level of funding.” Signatories include the governors of California, Louisiana, Illinois, Vermont and New Mexico.” 

Politico: CLEAN HYDROGEN HUBS
Matthew Choi, Kelsey Tamborrino, Gavin Bade, 6/7/22

“The Energy Department is making moves toward funding the national clean hydrogen hub program outlined in last year’s bipartisan infrastructure package, releasing a notice of intent Monday,” Politico reports. “The bipartisan package includes $8 billion toward the hydrogen hub program, dubbed H2Hubs, to create four sites spread out across the country to develop the country’s clean hydrogen sector. DOE will prioritize project proposals with workforce development opportunities and access to hydrogen feedstocks in determining the sites. The clean hydrogen hubs garnered some controversy when the infrastructure package was being negotiated. The final law requires at least one of the hydrogen hubs to focus on hydrogen produced using fossil fuels and at least two of the hubs to be located in areas rich in natural gas. While the natural gas industry praises hydrogen for its compatibility with natural gas infrastructure, environmentalists fear hydrogen produced with fossil fuels prolong the release of planet-warming emissions.”

STATE UPDATES

Grand Forks Herald: Can captured carbon and geothermal energy generate electricity? North Dakota could provide the answer.
Patrick Springer, 6/6/22

“A company aims to make North Dakota the proving ground for new technology that combines capturing carbon dioxide and storing it deep underground with harnessing geothermal energy to run turbines that generate power,” the Grand Forks Herald reports. “TERRACOH, based in Minnesota, was awarded a loan of almost $750,000 by the North Dakota Department of Commerce to commercialize the green energy technology. The initiative is one of many projects in development to use favorable geological formations in the Williston Basin to safely store carbon dioxide emissions from coal-burning power plants and other sources in saline aquifers located 6,000 to 10,000 feet beneath the earth’s surface. TERRACOH envisions multiple sites in western North Dakota that will capture carbon emissions, inject them deep underground, where they can use the earth’s natural heat to produce steam to drive turbines to generate electricity. The pilot project will have the capacity to generate five to 10 megawatts of electricity, Tyler Bohan, a chemical engineer who is based in Bismarck and works in business development and project management for TERRACOH, told the Herald.  “That’s relatively small on the scale of power development,” he said, but larger plants will follow once the technology’s economics are clarified from the pilot project. The technology is “immediately scaleable…We envision upwards of 100 megawatts or more with the possibility of even further growth.” TERRACOH hopes to make an announcement in the coming months with details about the application of its technology in western North Dakota, a hotbed of interest in carbon capture and sequestration as demand for clean energy is surging… “The technology involves capturing carbon emissions captured from a power plant, biofuels refinery or manufacturing plant and injecting the gas deep underground into a saline aquifer. After several years, the earth’s heat produces a “carbon dioxide plume” that is used to turn a “terrestrial turbine” to produce electricity. The “supercritical” mix of carbon dioxide and saltwater is contained within a “closed loop” and is continuously cycled to turn the turbine… “Given the time it takes for the carbon dioxide mixture to heat to become “supercritical,” he told the Herald, it would take several years to be able to generate electricity.”

Environmental Health News: Colorado is the first state to ban PFAS in oil and gas extraction
Kristina Marusic, 6/8/22

“This month Colorado became the first state to ban the use of PFAS in the extraction of oil and gas,” Environmental Health News reports. “While there has been widespread outcry about PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in consumer goods — such as stain- and water-resistant clothing, nonstick pots and pans, firefighting foam, carpets and furniture — the oil and gas industry could be a major and under-appreciated source of soil and groundwater contamination. Last summer an investigation by the advocacy group Physicians for Social Responsibility revealed that the chemicals are often used in the fluids used to extract oil and gas from deep in the ground during fracking. The chemicals, which are extremely water-repellent, are used in fracking fluid to make the chemical mixture more stable and more efficiently flush oil and gas out of the ground at high pressure… “Colorado’s new law passed with bipartisan support, and bars the use of PFAS in fracking fluid starting Jan. 1, 2024… “It’s very disturbing to see the extent to which critical information about these chemicals is shielded from public view,” Barbara Gottlieb, Physicians for Social Responsibility’s Environment & Health Program Director, told EHN. “The lack of transparency about fracking chemicals puts human health at risk.”

EXTRACTION

Canadian Press: Cenovus CEO says future of energy is ‘diversification’, not ‘transition’
6/7/22

“The clash between the world’s thirst for energy and the need to reduce emissions to mitigate climate change is the single biggest issue facing Cenovus Energy Inc. right now, the chief executive of the Calgary-based company said Tuesday,” the Canadian Press reports. “Alex Pourbaix told attendees at the Global Energy Show, a major North American energy industry conference, that there is an inherent conflict between the industry’s push to improve its ESG (environmental, social and governance) performance and global demand for increased oil output against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine. “This is an issue that takes up a lot of my time on a daily basis,” Pourbaix said at the Calgary conference, adding the reason global oil demand is growing is not because people are “bad” or “immoral,” but because oil and gas are “incredibly important to human flourishing and prospering.” “What happened over the last several years was I think there was a lot of ambition that we could really move this (energy) transition along very fast,” Pourbaix said. “And I think we’re finding out that this is a many, many decade transition — and it’s probably going to look more like diversification than it is like transition.” “…Pourbaix said the current energy crisis has proven that oil and gas can’t easily or quickly be replaced by wind and solar. He said instead of a phase-out of fossil fuels, the next three decades are likely to feature a diverse energy mix that includes oil and gas but also hydrogen, renewables and nuclear power. “We’re now seeing that whatever is done on ESG has to be coordinated with energy security in order to avoid the challenges or worse that we’re seeing right now as a result of scarcity of oil and gas,” he said. But in spite of concerns about global energy supply, Canada’s oil and gas industry remains under pressure from both governments and investors to meet not just Canada’s climate targets, but its own emissions reduction goals.”

Washington Post: Oil and gas companies underreported methane leaks, new study shows
Steven Mufson, 6/8/22

“Big oil and gas companies have internal data showing that their methane emissions in the vast Permian Basin “are likely significantly higher than official data” reported to the Environmental Protection Agency, says a new report by the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology,” the Washington Post reports. “The companies should adopt tougher surveillance measures to detect and control methane leaks, especially giant super-emitters that contribute to the greenhouse gases that cause climate change, says the report. “A very significant proportion of methane emissions appear to be caused by a small number of super-emitting leaks,” the report says, noting that a single leak experienced by one company may have accounted for more than 80 percent of the methane emissions that company reported to the EPA from its Permian oil and gas production in 2020. The report was written by the committee’s Democratic staff using materials requested by Science Committee Chairwoman Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Tex.) in a letter to 10 oil and gas companies on Dec. 2. Johnson said the United States could not achieve its goals for reducing methane emissions without a “swift and large-scale decline in oil and gas sector methane leaks.” The companies were invited by name to provide information, but their results remained anonymous in the final report. The committee, which will hold a hearing at 10 a.m. Wednesday on detecting and quantifying methane emissions in the oil and gas sector, zeroed in on the Permian Basin because it extends across 55 counties in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico and accounted for 42.6 percent of U.S. oil production and 16.7 percent of U.S. natural gas production in December 2021.

New York Times: Shell, the Oil Giant, Will Sell Renewable Energy to Texans
Clifford Krauss and Ivan Penn, 6/7/22

“Shell said on Tuesday that it would begin selling electricity generated from renewable sources to residents and businesses in Texas, a move that brings the European oil company’s shift to green energy to the U.S. market.,” the New York Times reports. “The announcement underscores a widening gulf between the strategies of European and U.S. oil companies as elected leaders and consumers demand that the energy industry do more to tackle climate change. European businesses including Shell, BP and TotalEnergies are seeking to expand into renewable energy, electric vehicle charging and other fast-growing businesses as U.S. companies like Exxon Mobil and Chevron mostly keep their focus on oil and gas while investing in capturing carbon from industrial plants and biofuels… “The company has said it aims to reach net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050. While many businesses have the same target, Exxon and Chevron have not set similarly ambitious climate goals… “Shell said it would eventually expand its retail electricity business to other parts of the United States, including Eastern and Southern states that are part of the PJM energy market, the nation’s largest regional transmission system… “Shell’s investments in clean energy are small relative to the company’s oil and gas operation, but executives have said they plan to use some of its fossil fuel profits to establish new businesses with climate change in mind… “Despite its investments in renewable energy, some critics have argued that Shell is not moving fast enough. In a case brought by an environmental group, a court in the Netherlands last year ordered the company, formerly known as Royal Dutch Shell, to cut its emissions substantially to compensate for its role in climate change… “Mr. Wright, the Shell executive, said the company was aiming to become a more diversified energy business. “We are an energy firm,” he told the Times. “So we are not leaving oil and gas, but we are changing the portfolio mix.”

Associated Press: Environmental groups challenge EU support for gas projects
SAMUEL PETREQUIN, 6/7/22

“Campaigning groups have launched legal action to challenge a decision by the European Union’s executive arm to include 30 gas projects in a list of operations considered as beneficial to the 27-nation bloc’s energy market,” the Associated Press reports. “The campaigners said on Tuesday that the European Commission has given “these climate-destructive projects VIP status, in contradiction of its legal obligations.” They said the projects are worth 13 billion euros and will lock the region into dependency on the fossil fuel that EU institutions say that they want to get rid of. The projects, which include the Baltic Pipe Project designed to bring Norwegian gas to Poland and the development of gas infrastructure in Cyprus, are part the so-called list of Projects of Common Interest. They are eligible for funding from a program designed to boost energy, transport and digital infrastructure. The fund for the 2021-2027 period allocates a budget of €5.8 billion to the energy sector. “Billions of euros are bound to be wasted on 30 major pieces of gas infrastructure,” campaigners said, highlighting the EastMed pipeline — a project to create a 1,900-kilometer (1,180-mile) pipeline to connect Eastern Mediterranean offshore gas fields to Greece and Italy… “The environmental groups said they have launched their action using a procedure allowing individuals and independent organizations to request an administrative review of legal acts adopted by EU institutions or bodies. They requested that the EU commission review the decision that justified the inclusion of gas projects, and threatened to ask the Court of Justice of the EU to rule on the matter if it does not amend its decision”

CLIMATE FINANCE

Press release: Financial Community to Engage 40 Canadian Corporate Issuers for Alignment on Net-zero Transition
6/8/22

“Today, Climate Engagement Canada (CEC) announced the CEC Focus List—forty select TSX-listed companies that will be strategically engaged in a finance-led initiative for the alignment of expectations on climate risk governance, disclosure, and the transition to a low-carbon economy in Canada. Over the next months, engagements with the boards and senior leaders of these organizations will commence in order to spur organizational change. Through constructive dialogue, the forty focus companies will be encouraged to: Disclose their climate data in alignment with the best-in-class standard of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD); Develop and implement comprehensive strategies to reduce GHG emissions across value chains; Align their advocacy activities, including those done through industry associations, with the goals of the Paris Agreement; Define accountability and oversight of climate change risks and opportunities; and, Set measurable targets of relevance to their sectors. CEC’s Focus List companies have been identified as the top reporting or estimated emitters on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and/or with a significant opportunity to contribute to the transition to a low-carbon future and become a sectoral and corporate climate action leader in Canada. These firms operate across the Canadian economy in the oil & gas, utilities, mining, agriculture & food, transportation, materials, industrials, and consumer discretionary sectors. An additional six Canadian companies (CNRL, Enbridge, Imperial Oil, Suncor, TC Energy, and Teck) are already being engaged under Climate Action 100+ (CA100+), a global initiative that served as an inspiration for CEC.”

OPINION

The Hill: Calls to boost natural gas can’t ignore fuel combustion’s deadly impacts
Shelley Hudson Robbins is a project director at Clean Energy Group, 6/7/22 

“Natural gas is in the headlines as the war in Ukraine continues, cementing the U.S. as the world leader in gas exports. At home, groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce argue for more gas-fired power, citing the need for reliability in advance of the summer cooling season. Not making headlines, however, are several studies that show fossil fuel combustion from power plants is killing thousands of Americans every single year,” Shelley Hudson Robbins writes for The Hill. “In April, the American Lung Association (ALA) released its “Zeroing in on Healthy Air” report, a look at the impact of reducing fossil-fuel emissions from both transportation and electric power. The ALA and consultant ICF modelled health outcomes associated with shifting to zero-emissions transportation and power, and found that nationally, 110,000 premature deaths could be avoided between 2020 and 2050. Eliminating those emissions would also reap health benefits valued at a staggering $1.2 trillion. Then in mid-May, a new study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin at Madison found that eliminating pollution from fossil fuel combustion in power plants could avoid as many as 11,600 premature deaths in the U.S. every year, with an annual value of $132 billion… “The fossil fuel industry has spent years (as well as millions of ratepayer dollars) convincing policymakers that controlling these emissions is simply too expensive. Now, faced with the existential threat of obsolescence as renewables and a multitude of energy storage technologies emerge, the industry is taking advantage of “disaster capitalism” to not only survive but expand and gain policy victories… “It appears the industry misses the irony: Capitalizing on a war that is killing innocent people — in order to promote increased use of natural gas — is also killing innocent people. Meanwhile, the American Gas Association continues to declare that natural gas has a “smaller environmental impact than other energy sources” on their Environment and Climate Change web page, and they pay social media influencers to promote gas appliances… “This disconnect between energy policy and health impacts cannot continue. Viable and reliable non-combustion solutions exist, and they are less expensive, even when we ignore the massive health and economic impacts of fossil fuel combustion… “Now, more than ever before, it is time to turn away from combustion and invest in these clean alternatives. Our lives depend on it.”

The Hill: CO2 level just passed an important benchmark – a measure of humanity’s war on nature
Chip Fletcher is interim dean at the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, 6/6/22

“Carbon dioxide, measured in Hawaii at the Mauna Loa observatory, reached 420 parts per million in May. This is a 50 percent increase above pre-industrial levels, the highest in human history — and the highest since the Pliocene Climatic Optimum over 4 million years ago,” Chip Fletcher writes for The Hill. “But the drive to renewable energy is solving this problem — right? Not yet… “Meanwhile, current energy policies (on-the-ground government commitments) put us on track to warm more than 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit (around 2.6 degrees Celsius, with a range of 2  degrees Celsius to 3.7  degrees Celsius) before the end of this century. This is a level of severe and dangerous global heating that can only be avoided with a massive rollout of carbon dioxide removal technology and large-scale reforestation that is nowhere in evidence today… “With warming of 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius), well within the range of current policies, models project that potentially one-third of humanity could be displaced by unlivable conditions. According to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), even under current levels of warming 3.5 billion people are highly vulnerable to climate impacts and half the world’s population suffers severe water shortages at some point each year… “ Limiting warming to around 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) requires that greenhouse gas emissions peak before 2025, and are reduced 43 percent by 2030. Major transitions in the energy sector, already underway, must dramatically accelerate in only a few years. Fossil fuel use must be rapidly reduced with an eye to total elimination by mid-century.”

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