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Extracted: Daily News Clips 7/21/21

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

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips July 21, 2021

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PIPELINE NEWS

  • Facebook: Giniw CollectiveWater Protectors Lockdown to Line 3 Horizontal Direction Drill, Stop Drilling of Shell River
  • KVRRWater Activist Winona LaDuke And Others Arrested Near Park Rapids, MN
  • Common DreamsSeven Water Protectors Protesting Line 3 Pipeline Arrested at the Shell River
  • Bemidji PioneerLine 3 opposition tours ‘Misi-ziibi’ Headwaters amid drought, Enbridge declares project 70% finished
  • FOX13 MemphisMemphis activists push ordinances to protect community against future oil pipelines
  • Facebook: West Whiteland Residents for Pipeline SafetyPIPELINE SAFETY ADVISOR QUITS!
  • Financial PostThe U.S. built the equivalent of 28 Keystone XLs over the past decade — but the continent could now turn into a graveyard of mega pipeline projects
  • Texas ObserverAfter Kelcy Warren’s Energy Transfer Partners Made Billions from the Deadly Texas Blackouts, He Gave $1 Million to Greg Abbott
  • Wild VirginiaEPA TAKES A STAND: A POWERFUL LETTER CAUTIONS AGAINST ISSUING A CLEAN WATER PERMIT TO THE MVP

WASHINGTON UPDATES

  • E&E News: ​​White House details environmental justice plans

STATE UPDATES

EXTRACTION

  • UpstreamBlow for CCS: Chevron’s giant carbon capture project falling short of targets
  • Natural Gas IntelligenceCanadian Heavyweights Launch CCUS, Financial Efforts as Carbon Tax Increase Looms
  • CBCOttawa kickstarts ‘transition’ process for oil and gas workers
  • DeSmogFossil Fuel Giants Ignoring IEA ‘Net Zero’ Report Despite Pledges, Analysis Finds

CLIMATE FINANCE

OPINION

  • YES MagazineSettlers Have an Obligation to Defend Treaty Rights, Too
  • ​​Norfolk Daily NewsIncredulous, frustrated reactions are mounting over Biden’s blocking of Keystone XL

PIPELINE NEWS

Facebook: Giniw Collective: Water Protectors Lockdown to Line 3 Horizontal Direction Drill, Stop Drilling of Shell River
7/20/21

“This morning, 3 water protectors locked down to one of Enbridge’s Hortizontal Directional Drills, halting drilling under the Shell River. Enbridge is drilling under riverbeds across Anishinaabe treaty territory, including the Willow River, where it appears construction hit an aquifer while drilling. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is “investigating” the frac-out with seemingly little urgency. While northern Minnesota is in a record-setting drought with many water bodies going completely dry, Minnesota’s DNR granted Enbridge a variance to their “dewatering” permits, allowing Enbridge an increase from pumping 540 million gallons from local lakes and rivers to 5 billion gallons of water. MNDNR then suspended dewatering permits in limited locations due to extreme drought conditions — Enbridge continues to truck water from other nearby locations, including the Mississippi headwaters. Water Protector Hannah Joseph said, “I’m taking action to stop the construction of Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline, and particularly to stop the drilling under the Shell River and all of the waterways this toxic pipeline would cross. I am called to support my Anishinaabe and Dakota friends in their fight for self-determination. This place is sacred, and defending it is an honor and a privilege. I feel the spirits of my queer, trans, and Jewish ancestors supporting me as I put prayers out, strengthening me with the same resolve that has guaranteed the survival of all who struggle against colonialism. I know that prayer alone is not enough, and I am committed to seeing my actions through…we will stop this pipeline. Join us in ceremony and in action.” Nearly 600 people have been arrested to date fighting Line 3’s destruction of Anishinaabe treaty territory and expansion of the fossil fuel industry as climate crisis rages across Mother Earth.”

KVRR: Water Activist Winona LaDuke And Others Arrested Near Park Rapids, MN
TJ Nelson, 7/19/21

“Environmental activist Winona LaDuke is among a small group of people arrested at Shell River near Park Rapids,” KVRR reports. “They were protesting work on the river for the Line 3 replacement project by Enbridge. Honor the Earth, of which LaDuke is executive director, says a total of seven women were zip-tied and taken into custody. Enbridge says work on the final portion of the pipeline in Minnesota is 70% complete.”

Common Dreams: Seven Water Protectors Protesting Line 3 Pipeline Arrested at the Shell River
JESSICA CORBETT, 7/19/21

“At least seven water protectors from the Indigenous-led movement to stop Enbridge’s Line 3 were arrested on Monday while protesting at the Shell River in Minnesota, which the partially completed tar sands pipeline is set to cross in five places,” Common Dreams reports. “Today women and other water protectors from across multiple communities in Minnesota sat together at the Shell River, near Park Rapids, Minnesota, in peaceful prayer to oppose the construction of Line 3,” the group Honor the Earth said on Instagram. “These women represent many others who stand in solidarity with the protection of water across Anishinaabe treaty lands.” Honor the Earth executive director Winona LaDuke, one of the Indigenous women leading the fight against Line 3, was among those arrested and zip-tied by officers. According to the group, more than 500 people have been arrested for protesting the Canadian energy company’s effort to replace an old pipeline with lower capacity.”

Bemidji Pioneer: Line 3 opposition tours ‘Misi-ziibi’ Headwaters amid drought, Enbridge declares project 70% finished
Hannah Olson, 7/20/21

“In the ongoing and contentious Line 3 replacement project debate, things are heating up,” according to the Bemidji Pioneer. “The pipeline is edging closer to the Mississippi River as drought rampages across the state, leaving waterbeds shallow and dry, and ominous smoke hangs in the air from Candian wildfires. Recent weeks have seen an uptick in protests, with controversy centering on how much water is permitted for the construction of the tar sands pipeline… “On Tuesday, July 20, organizations gathered press and politicians at the Headwaters of the Mississippi River in Itasca State Park to demonstrate the impacts of Line 3 to states downstream on the Mississippi River, and speak about treaty rights… “The event was titled “10 States Sharing One Misi-ziibi: Dewatering, Deforestation, and Destruction at Headwaters” and organizers had set aside ten chairs for the governors of the states that touch Mississippi River waters — Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana… “Following the press conference, the group toured locations to witness drought-affected manoomin — wild rice — lakes and a construction site that has been dewatering the river.”

FOX13 Memphis: Memphis activists push ordinances to protect community against future oil pipelines
7/20/21

“The fight against the Byhalia Pipeline may be over, but a group wants to ensure the company behind it can never come back to Memphis and try to build one,” FOX13 Memphis reports. “The group, Memphis Community Against the Pipeline, is calling on the Memphis City Council to act and set limits on what companies like them can do in the future. t’s a fight that hasn’t ended for many. Members and other organizations gathered at a rally at the National Civil Rights Museum, taking it upon themselves to continue to compel the city council to act in passing two ordinances at their meeting. Representatives for MCAP, Protect Our Aquifer, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and Center for Transforming Communities met at the museum where they, along with supporters, listened to passionate speeches about why the ordinances are necessary. That was followed by a walk to city hall, where that vote will be taking place. The pair of ordinances, which have been months in the making, fill what the group called “regulatory gaps” in the permitting process. One ordinance sets a 1,500-foot distance between any potential pipeline and a residential neighborhood, and the other creates an infrastructure review board.”

Facebook: West Whiteland Residents for Pipeline Safety: PIPELINE SAFETY ADVISOR QUITS!
7/19/21

“In a shocking turn of events, the Pipeline Safety Coalition ( PSC), represented by its founder Lynda Farrell resigned from Chester County’s Pipeline Safety Advisory Board (PSAB). In a  strongly-worded letter PSC stated it “can no longer participate in a Board that has produced no substantive work nor shown any meaningful interest in improving pipeline safety and transparency in pipeline matters throughout Chester County” The letter also makes reference to the series of  sinkholes forming in West Whiteland and the county-contracted independent geophysical investigation by Geostructures which recommended remediation at the Chester Valley Trail and Chester County Library to prevent ground collapse from Mariner East construction: “To our knowledge, no actions were taken in light of the January Board meeting, the Study or possible contradictions to the Commissioner initiated study.   It appears the study had no impact on the protection of people and places of Chester County as on June 4, 2021, another 23’ long, 10’ wide and 6’ deep sinkhole opened up on the Mariner bore path between two other functioning pipelines at the same location under study, the County Library.” PSC also reiterates concern for the make-up of the board stating that “ the inclusion of pipeline companies operating in Chester County on this Board is literally akin to “the fox watching the Hen House” and expressed “concern of perceptions that the Board was a “greenwash” and a “sham.””

Financial Post: The U.S. built the equivalent of 28 Keystone XLs over the past decade — but the continent could now turn into a graveyard of mega pipeline projects
Yadullah Hussain, 7/21/21

“After a remarkable period of pipeline expansion, primarily in the United States over the past decade, North America is expected to become an increasingly inhospitable place for new projects, according to a new report,” the Financial Post reports. “While the upturn in crude oil prices, recovering oil demand and a surge in natural gas development for power generation will drive pipeline construction globally in the next few years, development of new pipelines in North America will be relatively subdued, says the report by Westwood Global Energy Group analysts Ben Wilby and Arindam Das. “Overall pipeline capex however, is forecast to be lower than the previous five-year period, predominantly due to a reduction in North American installation levels,” Wilby and Das said in the report. “The pendulum has swung towards a lot more focus on ESG (environmental, social and governance), and a lot more focus on transition and to the extent it is right now a significant consideration in North America,” Das told the Post. Several other obstacles also hover on the horizon that suggest there are more downside risks to the forecast, especially in North America. “Chief among these are geopolitics, focus on climate change and the increasing momentum of the energy transition particularly in the western hemisphere,” Westwood noted in its report. “There exists the potential risk of reduced appetite from financiers and lenders to project finance fossil fuel projects going forward. This has led to increased delays (and subsequently increased costs) on several projects as well as cancellations.”

Texas Observer: After Kelcy Warren’s Energy Transfer Partners Made Billions from the Deadly Texas Blackouts, He Gave $1 Million to Greg Abbott
Justin Miller, 7/20/21

“The Texas electric grid collapse during the February winter storm killed hundreds of Texans and caused an estimated $295 billion in damages, while generating seismic gains for a small and powerful few. The natural gas industry was by far the biggest winner, collecting $11 billion in profit by selling fuel at unprecedented prices to desperate power generators and utilities during the state’s energy crisis. No one won bigger than Dallas pipeline tycoon Kelcy Warren: Energy Transfer Partners—the energy empire Warren founded and now is executive chairman of—raked in $2.4 billion during the blackouts,” according to the Texas Observer. “That immense bounty soon trickled down to Governor Greg Abbott. On June 23, Warren cut a check to Abbott’s campaign for $1 million, according to the governor’s latest campaign finance filing, which covers January through June. That’s four times more than the $250,000 checks that the billionaire has given to Abbott in prior years—and the most he’s ever given to a state politician in Texas. In the months after one of the worst energy disasters in U.S. history, Abbott has dutifully steered scrutiny away from his patrons in the oil and gas industry… “The unusually large contribution from the blackout’s biggest profiteer raises questions about Warren’s influence over the governor and has prompted outrage at what many see as a blatant political kickback for kowtowing to the powerful natural gas industry.”

Wild Virginia: EPA TAKES A STAND: A POWERFUL LETTER CAUTIONS AGAINST ISSUING A CLEAN WATER PERMIT TO THE MVP
7/20/21

“The EPA recently released a letter with the recommendation to withhold a Clean Water Act permit for MVP. The current design of the pipeline threatens a variety of water bodies across Virginia and West Virginia, therefore the EPA does not recommend granting the permit. The Army Corps of Engineers has the power to decide the status of this permit. The EPA’s letter cited serious and threatening water quality issues. Similarly, Wild Virginia also voiced these concerns to the Army Corps of Engineers. Ultimately, the letter aims to hold the Army Corps of Engineers accountable. Listen in to hear David Sligh explain the significance of the EPA’s letter and its future implications. Listen to Wild Virginia’s Conservation Director, David Sligh, to learn about recent developments concerning the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP),” Wild Virginia reports.

WASHINGTON UPDATES

E&E News: ​​White House details environmental justice plans
By Adam Aton, 7/20/21

“The Biden administration is beginning to work out the thorniest questions of its environmental justice agenda,” according to E&E News. “In a draft guidance document obtained exclusively by E&E News, the White House details how federal agencies should begin the process of ensuring that at least 40% of the benefits from federal energy and environmental spending reach disadvantaged communities. Known as the Justice40 Initiative, the framework has already emerged as a source of some friction among the Democratic political coalition. Who counts as disadvantaged, what a benefit means and how to count them will remain ongoing questions. In a nod to those tensions, the administration is emphasizing that the public will still have ample chance to shape the answers. The administration named 21 federal programs that will pilot the Justice40 implementation, including flood mitigation grants, the drinking water state revolving fund, grants to remove lead from homes and rural energy financing… “The administration plans to count a wide array of federal investments, including direct payments to individuals, federal procurement and the money it pays federal workers to help those communities… “The calculation of each programs’ benefits will depend on what the program does — promising a wide assortment of metrics: Hectares of floodplain restored, improvement of public transit accessibility, indoor air quality improvements, farmworker exposure to pesticides and increased access to public health warnings in multiple languages are just some of the many examples of benefits that agencies might use to create their Justice40 methodologies.”

STATE UPDATES

Santa Fe New Mexican: New Mexico educators say fossil fuel funding is unreliable
By Scott Wyland, 7/20/21

“The fossil fuel industry has been a mainstay for New Mexico’s education funding, but the state should seek more stable and reliable revenue streams as the industry grapples with market fluctuations and a global push toward green energy, a coalition of children’s advocates wrote in a letter Monday,” the Santa Fe New Mexican reports. “In the letter, 16 education, community and conservation groups ask the governor and state lawmakers to establish new revenue sources for schools, so New Mexico isn’t overly dependent on oil-and-gas dollars in a market that can be volatile and with an industry facing a sweeping energy transition to combat climate change. “We don’t want to sound like ungrateful recipients of oil-and-gas revenues,” Mary Parr-Sanchez, president of NEA-New Mexico, one of the groups that signed the letter, told SFNM. “We’re not ungrateful. It’s just that we have to be smart about now and leaning forward in the future. We need to have a stable source of income for the public schools.” Reversing past legislation that gave corporations and wealthier New Mexicans tax breaks would be one way to generate more funding for education, Parr-Sanchez said. In the letter, the coalition said the fossil fuel industry is in a long-term decline and state revenue will decline accordingly unless action is taken.”

EXTRACTION

Upstream: Blow for CCS: Chevron’s giant carbon capture project falling short of targets
By Josh Lewis, 7/19/21

“US supermajor Chevron has failed to meet its emission reduction targets at its Gorgon liquefied natural gas project in Western Australia after a troubled start to the carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility,” Upstream reports. “Chevron confirmed on Monday that it was not going to meet its promised injection rates, with the project only capturing a fraction of the carbon dioxide expected during its first five years of operation. Under the terms of Gorgon’s project approval, Chevron is required to sequester at least 80% of the CO2 emissions released from the reservoirs that feed the Gorgon LNG plant over a five-year period. While the first train at Gorgon came online in 2016, issues with the CCS facility did not see it start up until 2019 and continued issues have prevented the facility from operating reliably. The facility is designed to capture 4 million tonnes per annum of CO2, however, Chevron confirmed Monday that only 5 million tonnes of CO2 had been injected since the August 2019 start-up. Renewable energy thinktank, Sustainable Energy Now, believes Chevron’s initial five-year report will find Gorgon’s CCS facility only managed to capture 30% of the CO2 it promised. “It’s a shocking failure of one of the world’s largest engineering projects. But, given the lack of rigour and testing around the technology that was used, I cannot say it is unexpected,” chairperson of Sustainable Energy Now, WA, Ian Porter, told Upstream.

Natural Gas Intelligence: Canadian Heavyweights Launch CCUS, Financial Efforts as Carbon Tax Increase Looms
BY GORDON JAREMKO, 7/20/21

“A rising Canadian carbon tax, scheduled to jump more than four-fold by 2030, has triggered a campaign by fossil fuel industry heavyweights to turn the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions penalty into commercial opportunities,” Natural Gas Intelligence reports. “The efforts so far include TC Energy Corp., Pembina Pipeline Corp., Shell Canada Ltd., Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Sproule Associates, and the top five oilsands producers: Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Cenovus Energy Corp., Imperial Oil Ltd., MEG Energy Corp., and Suncor Energy Inc. The commercial environmental cleanup lineup formed since a spring verdict by the Supreme Court of Canada upheld federal government authority to levy a national carbon price that translates into personal and corporate taxes… “The producers kicked off the action in June by forming Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero, which aims “to find realistic and workable solutions to the challenge of climate change” with an “actionable approach” of “economic investments.” Work on new technology is promised, but the producer coalition is concentrating on carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS)… “The coalition envisions a new “carbon trunk line,” a pipe web to collect GHG emissions from bitumen production, currently 3 million b/d and growing, for permanent subterranean disposal at a new central Alberta storage hub near Edmonton.”

CBC: Ottawa kickstarts ‘transition’ process for oil and gas workers
David Thurton, 7/20/21

“The federal government is launching a long-awaited process to come up with a plan to support oil and gas workers as economies around the world move away from fossil fuels,” the CBC reports. “”They will not be left behind,” Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan told a news conference today. “Workers will be at the centre of a clean energy future.” The minister launched a nearly three-month consultation process today. Workers, labour groups and industry stakeholders can submit their feedback on proposed federal legislation that would offer supports for workers leaving the industry, such as job training. The recommendations that emerge from the consultation process are to “inform government decision-making and the creation of a Just Transition Advisory Body,” O’Regan’s department said in a media statement… “It’s a “baby step,” economist Jim Stafford of the Centre for Policy Alternatives told CBC. “Given that there is an election that is on the horizon, this is more about optics to make the government look like it’s doing something,” he said. Stafford estimates that over the next 25 years, many jobs in the oilpatch will disappear and the government will need to spend at least $1 billion a year to support the retraining and relocation of workers.”

DeSmog: Fossil Fuel Giants Ignoring IEA ‘Net Zero’ Report Despite Pledges, Analysis Finds
Theodore Whyte, 7/20/21

“Fossil fuel companies are pressing ahead with new oil and gas developments, despite a recent warning from the International Energy Agency (IEA) that this will make the Paris Agreement goals impossible to meet, an analysis has found,” DeSmog reports. “According to the author of the analysis, the companies and industry bodies, most of which have made public statements in support of the world reaching “net zero” emissions by 2050, are “cherry-picking” IEA reports to suit their arguments… “Alex Cranston, an analyst at the London-based think tank, told DeSmog: “Most of these companies are trying to have their cake and eat it. On the one hand they’re saying they’re supportive of net zero by 2050, but at the same time looking the other way from this net zero pathway.” “Both the companies and their industry associations have been very happy to highlight the work of the IEA when it supports their arguments for continuing to produce oil and gas, but now that the IEA’s net zero pathway doesn’t align with their plans, they appear to be doing their best to ignore it.” “It slightly feels like cherry-picking,” he added. Edward Collins, Director of Corporate Lobbying and Influence Research at InfluenceMap, told DeSmog fossil fuel companies that fail to act on the IEA recommendations may face growing pressure from climate-conscious investors, such as signatories of the influential Climate Action 100+ initiative.”

CLIMATE FINANCE

Energy Intelligence: Industry Trend: Insurers Get Cold Feet as Transition Unfolds
7/20/21

“Options to obtain insurance and reinsurance for oil and gas projects are narrowing in the West as global insurers become wary about the evolving climate-related financial risks,” Energy Intelligence reports. “Insurers are also waking up to the potential legal costs and damages they may have to shell out for fossil fuel companies targeted by climate litigation. A growing number of them have tightened existing policies for coal, and pressure to align insurance with climate-focused goals is starting to affect the oil and gas industry too. The restrictions are a further sign of the difficulties Western majors will face as they seek support for future megaprojects… “The big unknown is if, and when, insurers will exclude downstream oil and gas projects. While the IEA net-zero scenario has also made clear that the power sector needs to be fully decarbonized by 2040 at the latest, insurers may continue to support gas as a transition fuel. “New gas plants may get a longer grace period,” Pinson said. In the oil and gas sector, 10 insurers cover about 70% of the market, so any restrictions by a small number of companies could have a tangible impact. The biggest oil and gas insurers are AIG, Travelers, Zurich and Lloyd’s, according to research for the Insure Our Future campaign. AXA, AXIS Capital, The Hartford, Generali, Munich Re, Swiss Re and Zurich have limited their cover for oil sands operations.”

OPINION

YES Magazine: Settlers Have an Obligation to Defend Treaty Rights, Too
BY ALEC CONNON & ERIKA LUNDAHL, 7/20/21

“Shanai Matteson, a 39-year-old White settler, sat in the stuffy overflow room watching the packed Public Utility Commission meeting, along with more than a hundred others, in St. Paul, Minnesota, in June 2018. Over several hours, she listened as dozens of people—Native elders, local landowners, and young people concerned about their futures—testified against the Line 3 tar sands pipeline, urging the commission to deny the project a key permit,” YES Magazine reports. “She listened, too, as Enbridge workers, bused in by the company, voiced their support for the pipeline. Matteson remembers the collective dismay and anger in the room as the five-person board approved Enbridge’s permit request. She also remembers what happened next: Tania Aubid, a member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, stood up and told the commissioners that they had just declared war on the Ojibwe people… “Only by confronting the context of the U.S.’s settler-colonial history can settlers begin to reckon with their personal identity as treaty people… “When asked why she moved with her two young children to the Welcome Water Protector Center, Matteson is clear that protecting the water and the climate were reasons, but so too was ensuring that her government upholds its side of the treaties. “I’ve been reminded by so many Indigenous people that the treaties are not just a concern for Indigenous people,” she says, golden light falling between the trees at camp. “They were entered into by the U.S. government, and as citizens, we have a responsibility to ensure our government honors that law.”

​​Norfolk Daily News: Incredulous, frustrated reactions are mounting over Biden’s blocking of Keystone XL
Editorial Board, 7/20/21

“Yes, it’s true that this space has in recent years frequently been devoted to the topic of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. And, yes, it’s probably true that opponents of the project hoped that TC Energy’s recent announcement that it was canceling the project meant the end to Daily News editorials on the topic. Well, not just yet,” according to the ​​Norfolk Daily News Editorial Board. “We can’t help but note the continued thought-provoking reactions from those who wanted to see the project move forward and are frustrated with President Joe Biden’s actions to block the project… “Keystone XL would have helped diversify the U.S. petroleum supply and create up to 43,000 permanent jobs. Instead, those jobs are now gone, and the U.S. will have to keep looking for alternative oil supplies. Let’s end with this: Reflecting on the fact that there are about 2.4 million miles of natural gas pipelines and 170,000 miles of liquid petroleum pipelines in existence today, canceling Keystone XL is largely a symbolic victory, said Steve Milloy, found of JunkScience.com. “The oil is going to keep flowing,” he said. “This is just wanton devastation of jobs for no gain. There’s just no result from this other than serving as a precedent for more pipeline activism and shutdowns.”

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