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Extracted: Daily News Clips 7/28/21

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

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips July 28, 2021

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PIPELINE NEWS

  • KSTP2 women forcefully rescued from inside Enbridge pipeline
  • Pine Journal2 protesters rescued from hot Enbridge pipe, with only minutes of oxygen left
  • Facebook: Camp MigiziPennington County cops brutalized water protectors who were peacefully welcoming 20 friends out of jail in Thief River Falls
  • Pine Journal5 arrested and charged following Line 3 incident Friday
  • Bemidji PioneerMinnesota DNR responds to Enbridge Line 3 water use concerns
  • Lakeland PBSWhite Earth Gives 48-Hour Cease-and-Desist Order to Enbridge
  • MinnPost‘Do your job’: Was Line 3 message from powerful Minnesota legislator a form of intimidation — or ‘respectful’ advocacy?
  • KVRRSheriff will appeal order to stop blocking property used by Line 3 opponents
  • Indian Country Today: Standing Rock activists hold event to call on Biden to shut down DAPL
  • Facebook: Indigenous Environmental Network: Oscar High Elk is currently being targeted as a political prisoner because he stood up against KXL Pipeline
  • Canadian PressBrookfield confident in offer for Inter Pipeline after Pembina terminates rival bid

WASHINGTON UPDATES

STATE UPDATES

EXTRACTION

  • Wall Street JournalBig Oil Companies Push Hydrogen as Green Alternative, but Obstacles Remain
  • Financial Post‘Dangerous distraction’ or silver bullet? Opinion divided on government’s role in carbon capture investments
  • Wall Street JournalChevron Foe Steven Donziger Found Guilty of Contempt in Ecuador Saga

RESEARCH & SCIENCE

  • Phys.orgNew methane concentration technologies for monitoring greenhouse gas emissions

CLIMATE FINANCE

  • BloombergPension Funds Talk Green While Holding Billions in Polluter Stocks

OPINION

  • The HillA path to climate, economic and environmental justice is finally on the horizon
  • Globe and MailAlberta’s report on anti-energy campaigns looks like a multimillion-dollar dud

PIPELINE NEWS

KSTP: 2 women forcefully rescued from inside Enbridge pipeline
Maddie Swenson, 7/27/21

“Two women were rescued after climbing into the Enbridge pipeline in Aitkin County at the Willow River crossing on Sunday,” KSTP reports. “The Northern Lights Task Force identified the two as 21-year-old Amory Lei Zhou-Kourvo, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and 20-year-old Madeline Olivia Bayzaee, of Northfield. The pipe, which was capped at one end, was nearly 130 degrees with reduced oxygen levels, according to the task force. The women brought respirators with them inside the pipeline and refused to leave. A firefighter first went in to try to get the women to leave the pipeline voluntarily but had to leave due to limited oxygen in his tank, the press release stated. An officer then entered to further attempt to get the women to leave peacefully, and one of the women said they had just over three minutes left in their respirators but still refused to leave… “After they were out, both women were treated for abrasions as well as oxygen and heat-related issues, the task force stated. They were then taken into custody and booked into the Aitkin County Adult Detention Center.”

Pine Journal: 2 protesters rescued from hot Enbridge pipe, with only minutes of oxygen left
7/27/21

“Two protesters who climbed into an Enbridge pipeline at the Willow River crossing in Aitkin County — and who endured temperatures near 130 degrees with reduced oxygen — were rescued and taken into custody,” the Pine Journal reports. “In a news release, Aitkin County Sheriff Dan Guida said the two individuals had climbed inside the east end of the pipe Sunday, July 25. The pipe itself was capped at one end, which created a trapped air environment for the two people who had climbed inside. The trapped air inside the pipe was estimated to be near 130 degrees with reduced oxygen concentration… “Because the people still resisted leaving the pipe, and air was running out, force was used to rig the individuals with ropes so the exterior crew could pull them out to safety. Upon exit, both people were treated by an ambulance crew for abrasions sustained by contact with the pipe and oxygen and heat related issues. Once stabilized, a 21-year-old Michigan man and a 20-year-old Northfield, Minn., woman were taken into custody and booked into the Aitkin County Adult Detention Center.”

Facebook: Camp Migizi: Pennington County cops brutalized water protectors who were peacefully welcoming 20 friends out of jail in Thief River Falls
7/26/21

“Today, July 26th at around 3pm, Pennington County cops brutalized water protectors who were peacefully welcoming 20 friends out of jail in Thief River Falls. These were the same cops who brutalized and arrested indigenous people on Friday morning as they held ceremony. As a Red Lake Nation Tribal Member was exiting a gas station where he’d used the bathroom, 10+ cops detained him without warning. When his comrades outside the jail saw what was happening, they ran over to ask what basis the cops had to detain him. Without answering, the cops quickly formed a line and took out their batons. They beat multiple water protectors, throwing one into the brick wall of the gas station. Two were tackled and arrested, again with no legal justification. The cops had to release the initial detainee only 15 minutes later, since they had no basis for detaining him. The two arrestees are still in jail. Pennington County PD has repeatedly displayed their racism and their brutality. More than anything, they’ve displayed their willingness to ignore the law, treaty rights, and basic morality in their effort to suppress water protectors and defend the multinational corporation that gives them their paychecks. Now more than ever, Red Lake Treaty Camp needs your support. Venmo @stars_on_stone to support Red Lake Treaty Camp, or better yet, come join us on the frontlines to defend the people and the water.”

Pine Journal: 5 arrested and charged following Line 3 incident Friday
7/27/21

“In yet another incident involving protestors entering the Line 3 replacement project area, Wadena County Sheriff’s deputies arrested five more on Friday, July 23,” the Pine Journal reports. “The Wadena County Sheriff’s Office, along with several other law enforcement agencies, responded to an incident on the Enbridge Line 3 project in northern Wadena County at approximately 4 a.m. Deputies on scene were alerted by construction workers of several individuals attempting to breach the fencing around the construction site. By the time the deputies got to the individuals, several had already climbed over the fence and made their way into the construction area, according to a Wadena County Sheriff’s Office new release. Four of the individuals were able to lock themselves to equipment on site, while a fifth was apprehended and arrested by deputies on scene. Several others fled the scene from deputies into the nearby wooded area. A specially trained extrication team was called to the scene and removed all individuals from the equipment… “We were there as guests of 1855 treaty people … and we were sitting there having a nice conversation about the pipeline and why it’s wrong and why it needs to be stopped and the police said nothing about dispersing, they just all of a sudden said, ‘You’re under arrest,'” Patricia Jean Weber told the Journal,  of the July 19 arrest.”

Bemidji Pioneer: Minnesota DNR responds to Enbridge Line 3 water use concerns
7/27/21

“The Minnesota DNR recently responded to concerns regarding Enbridge’s water use permits for the Line 3 replacement project amidst drought-related surface water appropriations suspensions throughout the state,” the Bemidji Pioneer reports. “The Minnesota DNR is aware of some concerns and confusion related to Enbridge’s water permits for the Line 3 replacement project and the company’s current construction activity,” a release said. “We currently have no indication that the company is operating in violation of any of its water appropriations permits, and we are monitoring compliance on an ongoing basis.” Many have asked how Enbridge is continuing with construction given drought-related restrictions on its water appropriations permits. The DNR has temporarily suspended surface water appropriations for some permittees in watersheds where flow conditions meet certain triggers. These suspensions include Enbridge’s water appropriations for dust control, horizontal directional drilling, or HDD, and hydrostatic line testing in some locations… “The DNR has not suspended Enbridge’s HDD activity itself in these watersheds, or elsewhere, due to drought conditions. Much of the pipeline route traverses areas where water appropriations permits are not currently subject to suspension, the release said.”

Lakeland PBS: White Earth Gives 48-Hour Cease-and-Desist Order to Enbridge
Chris Burns, 7/27/21

“On July 26, a 48-hour cease-and-desist order was given to Enbridge Energy, the company constructing the new Line 3 pipeline, by the White Earth Reservation. The order asks Enbridge to stop all construction within a 10-mile buffer of Coffee Pot Landing near La Salle Lake for 48 hours so members of the White Earth Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe may participate in a healing ceremony along the Mississippi River,” Lakeland PBS reports. “Today, many showed up at Coffee Pot Landing to show their opposition to the Line 3 pipeline and to assert the importance of treaty rights. “We are all here as a peaceful people,” said Raymond Auginaush, White Earth Tribal Council District 1 Representative. “We’re not here to start trouble, we’re not here – we just want to show you that we do care about our water, we do care about our rice.” “…Last week in Nisswa at a stop on his education tour, Gov. Tim Walz expressed his belief that those opposed to Line 3 should be able to protest peacefully within the law. He also stated that he thinks the Line 3 project has followed necessary laws and processes and said the transition from fossils fuels may take some time. “I would tell folks, I share their concern on climate change, I recognize the need for us to try and move to a carbon-free future but I also recognize that I drove here today and others do, and there’s going to be a transition period so it makes sense to replace aging infrastructure,” said Walz.

MinnPost: ‘Do your job’: Was Line 3 message from powerful Minnesota legislator a form of intimidation — or ‘respectful’ advocacy?
By Walker Orenstein, 7/27/21

“In the fall of 2020, Laura Bishop, then commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, got an unusual voicemail. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, a Republican from East Gull Lake, had called her to urge the approval of a key water-quality permit for Enbridge Energy’s planned Line 3 oil pipeline,” the MinnPos reports. “I just can’t stress enough how important it is that you do your job with these and that the permits get issued,” Gazelka told Bishop. To the majority leader, the call was an example of respectful advocacy on behalf of those who support Line 3. To Bishop, however, the voicemail was an unwelcome political intrusion: a threat from one of the state’s most powerful lawmakers to remove her from office if an environmental review based on science and law halted the pipeline project. The MPCA ultimately granted Enbridge’s permit in November of 2020, a decision Bishop stands by and said wasn’t influenced by Gazelka. But earlier this month, Bishop resigned rather than face a Senate confirmation vote, a move that sparked debate over whether Republicans were conducting proper oversight or politicizing a scientific agency in their scrutiny of the MPCA.”

KVRR: Sheriff will appeal order to stop blocking property used by Line 3 opponents
Jim Monk, 7/26/21

“A Minnesota district judge has issued a temporary restraining order against the Hubbard County sheriff, ruling that the county must stop obstructing access to a property used by opponents of Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline project,” KVRR reports. “Winona LaDuke and Tara Houska, two leaders of protests against the oil pipeline, recently sued Hubbard County and Sheriff Cory Aukes for repeatedly blocking a driveway to a home near Menahga in north-central Minnesota. The property is one of several camps near the pipeline route used by Line 3 protesters… “Austad ordered the authorities to stop “barricading, obstructing or otherwise interfering with access to the property.” Deputies also must stop issuing citations or arresting people for their presence on the driveway unless they have a valid warrant. Aukes told KVRR he will appeal the judge’s order and that deputies “are not blocking” the driveway.”

Indian Country Today: Standing Rock activists hold event to call on Biden to shut down DAPL
7/26/21

“As part of the Red Road to DC, a cross-country tour highlighting Indigenous sacred sites at risk, tribal leaders and Native American grassroots organizers held an event in Standing Rock, North Dakota, to call on President Biden to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline,” Indian Country Today reports. “Tour organizers brought a totem pole honoring sacred Indigenous sites as a gift to President Biden to urge his immediate protection of sacred sites that are at risk from oil, mining, gas, and dams. “Standing Rock caught the attention of millions of people around the world in 2016. Thousands of Native peoples stood together, much as they are today, as we welcome the totem pole, to say enough is enough. No poison in our sacred waters. No destruction of our sacred lands. And since 2016, the battle to protect our waters from the poison of the Dakota Access Pipeline has waged on. Despite the court victory that forced Energy Transfer Partners to conduct a full environmental impact statement, oil continues to flow. They are operating this pipeline illegally. The fact that half a million gallons of oil continues to flow under the Missouri River is a violation of our treaty rights and poses a serious risk to the health of our people. We urge President Bident to take action to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline. If he is to hold to his promise of being a climate leader, he cannot continue to support the pipeline. If he is to uphold the obligations of the federal government to the people of Standing Rock, whose ancestors ceded lands in exchange for the promise of reserved fishing, hunting, and water rights, he must shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline. We call on President Biden to immediately halt the construction and operation of the Dakota Access Pipeline,” said Charles Walker, councilmember of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council.

Facebook: Indigenous Environmental NetworkOscar High Elk is currently being targeted as a political prisoner because he stood up against KXL Pipeline
7/26/21

“Water protectors are still facing charges for standing against the now dead Keystone XL pipeline. Oscar High Elk is currently being targeted as a political prisoner because he stood up against KXL Pipeline. He is facing 23 years in as a prisoner to support  Please support his legal fund paypal.me/highelk. #NoKXL #WaterisLife”

Canadian Press: Brookfield confident in offer for Inter Pipeline after Pembina terminates rival bid
7/26/21

“Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LLP said it’s confident its hostile bid for Calgary-based Inter Pipeline will be successful now that Pembina Pipeline Corp. has terminated its own rival offer,” according to the Canadian Press. “Brookfield’s $16-billion offer is now “the sole transaction on the table” for Inter Pipeline shareholders and any delay in accepting it would not be in shareholders’ best interests, Brookfield spokeswoman Claire Holland told CP… “Pembina announced Monday it had terminated its bid for Inter Pipeline after its board advised it would no longer recommend shareholders support the deal. Pembina will pocket a $350-million break fee as a result. The news came nearly two months after Inter Pipeline entered into a friendly $8.3-billion all-share deal with Pembina equal to $19.45 per share. The deal — which would have seen Inter Pipeline shareholders receive half a Pembina share for each Inter Pipeline share they hold — was struck in response to the hostile takeover bid from Brookfield that Inter Pipeline said undervalued its business.”

WASHINGTON UPDATES

Politico Morning Energy: FERC IN THE HOUSE
Matthew Choi, 7/27/21

“An Energy and Commerce subcommittee will hear from all five FERC commissioners today for an oversight hearing. Energy Chair Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) plans to point out ways FERC can help ease along a transition to clean energy, such as its current work to reform transmission,” Politico Morning Energy reports. “Although it is not traditionally viewed as a climate regulator, FERC’s vast authority over the electricity sector makes it a principal player in our race to tackle climate change,” Rush plans to say. FERC Chair Rich Glick will outline some of the commissions’ five current priorities: building updated transmission, modernizing electricity markets, updating natural gas certificate policy, protecting grid reliability and opening up decision making to the public.”

Inside EPA: Chevron Attacks EPA ‘Reinterpretation’ Of Offshore Permitting As Unlawful
7/26/21

Oil company Chevron USA in a new legal filing is vowing to fight what it views as the Biden EPA’s unlawful new interpretation of Clean Air Act offshore air permitting requirements, which enabled the agency to reverse course and scrap a Trump-era approval of a permit for oil platform decommissioning off the California coast. Chevron filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit last month, in what could be a test case for the Biden administration’s handling of offshore permitting issues ahead of an expected rush of permit applications for offshore wind energy projects. The company in Chevron USA, Inc. v. EPA wants the court to vacate EPA’s April 20 letter stalling air permits for decommissioning activities at two disused oil platforms off the Southern California coast known as Gail and Grace. In a July 23 statement of issues to be raised, Chevron explains that, on January 19, the Trump EPA on the eve of its departure from office issued a ‘nationwide non-applicability determination’ that found Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) air pollution source requirements under air law section 328 do not apply to its project. The agency then found that ‘when an offshore drilling platform no longer emits or has the potential to emit any air pollutant, the [OCS] source requirements of section 328 of the Clean Air Act . . . cease to apply because (1) the platform no longer qualifies under the statute as an OCS source, and (2) the support vessels that perform ongoing decommissioning activities do not meet the statutory definition of an OCS source,’ Chevron says.

STATE UPDATES

Loveland Reporter Herald: Larimer County commissioners delay oil and gas regulation vote after extensive public comment
By AUSTIN FLESKES, 7/26/21

“An overwhelming amount of public comment on changes to oil and gas regulations in Larimer County pushed a hearing late Monday so the county commissioners will have to return Thursday for a potential vote,” according to the Loveland Reporter Herald. “Discussion around regulation changes to the county’s land use code regarding oil and gas have carried on for several months and several rounds of public input… “Chris Colclasure, senior counsel with Beatty & Wozniak, a firm that represents companies with pipeline and natural gas operations, said that based on previously ruled Supreme Court cases and other rulings the current draft opens the county up for litigation. He also said that “Larimer County can have both a healthy economy and a healthy environment” by working with oil and gas groups to establish rules that work for both… “Many of those in support pointed out shortcomings in the draft of restrictions, saying it could put people in danger by not having tougher restrictions. For most who were in favor of the regulation changes, the key concern was protecting not only the environment as a whole, but specifically the people of Larimer County.”

StateImpact Pennsylvania NPR: DEP to require landfills to test for radioactivity from fracking waste
Reid Frazier, 7/26/21

“The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said it will now require all landfills that take solid fracking waste to test their leachate, or liquid waste, for radioactive materials common in oil and gas waste,” according to StateImpact Pennsylvania NPR. “Landfills often send leachate, a liquid waste formed from rainwater that seeps through piles of waste, to treatment plants. They test it for dozens of potential pollutants. But they’ve never had to test it for radium, a radioactive material common in oil and gas waste.  “We take seriously our responsibility and duty as an environmental steward,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement. “This additional requirement will improve public confidence that public drinking water and our precious natural resources are being appropriately protected.” “…But environmental groups and some scientists have worried the liquid waste could expose drinking water supplies to contamination. According to the EPA, “chronic exposure to high levels of radium can result in an increased incidence of bone, liver or breast cancer.” In 2020, state records show oil and gas drillers sent 244,000 tons of drill cuttings to landfills.” “…Marcellus Shale Coalition President David Callahan said in a statement said the state’s regulations governing radioactive materials in oil and gas waste was “modern and effective” and did not “pose a risk to workers or the public.”

EXTRACTION

Wall Street Journal: Big Oil Companies Push Hydrogen as Green Alternative, but Obstacles Remain
By Sarah McFarlane, 7/26/21

“Big oil companies have long touted hydrogen energy as a way to reduce carbon emissions. Now they are grappling with how to make that a reality,” according to the Wall Street Journal. “BP PLC, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and TotalEnergies SE are all pursuing multimillion-dollar hydrogen projects, often with government support, as they seek to redefine their future role in a world less reliant on fossil fuels. Hydrogen made using renewable energy can be produced and used without emitting carbon dioxide. Still, experts say there are various hurdles to the light, colorless gas fulfilling its potential. Firstly, most hydrogen today is made from fossil fuels, primarily natural gas. The challenge is to make it using renewable power instead and produce it on an industrial scale, in the hope of bringing down costs. Additionally, hydrogen is explosive, as well as difficult to store and transport. Oil companies are pursuing green hydrogen, which they see as a longer-term goal, while also looking at applying carbon-capture technology to fossil-fuel-based hydrogen production as a way to clean up the gas in the interim. As of the end of June, there were 244 large-scale green hydrogen projects planned, according to the Hydrogen Council, an industry group, up more than 50% since the end of January. It estimates tens of billions of dollars have already been earmarked for hydrogen projects.”

Financial Post: ‘Dangerous distraction’ or silver bullet? Opinion divided on government’s role in carbon capture investments
Gabriel Friedman, 7/28/21

“For decades, environmentalists have railed against oilsands companies for releasing hundreds of millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the air every year. Now, there’s a growing concern that oilsands companies want taxpayers to foot the bill to bury their emissions,” the Financial Post reports. “On its face, burying carbon dioxide in underground reservoirs, a process known as carbon capture and storage, would appear to reduce emissions into the atmosphere. But last week more than 500 organizations across Canada and the U.S., from Ecojustice to Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, signed a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, contending that ‘carbon capture’ would actually delay the transition away from fossil fuels and ultimately increase CO2 emissions. “Carbon capture is a dangerous distraction,” the letter states. “We don’t need to fix fossil fuels, we need to ditch them.” The letter follows a June announcement by a coalition of Canada’s top five oil companies, of The Oilsands Pathways to Net Zero initiative: The companies, representing 90 per cent of oilsands production, said it would cost $75 billion to reduce their emissions to net zero by 2050, and that they expect government support for as much as two-thirds of that amount, starting with investment in a carbon capture project… “A carbon capture system could address emissions from oilsands operations, which would help companies avoid the penalty of the carbon tax and other regulations meant to reduce emissions. But it would not affect the estimated 70 to 80 per cent of oil emissions that flow from a vehicle’s tailpipe.”

Wall Street Journal: Chevron Foe Steven Donziger Found Guilty of Contempt in Ecuador Saga
By Sara Randazzo, 7/26/21

“Disbarred attorney Steven Donziger was found guilty of six counts of criminal contempt of court, the latest twist in a nearly three-decade crusade against Chevron Corp. that began as an attempt to prove the oil company caused environmental harm in Ecuador,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “The legal saga has since spanned the globe and morphed into a fight between Mr. Donziger and Chevron itself, resulting in Mr. Donziger being put under home confinement for nearly two years as he awaited a trial over charges that he repeatedly flouted court orders. U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska found him guilty on all six charges in a nearly 250-page order issued Monday morning. “It’s time to pay the piper,” she wrote. The contempt case, the judge wrote, has nothing to do with any responsibility Chevron might bear for pollution in the rainforest in Ecuador, where Chevron’s predecessors drilled for oil in the previously pristine jungle. The company has repeatedly denied any culpability. Instead, “at stake here is the fundamental principle that a party to a legal action must abide by court orders or risk criminal sanctions, no matter how fervently he believes in the righteousness of his cause or how much he detests his adversary.”

RESEARCH & SCIENCE

Phys.org: New methane concentration technologies for monitoring greenhouse gas emissions
by National Physical Laboratory, 7/26/21

“Methane concentrations in the atmosphere have more than doubled over the last 150 years and mitigation of methane emissions will play a vital role in enabling climate change mitigation strategies. Understanding current and future methane inventories at a regional scale will be a key element in developing and implementing successful solutions,” the National Physical Laboratory writes for Phys.org. “Current regional scale isotopic methane data is not available at a high enough frequency to enable comparison to the models that are used to derive national emission estimates. In order to improve these current data sets, more in-situ measurements of methane isotopic data are required and current techniques do not provide the required sensitivity and frequency. Improving isotopic methane measurements on regional scales is just one of our focusses within NPL’s EAM team. This work centers on the potential for using isotopic information to understand the source of methane emissions. The work includes the development and validation of novel Greenhouse Gas (GHG) monitoring abilities that can contribute continuous real-time data on atmospheric methane over long-term time periods. Recently, members of the EAM group have published results from a new instrument, called Boreas, in the journal Analytical Chemistry. This instrument, developed at NPL, samples a large volume of air, then cryogenically separates the methane from air and is sensitive enough to provide continuous, hourly data of isotopic methane emissions to a high precision… “The results from Boreas have the potential to help in attributing methane emissions sources on a regional scale, and to answer questions such as whether sources or sinks are dictating the current trend in atmospheric methane concentration.”

CLIMATE FINANCE

Bloomberg: Pension Funds Talk Green While Holding Billions in Polluter Stocks
By Tim Quinson, 7/28/21

“The 10 largest U.S. public pension funds still have a lot of money invested in the biggest corporate polluters,” Bloomberg reports. ”Analysts at Bloomberg Intelligence put the figure at about $40 billion, meaning 9% of the funds’ combined equity holdings are devoted to 20 high-carbon emitting companies. The numbers may be lower since California and New York funds pared their stakes in companies including Exxon Mobil Corp., Walmart Inc. and Southern Co. since the start of the year. Nevertheless, the fact that giant retirement plans are devoting so much money to a part of the market most responsible for accelerating the climate crisis might be surprising to those who believe recent messaging from those funds. Among the most outspoken has been the New York State Common Retirement Fund, the country’s third-largest public pension fund with assets of about $255 billion. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli pledged in December to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across the fund’s investments by 2040, a decade before most other U.S. pension plans.”

OPINION

The Hill: A path to climate, economic and environmental justice is finally on the horizon
John Podesta is the founder and a member of the Board of Directors for the Center for American Progress. He served as counselor to President Barack Obama, where he was responsible for coordinating the administration’s climate policy and initiatives, and as co-chair of Obama’s 2008 transition team. Michele L. Roberts is National co-coordinator for the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform (EJHA), 7/26/21

“In the next few weeks, congressional leaders have a critical opportunity to join forces with President Joe Biden to turn the tide against climate change, economic inequality, and environmental injustice, John Podesta and Michele Roberts write in The Hill. “Biden has proposed an American Jobs Plan that calls for a $2.6 trillion investment over ten years to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure and economy in ways that will protect the climate, clean up local pollution, and create millions of good jobs. The bipartisan infrastructure deal struck last month makes some important investments to upgrade our crumbling infrastructure, but falls far short on the president’s commitments to achieving environmental and climate justice so that all communities have equal access to clean air, clean water, and economic opportunities. It simply does not meet the scope and scale of the climate and justice crises… “Oil refineries, power plants and waste incinerators are just a few of the many industrial facilities that pump billions of pounds of pollution into the air and water and these are disproportionately sited in communities of color, leading to higher rates of cancer, asthma, neurological and other life-threatening health problems for the people living there. This undermines these communities’ ability to participate equally in the economy and live safe, healthy and prosperous lives… “Now is the time to act. Congress must work with Biden to pass the Build Back Better Plan before the August recess to combat climate change and protect the fundamental right of every American to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and live in a healthy, safe and prosperous community.”

Globe and Mail: Alberta’s report on anti-energy campaigns looks like a multimillion-dollar dud
Gary Mason, 7/27/21

“Shortly after winning power in the spring of 2019, Jason Kenney announced a public inquiry to look into the Canadian environmental organizations behind what he branded a nefarious, highly sophisticated campaign to defame the province’s energy industry and landlock its resources,” Gary Mason writes in the Globe and Mail. “To be headed up by forensic and restructuring accountant, Steve Allan, the inquiry was going to expose a “premeditated, internationally planned and financed operation to put Alberta energy out of business,” the Premier promised. This was red meat to backers of the United Conservative Party, convinced, as they had become, that this grand conspiracy was real, that mysterious U.S. hedge fund owners (among others) were financing Canadian environmental groups through third parties, all to ensure Alberta oil stayed in the ground… “A partial preliminary draft of Mr. Allan’s report was obtained by The Globe and Mail last week. Unless he is holding back some truly explosive information for the final version, which he has to hand in at the end of this month, this inquiry will have amounted to a pathetic $3.5-million waste of money.”

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