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Extracted: Daily News Clips 7/6/21

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

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips July 6, 2021

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PIPELINE NEWS

  • Associated PressUnder pressure, company cancels Tennessee pipeline
  • Memphis Commercial AppealCompany drops plans for Byhalia pipeline; Activists rejoice: ‘Sometimes the good guys win’
  • Park Rapids EnterpriseProtesters overflow Line 3 pipeline site near Park Rapids
  • KSTP31 arrested in Enbridge Pipeline protests in Hubbard County
  • Waging NonviolenceArrested in rocking chairs, grandparents protest Chase and pressure Biden on climate
  • Facebook: Giniw CollectiveWater Protectors Flow Over Enbridge Line 3 Worksite, Native Matriarch Locks Down, Rainforest Action Network Executive Director Risks Arrest
  • Facebook: Honor the EarthThis morning the Minneapolis City Council passed a resolution opposed to Line 3
  • Facebook: Free JessicaWater Protector sentenced to 8 years in Federal Prison for actions to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline 
  • WFXRThird MVP protester on Bent Mountain taken into custody after being locked to car for 14+ hours
  • Facebook: Appalachians Against PipelinesAfter nearly 15 hours of blockading a Mountain Valley Pipeline easement, work yard, and 2 access roads, the old folks have all been extracted and arrested!
  • Burnaby NowTrans Mountain opponents protest outside Liberal MP’s Burnaby office
  • Canadian PressTC Energy files legacy NAFTA claim; seeks $15B in damages after KXL cancellation
  • BNN Bloomberg‘Long, long odds’ for TC Energy’s NAFTA claim: Trade lawyer
  • MinnPostIn settling tax case, Minnesota agrees to pay Enbridge more than $45 million for overvaluing pipeline property
  • National ObserverAt least $23 billion spent supporting pipelines since 2018
  • Virginia MercuryAir Board pushes decision on Lambert compressor station permit to September following complaints
  • Alaska Highway NewsB.C. Supreme Court drops bombshell on B.C. natural gas industry
  • The NarwhalBlueberry River First Nations win precedent-setting Treaty Rights case
  • CFKTV.comProposed LNG project near Gingolx will cost $55 billion, export 12 million tonnes of LNG per year
  • Politico Morning EnergyCHATTERJEE’S HEIR?

WASHINGTON UPDATES

EXTRACTION

  • CNN.com‘Eye of fire’ that erupted in Gulf of Mexico is under control, says Mexico-owned oil company
  • Politico Morning EnergyDRILLING FOR THE TRUTH
  • GuardianBig oil and gas kept a dirty secret for decades. Now they may pay the price
  • Globe and MailAlberta government buying a 50-per-cent stake in the Sturgeon Refinery
  • Washington PostCapping methane-spewing oil wells, one hole at a time
  • E&E NewsBiggest U.S. Natural Gas Driller Sets 2025 Net-Zero Goal

CLIMATE FINANCE

  • Financial TimesInsurance industry feels the heat on cover for fossil fuels
  • ReutersEBRD stops investing in upstream oil and gas to align with Paris goals

OPINION

  • Los Angeles TimesWill Biden choose fossil fuel or Minnesota’s rivers, and a cooler planet, in the fight against Line 3?
  • SC TimesLine 3 pipeline is making Minnesota better: Letter
  • Grand Forks HeraldLetter: Line 3 is not ruining Minnesota’s wild rice waters
  • Circle NewsHonoring Manoomin and fighting for its survival
  • NewsweekFossil Fueled-Crackdowns Are Part of the Assault on Democracy
  • LocalMemphis.comThe little guys stood up to Big Oil and won
  • Roanoke TimesLimpert: DEQ ignores health threats
  • The Cost of the PipelineSupreme Court Loss Isn’t What Some People Think it Is
  • Revolving Door ProjectAmid Climate Crisis, Biden Stacks Administration With Fossil Fuel Industry Allies

PIPELINE NEWS

Associated Press: Under pressure, company cancels Tennessee pipeline
7/5/21

“Environmentalists and activists claimed victory Saturday after a company canceled plans to build an oil pipeline through southwest Tennessee and north Mississippi, and over an aquifer that provides drinking water to 1 million people,” the Associated Press reports. “…A joint venture between Valero and Plains All American Pipeline, Byhalia Connection had said the pipeline would bring jobs and tax revenue to the region — and it had given to Memphis-area charities and tried to build goodwill in the community. But, in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Friday, Byhalia Connection said it was canceling the project “due to lower U.S. oil production resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.” “…Opponents said the plans reminded them of environmental racism — the practice of placing toxic factories, landfills and other polluters in minority neighborhoods and indigenous areas, where voiceless residents only realize the danger after people get sick. The pipeline would have run under Memphis neighborhoods such as White Chapel, Westwood and Boxtown, which began as a community of freed slaves in the 1860s and where homes had no running water or electricity as recently as the 1970s. Justin J. Pearson, a leader of the Memphis Community Against the Pipeline activist group, called the decision “an extraordinary testament to what Memphis and Shelby County can do when citizens build power toward justice.”

Memphis Commercial Appeal: Company drops plans for Byhalia pipeline; Activists rejoice: ‘Sometimes the good guys win’
Daniel Connolly, 7/2/21

“The company planning to build the Byhalia Connection pipeline on Friday announced that it is abandoning the project, bringing a sudden end to one of the biggest environmental controversies in recent Memphis history,” the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports. “The project, which would have put a crude oil pipeline through mostly Black South Memphis neighborhoods, sparked a complex legal and public relations battle that was fought in multiple venues, from the Memphis City Council to the court of national public opinion. Local opponents and celebrities such as Al Gore, Danny Glover and Jane Fonda voiced opposition — the former vice president visited Memphis and called the project “a reckless, racist rip-off.” Opponents also raised concerns about oil spills and threats to the area’s drinking water, which is drawn from wells deep underground from the Memphis Sand aquifer… “Justin Pearson, another environmental activist and a key leader in the pipeline fight, spoke about the decision on Facebook Live. “We’ve shown them that we aren’t the path of least resistance. We are the path of resilience.”

Park Rapids Enterprise: Protesters overflow Line 3 pipeline site near Park Rapids
7/5/21

“Dozens of protesters flowed over a Line 3 construction site on Thursday, July 1 in the Park Rapids area,” the Park Rapids Enterprise reports. “According to a media release on behalf of the Giniw Collective, an Indigenous women-led environmental protection group, construction was halted as a Native matriarch locked herself to a piece of heavy equipment and the executive director of Rainforest Action Network risked arrest… “In a follow-up release on June 2, the Giniw Collective claimed that Hubbard County “has refused to honor the traditional 10 percent cash bail option, instead demanding $5,000 conditional and $10,000 unconditional bail payments for release.” “…In a response to the Giniw release, Hubbard County Sheriff Cory Aukes said he has been forced to use resources that shouldn’t have been necessary. “The amount spent for the equipment used to extract water protectors from the apparatus they use to lock themselves to pipeline equipment,” he told the Enterprise. “The overtime spent on your deputies’ time needed to make arrests and to process crime scenes. The extensive jail staff’s time needed to process the nearly 300 people that have been arrested.” He concluded, “If these water protectors were truly peaceful and law-abiding as they claimed, we wouldn’t have had to do any of this.” Aukes disagreed with what he described as Indigenous protestors’ claim that the 1855 U.S. treaty with the Chippewa nation means that laws don’t apply to them. “Nowhere in the 1855 treaty is language that permits the Chippewa Indians to commit felonies,” he told the Enterprice. “I do not take race into consideration whenI enforce the laws in this county.” “…Aukes said someone recently came into the law enforcement center and paid cash to bail out 18 people, each with $5,000 to $10,000 in bail. “They are obviously well funded,” he said. Aukes denied allegations that the sheriff’s office receives direct payments from Enbridge. “We are not their ‘private security,’” he said. “We respond to incidents reported at Enbridge sites, yes. Just like we would for anyone in Hubbard County.”

KSTP: 31 arrested in Enbridge Pipeline protests in Hubbard County
7/5/21

“Thirty-one Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline protesters were arrested last week, according to the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office,” KSTP reports. “The sheriff’s office states on Thursday at about 9:22 a.m., a call was received reporting “15-20” protesters trespassing on the pipeline 10 miles north of Park Rapids in Arago Township. As deputies responded to the trespassing complaint, more reports stated that Highway 71 was being blocked as more protesters began to arrive in the area. According to deputies at the scene, there were about 100 protesters, or water protectors, either on Highway 71 or chained to heavy equipment on an active work site of the pipeline. As more officers arrived at the scene, water protectors began spray-painting on the exposed pipe and screaming vulgarities about Enbridge, according to police. Damage was done to a company truck at the scene, and an Enbridge worker reported allegedly being attacked by several water protectors before escaping in his damaged vehicle. Also during the incident, a vehicle driven by a water protector fled the scene on 260th Street and attempted to run over one of the officers. A pursuit ensued onto Highway 71, where the suspect entered the ditch and was stopped just before plunging into Hay Creek. The driver was then taken into custody.”

Waging Nonviolence: Arrested in rocking chairs, grandparents protest Chase and pressure Biden on climate
George Lakey, 7/3/21

“On Monday, June 28, a dozen of us grandparents rocked while blocking the entrance to a major Chase Bank building in corporation-dominated Wilmington, Delaware, home of President Joe Biden,” Waging Nonviolence reports. “It was the final day of the Grandparents Walk for Our Grandchildren and Mother Earth, which started on June 20 in Scranton, Pennsylvania — Biden’s birthplace. With the help of vans, our 170-mile route took us through roadways, beautiful trails and the sites of crimes against nature. We visited a dangerous waste dump in Scranton, the site of the proposed Adelphia Gateway Pipeline in Bucks County, and the planned liquified natural gas pipeline threatening to cross the Delaware River to Gibbstown, New Jersey, for export to Europe… “Because the bank management chose to avoid arrests at its front door, our group eventually took our rockers and banners and moved into the street in front of the bank. There we were arrested — with Padma Dyvine, 71, being the first to climb into the police van. We were held in frigid cells for some hours before release with an expectation that we would be summoned to court at a later date. While we haven’t decided whether we’ll be bringing our rocking chairs to the courtroom, we do know one thing: Like every one else in this struggle, we’ll continue to fight for climate justice.”

Facebook: Giniw Collective: Water Protectors Flow Over Enbridge Line 3 Worksite, Native Matriarch Locks Down, Rainforest Action Network Executive Director Risks Arrest
7/1/21

“Today, dozens of water protectors flowed over a Line 3 construction site while one Native matriarch locked to heavy equipment and the executive director of Rainforest Action Nework risked arrest, halting construction. The action comes as Enbridge has begun drilling over 20 rivers and 800 wetlands in Anishinaabe treaty territory. Sheriffs in Hubbard County continue to blockade Giniw Collective’s Native-led resistance camp from accessing their own land by stating they cannot return by vehicle once they leave home. A dozen people were arrested in their driveway on Monday night; Hubbard County police sent a riot line. Police continue to barricade Namewag, the Native-led encampment who owns the land, into their property. One water protector was pulled over this morning by Hubbard County as they left camp, the sheriff claimed they “violated the easement”. Governor Walz and Lt. Gov Peggy Flanagan remain silent about the ongoing gross abuse of power by the Hubbard County Sheriff.  Actions continue against Line 3, which has yet to receive any comment from the White House. While the federal and state administrations pledge action on violence against Native women, there are nearly 5000 employees in northern Minnesota building Line 3, most of whom are from out of state. A second sex trafficking ring that included Enbridge employees was busted on Monday. Mama Julz, Oglala Lakota, founder of Mothers against Meth said, “We’re not going to stop this pipeline by prayer only. Prayer and action go hand in hand!” Ginger Cassidy, Executive Director of Rainforest Action Network said, “This pipeline is a violent assault on Indigenous People and their treaty rights and a climate catastrophe that threatens all of us. Climate chaos is already causing real world suffering and massive new fossil fuel expansion like this is completely reckless. Biden and the Banks financing this project must withdraw support for Line 3 immediately.”

Facebook: Honor the Earth: This morning the Minneapolis City Council passed a resolution opposed to Line 3
7/2/21

“Today, the Minneapolis City Council unanimously passed  a resolution opposing the construction of the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline in northern Minnesota. Citing the city’s declaration of a climate emergency, overwhelming Indigenous and frontline opposition, and the cultural and environmental threats posed by the pipeline, the resolution states that the City: Opposes construction of the pipeline and calls on every elected leader with the authority to stop its construction to do so immediately. Requests that the mayor and Police Chief continue to keep Minneapolis police from participating in the Northern Lights Task Force. “We are listening to the Indigenous community in their demand to stop this pipeline, a project which violates the sovereignty of Tribal Nations and puts Minneapolis’ clean drinking water source at risk,” said City Council Member Alondra Cano. “Residents throughout our city are working to create a more sustainable future, one that is free of carbon-intensive fossil fuels. We join those families, organizers, and environmental justice voices in calling for an end to an extractive economy that puts money over people. Today, we take a step forward with the water protectors of this land and stand in full solidarity with them to build that better future.” “We are grateful again for the support of the Minneapolis City Council, which also came out against the alleged atrocities committed by authorities at Standing Rock,” says Winona LaDuke, Executive Director and co-founder of Honor the Earth. “This water we protect serves the people of your city. Together we need to stop the last tar sands pipeline, and help the Walz administration move toward a just transition that will benefit the entire state and help strengthen Indigenous communities.”

Facebook: Free Jessica: Water Protector sentenced to 8 years in Federal Prison for actions to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline
7/1/21

“On Wednesday Federal Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger sentenced Jessica Reznicek to 8 years in prison, followed by 3 years supervised probation, and a restitution of  $3,198,512.70 paid to Energy Transfer LLC for the actions she took in 2016 to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. “I am saddened to be preparing for prison following today’s sentencing hearing.  My spirit remains strong, however, as I feel held in love, support and prayer by so many near and far. Regardless of my sentence I am hopeful that movements to protect the water live on in the struggles against Line 3 and the Mountain Valley Pipelines,” said Jessica Reznicek. “The judge sided with the Federal prosecutors and applied a domestic terrorism enhancement to Jessica’s case. The enhancement originated in the Bush era Patriot Act, which expanded the definition of terrorism to cover “domestic,” as opposed to international, terrorism. The prosecutor requested the enhancement claiming that Jessica’s acts of resistance were “violent”, “dangerous”, and sought to “intimidate the government”. The judge decided that this argument provided enough evidence to substantiate the enhancement, saying it was necessary to discourage others from taking similar actions. The enhancement increases Jessica’s sentence, but also has far reaching implications for broader social justice movements. This use of this enhancement interprets non-violent actions that challenge corporate profit as acts of terror against the government. On today’s decision one of Jessica’s attorneys Bill Quigley stated, “Unfortunately, actions to protect our human right to water were found to be less important than the profit and property of corporations which are destroying our lands and waters.  For a country which was founded by the rebellion of the Boston Tea Party this is extremely disappointing.  But the community of resistance will no doubt carry on.  And history will judge if Jessica Reznicek is a criminal or a prophet.  Many of us are betting she’s a prophet.” “…Jessica will remain on house arrest until she has to self-report for her sentence and plans to file an appeal within the 14 day window allowed by the court.”

WFXR: Third MVP protester on Bent Mountain taken into custody after being locked to car for 14+ hours
Colleen Guerry, Gary Boyer, 7/1/21

“Appalachians Against Pipelines shared a statement Wednesday night from Bridget Kelley, the last of the three “old folks” to be unlocked from a vehicle and taken into custody after spending more than 14 hours blocking access to a Mountain Valley Pipeline site in Bent Mountain,” WFXR reports. “I am taking this action today because the Mountain Valley Pipeline is threatening not only the existence of my future, but especially because it threatens the future of our children and all the generations who come behind us. I take this action today in favor of clean water, forests, mountains, endangered wildlife and the future quality of life for our children. I am taking this action for the many people who are unable to resist, for my community and for all of humanity.”

Facebook: Appalachians Against Pipelines: After nearly 15 hours of blockading a Mountain Valley Pipeline easement, work yard, and 2 access roads, the old folks have all been extracted and arrested!
7/1/21

“Bridget Kelley was the last to be extracted, around 8:00 P.M. “Since 2014, I have done everything in my legal power to stop this pipeline from the destruction it wields, but all to no avail,” she stated. “The hoops we jumped through were only that, hoops to satisfy the lie that we are being careful with our resources for our future existence. We are not. Our government has not been structured in a way to help us preserve what is essential to live and that which strikes our very souls with its beauty. “This pipeline is not a done deal. I believe that we will win. Together we can and will win.” Alan Moore and Deborah Kushner were both arrested and charged with 3 misdemeanors each: obstruction of justice, unlawful assembly, and obstruction of free passage. They were released on personal recognizance (PR). Bridget Kelley is in police custody but has not yet seen a magistrate… “Kelley’s full statement reads: “I’ve lived in SW Virginia most of my life. My mother’s ancestors settled here in the 1700’s. My second great grandparents, John Davis Cook and Maggie Wells, settled in the Elliston area of Montgomery County and had a house on Paris Mountain, a mountain that has already been torn apart by the Mountain Valley Pipeline. “I went to elementary school in Montgomery County and secondary school in Roanoke County. The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is personal to me as it rips through the communities I’ve known and loved intimately for as long as I can remember. My grandfather’s old homeplace on Paris Mountain in Elliston, and the Bent Mountain community where my brother and his wife live just off of Bottom Creek. His home is close to the blast zone should the MVP explode. Bottom Creek is a Tier III waterway and the MVP plans to cross it 36 times!”

Burnaby Now: Trans Mountain opponents protest outside Liberal MP’s Burnaby office
Chris Campbell, 7/2/21

“The sidewalk outside of Burnaby North-Seymour MP Terry Beech’s office has seen plenty of Trans Mountain protests over the years,” Burnaby Now reports. “It’s about to get another today (Friday) as Climate Convergence Metro Vancouver will be unveiling a banner that says “No new pipeline in a climate emergency.” People will be gathering in front of Beech’s office at 4 p.m. demanding the Trudeau government cancel the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project and stop drilling a pipeline tunnel through Burnaby Mountain. “Climate change is here, is real and is a danger to everyone,” said Climate Convergence organizer Alison Bodine, in a news release. “The science is clear: Building a pipeline to expand tar sands production right now is dangerous to the entire planet. Firefighting experts are also clear: drilling a massive tunnel through Burnaby Mountain for the associated tank farm expansion is also incredibly dangerous for tens of thousands of SFU students and Burnaby residents.”

Canadian Press: TC Energy files legacy NAFTA claim; seeks $15B in damages after KXL cancellation
7/2/21

“TC Energy says it will seek more than US$15 billion from the U.S. government in the wake of President Joe Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline’s damage permit,” according to the Canadian Press. “The Calgary-based company says it launched a claim under the legacy rules tied to the old North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, because of what it says is the U.S. government’s breach of its free trade obligations. The company has filed a notice of intent with the U.S. Department of State… “The Alberta government invested in the project and was left on the hook for $1.3 billion when it was cancelled.”

BNN Bloomberg: ‘Long, long odds’ for TC Energy’s NAFTA claim: Trade lawyer
Jon Mace, 7/2/21

“The odds of TC Energy Corp. getting its money back for its now-terminated Keystone XL pipeline project are slim, according to a veteran trade lawyer,” BNN Bloomberg reports. “…“Long, long odds,” Mark Warner, principal at MAAW Law, told Bloomberg in a television interview. “No case has ever succeeded against the United States under the NAFTA chapter 11 investor-state dispute settlement system.” Warner said the onus is on TC Energy to prove they were treated unfairly or differently than an American company would have been in the same situation. “This will go on for a long time,” Warner told Bloomberg. “The question is how much corporate energy TC Energy wants to devote to fighting this case… “My sense has always been that the Trudeau government is not willing to fight for Keystone.”

MinnPost: In settling tax case, Minnesota agrees to pay Enbridge more than $45 million for overvaluing pipeline property
By Walker Orenstein, 7/1/21

“Minnesota officials have settled a long-running tax case with Enbridge Energy, agreeing to pay the oil and gas company more than $45 million for overvaluing pipeline property after losing in state court,” according to the MinnPost. “In conjunction with the deal, state lawmakers approved almost $30 million on Wednesday to cover the share owed by local governments along the pipeline routes. Even though the Department of Revenue had made faulty evaluations, the refund bill threatened to blow a hole in the budget of 13 counties, plus numerous cities, towns and school boards if the Legislature hadn’t picked up the tab… “The bill for all five years, not including interest, was estimated to be more than $30 million in April. The state was on the hook for some of that refund, yet the bulk of the payback was set to fall on local governments along the pipeline route because those governments receive a large share of the taxes. County officials said such a cost would force some towns into bankruptcy and cause huge financial damage to other local governments. Holmes said earlier this year a plan to build a new jail in Carlton County required by the Department of Corrections was “hanging by a thread” because of the Enbridge ruling. The potential refund owed by Carlton County for 2012-2016, including the state’s portion, was worth about 10 percent of the county’s annual levy, Holmes said.”

National Observer: At least $23 billion spent supporting pipelines since 2018
By John Woodside, 7/5/21

“Since 2018, governments in Canada have pumped at least $23 billion worth of support into three megaproject pipelines designed to move giant amounts of oil and gas to international markets, undermining Ottawa’s commitment to lower greenhouse gas emissions, says a new report from the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD),” according to the National Observer. “Those pipelines are Trans Mountain, Coastal GasLink, and Keystone XL. The IISD found that since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, governments supplied those projects with at least $10 billion worth of support. “There’s a lot of money being put towards oil and gas export pipelines in Canada, and we are coming out of a pandemic where we have the opportunity to redesign our economy in a way that puts people and the planet first,” the report’s author Vanessa Corkal told the Observer. “The main question I would like this report to raise is whether these investments align with the future we want in Canada.” “There are clear opportunities for the government of Alberta and the government of Canada to be investing in areas that are more economically viable long term, and that leads directly to the climate question of what industries are going to be thriving in a low-carbon economy?” she said.

Virginia Mercury: Air Board pushes decision on Lambert compressor station permit to September following complaints
By Sarah Vogelsong, 7/3/21

“The State Air Pollution Control Board has deferred consideration of a permit for a controversial compressor station in Pittsylvania County to September following complaints about the scheduling of a midday, midweek meeting in Richmond to consider the issue,” the Virginia Mercury reports. “…North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality has twice denied a necessary water permit for the project, citing numerous erosion and sediment issues with the main line of the Mountain Valley Pipeline and doubts about its completion. The required air permit for the Pittsylvania compressor station has been hotly contested, with the air board receiving hundreds of comments on the proposal. But despite discussion among the board in April about scheduling consideration of the permit in the evening or on a weekend to increase public accessibility, the deliberations were scheduled for a Wednesday afternoon in Richmond… “Several groups protested the decision. In one letter, the Pittsylvania County branch of the NAACP urged the air board to either add a virtual component to the meeting or hold it closer to the proposed site of the compressor station.”

Alaska Highway News: B.C. Supreme Court drops bombshell on B.C. natural gas industry
Nelson Bennett, 6/30/21

“The B.C. Supreme Court has found the B.C. government infringed the Blueberry River First Nation’s treaty rights by allowing decades of industrial development in their traditional territory,” Alaska Highway News reports. “The ruling will likely have significant impacts for industries in that region, notably the natural gas industry, as the court says the province may no longer authorize activities that would continue to add to the cumulative impacts that breach Treaty 8. Blueberry River First Nation (BRFN) territory is in the Fort St. John area, which is in the heartland of B.C.’s natural gas industry. “The province is no longer permitted to authorize industrial development in a way and scale that continues to infringe our rights without our input or taking into account the cumulative effects on our treaty rights,” the First Nation said in a released statement Wednesday, after the ruling came down June 29. The BRFN is one of the few First Nations in B.C. that signed an historical treaty – in this case, Treaty 8. The treaty guaranteed signatories access to their traditional ways of life – hunting, fishing and trapping. But decades of development – forestry, road-building, hydro-electric dams, transmission lines and natural gas extraction – gradually reduced the First Nations’ access to these traditional resources and practices. The cumulative impacts of all that activity constituted a breach of treaty rights, the First Nation argued, and BC Supreme Court Justice Emily Burke has upheld that claim.”

The Narwhal: Blueberry River First Nations win precedent-setting Treaty Rights case
By Emma Gilchrist, 6/30/21

“The B.C. government breached the Treaty Rights of the Blueberry River First Nations, says a new provincial court ruling that could have sweeping implications for oil, gas, forestry and hydroelectric development in the northeastern part of the province,” The Narwhal reports. “In her ruling, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Emily Burke wrote “the province’s mechanisms for assessing and taking into account cumulative effects are lacking and have contributed to the breach of its obligations under Treaty 8.” “The evidence shows that the province has not only been remiss in addressing cumulative effects and the impacts of development on treaty rights, but that it has been actively encouraging the aggressive development of the Blueberry Claim Area through specific royalty programs (including for marginal wells) and Jobs Plan policies,” the ruling states. The province has taken up lands to such an extent that the Blueberry First Nations can no longer meaningfully exercise their Treaty Rights, according to the ruling. “Blueberry’s knowledge and its ability to successfully hunt, trap, fish and gather depends on the health and relative stability of the environment. If forests are cut, or critical habitat destroyed, it is not as simple as finding another place to hunt. The Dane-zaa have located these places over generations,” the ruling reads.

CFKTV.com: Proposed LNG project near Gingolx will cost $55 billion, export 12 million tonnes of LNG per year.
Joshua Azizi, 7/5/21

“A spokesperson for the proposed Ksi Lisims LNG project gave a presentation to Terrace city council last week outlining some key details about the project,” CFKTV.com reports. “Paul Anderson, external relations director for Ksi Lisims LNG, says the project would export 12 million tons of Liquified Natural Gas per year from a floating facility on the north end of Pearse Island. The site will be located 15 kilometres west of the Nisga’a village of Gingolx. The project is a collaboration between three groups: the Nisga’a Lisims Government, a group of natural gas developers in B.C. and Alberta known as Rockies LNG and the Texas-based company Western LNG. The project’s LNG will be sold to Asian markets, where Anderson says it could displace the use of coal and oil. Anderson says Ksi Lisims LNG currently carries an investment price tag of $55 billion. That number includes $10 billion for the development of the facility, $10 billion for a pipeline to the project and $35 billion for natural gas development. The project’s proponents hope to use one of two proposed pipelines that have already received environmental assessment certificates: Enbridge’s Westcoast Connector Gas Transmission project, and TC Energy’s Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project. However, the approvals for those pipelines will expire if construction doesn’t start soon.”

Politico Morning Energy: CHATTERJEE’S HEIR?
Matthew Choi, 7/6/21

“D.C. Public Service Commission Chair Willie Phillips is getting some back up as Biden mulls a successor for Neil Chatterjee on FERC,” according to Politico Morning Energy. “The Black Economic Alliance and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies co-authored a letter to Biden last week that was obtained by ME, lauding Phillips’ long experience in utilities regulation and work leading DCPSC’s transition to a cleaner and more reliable grid. The American Association of Blacks in Energy expressed a similar sentiment in its own letter to Biden last week, pointing to Phillips’ “wealth of experience in public utility regulation and commitment to diverse communities.”

WASHINGTON UPDATES

Politico Morning Energy: GOP ENERGY BILL
Matthew Choi, 7/6/21

“Top Republicans are taking another swing at the Biden administration’s federal oil and gas lease pause, introducing legislation that would give Congress and states a bigger say in energy production on federal lands,” Politico Morning Energy reports. “The America Energy First Act, unveiled by House Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), would prohibit the Interior secretary from pausing the leases without Congress’ consent. It would also allow the secretary to delegate leasing powers to states. Scalise introduced a prior iteration of the bill back in 2019.”

E&E News: Bill Would Add Hurdle Before Limits On Mining, Drilling
James Marshall, 7/2/21

“Oklahoma Republican Rep. Kevin Hern introduced a bill Wednesday to support mining and drilling ventures if blocking them would push energy costs up for ‘at-risk communities,’ E&E News reports. “The ‘Energy Poverty Prevention and Accountability Act,’ H.R. 4266, would prevent the White House from impeding natural resource development before first studying the economic impact on low-income, minority, rural, elderly and Native American communities. The legislation would have the Interior Department conduct the studies and post them on its website. Hern, who also sponsored the bill last year, said the measure is meant to promote transparency.”

The Hill: Focus shifts to EPA on methane regulation after Biden action
BY RACHEL FRAZIN, 7/5/21

“President Biden’s restoration of Obama-era rules on methane emissions is shifting all attention to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as regulators indicate they plan to clamp down further on the potent greenhouse gas,” The Hill reports. “Biden this past week signed legislation getting rid of a Trump-era rollback, restoring the 2016 regulation that sought to limit emissions from new sources of methane pollution in the oil and gas industry. While many advocates backed the revival of the Obama rule, they also argue that it didn’t go far enough, particularly when it comes to addressing long-time sources of the emissions. “There are a lot of existing sources out there, and so the Obama-era rules, they were the first step,” Lauren Pagel, policy director at the environmental group Earthworks, told the Hill. “This was obviously finalized quite at the end of the Obama administration. If the next administration had come in and been friendly to the environment and wanted to deal with climate change, they would have quickly put those existing source standards in place.” “…The EPA said in its recently published regulatory agenda that it will consider proposing new regulations “to establish emission guidelines for methane emissions from existing operations in the oil and gas sector” by September. In particular, the agency said it would examine oil and gas exploration, production, transmission, processing and storage.

EXTRACTION

CNN.com: ‘Eye of fire’ that erupted in Gulf of Mexico is under control, says Mexico-owned oil company

By Philip Wang, 7/5/21

“A blaze on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico resembling a large “eye of fire” has been brought under control, according to Mexico’s state-run oil company Pemex,” CNN.com reported. “Orange flames resembling molten lava appeared to erupt from below the surface in videos that went viral on social media, which dubbed it an “eye of fire.” The fire broke out a short distance from a Pemex oil platform. In a statement, Pemex said the fire, blamed on a gas leak from an underwater pipeline, began at 5:15 a.m. local time Friday off the coast of Campeche, west of the Yucatan Peninsula. The fire, which was close to an oil platform, was put out by 10:45 a.m. local time, and no injuries or evacuations of the facility have been reported.”

Politico Morning Energy: DRILLING FOR THE TRUTH
Matthew Choi, 7/6/21

“A draft report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is pinning disinformation and lobbying campaigns — including by Exxon Mobil — as major culprits in slowing governments from adopting climate measures to mitigate global warming,” according to Politico Morning Energy. “Zack and POLITICO Europe’s Karl Mathiesen reviewed the report, which is written by some of the world’s top scientists about every seven years and is subject to approval by governments. “Rhetoric on climate change and the undermining of science have contributed to misperceptions of the scientific consensus, uncertainty, unduly discounted risk and urgency, dissent, and, most importantly, polarized public support delaying mitigation and adaptation action, particularly in the US,” the report said. It’s an unusual political rebuke and comes on the heels of the explosive sting operation by a UK wing of Greenpeace , outing Exxon Mobil lobbyist Keith McCoy as saying the company would “aggressively fight against some of the science” including by using third-party “shadow groups.” Exxon CEO Darren Woods later condemned the comments and said they didn’t represent Exxon’s views.”

Guardian: Big oil and gas kept a dirty secret for decades. Now they may pay the price
Chris McGreal, 6/30/21

“After a century of wielding extraordinary economic and political power, America’s petroleum giants face a reckoning for driving the greatest existential threat of our lifetimes,” the Guardian reports. “An unprecedented wave of lawsuits, filed by cities and states across the US, aim to hold the oil and gas industry to account for the environmental devastation caused by fossil fuels – and covering up what they knew along the way… “But, even more strikingly, the nearly two dozen lawsuits are underpinned by accusations that the industry severely aggravated the environmental crisis with a decades-long campaign of lies and deceit to suppress warnings from their own scientists about the impact of fossil fuels on the climate and dupe the American public… “We are at an inflection point,” Daniel Farber, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley and director of the Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment, told the Guardian. “Things have to get worse for the oil companies,” he added. “Even if they’ve got a pretty good chance of winning the litigation in places, the discovery of pretty clearcut wrong doing – that they knew their product was bad and they were lying to the public – really weakens the industry’s ability to resist legislation and settlements.”

Globe and Mail: Alberta government buying a 50-per-cent stake in the Sturgeon Refinery
EMMA GRANEY, 7/5/21

“Alberta taxpayers will soon own half of the Sturgeon Refinery, acquiring an equity stake in a project that had billions of dollars in cost overruns and numerous construction delays before it finally began commercial operations in June, 2020,” the Globe and Mail reports. “The move is the result of 18 months of negotiations between the Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission or APMC, a Crown corporation, and a group called North West Redwater Partnership, or NWRP, which until Monday owned and operated the refinery. The government says the deal, worth $825-million, will cost taxpayers $2-billion less than the original contract signed in 2011 – a time when oil hit north of US$110 a barrel, filling Alberta’s coffers to the brim. The Sturgeon Refinery, located northeast of Edmonton, is designed to process about 79,000 barrels a day of diluted bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands into low-sulphur diesel and other products.In 2012, the cost of the refinery was pegged at around $5.7-billion. A year later, that had increased to $8.5-billion. It eventually ballooned to around $10-billion. The government also committed $25-billion in public dollars for toll payments (fees to have bitumen processed into diesel) to the project over 30 years. The refinery incurred a $500-million operating loss last year, according to Alberta’s fiscal update last week.”

Washington Post: Capping methane-spewing oil wells, one hole at a time
By Nick Ehli, 7/1/21

“The stench bellows from the 1,500-foot hole in the ground, the remains of a well long ago abandoned by a bankrupt oil company,” the Washington Post reports. “Despite the well’s rotten-egg smell, the real culprit is methane, and every year this single well spews the potent greenhouse-gas equivalent of roughly 600 cars. It has been gushing, unchecked, for nearly three decades. Curtis Shuck calls the well a “super emitter,” one of many in a wheat field not far from the Canadian border, a part of Montana known as the “golden triangle” for its bountiful crops. Aside from the scattered rusty pipes and junked oil tanks, the field is splendid and vast, its horizon interrupted intermittently by power lines and grain bins. On these plains, Shuck says, you can watch your dog run away for a week. He is a former oil and gas executive who nowadays leads a small nonprofit — the result of a personal epiphany — and is tackling global warming one well at a time. That is the approach of his Well Done Foundation, plugging this and then other orphaned sites and trapping the methane underground. The effort started in Montana in 2019 but will expand to other states before the fall.”

E&E News: Biggest U.S. Natural Gas Driller Sets 2025 Net-Zero Goal
Ester Wells, 7/1/21

“The largest U.S. natural gas producer has announced plans to achieve net-zero emissions from its operations by 2025, while stressing the need for gas as a bridge fuel to a low-carbon future,” E&E News reports. “EQT Corp. pledged Tuesday to eliminate its Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions tied to its direct operations and energy use. But the Pittsburgh-based driller stopped short of addressing the biggest source of its carbon footprint: Scope 3 emissions produced indirectly by customers that burn its natural gas, like power plants… “But the report does not include plans to tackle Scope 3 emissions, which it said accounted for more than 87 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2020. EQT said it is ‘exploring ways to meaningfully impact the emissions impact of the use of the products we sell and of others in the industry.’ ‘The reality is that we do not believe that setting a net zero scope 3 emissions target at this time is the optimal manner for EQT to contribute to an acceleration of a sustainable pathway to a low carbon future,’ the report said.”

CLIMATE FINANCE

Financial Times: Insurance industry feels the heat on cover for fossil fuels
Ian Smith, 7/1/21

“The spotlight on the insurance industry’s support of fossil fuel projects is proving so searing that the names of some of those involved have been scrubbed from the record,” according to the Financial Times. “Canada’s Trans Mountain, the operator of a pipeline that takes crude from the oil sands of Alberta to the west coast of British Columbia, made a new request of the country’s energy regulator in February. It wished to redact the names of the pipeline’s insurers in its public filings, now and in the future, to shield them against a barrage of publicity from climate campaigners targeting the energy-intensive tar sands industry. Under that glare, Trans Mountain had already faced a significant reduction in appetite from the insurance market in 2020, and replacement policies were secured “at a significantly higher cost,” it said… “Naming-and-shaming, physical protest and advocacy have all been deployed to pressure insurers to rule out coverage of these activities, and to put in place wider policies on eliminating their exposure to coal as well as gradually phasing it out for oil and gas. “The longer it takes for the insurance industry to get itself out of the firing line on this issue, the more attention it is going to get,” Lindsay Keenan, European co-ordinator at Insure Our Future, a network of climate-focused organisations, told FT.

Reuters: EBRD stops investing in upstream oil and gas to align with Paris goals
Karin Strohecker, 7/1/21

“The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will stop investing in upstream oil and gas projects as part of plans to align its activities with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change by the end of 2022, it said on Thursday,” Reuters reports. “The lender’s board of governors approved the decision to align with the Paris accord during a meeting on its 30th anniversary. EBRD Managing Director Harry Boyd-Carpenter told Reuters this meant the bank was ceasing investment in oil and gas exploration and production.”We will no longer invest in upstream oil and gas projects,” Boyd-Carpenter said, though did not specify whether this applied to new or existing investment, or when the prohibition would come into force. “However we will continue to finance select projects in the midstream and downstream sectors but only where those projects are aligned with, and significantly contribute to, the goals of the Paris Agreement.” Midstream includes transportation and storage, while downstream involves processes such as refining and the distribution of products.”

OPINION

Los Angeles Times: Will Biden choose fossil fuel or Minnesota’s rivers, and a cooler planet, in the fight against Line 3?
Alan Weisman, 7/6/21

“It was mid-afternoon on June 7 when nearly three dozen sheriffs, deputies and police arrived at the Two Inlets pump station site on Enbridge Inc.’s Line 3 oil pipeline, now under construction in northern Minnesota. In riot helmets, wielding long truncheons, they formed two lines and stood in unusual 90-degree heat, awaiting orders to move in against nearly 200 nonviolent protesters,” Alan Weisman writes in the Los Angeles Times. “Earlier, I’d watched a Homeland Security helicopter repeatedly buzz the demonstrators, apparently attempting to dislodge them with clouds of choking dust. “Stay! Don’t let them weaponize our Mother Earth against us!” someone yelled, although many had already chained and padlocked themselves to earth-moving equipment, pipeline infrastructure and an old blue speedboat that now blocked the way into the site… “Recently, they’ve been dealt two setbacks. First, Minnesota’s Court of Appeals rejected a challenge to Enbridge’s state permit to run Line 3 through tribal land, despite its threat to water quality and sovereign treaty rights. Then last week, despite President Biden’s climate agenda, the Army Corps of Engineers went to court to defend its permits for Line 3, which had been rushed through in the last days of the Trump administration. With Enbridge racing to complete the pipeline before further appeals can stop them, sheriffs have begun raiding the remaining “resistance camps” where water protectors are blocking construction with their bodies. Biden could still act. He could cancel the pipeline by executive action, as he did when he blocked the Keystone XL permits on his first day in office. “It’s a total betrayal by the administration,” said White Earth Ojibwe leader Winona LaDuke about last week’s court filing. “The Army Corps of Engineers under Trump should not be the Army Corps under Biden.”

SC Times: Line 3 pipeline is making Minnesota better: Letter
Paul Gustafson, Vice President, Gustafson & Goudge Inc., 7/2/21

“A lot of times when folks see massive infrastructure projects under construction, like the Line 3 pipeline, we fail to think about just how much goes into something of this magnitude,” Paul Gustafson writes in SC Times. “On its face, the pipeline project is a $2.6 billion investment in our state that does not cost taxpayers a dime — to replace a crucial part of our energy system. There are thousands of pipeline workers who have been hired and are actively working in northern Minnesota and visiting the communities they are traveling through. But it is the economic spinoffs on these types of projects that are often forgotten. Enbridge is helping lift our local economies by working with businesses in the communities they work in. Enbridge and their contractors purchase and invest in equipment leases, security and road signs, matting materials, pipe steel, and the list goes on and on. In fact, in 2020, their capital expenditures in Minnesota surpassed $207.3 million and their operating and administrative expenditures topped $85 million… “It is directly because of Line 3 and projects like it that small towns in rural Minnesota are being impacted in an incredibly meaningful way.”

Grand Forks Herald: Letter: Line 3 is not ruining Minnesota’s wild rice waters
Greg Snare, 7/5/21

“I have heard of comments made by Line 3 pipeline opponents accusing Enbridge of damaging or even ruining wild rice waters. These people claim that the Line 3 project is taking water away from important wild rice areas, but they are wrong,” Greg Snare writes in the Grand Forks Herald. “I have also heard that Enbridge has not, and has no plans to, take water from Upper Rice Lake for Line 3. Enbridge pipelines have actually existed alongside some of the most productive wild rice waters in Minnesota for the past 70 years. Additionally, Enbridge made sure the Line 3 route avoided sensitive areas that are important to our tribal communities to ensure the construction plans would specifically protect wild rice waters. It is frustrating to see the truth twisted when Enbridge has done the right thing. They really did take numerous steps to ensure that construction on the Line 3 pipeline project did not harm our environment. Instead, their efforts are to improve the pipeline and surrounding areas to protect it from future incidents and damage… “The facts of the situation are quite different than what Line 3 pipeline opponents are sharing. But when you continue to lose in court – distorting the truth is often where the storyline goes.”

Circle News: Honoring Manoomin and fighting for its survival
Winona LaDuke, 7/5/21

“It’s Rice Lake Village on the White Earth reservation – the mother lode of wild rice – Lower Rice Lake. Lew Murray stood in front of the gathering of about two hundred or so people, to greet runners who had just run twenty five miles to honor the wild rice, and protect it. It’s a joyful gathering also, because people are just starting to gather outside after COVID and we are all happy to see each other,” Winona LaDuke writes in Circle News. “For some it’s been a long time. For some of us who are facing police many days on the Enbridge pipeline route, it’s a welcome sanctuary from the violence- emotional, ecological and physical. More than anything the gathering, organized by community members brings us together to reaffirm our commitment to our wild rice and water… “The rice harvest unifies everyone, and it’s a time of great excitement and joy in the village. Not surprisingly, Rice Lake village has opposed Enbridge’s plans since Day One, demanding hearings in the village, and turning out with thousands of others at the Headwaters of the Mississippi. Enbridge’s work to divide the White Earth community with lucrative contracts to Gordon Construction and their plays in tribal politics are not viewed well here. This gathering is attended by most of the tribal council, who see the opposition to Line 3.”

Newsweek: Fossil Fueled-Crackdowns Are Part of the Assault on Democracy
BASAV SEN, Director, Climate Policy Program at the Institute for Policy Studies, 7/2/21

“In early June, over 2,000 Indigenous-led demonstrators converged in northern Minnesota to protest the construction of a polluting oil pipeline on Indigenous land. They were met by an extremely aggressive law enforcement response. Over 200 were arrested, including a journalist with visible press credentials who was covering the protests,” Basev Sen writes in Newsweek. “Police used a long range acoustic device (LRAD), an extremely dangerous weapon that should never be used against civilians, to disperse protesters. Federal Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers—nominally in charge of border control—also attacked demonstrators, using a low-flying helicopter to stir up dust and debris. To understand what happened in Minnesota, it’s important to grasp two things. First, people are protesting the proposed pipeline because it’s an environmental justice nightmare. Second, fossil fuel companies have increasingly linked arms with legislatures and law enforcement to crack down on dissent against projects like these… “As more communities rise up to resist the now well-known danger of fossil fuel extraction, the industry has been radicalizing against democracy. Oil and gas companies gave over $9 million to Republican lawmakers who refused to certify the 2020 election results. And DonorsTrust, a Koch-backed fund, has given millions not just to climate denial organizations, but also to racist hate groups. Our democracy, flawed though it may be, is under severe threat. Money in politics, voter suppression, the erosion of the right to protest and the militarization of law enforcement are part of the same story. It’s clearer than ever that defending the climate and protecting our democracy are now two parts of the same struggle.”

LocalMemphis.com: The little guys stood up to Big Oil and won
Otis Sanford, 7/5/21

“Who says grassroots activism is no match against big business? Certainly not the people of south Memphis, Westwood, and Boxtown who organized and mobilized around one common cause: stopping an oil pipeline from running through their neighborhoods. And guess what? Grassroots won. The ultimate victory came late on Friday,” Otis Sanford writes for LocalMemphis.com. “Plains All American announced it is abandoning plans for the Byhalia Connection Pipeline which would have run from the Valero Oil Refinery in south Memphis –through predominantly African American neighborhoods– before ending near Byhalia, Mississippi… “This is one of those rare cases where persistence paid off. Justin Pearson, Kizzy Jones, Kathy Robinson, and others who launched Memphis Community Against Pollution took their cause to anyone who would listen. They were joined by Protect Our Aquifer, a group convinced that the pipeline could potentially cause immeasurable harm to the city’s drinking water. And when politicians and celebrities got on board, powerful Plains All American was overmatched. In the end, the affected neighborhoods were anything but the point of least resistance – as one official described those in the pipeline’s path. They fought a powerful oil company and won. How cool is that?!”

Roanoke Times: Limpert: DEQ ignores health threats
William Limpert is a retired environmental regulator who formerly lived in Bath County along the route of the since-cancelled Atlantic Coast Pipeline, 7/4/21

“The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is ignoring significant environmental, and public health threats to the residents of Chatham, Virginia by issuing a draft permit approval for the Lambert compressor station,” William Limpert writes in the Roanoke Times. “To make matters worse, citizen comments at the upcoming July 7th hearing before the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board must now be made in person, and not virtually. DEQ has issued the draft permit approval without adequate consideration of a number of important issues. Significant negative health impacts from compressor station discharges are well documented. Nevertheless, there has been no public health assessment in the Chatham community, despite over 50 years of ongoing pollutant discharges from nearby Transco compressor stations. Citizens in this environmental justice community could already be experiencing significant negative health impacts. Nevertheless, DEQ is burdening them with more pollution from Lambert without checking on their health… “Leaks, fugitive emissions, and resultant pollution to this community are underestimated. Leaks less than 500 parts per million are not even counted as leaks. Compressor stations are notoriously leaky. Based on EPA estimates, and a recent study published in Science magazine, Lambert and the MVP Southgate pipeline together would leak and emit over 1 million cubic feet per day. Numerous toxic substances in the gas stream would be discharged into nearby communities, along with the potent greenhouse gas methane. Transco pipelines, where Southgate would parallel them, have likely already been discharging pollutants into those communities for years.The MVP, which would end at Chatham, would leak and emit about 7 million cubic feet per day.

The Cost of the Pipeline: Supreme Court Loss Isn’t What Some People Think it Is
Mike Spille, 7/2/21

“On June 29th, 2021, the Supreme Court finally ruled on the case PENNEAST PIPELINE CO., LLC v. NEW JERSEY ET AL,” Mike Spille writes for The Cost of the Pipeline. “This was the case centering around eminent domain authority, and the State of New Jersey’s challenge to PennEast about being sued in federal eminent domain court… “Unfortunately, the Supreme Court ruled against New Jersey, and reversed the 3rd circuit opinion. The opinion is available here. But this isn’t the loss that many people think it is. What the Supreme Court decision did was unstick a bunch of things that were stuck for PennEast, but it does not solve any of its fundamental problems. Given, a win at SCOTUS would have been an instant death knell for PennEast. But we didn’t get that, and by now I don’t think anyone has any expectations of quick wins on this topic. We’ve been at this for 7 long years… “So PennEast “Won” at the Supreme Court, but while they won that battle they are on the brink of losing the war. The owners are exhausted and still stinging from having spent half a billion dollars so far with zero returns, and PennEast still fights vicious battles at the DRBC and NJDEP that it has historically lost. This “win” may be the final event that causes them to throw in the towel and stop throwing good money after bad.”

Revolving Door Project: Amid Climate Crisis, Biden Stacks Administration With Fossil Fuel Industry Allies
Vishal Shankar, 6/30/21

“As a record heat wave rocks the West Coast, rising sea levels yield deadly consequences in Florida, and youth organizers and progressive lawmakers stage historic protests for climate action in our nation’s capital, all eyes are on President Biden to meaningfully address climate change — something he has called an “existential threat”, Vishal Shankar writes for the Revolving Door Project. “Yet in this moment of unprecedented climate catastrophe, Biden is quietly moving to fill his Treasury Department with Big Oil allies and fossil fuel industry insiders. Just this month, the Senate has taken up the nominations of two high-profile Treasury nominees with ties to ExxonMobil: Elizabeth Rosenberg and Neil MacBride. Rosenberg, Biden’s pick for Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing, is a former consultant for ExxonMobil and alum of the oil industry-financed think tank Center for a New American Security. She has repeatedly advocated for increasing U.S. natural gas and oil exports abroad, which would benefit companies like Exxon at the expense of furthering global carbon emissions. MacBride, who is set to be Treasury’s top lawyer, has defended automotive executives accused of lying to federal emissions regulators and even sued the Treasury Department on behalf of Exxon over penalties imposed on the company for violating U.S. sanctions on Russia… “Rounding out the fossil fuel industry conflicts at the White House are at least nine top aides with major and minor financial stakes in leading oil and gas firms, including Chevron, Exxon, Shell, and Occidental Petroleum. Biden’s stacking of the executive branch with fossil fuel industry allies is unacceptable and striking given the climate crisis’ ongoing global devastation.”

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