Skip to Content

News

Extracted: Daily News Clips 7/7/21

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

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips July 7, 2021

Subscribe in your inbox daily M-F via Substack:

PIPELINE NEWS

  • Facebook: Honor the EarthBreaking at the Willow River: Enbridge drilling construction operations hit an aquifer
  • Facebook: Native Roots RadioPolice are making absurd bail demands to intimidate water protectors. Instead of the normal 10% in cash bail for each person, they are demanding $5,000 each in cash
  • Facebook: Free JessicaWATCH: Full 20 minute TV Interview with Jessica Reznicek after being sentenced to 8 years in Federal prison on Wednesday for her actions to protect the water & stop the Dakota Access Pipeline
  • BloombergGas Shipper DT Midstream Eyes Carbon Capture After Spinoff
  • Bismarck TribunePublic hearing on Mercer County CO2 pipeline is Monday

WASHINGTON UPDATES

  • E&E NewsDOE To Review Emissions From Embattled Alaska Export Project

STATE UPDATES

  • Cincinnati EnquirerNew Ohio law bans cities from enacting prohibitions on natural gas. No Ohio city has one.
  • InsideClimate NewsTwo Years After a Huge Refinery Fire in Philadelphia, a New Day Has Come for its Long-Suffering Neighbors

EXTRACTION

TODAY IN GREENWASHING

  • KTVZFamily Access Network receives $5,000 from TC Energy Foundation

OPINION

  • The NationStop the Enbridge Ecocide! From Minnesota to Massachusetts, the Canadian pipeline company is engaged in crimes against humanity and the earth—abetted by state power
  • Bemidji PioneerLETTER TO THE EDITOR: We should all be water protectors
  • Argus MediaBiden learning how to walk the line
  • Edmonton JournalFailed anti-Alberta energy inquiry an affront to democratic debate

PIPELINE NEWS

Facebook: Honor the Earth: Breaking at the Willow River: Enbridge drilling construction operations hit an aquifer.
7/6/21

“Breaking at the Willow River: Enbridge drilling construction operations hit an aquifer. What you see is is drilling mud. The yellow booms are to stop it from flowing downstream. It is called a frack out. This action at the Willow River, a part of the Mississippi watershed, where the Canadian corporation Enbridge is attempting to drill under the waterbody using a technique known as horizontal directional drilling (HDD). The method carries the risk of discharging drilling mud and chemicals into the river, known as a “frac out.” – the risk became reality. Shanai Explains here: “So we’re here on the Willow River. We’ve been over here in the river channel seven o’clock this morning. Holding space and one of the things we noticed when you got down here today, this area right here in the water, it appears to be something from the drilling of the Willow. And this is what it looks and feels like, the drilling mud like clay. And you can see and feel in the water. It’s much harder. It’s really warm where they feel and it’s coming up from the river bottom. So the Line 3 oil pipeline is currently, they’re in the process of drilling into this river like they hit an aqui aquifer. And so this is now coming down the river channel. And you see they put some kind of boom in the water to try to hold that in place. So this is the kind of thing that, you know, nobody’s here to watch the water to protect the water. This is what Enbridge does. This may not even be reported. We wouldn’t have known about this if we hadn’t been here. And you can just see that even in the process of drilling the Line, they’ve got accidents and it’s impacting the water. So you can imagine why so many of us are standing up to say that this tar sands pipeline should not be finished. It should never have been permitted. And we’re here to protect the water and to pray for the water.”

Facebook: Native Roots Radio: Police are making absurd bail demands to intimidate water protectors. Instead of the normal 10% in cash bail for each person, they are demanding $5,000 each in cash
7/2/21

“Police are making absurd bail demands to intimidate water protectors. Instead of the normal 10% in cash bail for each person, they are demanding $5,000 each in cash. With around 13 arrestees, that’s about $65,000 needed IMMEDIATELY. If the bail isn’t paid within 3 hours these water protectors will be in jail until Tuesday. While law enforcement will celebrate the colonialist celebration fourth of July, they threaten to leave Indigenous folks and allies in Jail over an extended weekend. #StopLine3”

Facebook: Free Jessica: WATCH: Full 20 minute TV Interview with Jessica Reznicek after being sentenced to 8 years in Federal prison on Wednesday for her actions to protect the water & stop the Dakota Access Pipeline
7/2/21

“WATCH: Full 20 minute TV Interview with Jessica Reznicek after being sentenced to 8 years in Federal prison on Wednesday for her actions to protect the water & stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. #FreeJessica #WaterIsLife #NoDAPL”

Bloomberg: Gas Shipper DT Midstream Eyes Carbon Capture After Spinoff
By Gerson Freitas Jr., 7/1/21

“DT Midstream Inc., a U.S. gas pipeline operator that started trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange, has an eye on carbon capture as it weighs how to seize opportunities emerging from the energy transition,” Bloomberg reports. “The company spun-off from DTE Energy Co., a power and gas utility based in Detroit, is “actively working“ around technologies to slash its greenhouse-gas emissions and sees carbon sequestration as “the most interesting and the one that will emerge the earliest,” Chief Executive Officer David Slater told Bloomberg. “U.S. pipeline companies have increasingly looked at ways to make their vast network of fossil-fuel conduits still relevant in a low-carbon economy, and have mostly abandoned new projects because of fierce opposition from climate advocates. Alternative opportunities include hauling hydrogen or carbon dioxide captured from the air. Energy companies such as Occidental Petroleum Corp. and Valero Energy Corp. have recently announced plans for carbon sequestration, which climate scientists have long considered an essential component of meeting emission-reduction targets.”

Bismarck Tribune: Public hearing on Mercer County CO2 pipeline is Monday
7/6/21

“North Dakota regulators on Monday will hold a public hearing in Beulah on a proposed carbon dioxide pipeline in Mercer County,” the Bismarck Tribune reports. “Basin Electric Power Cooperative subsidiary Dakota Gasification Co. proposes to build a 7-mile pipeline from the Great Plains Synfuels Plant to six proposed wells where it would inject the gas deep underground for permanent storage. The project also would include other facilities such as stations for monitoring equipment, communications systems, buildings and fences. The total project is estimated to cost $25 million. It aims to take advantage of a federal tax credit for capturing carbon emissions and preventing the greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere, where it contributes to climate change.”

WASHINGTON UPDATES

E&E News: DOE To Review Emissions From Embattled Alaska Export Project
Lesley Clark and Carlos Anchondo, 7/2/21

“The Department of Energy will study the emissions footprint of liquefied natural gas shipments from a proposed export terminal in Alaska as part of an environmental review, presenting a new hurdle for an already beleaguered project,” E&E News reports. “DOE announced on Friday that it will prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) for the Alaska LNG project, which aims to move natural gas from the state’s North Slope to energy-hungry Asian markets via 800 miles of pipeline and an export facility. The review will examine the entire life cycle of greenhouse gas emissions tied to LNG exports from the project, according to a DOE notice. It will also weigh the environmental repercussions of natural gas production on Alaska’s North Slope. DOE said additional review of the project is ‘appropriate,’ citing two executive orders on climate change signed by President Biden earlier this year and a lawsuit from the Sierra Club that challenged the federal government’s decision to issue permits for the facility.”

STATE UPDATES

Cincinnati Enquirer: New Ohio law bans cities from enacting prohibitions on natural gas. No Ohio city has one.
Jessie Balmert, 7/1/21

“A move to ban natural gas hookups in new buildings in New York City and San Francisco has Ohio lawmakers rushing to head off similar efforts here,” the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. “House Bill 201, signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine Thursday, prohibits municipalities from banning customers from using natural gas or propane. The change passed even though no Ohio city currently has such a ban and current law allows customers to choose their energy source. Still, proponents of the change say cutting natural gas out of the mix would dramatically increase the price of energy for Ohioans. “This would be an incredible problem for people across the Buckeye State if we don’t get out in front of this,” said Sen. Rob McColley, R-Napoleon.” “…The government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers,” said Rep. Casey Weinstein, D-Hudson. “That is the one thing that this needless piece of legislation manages to do in promoting the further proliferation of natural gas and propane.”

InsideClimate News: Two Years After a Huge Refinery Fire in Philadelphia, a New Day Has Come for its Long-Suffering Neighbors
By Daelin Brown, 7/5/21

“Dorthia Pebbles inhaled harmful pollutants and smelled noxious odors from the Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refinery for years when she would leave her rowhome on Hoffman Street to walk to the corner store,” InsideClimate News reports. “After losing family members to cancer, she and her neighbors who lived across the street from the massive South Philadelphia refinery, once the largest on the East Coast, couldn’t help but conclude that its emissions were giving them asthma and threatening their health in even more serious ways. But no one from the refinery or the city ever gave them any information, or seemed to care. Then one night in June 2019, the refinery exploded, creating a whole new set of hazards and issues for the neighbors to wrestle with. “The most recent explosion woke us up out of our sleep,” Pebbles told ICN. “But hearing that it will not be a refinery anymore is good. A lot of people ended up with cancer from the neighborhood.”

EXTRACTION

Bloomberg: Huge Fire Near Pemex Offshore Platform Was Due to a Gas Leak
By Amy Stillman, 7/6/21

“A raging fire on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico near a Pemex offshore oil platform last Friday provoked a Twitter storm. But officials in Mexico say it wasn’t the environmental disaster it appeared to be,” Bloomberg reports. “On July 2, a video posted on social media from a nearby helicopter showed three ships trying to douse flames emerging from the sea. The shocking footage of the blaze — dubbed the “eye of fire”– sparked criticism internationally on social media, including from famed environmental activist Greta Thunberg and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders. But Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Pemex executives were quick to point out that the fire wasn’t caused by an oil spill. A marine pipeline connecting to platforms that make up the Ku-Maloob-Zaap cluster of fields leaked gas. The conflagration was ignited by an electrical storm, according to the president. Petroleos Mexicanos, as the state oil company is more formally known, said in a statement that no environmental damage was caused by the leak that began at 5:15 a.m. local time and operations had returned to normal five and a half hours later… “Meanwhile, some environmentalist groups remain unconvinced by the company’s assurances, and are calling for a detailed study of the fire’s environmental impact.”

Politico Morning Energy: THE NAT GAS REBOUND
Matthew Choi, 7/6/21

“Natural gas demand is expected to shoot back up as more of the world enters the vaccinated phase of the pandemic, with demand growing through 2024, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest Q3 gas market report,” Politico Morning Energy reports. “That increase could throw the world off track in eliminating net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the report says. IEA forecasts gas demand to climb 3.6 percent in 2021 around the world, before slowing to 1.7 percent over the next three years. The growth is largely driven by the global economy reawakening from the pandemic, but it’s also pushed by gas replacing dirtier energy sources, particularly in the developing world. Nearly half of the uptick in gas demand from 2020 to 2024 comes from the Asia Pacific region, according to the report. IEA advocates strong policy measures to curb gas demand and increase efficiency in the long term — particularly among developed countries that have the resources to scale up cleaner energy sources. The report also calls on the gas industry to focus more on reducing methane emissions and researching a transition to lower-carbon gases.”

JWN Energy: Canadian oil producers buck North American cash flow trends
By Mark Young, 7/6/21

“Canada’s oil producers contradicted almost every key cash spending pattern across the North American oil and gas industry in Q1, despite enjoying the same increase in operating cash flow thanks to increasing commodity prices, according to new analysis from Evaluate Energy,” JWN Energy reports. “…The new report examines 86 U.S. and Canadian oil and gas producers. For most, the sudden injection of Q1 cash flow meant a major increase in free cash flow (the $ difference between operating cash flow and capital spending). The full group of 86 companies in Evaluate Energy’s report recorded a combined US$9.3 billion in free cash flow in Q1 2021, with capex only reaching 53 per cent of operating cash flow. Average free cash flow for the group between 2018 and 2020 was just US$1.4 billion. This heavily juxtaposes the behaviour of the 15 Canadian oil producers in that group of 86. For them, capex almost matched operating cash flow in two straight quarters following a recent free cash flow high of around C$500 million in Q3 2020. In Q1 2021, the two figures were a mere $43 million apart, meaning capital spending was at a level reaching 95 per cent of operating cash flow in the quarter.”

TODAY IN GREENWASHING

KTVZ: Family Access Network receives $5,000 from TC Energy Foundation
7/6/21

“The Family Access Network recently received a $5,000 grant from TC Energy Foundation for FAN advocate services in Central Oregon,” KTVZ reports. “Funds will be used to provide 50 children and their family members in need with life-changing services such as nourishing food, seasonally-appropriate clothing, stable housing, health care, school supplies, and much more. “We are grateful for the support of the TC Energy Foundation, especially during these challenging times. Together, we are making a difference in the lives of local kids and families,” says Julie N. Lyche, Executive Director.Giving back to the communities where they operate is an important value at TC Energy Foundation. They are committed to supporting organizations that build strong and vibrant communities, and encourage their employees to volunteer and support local initiatives across the country. TC Energy Foundation donated over 24 million to over 2,500 nonprofits in the U.S. and Canada in 2020.”

OPINION

The Nation: Stop the Enbridge Ecocide! From Minnesota to Massachusetts, the Canadian pipeline company is engaged in crimes against humanity and the earth—abetted by state power.
By Wen Stephenson, 7/6/21

“On the morning of Monday, June 28, without warning, Sheriff Cory Aukes of Hubbard County, Minn., began an armed blockade of the Namewag camp on Indigenous-owned private property south of Park Rapids, where Anishinaabe water protectors and allies resisting the Biden-approved, treaty-violating Enbridge Line 3 pipeline are based,” Wen Stephenson writes in The Nation. “In  early June, thousands of resisters had converged on the Line 3 route nearby, and close to 200 were arrested engaging in nonviolent direct action to stop construction. More than 700 have been arrested in the resistance campaign thus far, with more arrests each week. The Line 3 project, a rerouted expansion of the existing Enbridge Line 3, will initially carry some 760,000 barrels per day of highly toxic, carbon-heavy, tar-sands crude from strip-mined First Nations land in the boreal forest of Alberta to Superior, Wis., crossing pristine Indigenous wetlands in northern Minnesota and threatening the headwaters of the Mississippi River. When operational, this one pipeline would account for carbon emissions equivalent to 45 or 50 new coal-fired power plants, or 38 million cars, even as the global climate emergency accelerates.”

Bemidji Pioneer: LETTER TO THE EDITOR: We should all be water protectors
John Gonzalez, Bemidji, is a professor of psychology at BSU, 7/3/21

“Most folks believe they are good and decent people, in fact, most people are; we believe in fairness and equality. We care about our families, neighbors, communities, the environment and our children’s future,” John Gonzalez writes in the Bemidji Pioneer. “But even good decent people can hold attitudes/beliefs and do things that contradict those values. When that happens, we experience cognitive dissonance — the feeling we have when our behavior doesn’t match our beliefs/attitudes or when two beliefs/attitudes are in conflict. It creates this psychological discomfort within us — which we don’t like — and we do one of four things to reduce that discomfort: change our behavior; change our attitudes/beliefs; justify our behavior/attitude; or deny information that causes the conflict. This cognitive dissonance is occurring on a mass scale regarding climate change and social justice. You see, we know pollution is bad for the water and air and that burning fossil fuel contributes to this. But, we have become comfortable with the convenience so we justify our behaviors, minimize our impact, and vilify others who call for change… “Well, there is something you can do, you can protect the land and protect the water. You can be a water protector. If you like fishing, be a water protector; hunting, be a water protector; swimming, be a water protector; canoeing, be a water protector; kayaking, be a water protector; paddle boarding, be a water protector; camping, be a water protector; hiking, be a water protector; biking, be a water protector; drinking beer, be a water protector; gardening, be a water protector; golfing, be a water protector. Be a good person — be a water protector!”

Argus Media: Biden learning how to walk the line
By Chris Knight, 7/6/21

“US president Joe Biden is showing himself to be a political pragmatist when it comes to oil and gas infrastructure, supporting tougher environmental reviews for new pipeline plans, but stepping in to prevent actions that could drive up energy prices — and invite political blowback — in the near term,” Chris Knight writes for Argus Media. “His administration at the end of June began the court defence of a permit that would allow Canadian midstream firm Enbridge to replace its 760,000 b/d Line 3 crude pipeline, a conduit for Canadian oil sands that Washingtonsays is “dangerously deteriorating”. In the same week, a separate court threw out the remainder of a lawsuit attempting to close the 570,000 b/d Dakota Access pipeline, after the White House opposed shuttering the line despite flaws with a key easement. The administration has also aligned with the gas industry in a case before the US Supreme Court, which last week prevented states from using their land holdings as an effective “veto” against the construction of natural gas pipelines. The court’s 5:4 decision removes one permitting hurdle for the $1.1bn PennEast pipeline and other projects cutting through states — such as New York and New Jersey — that oppose new gas infrastructure. Such actions should ease industry concerns that Biden would align himself too closely with climate activists who have waged a years-long legal campaign targeting the closure of midstream infrastructure. They also show that after the gasoline shortages and negative headlines caused by May’s ransomware attack on the 2.5mn b/d Colonial Pipeline, the pressure to keep energy prices affordable that has guided White House policy for decades is alive and well… “But energy price considerations, and the risk of being blamed by Republicans for price shocks, are less of an issue for pipelines still at the planning stage or not yet operational. That has freed Biden to deliver on campaign promises to apply more scrutiny on new lines designed to operate well past 2050 — the year when he says the US economy should be achieving net zero carbon emissions.”

Edmonton Journal: Failed anti-Alberta energy inquiry an affront to democratic debate
Keith Stewart, 7/6/21

“What happens when an inquisition can’t find any sinners? That is the conundrum facing the Kenney government’s so-called Public Inquiry into Anti-Alberta Energy Campaigns,” Keith Stewart writes in the Edmonton Journal. “Steve Allan, the commissioner leading this Inquiry, has informed Greenpeace Canada that “I do not intend to make findings of misconduct” because — as he promises to state in his final report — our organization has done nothing “dishonest,” “unlawful” or that “should in any way be impugned.” Other environmental groups have received similar letters. Allan has also indicated he won’t be relying on the bizarre climate science-denying, conspiracy-spouting reports he commissioned as part of the inquiry. As this is written, Greenpeace Canada still hasn’t been allowed to see what documentation has been collected. Based on his letters, however, he will likely name us as engaging in an anti-Alberta energy campaign. That may please his political masters, but it is an affront to democratic debate. Greenpeace Canada has never hidden the fact that we received funds from U.S. and European foundations for our tarsands campaign. The $2.9 million we received from those foundations in the 2007-2018 period (none since) is dwarfed by the $5.6 million we received from Albertans for this work during that same period.”

Pipeline Fighters Hub