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Extracted: Daily News Clips 7/8/21

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

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips July 8, 2021

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PIPELINE NEWS

  • NBC News [VIDEO]: Biden urged to halt expansion of pipeline through Minnesota tribal lands
  • The HillCelebrities push Biden to oppose controversial Minnesota pipeline
  • Press releaseLeonardo DiCaprio, Katy Perry, Danny Glover, Joaquin Phoenix, and More Call on Biden Administration to Respect Indigenous Rights, Follow Science and Cancel Risky Line 3 Pipeline
  • Facebook: Giniw Collective2 Indigenous Water Protectors Ascend Trees and Stop Line 3 Construction
  • MPRIn Clearwater County, sheriff aims to keep peace amid Line 3 resistance
  • Healing MNWater protectors highlight Willow Creek frac-out, and the out-of-whackness of state Line 3 regulators and law enforcement
  • The InterceptCORPORATE COUNTERINSURGENCY AGAINST LINE 3 PIPELINE RESISTANCE
  • Common Dreams‘Disgusting’: Pipeline Company Files $15 Billion Claim Against US for Canceled Keystone XL
  • SDPBKXL Company to File $15 Billion Claim Against U.S.
  • Agassiz Harrison ObserverLatest Indigenous bid for Trans Mountain backed by pipeline company
  • Financial Post [VIDEO]: Who’s afraid of Trans Mountain? Enbridge — and this is why
  • Tennessee LookoutByhalia Pipeline halted but Memphis Council still pushes protective legislation
  • Alston & BirdSupreme Court Decision in PennEast Pipeline Co. v. New Jersey Is Major Win for Pipelines
  • Facebook: Four Necessity: ‘The Four Necessity Valve Turners’ Jury Trial

WASHINGTON UPDATES

  • E&E NewsSurging U.S. LNG puts Biden in climate bind

STATE UPDATES

  • Courthouse NewsJudge Tosses Challenge to Berkeley Plan to Ban Natural Gas

EXTRACTION

  • Wall Street JournalOil Companies Are Ordered to Help Cover $7.2 Billion Cleanup Bill in Gulf of Mexico
  • E&E News3 oil majors launch landmark project to stop methane leaks
  • BloombergOil Sands Carbon Cuts Come With $60 Billion Bill, Loose Ends
  • iPolitics.caCan LNG exports revitalize stranded fossil fuels in the West?

RESEARCH & SCIENCE

OPINION

  • GuardianJustin Trudeau’s love of fossil fuel will only make Canada’s extreme weather worse

PIPELINE NEWS

NBC News [VIDEO]: Biden urged to halt expansion of pipeline through Minnesota tribal lands
Amanda Golden, 7/7/21

“Over 200 celebrities, Democratic donors and environmental activists are calling on President Joe Biden to cancel a proposed oil pipeline expansion and rerouting in Minnesota,” NBC News reports. “A letter first reviewed by NBC News urges the Biden administration to follow through on campaign promises to address climate change and respect Indigenous and tribal rights by ending the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline. Many who signed the letter worked on or contributed to Biden’s presidential campaign, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Orlando Bloom, Katy Perry, Joaquin Phoenix, Danny Glover, Jane Fonda, Amy Schumer, Bon Iver and Mark Ruffalo, among others, as well as former Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer and the executive director of the Sierra Club, Michael Brune. “Your presidency is a watershed in human history, the last chance to turn the tide before climate disruption spirals out of control,” the letter reads. “We worked hard for your election in part because you embraced that challenge as a defining strength of your candidacy.” “…Many of us had high hopes — and high expectations — when President Biden said in his inaugural speech that the climate crisis is one of several crises profoundly challenging our country,” Ruffalo, the actor and activist, said in a statement to NBC News. “We will be judged, you and I, for how we resolve the cascading crises of our era. I call upon the president and the Army Corps of Engineers to suspend and thoroughly review the permit for the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline, a massive project that would not only intensify the climate crisis, but violates the treaty rights of tribal nations.”

The Hill: Celebrities push Biden to oppose controversial Minnesota pipeline
BY RACHEL FRAZIN, 7/7/21

“Celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio, Katy Perry and Mark Ruffalo are trying to push the Biden administration to oppose the controversial Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota, highlighting concerns about Indigenous rights and climate change,” The Hill reports. “Construction of the project is an unfolding human rights crisis. Operating it over its lifetime would significantly exacerbate the climate crisis. It fails any reasonable test of climate justice,” reads a Wednesday letter, which was signed by a total of 200 people, including Jane Fonda, Amy Schumer, Orlando Bloom, Danny Glover, Joaquin Phoenix and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer… “The letter ignores the fact that the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission addressed climate change in their decision granting Line 3 its Certificate of Need. They concluded that emissions from the ultimate consumption of oil transported on Line 3 do not result from the replaced pipeline, but instead from the continued demand for crude oil to produce refined products used by consumers,” Enbridge spokesperson Juli Kellner told the Hill. “The project is already providing significant economic benefits in Minnesota for counties, small businesses, Native American communities, and union members,” Kelner added.

Press release: Leonardo DiCaprio, Katy Perry, Danny Glover, Joaquin Phoenix, and More Call on Biden Administration to Respect Indigenous Rights, Follow Science and Cancel Risky Line 3 Pipeline
7/7/21

“Today, more than 200 celebrities, environmentalists, Democratic donors, and allied activists including Leonardo DiCaprio, Katy Perry, Joaquin Phoenix, Orlando Bloom, Mark Ruffalo, Jane Fonda, Amy Schumer, United States Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, and Tom Steyer, delivered a letter to President Biden urging him to cancel the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline. Signers called on the President to follow through with his campaign promises — a campaign that many of them worked on and contributed to — to respect Indigenous and Tribal rights and to take bold climate action, and cancel Line 3 before it is too late. “Your presidency is a watershed in human history, the last chance to turn the tide before climate disruption spirals out of control” the letter reads. We worked hard for your election in part because you embraced that challenge as a defining strength of your candidacy. And we are encouraged and grateful that you clearly signaled your resolve by rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline on day 1. The “climate test” for the KXL decision was clear and compelling. We ask you to apply it now to the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline.”

Facebook: Giniw Collective: 2 Indigenous Water Protectors Ascend Trees and Stop Line 3 Construction
6/7/21

“(Lake Washburn, MN) Today, 2 Indigenous water protectors blockaded an Enbridge Line 3 worksite in tree sits directly anchored to the pipeline, while 2 others crawled into a pipeline segment. The sits follow 14 lockdowns at another Line 3 worksite last week, including one Indigenous matriarch. Enbridge has begun drilling rivers across northern Minnesota, including the Willow River, where it appears construction hit an aquifer while drilling yesterday. Drilling mud was documented spreading into the river as a “spill kit” sat ashore. Police repression has dramatically escalated in recent weeks, as Hubbard County sheriffs blockaded Namewag camp and continue to randomly issue citations since the initial riot line. One vehicle was cited while attempting a water delivery to the private property encampment. Over 500 people have been arrested to date fighting Line 3 destruction of Anishinaabe treaty territory and expansion of the fossil fuel industry as climate crisis rages across the planet. JD, White Earth Anishinaabe, said, “At this point it should be obvious why anyone would take action against the fossil fuel industry. The ocean is on fire, heat waves are killing people by the hundreds. We are in the middle of an extreme drought, our wild rice beds, lakes and rivers are drying up. And while they dig up our Mother for Line 3, the bodies of our relatives are being dug up from the grounds of boarding schools. They are people who were taken from us as children, who never got to have children of their own, to live their lives. I am thinking of generations of relatives that are not here with us. My elders, aunties, uncles, cousins, and peers I will never know on this Earth. But my Grandma survived and that’s why I am still here, proud to be Anishinaabe. These colonial governments have done everything they can to kill our land, kill our culture, kill our people, but they will never kill our spirit. We will never go willingly to our own destruction. So today I sit in the path of this pipeline, tomorrow it could be you.” From inside the pipe, Water Protector Magpie said, “As a descendant of settlers, it’s my job to stand up to white supremacy, and doing what I can to disrupt projects like Enbridge’s Line 3, which perpetuates climate chaos and brings destruction and violence to Anishinaabe territory is part of that. We must do everything we can. We are running out of time.”

MPR: In Clearwater County, sheriff aims to keep peace amid Line 3 resistance
Kirsti Marohn, 7/8/21

“On a sweltering day in mid-June, Clearwater County Sheriff Darin Halverson arrived at the spot where Enbridges’s Line 3 oil pipeline is expected to cross underneath the Mississippi River, not far from its headwaters,” MPR reports. “About a hundred opponents of Line 3 — who call themselves water protectors — had been camped along the pipeline’s path for a week, holding prayer ceremonies by the river… “Some pipeline resisters have complained of heavy-handed tactics by police, who’ve rounded up and arrested people holding marches and occupying construction sites. In Clearwater County, Halverson has taken a noticeably different approach. That final day of the Mississippi River camp on June 14 was a key test of the strategy he has used throughout his law enforcement tenure — to carefully balance the protection of public safety with the peaceful expression of free speech. “I want to make sure people can exercise their First Amendment rights, as long as you’re doing it peacefully and lawfully,” Halverson told MPR. “I’ve told them I’ll help you all day long, if you want to do that.” Halverson, 49, served for 18 years as the Bagley police chief before he was elected Clearwater County sheriff in 2015. He and other area county sheriffs meet on a monthly basis with White Earth tribal police to discuss common issues or concerns. “He’s been doing a very good job,” Dawn Goodwin, a member of the White Earth Nation and co-founder of the RISE Coalition, or Resilient Indigenous Sisters Engaging, told MPR. Goodwin has known the sheriff for most of her life. They attended Bagley High School together. In 2019, Halverson and a deputy attended an educational summit White Earth leaders put on about Native American treaties, Goodwin said. When resistance to the Line 3 pipeline began to heat up, he and Goodwin began communicating regularly. She kept him updated about their plans to hold peaceful marches and prayer vigils. As long as people weren’t breaking the law, he gave them space to express their views. After the weeklong camp at the Mississippi River, Goodwin said tribal leaders and Halverson talked about how to end it peacefully. “Both of us together, we decided that this is a good opportunity to show the rest of the world how things should be,” she said. “The sheriff shouldn’t be treating us as criminals, because we weren’t doing anything criminal.”

Healing MN: Water protectors highlight Willow Creek frac-out, and the out-of-whackness of state Line 3 regulators and law enforcement
7/6/21

“A government-Enbridge alliance is doing all it can to block Minnesota citizens from observing and critiquing the construction of Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline,” according to Healing MN. “Tania Aubid, Winona LaDuke, Shanai Matteson and other water protectors arrived around 7 a.m. this morning at the site where Enbridge is drilling a tunnel for Line 3 under the Willow River in Aitkin County. The water protectors found what appeared to be a “frac-out,” the release of pipeline drilling mud into the river. The state’s response focused more on trying to intimidate the water protectors for their activism than addressing the frac-out, Matteson said. It’s a sign of the state’s upside down values. It raises questions about the state’s ability and interest in protecting the environment for future generations and who state agencies are working for… “According to plans Enbridge submitted to the PUC, workers need to immediately stop all drilling when a frac-out occurs. Crew members are to contain the spill downstream from the release. Before resuming drilling, Enbridge needs to notify the appropriate agencies to assess containment and recovery measures, and its ability to address future releases. Since the previous day had been a holiday, it’s unclear how long the frac-out had been going, Matteson said. There were signs that Line 3 worker were aware of the frac-out. There was a company john boat near the frac-out site. There was one boom set up across the channel, but nothing else to contain the spill, and no staff there. “Law enforcement was watching us and videotaping us,” Matteson said. “Nobody was taking water samples and no one was down by the water.”

The Intercept: CORPORATE COUNTERINSURGENCY AGAINST LINE 3 PIPELINE RESISTANCE
Alleen Brown, 7/7/21

“WATER PROTECTORS ARE traveling in growing numbers to stand with the Anishinaabe-led movement to stop the construction of Line 3, a tar sands oil pipeline This week on Intercepted: The Intercept reporter Alleen Brown takes us to northern Minnesota, a flashpoint in the fight to halt the expansion of the fossil fuel industry as the climate crisis deepens. Direct actions and other protests against Line 3 are just heating up and more than 500 people have already been arrested or issued citations. Opponents of the Line 3 pipeline are urging the Biden administration to intervene to stop construction, but his administration recently moved to defend the pipeline. Water protectors are being greeted by an intensifying police response and what scholars are calling a corporate counterinsurgency campaign led by the pipeline company, Enbridge.” “…Ali Gharib: Today we’re bringing you a story where the stakes could not be higher. It’s about the climate crisis, about the people fighting against global disaster — and how fossil fuel companies are fighting back. This is a story about corporate counterinsurgency, but it’s about so much more. This fight is unfolding in northern Minnesota right now. An Indigenous-led movement, whose members call themselves water protectors, are trying to preserve not only their people’s rights but also our whole planet. The water protectors are fighting against Enbridge, a Canadian oil company, which is seeking to lay a pipeline called Line 3 through Minnesota. The path cuts through lands where a handful of local tribes have treaty rights, and it cuts across natural resources like rivers and waterways — raising fears about spills and environmental damage.”

Common Dreams: ‘Disgusting’: Pipeline Company Files $15 Billion Claim Against US for Canceled Keystone XL
KENNY STANCIL, 7/5/21

“In a move that progressives described as unsurprising yet outrageous, TC Energy Corporation, the Canadian company behind the now-defunct Keystone XL pipeline, is seeking more than $15 billion in compensation from the United States government, which it has accused of violating free trade obligations by blocking further development of the tar sands oil project,” Common Dreams reports. “To recover economic damages” stemming from the Biden administration’s cancellation of the project, the fossil fuel giant on Friday filed a Notice of Intent with the U.S. State Department to initiate a legacy North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) claim under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). TC Energy’s decision to sue the U.S. government was denounced by Jane Kleeb, an advocate for progressive rural policies and chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party, who called it “disgusting yet predictable.” Arguing that “this is how capitalism works,” Kleeb said the Calgary-based corporation—not U.S. taxpayers—should be responsible for bearing the costs of the failed investment. It was TC Energy, after all, that “took the risk,” said Kleeb. She added that the company “lost” when the U.S. rejected its pipeline… “Just days after Biden revoked the Keystone XL permit in January, Kyla Tienhaara, an assistant professor of environmental studies at Queen’s University, warned that Alberta Premier Jason Kenney was “scrambling for a way to recoup some of Alberta’s losses,” and he viewed NAFTA as “offering some hope.” “…Because investments in the Keystone XL pipeline predate USMCA, TC Energy’s lawsuit is still able to invoke NAFTA’s Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause, which allows foreign investors to sue governments for profits that are “lost” due to regulatory interventions. However, Tienhaara wrote, “TC Energy’s claim may now be weaker because the permit issued by the Trump administration explicitly stated that it could be rescinded, essentially at the president’s whim.” “Nevertheless,” she added, “many investors have proceeded with claims on the basis of much weaker cases. Investors bet on positive outcomes in arbitration, as much as they bet on governments not taking action to halt catastrophic climate change. This is because the anticipated rewards, in both instances, are high.”

SDPB: KXL Company to File $15 Billion Claim Against U.S.
By ARIELLE ZIONTS, 7/7/21

“The Canadian company that planned to build the Keystone XL Pipeline says the U.S. government owes them $15 billion dollars,” SDPB reports. “…Myanna Dellinger is a professor at the University of South Dakota who specializes in international public and business law.  “So in this case they’re claiming that the United States’ decision interfered with Canada and their Canadian companies’ legitimate interest in investing in this energy pipeline in its own country, in Canada in other words,” she told SDPB. The U.S. has never lost a NAFTA claim specifically related to Chapter 11 investments and this claim is likely to fail as well, according to USD environmental law professor Sean Kammer. He pointed to Donald Trump’s presidential cross-border permit that warns the document could be rescinded. But it’s not impossible for TC Energy to win, Kammer said. The presidential flip-flopping could work for or against the company. “There could be read into that a tacit acceptance of that on the part of Canada that its oil and gas developers might be subject to presidential whim,” he told SDPB. The back and forth could alternatively be a sign that the U.S. treated TC Energy unfairly. Kammer pointed to the original State Department report under the Obama administration. He said the report was flawed but found little environmental risk, which clashes with Obama’s decision to reject the permit.”

Agassiz Harrison Observer: Latest Indigenous bid for Trans Mountain backed by pipeline company
TOM FLETCHER, 7/7/21

“Indigenous groups bidding for the Trans Mountain oil and fuel pipeline are setting their sights on full ownership as the federally-owned twinning project gets closer to completion,” the Agassiz Harrison Observer reports. “Calgary-based Pembina Pipeline Corp. announced its entry in June, in a partnership with the Western Indigenous Pipeline Group called Chinook Pathways. Founded by Indigenous leaders in Alberta and B.C., the group says the 50-50 partnership with an established pipeline operator offers a chance for Indigenous communities on the pipeline route to determine its benefits and manage environmental impacts. “What we want here is our jurisdiction back so that we can provide for our people as we have done for 10,000 years,” Chief Michael LeBourdais of the Whispering Pines-Clinton Indian Band, one of the communities that has had the pipeline through its territory since 1954, told the Observer. LeBourdais is vice president and executive director of Western Indigenous Pipeline Group. A rival bid came in 2019 from Project Reconciliation, one of several responding to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s invitation for Indigenous ownership stakes when Ottawa sells the project after taking it over in the face of anti-pipeline protests and turmoil in the world oil market. Shane Gottfriedson, former chief of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Nation at Kamloops and a director of Project Reconciliation, said at the time the intention is to offer all Indigenous groups in Western Canada a share of majority ownership. Project Reconciliation’s objective is now a 75 per cent stake, moving to full ownership, newly appointed chair Robert Morin told Bloomberg News in June.”

Financial Post [VIDEO]: Who’s afraid of Trans Mountain? Enbridge — and this is why
Geoffrey Morgan, 7/7/21

“Geoffrey Morgan, the Financial Post’s energy reporter in Calgary, explains in the video below why Enbridge Inc. is concerned about competition from the federally owned Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.”

Tennessee Lookout: Byhalia Pipeline halted but Memphis Council still pushes protective legislation
By Dulce Torres Guzman, 7/7/21

“On Tuesday, an ordinance for protecting Shelby County’s natural water source was up for a final reading, but was withdrawn. In its place, councilmember JB Smiley introduced a substitute aquifer ordinance to establish an Underground Infrastructure Advisory Board, which will oversee that all future projects are not within 1,000 feet of public water supplies,” the Tennessee Lookout reports. “Byhalia pipeline representatives attended Tuesday’s council meetings and expressed disapproval of the legislation despite no longer pursuing the project. “It was clear when [the original legislation] was drafted that it was designed to stop our project,” said Cory Thornton, an attorney for Plains All American Pipeline. Thornton added that city officials had no legal basis for the substitute ordinance and planned on challenging it if approved. The substitute ordinance is up for a first reading on July 20. “These are no longer just anti-crude oil pipeline legislation, they have become anti-industry initiatives that will have an impact on the infrastructure that Memphis-are residents rely on every day,” he said.

Alston & Bird: Supreme Court Decision in PennEast Pipeline Co. v. New Jersey Is Major Win for Pipelines
Alston & Bird, 7/7/21

“On June 29, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court held in a 5–4 opinion written by Chief Justice Roberts that a private company holding a certificate of public convenience and necessity under Section 717f(e) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) is authorized to condemn state-owned property. The Court reversed the decision of the Third Circuit that New Jersey had sovereign immunity from PennEast’s lawsuit to condemn the state’s land,” according to Alston & Bird. “The case resolves an important question for the construction of interstate natural gas transmission pipelines: whether a private company can take, through delegated federal eminent domain power, land owned by a state to build a pipeline… “In reversing the Third Circuit, the Supreme Court explained that the states consented to the federal eminent domain power when entering the federal system and thereby waived their sovereign immunity to suits exercising that federal power. The Court further explained that the states’ consent to the federal eminent domain power included condemnation proceedings brought by private delegatees of that power under a congressional act… “This is a significant decision that confirms the supremacy of the federal government’s eminent domain power. It also eliminates an important roadblock that pipeline opponents have raised to the development of critical energy infrastructure in the United States.”

Facebook: Four Necessity: ‘The Four Necessity Valve Turners’ Jury Trial
7/6/21

“On Tuesday, July 6, 2021, at the Itasca County Courthouse (123 NE 4th St, Grand Rapids, MN 55744), The Four Necessity Valve Turners will be tried by a jury. They are charged with aiding and abetting criminal damage to property in the fourth degree, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. The defendants are Michele Naar-Obed (Duluth, MN), Brenna Cussen Anglada (Cuba City, WI), Allyson Polman (Champaign, Il), and Daniel Yildirim (Viroqua, WI). On February 4, 2019, citing the imminent and irreversible damage being done to the climate,  The Four Necessity Valve Turners took necessary, nonviolent action by turning off the valves to Enbridge Energy oil pipelines. The defendants acknowledge and support the daily activities of all those who have opposed the unnecessary and destructive construction of Line 3.They echo all Water Protectors in demanding adherence to Indigeneous Treaty Rights by governments and corporations.”

WASHINGTON UPDATES

E&E News: Surging U.S. LNG puts Biden in climate bind
Carlos Anchondo, Lesley Clark and Miranda Willson, 7/8/21

“U.S. LNG exports skyrocketed to a new high earlier this year, creating a challenge for President Biden’s clean energy agenda,” E&E News reports.

STATE UPDATES

Courthouse News: Judge Tosses Challenge to Berkeley Plan to Ban Natural Gas
MATTHEW RENDA, 7/7/21

“The city of Berkeley, California, can regulate its energy infrastructure despite challenges from industry groups claiming the city’s ban on natural gas lines in newly constructed projects conflicts with federal law, a federal judge ruled Tuesday night,” Courthouse News reports. “U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers found the city’s ordinance — which bars new construction from being hooked up to natural gas — is not preempted by federal law. “Berkeley has exercised its expressly carved-out authority to regulate the local distribution of natural gas,” Rogers wrote in the 19-page ruling…  “Their intent is to ban gas appliances,” argued Cortland Reichmann, attorney for the California Restaurant Association. “EPCA does not allow them to do through the back door what they can’t do through the front door.” Gonzalez Rogers rejected this argument, saying that cities like Berkeley are expressly allowed by federal law to regulate their energy infrastructure. She also said construing the ordinance as a de facto ban on appliances was a reach. “The Berkeley ordinance does not facially regulate or mandate any particular type of product or appliance,” Gonzalez Rogers wrote. “Instead, the ordinance focuses on regulating the underlying natural gas infrastructure.”

EXTRACTION

Wall Street Journal: Oil Companies Are Ordered to Help Cover $7.2 Billion Cleanup Bill in Gulf of Mexico
By Christopher M. Matthews, 7/6/21

“Some of the world’s largest oil companies have been ordered to pay part of a $7.2 billion tab to retire hundreds of aging wells in the Gulf of Mexico that they used to own, capping a case that legal experts say is a harbinger of future battles over cleanup costs,” according to the Wall Street Journal. “A federal judge ruled last month that Fieldwood Energy LLC, a privately held company that currently controls the old wells and had sought bankruptcy protection, could pass on hundreds of millions of dollars in environmental liabilities to prior owners and insurers of the wells as part of its reorganization plan. Exxon Mobil Corp. , BP PLC., Hess Corp. , Royal Dutch Shell PLC and insurance companies had objected to the plan. The dispute, litigated for months in federal bankruptcy court in Houston, centered over who should bear the enormous costs of capping and abandoning wells, primarily in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico where an oil spill could wreak havoc. The companies could still appeal the ruling. The exact future costs of the cleanup are still unclear, but lawyers for BP estimated its liability could top $300 million, while lawyers for Exxon said its exposure could total as much as $373 million. A group of insurers said they could be on the hook for more than $1 billion. For offshore wells—unlike most onshore wells—the Department of the Interior can hold previous operators liable for the cleanup if the current operator is unable to cover the expenses, to avoid taxpayers incurring the costs.”

E&E News: 3 oil majors launch landmark project to stop methane leaks
Carlos Anchondo, 7/8/21

“Three oil and gas majors said yesterday they are partnering with satellite company GHGSat on a yearlong project to measure methane emissions from offshore oil and gas operations, which scientists say may be releasing much larger amounts of the greenhouse gas then previously known,” E&E News reports. Chevron, Shell, and TotalEnergies are supporting the 12-month research project, which is expected to achieve a world-first in demonstrating high-resolution satellite-based monitoring of anthropogenic methane (CH4) emissions at sea.

Bloomberg: Oil Sands Carbon Cuts Come With $60 Billion Bill, Loose Ends
By Robert Tuttle, 7/8/21

“It will cost about C$75 billion ($60 billion) to zero out greenhouse gases from oil sands operations by 2050, with a good deal of the costs borne by taxpayers and many loose ends yet to be tied up, according to two of the industry’s top CEOs,” Bloomberg reports. “To achieve the goal announced last month, about half of the emission cuts would need to come from capturing carbon at oil sands sites and sequestering it deep underground, which may require as much as two-thirds government capital like in Norway, Mark Little, chief executive office of Suncor Energy Inc., told Bloomberg. It’s still unclear how and when most of the projects will be implemented, or which agreements will be needed, but it’s clear the industry doesn’t want to do it alone. “We haven’t been able to find any jurisdiction in the world where carbon capture has been implemented, where the national government or the state governments are not very significant partners in that investment,” Alexander Pourbaix, CEO of Cenovus Energy Inc., told Bloomberg. “I don’t think any of us would ever be in a position to go at this on our own. It’s just too significant an undertaking.” “…The plan doesn’t include so-called Scope 3 emissions, the ones generated by cars, aircraft, homes and factories when the fossil fuels produced in the oil sands are burned by the end consumers.”

iPolitics.ca: Can LNG exports revitalize stranded fossil fuels in the West?
By Kevin Dougherty, 7/7/21

“The goal to emit net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions in order to mitigate human-caused climate change will have the significant side effect of stranding assets in Canada’s oil and gas sector,” iPolitics.ca reports. “Natural-gas producers are fighting back, and hope to ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) to export markets as a transition fuel that’s cleaner than coal… “However, with higher prices, a lack of climate-change action, and higher LNG exports, Canada’s natural-gas output could actually rise to 23.5 billion cubic feet per day by 2045, the report suggests… “The federal government’s goal is to make Canada “the cleanest LNG producer in the world,” according to Ian Cameron, a spokesperson for Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan. There are five LNG projects in various stages of development on the coast of British Columbia. Two Eastern Canada projects — branding themselves as net-zero operations — are proposing carbon-capture use and storage (CCUS) to dispose of the greenhouse gases (GHGs) generated, as well as partnerships with the affected First Nations. Environmentalists, who are opposed to any new fossil-fuel projects, don’t buy this rebranding, dismissing it as “greenwashing.”

RESEARCH & SCIENCE

Forensic Architecture: ENVIRONMENTAL RACISM IN DEATH ALLEY, LOUISIANA
6/28/21

“In the US state of Louisiana, along the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, a heavily industrialised ‘Petrochemical Corridor’ overlays a territory formerly known as ‘Plantation Country’. When slavery was abolished in 1865, more than five hundred sugarcane plantations lined both sides of the lower Mississippi River; today, more than two hundred of those sites are occupied by some of the United States’ most polluting petrochemical facilities,” according to Forensic Architecture. “Residents of the majority-Black ‘fenceline’ communities that border those facilities breathe some of the most toxic air in the country and suffer some of the highest rates of cancer, along with a wide variety of other serious health ailments. They call their homeland ‘Death Alley’. Here, environmental degradation and cancer risk manifest as the by-products of colonialism and slavery. Sugarcane was historically the most dangerous crop to cultivate. To accommodate a negative demographic growth rate among the enslaved population, each plantation established at least one, and sometimes as many as three cemeteries for its enslaved population. The majority of these burial grounds were omitted from historical maps… “Together with fenceline community activist group RISE St. James, Forensic Architecture (FA) has developed a method to help locate these cemeteries in support of longstanding local efforts to protect ancestral sites and demands for a moratorium on the further expansion of the Petrochemical Corridor. All of our research will be open-sourced and made available to the public.”

New York Times: Fox’s New Channel Changes the Climate for Weather TV
By Michael M. Grynbaum, 7/6/21

“Weather is taking the media industry by storm. Later this year, Rupert Murdoch is set to debut Fox Weather, a 24-hour streaming channel that promises to do for seven-day forecasts what Fox has done for American politics, financial news and sports,” the New York Times reports. “Not to be outdone, the Weather Channel — granddaddy of television meteorology — announced the creation of a new streaming service, Weather Channel Plus, that the company believes could reach 30 million subscribers by 2026. Amid a waning appetite for political news in the post-Trump era, media executives are realizing that demand for weather updates is ubiquitous — and for an increasing swath of the country, a matter of urgent concern. In the past week alone, temperatures in the Pacific Northwest broke records, wildfires burned in Colorado and Tropical Storm Elsa strengthened into a hurricane over the Atlantic Ocean. At CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, average viewership for the first half of 2021 fell 38 percent from a year prior. The audience for the Weather Channel was up 7 percent… “The Weather Channel is already throwing some shade. “They couldn’t even get a headline right about Tropical Storm Bill,” Nora Zimmett, the network’s chief content officer, told the Times, referring to a FoxNews.com article that some meteorologists criticized because it claimed that a relatively benign storm posed a “massive” risk to the Eastern Seaboard. “I applaud Fox getting into the weather space, but they should certainly leave the lifesaving information to the experts,” said Ms. Zimmett, who worked at Fox News in the 2000s. She called climate change “a topic that is too important to politicize, and if they do that, they will be doing Americans a disservice.” A Fox Weather spokeswoman shot back: “While the Weather Channel is focused on trolling FoxNews.com for unrelated stories, Fox Weather is busy preparing the debut of our innovative platform to deliver critical coverage to an incredibly underserved market.”

OPINION

Guardian: Justin Trudeau’s love of fossil fuel will only make Canada’s extreme weather worse
Tzeporah Berman, 7/8/21

“After recording the country’s highest ever temperatures of 49.6C, the town of Lytton in British Columbia, Canada, burst into flames,” Tzeporah Berman writes in the Guardian. “Residents had minutes to flee a “wall of fire” with nothing but the clothing on their backs. Like people in many other places in the world struggling with heatwaves, fires, droughts and strange extreme storms, BC residents now know what it feels like to live in a changing climate on an increasingly inhospitable planet… “Canada’s big banks and pension funds are among the largest fossil fuel financiers and investors in the world. Their enabling of the fossil fuel industry hinders real action on climate. The distortion of the debate is so remarkable – not only in Canada but internationally – that we are somehow still trying to convince ourselves that it is OK to finance and build more fossil fuel infrastructure, oil sands pipelines, offshore drilling and LNG plants while talking about committing to “net-zero” emissions… “It’s time for the Trudeau government to change direction. As Seth Klein, author of the brilliant book The Good War has argued, our government needs to shift into emergency mode, start telling the truth and spend what it takes to win. During the pandemic, billions in Canadian stimulus spending went to the fossil fuel companies. In the last budget Canada spent pitifully little on climate change while again pouring billions into oil pipelines, oil cleanup and carbon capture and storage technology that the oil companies themselves should be paying for.”

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