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Extracted: Daily News Clips 8/10/21

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

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips August 10, 2021

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PIPELINE NEWS

  • Roanoke TimesNearly 100 protesters block work on Mountain Valley Pipeline; some are arrested
  • WSLSTen Mountain Valley Pipeline protesters lock themselves to equipment, other blockades in Montgomery County
  • Facebook: Appalachians Against Pipelines10 folks were arrested today after locking to equipment and other blockades
  • GuardianProtesters against Line 3 tar sands pipeline face arrests and rubber bullets
  • The ProgressiveTo Indigenous People, Line 3 is a Battle Over the Future
  • CBCPipeline opponents launch lawsuit against Line 3 — and the lead plaintiff is wild rice
  • E&E NewsKeystone XL announces plans to remove pipeline
  • Press releaseMarsha Blackburn Introduces Measure to Help Restart the Keystone Pipeline
  • Politico Morning EnergySPIRE’S POSSE
  • Politico Morning EnergyTHE CARBON CAPTURE SCHISM
  • WBAYOil pipeline protest in Green Bay aimed at stopping construction, protecting land and water
  • Charlotte ObserverClimate activists stage ‘oil spill’ in front of Chase and BofA buildings uptown
  • City LimitsActivists, Chuck Schumer Protest National Grid’s Brooklyn Pipeline Ahead of Rate Hike Vote

WASHINGTON UPDATES

  • BloombergClimate groups claim infrastructure bill’s green energy spend is a gift to oil companies
  • National Catholic ReporterHow a powerful US lobby group helps Big Oil to block climate action

EXTRACTION

RESEARCH & SCIENCE

  • Washington PostHumans have pushed the climate into ‘unprecedented’ territory, landmark U.N. report finds
  • Stanford UniversityStanford researchers develop a better way to track methane in the skies

OPINION

  • GuardianThe IPCC report is clear: nothing short of transforming society will avert catastrophe
  • The HillTax hikes on energy will hurt the economy and America’s competitiveness

PIPELINE NEWS

Roanoke Times: Nearly 100 protesters block work on Mountain Valley Pipeline; some are arrested
Laurence Hammack, 8/9/21

“A crowd of nearly 100 crashed a construction site early Monday morning, loudly voicing their opposition to the Mountain Valley Pipeline,” the Roanoke TImes reports. “When police arrived at the scene off U.S. 460 in eastern Montgomery County and ordered them to leave, about 80 protesters obeyed, forming a procession as they marched, sang and chanted “Doom to the Pipeline.” About 10 activists remained, chained to heavy equipment and other objects. They were arrested and taken to jail, authorities said. Although human blockades along the construction right of way have become almost routine over the past three years, Monday’s demonstration was the largest of its kind so far to temporarily block work on the natural gas pipeline. Organized by Appalachians Against Pipelines and Arm In Arm, a national organization combating climate change, the protest drew local and out-of-state residents to denounce the project’s environmental damage, use of eminent domain and contribution to global warming. “President Biden, Gov. Northam and Mountain Valley Pipeline officials have been told that clearly the world and civilization as we recognize it cannot survive more conduits of fossil fuels,” said Jim Seitz of Charlotte, North Carolina. “I will not consent to that, and that’s why I’m here,” Seitz told the Times by telephone from the protest site, which was quickly closed off by a large contingent of officers from the Virginia State Police and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office… “While respecting the views of opponents, “we condemn the illegal and dangerous tactics of those who put themselves and first responders at risk through these kinds of criminal acts,” company spokeswoman Natalie Cox wrote in an email.”

WSLS: Ten Mountain Valley Pipeline protesters lock themselves to equipment, other blockades in Montgomery County
8/9/21

“Ten protesters have locked themselves to construction equipment and other blockades in an effort to stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline in Montgomery County, according to the group Appalachians Against Pipelines,” WSLS reports. “One of the blockades that protesters are using is a wooden candy darter and another is a wooden yellow finch. Both animals are native species threatened by the pipeline, according to Appalachians Against Pipelines. There are banners on-site that read “STOP the Mountain Valley Pipeline” and “Defend the Sacred.”

Facebook: Appalachians Against Pipelines: 10 folks were arrested today after locking to equipment and other blockades
8/9/21

“Action update: 10 folks were arrested today after locking to equipment and other blockades, and nearly 90 more safely left the site earlier in the day after the walk on. Mountain Valley Pipeline work on site was stopped for over 8.5 hours! So far, a couple folks have been released on PR! “There is no good reason to build the Mountain Valley Pipeline, and every good reason to not build it,” stated Andy, one of the people who took action today and was arrested as part of the yellow finch blockade. “Any jobs created are temporary and won’t sustain an economy that supports families. The fracked gas is not needed. It must not be built because community members who have studied its impacts and risks don’t want it. The damage and risk to streams and habitats would be too great, and the ongoing risk from slope slips, broken pipes, leaks, and catastrophic explosions are too real. Life on this planet hangs in the balance — we have to change what we are doing right now.” Jim Seitz, who was arrested as part of the candy darter blockade, added: “Scientists have told President Biden, Governor Northam, and MVP officials that our climate and our world cannot survive new conduits of carbon into our atmosphere.  By disregarding this warning, chasing their fossil fuel obsession, and pouring gasoline on the climate fires, these individuals commit humanity to a suicide pact, and I refuse to consent.” Earlier this summer, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers not grant Mountain Valley Pipeline a Section 404 Clean Water Act permit, stating, “EPA has identified a number of substantial concerns with the project as currently proposed.” Since construction began, local watchdog groups have reported hundreds of violations, mostly in sediment and erosion control, which is the main threat cited by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEPO) to the 1,000 waterways crossed by the MVP. These violations have resulted in over half a million dollars in fines in West Virginia, and over two million in fines in Virginia. Today’s action is a collaboration with Arm in Arm.”

Guardian: Protesters against Line 3 tar sands pipeline face arrests and rubber bullets
Michael Sainato, 8/10/21

“More than 600 people have now been arrested or received citations over protests amid growing opposition to the Line 3 oil sands pipeline currently under construction through Minnesota,” the Guardian reports. “Native American tribes including the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, the White Earth Band of Ojibwe and indigenous-led environmental organisations such as Honor the Earth are leading opposition efforts in court and on the ground, mobilizing ‘water protectors’ to try to halt the project. Protests against Line 3 are becoming a national and international cause as demonstrators seek to highlight the environmental impact of the pipeline, especially amid an escalating climate crisis that is caused by fossil fuel emissions… “On 30 July, water protectors at Line 3 were subjected to pepper spray and rubber bullets during a series of arrests, and protesters who’ve been jailed have reported mistreatment from officers such as lack of proper food, solitary confinement and denial of medications. Maracle noted the police presence at camps has increased in recent weeks, including more frequent police raids, sweeps, surveillance and helicopter flybys. “It’s a climate crime,” Winona Laduke, executive director of Honor the Earth, who lives on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota, told the Guardian. “This is the largest tar sands pipeline in the world being built in the time of drought in Minnesota and catastrophic fires in Ontario and Manitoba.”

The Progressive: To Indigenous People, Line 3 is a Battle Over the Future
BY ESTY DINUR, 8/9/21

“The water in the Shell River in upper Minnesota is critically low. As I float downstream, my back and legs often touch the riverbed. I wade in search of deeper water but can’t find a place to immerse the full length of my body. This is a drought year. Winona LaDuke, the Ojibwe director of Honor the Earth, says it’s the worst drought she has seen in her sixty-two years. Yet Enbridge has requested to use five billion gallons of water, and Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources has approved it,” The Progressive reports. “In the local papers they demonize us but we’re here to protect the water, which should be everybody’s job. Soon the land of ten thousand lakes will be dry land.” “…Enbridge is now reimbursing numerous area police departments to protect the project, in effect making them mercenaries for the multinational. LaDuke and others went to check on a frac-out on the Willow River “and the DNR were there to arrest us, not Enbridge, which caused it,” she told the Progressive. “It’s a big problem that a Canadian corporation owns the police force.” There’s a long history of mining companies taking small towns in third world countries and militarizing the police, causing human rights violations, LaDuke adds, now it is happening in northern Minnesota. “That is not what you want in a democracy.”

CBC: Pipeline opponents launch lawsuit against Line 3 — and the lead plaintiff is wild rice
8/9/21

“Wild rice is the lead plaintiff in a new lawsuit aimed at halting construction of Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline replacement,” the CBC reports. “Wild rice is the most important spiritual, central part of our culture. Wild rice is what’s making us come out and protect water,” Frank Bibeau, a treaty rights attorney for the White Earth First Nation in Minnesota, told the CBC. “Wild rice protects us. Wild rice feeds us. Wild rice tells us when there’s something wrong in the water or in the air or in the ground. Wild rice is an indicator species. And wild rice is disappearing.” Bibeau filed the suit Wednesday in the White Earth Nation Tribal Court. It lists the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as a defendant, and several White Earth tribal members and Line 3 protesters as plaintiffs alongside wild rice, or manoomin in Ojibway… “The lawsuit alleges Minnesota is failing to protect the state’s fresh water by allowing the Calgary-based company to pump up to five billion gallons of groundwater from construction trenches during a drought. In doing so, it says the state is endangering the crop and violating tribal members’ treaty rights to harvest it. The lawsuit also accuses the state of violating the rice’s right to “exist, flourish, regenerate and evolve” — something the White Earth First Nation enshrined into its law in 2018… “The lawsuit asks the tribal court to grant an injunction to void the water permit the DNR issued to Enbridge for Line 3. But even if the lawsuit is successful, Bibeau says he doesn’t expect the state to abide by the tribal court’s decision. Still, he says Line 3 opponents could use a tribal court victory to fast-track their case to a U.S. federal court.”

E&E News: Keystone XL announces plans to remove pipeline
Niina H. Farah, 8/9/21

“The developer of the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline announced last week it is beginning plans to decommission the project, after a federal court warned it could still order the pipe removed from the ground,” E&E News reports. “TC Energy Corp. told the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana the company was in talks with the Bureau of Land Management about relinquishing the company right of way allowing for construction of a 1.2-mile segment of pipeline across the U.S.-Canada border. TC Energy “has decided that it will submit a decommissioning plan that provides for the removal of the buried pipeline, subject to BLM’s approval and its monitoring of post-removal reclamation,” the company wrote to the court last week. The company said it will submit its plan for the border segment of the pipeline to the agency by the end of this month. The update came after Chief Judge Brian Morris said he would not dismiss a lawsuit over the presidential permit for the border-crossing segment as moot because the court could still take action to order the removal of the pipeline. TC Energy’s actions are also relevant to another pending case challenging BLM’s approval for the pipeline. Challengers in that case also argued it should not be dismissed as long as the company still held rights of way on federal land. As for other infrastructure for the canceled 1,200-mile pipeline, the company said it was in the process of transferring four constructed pump stations to a company that specializes in demolition and salvage. In some cases where construction hasn’t started, the company is relinquishing property to former landowners.”

Press release: Marsha Blackburn Introduces Measure to Help Restart the Keystone Pipeline
8/6/21

“U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) introduced an amendment to the $1 trillion infrastructure bill that could result in restarting the Keystone Pipeline. “If Joe Biden cared about infrastructure, he would restart the Keystone XL Pipeline,” said Senator Blackburn. “Instead, Biden killed over 1,000 good-paying jobs by canceling the pipeline. For Biden, the infrastructure bill, just like the pipeline, is about appeasing AOC and the left’s woke socialist agenda.” Senator Marsha  Blackburn’s amendment will require President Biden to rescind his executive order that canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline if the project study determines that there will be a loss in jobs and higher energy prices for consumers.”

Politico Morning Energy: SPIRE’S POSSE
Matthew Choi, 8/9/21

“Spire STL Pipeline is getting support from an eclectic group in its effort to convince FERC to take emergency action allowing the pipeline to continue operating despite a federal court decision that could force the pipeline to shut down as soon as Friday,” Politico Morning Energy reports. “Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt wrote to FERC in support of Spire’s petition, saying the pipeline has proven its value in providing a “safe and abundant supply of energy” during severe weather this past winter. “Some regions of our nation have increasingly been forced to deal with power shortages and even power outages,” he said in a filing Friday. “Such disruptions add an element of uncertainty to both the state and national economies at the very time they seek to recover from the far-reaching effects of a global pandemic.” The American Gas Association and United Steelworkers expressed similar concerns, with AGA urging FERC to grant the certificate “to avoid potential negative impacts and assure maintenance of adequate service to Spire STL’s customers.” “Removal of this pipeline won’t only mean a loss of good middle-class jobs for our members, but a direct impact on Missourians’ abilities to keep their families safe and comfortable during the impending winter cold,” Emil Ramirez, director of USW District 11, said in its filing.

Politico Morning Energy: THE CARBON CAPTURE SCHISM
Matthew Choi, 8/9/21

“The bipartisan infrastructure deal includes $12.5 billion for large-scale deployment of carbon capture, which industry analysts say would bring the technology into the U.S. mainstream,” Politico Morning Energy reports. “It’s a huge victory for several climate-focused Democrats, who say it’s a vital tool to slice down emissions and introduced a number of bills this year to boost its development. But many progressives are deeming it a “dangerous distraction” that would allow the oil and gas industry to prolong their high-emitting operations. Carbon capture would also need a significant buildout in pipelines to transport carbon to storage sites — which would be politically dicey due to resistance to new pipeline projects. The bipartisan infrastructure deal includes $2.1 billion for carbon transport. “We have no idea what happens if one of these pipelines leaks or explodes. Fossil fuel companies are going to get this money and in the end rural and tribal communities are going to be the ones shouldering the risk,” Jane Kleeb, the chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party, told Politico.

WBAY: Oil pipeline protest in Green Bay aimed at stopping construction, protecting land and water
By Annie Krall, 8/7/21

“Protestors in Green Bay want the construction of two oil pipelines that run through Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan to stop,” WBAY reports. “Action 2 News spoke with protestors on August 7 at City Deck about their environmental and safety concerns, while the energy company responsible says they’ve done everything to minimize them. “These pipelines are constantly leaking,” protest organizer and member of the JOSHUA Environmental Justice Task Force, Justice Peche, told WBAY. “There has never been a pipeline that doesn’t leak. They’re destroying the wild rice fields out in Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin. They’re violating treaty rights by destroying these lands that the First Nations have the rights to hunt, fish, and gather on.” The Line 3 and Line 5 pipelines are being repaired and expanded by Enbridge, one of the leading energy delivery companies in North America. “This Line 3 issue, we are involved because it is an international issue,” Bobbie Webster, chair of the JOSHUA Environmental Justice Task Force, told WBAY. “It affects climate change, it affects treaty rights it affects human rights and it’s something that should concern all of us.”

City Limits: Activists, Chuck Schumer Protest National Grid’s Brooklyn Pipeline Ahead of Rate Hike Vote
Liz Donovan, 8/9/21

“The state’s Department of Public Service is expected to vote Thursday on whether to hike gas rates for National grid customers in the city—an increase that would help fund a controversial fracked gas pipeline the utility company is constructing in Brooklyn,” City Limits reports. “On Friday afternoon, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer joined other legislators, community members and environmental activists in Greenpoint to express his opposition to the National Grid North Brooklyn Pipeline Project. “There are a lot of reasons why this is a bad idea,” he said, citing both environmental justice concerns and that the new pipeline is in violation of the state’s progressive climate legislation. The press conference, held in an industrial corner outside the National Grid facility, was in advance of  the expected vote Thursday by DPS  to increase the utility company’s gas rates. Construction of the seven-mile fracked gas pipeline, which runs from Brownsville up to Greenpoint, was paused in May following multiple protests by environmental justice groups. But the state is still considering rate hikes—which National Grid estimates would increase customers’ monthly bills by $5.56 (or 3.77 percent) in the proposal’s second year and $4.89 (or 3.26 percent) in the third—would fund the work already done on the pipeline. If approved, the company would raise gas prices for its 1.9 million customers in Staten Island, Brooklyn and Southeast Queens, Lee Ziesche, organizer with the nonprofit Sane Energy, told City Limits.”

Charlotte Observer: Climate activists stage ‘oil spill’ in front of Chase and BofA buildings uptown
BY OLIVIA OLSHER, 8/6/21

“About 20 protesters with Extinction Rebellion Youth Charlotte, a climate change activism group, protested in front of Bank of America and Chase offices in uptown on Friday. They were protesting the banks’ financial support of Enbridge, the company expanding Line 3, a tar sands oil pipeline from Alberta, Canada to Wisconsin,” the Charlotte Observer reports. “Environmental activists claim the line puts drinking water and valuable Native-owned land at risk. The activists urged the banks to divest from Enbridge and the Line 3 project, staging an “oil spill” by pouring molasses over protesters’ heads. BofA declined to comment. “We are here in solidarity with the water protectors who are actually at Line 3 fighting this,” Mckenna Hurlbut, a 17-year-old activist from Charlotte who volunteered to have the molasses spilled over her, told the Observer. “They don’t get enough media attention, and the eyes really need to be on them so we can stop the pipeline.”

WASHINGTON UPDATES

Bloomberg: Climate groups claim infrastructure bill’s green energy spend is a gift to oil companies
By LESLIE KAUFMAN, 8/9/21

“When negotiators released the more-than-2,700-page text of the infrastructure bill now inching its way forward in the Senate this week, they discussed it as a glass half full — the first, imperfect step toward greening U.S. energy and industry,” Bloomberg reports. “To many looking at it from outside the government, however, what’s in that glass has been polluted. Many of the bill’s provisions are on the oil industry’s wish list. The proposed legislation has more than $10 billion for carbon capture, transport and storage, along with $8 billion for hydrogen — with no stipulation that the energy used to produce it comes from clean sources. A new liquid natural gas plant in Alaska won billions in loan guarantees, while other waivers in the bill will weaken environmental reviews of new construction projects, climate groups say. “This infrastructure proposal is not a down payment on real climate action,” Mitch Jones, director of Food & Water Watch Policy, a Washington accountability organization, told Bloomberg. “It is doubling down on support for climate polluters.” “…Much of that anxiety has coalesced around support for carbon capture. Last month, hundreds of climate groups wrote an open letter calling on Biden to reject carbon capture as a “dangerous distraction” to eliminating fossil fuels entirely. While the scientific consensus holds that carbon capture will be crucial to slowing atmospheric warming, many environmentalists fear it will also prolong the life of the fossil fuel industry, particularly in the U.S.”

National Catholic Reporter: How a powerful US lobby group helps Big Oil to block climate action
by Chris McGreal, 8/9/21

“When Royal Dutch Shell published its annual environmental report in April, it boasted that it was investing heavily in renewable energy. The oil giant committed to installing hundreds of thousands of charging stations for electric vehicles around the world to help offset the harm caused by burning fossil fuels. On the same day, Shell issued a separate report revealing that its single largest donation to political lobby groups last year was made to the American Petroleum Institute, one of the most powerful trade organizations in the United States, and the one that drives the oil industry’s relationship with Congress,” according to the National Catholic Reporter. “Contrary to Shell’s public statements in support of electric vehicles, API’s chief executive, Mike Sommers, has pledged to resist a raft of Joe Biden’s environmental measures, including proposals to fund new charging points in the US. He claims a “rushed transition” to electric vehicles is part of “government action to limit Americans’ transportation choice.” Shell donated more than $10 million to API last year alone… “ Critics accuse Shell and other major oil firms of using API as cover for the industry. While companies run publicity campaigns claiming to take the climate emergency seriously, the trade group works behind the scenes in Congress to stall or weaken environmental legislation.”

EXTRACTION

Financial Times: Cenovus chief urges Trudeau to pay for greening of Canada’s oilsands
Derek Brower, 8/9/21

“Canada’s government should pay for up to 70 per cent of a proposed $75 billion project to decarbonize the country’s controversial oilsands and protect a critical engine of the country’s economy, one of the proposal’s backers said,” the Financial Times reports. “If we’re able to solve the puzzle of making Canadian oil significantly lower carbon intensive,” the oil would be the “cleanest in the world,” Alex Pourbaix, chief executive of Cenovus Energy, the country’s second-largest oil producer, told the Financial Times. But Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, which last year committed Canada to slashing emissions by 40-45 per cent below its 2005 levels by 2030, must pay up to make it happen, he argued. “It’s going to take tens of billions of dollars over 30 years to decarbonize [our oil] industry,” said Pourbaix. “But at the same time that will protect something in the range of $3 trillion of GDP.” Pourbaix and industry group the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (Capp) also urged the federal government to extend tax credits to oil companies that would use captured carbon to produce more oil… “Our prosperity and our economy are still highly dependent on” the oil sector, Seamus O’Regan, the country’s Liberal federal resources minister said in a recent interview with the FT. “It is what we do.”

Natural Gas Intelligence: CNRL Continues Montney Development, Eyes Big Emissions Cuts
BY GORDON JAREMKO, 8/9/21

“After achieving profits that more than replaced losses incurred in the economic shock inflicted by the Covid-19 virus pandemic, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) has announced a C$275 million ($220 million) budget increase for this year,” Natural Gas Intelligence reports. “The corporate budget increase by 8.5% to C$3.48 billion ($2.78 billion) has a green tinge. Around C$45 million ($36 million) of the added spending would raise the number of depleted well abandonment cleanups this year by 800 to 3,300… “As a fossil fuel producer that was among the first to set a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions goal in 2018, CNRL has emerged as a top owner and user of field facilities for carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS). The CCUS assets have capacity for 2.7 million tons/year. Current CNRL plans include reductions of 25% in oilsands carbon emissions, 20% off methane emissions, and 30-50% off water use by production operations. Targets for 2030 include an overall 50% cut off methane emissions across North America.”

RESEARCH & SCIENCE

Washington Post: Humans have pushed the climate into ‘unprecedented’ territory, landmark U.N. report finds
Brady Dennis and Sarah Kaplan, 8/9/21

“More than three decades ago, a collection of scientists sanctioned by the United Nations first warned that humans were fueling a dangerous greenhouse effect and that if the world didn’t act collectively and deliberately to slow Earth’s warming, there could be “profound consequences” for people and nature alike. The scientists were right,” the Washington Post reports. “On Monday, that same body — the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — issued its latest and most dire assessment about the state of the planet, detailing how humans have altered the environment at an “unprecedented” pace and cautioning that the world risks increasingly catastrophic impacts in the absence of rapid greenhouse gas reductions… “U.N. Secretary General António Guterres called the findings “a code red for humanity” and said societies must find ways to embrace the transformational changes necessary to limit warming as much as possible… “What the world requires now is real action,” John F. Kerry, the Biden administration’s special envoy for climate, said in a statement about Monday’s findings. “We can get to the low carbon economy we urgently need, but time is not on our side.” It certainly is not, according to Monday’s report. Humans can unleash less than 500 additional gigatons of carbon dioxide — the equivalent of about 10 years of current global emissions — to have an even chance of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels.”

Stanford University: Stanford researchers develop a better way to track methane in the skies
BY ANDREW MYERS, 8/9/21

“When Stanford University graduate student Jeff Rutherford began his doctorate in 2018, the amount of methane entering the atmosphere from oil and gas extraction operations – mostly due to fracking – had become a major matter of contention. Tracking this harmful greenhouse gas falls to the Environmental Protection Agency. To help in their accounting, the EPA uses computer models that take a “bottom-up” approach, counting the total number of well heads, storage tanks, miles of pipeline and other sources of methane, declaring an average annual release per component, and totaling everything up. They call it an “inventory.” The only problem is that other organizations taking a “top-down” approach – using satellite imaging or atmospheric measurement to calculate the actual total methane emissions – were saying that the EPA was missing the mark by as much as half… “Like the EPA, Brandt and Rutherford take a bottom-up approach, but using the very latest component-level data to tabulate the true amount of methane more accurately. The data Rutherford and Brandt use in their model have been gathered by directly sampling at various components of the oil and gas industry where methane is most likely escaping — connectors, valves and hatches on well heads, storage tanks, etc. Results from the new model closely approximate what the top-down modelers have been saying: Current estimates are low. The Brandt and Rutherford model comes within the margin of error of the top-down inventories.”

OPINION

Guardian: The IPCC report is clear: nothing short of transforming society will avert catastrophe
Patrick Vallance is the UK government chief scientific adviser, 8/9/21

“The release today of the first part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sixth assessment report makes for stark reading,” Patrick Vallance writes in the Guardian. “It reaffirms that anthropogenic climate change is real, present and lasting: it is now unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land to an unprecedented degree, with effects almost certain to worsen through the coming decades. The report also dispels any notion that the effects of the climate crisis are abstract or distant. Extreme events are being felt across the world, from wildfires in Australia, Sweden and north-west America to heatwaves in Siberia and Canada and the devastating drought in South Africa. Evidence has grown since the last assessment report that human activity has exacerbated extreme weather events. Without urgent action, such events will continue to get worse. Moreover, sea levels are projected to rise over this century. Rises of as much as 2m cannot be ruled out, leaving low-lying lands and coastal communities extremely vulnerable. One of the headline figures in the report is that average global temperatures in 2011-2020 were 1.1C higher compared with 1850-1900. Though this may seem like a small increase on any individual day, the increments matter in the long term. With every additional fraction of a degree increase in global warming, changes in extreme events such as heatwaves, floods and droughts become larger. The Paris agreement in 2015 was momentous in committing signatories to limiting global warming to 2C above pre-industrialised levels, and preferably 1.5C. The IPCC’s report makes plain that our goal should be to keep temperature rises as small as possible.”

The Hill: Tax hikes on energy will hurt the economy and America’s competitiveness
Bernard L. Weinstein is an emeritus professor of applied economics at the University of North Texas, former associate director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University, and a fellow of Goodenough College, London, 8/9/21

“Looking for ways to help pay for his $1 trillion infrastructure plan, President Biden has aimed his sights at the oil and gas industry. Among other proposals, the administration wants to raise the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent and replace fossil fuel “subsidies” with clean energy incentives,” Bernard L. Weinstein writes in The Hill. “Proponents estimate that eliminating these subsidies would yield more than $35 billion in tax receipts that could be funneled to renewable energy projects. In addition, congressional Democrats are drafting legislation that would tax big oil companies that released the most greenhouse gases between 2000 and 2019, claiming the measure could yield $500 billion over the next decade… “Since 1913, oil and gas companies have been able to expense intangible drilling costs, which are much like the research and development deductions enjoyed by other industries… “It’s unfortunate and misleading that politicians refer to these tax deductions as “subsidies.” In fact, the oil, gas  and coal industries don’t receive subsidies but, rather like every other industry, they’re allowed to take tax deductions for the expenses they incur. These deductions aren’t the product of special favors. They are the kind of standard relief afforded manufacturers, mining companies and other businesses to help defray the basic costs of operations.”

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