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Extracted: Daily News Clips 8/12/21

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

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips August 12, 2021

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PIPELINE NEWS

  • Facebook: Giniw CollectiveWater Protectors Shut Down Multiple Enbridge Line 3 Worksites
  • InsideClimate NewsLine 3 Drew Thousands of Protesters to Minnesota This Summer. Last Week, Enbridge Declared the Pipeline Almost Finished
  • Facebook: Giniw CollectiveTo date, our collective’s jail support team has bailed out hundreds of water protectors
  • Star TribuneEnbridge pipeline project continues to include Native American workers, spending
  • Center SquareStudy: Shutting down Line 5 poses grave threats to Michigan economy
  • The TyeeCoastal GasLink Receives a Warning for Violating Wet’suwet’en Rights
  • Roanoke TimesCourt filing seeks to prevent blasting for pipeline on Bent Mountain
  • Facebook: Water is Life. Protect It [VIDEO]: Two people are refusing to leave the Coles and Red Terry property to prevent Mountain Valley Pipeline from blasting, drilling, and destroying the aquifer on Bent Mountain
  • Facebook: Free JessicaJessica Reznicek self surrenders for an unjust sentence: appeal and petition move forward
  • Facebook: Delaware Riverkeeper NetworkPennEast Pipeline Company drops landowner lawsuits in Pennsylvania
  • VICEWhat Happens to a Pipeline After It Dies?
  • Law3609th Circ. Finds Keystone Permit Appeal Moot
  • BloombergAlberta dangles KXL as Biden pleads with OPEC+ to pump oil
  • Duluth News TribuneDespite plea for cancellation, Duluth says it can’t call off anti-Line 3 concert at city park
  • Press releaseLong-time energy partners Irving Oil and TC Energy strike a made-in-Canada agreement focused on reducing emissions and creating new value

STATE UPDATES

  • Bakersfield CalifornianKern County supervisors to sue Gov. Newsom over ‘unilateral’ move to ban fracking in California
  • KDVRNoble agrees to pay $1 million penalty for oil spills
  • Carlsbad Current-ArgusData ties series of West Texas earthquakes to oil and gas wastewater

EXTRACTION

  • OilPrice.comOil Sands Producers Will Need Federal Support To Go Green
  • CBCAlberta oil production 86.2% higher than it was in 2010
  • ReutersU.S. weighs 2050 target in bid to wean airlines off fossil fuels
  • ReutersSwiss government rejects call to ban fossil fuels from 2050
  • ReutersExxon launches U.S. shale gas sale to kick-start stalled divestitures

RESEARCH & SCIENCE

  • IHS MarkitDespite being world’s 4th largest oil producer, majority of crude oil demand in Canada is met via the United States

CLIMATE FINANCE

  • Common DreamsGroups Issue Bold Demands for Biden Officials Crafting New Climate Finance Strategy
  • BloombergESG Investors Question Their Own Methods After Grim Climate Report

OPINION

  • NewsweekLine 3 Pipeline Would be a Permanent Stain on Biden’s Presidency
  • Daily CougarLine 3 pipeline expansion must be stopped
  • Scientific AmericanLet’s Start Naming Climate-Related Disasters for Polluters and Their Enablers

     

PIPELINE NEWS

Facebook: Giniw Collective: Water Protectors Shut Down Multiple Enbridge Line 3 Worksites
8/11/21

“On Wednesday, August 11th, two worksites were shut down by Water Protectors in solidarity with Indigenous peoples who have been fighting the Line 3 tar sands pipeline for seven years. At the Shell River, a side boom and two escalators were stopped. “We will continue to stand with our relatives who have been fighting extraction and have continued to provide a voice for the land they steward,” said one water Protector locked down…“I am doing this for future generations. I am doing this because I hope to raise a child one day in this world, and climate change is too urgent, we can’t wait for politicians who have failed us, we have to take action,” said another Water Protector. The non-violent direct actions take place as the Walz administration and Biden administration have not intervened despite tribal, regional, & national opposition. Gross human rights violations have been perpetuated by police protecting the project that has spilled chemicals into rivers at least 28 times thus far. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) stated that Enbridge has polluted water at 63 percent of the Horizontal drilling locations. Another excavator at a different worksite was also stopped and locked to by a pair of Water Protectors. “We have to stop the destruction! Even after the recent frac-outs along the HDD sites and use of less-lethal force by police paid by Enbridge, Walz and Biden remain silent. So we take our power back today and challenge the systems that have failed us all.”

InsideClimate News: Line 3 Drew Thousands of Protesters to Minnesota This Summer. Last Week, Enbridge Declared the Pipeline Almost Finished
By Kristoffer Tigue, 8/11/21

“In the dense coniferous forests of northern Minnesota, they’ve shown up nearly every day to chain themselves to equipment and block traffic on roads, chanting “water is life,” InsideClimate News reports. “Not a week has passed this summer that activists haven’t used their bodies to stymie construction of Line 3, an oil pipeline that would deliver energy-intensive Canadian crude from the tar sands of Alberta to the Midwest. But those efforts don’t appear to be stopping the project, which has steamrolled forward since obtaining its final permits late last year. All but the Minnesota section of Enbridge Energy’s 1,031-mile pipeline has been finished, and now the Canada-based energy giant says that that remaining work is 80 percent complete. The company said it’s on track to wrap up Line 3, including the 337 miles that run through Minnesota, by the end of the year… “And last Wednesday, in the latest attempt to derail the pipeline through legal action, the White Earth Band of Ojibwe tribe sued Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources, arguing that when the agency granted Enbridge permission to divert nearly 5 billion gallons of water as part of Line 3’s construction work, it violated a 2018 tribal law that gives certain rights to wild rice plants. But the lawsuit’s implications remain uncertain, and legal scholars said that tribal court cases affecting state law are quite rare. “Tribal court decisions are binding in the tribal nation they are decided in,” Kathryn Fort, the director of the Indian Law Clinic at Michigan State University’s College of Law, told Reuters. “Beyond that, it gets very situation specific.”

Facebook: Giniw Collective: To date, our collective’s jail support team has bailed out hundreds of water protectors
8/11/21

“To date, our collective’s jail support team has bailed out hundreds of water protectors — the state has grown even more repressive in recent months, charging upwards of $10-25k per person to be bonded out from incarceration for protecting wild rice, water, and future generations. If you can, please donate to the bail fund and spread the word! ✊🏽❤️ #StopLine3 Bail fund: www.stopline3bailfunds.org Legal fees: www.protestlaw.org/line3”

Star Tribune: Enbridge pipeline project continues to include Native American workers, spending
By Mike Hughlett  8/11/21

“Enbridge paid Native American contractors or Indigenous workers more than $29 million as its Line 3 pipeline project progressed during the second quarter,” the Star Tribune reports. “While the number of Native American workers on its Line 3 pipeline project increased during the second quarter, the company’s spending on tribal businesses decreased, according to a filing Monday with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. During the regulatory process before Line 3’s approval in 2020, Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge said it would commit to spending $100 million on tribal businesses and workers during the construction of the controversial pipeline across northern Minnesota. Enbridge reported that from 2017 through 2021’s second quarter it has spent $234.1 million on tribal businesses in Minnesota, not including wages, the PUC filing said. As of March 31, it has spent $22.3 million directly on wages to Indigenous workers. During the three months ending June 30, the company and its contractors employed 466 workers who identified as Native American, including 308 who reside in Minnesota, the latest PUC filing said. That translates to 7.6 % of the workforce building the pipeline, a replacement for an aging and corroding Line 3 and one of the largest construction projects in the state in recent years… “While several Native American-owned contractors have worked on the $3 billion-plus pipeline, which is now over 70% completed, the project has been criticized by several Ojibwe tribes, as well as environmental groups, as a threat to Minnesota waters and as an enabler of climate change. Indigenous-led protests along the pipeline route have been constant in recent months.”

Center Square: Study: Shutting down Line 5 poses grave threats to Michigan economy
By Bruce Walker, 8/11/21

“It doesn’t appear the ongoing legal standoff between Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration and proponents of the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline spanning the Straits of Mackinac will be resolved anytime soon. However, an independent study released last month by the American Petroleum Institute is adding fuel to the fire by detailing the negative economic impacts should the governor succeed in her efforts to shut down Line 5,” Center Square reports. “The natural gas and oil industry supports 250,800 jobs in Michigan, according to the API study released July 20. Further, API asserts the industry generates $28.5 billion annually for the Michigan economy. A $345 million portion of that total contributes to the state’s conservation funding… “In addition to the nationwide economic impacts and employment opportunities, the oil and gas industry provides benefits for Michigan businesses and homes. Propane transported through Enbridge’s Line 5 provides the primary fuel source for 65% of the Upper Peninsula and 50% of the state’s propone overall. “Michiganders haven’t experienced the same price spikes and supply shortages that much of the U.S. is experiencing, largely due to the continued operation of Enbridge’s Line 5,” Mike Moeller, Enbridge’s director of operations for the Great Lakes region, said in a statement. “That poses the question as to why the Whitmer Administration is attempting to shutter a safe, dependable pipeline – an action that assuredly would trigger local fuel shortages and price increases while exacerbating the situation much of the U.S. now is facing.”

The Tyee: Coastal GasLink Receives a Warning for Violating Wet’suwet’en Rights
Amanda Follett Hosgood, 8/11/21

“The BC Environmental Assessment Office has issued a warning to Coastal GasLink after security guards wrongly blocked a Wet’suwet’en member attempting to monitor pipeline construction in her traditional territory,” The Tyee reports. “But Molly Wickham, who was turned away by security guards, said that tougher penalties should have been imposed to stop the pipeline company from illegally denying Wet’suwet’en access to the land. Wickham, who carries the hereditary name Sleydo’, said she was checking on pipeline construction on Cas Yikh territory, which is a house group of the Wet’suwet’en Gidimt’en Clan, when she was turned back on March 6… “But the EAO’s warning, issued July 28 after an investigation into the incident, determined that the reasons given by the company — which included COVID-19 restrictions, an injunction and worksite safety — did not apply. According to an 18-page inspection report, the EAO’s compliance and enforcement director Chris Parks found that security for the pipeline company unnecessarily denied access at the turnoffs to two spur roads 56 and 63 kilometres down the Morice West Forest Service Road, not far from the Unist’ot’en Healing Centre… “At the second checkpoint, the report found, pipeline security did not give the reason that the roads were unsafe, but instead said access was restricted due to public health orders. B.C.’s provincial health officer issued an order late December following COVID-19 outbreaks at two Coastal GasLink work camps that outlined a graduated return to work following the holidays, fearing that a mass restart could present a health hazard for the region. The EAO said it had reviewed the orders and found they were specific to pipeline workers. “These orders regulate CGL staff and contractors, and do not provide Coastal GasLink with the authority to restrict the access of Wet’suwet’en people to areas that are not project worksites,” it said.

Roanoke Times: Court filing seeks to prevent blasting for pipeline on Bent Mountain
Laurence Hammack, 8/11/21

“The owners of a Bent Mountain property being crossed by the Mountain Valley Pipeline are asking a federal judge to stop the blasting of bedrock, saying it could “explode the headwaters of Bottom Creek,” the Roanoke Times reports. “A motion seeking a temporary injunction was filed Wednesday by an attorney for the Terry family. Construction crews building the natural gas pipeline recently began boring holes through earth and rock to prepare for blasting to clear a trench for the buried 42-inch diameter pipe. John Coles Terry III has confirmed that “half of the borings are half-full with water from the shallow aquifer serving as the headwaters of Bottom Creek — a water body protected by regulation,” according to the motion filed in Roanoke’s federal court. Blasting could contaminate Terry’s well water and that of others downstream, the motion states… “Joe Sherman, the Norfolk attorney who filed the motion, is asking Judge Elizabeth Dillon to prevent blasting while the Terrys seek a stay from FERC… “While Mountain Valley has resumed most construction on the $6.2 billion project, it still lacks permits to cross steams and wetlands. Terry wrote in his letter to the commission that, based on his experience in the construction industry and his degree in civil engineering, he believes that work should be stopped until an inspection is conducted by qualified hydrologist. “I am very concerned that if drilling continues, it could cause damage to my well which is my family’s sole source of drinking water,” the letter stated. “This drilling and blasting is taking place directly behind my house which is within an approximate distance of less than 500 feet.”

Facebook: Water is Life. Protect It [VIDEO]: Two people are refusing to leave the Coles and Red Terry property to prevent Mountain Valley Pipeline from blasting, drilling, and destroying the aquifer on Bent Mountain
8/11/21

“Two people are refusing to leave the Coles and Red Terry property to prevent Mountain Valley Pipeline from blasting, drilling, and destroying the aquifer on Bent Mountain, the sole source of drinking water for hundreds of families in this part of Southwest Virginia. Support is needed if you are able to drive to Bent Mountain, VA. If you are not able to be there, please make calls according to the most recent posts on this page (link in comments). MVP’s continued disturbance and pollution on Bent Mountain threatens among other waterways, the headwaters to Bottom Creek – a Tier III stream supposedly protected by Virginia Department of Environmental Quality . It seems their responsibilities for resource protection have been abdicated. Since regulators and politicians, including the Ralph Northam administration, refuse to protect these waters, people will refuse to abdicate their own responsibility to protect the water we all depend on to live, thrive and survive.”

Facebook: Free Jessica: Jessica Reznicek self surrenders for an unjust sentence: appeal and petition move forward
8/11/21

“Today water protector Jessica Reznicek self-reported to the Waseca Federal Correctional Facility to begin serving her 8 year prison sentence for the actions she took to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Jessica spent the week leading up to her imprisonment emotionally preparing with her spiritual community. When asked how she felt she said: “Today I feel sad to be saying my final goodbyes to loved ones. I am strengthened, however, knowing that I’m still standing with integrity during this very important moment in history, as there truly is no other place to be standing at a time like this.” Jessica’s harsh sentence was the result of a domestic terrorism enhancement that federal prosecutors are increasingly using against water protectors and climate justice activists who endanger the fossil fuel industries profits. Jessica is still actively pursuing an appeal. Her lead attorney Bill Quigley gave an update: “The legal team is working hard on this appeal to challenge the length of the sentence and to reverse the terrorism enhancement. A number of environmental organizations have agreed to consider signing onto amicus or friend of the court briefs supporting Jessica. The deadline for filing briefs is currently August 19 but we expect that will be pushed back at least a month.” Jessica and her support team are asking the public to sign this petition to take a stand against the criminalization of water protectors… “For more information on Jessica’s case and to continue to support Jessica visit our website: supportjessicareznicek.com”

Facebook: Delaware Riverkeeper Network: PennEast Pipeline Company drops landowner lawsuits in Pennsylvania
8/11/21

“The PennEast Pipeline Company has reportedly decided to drop its eminent domain proceedings against 70 private landowners in Pennsylvania, stating to the press that the company did not think it was “prudent” to continue the action at this time. This comes after an August 5th Securities and Exchange Commission filing by New Jersey Resources, one of the member companies of PennEast Pipeline, in which the company states it has determined a decline in the value of its equity investment due to the remaining legal and regulatory challenges PennEast faces. “The PennEast pipeline has plagued Pennsylvania and New Jersey since 2014, threatening the intrepid landowners who resisted them and the water quality and environmental integrity of everything along its destructive path, which includes 87 waterways and 53 wetlands in both states. Delaware Riverkeeper Network thanks the people of Pennsylvania who have bravely resisted this aggressive conglomerate. We will continue to carry forward our advocacy and our litigation opposing this project to ensure PennEast is completely and permanently stopped,” said Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Director of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. In June, the Supreme Court ruled that the PennEast Pipeline Company could use eminent domain to seize lands owned by the State of New Jersey. However, the company still faces legal challenges from the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, which were held in abeyance during the Supreme Court challenge and can now proceed. The project also still needs to obtain several permits, and permission from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to split the project into two segments.”

VICE: What Happens to a Pipeline After It Dies?
By Audrey Carleton, 8/11/21

“Just two months after officially terminating the project, TC Energy is proposing plans to dredge up a stretch of the Keystone XL pipeline that runs over the US-Canada border,” VICE reports. “The Canadian fossil fuel company, formerly known as TransCanada, laid out the beginnings of its plans for decommissioning the pipeline in court documents filed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana last week. Part of those plans revolve around a 1.2-mile stretch of pipe running through a section of public land on which the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) granted it permits for construction. Now in the process of shutting down the 1,200-mile pipeline after President Joe Biden rescinded its permits the day he took office in January, the company is proposing digging part of the pipeline back up to hand the land back over to the federal government… “In addition to digging up a portion of the pipeline, TC also plans to sell fragments to a pipe broker and return land leased for work camps along its route back to landowners, the status report says. Decommissioning the pipeline is estimated to cost $84 million in total, with $5 million devoted to cleaning the pipe and $17.5 million devoted to its excavation and removal.”

Law360: 9th Circ. Finds Keystone Permit Appeal Moot
8/11/21

“The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday ended a legal battle over a contentious nationwide water permit, saying a revised permit issued in the waning days of the Trump administration makes the case irrelevant. In JJanuary, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a new nationwide permit that a unanimous three-judge panel said supersedes the previous permit that the Sierra Club and other environmental groups had challlenged and therefore moots the appeals.”

Bloomberg: Alberta dangles KXL as Biden pleads with OPEC+ to pump oil
By Noah Zivitz, 8/12/21

“The Alberta government came out swinging Wednesday a few hours after the White House made a public call for OPEC+ to help stabilize global energy prices,” Bloomberg reports. “Early Wednesday, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan issued a statement, warning of the impact from higher gasoline prices and looked to the world’s influential cartel of oil-producing nations to ramp up their output. “While OPEC+ recently agreed to production increases, these increases will not fully offset previous production cuts that OPEC+ imposed during the pandemic until well into 2022. At a critical moment in the global recovery, this is simply not enough,” he said. That messaging went over like a ton of bricks in the oil-rich province of Alberta. “The Biden administration pleading with OPEC to increase oil production to rescue the United States from high fuel prices months after cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline smacks of hypocrisy,” said Sonya Savage, the province’s energy minister, in a release… “Had pipelines not been politicized by opponents of oil and gas, Keystone XL would have been operational for years and reliably delivering nearly 1 million barrels of oil every day to American refineries,” Savage added.

Duluth News Tribune: Despite plea for cancellation, Duluth says it can’t call off anti-Line 3 concert at city park
Written By: Jimmy Lovrien, 8/11/21

“A group of local officials along the route of Enbridge’s nearly completed Line 3 oil pipeline across northern Minnesota asked the city of Duluth to cancel a fundraising concert planned for next week by pipeline opponents at a city-owned park,” the Duluth News Tribun reports. “But city officials have denied their request, citing the group’s First Amendment rights and pointing out that they have received all the necessary permits to host such an event. In an Aug. 5 letter sent by Thief River Falls Mayor Brian Holmer and signed by Grand Rapids Mayor Dale Cristy and Hill City Mayor Sean Lathrop, among other northern Minnesota officials, to Duluth Mayor Emily Larson, Council President Renee Van Nett and Council Vice President Arik Forsman, the officials urged the city to cancel the Aug. 18 “Water is Life: Stop Line 3” concert at Bayfront Festival Park. The letter says the host, Indigenous-led environmental group Honor the Earth, has been organizing and supporting protests along the pipeline route, some of which have led to confrontations with police… “We write this letter because of our concern for our communities and our first responders,” the officials wrote. “We respectfully ask you to help us prevent future avoidable conflicts. On behalf of the people we represent, we strongly request that you rescind Honor the Earth’s permits and not allow this concert to move forward.” “…In a statement Tuesday, Honor the Earth said the claims in the letter were “bogus” and that Honor the Earth and its founder Winona LaDuke do not incite violence.”

Press release: Long-time energy partners Irving Oil and TC Energy strike a made-in-Canada agreement focused on reducing emissions and creating new value
8/12/21

“TC Energy Corporation and privately held Irving Oil have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore the joint development of a series of proposed energy projects focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating new economic opportunities in New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada. Together, the two energy companies have identified a series of potential projects for exploration focused on decarbonizing current assets and deploying emerging technologies to reduce overall emissions. The partnership’s initial focus will consider a suite of upgrade projects at Irving Oil’s refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick, with the goal of significantly reducing emissions through the production and use of low-carbon power generation. The partnership will also explore opportunities that will aid in decarbonizing local industry over the medium- and long-term time horizons via the production and distribution of low emission hydrogen, coupled with a world class carbon capture and sequestration network. The partnership will target industry solutions that will lower the emissions in the region to align with carbon reduction goals and enhance the opportunities for future development in Atlantic Canada. A made-in-Canada opportunity, Irving Oil and TC Energy will leverage their combined industry expertise, relationships and infrastructure to support a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, create new job opportunities and help to position New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada for future growth through the energy transition.”

STATE UPDATES

Bakersfield Californian: Kern County supervisors to sue Gov. Newsom over ‘unilateral’ move to ban fracking in California
By SAM MORGEN, 8/10/21

“The Kern County Board of Supervisors has authorized a lawsuit against Gov. Gavin Newsom over the state’s recent denial of hydraulic fracturing permits,” the Bakersfield Californian reports. “A 4-1 vote in closed session on Tuesday morning gives the green light to county attorneys to draft the lawsuit against Newsom, who supervisors say has violated the state constitution in his attempt to institute an administrative ban on fracking. “The decisions (Newsom) has made to unilaterally come after the oil and gas industry in violation of standing rules and standing law, that’s been established by the state Legislature, has been a gross overreach of his power,” Board Chairman Phillip Peters said after supervisors announced their intent to sue the state on Tuesday. “He’s supposed to be executing the laws, not decreeing them. So we’re going to try and push back on that.” “…Newsom then moved to bypass the Legislature by imposing an administrative fracking ban through the state regulatory process. The ban has yet to be officially approved by CalGEM, but the agency has nevertheless moved forward with denying fracking permits at its own discretion. “Gov. Newsom is operating like a dictator,” Supervisor Zack Scrivner said. “In this country you have the separation of powers — executive, legislative, judicial — the legislative branch in the state of California is the one who controls the policy in regards to these permits. But Newsom, even though the Legislature denied his request to pass legislation to ban fracking, Newsom went around the Legislature and went straight to his regulatory agencies to do so.”

KDVR: Noble agrees to pay $1 million penalty for oil spills
8/10/21

“Noble has reached a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act,” KDVR reports. “Noble, which includes Noble Energy, Inc., Noble Midstream Partners LP and Noble Midstream Services, LLC, announced on Tuesday that they have agreed to pay $1 million and take actions to prevent future spills. “This agreement will help prevent future oil discharges to Colorado’s waters by requiring Noble to invest in improved spill containment and response measures at all tank battery sites operating in floodplains,” Suzanne Bohan, director of EPA Region 8’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division, told KDVR. The violations include discharging oil from the State M36 Facility into the Poudre River in 2014 and not following prevention and response regulations for oil spills at the Wells Ranch and State M36 Facilities. The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, which pays for the oil and hazardous substances clean up, will receive the $1 million.”

Carlsbad Current-Argus: Data ties series of West Texas earthquakes to oil and gas wastewater
Adrian Hedden, 8/5/21

“A series of earthquakes in West Texas’s Delaware oil basin could be the result of oil and gas industry’s wastewater operations in neighboring New Mexico,” according to the Carlsbad Current-Argus. “When oil and natural gas are extracted in the region a byproduct known as produced water is brought to the surface from the same underground rock formations where oil and gas is extracted from. Scientists estimated up to 10 barrels of produced water are generated per barrel of oil. A barrel is about 42 gallons. Traditionally, the toxic and brackish water is pumped back underground into the formations, but recent research suggested this could induce earthquakes and seismicity in the same areas the water is reinjected. But the connection between New Mexico’s water and Texas’ earthquakes can be murky, Adrienne Sandoval, director of the State’s Oil Conservation Division, told the Argus, due to a lack of data on the actual origin of the water both in her agency and at the Texas Railroad Commission. A June report from Rystad Energy, an oil and gas research firm, found earthquakes in the U.S.’ major oil and gas regions increased each year since 2017 with events above a 2 magnitude on the Richter Scale quadrupling in 2020. The tremors were forecast to increase further by the end of this year, the study warned, if drilling methods continue at the same pace.”

EXTRACTION

OilPrice.com: Oil Sands Producers Will Need Federal Support To Go Green
By Tsvetana Paraskova, 8/11/21

“Canada’s oil industry, which operates one of the world’s most emission-intensive ways of pumping crude, has recently pledged to work to make the oil sands net-zero emission by 2050. But the industry says it cannot do it alone as billions of dollars of investments will be needed to decarbonize the oil sands operations. Canada’s federal government has a part to play in supporting net-zero oil sands, and it should pay most of the tab for making the industry ‘greener’, top executives at the major Canadian oil firms say,” OilPrice.com reports. “…Canada will need as much as US$60 billion (C$75 billion) to make its oil sands operations net-zero emission businesses by 2050, the CEOs of Suncor and Cenovus said last month. The government would need to step up and likely fund up to two-thirds of that cost, Suncor CEO Mark Little and Cenovus Energy’s chief executive Alex Pourbaix told Bloomberg in an interview in July… “Executives in the industry say that the net-zero goal would be reached with a lot of government support, including financing, while the sector is already a leader in clean technology investment. “The natural gas and oil industry provides about 75 per cent of all funding in Canada’s growing clean technology sector, making us the largest investor in the clean tech space. We are well-positioned to be a central pillar of the country’s economic recovery, and our work toward a cleaner-energy future can further differentiate Canadian oil and gas from our global competitors as demand rises in the years to come,” CAPP’s President and CEO Tim McMillan told Oil Price.

CBC: Alberta oil production 86.2% higher than it was in 2010
8/11/21

“Oil production in Alberta in the first half of this year has surged higher than it was in 2019 before the disruption of the pandemic and the collapse of energy prices, analysts say,” the CBC reports. “Production averaged 3.53 million barrels per day between January and June — 5.7 per cent higher than during the same period in 2020 and 1.8 per cent above the same period in 2019, said a release from ATB Economics on Wednesday. The vast majority of that production — 86 per cent — is accounted for by oilsands extraction. “On the oilsands side, we’re seeing facilities that have been potentially underutilized over the last two, two and a half years run up on the production capacity. That’s really what’s driving the numbers,” Kevin Birn, vice president of Canadian crude oil markets for the research and analysis firm IHS Markit, told CBC… “The amount of oil being exported from Alberta to other provinces, and other countries, is also on the rise — up by four per cent over the first half of 2021 compared with the same period the year before, and 1.7 per cent higher than in 2019.”

Reuters: U.S. weighs 2050 target in bid to wean airlines off fossil fuels
Allison Lamper, tStephanie Kelly, 8/10/21

“U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is quietly discussing a target date of 2050 for weaning aircraft off fossil fuels as part of the White House’s broader push to fight climate change, sources familiar with the matter said,” according to Reuters. “The administration is looking at a 2050 target for airlines to fly on 100% jet fuel from renewable sources, said two sources, who spoke anonymously to be candid about the discussions. The discussions are still in the early stages with few details available, the sources said. The United States and Europe are trying to find ways to encourage production and adoption of SAF, which is two to five times more expensive than standard jet fuel. Sustainable aviation fuel, made from feedstocks such as used cooking oil and animal fat, at present accounts for only a miniscule amount of overall jet fuel use.”

Reuters: Swiss government rejects call to ban fossil fuels from 2050
8/10/21

“Switzerland is in a good position to achieve its target of achieving net zero in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the government said on Wednesday, rejecting a campaign that wants to ban fossil fuels,” Reuters reports. “…The campaign “for a healthy climate (Glacier Initiative)” collected enough signatures in 2019 for a binding vote to be held under the Swiss system of direct democracy. The vote, which is due by 2024, wants a ban on the sale of fossil fuels such as oil, gasoline, or diesel in Switzerland after 2050, with some small exceptions… “The government said it opposed a ban on fossil fuels from 2050 and would also like the new measures to take into account the special situation of mountain regions. The government also said the army, police and rescue services should still be allowed to use fossil fuels after 2050. It also doubted whether greenhouse gas emissions could be offset, saying there was limited capacity for permanent CO2 storage in Switzerland.”

Reuters: Exxon launches U.S. shale gas sale to kick-start stalled divestitures
Sabrina Valle, Liz Hampton, & Shariq Khan, 8/10/21

“Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) has begun marketing U.S. shale gas properties as it ramps up a long-stalled program that aims to raise billions of dollars to shed unwanted assets and reduce debt taken on last year,” Reuters reports. “Three years ago, the top U.S. oil producer set a goal of raising $15 billion from sales by December 2021. More recently, it promised to accelerate lagging sales to whittle a record $70 billion debt pile. The company’s XTO Energy shale unit is seeking buyers for almost 5,000 natural gas wells in the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas, spokeswoman Julie King told Reuters. The assets are among gas projects with declining production and market value Exxon is selling as it focus on newer ventures in Guyana, offshore Brazil and Texas’s Permian Basin.”

RESEARCH & SCIENCE

IHS Markit: Despite being world’s 4th largest oil producer, majority of crude oil demand in Canada is met via the United States
8/11/21

“Canadian oil production is more than two and half times domestic demand, yet the majority of crude oil demand in the country arrives via the United States,” according to a new analysis by IHS Markit. “The latest report by the IHS Markit Oil Sands Dialogue finds that approximately 55% of crude oil and condensate demand in Canada in 2019 was served either by imports from the United States (600,000 b/d) or were sourced from domestic production routed through the United States and then back into the country (480,000 b/d), known as reexports… “The report says that the demands on that transportation system are also set to increase in coming years. The recently released IHS Markit 10-year production forecast estimates that, despite short- and medium-term impacts from COVID-19, Canadian crude supply is still expected to grow by nearly 900,000 b/d from 2020 to 2030. “Most of the anticipated growth in Canadian production is set to come from the ramp-up and optimization of existing projects,” said Kevin Birn, vice president and chief Canadian oil market analyst, IHS Markit. “That growth is coming, and transportation capacity is needed to keep pace. IHS Markit estimates that, by just 2025, total crude movements could increase by more than 650,000 barrels per day from pre-pandemic levels.” Pipeline capacity could see the greatest increase to keep up with the added supply, followed by an increase in marine tanker traffic. However, delays in new pipeline projects could result in greater movements of crude-by-rail than currently anticipated, the report says. Additionally, potential disruption to existing pipelines—such as attempts to shut down the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline that serves Detroit and surrounding areas of Michigan and Ohio, as well as Toronto and surrounding areas in Ontario and Quebec—could have significant implications.”

CLIMATE FINANCE

Common Dreams: Groups Issue Bold Demands for Biden Officials Crafting New Climate Finance Strategy
JESSICA CORBETT, 8/10/21

“In the wake of a highly anticipated United Nations report about humanity’s ongoing destruction of the planet, scores of advocacy groups on Tuesday detailed their demands for the forthcoming climate finance plans that President Joe Biden ordered top U.S. officials to develop by next month,” Common Dreams reports. “The open letter from more than 80 members of the Stop the Money Pipeline (STMP) coalition and allies, sent to four key figures in the Biden administration, focuses on the second section of the president’s May 20 Executive Order (EO) on Climate-Related Financial Risk. That section requires National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and Office of Management and Budget Director Sholanda Young to come up with a government-wide strategy that addresses climate financial risk to federal programs and financing the transition to a net-zero economy. “While many aspects of necessary climate adaptation and mitigation require legislation,” the letter explains, “financial policy and regulation is one area in which the administration has a suite of existing authorities that allow it to take the decisive and necessary steps to mitigate further climate chaos and support the most vulnerable communities in addressing the already-locked-in impacts of climate change.” “In line with its commitments to take a whole-of-government approach to addressing the climate crisis,” the letter adds, “the administration must use these authorities to their full extent, including in the areas of government spending, priority-setting for federal programs, and regulation of financial actors.”

Bloomberg: ESG Investors Question Their Own Methods After Grim Climate Report
By Alastair Marsh, Frances Schwartzkopff, and Saijel Kishan, 8/10/21

“The damning United Nations report on global warming delivered a reality check for the investors betting that markets can limit the damage,” Bloomberg reports. “The assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released on Monday, should prompt investors to “review their commitments to tackling climate change and to take action,” said Fiona Reynolds, chief executive of the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment. Often that kind of reflection sends more money pouring into environmental, social and governance investments, raising concerns that financial markets’ short-term outlook might end up undermining claims of sustainability. Between 2018 and 2020, for example, European asset managers had to strip the ESG label off $2 trillion in allocations, as stricter rules were devised… “Praxis Mutual Funds, one of the oldest socially responsible investment firms, which manages about $2 billion, said the IPCC report shows the need to move faster in the short-term and invest in green debt that can have greater real-world impacts. “It changes the calculus,” Chris Meyer, manager of stewardship investing research and advocacy, told Bloomberg. “We will need to have a sharper focus. This report shows that investors aren’t moving quickly enough.”

OPINION

Newsweek: Line 3 Pipeline Would be a Permanent Stain on Biden’s Presidency
Ginger Cassady is executive director of Rainforest Action Network, 8/11/21

“I was arrested and charged with felony theft for “stealing” the Line 3 pipeline in northern Minnesota a few weeks ago,” Ginger Cassady writes for Newsweek. “The pipeline of course is still there. It’s a massive, destructive and in many ways illegal behemoth that crosses hundreds of sensitive wetland areas as it runs more than 1,000 miles from the massive tar sands extraction sites surrounding Hardisty, Alberta, through Anishinaabe territory across Minnesota, to the shores of Lake Superior, Wisconsin… “Everything about this pipeline is wrong—it will greatly exacerbate our climate crisis. It illegally cuts through Indigenous treaty lands and waters. Its construction is creating human rights violations every day—and it needs to be stopped immediately. Everyone involved understands that the implications of this showdown will ripple far beyond the headwaters of the Mississippi where it’s occurring. That’s why thousands are answering the call from Indigenous leaders like those from the Giniw Collective and Honor the Earth, to join them in this fight for their rights, their water, their wild rice beds and all of our collective future. And that’s how other water protectors and I were charged with felony theft for participating in an act of nonviolent protest shutting down work at a pipeline construction site… “There is simply no form of climate leadership compatible with support for this pipeline. This is Joe Biden’s first major make or break climate test moment. The importance of this decision is such that his failure to use the clear power he possesses to stop Line 3 would expose his lofty climate rhetoric as hollow and undo the significance of any other actions he takes… “ And finally, it is absolutely critical that the Biden administration hears loudly, clearly and constantly that he will be held accountable for his role here and that his legacy will be measured by the decisions he makes on this issue.”

Daily Cougar: Line 3 pipeline expansion must be stopped
By Anna Baker, 8/11/21

“In order to combat climate change and help Indigenous people, we need to support the Stop Line 3 movement,” Anna Baker writes in the Daily Cougar. “…The U.S. government is obligated to respect and honor treaties with Indigenous groups. This pipeline violates treaties that guarantee Anishinaabe tribe members’ rights to harvest on their land and preserve cultural sites. The pipeline would go through rice fields, which provide sacred food to the tribe. Enbridge’s largest oil spill in 2010 severely and permanently damaged the Nottawaseppi people’s land. This oil company can’t be trusted to not damage Indigenous land… “Thankfully, there is a movement to stop this pipeline from being built. The Stop Line 3 movement has water protectors out on the frontlines protesting the construction. However, police are arresting, shooting with rubber bullets and using tear gas on peaceful protestors. Indigenous people are being brutalized by police for protecting their land sovereignty and the environment. The time to act is now. Stop Line 3 has a lot of resources on how to help the cause such as writing to legislators and President Biden asking to stop the pipeline’s construction. Donations can also be made directly to people on the frontlines. We can’t keep allowing oil to take precedent over Indigenous lives and the health of this planet.”

Scientific American: Let’s Start Naming Climate-Related Disasters for Polluters and Their Enablers
Drew Shindell, 8/11/21

“…Climate disasters are a good example—so I propose that we name climate-related extreme events such as the floods that have devastated Germany and drought and wildfires tormenting the American West after the polluters whose behavior has, despite repeated warnings from scientists, continued to warm the planet. Here’s an example. The National Weather Service labels tropical storms according to a list of proper names. The weather authorities have turned to Greek letters in years (such as 2020) when those names ran out, though that practice was recently retired by the World Meteorological Organization in favor of a longer list of proper names. But what if they drew instead on a list of the biggest greenhouse gas emitters? Imagine the connections people would make—correctly—if it was Hurricane ConocoPhillips that flooded Houston in 2017 instead of Hurricane Harvey. Or if we’d been hit by Exxon this year instead of Elsa? And there’s no reason to stop at tropical storms. There are now human fingerprints on many climate-related extreme events, including hurricanes, wildfires, heat waves and floods. What impression would people get if the West were currently suffering under the Marathon Oil Megadrought on top of which the Peabody Energy Heat Dome shattered temperature records? The right one.”

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