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Extracted: Daily News Clips 8/18/21

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

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips August 18, 2021

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PIPELINE NEWS

  • Facebook: MN350Treaties Not Tar Sands – Capitol Action to Stop Line 3
  • Star TribuneJustin Vernon plans an ‘urgent’ Bon Iver show in Duluth on Wednesday
  • WPRJustin Vernon’s Bon Iver To Headline Line 3 Protest Concert In Duluth Wednesday
  • Mpls.St.Paul MagazineWinona LaDuke and Bon Iver on Their Stop Line 3 Protest Concert
  • CBCAnti-pipeline activists mark one year of treetop occupation in Burnaby
  • CTVCluster of COVID-19 infections detected among Trans Mountain pipeline workers in Valemount, B.C.
  • The TyeeCoastal GasLink Spills More Contaminants in Wet’suwet’en Territory
  • CBCIrving Oil partnering with TC Energy to reduce emissions from refinery
  • DailyLocalChester County commissioners want emergency pipeline plans
  • Globalnews.caTeen activists target TD Bank over Enbridge Line 3 pipeline investment [VIDEO]
  • Shepherd ExpressMilwaukeeans Protest the Line 3 Pipeline
  • Beloit Daily NewsBeloiters gather to protest oil pipeline project

WASHINGTON UPDATES

STATE UPDATES

EXTRACTION

  • Financial TimesAlberta’s oil producers hit record output but confront a dim future
  • S&P GlobalCanadian officials tout reducing emissions while maintaining oil and gas growth
  • Houston ChronicleCheniere fined $2.2 million related to cracks
  • InsideClimate NewsFossil Fuel Companies Are Quietly Scoring Big Money for Their Preferred Climate Solution: Carbon Capture and Storage
  • BloombergDanish Climate Plan Aims to Fill Empty Oil Reservoirs With CO2

RESEARCH & SCIENCE

  • PA Environment DailyNew Penn State Study Shows Road Dumping Oil & Gas Drilling Wastewater Has Little Dust Suppression Benefit, Contains Pollutants Harmful To Human Health, Agriculture, Aquatic Life

CLIMATE FINANCE

  • The HillBiden administration releases guidance limiting international financing for fossil fuels
  • DeSmogBankers Eager to Continue Funding Oil and Gas

OPINION

  • Washington PostBig Oil should help pay for the climate mess it created
  • OilPrice.comBig Oil’s Carbon Capture Push Is All Talk And No Substance
  • Crookston TimesLetter: ‘It doesn’t bother Enbridge that their Line 3 destroys forest areas’

PIPELINE NEWS

Facebook: MN350: Treaties Not Tar Sands – Capitol Action to Stop Line 3
8/16/21

“From Monday, August 23 through Thursday, August 26, water protectors will hold space at the Minnesota State Capitol — with a great big gathering (all welcome!) on Wednesday the 25th to welcome the Treaty People Walk for Water as they reach the end of their 256 mile journey. Enbridge is racing to complete Line 3, and aims to finish construction and have oil flowing by the end of the year. Our governor and state agencies have failed us — and we need President Biden to step in. Starting on Monday the 23rd, Indigenous grandmothers from White Earth plan to hold ceremony space on the Capitol lawn, along with a powerful visual display of resistance by artist Rory Wakemup. Everyone is welcome to come by between the 10am opening to 5pm closing of the ceremony space each day. Join for lunch and stay for morning and afternoon talking circles to deepen knowledge and build community. ON AUGUST 25, ALL ARE INVITED TO GATHER for a huge day of ceremony, solidarity, and action to stop Line 3! Since August 7, water protectors have been traveling on foot 256 miles from Line 3’s upstream Mississippi River crossing to St. Paul. They will arrive on the 25th and we need to be there to welcome them! Along with elected officials and community leaders, we will call for action and make ourselves heard. Some may choose to hold space for as long as it takes — if this is you, come with what you need to stay, such as a tent… RSVP on our website – treatiesnottarsands.com”

Star Tribune: Justin Vernon plans an ‘urgent’ Bon Iver show in Duluth on Wednesday
By Chris Riemenschneider, 8/16/21

“While most musicians have been clamoring to perform again in 2021, Justin Vernon has mixed feelings about returning to the road,” the Star Tribune reports. “That uncertainty is partly what led the Grammy-winning Wisconsin song man to jump at the chance to play Bon Iver’s first post-quarantine show Wednesday in Duluth. “There’s no going back to the old normal,” Vernon told the Star Tribune. “Answering questions via e-mail ahead of the Water Is Life Festival at Bayfront Festival Park — a benefit for Winona LaDuke’s environmental organization, Honor the Earth, and a protest of Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline — Vernon explained how the concert’s purpose and close-to-home location meshes with his new outlook on touring.” “…The musicians are all rallying around LaDuke and her team of Indigenous activists at Honor the Earth, who upped their protests of Line 3 in northern Minnesota this summer and faced arrests from Hubbard County sheriffs deputies (for reasons later decried by a federal judge)… “While he’s likely to be labeled another overreaching, elite liberal musician by supporters of Line 3 for headlining Wednesday’s concert, Vernon actually hails from a rural part of the Midwest (Fall Creek, Wis., near where he grew up in Eau Claire) with blue-collar roots and a well-documented affinity for deer hunting. He’s not too far removed from residents of northern Minnesota who want the economic benefits of the pipeline, in other words. “What makes me sad is that the story isn’t how there aren’t more jobs up there other than ones that aren’t directly lining the pocketbooks of Canadian and American oil moguls,” he told the Star Tribune. “All the while [they’re] fleecing the very thing that makes northern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin so special: its pristine nature.”

WPR: Justin Vernon’s Bon Iver To Headline Line 3 Protest Concert In Duluth Wednesday
By Danielle Kaeding, 8/17/21

“Grammy award-winning Eau Claire native Justin Vernon and his band Bon Iver will headline a concert in Duluth Wednesday that seeks to raise money to stop construction of Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline in Minnesota,” WPR reports. “The event is a fundraising concert for the Indigenous environmental nonprofit organization Honor the Earth, which has been leading protests of the Canadian energy firm’s pipeline replacement. Pipeline opponents and health professionals in Wisconsin and Minnesota are calling on President Joe Biden and his administration to stop Line 3, arguing the project conflicts with the administration’s pledges to curb carbon emissions that drive climate change. “We need to come together to save our environment, to save our Earth from total annihilation, and that’s on its way,” Vernon said during a livestream on Monday. “That’s what I care about, and I don’t really care about anything else.”

Mpls.St.Paul Magazine: Winona LaDuke and Bon Iver on Their Stop Line 3 Protest Concert
Steve Marsh, 8/17/21

“On Wednesday afternoon at Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth, Bon Iver is headlining Water is Life, a concert organized by Winona LaDuke’s Honor the Earth, to support Stop Line 3 efforts,” Mpls.St.Paul Magazine reports. “Line 3 is the $9 billion dollar oil pipeline that’s being built by Enbridge, the Canadian-based multinational oil company, that will sluice through 337 miles of Minnesota wilderness connecting the oil sands of Alberta to terminal center on Lake Superior. It’s been a long summer for LaDuke, who’s been arrested multiple times during protests along the pipeline, and with construction of the pipeline nearly finished, the concert is serving as a Hail Mary attempt to raise awareness about the stakes of this struggle and just what can still be done. On Monday night, I moderated a discussion between LaDuke, Justin Vernon from Bon Iver, and festival organizers David Huckfelt, Sara Boots, and Kaesha Baloch. Watch the full conversation and read a partial transcript of the conversation.”

CBC: Anti-pipeline activists mark one year of treetop occupation in Burnaby
Michelle Gomez, 8/17/21

“Tim Takaro first ascended the trees of the Brunette River Conservation Area on August 3, 2020. Over a year later, he and other protesters still occupy the treetops,” the CBC reports. “Takaro, an SFU professor and retired physician, is one of the leaders of StopTMX, the group behind the lengthy treetop protest of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. “We have to stop building new fossil energy infrastructure or we are going to face even more death and destruction than we’ve already seen,” Takaro told the CBC… “The project has been contested by several groups including Indigenous activists, environmental organizations, and municipal governments. While these groups have taken their fight to the streets and the courts, StopTMX has taken it to the trees. With a team of about 40 people, they always have at least one person occupying each of their two tree houses, usually switching off every two to five days. The group consists of a wide range of activists, from teenagers to elders. “This is an intergenerational struggle and it’s about intergenerational justice. We are obligated to leave a planet that is sustainable for our children and their children’s children,” said Takaro.

CTV: Cluster of COVID-19 infections detected among Trans Mountain pipeline workers in Valemount, B.C.
Ian Holliday, 8/13/21

“Health officials in Northern B.C. say they’re dealing with a cluster of COVID-19 cases among workers involved in the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project near Valemount,” CTV reports. “As of Friday, 16 people had tested positive for the coronavirus at the site, and approximately 50 close contacts of those individuals were self-isolating, according to a news release from Northern Health. The health authority said those who tested positive are Trans Mountain employees and contractors working for the company, but added that it believes most of the infections were acquired away from the worksite… “Though it announced the cluster on Friday, Northern Health said it has been working with Trans Mountain to monitor the cases since “early August.” “In light of the confirmed COVID-19 cases, the company has implemented further cluster management measures, enhanced employee screening, mandatory mask-wearing, and increased sanitization across the site,” Northern Health said. The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project has seen dozens of COVID-19 infections among its workers over the course of the pandemic, including 20 cases last month, according to the company’s website.”

The Tyee: Coastal GasLink Spills More Contaminants in Wet’suwet’en Territory
Amanda Follett Hosgood, 8/17/21

“For the second time in a little over a year, the Office of the Wet’suwet’en is asking why it wasn’t immediately notified after 1,000 litres of contaminants were spilled on the nation’s traditional territory at a Coastal GasLink pipeline work camp,” The Tyee reports. “Mike Ridsdale, environmental assessment co-ordinator with the office that represents the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, told the Tyee he learned about the spills — which occurred earlier in the week — Friday morning when he got a call from the province’s Ministry of Environment. “The Oil and Gas Commission never informed us at all. They’re supposed to be working with us,” Ridsdale told the Tyee. “For them to let me know two to three days later is not being right on the ball. Even on the report, it said that the Wet’suwet’en were notified. I have no messages and no emails.” In May 2020, two diesel spills occurred on Wet’suwet’en territory. The first spill happened May 19 at a remote RCMP detachment established a year earlier to patrol the area following conflict over the 670-kilometre natural gas pipeline under construction between northeast B.C. and Kitimat. The second spill occurred in late May at 9A Lodge, a work camp for Coastal GasLink about 70 kilometres from the RCMP detachment. It was reported to the Office of the Wet’suwet’en several days later, according to hereditary leadership. The two spills were each estimated at 500 litres.”

CBC: Irving Oil partnering with TC Energy to reduce emissions from refinery
Jacques Poitras, 8/18/21

“New Brunswick’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter and its one-time oil pipeline partner say they will work together to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the province,” the CBC reports. “Irving Oil says it will partner with Calgary’s TC Energy on upgrades to its Saint John refinery aimed at “decarbonizing current assets and deploying emerging technologies to reduce overall emissions.” The Saint John refinery is the province’s single biggest emitter of carbon dioxide. It pumped an estimated 2.8 million megatonnes of climate-warming carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in 2019, almost one-quarter of all emissions in New Brunswick. An Irving Oil news release says the two companies have a goal of “significantly reducing emissions through the production and use of low-carbon power generation.” In the longer term, they say they’ll look at producing and selling low-emission hydrogen and at capturing and sequestering carbon to “aid in decarbonizing local industry.” “Louise Comeau, a researcher at the University of New Brunswick, told CBC  it’s difficult get a sense of what Irving Oil is proposing, adding it would be good to see the company diversify into renewable energy. The lack of timelines and targets makes it impossible to assess the plan, Sarah MacWhirter, a spokesperson for the Pembina Institute, an environmental think-tank, told CBC.”

DailyLocal: Chester County commissioners want emergency pipeline plans
By Michael P. Rellahan, 8/18/21

“Chester County emergency officials are seeking to have a plan prepared to deal with the possibility — or eventuality — of a natural-gas liquid pipeline disaster in the county, largely responding to events surrounding the Mariner East Pipeline construction projects, and others, which have experienced a host of problems over the past several months,” the DailyLoca reports. “The request for outside contractors to submit proposals for ways that outline a response to those emergencies came at the behest of the county commissioners, who have been under pressure from anti-pipeline activists to take more proactive actions to ensure safety along the pipeline. Those proposed steps include an outright ban on the construction along the 23-plus mile stretch through the county. According to a press release Monday, the Request for Proposal (RFP) also calls for the development of tools to better prepare the public for a potential emergency arising from either the Mariner East Pipeline or the Enterprise Products TEPPCO Pipeline, both of which run through the county… “The announcement drew at best faint praise from those opposed to the pipeline construction, who continue to call on the commissioners to use whatever authority they have to shut the construction sites down. “This announcement from our county commissioners finally acknowledges what residents have been saying for years now: There is no credible plan to warn and protect the public from a catastrophic event when Mariner East fails in our densely populated communities,” Ginny Kerslake, a member of the West Whiteland Residents for Pipeline Safety group and Eastern Pennsylvania organizer for Food and Water Watch, an environmental watchdog group, told Daily Local. “But instead of wasting taxpayer dollars and wasting more time on an impossible plan, (the commissioners) need to stop playing hot potato and take swift legal action to halt Mariner East,” she said. “Every day they delay, we continue to rely on luck.”

Globalnews.ca: Teen activists target TD Bank over Enbridge Line 3 pipeline investment [VIDEO]
8/17/21

“A group of teenage activists targeting TD Bank over its support of the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline expansion. The protesters displaying banners and painting a mural on the sidewalk outside the bank’s downtown Vancouver offices,” Globalnews.ca reports.

Shepherd Express: Milwaukeeans Protest the Line 3 Pipeline
BY COLLEEN FISCHER, 8/16/21

Several Milwaukeeans recently travelled to Northern Minnesota to protest construction work on Line 3, a thousand-mile pipeline bringing crude oil from Edmonton, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin,” the Shepherd Express reports. “Enbridge Energy says that they are addressing known integrity flaws and improving efficiency. Protestors see this framing as misleading because the construction includes the laying of over 300 miles of new pipeline pumping 760,000 gallons of Canadian tar sands oil through North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin per day. Protestors also see the construction of a new Line 3 as a violation to the Anishinaabe tribe’s treaty rights, a contributor to climate change and a destructive force to the Manoomin (wild rice), a sacred food for a number of local tribes. Amongst the protestors at Red Lake Treaty Camp near Thief River Falls MN, the Red Lake and White Earth Reservation were two Milwaukeeans… “Fellow Milwaukeean Uyen Vo found further inspiration in the Indigenous women who are leading the movement like Sasha Beaulieu. “I want to support a movement Indigenous people lead,” Vo told the Express. “I want to support protecting what is important to them, and it is also important to me, it is important to everybody—it’s water.”

Beloit Daily News: Beloiters gather to protest oil pipeline project
By AUSTIN MONTGOMERY, 8/17/21

“A group of around two dozen Beloit residents took part in a peaceful protest march Tuesday to voice opposition to the construction of an oil pipeline and to show solidarity with other climate activists who have spent months protesting the project,” the Beloit Daily News reports. “Not a week has gone by this summer without climate activists protesting the ongoing construction of the Line 3 oil pipeline owned by Enbridge Energy that would deliver crude oil from Alberta, Candada to Superior, Wisconsin. Nearly all of the 1,031 mile pipeline project is nearly complete, save the Minnesota section. Beloit’s solidarity protest saw organizers walk from Riverside Park to the Henry Avenue Bridge and then looping back to the park via the Portland Avenue bridge. Protest organizer and Beloit City Councilor Brittany Keyes told the News Tuesday’s protest aimed to raise awareness of the pipeline project and highlight the broader issue of climate change. “Participating today is a commitment to elevating indigenous voices, advocating for treaty adherence by our government and to honor our environment by demanding we break our addiction to fossil fuels,” Keyes said.

WASHINGTON UPDATES

Politico Morning Energy: UNPAUSING THE PAUSE
Matthew Choi, 8/17/21

“The Interior Department is lifting its pause on new oil and gas lease sales on federal land, giving a major concession to Republicans and the fossil fuel industry that have been lambasting the administration for months,” Politico Morning Energy reports. “The move comes after a federal judge in Louisiana found the pause unlawful back in June — an assessment the Justice Department is appealing in the Fifth Circuit, DOI announced Monday. “In complying with the district court’s mandate, Interior will continue to exercise the authority and discretion provided under the law to conduct leasing in a manner that takes into account the program’s many deficiencies,” the department said in a statement… “House Natural Resources Chair Raúl Grijalva expressed his disappointment with the pause lift Monday, calling the current leasing program broken. He added he’ll try to increase royalties through Democrats’ budget plan as well as reform standards and establish emissions fees. “Holding more lease sales under today’s outdated standards is economically wasteful and environmentally destructive, and everyone not sitting in a fossil fuel boardroom knows it,” Grijalva said. The move came the same day the American Petroleum Institute and several other oil groups sued the department and Haaland over the lease sale pause in a Louisiana federal court.”

Reuters: Biden administration appeals federal court decision to block oil, gas leasing pause
By Valerie Volcovici, 8/16/21

“The Biden administration on Monday challenged a federal judge’s decision in June to block the Interior Department’s pause on oil and gas leasing on public lands and waters – a critical piece of its climate change policy – but will proceed with leasing during the appeals process,” Reuters reports. “The Interior Department aims to overturn the decision of Judge Terry Doughty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, who said Louisiana and a dozen states that sued President Joe Biden’s administration established they would suffer injury from the pause on new oil and gas leases. Those states last week sought a court order from the judge to force Interior to hold an offshore lease sale this year. And on Monday, the American Petroleum Institute and 11 other industry groups sued the administration to force them to reinstate lease sales, which had not resumed after the judge’s June decision. “The appeal of the preliminary injunction is important and necessary. Together, federal onshore and offshore oil and gas leasing programs are responsible for significant greenhouse gas emissions and growing climate and community impacts,” the Interior Department said in a statement.”

Reuters: Oil industry sues Biden administration over drilling auction pause
By Nichola Groom, 8/16/21

“Major U.S. oil industry groups on Monday sued the Biden administration for halting drilling auctions on federal lands and waters this year, arguing the government is required by law to hold regular sales,” Reuters reports. “The American Petroleum Institute (API) and 11 other groups filed the lawsuit in federal court in the Western District of Louisiana. It seeks to compel the U.S. Department of Interior to reinstate the lease sales, calling the length of the stoppage “unprecedented.” “…The law is clear: the department must hold lease sales and provide a justification for significant policy changes,” API Chief Legal Officer Paul Afonso told Reuters. “They have yet to meet these requirements in the eight months since instituting a federal leasing pause, which continues to create uncertainty for U.S. natural gas and oil producers.”

Politico Morning Energy: TREASURY MOVES AGAINST FOSSIL FUELS
Matthew Choi, 8/17/21

“The Treasury Department warned multilateral development banks that the U.S. won’t support most future fossil fuel projects unless low-carbon alternatives aren’t feasible,” Politico Morning Energy reports. “The department issued its opinion in a Friday guidance, which follows Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s meeting with MDB heads last month, where she pushed for more compliance with the Paris Climate Agreement in financing projects (the U.S. is the biggest shareholder in several MDBs). The U.S. would still support financing for carbon capture, use and storage, as well as methane abatement, so long as they don’t extend the useful life of existing fossil-fuel power plants.”

Politico Morning Energy: WHAT WENT DOWN AT THE SIERRA CLUB
Matthew Choi, 8/17/21

“Just before Michael Brune, executive director of the storied conservation group, resigned from his post late last week, an internal battle erupted in public over the club’s handling of its history with race — particularly the legacy of its storied founder, John Muir,” Politico Morning Energy reports. “Brune issued a statement last summer at the height of the racial justice protests, denouncing Muir for espousing racist views over a century ago and committed to taking a more critical eye to the group’s past on race. But Brune allegedly didn’t consult with the Black members of the group’s board beforehand, in a move that struck some as glossing over their past work on addressing racism in the group’s history. That included years of work on environmental justice and reviews on the group’s past leaders who were racist. “For it to be framed that the Sierra Club just only a year ago decided to come clean — it’s just wrong,” Aaron Mair, the first Black president of the group’s board, told Politico. “This stuff did not come out all of a sudden under the outgoing executive director.” Mair called Brune’s assessment of the founder “revisionist” and “ahistorical.” Chad Hanson, a historian and Sierra Club board member, told Politico the assessment of Muir as a white supremacist not only didn’t match many historians’ opinions but also was counterproductive to building ties between historically white conservation groups and environmental justice communities… “But when Mair, Hanson and Nelson tried to publicize their dissent, they were shut down, with other board members hoping to move on from last year’s statement.”

STATE UPDATES

Casper Star-Tribune: Energy Authority unveils strategy
By Nicole Pollack  8/16/21

“Wyoming plans to chart its path to net-zero emissions with an all-of-the-above approach,” according to the Casper Star-Tribune. “A year after the Infrastructure Authority and the Pipeline Authority merged to form the Energy Authority, the agency has unveiled its energy strategy, a comprehensive framework for energy development in Wyoming. “We have a rich abundance of hydrocarbon resources — and renewable resources,” Glen Murrell, executive director of the Energy Authority, told the Star-Tribune. “And we’re going to embrace all of it. We’re not going to pick winners or try to silo off parts of the economy at all. We’re embracing everything we have.” “…The Energy Authority was created to oversee the entire energy sector. Coal, oil, gas, nuclear, renewables, newer technologies like hydrogen and carbon capture, and non-energy extractives like trona and bentonite all fall under its jurisdiction.”

EXTRACTION

Financial Times: Alberta’s oil producers hit record output but confront a dim future
Derek Brower, 8/17/21

“The White House call for more oil from Saudi Arabia and Russia last week has caused alarm in Alberta, the Canadian province that is by far the biggest foreign oil supplier to the US,” the Financial Times reports. “The request came just two months after US president Joe Biden’s decision to revoke a critical permit led to the demise of the Keystone XL pipeline. The $8bn project, meant to carry heavy crude from Alberta’s oil sands to Texas, has faced years of fierce environmental opposition. “Why is the US government blocking energy imports from friendly Canada, while pressing for more imports from Opec dictatorships & Putin’s Russian regime?” Jason Kenney, Alberta’s premier, asked on Twitter. Alberta is home to the world’s third biggest oil deposit and has pinned its economic future on increasing exports to its southern neighbour. Yet new oil sands projects in Alberta, among the most carbon-intensive on earth, are in trouble as governments pledge deep decarbonisation, UN-sponsored scientists warn of a worsening climate crisis and Wall Street sours on fossil fuels… “Tim McMillan, Capp’s president, blames Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberal government for policies he says have had a “dampening” effect on investment, such as the federal carbon tax and a new law to stiffen environmental oversight of new energy projects such as pipelines. Oil analysts say that broader forces are more significant, including doubts about longer-term demand, the effects of last year’s price crash and policy shifts against fossil fuels.”

S&P Global: Canadian officials tout reducing emissions while maintaining oil and gas growth
Jordan Blum, 8/16/21

“Canada is successfully walking the tightrope in energy transition, with renewable power and carbon-capture projects while still investing in and developing its ample oil and natural gas resources, from the Alberta oil sands to offshore Newfoundland and Labrador, Canadian officials said Aug. 17,” S&P Global reports. “We want to secure a strong North American energy supply,” said Rachel McCormick, the Canadian consul general for Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arkansas, said at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston. Roughly 75% of Canada’s clean energy technology is coming from the oil and gas sector, she said. While integrated energy players such as Shell and Total Energies have either sold or written off their Canadian oil sands assets in recent years because of climate change concerns, North American companies now are leading the exploration and production of Canada’s crude oil. And Canadian crude production this year has recovered from and exceeded its pre-pandemic volumes… “Late last year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled Canada’s goals for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. But, simultaneously, Canada is not turning away from Alberta’s resources, which are described as the world’s third-largest crude oil reserves behind only Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, both of which are state-operated.”

Houston Chronicle: Cheniere fined $2.2 million related to cracks
Jacob Dick, 8/13/21

“Cheniere Energy has been hit with a proposed $2.2 million federal penalty for its Sabine Pass LNG export facility just across Sabine Lake from a small Port Arthur community,” the Houston Chronicle reports. “The charges stem from an investigation by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration of several cracks found in tanks at the facility in January 2018 that the agency said could have created a flammable cloud of low-lying gas that would have gathered around the tanks… “Not only were tank designs not up to standard, according to the agency, but Cheniere didn’t have alarms properly set to warn of hazardous conditions that could have prevented the cracks from happening in the first place. Experts estimated months later that 825 thousand cubic feet of natural gas vaporized into the atmosphere around the tanks… “It isn’t the first time the company has been penalized over to its valves. The company last fall was fined more than $80,000 because it allegedly used contractors to install specialized valves who weren’t trained to do that particular work and because its own maintenance staff on hand also were likely untrained to do the work. The valves were connected to key equipment believed to be the source of a fire at the facility in April 2018. Five months ago, the agency also found that Cheniere didn’t have the proper procedures in place to investigate or report fires, leaks or explosions in or around the plant. The Cheniere case is also the perfect example that environmental advocates have been looking for as they continue to fight approval of LNG facilities across the Gulf Coast.”

InsideClimate News: Fossil Fuel Companies Are Quietly Scoring Big Money for Their Preferred Climate Solution: Carbon Capture and Storage
By Nicholas Kusnetz, 8/17/21

“Over the last year, energy companies, electrical utilities and other industrial sectors have been quietly pushing through a suite of policies to support a technology that stands to yield tens of billions of dollars for corporate polluters, but may do little to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” InsideClimate News reports. “These policies have fast-tracked environmental reviews and allocated billions in federal funding for research and development of carbon capture and storage, or CCS, technologies that pull carbon dioxide out of smokestacks or directly from the air before storing it underground. Just a single bill—the bipartisan infrastructure legislation that passed the Senate last week and is now headed to the House of Representatives—includes more than $12 billion in direct support for carbon capture, and could unlock billions more through other programs, according to the recent drafts. Many environmental advocates argue that the massive government support would be better spent on proven climate solutions like wind and solar energy, which receive far less in direct funding under the infrastructure bill. “We know today that renewable energy is ready to be deployed, it works, it helps decarbonize the energy sector,” Josh Axelrod, a senior advocate in the nature program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group, told ICN. “On the flip side, carbon capture has a mixed record, is not widely deployed anywhere, and if it holds promise, it holds promise in the next decade or the next 20 or 30 or 40 years.” “…What we’re talking about is essentially allowing environmental injustice to continue, and in fact doubling down on it,” Kendall Dix, policy lead at the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy, a climate justice-focused nonprofit, told ICN. He said many Gulf Coast communities face unacceptable toxic pollution from petrochemical plants that could continue to operate for longer if fitted with carbon capture equipment.”

Bloomberg: Danish Climate Plan Aims to Fill Empty Oil Reservoirs With CO2
By Frances Schwartzkopff, 8/17/21

“A Danish project to store captured CO2 in North Sea reservoirs that were once filled with oil and gas moved a step closer to becoming operational, after winning approval from new stakeholders,” Bloomberg reports. “Twenty-nine companies, research institutes and universities agreed to support the next testing phase of the Greensand project, according to a statement on Tuesday. The backing came after initial work by the project’s original four members, including Maersk Drilling A/S and INEOS Energy, showed the location is physically robust enough to store emissions safely, and injection into the sandstone is possible. Denmark has some of Europe’s toughest targets for cutting emissions, with a goal to reduce its carbon footprint by 70% before 2030, compared with the level in 1990. The area encompassed by the Greensand project is large enough to hold all the CO2 that Denmark has proposed removing from the atmosphere in its climate program, according to the coalition of stakeholders.

RESEARCH & SCIENCE

PA Environment Daily: New Penn State Study Shows Road Dumping Oil & Gas Drilling Wastewater Has Little Dust Suppression Benefit, Contains Pollutants Harmful To Human Health, Agriculture, Aquatic Life
8/16/21

“A new study by Penn State researchers to be published in the journal Science of The Total Environment found oil and gas drilling wastewater is far less effective than commercial products at suppressing dust, is easily washed off roadways into nearby streams and fields and contains pollutants that can negatively affect human health, agriculture and aquatic life,” according to PA Environment Daily. “…Researchers tested the effectiveness of oil and gas drilling production wastewater (OGPW) from several states against three commercially available dust suppressant products including waste soybean oil, an EnviroKleen product approved by the PA Center for Dirt And Gravel Roads and water treatment plant softening sludge. Oil and gas wastewater was collected from eight different conventional and unconventional wells in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wyoming. The wastewater and alternative products were tested in a laboratory setting on simulated dirt and gravel roads and then subjected to small simulated rain events. Among the findings of the study were: OGPW Was Orders Of Magnitude LESS Effective At Controlling Dust; OGPW Application For Dust Suppression May Not Be Beneficial; and OGPW Lost Efficacy More Quickly Than All Suppressants After Small Rain Events.”

CLIMATE FINANCE

The Hill: Biden administration releases guidance limiting international financing for fossil fuels
BY RACHEL FRAZIN, 8/16/21

“The Biden administration on Monday said it would vote against decisions by the World Bank and other multilateral development banks to fund most projects that would develop fossil fuels,” The Hill reports. “The announcement was released in guidance that said the U.S. would oppose new coal-based projects and would also oppose most oil-based projects — with a few exceptions.  The U.S. will still offer support for some natural gas projects and is also open to carbon capture projects in which emissions from burning fossil fuels are captured and stored instead of being released into the atmosphere… “Some environmental groups were unsatisfied with the guidance, arguing that it did not go far enough to eliminate fossil financing. “The Treasury guidance leaves loopholes for continued fossil fuel financing that are so big, you can drive an LNG ship through them,” Luisa Galvao, International Policy Campaigner at Friends of the Earth U.S., told the Hill.” “…The guidance also said that the U.S. will oppose intermediaries where it can say that funds will be used for activities that are inconsistent with its current approach and will also oppose policy operations that directly support such activities.”

DeSmog: Bankers Eager to Continue Funding Oil and Gas
Justin Mikulka, 8/13/21

“I kind of remind people, I personally think oil is a renewable, it just takes a little bit longer,” said Mari Salazar, senior vice president and manager of Energy Financial Services for BOK Financial, an Oklahoma-based bank that caters to the oil and gas industry,” DeSmog reports. “Salazar made this analogy at the Hart Energy 2021 Energy Capital Conference this summer on a panel discussion about banking loans for the oil and gas industry. The main focus of the conference was the current hesitancy to provide funding to the struggling industry. Salazar’s comment echoed the sentiment of the panel that the efforts to decarbonize the economy and switch to renewables appeared to be a laughing matter to them. Panelists, who included representatives from the energy banking industry and advisors to energy companies seeking financing, also expressed strong commitment to continue working to fund the expansion of fossil fuels… “The tone from the panel was that ESG is something to address in order to keep investors happy but that it could likely be achieved with little effort or few changes to the existing banking business model. “Do what you can to inoculate yourself [against ESG],” Steven Kennedy, executive vice president and head of energy banking for Amegy Bank, told the conference. “I think ignoring ESG would be a mistake for any of us, but it may not take that much to actually inoculate a company from people being too critical of what they’re doing.” “…Steven Toon, editor-in-chief of Oil and Gas Investor magazine, moderated the panel. Toon asked Greg Determan, managing director at JPMorgan Chase & Co. if “You [JPMorgan] [are] still going to be lending to oil and gas companies?” “For a long time,” Determan said without hesitation, “Mr. Dimon is quite focused on the industry. It’s a huge business for us and that’s going to be the case for decades to come.”

OPINION

Washington Post: Big Oil should help pay for the climate mess it created
Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat, represents Maryland in the U.S. Senate, 8/16/21

“Global warming has reached “unprecedented” levels and is causing catastrophic damage across America and the world, according to a new report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” Chris Van Hollen writes in the Washington Post. “…That’s why this month, I led a group of fellow senators in announcing new federal legislation that would require the biggest polluters — mostly mega-wealthy oil companies — to begin helping foot the bill to address the climate crisis. The Polluters Pay Climate Fund Act is based on a simple premise: Polluters should pay to help clean up their mess, and those who pollute the most should pay the most. The idea is similar to the Superfund legislation Congress passed in the 1980s to clean up concentrated hazardous waste sites. Many of my Republican colleagues support that program, voting just last week to increase fees on companies that contribute to that waste as part of the bipartisan Senate infrastructure bill. Now, our very atmosphere is a de facto Superfund site. My bill requires that the largest greenhouse gas polluters — like companies that deal with hazardous waste — must help pay to address the harm they have caused.”

OilPrice.com: Big Oil’s Carbon Capture Push Is All Talk And No Substance
By Haley Zaremba, 8/17/21

“…Across the pond in the United States, Big Oil has taken an entirely different approach. Instead of accepting the inevitable and imperative move away from fossil fuels, U.S. supermajors have doubled down on oil and gas and turned to carbon capture as a means of offsetting their environmental impact,” Haley Zaremba writes for OilPrice.com. “As the United Nations and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sound the alarm bells about the fast-approaching threat of catastrophic climate change, the United States seems as deadset as ever on finding a way to get on board with the fight against global warming and rebrand itself as climate-conscious without letting go of its sizeable oil and gas industry… “Critics have argued that the bill itself seems co-opted by the oil industry, as efforts like carbon capture continue to receive major government support. Carbon capture has largely functioned as a means of allowing the oil industry to produce barrels of oil with a low(er) carbon footprint, or even net-zero barrels, without encouraging the industry to actually produce less oil and gas. In some cases, carbon capture is merely a means of ramping up oil production via a process known as enhanced oil recovery (EOR). EOR entails capturing natural gas that would otherwise be vented into the atmosphere as a byproduct of oil extraction and then pumping that gas back into the ground to force more oil to the surface.  While a net-zero barrel of oil might sound like a great advance, the reality is that we don’t need to merely offset the emissions of the energy industry. The reality of climate change is so dire that we must offset carbon at the same time that we phase out fossil fuels entirely.

Crookston Times: Letter: ‘It doesn’t bother Enbridge that their Line 3 destroys forest areas’
Chuck Goyette, 8/16/21

“With the Line 3 pipeline issue there is a clash of 2 worlds. Enbridge, a corporate power is devoid of heart and soul. It is simply all about money,” Chuck Goyette writes in the Crookston Times. “It doesn’t bother Enbridge that their Line 3 route destroys forest areas and fields, crosses and endangers 200 plus waterways, goes under 20 plus rivers and violates the treaty rights of Native people to hunt, fish and gather wild rice. The Tar Sands Oil will not be used in Minnesota but will be shipped to a refinery in Superior, Wisconsin to eventually be transported to foreign countries, including China. Enbridge has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on law-enforcement in Minnesota. They have succeeded in privatizing law enforcement. Police protect their financier – Enbridge – and its property and do whatever to contain protestors who have the “audacity” to express their rights of free speech and assembly. The other world of which I am a member cares about the earth, land, air and water – the Creation and future generations. I have been to camps to protest many times and express my support. These caring souls are non-violent…that’s their rule. They have a deep spirituality that consists of honoring the sacred – the gifts of life – mother earth and we are a part of nature. The earth does not belong to us… we belong to the earth.”

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