Carbon capture illustrated; Blue collar workers betrayed by environmentalists

Capturing carbon, illustrated
Amy Harder, Axios, June 3, 2019

Capturing carbon dioxide emissions is probably unavoidable to address climate change, but the technology to do it is still in its infancy, expensive and not broadly understood. The intrigue: We’re here to show you something none of us can really see — CO2 emissions are invisible to the naked eye — and the technology that’s just getting off the ground. Keep reading to see an illustrated description of the main ways CO2 can be captured.

Labor anger over Green New Deal greets 2020 contenders in California
Carla Marinucci and Debra Kahn, Politico, June 1, 2019

Blue-collar union workers in solidly Democratic California are rejecting “Green New Deal” politics, a possible preview of troubles for 2020 presidential hopefuls in Rust Belt states like Pennsylvania and Ohio.   When Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti launched his “Green New Deal LA” plan last month amid cheers from environmentalists, hundreds of jeans-wearing, tattooed union members outside the event chanted “Garcetti’s gotta go” and denounced the move as a betrayal. The Garcetti protest was followed by disputes in the state capital this month over a large buffer zone that would block new oil and gas wells, as well as a massive hydro project near Joshua Tree.

Our Take: The 20+ candidates vying for the democratic nomination would be wise to acknowledge that “The Green New Deal may be the darling of the Democratic Party — but it really divides the Democrats on a fault line, which is more of the elites against the working class Democrats who are concerned about losing their jobs.”   Jobs matter.

Why China’s rare earths threat is no game changer in the trade war
Tom DiChristopher, CNBC, June 3, 2019

Key Points:

  • China has threatened to stop exporting rare earths — minerals found in a wide range of everyday consumer electronics — to the U.S.
  • The U.S. is not a big maker of technology products, so cutting off rare earths exports to American manufacturers would have a limited impact.
  • Restricting exports of goods containing rare earths would hurt Beijing because China is a major exporter of finished products.

From today’s Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:

REFINING INDUSTRY SOUNDS ALARM ON TRUMP’S PLANNED MEXICO TARIFFS: The U.S. refining industry says Trump’s threatened tariffs on Mexico could raise gasoline prices as summer driving season begins, while also complicating passage of a revamped NAFTA deal that would facilitate energy trade.

“Imposing tariffs on Mexican products, particularly crude oil, could raise energy prices for U.S. consumers, disadvantage the U.S. refining industry and jeopardize passage of USMCA — all bad outcomes,” said Chet Thompson, president and CEO of the refining trade group American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers.

Free trade threatened: The oil and gas industry has been pressing Congress to pass Trump’s U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement. The original NAFTA deal has helped make Mexico the largest export market for U.S. oil, transportation fuel, and natural gas by allowing for the U.S., Mexico, and Canada to pay nothing on most goods that cross borders between them, including energy products. Now, Democrats already disinclined to do business with Trump have a new reason not to pass his trade deal.

Measuring the potential impact of tariffs: While U.S. imports of Mexican oil have been in decline in recent years, the U.S. still gets about 9% of its crude imports from Mexico, the third-highest source behind Canada and Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. refining industry returns the favor, turning Mexico’s heavy crude into gasoline and diesel which it sends back to Mexico. Those sales could be threatened if Mexico retaliates with its own tariffs on U.S. energy. In addition, though the U.S. is exporting more LNG via tanker, most of the total U.S. natural gas exports were by pipeline, 67% of which went to Mexico, according to the Energy Information Administration.