Oil-Demand Recovery Unlikely for Months Despite Vaccine Hopes
David Hodari, The Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2020
Global oil markets may have rallied on the latest positive vaccine trial results, but they are unlikely to feel any significant economic benefits until well into next year, the International Energy Agency said Thursday. In its monthly report, the IEA darkened its outlook for crude consumption in the months ahead, citing resurgent Covid-19 infection rates in the U.S. and Europe. It now expects demand for 2020 to fall by 8.8 million barrels a day this year—400,000 barrels a day more than its last forecast. That is more severe than OPEC’s forecast cut Wednesday.
The agency also slashed its demand forecasts for the third and fourth quarters of 2020 as well as the first quarter of 2021, all while estimating a supply increase of more than a million barrels a day in November. Libyan supply is rebounding from its months long export blockade and U.S. production is recovering after hurricane-induced shut-ins in October. U.S. production was down 7% from its average 2019 level last month. After a mild start to the winter season in the Northern Hemisphere, when people begin to turn on their heating, new lockdowns across Europe and rising infection rates in the U.S. prompted the Paris-based organization to cut its fourth-quarter demand estimate by 1.2 million barrels a day. A Covid-19 vaccination won’t significantly affect global demand in the first half of 2021, the IEA said.
Texas bill would tax wind, solar generation but not natural gas
L.M. Sixel, The Houston Chronicle, November 11, 2020
Power bills likely would rise next year for Texas consumers who get their electricity from wind, solar, coal and nuclear generation if the Legislature approves a bill filed this week. The bill from state Rep. Ken King would add 1 cent to every kilowatt hour of energy generated. The tax likely would be passed on to consumers, adding about $12 a month to bills for households that use 1,200 kilowatt hours of renewable power sources each month. Power generated from natural gas would be exempt from the tax. Wind produced about 20 percent of electricity last year in Texas, which is the nation’s leader in wind power generation, and 47 percent came from natural gas, according to the state’s grid manager, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
Sanctions on Russia gas pipeline included in annual U.S. defense bill
Oil & Gas 360, November 12, 2020
Sanctions that could hinder one of Moscow’s most important projects in Europe, the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, have been included in the annual U.S. defense policy bill, two congressional aides said on Wednesday. The sanctions in the compromise National Defense Authorization Act between lawmakers in the House and Senate would penalize companies facilitating the construction of the pipeline, including ships helping operations to lay pipelines or moving rock formations on the seabed.
The sanctions also target companies providing insurance or secondary insurance for its construction and certification for the pipeline in Denmark. The bill would become law only after being passed by both chambers in Congress and signed by President Donald Trump.
US miners tout environmental credentials in wake of Biden victory
Reuters, November 12, 2020
US mining companies are moving fast to align themselves with Joe Biden’s climate change agenda, saying the lithium, copper, and other metals they produce can help the president-elect achieve his ambitious goals to slash carbon emissions and electrify the nation’s automobiles. With Biden proposing to hasten the demise of coal and other fossil fuels with his $2-trillion climate plan, miners of so-called strategic metals are hoping Biden’s team sees them as partners, not foes.
Within hours of US networks calling the race last Saturday, the National Mining Association trade group congratulated Biden on his victory and reminded him that the country’s 600,000 miners supply products used to make bridges, cell phones, solar panels and myriad other goods.
A careful voter fraud review
Jim Geraghty, National Review, November 12, 2020
On the menu today: a careful review of recent voter-fraud cases, and how this dispels the trite, inaccurate claims that “voter fraud doesn’t exist”; perspective on what recent voter-fraud cases have proven and the scale of the problem.
Innumeracy Comes to the Debate about Voter Fraud
Over at The Blaze, Leon Wolf read and evaluated 234 pages of affidavits that the Trump campaign collected from poll workers in Michigan that they say proves the existence of widespread irregularities in the Michigan vote-counting process, and which they plan to attach as an exhibit to an expected lawsuit that will challenge the certification of the vote in Michigan.
CLIMATE CHANGE CONVERSATIONS
Biden picks chief of staff with Solyndra, Green New Deal ties
Mike Soraghan, E & E News, November 12, 2020
President-elect Joe Biden yesterday selected longtime aide Ronald Klain to be his chief of staff, a move likely to cheer progressives. Klain served as Biden’s chief of staff early in his tenure as vice president and coordinated the Obama administration response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak.
His key role in administering the 2009 stimulus package and its $90 billion for clean energy projects opened him up to criticism when one failed spectacularly. Klain was accused of dismissing auditors’ concerns about Solyndra, a clean energy firm held up as an example of the administration’s clean energy agenda before it laid off employees and filed for bankruptcy.
Klain was cited 60 times in a report by Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee detailing the awarding of the Department of Energy loan and the subsequent bankruptcy.
Biden has shied away from branding his climate plan as a Green New Deal. That’s how Klain described it, however, shortly before Biden claimed the Democratic nomination. Biden has since proposed an even more ambitious plan to spend $2 trillion across four years.
“Personnel is policy,” said Jamal Raad, co-founder of the climate group Evergreen Action. “This first appointment gives us confidence President-Elect Biden will continue to shape his government to fulfill the mission of his bold, ambitious climate plan.”