Dunleavy joins other governors asking Biden to withdraw executive order
Gilbert Cordova, KFYR-TV, February 22, 2021
Gov. Mike Dunleavy is joining 16 other governors who signed a letter asking President Joe Biden to withdraw an executive order that bans new oil and gas development on federal land and in offshore waters.
The order was one of many Biden signed in January as part of his campaign against climate change and targets fossil fuels. In Alaska, members of the energy industry are already feeling the impact.
In the letter, which was sent on Monday, the governors say the executive order has ”a negative economic effect upon western states with large tracts of federal land and upon Gulf Coast states.”
Munich Re Stops Insuring Nord Stream 2 Amid Sanctions Threat
Pipeline & Gas Journal, February 23, 2021
A subsidiary of Germany’s Munich Re will no longer insure the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Europe amid the fear of sanctions by the U.S. government.
The U.S. has been threatening sanctions against European companies that support construction of the $11 billion gas pipeline, and Zurich Insurance Group dropped out last month.
“Munich Re Syndicate has issued the notice of termination to Nord Stream 2,” a spokesman said in an emailed statement on Tuesday, referring to the company’s subsidiary.
Munich Re declined to provide further details.
The pipeline is more than 90% complete and Russia’s state energy company, Gazprom, and its Western partners are hoping to finish it this year. Much of the remaining work is difficult and in deep waters off Denmark.
Nord Stream 2 declined to comment on Munich Re’s decision but said it was up to European governments and the European Commission to protect European companies from sanctions that “they have described as contrary to international law and an interference in energy policy sovereignty.”
Nevada is the world’s new top mining destination
Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, February 23, 2021
he US state of Nevada is the new most attractive region for mining investors, replacing iron ore-rich Western Australia in the 2020 survey of resource and exploration companies released Tuesday by the Fraser Institute.
The new version of the think-tank’s popular ranking is based on answers from 276 participants, which provided sufficient data to evaluate the overall investment attractiveness of 77 jurisdictions.
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
The result is a combination of two indexes — Best Practices Mineral Potential, which rates regions based on their geologic attractiveness, and the Policy Perception Index, a composite indicator that measures the effects of government policy on attitudes toward exploration investment.
Second place was taken up by another US state, Arizona, which moved up from the ninth spot in 2019. Canada’s Saskatchewan province climbed eight spots from 11th in 2019 to third in 2020 and consolidated its place as the country’s most attractive jurisdiction for mining investment.
Interior Pick Haaland Draws Ire Over Opposition to Fracking
Jennifer Dlouhy, Bloomberg, February 22, 2021
Interior Secretary-designate Deb Haaland’s opposition to fracking, early endorsement of the Green New Deal and participation in protests against an oil pipeline in South Dakota have made her one of President Joe Biden’s most controversial cabinet nominees.
Haaland, a Democratic representative from New Mexico, will face questions about those and other positions during a confirmation hearing Tuesday, with some Republicans already warning she’s unlikely to get their support.
“I have serious concerns with Rep Haaland’s radical views and support for the Green New Deal,” Senator Steve Daines, a Montana Republican and member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee vetting her nomination, tweeted after a meeting with Haaland. “Unless my concerns are addressed, I will not only oppose her confirmation for Interior, I will do all I can to defeat it.”
The Senate ultimately is still expected to confirm Haaland, 60, but the slim control Democrats have means Haaland needs every vote she can get. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat who is chairman of the committee considering her nomination, threw into doubt the fate of another Biden nominee last week. Manchin said he would vote against Neera Tanden to be budget director though the president vowed to press on with the nomination.
Haaland’s nomination has become a target for oil industry advocates, who question whether her past views will get in the way of legal obligations to advance energy development on territory under the Interior Department’s control. The agency runs the national park system and oversees grazing, recreation, energy development and other activities on about a fifth of U.S. land.
Colorado adopts oil industry, environmental group plan to phase out thousands of devices that emit methane
Greg Avery, Denver Business Journal, February 19, 2021
Colorado air quality regulators unanimously embraced a plan hammered out by industry and environmental groups to change equipment at tens of thousands of oil and gas wells to cut methane emissions.
Oil and gas companies will stop using pneumatic controllers at new well sites established after May 1 and by mid-2023 retrofit existing wells to replace hundreds of thousands of the devices with alternatives that don’t emit greenhouse gases.
The plan, approved Thursday by the state Air Quality Control Commission, is a compromise negotiated among environmental groups, oil and gas companies and Colorado regulators over three years.
It’s considered another nationally precedent-setting rule change in Colorado to cut oil industry greenhouse gas pollution.
“The collaborative and good-faith work across parties has led to a clear path forward for further emissions reductions in the state,” said Lynn Granger, executive director of API Colorado, the state chapter of the American Petroleum Institute. “Our industry remains firmly committed to demonstrable environmental progress, and today is an important milestone in that effort.”