Today’s Key Takeaways: Oil has “no chance of becoming an orphan source of energy”. Oil key to energy transition. Debate on amendments to LNG bill. 50-year mining ban in New Mexico. American trust in political system at all-time low.
NEWS OF THE DAY:
Oil Could Hit $300 A Barrel
Clem Chambers, Seeking Alpha, September 18, 2023
It has been a trope that oil is going to become an ‘orphan asset’ and that its use would end, and it would become an obsolete energy source. This is because of the gigantic efforts to halt ‘climate change’ caused by human CO2 emissions.
The thrust of so much change to get to ‘Net Zero’ is to end the use of hydrocarbons.
The end of oil is not going to happen, and the implications are huge.
Let’s start with why
According to the IEA, the International Energy Agency:
“China, India and Southeast Asian countries together are expected to account for three out of every four tonnes of coal consumed worldwide in 2023.”
From the article: “Global coal demand set to remain at record levels in 2023.”
The IEA is not some pay-play NGO, it is a global institution.
This implication is obvious; developing countries are not going to crucify themselves on a cross of sustainability. After all these years of accords, dramatic predictions, plans and – in the developed world – giant shifts in policy, developing countries have embraced cheap energy with both hands as a guarantee of their ascendancy.
It’s hard not to slip from being dispassionate about this situation but the magnitude of the facts speak for themselves.
Aramco, ExxonMobil Chiefs Insist Oil Needed in Energy Transition
D. Kumar, M. Ferman, R. Tuttle, Bloomberg/Rigzone, September 19, 2023
The heads of Saudi Aramco and Exxon Mobil Corp. took to the stage at a major industry event Monday to voice support for the global transition to cleaner forms of energy, but one in which oil continues to play a major role for decades to come.
Both chief executive officers touted capturing and storing carbon — a climate solution viewed skeptically by environmentalists — as one of the best way to significantly reduce emissions from burning fossil fuels. They also stated that cutting oil usage too quickly would be dangerous, given the growing global demand for energy.
“There seems to be wishful thinking that we’re going to flip a switch and we’ll go from where we’re at today to where it will be tomorrow,” Exxon Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods said during a panel discussion at the World Petroleum Congress in Calgary. “No matter where demand gets to, if we don’t maintain some level of investment in the industry, you end up running short of supply, which leads to high prices.”
The comments come as the oil and gas industry hits back against its critics and fights for control over the narrative surrounding the global energy system’s transformation to limit the impact of climate change.
The sector is a natural magnet for criticism from clean energy advocates, environmental activists and pro-green politicians. But after a tough spell at the height of pandemic, when demand and profits collapsed, the industry has bounced back amid higher oil and gas prices, and landed on a common approach: Yes, climate change is real and carbon emissions must be cut, but Big Oil is still essential in meeting world energy demand, and it can do that while engineering a solution to aggressively slash pollution.
House to debate Democratic amendments to LNG bill
Manuel Quinones, E & E Daily, September 19, 2023
The Rules Committee blocked other Democratic and Republican amendments to the measure, which aims to speed up export approvals.
The House will debate Democratic amendments to a Republican bill meant to accelerate U.S. liquefied natural gas exports.
On Monday, the House Rules Committee made in order the amendments to the “Unlocking Our Domestic LNG Potential Act,” or H.R. 1130. The legislation is part of the GOP effort to put Democrats and the Biden administration on the defensive on energy policy. House leaders are also looking to score wins amid Republican infighting over government spending bills.
The Democratic amendments are unlikely to prevail. But they are also key to the Democrats’ opposition to the LNG bill.
Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment, Manufacturing and Critical Materials, introduced H.R. 1130, which seeks to accelerate natural gas export approvals.
Specifically, the bill would eliminate the requirement that the Department of Energy approve liquefied natural gas exports to non-free-trade agreement countries. That would leave the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in charge of permits.
The Rules Committee made in order an amendment from Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) to remove a section of the bill eliminating public interest reviews for gas exports.
Similarly, the panel made in order an amendment from Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) that would prevent the bill from taking effect until DOE studies the effect of waiving public interest considerations.
The White House released a statement of administration policy Wednesday opposing the bill on domestic policy and national security grounds.
The statement, which did not include a veto threat, focused on the public interest issue. It said the bill would “strip vital consumer, domestic manufacturing, and energy security safeguards, and would eliminate an important check that export to non-FTA countries will be consistent with U.S. law and policy.”
The Rules Committee did not make in order an amendment from Rep. Eric Sorensen (D-Ill.) to make sure increased exports wouldn’t raise prices.
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), chair of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy, Climate and Grid Security, said the bill would increase jobs.
“This bill is a win-win for the American people,” he said.
The Rules Committee also blocked a proposed amendment from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) against the administration’s plans to halt LNG transport by rail pending further study.
The House is scheduled to take up the bill as soon as tomorrow. However, opposition to a Republican stopgap spending bill may delay the LNG measure. That’s because the Rules Committee lumped debate parameters for both bills in the same resolution.
A similar dynamic happened last week with H.R. 1435, the “Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act.” In that case, the Rules Committee returned to session to sever the bill from a doomed spending measure.
Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), ranking member of the Energy Subcommittee, noted how Republicans have approved the LNG bill in broader packages, including H.R. 1.
It’s back on the agenda because, said DeGette, Republicans “have nothing else to put on the floor.”
US gov’t mulls 50-year mining ban in New Mexico
Cecelia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, September 19, 2023
The US government is proposing to ban mining and oil drilling in northern New Mexico for up to 50 years, as part of the Biden administration’s ongoing efforts to protect Native American lands and promote responsible mining in public grounds.
According to the Department of the Interior (DOI), the proposal would ban new mining claims, as well as oil and gas development across more than 4,200 acres within the Placitas area in Sandoval County.
“We’re responding to call from Tribes, elected leaders, and community members who want to see these public lands protected,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in the statement. “We look forward to hearing more from the public to inform decisions about how activities, like gravel mining, may impact these lands, including the important cultural and natural resources.”
The announcement marks the beginning of a 90-day public comment period to gather input on the proposal.
Poll: Americans’ trust in political system at new lows
Stef W. Knight, Axios, September 19, 2023
Americans’ views of the U.S. political system have reached new lows, according to a survey that reveals near-record distrust of the government, disgust with both political parties and general exhaustion over all the divisiveness.
Why it matters: The survey by Pew Research Center reflects the growing distaste with the nation’s politics as congressional infighting threatens a government shutdown and the 2024 presidential race appears headed toward a Biden-Trump matchup most Americans don’t want.
- Four times as many Americans have unfavorable views of both parties today than they did in 2002 — an all-time high, with Republicans and Democrats equally unpopular, the survey found.
- Trust in the government is near a 70-year low, with just 16% of the public saying they trust the federal government at least most of the time.
- Two in three Americans say they always or often feel “exhausted” when they think about politics. The top two words they use to describe U.S. politics are “divisive” and “corrupt.”
Zoom in: The problem could get worse as younger generations make up greater shares of the population.Younger people are far more likely to be critical of both the Republican and Democratic parties.
- 37% of 18- to 29-year-olds had unfavorable views of both parties, compared to just 16% of those 65 or older.
- A growing number of younger voters are rejecting the two-party system and claiming to be independent, as Axios has reported.
Between the lines: A third-party solution is not so straightforward, however.
- 68% of Americans overall say they at least somewhat wish there were more parties to choose from, but they’re not convinced that having more than two major parties would make it easier to solve the nation’s problems.
- Only about a quarter think so, while another quarter say more parties would make solutions more difficult.
The big picture: There is broad bipartisan agreement on what Americans view as the system’s biggest problems.
- For example, 87% of Republicans and 85% of Democrats agreed withthe idea that politicians in both parties “are more focused on fighting each other than on solving problems.”
- Americans want limits on those in government: 87% want term limits and 79% support age limits — a proposition that has gained widespread attention in the face of congressional health scares and concerns about President Biden’s age and acuity.
- But Democrats were about twice as likely as Republicans to say “the federal government does more for ordinary Americans than people give it credit for.” That description of the federal government had the largest partisan gap on the list.
Americans have become deeply cynical of those who run for office, the survey found.
- When asked to use their own words to describe the biggest problem with the political system, Americans’ most common answer (31%) involved “politicians.”