Arctic Refuge Oil Rights Auction Faces Uncertain Response
Associated Press, November 25, 2020
The Trump administration is preparing to auction oil drilling rights inside the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but the degree to which the industry will participate is uncertain. Leases on the land in northeast Alaska could be go on the block days before President-elect Joe Biden takes office, Alaska’s Energy Desk reported Tuesday.
Supporters, including Alaska’s congressional delegation, have celebrated the prospect of a lease sale as a way to create jobs and revenue. Opponents express concerns about impacts on ecosystems, Indigenous people, and the climate.
Kara Moriarty, CEO of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, said oil and gas companies are unsurprisingly remaining quiet about their intentions. “Participation in lease sales is one of the most competitive and secretive things between companies,” Moriarty said.
The public likely will not learn about the industry’s level of interest until the federal government unseals the bids on the sale date, which has not yet been announced. There is a possibility that the sale could be held shortly before Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration. Some industry analysts believe there is a measure of uncertainty and risk that could lead to limited interest in a lease sale within the next two months.
Corpus Christi drives U.S. LNG export feed gas to record high
Yahoo Finance, November 25, 2020
Gas flowing to U.S. LNG (liquefied natural gas) export plants was on track for a record high on Wednesday as Cheniere Energy’s Corpus Christi plant in Texas pulled in enough fuel to supply its three liquefaction trains. Corpus had been receiving small amounts of gas in recent weeks as it prepares to put the third train into commercial service during the first quarter of 2021. On Wednesday, Corpus was on track to pull in a record 2.0 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd), preliminary data from Refinitiv showed, which would be enough to supply gas to all three of its 0.66-bcfd trains.
Pebble mine critics say text messages reveal the state is helping the project. A state official says the texts have been misinterpreted.
Alex DeMarban, Anchorage Daily News, November 24, 2020
Text messages and other public records released by the state to a conservation group appear to show the Dunleavy administration supporting the proposed Pebble mine’s efforts to secure a key construction permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, mine critics say.
Dan Saddler, a spokesman with the state Department of Natural Resources, said the agency properly provided information about state laws and procedures at Pebble’s request. “DNR has engaged with the Pebble project proponents just as it would with any potential project applicant in the regular course of the department’s operations,” Saddler said. He said the released records have been misinterpreted, and that some people who don’t understand DNR processes might jump to false conclusions.
Progressives want Biden to sidestep Congress with green ‘national emergency’
Ari Natter, World Oil, November 25, 2020
Progressive environmentalists are mounting a long-shot bid to get President-elect Joe Biden to go beyond naming a climate czar and declare an environmental national emergency, borrowing a tactic employed by President Donald Trump to fund part of his border wall.
Invoking a climate emergency could give Biden the authority to circumvent Congress and fund clean energy projects, shut down crude oil exports, suspend offshore drilling and curtail the movement of fossil fuels on pipelines, trains, and ships, according to a research note by consulting firm ClearView Energy Partners.
“The president’s powers to address climate change through an emergency are very, very large,” said Kassie Siegel, an attorney with the environmental group Center for Biological Diversity, which is lobbying Biden’s team to act. “This is No. 1 on the list of things the Biden administration should do.”
In a statement, Biden’s transition team didn’t explicitly address the question of a climate emergency, saying only that he plans to follow through on his policy platform to fight the climate crisis while creating millions of jobs. Biden’s climate platform includes no mention of declaring a climate emergency.
CLIMATE CHANGE CONVERSATIONS
President Trump’s Underappreciated Climate Successes
John Hart & Jeff Luse, C3 Solutions, November 24, 2020
As the Trump administration winds down, Donald Trump continues to be assailed as an environmental catastrophe. He has been called a “threat to the planet,” the “worst President for the environment in our history” and a “worse threat to humanity than Hitler.” In September, the New York Times reported that President Trump’s 100 environmental regulatory rollbacks would “add up to a lot more planet-warming emission.” Joe Biden even indulged in histrionics by tweeting, “If we give Donald Trump another four years in the White House, our planet may never recover.”
Yet, the facts – and science – tell a different story. Carbon emissions actually decreased during the Trump administration, which is surprising for an administration with a supposed fossil fuels fetish.
Trump made progress by doing a few things well:
- Trump Embraced the Power of Markets
- Trump Streamlined Projects
- Trump Reclaimed America’s Conservation Heritage
- Trump Adopted an “All of the Above” Energy Approach