Indigenous groups move to protect Keystone from Biden. Utah bans bans?

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Indigenous group invests in Keystone XL in bid to defend project from Biden
Robert Tuttle, World Oil, November 18, 2020

Keystone XL is receiving an investment from Canadian indigenous groups in a deal that TC Energy Corp. hopes will help save its embattled oil pipeline project from being scrapped by U.S. President-elect Joe Biden.  Natural Law Energy, a group of five first nations in Alberta and Saskatchewan, will make an equity investment of as much as C$1 billion ($765 million) in the project, Calgary-based TC Energy said Tuesday. The company is close to striking deals with other indigenous communities in both the U.S. and Canada, Bevin Wirzba, TC’s president of liquids pipelines, said in an investor presentation.

Alberta, a landlocked province holding the world’s third-largest crude reserves, desperately needs more pipelines to export crude from its oil sands. Keystone XL is among the many pipeline projects in North America that have suffered growing opposition from environmental and indigenous groups.  The conduit, which was rejected by the Obama administration and revived by President Donald Trump, needs a permit from the U.S. government because it crosses the border with Canada. Biden’s campaign has said he would rescind the permit granted by Trump.


Utah lawmakers push to block cities from banning natural gas
Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, November 18, 2020

Some California cities have enacted rules that prohibit new homes from connecting to natural gas, a fossil fuel whose emissions contribute to climate change.  That won’t happen in Utah under a bill that a legislative committee advanced Tuesday on a straight party-line vote.

“We should have customer choice when it comes to energy,” bill sponsor Rep. Stephen Handy, R-Layton, told the Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Interim Committee. “As policymakers, we should allow for customer choice, whatever the market dictates, whatever that is. We shouldn’t prohibit customer choice.”


State purchases drive up cobalt metal prices in China
Reuters, November 18, 2020

Purchases for state stockpiles are driving up prices of cobalt metal in China, creating a hefty premium over the rest of the world and encouraging local producers to add large amounts of production capacity.  Cobalt prices in China above $18 per lb are up 15% since talk of buying by the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration started in July.

Elsewhere prices at around $15.75 per lb are under pressure, mainly because covid has shrunk demand from the aerospace industry, which uses cobalt metal for jet turbine blades.  “The first round of (China) stockpiling is still in progress…with a total amount of 2,000 tonnes estimated to be bought,” said Arena Yan, analyst at CRU in Shanghai, adding that the process was expected to be completed by April.


Energy Experts React: 2020 U.S. Election
Center for Strategic & International Studies, November 18, 2020

In this latest Experts React, CSIS energy experts unpack the energy and climate repercussions of the 2020 U.S. election:

  • U.S. International Climate Leadership
  • Green Jobs, Good Jobs, and the United States’ Two Labor Markets
  • Enabling the Transition
  • Biden Plans to Halt New Oil and Gas Licensing on Public Lands
  • Biden’s CAFE Table for One Is Great News for Electric Vehicle Makers
  • How Biden Might Decarbonize the U.S. Power Sector


Jeff Bezos announces nearly $800 million in grants to 16 groups fighting climate change
Allen Kim, CNN, November 16, 2020

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced Monday that he will give $791 million in grants as part of his Bezos Earth Fund to 16 organizations that are working to protect the environment.  The fund is part of the CEO’s $10 billion pledge to support scientists, activists, NGOs and organizations working to protect the environment.

“I’ve spent the past several months learning from a group of incredibly smart people who’ve made it their life’s work to fight climate change and its impact on communities around the world,” Bezos wrote in an Instagram post on Monday announcing the news. “I’m inspired by what they’re doing, and excited to help them scale.”  The full list of grantees are a mix of big name NGOs, labs, reforestation and climate justice groups.