Today’s Key Takeaways: U.S oil demand surprising to the upside. Shake up in the ESG insurance world. “Say No To LNG” global shipping campaign latest climate doomist tactic. China considers ban on export of rare earth magnet technology to U.S.
NEWS OF THE DAY:
Earthjustice Props Up Lawsuit Against Economic Development In Alaska
Yahoo!Finance, AP, April 6, 2023
Three Alaska Native tribes have sued to block what they say would be one of the largest gold mines in the world, arguing that federal agencies failed to properly analyze health and environmental concerns for the project in southwest Alaska.
Tribes from the communities of Kwethluk, Tuluksak and Bethel filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday challenging the adequacy of a 2018 environmental review by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and issuances of a key permit and lease by federal agencies for the Donlin Gold project.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the tribes by environmental nonprofit Earthjustice, claims the agencies failed to fully analyze potential harms and health impacts from a catastrophic spill and did not provide adequate protection for rainbow smelt, a subsistence food, from increased barge traffic related to the project, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
The lawsuit states the project has received the approvals needed for construction to begin but that construction has not yet started. The project is about 10 miles (16 kilometers) north of the Kuskokwim River community of Crooked Creek. Donlin Gold LLC, owned by subsidiaries of Canada-based NovaGold Resources and Barrick Gold Corp., manages the project.
Dolin Gold said in a statement that the federal permitting process was rigorous.
“Donlin Gold’s stakeholders fully believe that this lawsuit is meritless and are confident the actual record will once again fully support the agencies’ decisions,” the statement said. “In the meantime, the Donlin Gold team and the owners continue to advance remaining state permitting, as well as drilling and technical work, subject to Donlin Gold LLC Board approval.”
U.S. Oil Demand Is Starting To Surprise To The Upside And What It Means Going Forward
Seeking Alpha, April 5, 2023
- The oil market has figured out the price at which oil demand starts to rebound.
- This sets up an asymmetric upside scenario similar to the asymmetric downside scenario we saw in June 2022.
- If U.S. oil demand continues to improve, then the market will have to push prices back to the point of demand destruction.
- However, given the lack of apathy in the market, the physical market is going to have to take control.
- For oil bulls, we need the following two things to keep happening: 1) bullish inventory draws to continue; and 2) demand to keep rebounding. If so, energy stocks and oil prices will go higher. Focus on what’s important, and we will get through this.
Say No To LNG shipping campaign launches
Sam Chambers, Splash247.Com, April 6, 2023
Say No To LNG, a global shipping campaign, has launched this month, with its backers saying they aim to debunk the “myth” that LNG is a climate friendly marine fuel alternative.
LNG remains the number one alternative fuel chosen by owners when ordering newbuilds, with the number of LNG-fueled ships soaring in recent years. Detractors of fuel have also grown in number and volume with the likes of the World Bank weighing in.
The new campaign group is supported by ClimateWorks Foundation, a global platform for philanthropy to innovate and accelerate climate solutions on that scale.
Say No To LNG’s one goal, according to its website, is to urge policymakers, industry stakeholders, and financial institutions to urgently rule LNG out of any shipping decarbonization scenario, to ensure the fuel is seen as a “dead-end solution.”
Advocates of LNG as a marine fuel tout the benefits of LNG in considerably reducing sulfur and particulate pollution and cutting CO2 emissions during fuel combustion, hence argue that LNG is the only transition fuel available at scale today for reducing shipping CO2 emissions.
China Considers Prohibiting Exports Of Rare Earth Magnet Technology To The U.S.
ZeroHedge, OIlPrice.Com, April 5, 2023
As Rabobank’s Michael Every wrote this morning, “don’t forget President Biden is already running a US trade policy far more protectionist than his predecessor’s” and the latest example of that came this morning when Japan decided to join United States and the Netherlands in restricting exports of chipmaking gear to China, as the cold chip war between China and the west enters an exciting new phase.
Of course, Beijing wasn’t going to just sit there and do nothing as the US piled sanction upon sanction in hopes of sending China back into the stone age, and many expected that China would retaliate by squeezing the west where it had the most leverage, namely by limiting exports of another key tech supply-chain product: rare earth metals, and where China is the world’s dominant producer.
Well, it appears they were right because as the Nikkei reports, China is considering “prohibiting exports of certain rare-earth magnet technology in a move that would counter the U.S.’s advantage in the high-tech arena.” To do this, officials will file amendments to a technology export restriction list, which was last updated in 2020. In total, there are 43 amendments or additions in the draft list first announced in December by the commerce and technology ministries. Officials have finished taking public comments from experts, and the changes are expected to go into force this year.
The revisions would “either ban or restrict exports of technology to process and refine rare-earth elements. There are also proposed provisions that would prohibit or limit exports of alloy tech for making high-performance magnets derived from rare earths.”
INSURANCE GIANT PULLS OUT OF GLOBAL NET-ZERO ALLIANCE: Zurich Insurance Group, a major global insurer, announced yesterday it will withdraw from the Net Zero Insurance Alliance, one of several sector-specific voluntary alliances within the larger Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero with members that commit to reducing emissions in line with the Paris agreement.
The company said it initiated the withdrawal “to focus our resources to support our customers with their transition” but said it does not change its commitment to sustainability, which a spokesperson said pre-dated the alliance.
Zurich is one of several companies to initiate or consider initiating a pullout of voluntary net-zero alliances citing a desire for independence, as well as antitrust concerns and worries that the commitments expose them to legal liability.
From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy