It’s back: US Interior Dept. signs new land swap deal for King Cove road
Liz Ruskin, KTOO, July 23, 2019
The U.S. Interior Department has already signed a new land swap agreement for a King Cove road, days after it gave up its appeal of a court ruling that its prior agreement violated federal law.
As with previous agreements, this one calls for the department to give land in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to the Native corporation in exchange for land of equal value. The intent is to allow the corporation to complete the final 12 miles of road to Cold Bay.
2. Troubles may loom for battery supply chain
Ben Geman, Axios, July 24, 2019
There could be a “supply crunch” for cobalt, lithium, and nickel used in batteries for electric vehicles and other applications as soon as the mid-2020s, the consultancy Wood Mackenzie said Wednesday.
What’s next: Wood Mackenzie forecasts that pure electrics and plug-in hybrids combined will account for 7% of all passenger car sales by 2025, 14% by 2030 and 38% by 2040.
Of note: That’s less bullish than BloombergNEF, which sees EVs accounting for 57% of passenger car sales in 2040.
The bottom line: “The electrification of transport is redefining a number of metals markets,” Wood Mackenzie said in a release summarizing their analysis.
Our take: This is an excellent wake up call to both sides of the coin. Resource development should look toward materials that will help drive our energy future, while environmental groups should allow projects to move forward without insurmountable obstacles. If done right, it’s a win for all.
House Democrats Offer an Alternative to the Green New Deal
Lisa Friedman, The New York Times, July 23, 2019
The goal, intended to slow the pace of global warming, does not include either a legislative or regulatory plan. It would very likely require rigorous new curbs on fossil fuels over the coming decades and steep increases in wind, solar and other renewable sources of power.
The initiative does not go as far as the Green New Deal. That Democratic plan calls for achieving carb
on neutrality within a decade and supplying 100 percent of the country’s electricity from clean energy sources while also creating millions of high-wage jobs.
Analysts described the announcement Tuesday as an effort by centrist Democrats to reclaim the climate agenda while treating global warming with the urgency that scientists say it demands.
Our take: We’ll defer to Representative Greg Walden of Oregon – “If we’re serious about tackling this challenge, we need to continue to offer serious, bipartisan answers that protect our economy and our environment.” There’s a balance. And if it’s not economically feasible, it likely won’t get off the ground.
Related: Republican climate hawk Francis Rooney to introduce carbon tax bill that cuts payroll taxes
U.S. Oil Inventories Fall Much More Than Expected
Dan Molinski, Wall Street Journal, July 24, 2019
Crude-oil stockpiles declined by 10.8 million barrels to 445 million barrels, and now are about 2% above the five-year average for this time of year, the EIA said. Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had predicted crude stockpiles would fall by 4.1 million barrels from the prior week.
Oil stored at Cushing, Okla., the delivery point for U.S. stocks, fell by 429,000 barrels to 50.4 million barrels, the EIA said in its weekly report.
From the Daily on Energy:
FERC TO CREATE NEW DIVISION TO HELP REVIEW LNG APPLICATIONS: FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee announced Tuesday that the agency is creating a new division to review an increasing number of permits for liquified natural gas export projects.
The Division of LNG Facility Review & Inspection will have 20 employees based in Washington D.C, and another eight employees based in Houston — the U.S. energy hub — working out of a new regional office.
“As the demand for U.S. LNG and the number and complexity of project applications has grown, the commission has experienced a similar growth in the need for FERC to expand its oversight in this program area,” said Chatterjee, a Republican.
For years, FERC has struggled with responding to a backlog of applications by companies looking to build facilities to export natural gas abroad. The agency, however, has issued five approvals of LNG export facilities this year.