NEWS OF THE DAY:
Poll: Majority of Americans don’t like 100% renewables
Lamar Johnson, Christa Marshall, Energywire
The Pew Research Center analysis Tuesday found that less than a third, or 31 percent, of Americans back phasing out coal, oil and gas.
Despite the prevalence of 100 percent renewable targets, a new poll suggests the idea is not popular with the American public.
The Pew Research Center analysis Tuesday found that less than a third, or 31 percent, of U.S. adults back phasing out coal, oil and gas to use only renewables, compared with 67 percent who support continued use of fossil fuels.
That is so even though 7 in 10 Americans support transitioning to a carbon-neutral society by 2050 — a target backed by the Biden administration.
Alec Tyson, an associate director of research for Pew, said the findings signal challenges to achieving carbon neutrality.
“There’s some tension here between the goal of becoming carbon neutral and support for moving toward renewable sources, but also a reluctance to break with fossil fuels altogether,” Tyson said in an interview.
There were significant differences between political parties and age groups on views of moving to only renewables.
Forty-nine percent of Democratic or lean-Democratic respondents supported a complete phaseout of fossil fuels, compared with 11 percent who identified as Republican.
Forty-eight percent of respondents aged 18 to 29, meanwhile, favored phasing out fossil fuels entirely, compared with just 20 percent of respondents older than 65 and 24 percent of respondents between 50 and 64.
There also was varying support for government intervention in energy policy. Two-thirds of respondents said the government should have a hand in producing solar and wind power.
However, that was the only technology where a majority of respondents said federal support should be encouraged.
With electric vehicles, 43 percent said they believed the government should encourage use, the same percent who said it should not encourage or discourage the technology. A similar percentage — 41 percent — said the government should encourage nuclear power.
With oil and gas drilling, 34 percent of respondents said the government should encourage the practice, 30 percent said the government should discourage it, and 35 percent said the government should do neither.
“Coal mining is the one activity included in the survey where public sentiment is negative on balance,” the survey said. Twenty-one percent said it should be encouraged, while 39 percent said it should not.
Tyson said the number of people who answered “neither” on whether a given technology should be supported was likely indicative of various factors, including respondents’ views of the role of government.
“Climate energy is a multifaceted issue space, and all these facets matter,” Tyson said. “They’re all interrelated, and they’re not all the same. Partisan gaps are common, but you can find examples when they’re more modest when it comes to specific policies.”
The survey also documented several trends with climate change, finding that there’s a greater partisan divide than in the past on whether warming is a major threat. Americans also continue to rank climate change lower as a priority than issues such as the economy and health care.
The Pew survey follows research this month from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago documenting public concerns about the lack of EV charging and transmission running through neighborhoods (Energywire, April 12).
Pew researchers conducted the research between March 13-19 and surveyed 10,701 adults. The survey ended before the Biden administration’s recently released tailpipe emissions standards, seen as a push to get the auto industry to have to create and sell more EVs (Energywire, April 12).
Key Oil Demand Landmark Expected This August
Andrea Exarheas, Rigzone, April 20, 2023
In a new report sent to Rigzone this week, analysts at Standard Chartered announced that they expect a “key landmark in the post-pandemic recovery” will be reached this August “when we forecast demand will set a new all-time high of 102.24 million barrels per day”.
The analysts noted in the report that, according to their calculations, the “all-time high” of global demand was set in August 2019 at 102.2 million barrels per day. In terms of a discussion as to whether oil fundamentals are healthy or weakening, the new all-time high could be looked at in two ways, the analysts outlined in the report.
“The positive interpretation is simply that it is an all-time high,” the analysts said in the report.
“The negative is that it has taken four years to get back to the previous high and four years of business-as-usual growth would have been about five million barrels per day,” they added.
“In other words, regaining 102 million barrels per day is healthy, losing four years’ potential demand growth is not,” they went on to state.
In the report, the analysts projected that the new all-time high will be exceeded in both November and December and that demand will rise above 103 million barrels per day for the first time in June 2024.
“Our model only contains two months in the rest of the current decade in which global oil demand falls below 100 million barrels per day – the current month and January 2024,” the analysts said in the report.
Glencore takes offer to Teck shareholders
Shane Lasley, North of 60 Mining News, April 20, 2023
Glencore says it is willing to cut a deal directly with shareholders if a planned split of Teck’s metal, coal assets is stopped.
With Teck Resources Ltd.’s board of directors and management refusing to consider its roughly US$22.5 billion (C$30.3 billion) merger proposal, Glencore is taking its increasingly aggressive takeover bid directly to the diversified Canadian mining company’s shareholders.
“Glencore is willing to make an offer directly to Teck shareholders if the Proposed Teck Separation does not proceed and Glencore believes that this is required where there continues to be no engagement from the Teck Board,” Glencore CEO Gary Nagle penned in an April 19 letter to Teck Class B shareholders.
Teck Class A and Class B shares both trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The primary difference between the two is Class A shares carry the right for 100 votes each, and the Class B shares are the standard one vote per share.
The family of Norman Keevil, who served as Teck’s chairman for 55 years and was appointed chairman emeritus after his 2019 retirement, owns a large portion of the Class A shares. While this voting block is enough to stymie Glencore’s takeover attempt, it is not enough votes to force a separation of Teck assets that Glencore hopes will not happen.
Under a strategy announced earlier this year, Teck intends to spin its steelmaking coal unit into Elk Valley Resources, which would be a world-leading steelmaking coal mining company that would export premium coal mined from Teck’s current portfolio in Southern British Columbia.
A rebranded Teck Metals would continue to advance the Canadian company’s portfolio of copper- and zinc-forward metals mining operations.
Glencore, however, wants to keep all Teck assets intact until after it merges with the Canadian mining company. Once the Glencore and Teck portfolios are combined, Glencore would then decouple the larger set of coal and metal assets.
“We continue to believe that the Proposed Merger Demerger being a merger and not a takeover, is demonstrably superior to the Proposed Teck Separation,” Nagel wrote.
In its own letter to shareholders, Teck said the Glencore offer “is not a realistic or viable option.”
“This is a distraction – a transparent and opportunistic attempt to disrupt our separation plan with an ill-defined and highly uncertain proposal,” the Canadian mining company wrote.
Big Oil to Biden: Give Renewable Fuels a Chance
Kevin Crowley, Bloomberg, April 19, 2023
Joe Biden’s proposed crackdown on tailpipe emissions is straight out of the “electrify everything” climate playbook: Introduce pollution limits so tough that electric vehicles eventually become the only game in town.
But Big Oil has other plans.
In the past few days, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. have revealed they’re testing renewable-fuel blends with Toyota Motor Corp. that they claim could one day reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% to 75%, compared with regular gasoline.
What’s more, they say, the new “drop-in” fuels work in existing US internal-combustion engines, eliminating the need to make costly vehicle or infrastructure upgrades.
So what’s the catch? In short: money.
The fuels would need significant subsidies, tax credits or a regulatory mechanism like the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard to reach commercial viability.
Exxon and Chevron say such policies should incorporate “lifecycle” emissions to capture vehicles’ full carbon footprint. That would take into account any pollution from producing fuels and, for battery vehicles, their reliance on a grid fed by a mix of sources including natural gas and coal.