Reckoning Day for Biden’s Energy Policies?  Manchin Blasts Biden on Coal. 

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Today’s Key Takeaways: Today is the last day to vote -know where to vote. Russia sends oil shipment through the Arctic Circle – shortest passage between Europe and east Asia.  US & UK set to announce LNG deal.   Manchin unloads on Biden over coal comments.   Biden’s energy policies major story of the election. 


Nov. 8 is the final day to vote in Alaska’s general election
Lisa Phu, Alaska Beacon, November 7, 2022

Here’s what to know about Election Day and how to vote

Tuesday, Nov. 8, is Election Day and polls across Alaska are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Voters get to decide several races – who Alaska sends to D.C., who will lead the state as governor, and who will be sent to the state capital. Voters will also weigh in on a once-in-a-decade ballot measure question and what judges to retain. Tuesday is the final day to vote in Alaska’s general election.

Ranked choice voting

This is the second time Alaska voters will be doing ranked choice voting, which allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference. The first time was in August during the special general election for Alaska’s U.S. representative.

“This election looks a lot different though because for that one, there was just one race. This election has United States senator, United States representative, governor/lieutenant governor, state Senate and state House races that will all be done via the ranked choice voting model,” Alaska Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai said Monday.


Russia Sends Oil Thousands of Miles Through Arctic Circle Again
Elina Ganatra, Julian Lee, Rigzone, November 8, 2022

Russia sent its second-ever crude oil shipment east through the Arctic Circle toward China, a route that could one day give the country a faster way to buyers in Asia.

The Vasily Dinkov, a specialized ice-breaking tanker, is traveling along the Northern Sea Route after loading crude late last month from a storage tanker moored at Murmansk, vessel tracking data compiled by Bloomberg show. The ship, hauling a relatively tiny cargo, crossed Russia’s northern coast, and passed through the Bering Strait, separating the country from Alaska, over the weekend. It’s due to arrive at the Chinese port of Rizhao on Nov. 17.

The route includes a 3,300-mile voyage across the top of Russia and through some of the planet’s harshest sailing conditions where icebergs and freezing conditions are common. The journey is the shortest passage between Europe and east Asia, taking half the time to reach China from Russia’s Baltic ports than the conventional route through the Suez Canal.



UK to announce U.S. gas deal after climate change summit -Telegraph
Reuters/Nasdaq, November 7, 2022

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is poised to announce a major natural gas deal with the United States after the COP27 climate change summit, the Telegraph newspaper reported on Monday.

Britain hopes the United States will promise about 10 billion cubic metres of liquefied natural gas (LNG) over the coming year, the report said, adding that discussions about the deal are in their final stages and an announcement could come in a week or two.

But it also said that wrangling over the exact amount continues, and it was possible that a specific figure would not be given when the deal is publicised. It was also unclear how much of the gas – which will be sold by U.S. companies – will be in the UK energy system this winter, the Telegraph said.



Manchin unloads on Biden over coal plant comments
Emma Dumain, E & E Daily, November 7, 2022

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin unleashed a broadside against President Joe Biden this weekend over the commander-in-chief’s comments on coal — an unprecedented intraparty attack just days before the midterm elections that will determine whether the Democrats continue to control Congress.

“President Biden’s comments are not only outrageous and divorced from reality, they ignore the severe economic pain the American people are feeling because of rising energy costs,” Manchin, of West Virginia, said in a statement Saturday. “Comments like these are the reason the American people are losing trust in President Biden.”

The chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee was responding to remarks Biden made on Friday in Carlsbad, Calif., where he touted his administration’s promotion of clean energy and the energy transition away from fossil fuels.

Noting it was “now cheaper to generate electricity from wind and solar than it is from coal and oil,” Biden observed that “no one is building new coal plants” anymore.

“We’re going to be shutting these plans down all across the America,” Biden continued, and replacing them with “wind and solar.”

Manchin, whose state’s economy relies heavily on mining and coal-fired power, eviscerated the president over his comments in deeply personal terms.

“It seems his positions change depending on the audience and the politics of the day,” Manchin said.

“Let me be clear, this is something the President has never said to me. Being cavalier about the loss of coal jobs for men and women in West Virginia and across the country who literally put their lives on the line to help build and power this country is offensive and disgusting.”

The senator demanded Biden offer “an immediate and public apology.”

Biden’s press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, said Biden’s “remarks yesterday have been twisted to suggest a meaning that was not intended: he regrets it if anyone hearing those remarks took offense.”

Jean-Pierre said Biden was “commenting on a fact of economics and technology: as it has been from its earliest days as an energy superpower, America is once again in the midst of an energy transition.”

She also noted that while Biden was working to “combat climate change and increase our energy security by producing clean and efficient American energy … oil and natural gas production has increased” during the first two years of his presidency.

“No one will be left behind,” Jean-Pierre added.

Manchin spokesperson Sam Runyon said the senator would have no follow-up response to Biden’s statement.

‘His words matter’

Republicans seized on the rift between Manchin and Biden to attack other Democrats.

“Like almost every issue, John Fetterman and Tim Ryan are frauds when it comes to energy policy. Despite their lies on the campaign trail, they’re all in with Joe Biden to reduce domestic energy production, eliminate fossil fuels, end fracking, and shut down coal plants,” Chris Hartline, a spokesperson for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said in a statement.

“At least Joe Manchin has the balls to occasionally stand up to Joe Biden on energy,” Hartline said. “Can’t say the same about John Fetterman and Tim Ryan.”

Fetterman and Ryan are Democrats running for Senate from Pennsylvania and Ohio, respectively.

It’s not the first time Manchin and Biden have clashed in starkly personal terms.

Late last year, when Manchin walked away from an initial round of negotiations over the massive climate and social spending package that would become known as the Inflation Reduction Act, Biden’s team attacked Manchin for being duplicitous and disingenuous.

Since that time, Biden has taken care to court Manchin, sending his emissaries to West Virginia on fact-finding visits and investing millions in cleaning up abandoned mine land and plugging orphaned oil and gas wells.

But Manchin’s statement Saturday, in its rawness, accomplished more than to simply illustrate the depths of the ideological schisms within the Democratic Party: His words might also have served as a harbinger of how he plans to operate on Capitol Hill, both in the waning days of the 117th Congress and over the next two years, when he’s up for reelection in a conservative state.

A number of nominees for administration positions in the Energy and Interior departments still need to be confirmed before the end of the year, and Manchin could wield considerable power and influence over whether these nominations can advance.

Manchin has already showed, at the committee level, that he has no qualms about slow-walking nominees as leverage for getting the administration to commit to more domestic energy production in the form of oil and gas lease sales.

Manchin’s words might also have personal repercussions. Over the summer, when budget reconciliation negotiations again appeared on the verge of breaking down at Manchin’s behest, some of the senator’s Democratic colleagues began to question whether a powerful committee should be led by a lawmaker seemingly uninterested in playing with the team.

“We have an opportunity to address the climate crisis right now. Senator Manchin’s refusal to act is infuriating,” Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Energy and Natural Resources panel, tweeted at the time. “It makes me question why he’s Chair of ENR.”

Ultimately, Manchin returned to the negotiating table and helped secure enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act, but his undermining of the president on energy policy so close to the midterms could reignite chatter about Manchin’s future at the helm of the committee.

Furthermore, depending on the outcome of the Tuesday elections, Manchin will be closely scrutinized for signs that he might go so far as to defect from the Democratic Party entirely and become a Republican. Similar party switches among centrists have accompanied partisan power shifts in the past.

Runyon on Saturday declined to comment on Manchin’s next moves, even as the senator’s statement concluded with a seemingly ominous warning: “It is time [Biden] learn a lesson that his words matter and have consequences.”


A MAJOR STORY OF THE ELECTION: President Joe Biden’s energy policies face a reckoning with today’s midterm elections, which have been defined by high fuel prices and inflation.

The outcome will at some level be a judgment of the climate change agenda on which Biden ran and has governed, as voters will decide whether they want another Democratic Congress to keep up the momentum created with the Inflation Reduction Act — or a counterweight in the form of Republican majorities that would favor more oil and gas production without the “short term” and “medium term” qualifiers that Biden administration officials have been appending to their calls for more production.

Energy front and center: Persistently high fuel prices have shaped Biden’s week-to-week politicking perhaps more than any other single issue (Readers need only consult the Twitter feed of Biden staff chief Ron Klain), causing the administration to acknowledge a need for more oil and gas to calm the crisis.

His approval numbers have been strongly and negatively correlated with rising gasoline prices, according to an analysis from ClearView Energy Partners.

Biden’s response to high prices has been multi-pronged: advocate first and foremost for green alternatives to traditional energy; sign legislation to subsidize more green energy; draw down oil stored in government reserves; and urge (most recently under threat of a new tax) the oil and gas industry to increase production more quickly.

How Biden’s agenda has played in key races: Democrats in close races, like incumbent Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger, have been campaigning on their support for Biden’s signature legislative victory in the IRA, making the case to voters that it will help lower prices.

At the same time, some vulnerable incumbents have also split with Biden on elements of his energy policy, including his administration’s slow-walking of new oil and gas leasing, and supported the expansion of leasing on federal lands and waters to help bring down prices.

Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, who’s facing off against Republican rising star Mayra Flores in the coastal 34th Congressional District in Texas, is among a group of four House Democrats who said earlier in the year that the administration wasn’t doing enough with its authorities over leasing to tame high prices.

Sen. Mark Kelly of purple Arizona also split with Biden on offshore leasing.

In Pennsylvania, Republicans have portrayed Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman as a fossil fuel restrictionist of Biden’s bent, although the sitting lieutenant governor has argued in favor of more traditional energy alongside his support for a transition to greener sources.

The price picture: Prices for energy commodities, especially oil and natural gas, took off over the last year, driven in large part by increasing economic activity and the war in Ukraine’s effects on markets.

It’s been a dizzying year for oil markets, where prices rose to near $130 per barrel after the invasion of Ukraine. They’ve fallen considerably since that peak, but the global benchmark closed roughly 17% higher yesterday compared to the same time last year.

Energy prices are up 40% since January 2021 in the Consumer Prices Index, although they have generally tamed from their summer highs.

The average consumer can expect to pay more to heat and power his home this winter, though. As of October, household expenditures on electricity and natural gas were forecast to be 4% and 21% higher than last year, according to the Energy Information Administration.

From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy