News of the Day:
52% Say Biden’s Paris Climate Agreement Decision Will Mean Lost Jobs, Higher Bills
Rasmussen Reports, January 25, 2021
On his first day in office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to have the United States rejoin the Paris climate agreement, but most voters believe Biden’s decision will mean lost jobs and higher bills for Americans.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 52% of Likely U.S. Voters agree with what Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said on Twitter last week: “The decision … to re-join the Paris Climate Agreement will cost American jobs and force households and small business to pay higher utility bills.” Thirty-three percent (33%) of voters disagree and 15% say they’re not sure.
Oil’s allies gird for Biden fossil fuel moratorium
Heather Richards and Emma Dumain, E&E News, January 25, 2021
The Biden administration has yet to act on its campaign promise to bar oil and gas leasing and permitting on federal lands, but the political battle has already begun.
Rumors that the Biden administration will announce a one-year oil and gas moratorium this week have marshaled oil-friendly Republicans to a fight reminiscent of the Obama era.
But progressives, too, are galvanized and plan to press for an even more aggressive action to retire the U.S. government’s vast federal mineral estate.
The frenzy started shortly after President Biden’s inauguration, when the Interior Department’s acting chief, Scott de la Vega, ordered that all permitting, and leasing decisions go through top brass for 60 days.
In light of the suite of climate provisions, signed the same day Biden took office — along with the revocation of the Keystone XL pipeline’s permit and rejoining the Paris climate agreement — many saw the administrative order as a shot across the bow. House and Senate Republicans instantly rallied against it.
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) questioned the order’s legality and said it was a “disastrous start” for the new president. The ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee said the interruption of oil and gas lease sales in his state would “kill jobs” and eliminate the influx of revenue.
Other conservatives made clear that they saw the Interior order as a sign of the permanent ban that was still to come.
“This day-one attack on American energy jobs signals an alarming return to the same failed energy policies of the past that inflicted real harm on hardworking families,” said House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), referencing the fossil fuel fights between the left and right during the Obama era.
Center for LNG Announces Methane Principles
January 25, 2021
The Center for LNG (CLNG) today announced its adoption of principles to address methane emissions. CLNG’s members represent all aspects of the U.S. LNG supply chain, including all six large-scale LNG export facilities in the United States, shippers, and multinational developers.
Charlie Riedl, Executive Director of the Center for LNG (CLNG), said: “As part of their commitment to building a clean energy future, our member companies believe that it is essential to address methane emissions in the natural gas industry. As part of our effort, our industry is voluntarily investing in innovative technology and processes to reduce methane emissions. We support improved data quality and well-designed government policies to help achieve further reductions of methane emissions. “Our principles on methane emission reductions can help guide our work with the Biden Administration and enable LNG to further benefit consumers and the environment around the world.”
CLNG’s methane announcement consists of six principles to address methane emissions, including investing in technologies and processes, improving data quality, and supporting voluntary efforts and well-designed government policies. Read the full text of CLNG’s Methane Principles here. Visit LNGFacts.org to learn more about natural gas, LNG and how they are contributing to a bright energy future.
Ucore strengthens support for Alaska SMC
Shane Lasley, North of 60 Mining News, January 22, 2021
The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the formalization of a preliminary due-diligence process for a potential US$3 million to US$5 million investment for the development and commercial-scale operation of the rare earths separation facility Ucore Rare Metals Inc. plans to build near the Southeast Alaska port town of Ketchikan.
Development of this Alaska Strategic Metals Complex, or Alaska SMC, is the first step toward Ucore’s larger goal of developing a mine at Bokan Mountain, a rare earth elements mine project about 35 miles away from Ketchikan.
The Alaska SMC is a planned rare earths separation and processing facility that would initially process mixed rare earth concentrates from United States-allied suppliers into commercial purity REE oxides, specifically for REE permanent-magnet applications. This plant would utilize RapidSX rare earths and critical minerals separation technology developed by Innovation Metals Corp., a company Ucore acquired last year.
Alaska SMC is the first step of Alaska2023, a business plan unveiled by Ucore earlier this month that envisions the start of rare earths production in Alaska in three years. After getting this separation facility churning out rare earth oxides from feedstock supplied by others, the company plans to develop a mine at its Bokan Mountain REE and critical minerals project on Prince of Wales Island.
From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:
EPA SEEKS PAUSE IN LAWSUITS OVER ALL TRUMP RULES: The request, issued in a letter Friday by EPA’s acting general counsel Melissa Hoffer, comes on the heels of Biden’s executive order last week asking the EPA to review nearly 50 Trump-era deregulatory actions.
The request allows new EPA leadership an opportunity “to review the underlying rule or matter,” Hoffer said in a letter. It’s likely the Biden EPA could decide to change its stance in much of the litigation, especially lawsuits over Trump rulemakings that weakened greenhouse gas mandates. That could help the Biden team’s quest to rewrite and tighten those environmental rules.
Worth noting Hoffer joined the EPA from the Massachusetts attorney general’s office, where she oversaw the energy and environment bureau and led the state’s work challenging the Trump administration’s environmental rollbacks.
CLIMATE CHANGE CONVERSATIONS:
MUSK OFFERS $100MN FOR CARBON CAPTURE TECH
Natural Gas News, January 22, 2021
Billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted on January 21 he would offer a $100mn prize for developing the “best” technology to capture CO2 emissions.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) warned in December that carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) needed to be deployed at a much faster pace for countries to meet their climate goals. It can handle emissions from many industries and can be used to make natural gas-derived hydrogen clean.
“Am donating $100mn towards a prize for best carbon capture technology,” Musk said in a tweet, promising in a second one that details would come next week.
Tesla is a pioneer in electrifying vehicle transport, and electrification is touted as a key way to decarbonize other industries. But CCUS is a potential solution for areas that are not easily made clean with renewable power supply alone. “When green gurus argue against carbon capture, they often invoke the name of Elon Musk, along the lines of ‘carbon capture is rubbish, we will electrify everything with 100% wind and solar, just look at Tesla’,” Laszlo Varro, the IEA’s chief economist, said on his personal LinkedIn page.1 “Well, it turns out that the real Elon Musk while having historical achievements on electrification apparently still regards carbon capture as an important technology which should get an innovation push.”