Energy
During a Global Pandemic, Construction of Keystone XL Pipeline Continues

During a Global Pandemic, Construction of Keystone XL Pipeline Continues

Though there was a brief moment of victory for indigenous communities in the legal battle against Dakota Access Pipeline just last month, developer TC Energy got a surprise go-ahead for construction this week on their Keystone XL Pipeline. Thanks to the provincial government of Alberta, Canada (where the pipeline originates), the company has secured around […]

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Three States Outlaw Pipeline Protests, As Pipeline Operators Request Production Slow Down

Three States Outlaw Pipeline Protests, As Pipeline Operators Request Production Slow Down

Bloomberg News reported last week that U.S. pipeline operators are requesting oil producers to cut back on production — a “clear sign” that the oil market is reaching a breaking point when the amount of crude oil is at capacity in storage tanks and pipelines due to the oil glut caused by the global price war. Meanwhile, the Governors of Kentucky, West Virginia and South Dakota recently signed laws effectively making it a crime to protest a pipeline — imposing stiff fines and penalties for anyone causing “damage, destruction, vandalization, defacing or tampering” to pipelines because they are deemed to be “critical infrastructure.”

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Despite Reg Rollbacks, Fracking Businesses Struggle Due to Oil and Gas Glut

Despite Reg Rollbacks, Fracking Businesses Struggle Due to Oil and Gas Glut

A judge on Friday upheld the Trump Administration’s rollback of environmental standards for fracking on federal land saying that the President’s rule change met the “low bar” of providing enough explanation to stand, The Hill reported The Obama rule required companies to say what chemicals they use in fracking, make them cover surface ponds that contain fracking fluids and also set well construction.

Why This Matters:  This rollback is on top of the suspension of enforcement of environmental rules that the Administration announced on Thursday.

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Republicans In Congress Ask Trump For Royalty Reduction for Oil and Gas Companies

Republicans In Congress Ask Trump For Royalty Reduction for Oil and Gas Companies

ll reports that on Friday, 14 Members of Congress (13 Republicans and 1 Democrat) asked the Trump Administration to use its authority to temporarily reduce or eliminate royalties they are required to pay the government under their leases.

Why This Matters: The oil and gas industry has received enough handouts.

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Oil and Gas Lease Sales Go On Even Though There Are Few Takers and Lots of Litigation

Oil and Gas Lease Sales Go On Even Though There Are Few Takers and Lots of Litigation

Between coronavirus economic meltdown and the excess oil supply thanks to the Russia and Saudi Arabia price war, bidding on the latest oil and gas leases for sale in the Gulf of Mexico yesterday was lower than any sale since 1993 for the highly productive central Gulf, according to the Associated Press.

Why This Matters: Cheap sales like this are good for the industry but they are selling our national shared assets for pennies on the dollar.

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Solar Power Shined Bright in 2019

Solar Power Shined Bright in 2019

Even with the Trump administration’s policy challenges and continued tariffs on solar tile imports, 40%of all new electric generating capacity in the U.S. was solar, its highest share ever and more than any other source of electricity, according to a new report by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie.

Why This Matters:  Solar power is on its way now.  The total amount of solar power operating in the U.S. now exceeds 76 GW, up from just 1 GW at the end of 2009

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From Steel to Wind and Sprouts: Transforming a Brownfield In Baltimore Harbor For the Future

From Steel to Wind and Sprouts: Transforming a Brownfield In Baltimore Harbor For the Future

E&E News reported last week on the industrial rebirth happening at Sparrows Point, Maryland on the site of historic steel mill strategically located on Baltimore Harbor.  It is an amazing story of how a real estate firm, local officials and wind companies are investing “hundreds of millions of dollars in port upgrades to support the burgeoning offshore wind industry” with the goal of developing “a staging area for assembling wind turbines that will be moved to nearby offshore sites” that may also “one day be home to a manufacturing facility for turbine parts.”

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In Midst of Oil Price Slide, Is Solar About To Have A Growth Spurt?

In Midst of Oil Price Slide, Is Solar About To Have A Growth Spurt?

Scientific American reported yesterday on the potential of the solar industry to experience a “global growth spurt, due to a combination of new technology and expanding reach to consumers.”  

Why This Matters:  Last year, the World Bank reported that the global potential for floating solar panels could be as high as 400 gigawatts, which is roughly the same as the total capacity of existing solar panels installed on land.

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Ridesharing Produces More Emissions Than Driving, Cities are Working to Fix This

Ridesharing Produces More Emissions Than Driving, Cities are Working to Fix This

As Jigar Shah wrote for Fast & Company last month, research shows that the average ride-hailing trip creates about 50% more pollution than the average traditional car trip. Even more staggering is that over half of all ride-hailing trips in major cities are made by people who would have otherwise used cleaner means of transit […]

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The Oil Market Tanks Due To Bargain Basement Prices — Bad News or Is There a Silver Lining?

The Oil Market Tanks Due To Bargain Basement Prices — Bad News or Is There a Silver Lining?

Yesterday’s dramatic fall in oil and gas prices, according to the President is good for consumers, and it is true that gas prices will immediately come down slightly at the pump — but the secondary effects could be far more negative than positive on the U.S. economy.  Why?  The U.S. is now a net exporter of oil and since the domestic oil production industry has grown so large, the investment bank Morgan Stanley predicts that “the pain of lower oil prices is likely to outstrip whatever positive boost cheaper gas prices might provide to U.S. consumers” particularly when compounded with coronavirus fears depressing the economy more generally.

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Federal Judge Cancels $125m In Oil and Gas Leases on Sage Grouse Habitat

Federal Judge Cancels $125m In Oil and Gas Leases on Sage Grouse Habitat

A federal judge in Idaho last Thursday invalidated $125 million in oil and gas leases on public lands in Nevada, Wyoming, and Utah because the Trump administration failed to give the public adequate time for comments on them.

Why This Matters:  Score one for the sage grouse!  Under the ruling,  nearly 1 million acres’ worth of fast-tracked public lands leases have been canceled.

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Navajo Nation And Los Angeles Partnering on Renewable Electricity

Navajo Nation And Los Angeles Partnering on Renewable Electricity

Late last year, the Navajo Generating Station coal-fired power plant that for 40 years provided power to the City of Los Angeles closed, but now the city and the tribe are working together to turn the former coal plant into a renewable energy hub to provide wind, solar, and hydro power to the City according to Earther.  This will restore $40 million in revenue that the Tribe lost when the power plant closed and that in turn will help to bring electricity to 15,000 people who live in parts of the Navajo reservation that still do not have it.

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