#oil and gas
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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A Major Victory for Indigenous Rights Against the Dakota Access Pipeline

A Major Victory for Indigenous Rights Against the Dakota Access Pipeline

A federal judge on Wednesday said the cursory environmental review for the Dakota Access Pipeline was fatally flawed and ruled that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has to conduct a full environmental impact assessment – the court is still considering whether to halt operations in the interim.

Why This Matters: The 1,000 mile Dakota Access Pipeline “carries crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois” with “nearly 500,000 barrels of oil” being transported each day through the pipeline.

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The EPA Plans to Waive Rules Due to Coronavirus – Putting Polluters Ahead of People

The EPA Plans to Waive Rules Due to Coronavirus – Putting Polluters Ahead of People

As a result of the economic hardship caused by the coronavirus, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Trump Administration plans to waive or loosen health, safety and environmental regulations governing a variety of industries including oil refiners, water utilities and sewage plants. 

Why This Matters: To borrow a phrase from the President, his planned economic “cure” for the virus may be worse than the disease.

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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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Energy And Transportation Sectors Feel Ripple Effects of Coronavirus – Will There Be Climate Benefits?

Energy And Transportation Sectors Feel Ripple Effects of Coronavirus – Will There Be Climate Benefits?

Oil and gas producers are being impacted by the spread of COVID-19 as Conoco-Phillips has canceled the travel of hundreds of workers who shuttle up to the oil fields on the North Slope of Alaska while workers currently there work an additional week, and in North Dakota the oil and gas commission is considering banning operators from either selling more unwanted Bakken crude oil or even forcing them to abandon wells completely.

Why This Matters:  The up and down sides of the scrambled new world order are coming into focus.

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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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Trump Goes On Gas Buying Spree To Boost Fossil Fuel Companies

Trump Goes On Gas Buying Spree To Boost Fossil Fuel Companies

The President announced on Friday that the government will buy up to 92 million barrels of oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), which would be the equivalent of buying the entire output of Texas in approximately 18 days, according to The Washington Post The President plans to “top off” the Reserve’s tank because he wants to prop up crude oil prices to help U.S. oil drilling companies — he claims this is because of the coronavirus but in fact, U.S. oil producers are being battered by a price war with the other major producers who are surging their production now.

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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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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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Trump Administration Overrules Engineers on Drilling Safety In Rule Rollbacks

Trump Administration Overrules Engineers on Drilling Safety In Rule Rollbacks

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that at the direction of the Trump Administration it purged from the administrative record the written objections of its own engineers to the loosening of certain safety rules and procedures governing offshore drilling equipment.   The Journal found that internal deliberations with experts on the staff in which the experts expressed their concern about the safety of the looser rules are not reflected in the final decision memos issued by agency political appointees with close ties to the oil and gas industry.

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JP Morgan To Stop Funding Arctic Projects, Warns Its Investors About Climate “Catastrophe”

JP Morgan To Stop Funding Arctic Projects, Warns Its Investors About Climate “Catastrophe”

JP Morgan Chase, the largest funder of oil and gas projects in the Arctic, announced on Monday that it will no longer fund those projects and it will reduce its investment in coal-fired power projects, but it will continue to invest in oil and gas projects in the rest of the U.S.

Why This Matters:  The commitment by JP Morgan to stay out of the Arctic shows that pressure from the public is working — forcing the bank to reconsider its fossil fuel loans and investments in a part of the planet which is changing more rapidly than most areas.

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Trump Administration Oil and Gas Leases Will Result In Billions of Metric Tons of CO2 Pollution

Trump Administration Oil and Gas Leases Will Result In Billions of Metric Tons of CO2 Pollution

A new analysis released last week by The Wilderness Society found that the extensive new oil and gas leases on federal lands could result in “lifecycle emissions from extraction and end-use ranging between 1 billion and 5.95 billion metric tons (MT) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).”  That equates to more than half of the annual […]

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