#oil and gas
Ethanol Sales Drop With Gas Prices, Producers Begin Making Hand Sanitizer

Ethanol Sales Drop With Gas Prices, Producers Begin Making Hand Sanitizer

To offset a portion of the losses, some of the nation’s largest ethanol producers have switched to making hand sanitizer, even though it costs them.

Why This Matters:  President Trump because the administration is under pressure from the gas companies and refiners to lift the ethanol requirement altogether – something they had been doing often on a case by case basis in the past.

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Court Voids 287 Oil and Gas Leases  in Montana

Court Voids 287 Oil and Gas Leases in Montana

Cutting corners is the Trump Administration’s calling card — and oops, they did it again — and as a result, a federal judge late last week threw out hundreds of oil and gas leases covering nearly 150,000 acres of federal land in Montana.

Why This Matters:  What can we say.  It’s good that they are so bad at being awful.

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JPMorgan Announces It Will Remove Former Exxon CEO As the Bank’s Lead Director

JPMorgan Announces It Will Remove Former Exxon CEO As the Bank’s Lead Director

In its most recent public corporate filings, JPMorgan Chase stated that it would be appointing a new lead independent director by the end of the summer of 2020, removing the former CEO of Exxon Mobil, Lee Raymond, after progressives and climate advocates publicly campaigned for his removal. 

Why This Matters:  Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org wrote a high profile op/ed in the New York Times ten days ago arguing that the company was stuck in the past on climate change, and urging JP Morgan shareholders to vote Raymond out, as did New York City’s pension fund.

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New Investigation Shows Pipelines Always Get Their Way With FERC

New Investigation Shows Pipelines Always Get Their Way With FERC

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) sides with pipeline companies over private landowners in 99% of the cases when landowners refuse to grant a company permission to bury a pipeline on their land.  

Why This Matters:  The FERC’s stilted process may soon end. In addition to Congressional oversight, a federal appeals court is considering whether to disallow FERC from blocking landowners taking their cases to court right away, before ground is broken.

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Big Flares, Big Bankruptcy, Big Relief?  Oil Sector Experiencing “Tectonic Shift”

Big Flares, Big Bankruptcy, Big Relief? Oil Sector Experiencing “Tectonic Shift”

A study by researchers at Harvard and the Environmental Defense Fund published yesterday in the journal of Science Advances found that ail and gas operations in the Permian Basin of Texas are flaring off more than twice the amount of methane emissions than previously estimated, according to CBS News. 

Why This Matters:  Several industry analysts continue to paint a dark picture for the future of the oil and gas industry.

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Renewables Top Coal, Oil Markets “Officially Broken” According to Industry Analysts

Renewables Top Coal, Oil Markets “Officially Broken” According to Industry Analysts

The winds are shifting — literally and figuratively — in U.S. energy, as the oil industry is declared “officially broken” due to a historic glut in supply, while renewable energy output continues to grow as coal power shrinks. 

Why This Matters:  Happy Earth Day.  We don’t mean this acclamation to denigrate the industry that gave our country affordable energy or to say the pandemic has been a good thing.  Hardly.  But it seems that the times are now changing.

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Ten Years Ago, An Explosion and the Worst Environmental Disaster In History Ensued

Late on April 20, 2010, the deepest oil well in history at that time (operating at a vertical depth of 35,050 feet) exploded killing 11 people and it began spewing oil.  An estimated 210 million gallons flowed into the ocean over the course of 87 days.

Why This Matters:  It is a faded memory, but for those who lost everything in the spill, it is hauntingly familiar to the current COVID crisis.

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How Low Can It Go??  Oil Futures In Unprecedented Negative Territory

How Low Can It Go?? Oil Futures In Unprecedented Negative Territory

The oil markets on Monday plunged to their lowest price ever — meaning oil and gas suppliers are paying people to take the oil that would reach the market by the end of May (you read that right.)  At the end of the day, oil futures prices closed at negative $37.63, the lowest price since the New York Mercantile Exchange began trading them in 1983.

Why This Matters:  The oil and gas markets are subject to lots of ups and downs — but this was — that word again — unprecedented.

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The EPA Relaxes Rule on Mercury Pollution By Greatly Tipping Scales to Favor Polluters

The EPA Relaxes Rule on Mercury Pollution By Greatly Tipping Scales to Favor Polluters

On Thursday, the Trump Administration continued its environmental armageddon by changing the way costs and benefits of rules are calculated in favor of polluters and thus fundamentally weakening current regulatory protections from mercury and other toxic metals emitted by oil and coal-fired power plants.

Why This Matters:  The polluters win again – President Trump continues to deliver for his big donors.

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Energy Down: Clean Energy Job Losses Total 106,000 and Texas Weighs Oil Production Cuts

Energy Down: Clean Energy Job Losses Total 106,000 and Texas Weighs Oil Production Cuts

More signs emerged of deep trouble for the energy sector.  Clean energy companies shed 106,000 jobs in March according to an industry analysis of figures from the Labor Department’s tally of unemployment claims.  And on Tuesday, the Texas agency that regulates the oil and gas industry held a public hearing to consider whether the industry should cut production to keep oil prices from falling further, a drastic step aimed at preventing a slew of bankruptcies and permanent job losses.

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Demand For Ethanol Plummets Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic and Gas Price War

Demand For Ethanol Plummets Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic and Gas Price War

It’s not only conventional oil and gas that is suffering due to the pandemic and price war, demand for corn-based ethanol fuel has also plummeted by 20% — the lowest since the Energy Information Administration began publishing weekly data in 2010, according to the Houston Chronicle. 

Why This Matters:  The Clean Air Act requires every gallon of gas sold during the summer contains about 10% ethanol.

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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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