Morning Consult Energy: G-7 Said to Set Price Cap on Russian Oil as Soon as Today
 

Energy

Essential energy industry news & intel to start your day.
November 23, 2022
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Morning Consult Energy will be off for the rest of the week for the Thanksgiving holiday. The newsletter will resume on Monday.

 

Today’s Top News

  • The Group of Seven is expected to unveil the price cap for sea-borne Russian crude exports as soon as today, according to a source familiar with the discussion, as the nations aim to apply the cap on Dec. 5 in an effort to put a dent in Russia’s revenues amid the war in Ukraine. (Reuters) Meanwhile, the European Union is considering a price cap between $65 to $70 per barrel, according to people familiar with the matter, a price higher than has been suggested in earlier proposals. (Bloomberg
  • ConocoPhillips agreed to a significant 30% stake in Sempra Energy’s proposed Port Arthur liquefied natural gas export facility, as Sempra aims to have a financial investment decision for the first phase of the project by the first quarter of 2023. The deal also includes a 20-year sale and purchase agreement for 5 million metric tons per annum of liquefied natural gas. (Bloomberg)
  • Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.) signed a two-year moratorium on new permits for fossil fuel power plants that power cryptocurrency mining operations, the first of its kind in the nation, in a win for environmentalists who had pushed for the law this past year. The state Department of Environmental Conservation will also study the environmental impacts of the cryptocurrency mining industry as part of the legislation. (Politico)
  • The Biden administration will award $550 million through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Program, which aims to help state, local and tribal governments fund  community-based clean energy initiatives. (The Hill)
 

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What Else You Need to Know

General
 

White House releases environmental justice screening tool

Kelsey Brugger, E&E News

The White House today released the latest version of an online mapping tool intended to help funnel billions of federal dollars to disadvantaged communities, incorporating new metrics like historic redlining, wildfire risk and proximity to abandoned mines.

 

Biden eases Trump-era restrictions for financial advisers on ESG

Rachel Frazin, The Hill

The Biden administration is making it easier for money managers to consider climate change and other environmental and social factors in retirement investments. 

 

SEC charges Goldman Sachs Asset Management with not following ESG investments policies

Kanishka Singh, Reuters

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday charged Goldman Sachs Asset Management with failing to follow its policies and procedures involving environmental, socially oriented and other investments, and fined the company $4 million.

 

New Mexico residents raise environmental justice concerns

Susan Montoya Bryan, The Associated Press

On the southern edge of New Mexico’s largest city is a Hispanic neighborhood that used to be made up of a patchwork of family farms and quiet streets, but industrial development has closed in over the decades, bringing with it pollution.

 
Climate Change and Emissions
 

How China, the world’s top polluter, avoids paying for climate damage

Maxine Joselow et al., The Washington Post

United Nations still considers China, now the world’s second-largest economy and biggest annual polluter, a developing country.

 

Ads Often Run on Websites That Come With High Carbon Emissions but Low Returns, Study Finds

Megan Graham, The Wall Street Journal

A study from Scope3 and Ebiquity spotlights sites that consume more energy but yield a lower return on investment for marketers.

 

Climate change is making the weather more severe. Why don’t most forecasts mention it?

Rebecca Hersher, NPR News

At global climate talks that just wrapped up, one of the few areas of agreement was about the worldwide toll of climate-driven weather disasters.

 

Mexico’s Emissions Pledge Seen as Political Move With US Trade Dispute

Amy Stillman, Bloomberg

One of the highlights of the highly anticipated UN climate change convention last week was the ambitious emissions targets announced by Mexico, delivered proudly by the nation’s foreign secretary Marcelo Ebrard alongside US special presidential envoy John Kerry.

 
Renewables and Storage
 

World’s Largest Energy Retailer Set to Sell Green Power in US

Naureen S. Malik, Bloomberg

Enel SpA, Italian utility giant and the world’s largest power retailer, is set to sell electricity directly to US businesses for the first time. 

 

Why utilities resist simple upgrades to boost renewables

Peter Behr, E&E News

Next summer, grid operators will boost the power in a western New York transmission line whenever the wind is blowing.

 
Oil, Gas and Alternative Fuels
 

Looming Oil-Supply Shock Launches Debate in OPEC

Benoit Faucon and Summer Said, The Wall Street Journal

Prospect of European embargo and price cap on Russian oil, along with rising winter demand, are weighing on the production group.

 

Europe’s gas price cap leaves some nations dismayed, saying it’s far too high

Silvia Amaro, CNBC

Several EU member states are not happy with the bloc’s proposed cap on natural gas prices — at 275 euros per megawatt hour — which aims to prevent sky-high costs for consumers.

 

Oil-Shipping Costs Soar as Ukraine War Reshapes Global Trade

David Uberti, The Wall Street Journal

Tankers are spending more time on the water after the Russia-Europe energy breakup.

 

Vitol Hopes to Keep Buying Some Russian Fuel After Price Cap

Sharon Cho et al., Bloomberg

Top trader Vitol Group is still buying “very modest” volumes of Russian oil products and is studying whether the company will be able to keep doing so as more sanctions come into force.

 

Flow of Russian gas and cash entangled German state in dependent web

Loveday Morris et al., The Washington Post

Opaque Russian-funded climate foundation is at the center of questions about Moscow’s influence on German energy policies.

 
Transportation
 

High demand and prices for lithium send mines into overdrive

Camila Domonoske, NPR News

Salty water gurgles quietly through a pipe across a dry lakebed and into a Caribbean-blue pond. It’s carrying an element that is crucial to the electric car revolution and, suddenly, one of the world’s hottest commodities: lithium.

 

Electric transit bus orders boom after Federal Transit Administration funds 1,100 buses

Dan Zukowski, Utility Dive

But as orders for zero-emission buses grow, supply chain challenges continue to delay deliveries.

 

China ‘played a great game’ on lithium and we’ve been slow to react, industry CEO says

Anmar Frangoul, CNBC

“I just think the Chinese have — I mean you have to take your hat off, they’ve played a great game,” American Lithium CEO Simon Clarke tells CNBC.

 

Carmakers try to frustrate US push to cut China from EV supply chain

Claire Bushey and Aime Williams, Financial Times

Motor companies fret about loss of tax incentives as they depend on Chinese battery components.

 
Electricity, Utilities and Infrastructure
 

Water sector warns of ‘catastrophic’ rail strike

Hannah Northey, E&E News

The nation’s drinking water and wastewater systems are warning that a nationwide rail strike could snarl shipments of critical chemicals like chlorine and imperil their ability to provide safe drinking water and sewage services across the nation.

 

Ukrainian energy systems on brink of collapse after weeks of Russian bombing

David L. Stern et al., The Washington Post

After just six weeks of intense bombing of energy infrastructure, Russia has battered Ukraine to the brink of a humanitarian disaster this winter as millions of people potentially face life-threatening conditions without electricity, heat or running water.

 

Public utility to pipe water to residents of ‘Gasland’ town

Michael Rubinkam, The Associated Press

A new water line will deliver something that residents of a rural Pennsylvania community have gone without for the last 14 years — a clean, reliable supply of drinking water — after a public utility on Tuesday released the first details of a plan to mitigate the damage that a gas driller is charged with causing.

 

The power grid faced heat waves, record demand and tight conditions in 2022. What happens next?

Kavya Balaraman, Utility Dive

All over the country, a changing climate and extreme weather events – whether due to high temperatures, low temperatures or storms and hurricanes – are posing a threat to grid reliability in the U.S.

 
Environment, Land and Resources
 

U.S. aims to sanction Brazil deforesters, adding bite to climate fight

Gabriel Stargardter and Brad Haynes, Reuters

The United States is looking to crack down on environmental criminals behind surging deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, using penalties such as Magnitsky sanctions to tackle climate change more aggressively, U.S. sources and officials told Reuters.

 

EPA reports drop in significant Clean Water Act violations

Zack Budryk, The Hill

Clean Water Act violations reported by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) dropped by more than half in the years following an interstate compliance agreement, the EPA announced Tuesday.

 

The U.S. Promised Tribes They Would Always Have Fish, but the Fish They Have Pose Toxic Risks

Tony Schick, Oregon Public Broadcasting, and Maya Miller, ProPublica

For decades, the U.S. government has failed to test for chemicals and metals in fish. So, we did. What we found was alarming for tribes.

 

Endangered status sought for manatees as hundreds starve

Curt Anderson, The Associated Press

Manatees that are dying by the hundreds mainly from pollution-caused starvation in Florida should once again be listed as an endangered species, environmental groups said Monday in a petition seeking the change.

 
Coal/Nuclear
 

Coal association leader says rail strike could devastate industry

Mike Nolting, MetroNews

A railroad strike would have the potential to devastate the coal industry in the Mountain State, according to West Virginia Coal Association President Chris Hamilton.

 
Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives
 

How this climate change fund could fuel populism in richer nations

Henry Olson, The Washington Post

The announcement that climate negotiators at COP27 have agreed to establish a global fund to compensate poorer nations for damage wrought by climate change was hailed as a major accomplishment by climate activists.  It might instead prove a major boost to anti-green populist parties worldwide.