Morning Consult Energy: House to Vote Next Week on Bill Targeting ‘Excessive’ Gas Prices
 

Energy

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May 13, 2022
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  • The House is set to vote next week on a Democratic bill that would bar “excessive” or “exploitative” fuel prices as gasoline over the last several days has reached new record highs. The Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act will likely die in the Senate, as Republicans are not expected to support the legislation, which would ban price increases during national energy emergencies declared by the president. (Bloomberg)
  • BP PLC shareholders voted in support of the supermajor’s climate strategy – which includes a 2050 net-zero emissions target for the production and sale of oil, gas and other products – with an approval of 88.5%, as oil and gas companies have increasingly faced more pressure from shareholders on emissions reduction goals. Meanwhile, a resolution filed by activist shareholder group Follow This, which would have called on BP to set “inspirational” climate targets, received roughly 15% of voter support. (Reuters)
  • Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) plans to introduce a carbon border adjustment measure “within the next 10 days or so” as the legislation seeks to impose a fee on imports of energy-intensive goods modeled after the federal government’s social cost of carbon. The policy could win the backing of some Republicans as a way to hit polluting industries that have moved to China. (E&E News)
 

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Events Calendar (All Times Local)

 

What Else You Need to Know

General
 

Plants have been grown in lunar soil for the 1st time ever

Ashley Strickland, CNN

In a landmark first, scientists have grown plants in lunar soil using samples collected during the Apollo missions to the moon. This is the first time plants have been sprouted and grown on Earth in soil from another celestial body.

 

How Congress is routing climate policy through the Army Corps of Engineers

Jake Bittle, Grist

A bipartisan bill is poised to fund massive climate adaptation projects — it just doesn’t call them that.

 

The Future of Climate Careers

Daphne Chouliaraki Milner, Atmos

Atmos speaks with young climate visionaries working across food, tech, activism, fashion, and education about how they are reimagining their respective industries.

 

Are “say on climate” shareholder votes just more corporate greenwashing?

Tim McDonnell, Quartz

Since the beginning of 2021, at least 33 companies in the US and Europe have held so-called “say on climate” votes, in which the companies asked investors to give a non-binding thumbs-up to its climate plan.

 
Climate Change and Emissions
 

Five Texas refineries polluted above federal limit on cancer-causing benzene last year, report found

Erin Douglas, Texas Tribune

Benzene is a known human carcinogen, according to the EPA. The Texas refineries were among a dozen industrial plants in the U.S. that emitted the highest levels of the chemical in 2021.

 

Offset Markets Need to Know Their Carbon—and Their Customers

Nathaniel Bullard, Bloomberg

There’s invention and competition in carbon markets, but they will have a high degree of uncertainty until two sets of problems are solved. 

 

Human Behavior Is the Other Puzzle for Climate-Change Modeling

Ed Ballard, The Wall Street Journal

Climate risk involves consumer preferences and litigation outcomes, in addition to floods and fires.

 

SEC gets aggressive in demanding climate data

Avery Ellfeldt, E&E News

Public companies may not have much time to get a handle on the risks posed to their bottom lines by a warmer planet.

 

EPA blocks bid to review basis for climate regs

Kevin Bogardus, E&E News

EPA has declined yet again to revisit the agency’s foundational ruling behind its climate change regulations.

 

Carlyle Group Hires Dey as It Restructures Energy-Deals Team

Dawn Lim, Bloomberg

Carlyle Group Inc. hired Avik Dey to co-head its energy business as part of broader shifts in how the private equity firm invests in the industry.

 

What overturning Roe v. Wade means for pregnant people in pollution hotspots

Naveena Sadasivam and Eve Andrews, Grist

Communities near polluting sites tend to be disproportionately lower income and people of color — populations that are more likely to need abortion care in the first place.

 
Renewables and Storage
 

PJM releases road map for creating ‘grid of the future’ to handle coming renewables, storage wave

Ethan Howland, Utility Dive

The PJM Interconnection has developed a roadmap for handling the various changes affecting its system, including the retirement of fossil-fueled generation, growth in renewable energy and storage, and the electrification of the transportation and building sectors.

 

‘The most dumb thing’: Elon Musk dismisses hydrogen as tool for energy storage

Anmar Frangoul, CNBC

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has reiterated his skepticism about hydrogen’s role in the planned shift to a more sustainable future, describing it as “the most dumb thing I could possibly imagine for energy storage.”

 
Oil, Gas and Alternative Fuels
 

U.S. oil pipeline operators gear up for higher shale output

Arathy Somasekhar, Reuters

The volume of crude oil flowing on pipelines from the top U.S. shale field to export hubs on the U.S. Gulf Coast could surge to pre-pandemic levels by October, analysts said, signaling the end of desperate days for some Texas oil pipeline operators.

 

Offshore move highlights Biden’s mixed message on oil

Heather Richards and Robin Bravender, E&E News

The Biden administration has scrapped planned offshore drilling auctions soon after calling for increased domestic oil production and tapping emergency reserves in a bid to ease gas prices.

 

Koch Industries, Fossil Fuel Veteran, Makes Another Battery Bet

David R Baker, Bloomberg

Leads $102 million funding round for 6K manufacturing startup

 

Gasoline, diesel prices rise to another record amid rampant inflation

Pippa Stevens, CNBC

Retail diesel and gasoline prices climbed to another record high Thursday, as rampant inflation sends costs across the economy surging.

 

Latest Venture Global LNG deals advance second Louisiana facility

Reuters

Two long-term supply deals struck this week by liquefied natural gas developer Venture Global LNG put its second Louisiana LNG facility on the verge of construction and financing approval, analysts said.

 
Transportation
 

Sources: Hyundai to set $7B US plant during Biden Asia visit

Jeff Amy And Aamer Madhani, The Associated Press

South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Group is expected to announce next week that it’s building a massive electric vehicle plant near Savannah, Georgia, according to a U.S. official familiar with the anticipated announcement.

 

U.S. House Democrat seeks documents on USPS vehicle plan

David Shepardson, Reuters

The chair of the U.S. House panel overseeing the Postal Service (USPS) asked the agency to turn over documents and answer questions on its plans to buy mostly gas-powered next-generation delivery vehicles as critics question the move over costs and the environmental impact.

 

Rising Diesel Costs Are Straining U.S. Truckers, Shipping Operations

Paul Page, The Wall Street Journal

Diesel costs are reaching new highs across the U.S., straining the operations of trucking companies and wrecking the transportation budgets of businesses that need to ship goods.

 
Electricity, Utilities and Infrastructure
 

Storage to play key role in Hawaii grid reliability as coal plant nears retirement, experts say

Kavya Balaraman, Utility Dive

Both utility-scale energy storage and distributed storage resources will play a key role in helping Hawaii maintain the reliability of its grid as it prepares to shutter a 180 MW coal plant on the island of Oahu, experts said at the Hawaii Energy Conference on Tuesday.

 
Environment, Land and Resources
 

Wildfires threaten New Mexico resorts, burn California mansions

Adria Malcolm and Andrew Hay, Reuters

Wildfires edged towards mountain resort towns in northern New Mexico on Thursday and engulfed an enclave of multi-million-dollar mansions in southern California.

 

‘Like an inferno:’ Western US burning at furious pace so far

Marcio J. Sanchez And Brian Melley, The Associated Press

Wildfires are on a furious pace early this year, from a California hilltop where mansions with multimillion-dollar Pacific Ocean views were torched to remote New Mexico mountains charred by a month-old monster blaze.

 

U.S. asbestos imports surge despite crackdown

E.A. Crunden, E&E News

Advocates are reiterating calls for a national ban on one of the world’s most notorious carcinogens, with data showing imports for asbestos are on the rise this year despite ongoing regulatory action.

 

U.S. EPA distributes $250 mln to clean up polluted sites

Reuters

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday awarded $254 million to 265 communities around the country to help them clean up contaminated areas to spur economic revitalization, part of a broader plan to lift up polluted, underserved areas.

 

Hurricane-force winds, dust storm blast South Dakota, Minnesota

Jason Samenow, The Washington Post

A violent thunderstorm complex known as a derecho unleashed wind gusts over 100 mph causing widespread damage

 

Colorado legislature passes bill banning ‘forever chemicals’ in products

Sharon Udasin, The Hill

On the list of products are carpets or rugs, cosmetics, fabric treatments, food packaging, juvenile products, oil and gas products, textiles furnishings and upholstered furniture, according to the bill.

 
Coal/Nuclear
 

US climate envoy John Kerry warns world against turning back to coal

Leslie Hook, Financial Times

Envoy says energy crisis sparked by war in Ukraine should not be an excuse to delay climate goals

 

Coal miners press Manchin to back reconciliation bill to extend black lung funding

Karl Evers-Hillstrom, The Hill

West Virginia coal miners on Thursday launched a campaign urging Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to support a Democratic budget reconciliation bill that would extend funding for black lung patients. 

 
Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives
 

The Inconvenient Truth That Could Prevent Global Famine

Gidon Eshel, Bloomberg

Hunger caused by the Ukraine war is one more uncomfortable symptom of the world’s refusal to adopt more sustainable agriculture policies and plant-based diets.

 

Public policies supporting regenerative agriculture will be good for business

David Levine, The Hill

Companies are increasingly becoming interested in regenerative agriculture to meet growing consumer demand for agricultural goods that advance environmental, climate and social justice goals, but current domestic farm land under regenerative production is minimal.

 
Morning Consult