Morning Consult Energy Presented by the National Corn Growers Association: Manchin Releases Permitting Reform Bill as Skeptics Remain


Essential energy industry news & intel to start your day.
September 22, 2022
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Scorching Summer Has Americans Worried About Heat Waves, Droughts 

It’s the first day of fall, but high temperatures are still plaguing parts of the country. 


Across all regions of the United States, around half of adults worried about heat waves point to possible power outages as a major driver of their concern, according to a Morning Consult survey conducted in mid-August. 


As the world continues to heat up, nearly 3 in 4 U.S. adults are concerned about heat waves’ impact on their communities. And roughly a third of the public believes climate change has contributed “a lot” to recent natural disasters.


Check out the story here: After a Scorching Summer, Heat Waves Are a Local Concern for 7 in 10 U.S. Adults.


Today’s Top News

  • The release of Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) anticipated permitting reform bill appeared to do little to appease its skeptics, as progressives remain adamantly opposed and Republicans believe the measure’s language is too weak. With a Sept. 30 deadline to pass the measure attached to a stopgap spending bill inching closer, Manchin’s bill did not differ much from drafts circulated earlier, including provisions that would allow the Department of Energy to expedite the permitting process for certain projects and expand the authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission over transmission permitting. (E&E News)
  • More than half a million people remained without water service in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Fiona slammed into the island last weekend, while roughly 70% of customers still lacked electricity. President Joe Biden yesterday approved a major disaster declaration which would open the door for more federal assistance. (The Associated Press)
  • A new study from Stanford University shows how wildfire smoke has worsened over the past decade, as researchers found a 27-fold increase in the number of people experiencing an “extreme smoke day,” or an unhealthy air quality day for all age groups. Those days were rarely seen between 2006 and 2010, but more than 1.5 million people, especially those living in Western states, were regularly exposed to risky levels of wildfire smoke from 2016 through 2020. (The New York Times)
  • The Senate ratified the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol, its first international climate treaty in decades, in a 69-27 vote that would see countries phase down the production and use of hydrofluorocarbons from refrigerants and air conditioning units by 85% over the next 15 years. (Reuters)

Tune in (all times local): 

  • 9 a.m. Resources for the Future event: “The Global Climate Policy Partnership: Decarbonizing Global Manufacturing.”
  • 9:05 a.m. United States Energy Association event: “4th Annual Advanced Energy Technology Forum,” featuring a recorded keynote from Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.

Chart Review


What Else You Need to Know


U.S. Civil Rights Commission sees inequities in FEMA disaster response

David Nakamura, The Washington Post

A report says that after Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Maria, the poor, disabled and non-English-speaking were less well served.


Manchin’s Gas Pipeline Deal Irks Both Parties, Snarling Spending Bill

Emily Cochrane and Lisa Friedman, The New York Times

The West Virginia Democrat is trying to attach an oil and gas permitting measure to must-pass spending legislation.


Manchin’s permitting reform deal on life support in face of GOP opposition

Alexander Bolton, The Hill

The controversial permitting reform bill unveiled by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) late Wednesday has only a slim chance of passing the Senate next week as Republicans don’t want to give the West Virginia senator a victory after he resurrected President Biden’s tax and climate agenda in late July.  


Oil wish list or renewables boost? Manchin bill may be both

Benjamin Storrow, E&E News

The transition to a clean energy economy will involve trade-offs. Few are as stark as those in the permitting bill unveiled Wednesday by Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat.


Senate ratifies international climate deal on refrigerants

Matthew Daly, The Associated Press

In a major action to address climate change, the Senate on Wednesday ratified an international agreement that compels the United States and other countries to limit use of hydrofluorocarbons, highly potent greenhouse gases commonly used in refrigeration and air conditioning that are far more powerful than carbon dioxide.

Climate Change and Emissions

U.S. EPA to consider tougher emissions rules for heavy trucks

David Shepardson, Reuters

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will consider adopting more stringent greenhouse gas emissions rules for heavy trucks after Congress passed new incentives to speed the adoption of zero-emission vehicles, the agency told Reuters.


World Bank chief Malpass faces calls to quit after dodging questions on climate

Jessie Yeung et al., CNN 

Climate action groups around the world are calling for World Bank President David Malpass to resign after he refused to answer a question around the cause of the climate crisis.

Renewables and Storage

California is awash in renewable energy — except when it’s most needed

Erica Werner, The Washington Post

The state has moved quickly to increase solar power, but can’t store it all for peak demand hours.


Puerto Rico is in the dark again, but solar companies see glimmers of hope

Michael Copley, NPR News

Much of Puerto Rico is still without power after Hurricane Fiona battered the island on Sept. 19. The storm laid bare how vulnerable the territory’s power system still is five years after Hurricane Maria plunged it into an 11-month blackout — the longest in American history — and led to the deaths of almost 3,000 people.


N.J. sets East Coast’s largest offshore wind target

David Iaconangelo, E&E News

New Jersey plans to build more offshore wind than any other East Coast state, with a new target of developing 11 gigawatts by 2040.


How a clean energy future is colliding with mining’s dark past

Lylla Younes, Grist

Over the next several decades, global demand for these “critical minerals,” a group that includes lithium, cobalt, nickel, and copper, is projected to increase by 400-600 percent driven by a surge in manufacturing of renewable technologies. 


Illinois grapples with implementing 100% clean energy law

Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News

Years of lobbying and debate over Illinois’ energy future culminated a year ago when Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, making the state the first in the Midwest to put into law a 100 percent carbon-free electricity goal.

Oil, Gas and Alternative Fuels

US gas prices tick up, ending 99-day streak of lower costs

David Koening and Michelle Chapman, The Associated Press

A 99-day run of falling gasoline prices — a streak that gave consumers a glimmer of hope that red-hot inflation might be cooling — has ended, with pump prices still much higher than a year ago.


California relied heavily on natural gas during Sept heat wave -EIA


During an extreme heat wave in early September, the California power grid relied on natural gas for almost half of its electricity generation to meet peak demand, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.


Bloomberg takes on the plastics industry

E.A. Crunden, E&E News

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg is launching an $85 million campaign aimed at blocking the petrochemical industry’s staggering supply of plastics and bolstering local advocacy efforts.


BP refinery fire in Ohio kills 2 workers

Justin Jacobs, Financial Times

Facility remains closed and analysts warn prolonged shutdown could push petrol prices higher.


Cheniere to fix Louisiana LNG plant equipment after failing pollution test

Nichola Groom and Valerie Volcovici, Reuters

Top U.S. LNG exporter Cheniere Energy Inc. said it will repair and replace equipment at its Louisiana terminal after tests showed it exceeded newly-imposed hazardous emissions limits on certain known carcinogens, but the work will have no material impact on operations.


To ensure access to electric cars, some activists are calling attention to ‘charging deserts’

Brett Marsh, Grist

Advocates for low-income communities and people of color have long argued that if electric cars are necessary for American roads and the health of the planet, then they should be accessible to all Americans, not just the ones with disposable income.


California seeks to ban sales of diesel big rigs in a bold bid to cut pollution

Rachel Uranga and Christian Martinez, Los Angeles Times

Saying they had a “moral obligation,” California regulators could soon ban the sale of diesel big rigs by 2040, ending a long reliance on the polluting vehicles that are the backbone of the American economy.

Electricity, Utilities and Infrastructure

House appropriators eye as much as $200M for Jackson water crisis

Annie Snider, Politico

House appropriators are considering sending as much as $200 million to address the drinking water crisis in Jackson, Miss., as part of the stop-gap spending measure to fund the government past Sept. 30.


Why all Americans should be paying attention to Puerto Rico’s power grid

Umair Irfan, Vox

Hurricane Fiona showed how improvement efforts remain hampered by years of neglect and mismanagement.


Bipartisan lawmakers push Hill probe of Miss. water woes

Hannah Northey, E&E News

Bipartisan leaders of the House Homeland Security Committee said Wednesday that Mississippi’s Republican leaders should appear on Capitol Hill to explain why the city of Jackson was starved of funds, a factor that’s been blamed for fueling a water crisis there.


1.2 mln customers still without power in Puerto Rico after Fiona


An estimated 1.2 million homes and businesses remain without power in Puerto Rico Wednesday morning after Hurricane Fiona slammed into the island on Sunday, causing an island-wide power outage for its roughly 3.3 million people.

Environment, Land and Resources

Biden declares major disaster in Puerto Rico to energize Fiona recovery

Gloria Gonzalez, Politico

Federal funds are also now available to Puerto Rico on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal and emergency protective measures as well as hazard mitigation measures.


Puerto Rico struggles to reach areas cut off by Fiona

Danica Coto, The Associated Press

Hurricane Fiona left dozens of families stranded across Puerto Rico after smashing roads and bridges, with authorities still struggling to reach people four days after the storm smacked the U.S. territory, causing historic flooding.


Dozens of records smashed in Midwest during late-September heat wave

Zach Rosenthal, The Washington Post

Temperatures rose above the century mark, smashing records in the latest in what has been a hot summer.


California fish conservation law could protect bees

The Associated Press

The California Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the state to consider protecting threatened bumblebees under a conservation law listing for fish.


Tribes seek more details on water use at Arizona copper mine

Felicia Fonseca, The Associated Press

An environmental review for a proposed copper mine in eastern Arizona did not adequately analyze the potential impacts of climate change and the strain that drought and demand have put on water resources in the region, a U.S. Bureau of Land Management report has found.


How Fiona was a different kind of storm than Maria

Lauren Tierney and Laris Karklis, The Washington Post

Five years after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, killing thousands and triggering one of the largest blackouts in U.S. history, the island is now recovering after extreme rainfall and winds from Hurricane Fiona.


Michigan property owners settle PFAS case for $54 million

The Associated Press

A judge has given tentative approval to a $54 million settlement involving 3M Co., a shoe manufacturer and property owners in western Michigan who said their land and wells were contaminated by toxic “forever chemicals.”


Nevada wants feds to declare mothballed nuke dump plan dead

Ken Ritter, The Associated Press

After a decade in limbo, Nevada is pressing U.S. nuclear regulators to finally kill a mothballed proposal to entomb the nation’s most radioactive waste beneath a windswept volcanic ridge north of Las Vegas.

Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives

Manchin’s New Bill Could Lead to One Big Climate Win

Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic

Power lines are crucial to expanding renewables. America could finally be about to build more of them.

Morning Consult