Morning Consult Energy: Refiners Reportedly Will Ask Biden Officials at Meeting to Not Ban Fuel Exports
 

Energy

Essential energy industry news & intel to start your day.
June 23, 2022
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Top Stories

  • At an emergency meeting with the White House today, domestic refiners will attempt to convince Biden administration officials to not ban fuel exports, according to sources familiar with the plans, after Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the president is “not willing to take tools off the table, but we’re willing to listen” in regard to a possible export ban. The sources said refiners are expected to recommend other options to lower gas prices such as waiving summertime fuel specifications, easing shipping rules and greenlighting new renewable fuel technology. (Reuters)
  • White House aides including chief of staff Ron Klain and longtime adviser Steve Ricchetti are weighing in on the Interior Department’s draft plan for oil and gas leases in federal waters as inflation and high fuel prices impact voters leading up to the midterm elections, according to two administration officials. Interior, which is expected to release the plan by June 30, will likely prohibit new drilling in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, according to several people familiar with the administration’s decision making, though the department is still considering whether to continue allowing lease sales in portions of the Arctic Ocean and the western and central Gulf of Mexico. (The New York Times)
  • A Reuters review of emails found that the Biden administration has privately worked with Tesla Inc. to help write a new policy that would let electric vehicles benefit from renewable fuel subsidies. (Reuters)
 

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What Else You Need to Know

General
 

Manchin Opposing Energy Payments Seen Blunting Value of Credits

Ari Natter and Erik Wasson, Bloomberg

Senator Joe Manchin’s opposition to giving clean-energy developers direct payments may significantly reduce the tax credits they could get from Democrats’ reconciliation package, according to analysts. 

 
Climate Change and Emissions
 

Chemicals Law Used by Scientists to Seek Greenhouse Gas Cuts

Pat Rizzuto, Bloomberg Law

Two nonprofit climate groups, along with scientists, have petitioned the EPA to use the chemicals law to restrict or phase out greenhouse gases and compel industries to remove emissions already in the atmosphere.

 

California emissions, carbon neutrality plan draws criticism

Kathleen Ronayne, The Associated Press

California air regulators are likely to hear a barrage of criticism Thursday on a plan to slash fossil fuel use and reach carbon neutrality by 2045, a proposal that would require a sweeping shift in how the state powers its massive economy in the face of climate change.

 
Renewables and Storage
 

Google’s Plan for 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy Ran Into Headwinds in 2021

Dieter Holger, The Wall Street Journal

Google edged further away from an ambitious climate goal last year as supply-chain disruptions and grid connection delays held up clean-energy projects.

 

These generators can switch from running on fossil fuels to clean fuels

Jeff St. John, Canary Media

Mainspring Energy says its generators can do something other generators can’t — run on zero-carbon fuels as easily as they do on fossil fuels. 

 
Oil, Gas and Alternative Fuels
 

As Biden touts gas tax pause, even some of his own officials balk

Tyler Pager et al., The Washington Post

The president on Wednesday urged Congress to suspend the federal gas tax to cut prices for consumers. Privately, some officials doubted it would work.

 

Pelosi declines to endorse gas tax holiday

Mike Lillis, The Hill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that Democratic leaders will gauge the party’s support for President Biden’s proposed gas tax holiday but stopped short of endorsing the idea, suggesting a rare break between the Speaker and her White House ally on an issue that’s threatening Democrats’ prospects at the polls in November.  

 

Biden blames Russia for gas prices as he presses Congress, states and oil companies

Olivia Olander, Politico

The White House on Wednesday again blamed Russia’s war in Ukraine for recent hikes in fuel prices, as President Joe Biden pushed for Congress to suspend the federal gas tax.

 

Gas prices aren’t leading to less driving — yet

Ben Geman, Axios

The rise in U.S. fuel prices isn’t yet spurring a major pullback in driving, but that could soon change, a new Dallas Fed analysis finds.

 

Deep rift lies behind Biden’s criticism of oil and gas industry

Nandita Bose and Jarrett Renshaw, Reuters

U.S. President Joe Biden has publicly criticized oil and gas executives for banking big profits from high gasoline prices but he has rarely spoken directly to the heads of energy companies or their representatives, White House records and interviews with industry sources show.

 

US gas pipeline leaks occur every 40 hours: report

Sharon Udasin, The Hill

U.S. natural gas pipelines are experiencing the equivalent of one leak every 40 hours, a new report has found.

 

Why Biden is stuck on gas prices

Andrew Freedman, Axios

The Biden administration needs gas prices to come down fast. But that could require supporting greater oil and gas production over the long term — the opposite of what it wants to do to fight climate change.

 

Global Natural Gas Buyers Jostle for US LNG With Chevron, Ineos Deals

Anna Shiryaevskaya, Bloomberg

Global buyers are lining up to secure long-term shipments of liquefied natural gas, giving impetus to a new generation of US projects that will send the heating and power-plant fuel overseas. 

 

California has billions to spend on gas-price relief — and no deal on help

Jeremy B. White, Politico

California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democratic legislators can agree on one thing: They should channel billions of dollars from the state’s overflowing budget to Californians pinched by high gas prices. But for months they have been at odds over how to get that money into people’s pocketbooks — and who should get it.

 
Transportation
 

Musk says Tesla’s new car factories ‘losing billions of dollars’

Hyunjoo Jin, Reuters

Tesla Inc.’s new car factories in Texas and Berlin are “losing billions of dollars” as they struggle to increase production because of a shortage of batteries and China port issues, Chief Executive Elon Musk said in an interview published on Wednesday.

 

Biden’s Amtrak Request Comes Up Short in House Spending Bill

Lillianna Byington, Bloomberg Law

President Joe Biden’s budget request for Amtrak would get chopped down in draft legislation House appropriators released Wednesday, while the overall transportation budget would get a boost.

 
Electricity, Utilities and Infrastructure
 

Inflation Strains Value of Biden’s Signature Infrastructure Law

Lillianna Byington, Bloomberg Law

The government can buy fewer roads, bridges, and tunnels today than it could seven months ago when President Joe Biden signed the $1 trillion infrastructure law.

 
Environment, Land and Resources
 

EPA Plan to Use Superfund Law on PFAS Stirs Cleanup Cost Worries

Dean Scott, Bloomberg Law

The EPA’s plan to designate for the first time two “forever chemicals” as hazardous substances under the powerful Superfund law has sparked fears of runaway costs associated with cleaning up contaminated sites, attorneys say.

 

Mindful of Its Impact on the Planet, the Art World Aims for Sustainability

David Kaufman, The New York Times

Efforts to lower the industry’s carbon footprint have led to new practices, like more sea shipping and rethinking auctions and fairs.

 

Slowly But Surely, Golf Finds That Sustainability Is a Winning Formula

Michael Croley, Bloomberg Businessweek

“Mother nature is always best.”

 
Coal/Nuclear
 

The last nuclear plant in California – and the unexpected quest to save it

Gabrielle Canon, The Guardian

The Diablo Canyon facility, which provides 9% of the state’s energy, was due to shutter in 2025, but the state’s energy crunch could save it.

 

NASA Selects 3 Companies to Design a Nuclear Power Plant for the Moon

Passant Rabie, Gizmodo

NASA wants to build and transport a nuclear reactor to the Moon, which would power a sustained human presence for at least 10 years. To that end, the space agency has chosen three companies to develop design concepts for a nuclear fission system to be placed on the Moon in conjunction with the Artemis program.

 
Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives
 

A gas puzzler: If Biden ran Big Oil, what would he do differently?

Charles Lane, The Washington Post

What if the United States, the world’s number one petroleum producer, nationalized its resources, as have countries accounting for 75 percent of world production? What would Biden do with the same kind of control over the United States’ output that MBS has over Saudi Arabia’s and Russian President Vladimir Putin has over Russia’s?

 

Biden Got the Energy Market He Wanted

Karl Rove, The Wall Street Journal

Since day one, he’s tried to limit fossil-fuel supplies, and we’re all paying for it.

 

A Gas Tax Holiday Would Be Nothing to Celebrate

Karl W. Smith, Bloomberg

In a disturbing sign of just how much the White House has lost its way, President Joe Biden is asking both Congress and state governments to agree to a three-month suspension of the gasoline tax. Gas tax holidays are generally a poor tool for combating rising prices, but they would be especially damaging right now.

 
Morning Consult