On Ukraine, Biden Flusters European Allies by Stating the Obvious

The president laid bare divisions over Russian meddling in Ukraine, even if they have long been there for all to see.

#baerbock-annalena, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #blinken-antony-j, #borrell-fontelles-josep, #defense-and-military-forces, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #europe, #european-union, #green-party-germany, #lambrecht-christine, #lavrov-sergey-v, #macron-emmanuel-1977, #natural-gas, #nord-stream-ag, #north-atlantic-treaty-organization, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #pipelines, #politics-and-government, #russia, #scholz-olaf-1958, #sherman-wendy-r, #social-democratic-party-germany, #stoltenberg-jens, #ukraine, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government, #war-and-armed-conflicts

New Sanctions for Russian Gas Pipeline Fall Short in Senate

The measure pitted Ukraine’s president, who was pushing for the penalties, against the Biden administration, which successfully lobbied Democrats to oppose them.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #cruz-ted, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #lobbying-and-lobbyists, #natural-gas, #nord-stream-ag, #pipelines, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #senate, #ukraine, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government, #zelensky-volodymyr

Source of Mysterious Gas Leak Explosion in Canadian Town Stumps Officials

An explosion last summer in an Ontario community built on 19th-century gas wells has left locals searching for answers and some certainty that their town will ever recover.

#explosions-accidental, #natural-gas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #ontario-canada

Europe Plans to Say Nuclear Power and Natural Gas Are Green Investments

The draft proposal could help unleash a wave of investment, but critics say both sources of energy cause damage to the environment.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #europe, #european-commission, #european-union, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #natural-gas, #nuclear-energy, #nuclear-wastes, #politics-and-government

Germany Wants Its Russian Pipeline. German Allies Aren’t Sure It’s a Good Idea.

The Nord Stream 2 Russia-to-Germany pipeline could offer plentiful natural gas. But tensions with Vladimir Putin are keeping it out of reach.

#cruz-ted, #energy-and-power, #europe, #gazprom, #germany, #international-trade-and-world-market, #natural-gas, #nord-stream-2, #nord-stream-ag, #pipelines, #politics-and-government, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #russia, #scholz-olaf-1958, #ukraine

Behind Manchin’s Opposition, a Long History of Fighting Climate Measures

Senator Joe Manchin III noted climate policy when he said he would vote against the Build Back Better Act. In his life and career, West Virginia coal has loomed large.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #coal, #democratic-party, #electric-and-hybrid-vehicles, #energy-and-power, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #manchin-joe-iii, #mines-and-mining, #natural-gas, #politics-and-government, #tax-credits-deductions-and-exemptions, #united-states-politics-and-government, #west-virginia

Manchin Is Expected to Reject Democratic Plan to Ban New Offshore Drilling

The Democrat from West Virginia, a coal and gas stronghold, has single-handedly stripped key elements from his party’s plan to tackle climate change.

#arctic-national-wildlife-refuge, #drilling-and-boring, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #manchin-joe-iii, #natural-gas, #offshore-drilling-and-exploration, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #wildlife-sanctuaries-and-nature-reserves

Fight Over Gas Stoves and Furnaces in the Effort to Slow Climate Change

New York is the latest Democratic city aiming to fight climate change by ushering out stoves and furnaces that run on gas in favor of electric alternatives. But Republican states and the gas industry are fighting back.

#air-pollution, #alternative-and-renewable-energy, #american-gas-assn, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #heating, #home-appliances, #lobbying-and-lobbyists, #natural-gas, #natural-resources-defense-council, #ovens-and-stoves

New York City bans new natural gas hookups in step toward all-electric future

New York City bans new natural gas hookups in step toward all-electric future

Enlarge (credit: Tim Graham/Getty Images)

The New York City Council voted today to ban natural gas in new buildings, putting the nation’s largest city at the vanguard of national efforts to eliminate the fossil fuel and potent greenhouse gas.

The bill prohibits natural gas hookups and oil-burning equipment in new buildings under seven stories starting in 2023 and all new buildings starting in 2027. Existing buildings are not affected by the measure, though significant renovations could require buildings to become all-electric. Hospitals, factories, laundromats, and commercial kitchens are also exempt. Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that he will sign the bill.

The city isn’t the first to attempt something like this. Other, smaller cities like Brookline, Massachusetts, and San Jose and Berkeley, California, have enacted similar bans on new hookups, but New York City is by far the largest to date. Some 40 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions come from boilers, furnaces, and hot water heaters.

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#climate-change, #electricity, #methane, #natural-gas, #new-york-city, #policy

N.Y.C.’s Gas Ban Takes Fight Against Climate Change to the Kitchen

New York is set to become the nation’s largest city to enact a ban on gas heat and stoves in new buildings. It’s a major step away from fossil fuels that is expected to influence wider markets.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #city-council-nyc, #electric-light-and-power, #global-warming, #heating, #natural-gas, #new-york-city

One-year jump in energy prices is a big factor in inflation’s jump.

Energy prices rose by one-third in the last year, and 6.8 percent in November alone, but there are recent signs of relief.

#consumer-price-index, #energy-and-power, #heating, #inflation-economics, #natural-gas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #united-states-economy

Edelman Criticized for Work With Oil Companies

Edelman has worked for Exxon Mobil and Shell while making strong public statements in favor of environmental sustainability. At a recent companywide meeting, employees had some sharp questions.

#advertising-and-marketing, #alternative-and-renewable-energy, #edelman-daniel-j-inc, #edelman-richard-winston, #exxon-mobil-corp, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #natural-gas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline

U.S. Threat to Squeeze Russia’s Economy Is a Tactic With a Mixed Record

Sanctions, like aiming to cut oil exports, could also hurt European allies. “It’s a limited toolbox,” one expert said.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #europe, #natural-gas, #nord-stream-ag, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #pipelines, #politics-and-government, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #swiftsociety-for-worldwide-interbank-financial-telecommunication, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

Urea Shortage Is Felt Around the World

Farmers in India are desperate. Trucks in South Korea had to be idled. Food prices, already high, could rise even further.

#agriculture-and-farming, #cf-industries-holdings-inc, #china, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #england, #fertilizer, #india, #international-trade-and-world-market, #madhya-pradesh-india, #natural-gas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #potash, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #russia, #seoul-south-korea, #shortages, #south-korea, #trucks-and-trucking, #united-states, #world-bank

Interior Dept. Report on Drilling Is Mostly Silent on Climate Change

The department recommended higher fees for oil and gas leases, but there was no sign the government planned to take global warming into account when weighing new applications.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #federal-lands, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #haaland-deb, #natural-gas, #offshore-drilling-and-exploration, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #royalties, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government

Germany Suspends Approval of Gas Pipeline, Sending Prices Soaring

The decision to delay certification of the Russia-to-Germany gas pipeline comes amid rising political tensions between the West and Russia.

#europe, #european-union, #germany, #lukashenko-aleksandr-g, #merkel-angela, #natural-gas, #nord-stream-ag, #pipelines, #politics-and-government, #putin-vladimir-v

Biden Plans to Bar New Drilling Around a Major Native American Cultural Site

After years of tribal requests, the president plans to block new oil and gas leases within 10 miles of Chaco Canyon in New Mexico. The ban is likely to generate strong pushback from industry.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #bureau-of-land-management, #chaco-culture-national-historical-park-new-mexico, #drilling-and-boring, #federal-lands, #global-warming, #haaland-deb, #historic-buildings-and-sites, #interior-department, #native-americans, #natural-gas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #united-states-politics-and-government, #world-heritage-sites

Natural gas customers in Texas get stuck with $3.4 billion cold-snap surcharge

Natural gas customers in Texas get stuck with $3.4 billion cold-snap surcharge

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

Texans will be paying for the effects of last February’s cold snap for decades to come, as the state’s oil and gas regulator approved a plan for natural gas utilities to recover $3.4 billion in debt they incurred during the storm.

The regulator, the Railroad Commission, is allowing utilities to issue bonds to cover the debt. As a result, ratepayers could see an increase in their bills for the next 30 years.

During the winter storm, natural gas prices spiked as cold temperatures drove demand up while also depressing supply. Much of Texas’ natural gas comes from fracking, which uses large amounts of water. To prevent the wellheads from freezing, many producers shut in their wells in advance of the storm. The governor’s office knew of the looming shortages days before they happened, yet the preparations they made did little to alter the course of the disaster.

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#climate-change, #natural-gas, #policy, #texas, #winter

Winter Heating Bills Loom as the Next Inflation Threat

After plunging during the pandemic as the economy slowed, energy prices have roared upward. Washington is already moving to offer homeowners relief.

#cold-and-cold-spells, #commodities, #electric-light-and-power, #energy-and-power, #heating, #inflation-economics, #natural-gas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #propane, #united-states-economy, #winter-season

Cambo, a Proposed Oil Field, Is Drawing Controversy in U.K.

What is Cambo? It’s a proposed oil field deep underwater off Scotland that has become an intense focus of environmentalists and the energy industry.

#cambo, #global-warming, #great-britain, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #natural-gas, #north-sea, #offshore-drilling-and-exploration, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #politics-and-government, #royal-dutch-shell-plc, #shetland-islands-scotland, #siccar-point-energy-ltd

A Russian Pipeline Changes Direction, and Energy Politics Come to the Fore

Amid an energy crunch in Europe, one of Russia’s largest natural gas pipelines began pulling gas out of Western Europe back eastward, Russian news agencies reported.

#germany, #natural-gas, #nordstream-2, #pipelines, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia

U.A.E., an Oil Giant, Aims to Burnish Climate Credentials

Trying to attract investors and retain customers, the United Arab Emirates says it will step up its efforts to cut emissions.

#abu-dhabi-united-arab-emirates, #abu-dhabi-national-oil-company-adnoc, #alternative-and-renewable-energy, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #natural-gas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #sultan-al-jaber, #united-arab-emirates

Divestment Is Pushing Money Away From Fossil Fuels

The divestment campaign has taken much of the shine off what was once the planet’s dominant industry.

#coal, #colleges-and-universities, #endowments, #ford-foundation, #france, #global-warming, #great-britain, #harvard-university, #ireland, #loyola-university-chicago, #manchin-joe-iii, #natural-gas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #paris-france, #peabody-coal-co, #pensions-and-retirement-plans, #philanthropy, #princeton-university, #quebec-province-canada, #reed-college, #rockefeller-foundation, #roman-catholic-church, #royal-dutch-shell-plc, #states-us, #stocks-and-bonds, #united-nations-framework-convention-on-climate-change, #united-states

Fossil Fuel Drilling Plans Undermine Climate Pledges, U.N. Report Warns

Countries are planning to produce more than twice as much oil, gas and coal through 2030 as would be needed if governments want to limit global warming to Paris Agreement goals.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #coal, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #mines-and-mining, #natural-gas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #united-nations-framework-convention-on-climate-change

Coal bucks 15-year decline in US with 22% increase as natural gas prices rise

Heavy equipment moves coal into piles at PacifiCorp's Hunter coal-fired power plant outside of Castle Dale, Utah.

Enlarge / Heavy equipment moves coal into piles at PacifiCorp’s Hunter coal-fired power plant outside of Castle Dale, Utah. (credit: GEORGE FREY / AFP)

The US is expected to burn 22 percent more coal than last year, marking the first annual increase in the use of the polluting fossil fuel since 2014, the Energy Information Administration said.

“The US electric power sector has been generating more electricity from coal-fired power plants this year as a result of significantly higher natural gas prices and relatively stable coal prices,” the government agency said. Coal is selling for record prices, though, and economists say that skyrocketing energy costs are fueling inflation.

President Joe Biden has set a target of reducing economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 50–52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The news is a setback for those plans, but the EIA predicts that the bump in coal use will be transitory, with 2022 consumption down 5 percent from this year.

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#coal, #eia, #energy, #natural-gas, #policy, #renewable-energy

On a Pacific Island, Russia Tests Its Battle Plan on Climate Change

President Vladimir V. Putin long dismissed the threat posed by global warming. But fires, disasters and foreign pressure have prompted him to change course.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #arctic-regions, #carbon-dioxide, #coal, #gazprom, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #hydrocarbons, #natural-gas, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #wind-power

What’s Behind the Energy Crunch in Britain and Europe

Natural gas prices have skyrocketed, pressuring manufacturers and households with high energy bills.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #electric-light-and-power, #europe, #factories-and-manufacturing, #great-britain, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #natural-gas, #pipelines, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates

As Western Oil Giants Cut Production, State-Owned Companies Step Up

In the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, government-owned energy companies are increasing oil and natural gas production as U.S. and European companies pare supply because of climate concerns.

#africa, #alternative-and-renewable-energy, #argentina, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #corporations, #energy-and-power, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #latin-america, #middle-east, #nasser-amin-h, #natural-gas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #organization-of-the-petroleum-exporting-countries, #politics-and-government, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #production, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #saudi-arabia, #saudi-aramco, #shale, #united-states, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

Putin Suggests Germany Approve Nord Stream 2 to Solve Energy Crisis

In his most direct comments to date on the contentious Russian pipeline, President Vladimir V. Putin called it an “obvious” way to relieve Europe’s soaring natural gas prices.

#eastern-europe, #energy-and-power, #gazprom, #germany, #natural-gas, #nord-stream-ag, #pipelines, #politics-and-government, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #ukraine

More Than 30 Countries Join U.S. Pledge to Slash Methane Emissions

Methane is the second largest driver of global warming after carbon dioxide emissions. Scientists say the promised cuts could help avert the worst consequences of climate change.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #environment, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #kerry-john, #methane, #natural-gas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline

As Europe Faces a Cold Winter, Putin Seizes on the Leverage From Russia’s Gas Output

Critics claim Russia is manipulating the flow of gas to push up prices, but for Vladimir Putin it’s schadenfreude over Western European nations that he sees as unprepared.

#economic-conditions-and-trends, #european-commission, #gazprom, #germany, #merkel-angela, #natural-gas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #pipelines, #politics-and-government, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia

A Scary Energy Winter Is Coming. Don’t Blame the Greens.

Too many people could face a choice between eating and heating.

#energy-and-power, #europe, #european-union, #global-warming, #iran, #natural-gas, #power-failures-and-blackouts, #russia

Oil and Gas Prices May Stay High as Investors Chase Clean Energy

Even as more costly fuel poses political risks for President Biden, oil companies and OPEC are not eager to produce more because they worry prices will drop.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #natural-gas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #organization-of-the-petroleum-exporting-countries, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #private-equity, #stocks-and-bonds

Global Natural Gas Crunch Roils Consumers and Industry

Rising demand for the fuel is sending electricity bills soaring and forcing factories to shut down.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #brazil, #china, #coal, #electric-light-and-power, #fertilizer, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #natural-gas, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #south-korea

Oil Prices Near a Three-Year High as an Energy Crunch Looms

Analysts say soaring natural gas prices are helping push oil futures higher, as Brent crude topped $80 a barrel.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #natural-gas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #organization-of-the-petroleum-exporting-countries, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #shortages

Scotland’s Oil Industry Is Fading as Wind Energy Beckons

Oil and gas production in the North Sea is not the economic juggernaut it once was. Can floating wind turbines offer an alternative?

#aberdeen-scotland, #alternative-and-renewable-energy, #energy-and-power, #great-britain, #labor-and-jobs, #natural-gas, #north-sea, #offshore-drilling-and-exploration, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #politics-and-government, #scotland, #wind-power

Europe’s Energy Prices Soar Amid Switch to Renewable Resources

Britain and the rest of Europe are watching natural gas prices and utility bills soar, and Russia is coming under pressure to provide more gas.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #electric-light-and-power, #europe, #gazprom, #great-britain, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #international-energy-agency, #natural-gas, #nord-stream-ag, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #russia, #wind, #wind-power

Norway’s ‘Climate Election’ Puts Center-Left in Charge

Global warming and the future of the country’s oil and gas industry dominated the election campaign, yet smaller parties with ambitious approaches on climate fared less well than expected.

#elections, #global-warming, #natural-gas, #norway, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #solberg-erna

High Natural Gas Prices Strain Europeans, Weighing on Recovery

Crimped supplies and increased demand have pushed energy prices to their highest in years, raising concerns about the winter.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #electric-light-and-power, #europe, #gazprom, #international-trade-and-world-market, #natural-gas, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates

Worrying About Your Carbon Footprint Is Exactly What Big Oil Wants You to Do

The only way to really address the climate crisis is through politics, policymakers and legislation.

#carbon-caps-and-emissions-trading-programs, #carbon-dioxide, #corporations, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #lobbying-and-lobbyists, #natural-gas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #united-states

Hurricane Ida Exposes Grid Weaknesses as New Orleans Goes Dark

A new natural gas power plant, meant to power the city in an emergency, did not come to the rescue when the storm disabled eight transmission lines.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #batteries, #disasters-and-emergencies, #electric-light-and-power, #energy-and-power, #entergy-corporation, #global-warming, #hurricane-ida-2021, #louisiana, #natural-gas, #new-orleans-la, #power-failures-and-blackouts, #solar-energy, #weather

Ida Hit One of the Country’s Biggest Oil and Chemical Hubs

Louisiana’s 17 oil refineries account for nearly a fifth of the nation’s capacity. Past hurricanes have cause toxic spills.

#floods, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #hazardous-and-toxic-substances, #hurricane-ida-2021, #levees-and-dams, #louisiana, #natural-gas, #offshore-drilling-and-exploration, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #oil-spills, #phillips-66, #refineries, #st-bernard-parish-la, #valero-energy-corporation

California’s Plan to Make New Buildings Greener Will Also Raise Costs

A recent building code change for new construction could reduce emissions by requiring use of solar panels and batteries, raising prices in an already expensive state.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #batteries, #building-construction, #california, #electric-light-and-power, #finances, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #heating, #international-code-council-inc, #los-angeles-calif, #natural-gas, #real-estate-and-housing-residential, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #san-bernardino-calif, #solar-energy

Zelensky Must Tell Biden to Stop Nord Stream 2

Nord Stream 2 would be catastrophic for all of Europe.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #energy-and-power, #natural-gas, #nord-stream-2, #pipelines, #poland, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #ukraine, #united-states, #zelensky-volodymyr

Don’t Let the Fossil Fuel Industry Pivot to Toxic Plastics and Chemicals

As we confront climate change, focusing on a single metric, like greenhouse gas emissions, could leave other harmful practices unaddressed.

#africa, #chemicals, #environmental-protection-agency, #european-commission, #european-union, #far-east-south-and-southeast-asia-and-pacific-areas, #flame-retardants, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #hazardous-and-toxic-substances, #international-energy-agency, #mckinseyco, #national-academies-of-the-united-states, #natural-gas, #ohio, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #pennsylvania, #plastics, #recycling-of-waste-materials, #united-states, #waste-materials-and-disposal

Hydrogen lobbyist quits, slams oil companies’ “false claims” about blue hydrogen

Nozzle for pumping hydrogen.

A hydrogen filling station. (credit: Peter Gercke/picture alliance via Getty Images)

The head of a hydrogen lobbying group has stepped down amid concerns that blue hydrogen made from natural gas would serve as a “lock-in” for fossil fuels.

Oil and gas companies in recent years have been touting the purported advantages of hydrogen made from natural gas. Supporters admit that blue hydrogen is not zero carbon, but they argue that its use would help build demand and infrastructure while costs for green hydrogen, which is made from renewable power, are brought down. 

At issue, though, is whether blue hydrogen is truly low carbon, as its boosters suggest. According to a recent study, blue hydrogen may be worse for the climate than coal. The low-carbon claims about blue hydrogen hinge on the fact that carbon dioxide needs to be captured at every step, from the steam reformation process that makes the gas from methane to the natural gas generators that provide heat and power for the reactions. Not every step is perfect, and between 10–40 percent of the carbon dioxide can evade capture depending on the system.

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#blue-hydrogen, #climate-change, #hydrogen, #natural-gas, #policy

“Blue” hydrogen pushed by gas companies harms climate more than coal, study says

A Hyundai Nexo patrol car at a hydrogen filling station in Lower Saxony, Germany.

Enlarge / A Hyundai Nexo patrol car at a hydrogen filling station in Lower Saxony, Germany. (credit: Friso Gentsch/picture alliance)

Gas companies and utilities are in a pickle. Their entire business model relies on the extraction, transport, and combustion of methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases known to humankind. With many countries aiming to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, these companies face an uncertain future. 

One solution they’ve proposed is slipping hydrogen into their distribution lines, either partially or fully replacing natural gas, so that people can burn it to heat their homes or generate electricity. When produced using solar and wind power, hydrogen is a zero-carbon fuel, and while refitting natural gas infrastructure would be expensive, it would give gas-only utilities a reason to exist.

The problem is that producing so-called “green” hydrogen is expensive and will remain so for a decade or more, according to forecasts.

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#blue-hydrogen, #carbon-capture, #climate-change, #hydrogen, #natural-gas, #science

$11 billion in 9 days—Texas’ natural gas sellers cashed in on deep freeze

A warning sign for an underground natural gas pipeline stands near Sunray, Texas.

Enlarge / A warning sign for an underground natural gas pipeline stands near Sunray, Texas. (credit: Angus Mordant/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

While Texans froze and natural gas-fired power plants tripped offline during a February cold snap, natural gas traders and pipeline companies made up to $11 billion in just nine days. The handsome profits came thanks in part to a system that left utilities and customers dependent on the state’s lightly regulated natural gas market, which some are comparing to a black box.

Texas’ grid collapsed in the early morning hours of February 15. The incident was caused largely by coal, natural gas, and nuclear power plants that failed due to equipment that was not prepared for the frigid temperatures. Equipment problems at gas power plants were compounded by a lack of supplies. In the days leading up to the blackouts, the chair of the Public Utility Commission of Texas spoke with the governor’s office 32 times about natural gas curtailments caused by a shortage of supplies. 

Early gas shortages may have been more severe than previously known, according to a new report by BloombergNEF. In the six days before the outages began, daily Texas gas production dropped by nearly 6 billion cubic feet, almost a quarter of the state’s total. That was due in part to producers shutting down wells in advance of the cold weather. Producers’ equipment may not have been winterized, either, and fracking requires massive amounts of water, which can freeze pipes and wells. After the blackouts began, gas production dropped another 5 billion cubic feet over the next several days as wells still operating lost power. By the end of the blackouts, almost half of the state’s natural gas production was offline.

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#blackouts, #climate-change, #natural-gas, #policy, #texas, #texas-power-outage

E.P.A. Approved Toxic Chemicals for Fracking a Decade Ago, New Files Show

The compounds can form PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals,” which have been linked to cancer and birth defects. The E.P.A. approvals came despite the agency’s own concerns about toxicity.

#chemicals, #corporate-social-responsibility, #environmental-protection-agency, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #hazardous-and-toxic-substances, #hydraulic-fracturing, #natural-gas, #obama-barack, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #physicians-for-social-responsibility, #public-employees-for-environmental-responsibility, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #water-pollution

Federal Judge Says Biden Cannot Pause New Leases for Drilling on Public Lands

President Biden suspended new oil and gas drilling leases on federal lands. A judge in Louisiana ruled those leases could not be temporarily halted.

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