Washington Post: “White House officials are still looking at whether they can preserve the clean energy program by providing a way for coal and natural gas plants to keep operating for longer… Calls continued into the weekend between White House aides and climate experts, according to one of these individuals, who said it remains unclear if Manchin even supports some of the newer ideas that the administration has floated.”
“The most powerful part of President Biden’s climate agenda — a program to rapidly replace the nation’s coal- and gas-fired power plants with wind, solar and nuclear energy — will likely be dropped from the massive budget bill pending in Congress,” the New York Times reports.
“Sen. Joe Manchin, the Democrat from coal-rich West Virginia whose vote is crucial to passage of the bill, has told the White House that he strongly opposes the clean electricity program, according to three of those people. As a result, White House staffers are now rewriting the legislation without that climate provision, and are trying to cobble together a mix of other policies that could also cut emissions.”
Wall Street Journal: “While Mr. Manchin, as a critical centrist in the 50-50 Senate and the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, holds sway over the package and its energy components, other Democrats in both chambers have demanded that it include major climate provisions.”
“The natural gas shortage that drove prices to records in Europe has exposed Russia’s rising leverage over global energy markets, with Moscow now playing a key role in everything from OPEC negotiations to coal exports to China,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
Financial Times: Putin’s gas war with Europe is far from over.
“The Biden administration announced on Wednesday a plan to develop large-scale wind farms along nearly the entire coastline of the United States, the first long-term strategy from the government to produce electricity from offshore turbines,” the New York Times reports.
“The announcement came months after the Biden administration approved the nation’s first commercial offshore wind farm off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts and began reviewing a dozen other potential offshore wind projects along the East Coast. On the West Coast, the administration has approved opening up two areas off the shores of Central and Northern California for commercial wind power development.”
“Taken together, the actions represent the most forceful push ever by federal government to promote offshore wind development.”
“West Texas Intermediate crude closed above $80 a barrel for the first time since late 2014 as a growing power crisis from Europe to Asia boosts demand for oil ahead of winter,” Bloomberg reports.
“The Kremlin’s ambassador to the EU has called on Europe to mend ties with Moscow in order to avoid future gas shortages, but insisted that Russia had nothing to do with the recent jump in prices,” the Financial Times reports.
Wall Street Journal: “Crude oil has risen 64% this year to a seven-year high. Natural-gas prices have roughly doubled over the past six months to a seven-year high. Heating oil has risen 68% this year. Prices at the pump are up nearly a dollar over the past 12 months to a national average just over $3 a gallon. Coal prices are at records.”
“Higher energy prices could push up inflation in coming months, damp consumer spending on other products and services, and ultimately slow the U.S. recovery, economists say.”
Financial Times: “If you live in continental Europe or the UK the natural gas that heats your home this October is costing at least five times more than it did a year ago.”
“India stands on the brink of widespread power shortages as most of the country’s coal-fired plants have enough fuel for only a few more days,” Nikkei Asia reports.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports China “ordered its banks to ramp up funding to coal and energy companies, another step in its efforts to ease a power crunch and ensure supplies this winter.”
Financial Times: “China has started unloading a small number of Australian coal shipments despite an unofficial import ban, analysts said, in a move underscoring the intensity of the power crunch facing the world’s second-largest economy.”
“Exxon Mobil has been lobbying against pieces of a sprawling Democratic budget bill aimed at boosting working class families and fighting climate change,” CNBC reports.
“The fossil fuel giant has spent $275,000 over the past week on Facebook ads that include spots targeting tax hikes Democrats have included in the bill, which has a $3.5 trillion price tag at the moment.”
“Natural-gas prices have surged, prompting worries about winter shortages and forecasts for the most expensive fuel since frackers flooded the market more than a decade ago,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“China made an unprecedented intervention in the global oil market, releasing crude from its strategic reserve for the first time with the explicit aim of lowering prices,” Bloomberg reports.
“The announcement comes amid surging energy costs in China, not just for oil but also for coal and natural gas, and electricity shortages in some provinces that have forced some factories to cut production. Inflation is rapidly rising too, a political headache for Beijing.”
“The Biden administration on Wednesday released a plan to produce almost half of the nation’s electricity from the sun by 2050 as part of its effort to combat climate change,” the New York Times reports.
“Solar energy provided less than 4 percent of the country’s electricity last year, and the administration’s target of 45 percent would represent a huge leap and will most likely take a fundamental reshaping of the energy industry. In a new report, the Energy Department said the country needed to double the amount of solar energy installed every year over the next four years compared with last year. And then it will need to double annual installations again by 2030.”
“Russia’s Vladimir Putin is orchestrating a deliberate energy supply crisis in Europe by restricting the seasonal flows of pipeline gas, preventing the region rebuilding its severely depleted inventories fast enough before the onset of winter,” the Daily Telegraph reports.
“Norway’s voters are to give their verdict next week in what has become a ‘climate election’ — jolted into life by the UN report last month that issued a stark ‘code red’ over the impact of environmental change,” the Financial Times reports.
“The UN report has forced Norway to examine a big contradiction at the heart of its economy. The country is one of the largest proponents of green solutions such as electric cars and carbon capture storage: seven in 10 new cars sold last month in Norway were fully electric.”
“But the country is also western Europe’s biggest petroleum producer, with a massive sovereign wealth fund accumulated on the back of oil and gas output.”
Sara Goddard: “The unbridled impunity with which fossil fuel companies and plastics producers greenwash their activities is deeply entrenched. It’s accepted with ignorance or cynical resignation by a nation that lacks robust, centralized climate leadership in tackling a planetary crisis of epic proportions.”
“Oil producers act with abandon, fueled with cash and no guardrails… But it’s not just the power of money that ensures industry dominance. Energy companies exert an enormous amount of influence in policy-making at every level of government…”
“And let’s not forget the influence that the industry exerts on individual lawmakers, Republicans and Democrats, alike.”
“A federal judge on Wednesday threw out the permits for a controversial oil project planned for Alaska’s North Slope, faulting the way the federal government had assessed its environmental impact, including how it might harm polar bears,” the Washington Post reports.
New York Times: “The multibillion-dollar plan, known as Willow, by the oil giant ConocoPhillips had been approved by the Trump administration and legally backed by the Biden administration. Environmental groups sued, arguing that the federal government had failed to take into account the effects that drilling would have on wildlife and that the burning of the oil would have on global warming.”
“The Biden White House increasingly views rising gasoline prices as a source of potential political peril — and is now asking some of the world’s biggest oil producers to pump more oil,” Axios reports.
“This trend, combined with a fragile economic recovery threatened by the Delta variant of the coronavirus, and inflation beginning to bite consumers, could threaten the administration’s ambitious congressional agenda for late summer and early fall.”
Financial Times: White House calls on OPEC to boost oil production.
“China will launch a national emissions-trading program on Friday, creating the world’s largest carbon market and doubling the share of global emissions covered under such programs,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
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