Overnight Energy & Environment – Featured by ExxonMobil – Biden Orders End Coal Funding Abroad
Welcome to the Energy and Environment program on Friday, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-inscription.
Today we’re looking at an order from the Biden administration on overseas financing of coal-fired power plants, the victory of the White House message from falling gas prices, and a report from the Government Accountability Office on oil and gas rental requests.
Biden ends support for coal-fired power plants abroad
President BidenJoe BidenNicaragua Breaks Diplomatic Ties With Taiwan, Acknowledges Chinese Sovereignty Biden Reassures Ukraine’s Zelensky Of US Support Amid Russian Aggression On The Money – Senate Risks Trump’s Wrath With Debt Ceiling Deal MORE ordered an end to overseas financing of coal-fired power stations and other carbon-intensive projects, the first such federal directive, according to Bloomberg.
In a diplomatic cable sent to every U.S. embassy, ââthe White House ordered an immediate end to funding for such projects as well as more indirect support such as technical assistance to pipeline operators.
“Our international energy engagement will focus on promoting clean energy, promoting innovative technologies, strengthening U.S. clean technology competitiveness, and providing funding and technical assistance to support net zero transitions around the world. “the cable says, according to Bloomberg.
What is affected? The announcement affects all new carbon-intensive projects that would involve at least $ 250,000 in federal spending. It would contain numerous exemptions relating to matters such as national security, as well as a process by which individual officials can apply for an exemption.
A State Department spokesperson confirmed the directive to The Hill.
The announcement had long been the subject of rumors, and early reports indicated that it could be made during or immediately after the UN climate summit COP26 in November, when the United States pledged to “put end at[ing] relentless new direct public support to the international fossil energy sector by the end of 2022. “
It also comes just days after Biden signed an executive order calling on the federal government to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
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White House asks for credit if gas prices fall
Democratic strategists say it is vital that the White House use an expected drop in gas prices to counter Republican attacks by tying the drop to the policies of the Biden administration.
President Biden took a political hit from inflation, and gas prices in particular hurt him. The average price at the pump when Biden took office was around $ 2.40 per gallon, but had risen to around $ 3.40 per gallon by November.
Republicans blamed Biden for the high prices, linking his energy and economic policies to widespread inflation and declining domestic fuel production. In a speech delivered in July, Senator Bill CassidyBill Cassidy Hillicon Valley – Brought to you by the Connected Commerce Council – Incident reporting language was not included in the package Senators turn up the pressure on Amazon, data brokers at Sunday hearing show preview: a new COVID-19 variant emerges; supply chain problems and inflation persist MORE (R-La.) Denounced the president’s “hypocritical and backward energy policy aimed at American workers.”
But a drop is looming on the horizon: The price of gas is expected to drop in the coming weeks, Patrick De Haan, head of oil analysis at the price comparison site GasBuddy, forecast a drop of up to 25 cents per gallon. Tuesday’s projections from the US Energy Information Administration suggest prices will fall below $ 3 a gallon in 2022.
Presidents are still blamed for high gas prices, although prices rise and fall for a number of reasons that are often beyond the control of the White House, from international events to financial crises or – in the case of 2020 – a global pandemic.
But after taking hits for the high prices, the White House is signaling that it wants to get credit if there’s good news at the pump.
The White House has so far struck a balance between attributing a price cut to the policies of the Biden administration and pointing to factors beyond the government’s control.
Learn more about the messaging efforts here.
Watchdog: the interior wastes money on deposits
The Home Office is wasting money and other resources on demands for land that will never be leased for oil and gas drilling, according to a report released Friday by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
The analysis found that of the 87 million acres offered for lease by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) between 2009 and 2019, 69 million had never been offered at auction, and of the 18 million put up for auction , 4 million had never been rented.
The gap may be even more dramatic at the state level, according to GAO. For example, in the same decade, about 60.7 million acres were offered for lease in Nevada, compared to over 7 million offered at auction, or about 12%. The smallest difference between the acreage nominated and the acreage offered at auction was in Wyoming, where 8.7 million acres were nominated and 5.49 million were offered for auction.
Additionally, the office has not updated its filing fees for over 15 years, despite the fact that an update could generate revenue to make up for the inefficiency, according to the report. The BLM should also consider charging a fee for offering land, the report adds, noting that it has not considered such a requirement since 2014.
Learn more about the report here.
WHAT WE READ
The neighborhoods of these legislators are the most vulnerable to flooding. Here’s where they stand on the climate crisis, CNN Reports
Drilling-related earthquakes disrupt Texas, E&E news reports
The father of environmental justice, on whether we are all doomed, by Vox
McDonald’s is avoiding bold step it needs to take to cut emissions, The Guardian reports
Cheetahs threatened by pet trade, global warming in Somaliland, Reuters reports
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That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Discover The Hill’s energy and environment page for the latest news and coverage. Well see you tomorrow.