Energy & Environment — Energy chief, oil execs hold ‘constructive’ meeting

President Biden’s Energy Secretary met with oil industry executives Thursday as the administration faces pressure to cut high gas prices. Meanwhile, the Fish and Wildlife Service re-protected the endangered species before Trump.

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The Ministry of Energy: The oil meeting was “productive”

Oil officials and industry groups said in a meeting on Thursday with the Minister of Energy Jennifer Granholm It was “constructive”.

  • Mike Wirth, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors, said: chevronin the current situation.
  • “We remain optimistic about our ability to work together to achieve these common goals. We appreciate Minister Granholm’s invitation to participate in the conversation, which was an important step toward achieving greater energy security, economic prosperity and environmental protection.”

The American Petroleum Institute and the American fuel and petrochemical plantswhich respectively represents the oil industry broadly and oil refineries specifically, issued the same sentiment.

“Secretary Granholm’s meeting with US refiners today was a constructive discussion on ways to address rising energy costs and create more certainty for global energy markets,” the two organizations said in a joint statement.

Similarly, the Energy Department’s readings of the meeting described the meeting as “productive.”

“The meeting fruitfully focused on analyzing the current global problems of supply and refining, providing an opportunity for industry to work with the government to help provide needed relief to the American consumer,” the department said.

I like you article, thank you very much: Positive comments from both sides come amid a period of tension between the Biden administration and the oil companies. In a recent letter to oil refineries, Biden criticized their high profits.

  • “In time of war, refinery profit margins far exceeding the norm are passed directly to American families,” he wrote in the letter.
  • Ahead of the meeting, Wirth wrote a letter to Biden criticizing what he called attempts to “discredit” the oil industry.
  • Despite these efforts, your management has largely sought to criticize, and at times discredit, our industry. He wrote on Tuesday that these measures are not helpful to meet the challenges we face and are not what the American people deserve.

Deets: Granholm was scheduled to meet on Thursday with executives from ExxonMobil, Shell, Valero, Marathon, Phillips 66, BP and Chevron.

According to the DOE reading, participants discussed what companies are doing to maintain existing operations and obstacles in increasing domestic refining, as oil is converted into gasoline.

Read more about the meeting here.

The Biden administration is re-protecting the habitat

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service on Thursday announced a new rule that reflects the Trump-era definition of “habitat” as applied to endangered animals.

Under the 2020 rule, the definition of federally protected habitats for endangered species has been narrowed to include only those in which the species can currently live, except for those that could one day conserve the species. On Thursday, the FWS reversed this, saying it goes against the intent of the 1973 Endangered Species Act (ESA).

  • When it narrowed the definition, the Trump administration argued that its changes would be more consistent and transparent to landowners.
  • But environmentalists said the government should be able to protect the land that could support an animal in the future and called Trump’s move a “gift to industry.”

“The growing extinction crisis highlights the importance of the Endangered Species Act and efforts to conserve species before degradation becomes irreversible,” Shannon Estinos, Assistant Secretary of State for Fish, Wildlife and Parks, said in a statement.

“Today’s action will reinstate the law’s implementation in line with its original purpose and intent and ensure that species recovery is guided by transparent scientific policies and conservation actions that preserve America’s biological heritage for future generations.”

Read more here.

Get wind of this

The White House said Thursday that it is launching an offshore wind partnership with 11 states on the East Coast.

  • The partnership will entail building the supply chain for offshore wind, expanding the workforce and addressing regional issues such as fishing and grid connectivity.
  • The states involved in the payment are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, according to The Verge.

The federal government, New York, and Maryland will jointly fund the development of the “Supply Chain Roadmap” for offshore wind.

The Department of Transportation will also submit applications for priority status funding for offshore wind vessels through the Federal Ship Finance Program

Project finds mining may pose a watershed risk

A federal study released Thursday finds that hard rock mining in a wilderness area of ​​Minnesota may pollute the area.

  • In its assessment, the US Forest Service said copper and nickel mining would pose a significant risk to the watercraft land frontier area. While the assessment is a draft, it does propose a 20-year ban on copper mining on federal land in the watershed.
  • Possible ramifications from mining in the area include “the creation of permanently stored waste” upstream, which could release water with elevated levels of acidity and mineral contamination, the assessment notes.

The assessment added that “the greatest potential risk to water quality in the onshore area and lands within the intake areas comes from the catastrophic failure of the wet basin waste storage (retention) dam.”

“Wet basin waste storage poses a risk of dam failure and the potential release of a large amount of polluted sediments (tails) and water into the nearby water body with the potential to be transported to water bodies and receivers.”

The assessment comes nearly six months after the Department of the Interior announced the cancellation of two mining leases in the area, which were awarded under the Trump administration in 2019. A January legal opinion determined that the Trump administration improperly renewed leases in 2019 after approving them. In principle. last year.

Read more about the draft results here.

On tap tomorrow

The House Climate Crisis Committee will hold a hearing on reducing methane emissions

what we read

  • Lake Mead nears dead pond status as water level reaches another historic low (NBC News)
  • California’s last nuclear plant – and the unexpected quest to save it (The Guardian)
  • Forest Service decision to graze upsets environmental group (The Associated Press)
  • OPEC + is considering when to shoot the last bullets in oil production (Bloomberg)
  • Manchin slams ‘dumb’ push for electric vehicles, cites Chinese supply chain (E&E News)

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Energy & Environment page for the latest news and coverage. OK see you tomorrow.

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