Energy & Environment — Granholm to meet with oil executives

Minister of Energy Jennifer Granholm Will meet with oil executives. The Supreme Court rejected an attempt to dismiss a lawsuit over the Roundup weedkiller.

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Energy CEOs will meet in Granholm on Thursday

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm will meet with oil industry executives on Thursday, the White House said, as the administration looks for solutions to bring down soaring gas prices.

White House Press Secretary Karen-Jean-Pierre confirmed plans for the meeting in brief Tuesday, saying it would include all seven executives to whom President Biden sent letters last week urging them to increase gasoline and diesel supplies.

  • “Our goal is to make sure we have a sit-down conversation where we come up with solutions, work with CEOs and figure out what we can do to move that capability forward,” said Jean-Pierre.
  • She said Biden did not plan to attend the meeting.

The meeting is expected to include executives representing Exxon Mobil, Shell, Valero, Marathon, Phillips 66, BP and Chevron.

high tensions: Biden wrote a letter to executives at all seven companies last week accusing them of profiting from the Russian war in Ukraine by keeping the supply of refined products low and absorbing record profits as prices soar.

The president called on companies to take steps to increase supply in order to lower the price of gasoline, which averages about $5 a gallon nationwide.

Chevron’s response: “Chevron and its 37,000 employees work every day to help provide the world with the energy it needs and raise the quality of life for the billions of people who depend on these supplies,” Chevron CEO Michael Wirth wrote in a letter to Biden on Tuesday.

Despite these efforts, your management has largely sought to criticize, and at times discredit, our industry. These actions are not helpful to meet the challenges we face and are not what the American people deserve.”

Wirth wrote that the company is seeking more support from the Biden administration, including “clarity and consistency” on federal leases and permits, and called for “honest dialogue” about balancing energy, economic and environmental priorities. Wirth said he looks forward to meeting Granholm.

Read more here from The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant.

Supreme Court rejects bid to overturn Roundup’s suit

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal from Bayer that sought to overturn a “pioneer” lawsuit alleging that its herbicide in Roundup was a carcinogen.

  • The decision means that a ruling ordering the company to pay $25 million to California resident Edwin Hardman will remain in effect.
  • Hardman’s lawsuit claimed that his use of Roundup led him to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

In May, a federal appeals court in San Francisco approved a court ruling that Monsanto, which was acquired by Bayer in 2018, did not adequately warn consumers about the cancer risks associated with the product.

In that ruling, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals called Hardman’s case a “pioneer” that could pave the way for thousands of similar lawsuits.

Monsanto appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, arguing that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found the product to be safe had superseded California’s No-Alarm Act, the basis for the ruling.

  • In 2020, the Trump administration re-approved glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, saying there was “insufficient evidence to conclude that glyphosate plays a role in any human diseases.”
  • However, last week, a judge ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reconsider its finding that the chemical does not pose an unreasonable risk.

The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer deemed glyphosate to be “probably carcinogenic to humans” in 2015.

Meanwhile, Bayer expressed disappointment in a statement on Tuesday.

“The company believes that the decision undermines companies’ ability to rely on formal actions taken by specialized regulatory agencies, as each US state is allowed to order a different product label,” a Bayer spokesperson said.

“While this decision ends Hardman’s case, there will likely be future cases, including the Roundup cases, that present the US Supreme Court with preemptive questions like Hardman and could also split the circuit.”

Read more about the case here.

Let’s talk about money

On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee introduced bills to fund the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Administration.

The upper lines as per the bill:

  • Approximately 21 percent increase in the EPA’s budget
  • Approximately 14 percent increase in the discretionary budget of the Ministry of the Interior
  • Approximately 7% increase in the DOE budget

remind: This may not be the final funding bill, as Senate seizers create their own version.

On tap tomorrow

  • EPA Chemicals Officer Michael Friedhoff will testify before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works about implementing amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act
  • The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on legislation focusing on energy infrastructure, efficiency, and finance
  • The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee will hold a hearing on “The Nature of Matter, Energy, Space, and Time.” The Department of Energy’s science officer, Asmaret Berhe, will testify.

what we read

  • Canada bans single-use plastics to fight pollution and climate change (Washington Post)
  • Russia overtakes Saudi Arabia as China’s largest oil supplier — with some help from massive discounts (Yahoo)
  • Solar developers pledge to buy US panels — if someone picks them up (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Records show that Colorado releases biosolids using “forever chemicals” on farms. How dangerous is that? (Colorado Sun)
  • Will the Environmental Protection Agency use special authority to urge Trump to remain climate sensitive? (E&E News)

Finally, there is something odd and amazing: Ooo-mboush

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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