California Lawmakers OK Potential Fines for High Gas Prices

Source: By Adam Beam, The Associated Press • Posted: Tuesday, March 28th, 2023

California lawmakers on Monday approved the nation’s first penalty for price gouging at the pump, voting to give regulators the power to punish oil companies for profiting from the type of gas price spikes that plagued the nation’s most populous state last summer. The Democrats in charge of the state Legislature worked quickly to pass the bill on Monday, just one week after it was introduced. It was an unusually fast process for a controversial issue, especially one opposed by the powerful oil industry that has spent millions of dollars to stop it.

Is green methanol an alternative to CO2 pipelines?

Source: By Erin Jordan, The Gazette • Posted: Tuesday, March 28th, 2023

Some renewable fuels advocates say carbon dioxide pipelines are the only way to save Iowa’s ethanol industry, but Jeff Reints doesn’t buy it. Especially not since he learned about CapCO2, a company marketing a system to capture CO2 from ethanol plants, combine it with hydrogen and turn it into green methanol — a highly sought renewable fuel. “It’s just so much more of a logical, better-for-the-environment, not-destroying-Iowa-farmland concept,” said Reints, a Shell Rock farmer, real estate developer and pipeline opponent.

RFA-Sponsored Poll Finds National Support for E15 Year-Round Among Voters

Source: By Todd Neeley, Progressive Farmer • Posted: Tuesday, March 28th, 2023

With E15 sales set to end starting June 1 without action from the Biden administration or Congress, the Renewable Fuels Association released the results of a national poll that found voters support year-round sales continuing. With retail gasoline prices still remaining elevated, the poll conducted by Morning Consult found nearly 70% of respondents support increasing the availability of E15 to help lower fuel prices and support energy independence. Just 13% of those surveyed said they did not support expanded E15 availability.

Climate fights at European court may ripple across the globe

Source: By Lesley Clark, E&E News • Posted: Tuesday, March 28th, 2023

Parenteau said the European Court of Human Rights’ interest in the climate cases comes as jurists in Europe, Latin America and Africa are beginning to recognize a right to a healthy environment.
“You’re seeing law emerging in other parts of the world, and you’ve got to believe that U.S. courts at some point are going to take note of that,” he said. “Europe is still a major market for American companies, and things that happen in Europe have ripple effects,” Parenteau said. He noted that a landmark 2021 ruling from a court in the Netherlands finding that Shell PLC must slash its greenhouse gas emissions could “affect the world” because the company has holdings across the globe.

EPA environmental justice office has cash, staff but no boss

Source: By Kevin Bogardus, E&E News • Posted: Tuesday, March 28th, 2023

President Joe Biden still has not nominated a leader for EPA’s new national office for environmental justice, despite his agenda’s emphasis on addressing marginalized communities bearing the brunt of pollution. “The fact that this office does not have a serious, capable, competent, connected leader who could speak to the breadth and depth of the environmental justice movement at this stage in the game, six months into the game, is a profound disappointment and disservice to the people,” said Aaron Mair, an environmental justice pioneer who was the Sierra Club’s first Black president.

Bipartisan lawmakers pressure Treasury ahead of EV guidance

Source: By Timothy Cama, Hannah Northey, E&E News • Posted: Tuesday, March 28th, 2023

Lawmakers from across the political spectrum are airing concerns ahead of an eagerly anticipated announcement from the Biden administration on who is eligible for electric vehicle tax incentives.
Many of those worries come from those who believe the administration could try to stretch some definitions in its interpretation of last year’s landmark Inflation Reduction Act to try to allow more vehicles to get the credit — which is meant to help the United States and its trading partners.

A closer look at the big House GOP energy package

Source: By Jeremy Dillon, Kelsey Brugger, Nico Portuondo, Hannah Northey, E&E News • Posted: Monday, March 27th, 2023

House Republicans are hoping to pass this week one of their biggest legislative priorities: An energy package that defies the Biden administration’s climate policies. The legislation, dubbed the “Lower Energy Costs Act” and given the symbolic priority of H.R. 1, is the culmination of two years’ worth of Republican heartburn with the Biden administration. The bill includes greater access to public lands for energy use, provisions to ease permitting bottlenecks and efforts to increase mining. Notably, the bill includes repeals to several provisions of last year’s climate-focused Inflation Reduction Act, including a fee on methane emissions.

NFU Workshop Highlights Technology That Allows Diesel Engines to Run on Ethanol

Source: By South Dakota Farmers Union • Posted: Monday, March 27th, 2023

“If you acknowledge ethanol’s decarbonization potential, it is hard to see a world where it does not stay relevant indefinitely,” said BJ Johnson, CEO and co-founder of ClearFlame Engine Technologies. Considering the growth in demand for long-haul trucks, even if a small percentage of fleets converted to ethanol, Johnson said demand for ethanol would dramatically increase. “Long-haul trucks need a liquid fuel like ethanol. Right now, trucks are 100 percent diesel. But in five years, it may only be 5 percent. But there will be more trucks. So, it is not a question of ‘how does ethanol take more of a shrinking market?‘ If you get into these markets (and convert diesel trucks to ethanol), it is how much of this growing market can ethanol serve?”

Fear of climate lawsuits spreads beyond fossil fuel industry

Source: By Corbin Hiar, E&E News • Posted: Monday, March 27th, 2023

The fear of being sued for contributing to climate change was once confined to the boardrooms of oil and gas companies. Now those concerns are spreading to other corporations as the Biden administration prepares to release regulations that could expose the polluting liabilities of every large firm in the United States. More than a dozen companies outside of the oil industry have disclosed climate-change-related legal risks to investors over the last three years, indicating what experts say is a growing sensitivity among businesses to the prospect of facing legal challenges for releasing large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Big Oil Eyes New Deals in North Africa Amid Rising Energy Demand

Source: By William Mauldi, Wall Street Journal • Posted: Monday, March 27th, 2023

After years of underinvestment in North Africa’s energy infrastructure, global oil-and-gas giants from Halliburton Co. and Chevron Corp. to Eni SpA are ramping up their presence in the region as demand from Europe grows. Executives in the industry are betting it is worth drilling again in some of the hardest places to do business in the world as Europe increasingly turns to other sources for its energy needs after shunning its main supplier, Russia, over the invasion of Ukraine. In recent months, a string of European officials have visited the region to help advance talks over potential supply deals.