The Biden administration has touted eventual releases from the 180 million barrels of strategic oil reserve it announced in March.
Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior is announcing its first West Coast offshore wind lease sale, and a new analysis found that most waterways surveyed contained “permanent chemicals.”
This is Overnight Energy & EnvironmentA source of breaking news focused on , energy, the environment and more. The Hill is Rachel Frazien and Zach Badrick.
US releases 15 million barrels of oil from strategic reserves
The White House is touting the release of 15 million barrels of oil from the nation’s strategic stockpile, due to be formally announced by President Biden on Wednesday as it faces headwinds from rising gasoline prices. .
- The 15 million barrels of oil is the final part of the 180 million barrel release announced in March and does not constitute a further release.
- Nonetheless, a White House fact sheet cites the action as “taking additional action to strengthen energy security, address supply crises, and reduce costs.”
The rebound in gas prices in recent weeks, linked to factors such as refinery shutdowns and OPEC+ production cuts, has added to the White House’s fervor.
Ahead of the midterm elections, we’re once again facing prices near $4 a gallon. Although the president’s policies will have limited impact on gasoline prices, high costs are expected to remain a political liability for the ruling party.
Additionally, the White House has detailed a new strategy for buying oil to eventually replenish stockpiles. said to aim for
The US benchmark for crude oil, which is currently the main driver of gasoline prices, is around $84 per barrel.
Asked on a conference call with reporters about the possibility of restricting fuel exports, administration officials said they were open to all options but did not explicitly support or condemn the idea. rice field.
Please check this out for details.
Interior Announces First Pacific Offshore Wind Lease Sale
The Department of the Interior on Tuesday announced the first offshore wind lease sale off the west coast of the United States, set for Dec. 6 off the coast of California.
- The sale will include five leased areas with a total capacity to generate 4.5 gigawatts of wind energy, the division said in an announcement Tuesday.
- Three of them are off the central California coast and two are off the north coast of the state.
Wind farms in these regions could eventually produce enough energy to power more than 1.5 million homes, according to the agency.
“Today’s announcement is an effort to help the State of California, its tribes, ocean users, communities, and all to fight climate change and bring us closer to achieving our government’s vision of realizing a clean energy future for California. It represents years of close coordination and engagement with stakeholders in the domestic supply chain and high-paying union work,” said Amanda Lefton, director of the Bureau of Marine Energy Management (BOEM), in a statement.
“BOEM remains committed to ensuring transparency and active stakeholder engagement throughout the post-lease process.”
The Biden administration has set a broader target of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by the end of 2010, with plans to eventually install wind farms in the East, West and Gulf Coasts.
Learn more about the announcement here.
Southwest Fires and Floods Threaten Drinking Water
There was a shortage of clean water in Las Vegas, New Mexico.
Not to be confused with the larger Nevada city, the city was the victim of a combination of fire and flooding, putting not only the water supplies of multiple communities in the southwest seriously at risk.
A wildfire, in this example, started as a planned burning by the U.S. Forest Service, but got out of control, leaving behind ash and debris. And then there was the flood.
“Our water comes from the Galinas River, which was polluted by the fire and subsequent flooding, and sediments, metals, chemicals, everything washed into the river and the water could not be treated by the treatment system.” says Maria Gilvary. , the city’s public utilities director told The Hill in an interview in August.
At the time, she said, the city had only 35 days of water left.
In a follow-up interview this month, Gilvarry said at one point the city only had 21 days’ worth of water.
The Southwest region has always been defined by cyclical weather patterns of drought and monsoons, but climate change is making each more drastic.The region needed water.
Read more about Rachel and The Hill’s Saul Elbein here.
Analysis: 83% of waterways contaminated with PFAS
More than 83% of U.S. waterways sampled in a recent national survey were contaminated with cancer-related “forever chemicals,” a new analysis reveals.
- Of 114 rivers and streams assessed nationwide, 95 showed detectable levels of these toxic compounds, according to an analysis conducted by the Waterkeeper Alliance.
- Nearly all of these waterways are contaminated with at least one perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS), numbering in the thousands, but most samples contain multiple PFAS compounds. existed.
In some places, such as the Potomac River in Maryland, the Lower Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania, and the creeks that lead to the Niagara River in New York, the water is thousands to tens of times higher than what experts consider safe for drinking. There were contamination levels a million times higher. researchers warned.
“When we started testing our waterways for PFAS earlier this year, we knew we had a significant PFAS problem, but these findings confirm that to be an understatement.” said Marc Yaggi, CEO of the Waterkeeper Alliance, in a statement.
reminder: PFAS are known to be found in jet fuel foams and industrial waste, but they are also important ingredients in a variety of household products.
These compounds tend to persist in both the human body and the environment, true to the term “forever chemicals”. They are associated with many diseases, including thyroid disease, kidney cancer, and testicular cancer.
- Although the survey was a national effort, field work was done through 113 local Waterkeeper chapters, with samples taken in 34 states and the District of Columbia this May through July.
- According to the study, the group collected a total of 228 samples from 114 rivers and streams in these regions and analyzed them in the laboratory for 55 PFASs. The researchers said they identified 35 of the 55 individual PFASs in at least one waterway sampled.
For more information, see Sharon Udasin’s article on The Hill.
New Jersey is the latest state to call for climate change
New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin, a Democrat, said Tuesday that five fossil fuel companies and the American Petroleum Institute (API) filed a lawsuit, claiming they misled the public about the role of their products in climate change. Announced.
In the lawsuit, Platkin and the State Department of Environmental Protection and Consumer Affairs allege that Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP, ConocoPhillips, Shell and API are “systematically concealed.”[ed] and den[ied]Knowledge of the role of fossil fuels in climate change. The lawsuit further accuses the defendants of stepping up their public relations efforts to call into question the facts of climate change despite their knowledge of the industry’s contribution to climate change.
The lawsuit documents the defendants’ tacit knowledge of climate change that goes back decades, including investments in elevated oil platforms to explain rising sea levels and a 1973 Exxon patent for cargo ships that can break through sea ice. I am citing a given case.
Going back further, plaintiffs allege that the company that eventually became ConocoPhillips patented an early form of carbon sequestration technology in 1966.
Emissions from greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, are a major driver of climate change.
Despite analysis showing that no company spent more than 2.3% of its total capital on low-carbon energy between 2010 and 2018, plaintiffs continue to greenwash or It further accuses the defendants of misrepresenting the environmental benefits of
- APIs: “The past 20 years of records show that the industry has met its goals of providing American consumers with affordable and reliable American energy while significantly reducing emissions and environmental footprint. All proposals to the contrary are false.”
- chevron called the complaint “a special interest litigation asking the Superior Court of New Jersey to punish certain groups of energy companies on issues that are the result of global conduct dating back to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.”
- Exxon: “Such legal proceedings waste millions of taxpayer dollars and do nothing to advance meaningful action that reduces the risks of climate change.”
what we are reading
- Pollution still flows through loopholes in Clean Water Act (E&E News)
- Government scientists bring breakthrough to recycling plastics that end up in landfills (Vice)
- California has passed a landmark law on plastic pollution. Why are some environmentalists still concerned? (in climate news)
- US Permian oil production forecast hits record in November – EIA (Reuters)
- New study shows how bad California wildfire smoke is for climate (The Los Angeles Times)
That’s all for today, thanks for reading. For the latest news and coverage, visit The Hill’s Energy & Environment page. See you tomorrow.