Welcome to Friday’s Overnight Energy & Environment,The latest news about energy, the environment, as well as other topics. Subscribe here and view the full edition here.
Today’s news includes a new EU/European energy agreement, FERC backtracking regarding pipeline requirements, and another offshore wind power announcement.
Rachel Frazin was the Hill’s editor and Zack Budryk was its reporter. Write to us with tips: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Lets jump in.
US, EU to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russia
The United States and European Commission on Friday announced measures to wean European nations off of Russian gas, the latest effort to deal a blow to Russia’s economy amid its invasion of Ukraine.
The two sides announced a task force “to reduce Europes dependence on Russian fossil fuels and strengthen European energy security” following a meeting in Brussels between President Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
The goal is to prepare European countries for next winter and beyond so that they can maintain a steady flow of energy without relying heavily on natural gas provided by Russia, which has given Moscow significant leverage and has been a key sector of Russia’s economy.
How will it all work? As part of the arrangement, the United States will work with international partners to supply more liquefied natural gas (LNG). The United States and its partners will supply at most 15 billion cubic meters of LNG by 2022. However, it is not yet clear how much will be supplied from the United States.
The European Commission committed to working with EU member states to ensure that demand for LNG from the U.S. is at least 50 billion cubic meters by 2030.
The task force will also examine ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build renewable energy infrastructure within the European Union.
The task force will also focus on reducing Europe’s natural gas demand by improving infrastructure that reduces dependence on natural gas to support solar and wind power, and other forms of renewable energy.
Learn more from The Hills Brett Samuels.
The regulator reverses its assessment of the effects of pipelines
Thursday night’s unanimous vote by the federal energy regulator to rescind a policy which would have evaluated the climate impacts of existing natural gas pipelines was unanimous.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), at its Thursday meeting, stated that the proposal would only be considered a draft and applied to future pipeline projects.
Ive had conversations with many pipeline and oil companies over the past month. [liquefied natural gas]I know that my colleagues and companies have the same opinion as me, Chairman Richard Glick, who was appointed chair of the FERC by President Biden and nominated by former President Trump, stated at the meeting. I heard that the policy statements raised additional questions which could be answered.
Glick continued by stating that FERC’s approach to natural gas pipeline regulation over the past few years hasn’t been consistent with our legal responsibilities. The courts keep on telling Glick that, pointing out the D.C. Circuit Court has reaffirmed FERC’s decision on pipeline or liquefied petroleum gas (LNG) certificates.
This is the story so far FERC approved the policy in February after years of criticism from environmental groups, who have accused the agency of rubber-stamping pipelines regardless of environmental impact. A 2020 investigation by House Oversight and Reform Committee revealed that the agency had approved nearly 99 percent of all pipeline projects over the past 20-years.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), however, and Republicans strongly criticized the policy, especially given rising gas prices, volatility in the energy markets, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.In a statement, Senator John Barrasso (R.Wyo.), stated that the Senate Energy Committee’s ranking member said Thursday that the agency must redraw these proposals and go back to the drawing boards.
Learn more about the reverse here.
Officials announce wind power lease for Carolinas
Friday morning saw the Biden administration announce the first offshore lease sale of wind energy off the coasts of the Carolinas. This was part of a larger goal of installing 30 gigawatts.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will auction the two lease areas that cover 110,091 acres of the Carolina Long Bay. It will take place on May 11. After development, the Interior Department estimates that the area could produce 1.3 gigawatts offshore energy.
The Biden-Harris administration is committed supporting a strong clean energy economy. The upcoming Carolina Long Bay offshore Wind Energy Auction provides another excellent opportunity for strengthening the clean energy sector while creating good-paying union job opportunities, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland stated in a statement.
This is a historic time for domestic offshore energy development. We will continue to use all tools in our toolbox to combat the climate crisis, reduce our emissions and reach President Trump’s bold goals for environmental justice.
The Biden administration’s goal to reduce the U.S. carbon emission by half by 2030 includes the 30 gigawatt goal. The administration released a roadmap to offshore wind power in autumn 2020. It envisions installations along the east and west coasts of America, as well as the Gulf of Mexico.
Learn more about the announcement.
ON TAP NEXT WOEEK
- The House Energy & Commerce Committee will hold a hearing entitled Trusting the Tap: Upgrading Americas Drinking Water Infrastructure
- The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing to examine the opportunities and challenges facing domestic critical mineral mining, processing, refining, and reprocessing.
- The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing entitled Benefits of the Legacy Pollution Clean-Up Programs in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
VIRTUAL EVENT INVITATION
Driving Tomorrow: EVs and AVsTuesday March 29 at 1:00 ET
The world of automobiles is changing rapidly due to climate change, technological advances and innovation. How can we design infrastructure that is sustainable as batteries, chips, and electric charging stations become more important? How can electric vehicles be made affordable and accessible for all drivers? Are autonomous vehicles possible to make roads safer? Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., Rep. Bob Latta (R.Ohio), EVgo CEO Cathy Zoi. Lion Electrics Marc Bedard and more join The Hill to discuss. Register today.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Colleges that train drillers or miners are being affected by climate change (E&E News).
The Associated Press reveals that Alaska’s air pollution may have clues for other Arctic climates.
Treasury Secretary Yellen says the U.S. should have made a faster transition to renewable energy (CNBC).
Report says that Delaware and Maryland rivers are among the most polluted (The Delaware News Journal).
New Mexico’s Methane Leaks Exceed Current Estimates. Study suggests (The New York Times).
American Indian communities benefit less from downward trends in air pollution: study
Russia destroys Chernobyl lab, gaining ‘highly active samples’
Last but not least, something a bit offbeat and a little on-beat A heavy bird-en
That’s all for today. Thank you for reading. Check out The Hills energy & environment page for the latest news and coverage. We hope to see you Monday.