Texas Democrats: Biden’s Energy Policies Will Cost Jobs, Create Dependence on Foreign Oil

Henry Cuellar

Seven Democratic U.S. representatives have asked Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, to not target the oil and gas industry in the budget reconciliation bill before Congress.

Despite the concerns they and those in the industry have raised, Democrats in the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee pushed through a section of the bill, which includes billions of dollars in taxes, fines and fees on the oil and gas industry in the name of climate change.

Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., said the section of the bill that passed “invested in millions of American jobs” and put the U.S. “on a more stable long-term economic and environmental path.”

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Biden Gears Up for Renewed Fight Against Oil and Gas

A federal judge has ruled the Biden administration must resume allowing oil and gas leasing on federal land and waters, but the administration is saying it will not go down without a fight.

The Biden administration said it will appeal a court ruling allowing the leases, the latest development in a months-long battle between President Joe Biden and the oil and gas industry, even as gas prices continue to rise.

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Labor Shortage Slows Oil Production in Major Fracking State

A shortage of workers has contributed to a significant crude oil production slowdown in North Dakota, the second-largest U.S. oil hub behind only Texas.

The labor shortage has caused oil output to become “flat as a pancake,” North Dakota State Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms told The Bismarck Tribune. Energy companies have struggled to find workers needed to do the laborious work — injecting water, sand and chemicals into wells to extract oil — associated with fracking.

“Most of these folks went to Texas where activity was still significantly higher than it was here, where they didn’t have winter and where there were jobs in their industry,” Helms said, according to the Tribune. “It’s going to take higher pay and housing incentives and that sort of thing to get them here.”

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Oil Reaches Highest Price in Six Years Amid Low Supply, Output

Oil prices climbed to a six-year high Tuesday as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia continue to tamp down on global output, The Wall Street Journal reported.

An OPEC meeting was called off Monday, the WSJ reported. It was the group’s third attempt to discuss surging prices and an increase in oil consumption amid an opening global economy.

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As Biden Seeks to Limit U.S. Oil Production, Reliance on Russian Imports Rises

Within months of President Joe Biden halting the Keystone Pipeline, pausing new oil and gas leases on federal lands, and imposing further restrictions on U.S. oil companies, U.S. oil imports from Russia set a new record in March.

According to International Energy Agency, U.S. imports of crude oil and petroleum products from Russia reached 22.9 million barrels in March, the highest level since August 2010. They had reached over 25 million barrels in April 2009.

Crude oil imports from Russia in March stood at 6.1 million barrels, making Russia the third-largest oil exporter to the United States.

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Federal Judge Orders Biden Administration to Halt Oil and Gas Leasing Ban

A federal judge ordered the federal government to halt its ban on new oil and gas leases in a major setback for President Joe Biden’s administration.

Judge Terry Doughty, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, granted a preliminary injunction that had been requested by a large coalition of Republican state attorneys general in an order released Tuesday evening. The Department of Interior is prohibited from enforcing the oil and gas leasing ban until the case is concluded, according to the order.

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Commentary: The Keystone Cancellation and Biden’s Climate Cronyism

Among many executive actions signed on Inauguration Day to sweep Trump policies out the door along with the man himself, President Biden rescinded approval for the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Keystone XL, according to Biden’s top climate policy adviser Gina McCarthy, “was not consistent with addressing the climate crisis to the depth and scope that we are planning to address it.”

Keystone XL has now played the role of political football for a full decade, and Americans can be forgiven for having forgotten the project’s details.

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Venezuela Judge Convicts Six American Oil Execs, Orders Prison

Six American oil executives held for three years in Venezuela were found guilty of corruption charges by a judge Thursday and immediately sentenced to prison, dashing hopes of a quick release that would send them home to their families in the United States.

Some relatives had been bracing for the disheartening outcome, which came on the evening of Thanksgiving Day.

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Biden’s Plan to ‘Transition Away’ from the Oil Industry Would Hurt New Mexico, Texas the Most

Both Republicans and Democrats are pushing back on comments Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden made about “transitioning away” from the oil industry.

At the presidential debate Thursday night, Biden said, “I would transition away from the oil industry, yes. The oil industry pollutes, significantly. It has to be replaced by renewable energy over time.”

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Oil and Gas Production to Account for 68 Percent of Energy Consumption Over Next Two Decades

Over the next two decades, oil and gas production is projected to account for 68 percent of energy consumption in the U.S. and will play a key role in the energy transition to a low carbon future, according to a new report published by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Natural gas is increasingly powering plants to produce electricity, but oil and natural gas are revitalizing the U.S. petrochemical industry, growing the liquefied natural gas industry, and boosting high-tech materials, the report states.

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Michigan Refineries Warn of Fuel Shortages and Price Increases if Line 5 Closure Continues

Shutting down the Line 5 pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac – even if only temporarily – will send adverse effects rippling throughout Michigan, other areas of the Midwest and, as well, Ontario and Quebec.

That’s according to not only Enbridge, which operates Line 5, but also the refineries that rely on the pipeline to supply the fuel provided to consumers at the fuel pump and such major customers as Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

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Oil Demand to Spike in 2021 by 5.7 Million Barrels Daily as Oil Companies Slash Production: IEA

Cuts in oil supply and a record rebound in demand in 2021 will help put the fossil fuel industry on better footing even as the pandemic hammers oil demand, the International Energy Agency said Tuesday.

Demand for oil will rebound by a record 5.7 million barrels per day even as world demand for crude drops by 8.1 million barrels daily in 2020, the IEA reported. The report comes as city officials ease up on economic lockdowns, which is spurring a recovery in crude demand.

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Plummeting Oil Prices Are Not Reflected in California’s Price at the Pump

Tennessee Star

Gas prices are falling all over the country as oil prices tumble, yet prices are still relatively high in California, where environmental polices are restricting how oil refineries can produce gasoline.

The price of a gallon of gas has plummeted in Ohio to around $1 in part because Americans are self-isolating to avoid spreading the novel coronavirus. The average price dropped 35.1 cents over the past month, according to data from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

A BP station in Kentucky, for instance, posted a price below $1 a gallon, The Washington Post reported Thursday. Four other stations in Oklahoma City followed suit, along with another in Paris, Tennessee. The national average for gas on Thursday was $2.03, down from $2.41 at the beginning of March.

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Russia Wages an Oil War Against Saudi Arabia and US Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Oil prices dropped Monday as Saudi Arabia and Russia haggle over whether to reduce crude production amid fears that coronavirus will hamper air travel and potentially wreck the global economy.

Prices fell into the $30s as the Saudis push for a cut in output to prop up prices, while Russia went the other way, and decided to infuse the market with hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil, according to The Washington Post. Moscow is worried that the U.S. will use shale oil to take advantage if Saudi Arabia ease off production.

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Eight Industries Venezuela Nationalized (Besides Oil)

Caracas, Venezuela

Venezuela has experienced one of the sharpest economic declines in modern history—rampant inflation, near-famine, and an exodus of millions of asylum seekers. Yet there remains disagreement over what caused it.

Many refuse to blame socialism, instead citing the collapse of oil prices, corruption, its abandonment of democracy, and other factors. If socialism did play a role, it was a small one, says Venezuelan writer Francisco Toro in the Washington Post, citing “a unique mix of circumstances, in which socialism is just one ingredient.”

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Commentary: Magical Thinking Meets the Inconvenient Realities of the ‘New Energy Economy’

by Mark P. Mills   A week doesn’t pass without a mayor, governor, policymaker or pundit joining the rush to demand, or predict, an energy future that is entirely based on wind/solar and batteries, freed from the “burden” of the hydrocarbons that have fueled societies for centuries. Regardless of one’s…

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