New US LNG projects run the risk of being delayed following Biden's decision in January to review the present permission process and freeze new LNG project permits.

US LNG projects run risk of being delayed

Amidst the Biden Administration’s effort for lower emissions and the ongoing evaluations about the environmental impact of the planned export facilities, new US LNG projects run the risk of being delayed. Following Biden’s decision in January to review the present permission process and freeze new LNG project permits, the US administration is seeking to impose more stringent regulations on the amount of pollution that export facilities are permitted to release into the neighborhood. Projects are getting delayed due to the additional criteria. Due to heat waves in certain regions of Asia and predictions of above-average temperatures in China and Southeast Asia in the upcoming weeks, there has been an increase in the purchase of spot LNG, driving up spot prices in Asia this week to their highest point since early January. And as Houthi attacks on ships going through the Red Sea has resulted in the redirection of maritime trade in the area, several analysts have predicted that the rerouting of marine transit will result in higher prices and slower deliveries of products.  LNG was no different, with commentators suggesting that the longer travel times and possibility of market fragmentation would lead to a reduction in the availability of LNG carriers. 

Climate pledges by top oil companies failing on every front: Report 

A recent report by the research and advocacy group Oil Change multinational analysed the climate policies of the eight biggest multinational oil and gas producers in the US and Europe. The analysis found that even though these companies—BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Eni, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Shell, and TotalEnergies—had made significant commitments to reduce their emissions, none of them were consistent with keeping global warming to 1.5°C over pre-industrial levels. Each aspect of each company’s plan was assessed using 10 criteria, ranging from “fully aligned” to “grossly insufficient”, the Guardian reported. The analysis showed that all eight organisations scored “insufficient” or “grossly insufficient” on almost all of the aspects. In each of the ten categories, the US companies Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and ExxonMobil received a “grossly insufficient” ranking. The report also said the companies’ current oil and gas extraction plans could lead to more than 2.4°C of global temperature rise.     

Incoming Dutch govt plans for more offshore extraction, nuclear energy

The Netherlands’ incoming government stated that it intends to lessen the country’s reliance on “unreliable countries” by increasing nuclear energy production and offshore natural gas extraction, according to Reuters. The right-wing administration stated in its coalition agreement draft that it would not impose further national limits on top of the already agreed-upon international climate goals. This implied the cancellation of the proposed extra national carbon dioxide tax. The four political parties in the potential administration have conservative and populist ideologies, which align with the aims to strengthen energy security in the Netherlands. They also show the challenges the nation experienced when the war in Ukraine broke out in 2022 and it lost access to Russian gas. The nation’s intentions to increase offshore wind seem to be unchanging, but there will be less emphasis placed on building new wind turbines on land. Furthermore, the agreement restated intentions to enhance nuclear energy generation in the Netherlands. 

US to end federal leases in the most coal-rich region of the country?

The Biden administration recommended ending new coal leasing from federal reserves in the Powder River Basin region of Wyoming and Montana — which is the most productive coal mining region in the United States. This proposal was prepared in response to a 2022 court decision that found that two federal land management plans for the Powder River Basin, created during the administration of former President Donald Trump, had not sufficiently considered the effects of burning coal on public health and climate change. In response, the Biden administration is releasing plans that would maintain the terms of current leases while prohibiting new coal leasing in the area. Before the plans are finalised, there will be a 30-day opportunity for public opposition. The idea, according to environmentalists, represents a historic turn in the country’s coal programme, which for the previous 50 years has enabled businesses to obtain cheap coal from vast strip mines, mostly in Western regions, in quantities amounting to billions of tonnes. 

Trump’s deal with Big Oil to save the industry $110 billion?

According to the Guardian, Donald Trump is reportedly offering a deal to Big Oil CEOs in exchange for $1 billion in campaign contributions. If he wins reelection to the White House, the agreement might save the sector $110 billion in tax benefits. More than 20 CEOs, including those from Chevron, Exxon, and Occidental Petroleum, attended a fundraising event hosted by Trump. In exchange, Trump promised to lift drilling restrictions, abandon the moratorium on petrol exports, and undo recently implemented laws meant to reduce vehicle emissions if elected. The tax code seems to be the primary driving force behind oil and gas firms’ support for Trump; if Joe Biden is re-elected in November, the industry stands to gain approximately $110 billion in tax cuts, the report added. 

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