Energy and the environment – the intercontinental energy battle heats up

Russia, Europe escalate energy showdown

Russia and the West are Participate in an escalating energy sparring competition European countries tried to limit their reliance on the Kremlin because of the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.

The latest development on Friday came amid announcing that Russia would cut off gas supplies to Finland.

This comes after G-7 members said this month that they would phase out Russian oil, while the European Union is weighing its own Russian oil ban separately.

Where does this leave both parties? Experts say the West’s energy efforts could hurt Russia’s economy, but at a cost.

“There are no winners in this situation,” said Samantha Gross, who worked in international affairs at the Department of Energy during the Obama administration.

“What you’re seeing is the Europeans want to embargo Russian oil to punish the Russians, and the Russians are cutting gas supplies to punish the Europeans because those fuels are the fuels where everyone has the upper hand,” Gross said, now that Director of the Brookings Institution’s Energy Security and Climate Initiative, added.

At the start of the conflict, Western nations took steps to curb their reliance on Russian fuel, the country’s biggest export.

The plot thickens: Western countries have stepped up these initiatives. The European Union has proposed a ban on Russian oil, and the G7 also recently said it would phase out Russian oil.

But it is unclear whether the EU push will succeed, as it faces resistance from Hungary. EU sanctions require the consent of all member states.

Russia cut off gas exports to Poland and Bulgaria late last month after the EU proposed it.

Recently, Russian electricity provider RAO Nordic Oy stop supplying electricity to Finland. Russia claims the country is not paying its bills, but the move comes as Finland asks to join NATO.

On Friday, Finnish energy company Gasum said to have been notified by the Russian energy giant Gazprom It will shut down its gas supply the next day.

Read more about conflicts here.

Democrats cast doubt on EU gas plan

Twenty-two congressional Democrats on Thursday urge caution The EU plans to replace fossil fuel imports from Russia with liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure.

In a letter to President Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, members warned that the transition must be part of the goals of the Paris climate agreement. The letter came shortly after the European Union announced a plan to replace the energy it normally imports from Russia, including 50 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas from suppliers such as the United States.

What are they talking about: “While the joint statement includes specifics on natural gas, it does not contain specifics on the development of clean, renewable energy. The task force must develop a plan to rapidly shift the EU and the US from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy by 2035, ‘ the members wrote. “When climate science, environmental justice and public health issues require a rapid transition to fully renewable energy, it is critical that our nation does not lock itself into decades of further reliance on fossil fuels.”

They noted that LNG infrastructure construction could take three years or more, which could divert resources from the transition to renewables at a critical time. Meanwhile, the letter cited analysis suggesting that the EU could replace two-thirds of Russia’s gas imports with renewable energy in less time.

The letter was led by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.).

Signed Senator: Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.). Member of the House of Representatives who signed: Jerry Nadler (DN.Y.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.), Andy Levin (D-Mich.), Mark Takano (D-Calif.), Donald Payne (DN.J.), Dina Titus ( D-Nev.), Jesus Garcia (D-Ill.), Jamaal Bowman (DN.Y.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) , Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Calif.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), James McGovern (D-Mass.), Alma Adams (DN.C.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes-Norton (DD.C.) .

Read more about the letter here.

Biden launches plan to clean school buses

Biden administration starting One plan on Friday was to use funding from a bipartisan infrastructure law to support a shift to cleaner school buses.

Environmental Protection Agency Vice President Harris and Michael Regan
(EPA) administrators are expected to announce the start of applications for cleaning school bus grants in Falls Church, Virginia.

First round of applications open for $500 million in grants through electric school bus According to the press release, or other low-emission buses.

The Biden administration has been pushing for a similar plan enacted by the bipartisan infrastructure law as it remains in limbo to push for an additional spending bill expected to be supported only by Democratic lawmakers. The bill would make significant investments in tackling climate change.

White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy told reporters Thursday that in the bus funding push, the EPA will prioritize communities that are under-resourced or overburdened by pollution.

“This investment will have a huge impact on the lives of school children who currently ride dirty diesel buses. Diesel air pollution causes breathing difficulties, causes asthma and causes other health problems,” she said.

Read more about the program here.


On Friday, President Biden nominated Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Richard Glick for re-election to the agency.

Glick is a Democrat who was previously nominated by President Trump to serve on bipartisan committees, and his current term expires on June 30, 2022.

FERC regulates interstate energy transmission, including electricity and natural gas pipelines.

The renomination comes after the agency issued a rule under which it would consider the climate impact of a proposed pipeline when deciding whether to approve it.

Initially, the policy was expected to take effect upon publication, but later the agency Backtracking, making it a draft rather than immediate.

The rule was strongly opposed by Republicans and key Senate swing vote Joe Manchin (DW.Va.).

“It’s too much for the committee to put the political agenda above its main mission — ensuring our nation’s energy reliability and security. The only thing they’ve done today is build additional roadblocks, further delaying building our nation urgently needed energy infrastructure,” Manchin said in a statement when the rule was first proposed.

click next week


  • House Select Committee on Climate Crisis to Hold hearing On “Building Affordable and Resilient Food Supply Chains”


  • The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will an examination Joe Goffman nominated to lead EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation
  • House Financial Services Committee to hold hearing About Reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program


  • House Appropriations Subcommittee to Hold hearing On National Defense Environment Restoration

what are we reading

  • Could Google’s carbon emissions effectively double overnight? (The New Yorker)
  • How natural gas benefits are slowing Chile’s clean energy transition (Associated Press)
  • Summer Outlook: Above-average temperatures for much of the U.S. as the western drought continues (CNN)
  • The data shows that coal causes more greenhouse gas pollution per capita in Australia than any other developed country (protector)
  • Biden’s EPA air nominee backed by miners (Electrical and Electronic News)

Finally, something offbeat but a bit trendy: This is one way to deal with high oil prices.

That’s all for today, thanks for reading.Check out Hill’s Energy and Environment Page Get the latest news and coverage. See you next week.

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