MISSED OPPORTUNITIES — Everybody comprehends the role of fossil fuels in enabling Russia’s conflict on Ukraine. However Democrats can not seem to maintain the messaging that might again that up and make it in any other case.
President Joe Biden hasn’t drawn an express connection between the West’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels and Vladimir Putin’s capacity to fund his assault on a neighboring state. As a substitute, the primary month of the invasion has been characterised by a number of makes an attempt to melt the impacts of excessive gasoline costs, like California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal this week to give drivers $400 each.
“This might have been a second for ethical readability on the hazards of fossil fuels — however up to now, Democrats have fumbled that message,” the New York Instances’ Farhad Manjoo laments.
There have been strikingly few high-profile requires demand discount in contrast with the Seventies, when President Richard Nixon lowered pace limits and requested for “voluntary conservation” in a State of the Union deal with, as Adam Aton reports for POLITICO’s E&E News. (Biden buried local weather in his SOTU.)
Whereas the Worldwide Power Company put out a 10-point plan final week calling for decreasing freeway pace limits by about 6 mph (estimated to avoid wasting 290,000 barrels every day), working from residence three days every week (170,000 barrels a day) and curbing air journey for enterprise (260,000 barrels every day), nobody’s speaking about it right here. These are pandemic-proven behavioral modifications, for probably the most half, however they appear to be irretrievably within the rearview mirror, with gasoline demand rising every of the previous six weeks.
“From the attitude of attempting to fill a Russia-size gap within the world oil market, it’s actually vital what we’ve proven we are able to do via behavioral measures,” Pete Erickson, local weather coverage program director on the Stockholm Surroundings Institute, instructed Adam.
However there are some inexperienced shoots:
— Power Secretary Jennifer Granholm pitched a Marshall Plan-style transition to cleaner vitality on the IEA on Tuesday, POLITICO’s Kelsey Tamborrino stories.
— Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is perhaps OK with restarting Construct Again Higher talks, which might pave the way in which for a slimmer measure that also accommodates some local weather measures, Emma Dumain, Jeremy Dillon and Nick Sobczyk report for POLITICO’s E&E News.
— And Biden is drafting an govt order to invoke the Protection Manufacturing Act to spice up manufacturing of essential minerals for EVs and energy-storage batteries, the Intercept reports. It comes on the heels of a letter from five senators urging him to make use of the DPA and navy gross sales to spice up manufacturing of electrical warmth pumps, electrical home equipment and renewable vitality expertise.
— Biden’s two-pronged announcement in the present day from Brussels, which goals to spice up liquefied pure gasoline shipments to Europe but additionally scale back vitality demand via elevated effectivity. (Turning thermostats down by 1 diploma Celsius, as WaPo points out, would scale back gasoline demand by 10 billion cubic meters per 12 months.)
One other instance of ambivalence within the face of vitality challenges: Universities that practice future oil and gasoline staff are seeing declining enrollment, in response to the business’s more and more unsure future. They’re responding by pivoting to cutting-edge applications targeted on quantum engineering, superior manufacturing and knowledge science — however they’re additionally turning to PR companies to assist polish their recruiting messages, as Corbin Hiar reports for POLITICO’s E&E News.
The Colorado College of Mines noticed the variety of petroleum engineering levels awarded fall by almost half from 2018 to 2020. To assist enhance enrollment, it employed a PR agency began by a former Clinton administration schooling coverage adviser.
“Bear in mind when speaking to oldsters that college students might not know what they need to do, and your job is to promote petroleum engineering,” a director on the agency, Group Gordon, mentioned in an e-mail final 12 months to the top of the varsity’s petroleum engineering division.
Mining would appear to be a safer guess than petroleum as demand for minerals is projected to rise, however college students do not appear to suppose so: The variety of mining graduates nationwide peaked at 533 in 2016, and has fallen by almost 40 p.c via 2020. Manchin and Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) introduced legislation Thursday that might create a grant program to assist universities recruit mining college students and fund analysis and demonstration tasks associated to mineral manufacturing.
“Younger folks both don’t find out about mining in any respect or they assume that with the inexperienced economic system…mining might be irrelevant,” mentioned Kwame Awuah-Offei, the director of the mining and explosives engineering division at Missouri College of Science and Know-how. “It’s really fairly the alternative.” Read more from Corbin here.
OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MINE — The Biden administration has taken a number of steps to ban Russian diamonds from the U.S., however they’re nonetheless seemingly discovering their approach into the nation, Jael Holzman reports for POLITICO’s E&E News.
The diamond business already has worldwide provide chain requirements, created in response to the “blood diamond” considerations of the late Nineties and early 2000s. However the Kimberley Course of was created to cease diamonds linked to battle whereas they’re of their unpolished and uncut state. And Russia’s state-backed Alrosa PJSC, the world’s largest diamond miner, often sends its stones to India for chopping and sharpening.
India has no restrictions on importing Russian diamonds, and diamonds are sometimes blended throughout transit, muddying their provenance.
Hans Merket, a researcher with human rights nonprofit IPIS, mentioned the diamond business has “up to now escaped a lot of the sanctions” carried out by the Biden administration.
“It’s one of many few sectors the place it’s enterprise as normal,” Merket mentioned.
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March 29 – The Electrical Energy Provide Affiliation will host its summit on March 29 at 7:30 a.m.
March 29 – The Bipartisan Coverage Heart discusses easy methods to decarbonize the pure gasoline sector at 10 a.m.
March 29 – The Home Power and Commerce Surroundings and Local weather Change Subcommittee holds a hearing on consuming water infrastructure at 10:30 a.m.
March 30 – The City Institute’s and The Brookings Establishment’s Tax Coverage Heart holds a discussion on carbon pricing at 1:30 p.m.
March 31 – A Home Pure Sources subcommittee holds a hearing on air pollution clean-up applications at 10 a.m.
April 1 – The Home Choose Local weather Disaster Committee holds a hearing on investing in wholesome ecosystems at 9:30 a.m.
Occasions are listed in Jap Time