Daily on Energy: Biden again dogged by rising oil prices

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The stubbornness of oil: Oil prices are soaring today, with Brent crude holding above $86 after closing above the same mark on Friday for the first time since peaking in October.

West Texas Intermediate is above $84 a barrel, after rising more than 18.5% from Dec. 14 to Jan. 14.

Jacques Rousseau from ClearView Energy Partners pointed to supply outages in Libya and Ecuador, as well as Kazakhstan, as helping to drive the upward trend, but the consensus also appears to be that the omicron variant is not weighing on demand like Marketers feared it when it first burst onto the scene around Thanksgiving.

“The demand side is harder to read at this point, but rising oil prices suggest to us that the Omicron variant may be less disruptive to mobility than the Delta variant,” Rousseau told Jeremy.

In short, high and rising prices demonstrate some permanence and, by extension, carry a political challenge for the president through 2022. Joe Biden, which has been forced to try to reduce the costs of fossil fuels while simultaneously pursuing green policies to reduce their use.

High prices seen last fall fueled months of oil and gas policy from the Biden administration in the fourth quarter, as Biden and officials called for an FTC investigation into the industry for practices unfair trade, released crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and ultimately encouraged more production from domestic producers.

Mike Muller, head of Asia for the Vitol group based in Switzerland, noted over the weekend, he expects Biden to release more oil from the SPR.

“The market is saying, ‘More, please,'” Muller said.

The White House has made no recent indication, but the administration said following the SPR’s initial announcement that it may return to the reserve if conditions warrant. It would seem like safe political play for Biden, as congressional Democrats have shown by urging him to open the reserve they see as designed for these particular circumstances.

Some analysts have argued that the SPR is unlikely to significantly affect prices the way additional production might, but relying heavily on this strategy beyond the Energy Secretary Jennifer GranholmUrging domestic producers to “make your platform count” would pose particular political challenges, especially as Biden’s energy and climate agenda remains stalled.

Welcome to Daily on Energy, written by Washington Examiner Energy and environment editor Jeremy Beman (@jeremywbeaman). Email jbeaman@washingtonexaminer.com for tips, suggestions, calendar items, and anything else. If a friend sent it to you and you want to subscribe, Click here. If signing up doesn’t work, email us and we’ll add you to our list.

STORM LEAVES TENS OF THOUSANDS WITHOUT POWER: Eastern US states have tens of thousands of homes without power after weekend winter storm.

According to poweroutage.us, more than 27,000 customers in North Carolina are without power and West Virginia has more than 25,000 without power. South Carolina tops the list with more than 29,000 without power this morning.

INCREASED GAS DEMAND BEFORE WEEKEND STORM: Gasoline demand surged across the country ahead of the weekend as the winter storm headed east.

U.S. gasoline demand jumped 17.1% on Friday from the previous Friday and was 8.9% above the four-week average, according to GasBuddy data.

DOJ CALLS ON COMMERCIAL COURT TARIFF WAIVER DECISION: The Justice Department on Friday appealed a ruling last year by the U.S. Court of International Trade that overturned an effort initiated under the Trump administration to impose tariffs on previously exempt bifacial solar panels .

In November, judge Gary Katzman barred the government from enforcing a presidential proclamation to raise panel tariffs and increase module duties, judging the proclamation to be beyond the president donald trumpauthority.

Leading solar trade group Solar Energy Industries Association, which was among the plaintiffs who originally sued the proclamation, expressed disappointment with the Biden DOJ’s decision to appeal.

“To continue this legal fight in light of the case’s history is another misstep by the government in this long and tortured saga and does not provide any benefit to American workers, the public or clean energy goals,” he said. said SEIA General Counsel and Vice President of Market Strategy. John Smirnow said in a statement.

SEIA lobbied Biden not to extend Section 201 tariffs on solar imports after the U.S. International Trade Commission recommended he do so last month to protect domestic cell and module manufacturing.

YOUNGKIN WITHDRAWALS FROM GREENHOUSE GAS INITIATIVE: Govt. Glenn Youngkin signed an executive order over the weekend to begin the process of withdrawing from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

young order a report on the costs and benefits of the cap and trade regime and directed the State Director of the Department of Environmental Quality and the Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources to notify the RGGI of its intention to withdraw either by regulatory action or by legislation.

The order framed the decision as an attempt to spare taxpayers the costs associated with buying and selling emissions allowances between Virginia utilities, which in 2021 sold more than $227 million of quotas, he said.

young had described the arrangement as “really a carbon tax”.

Democrats argue that pulling out of RGGI is counterproductive in light of the Virginia Clean Economy Act, signed by the Democratic governor. Ralph Northam in 2020, which demanded that Virginia’s electric grid decarbonize by 2050 and ordered power generation regulations to that end. They argue that a multi-state trading market will help achieve this goal.

OFFSHORE WIND PROGRESS IN NEW YORK: Norwegian energy giant Equinor and BP have finalized purchase and sale agreements with regulators over their offshore wind joint venture off New York, stakeholders said on Friday.

Under the PSAs, Equinor and BP agree to supply 1,260 megawatts of renewable offshore wind power from their Empire Wind 2 project and 1,230 MW of electricity from their Beacon Wind 1 project.

The agreements follow the announcement last week of an ongoing offshore wind lease auction in which the Department of the Interior will make more than 488,000 acres of federal waters available to developers.

SCOTLAND CONCLUDE OFFSHORE CHARTER TOUR: The Scottish Government’s Crown Estate Scotland today announcement results from “ScotWind”, its first offshore wind rental cycle in more than a decade, which has resulted in 17 new floating and fixed offshore projects.

Applicants included BP Alternative Energy Investments and Shell New Energies, and overall new capacity under ScotWind is expected to be 24,826 megawatts. The public company said the candidates would pay £700million in option fees to the Scottish government.

“Just a few months after hosting COP26, we have taken an important step towards powering our future economy with renewable electricity,” said the managing director of Crown Estate Scotland. Simon Hodge.

SCHWARZENEGGER CALIFORNIA SOLAR TAX WARNS‘: “Let’s call it by its name: a solar tax” Arnold Schwarzenegger written in a New York Times editorial released today criticizing the California Public Utilities Commission’s net metering proposal.

The governor acknowledges criticism of existing incentives for rooftop solar – namely, that they shift the costs to people who are too poor to install solar or who live in apartments – but argues that the energy cheaper solar benefits everyone. He also boasts that the state has surpassed the goal he set in 2006 as Republican governor of adding solar panels to 1 million rooftops.

In weighing against the proposal, Schwarzenegger joins Elon Musk, which last week smashed it as a “weird anti-environmental movement”.

The summary

Associated press From oil-rich United Arab Emirates, South Korean president promises climate action

Bloomberg Automotive advertising finally goes electric

The Guardian Norway blows up hydroelectric dam to restore river health and fish stocks

Calendar

WEDNESDAY | JAN. 19

10:30 am Rayburn 2123 The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing entitled “Securing our Energy Infrastructure: Legislation to Enhance Pipeline Reliability”.

THURSDAY | JAN. 20

10:30 a.m. The Rayburn 2123 Energy and Commerce Committee and its Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled “Cryptocurrency Cleanup: The Energy Impacts of Blockchain.”

12 p.m. The National EV Charging Initiative will welcome a one-of-a-kind electric vehicle Mountain peak.



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Felix J. Dixon