US District Judge Terry Doughty on Tuesday halted President Joe Biden's oil and natural gas leasing freeze through a preliminary injunction, saying that such an action cannot be taken without approval from Congress. In a statement, the American Petroleum Institute urged the administration "to move expeditiously to follow the court's order and lift the federal leasing pause."
Marathon Petroleum's 700-mile High Plains crude pipeline system in North Dakota and Montana is stuck in regulatory and legal limbo over claims of trespass on Native American lands, leaving the fate of the project up in the air. The Bureau of Indian Affairs issued a notice of trespass in December because the project did not renew the right-of-way permit or obtain a new one.
US crude oil stockpiles plummeted by 8.5 million barrels last week, while gasoline and distillate supplies gained nearly 2.9 million barrels and 2 million barrels, respectively, the American Petroleum Institute reported.
US refining margins have come under pressure from softening demand, as well as rising inventories and lower prices for renewable identification numbers. US Atlantic Coast cracking margins for Arab Light fell 68 cents to $9.26 per barrel for the week through June 11, while US Gulf Coast margins for WTI MEH were down 36 cents to $13.01 per barrel, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics data.
Oil companies and groups are lobbying the Securities and Exchange Commission to offer flexibility in its upcoming stricter climate disclosure rule, with the American Petroleum Institute raising several concerns, including about the constitutionality of the rule and potential cost burden on firms. "A significantly expanded disclosure requirement beyond the well-established doctrine of materiality could raise serious First Amendment issues," the API said.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that the Energy Department plans to move forward with the former Trump administration's plan for establishing a strategic uranium reserve and that funds appropriated last year will carry over. Granholm said the department plans this month "to issue a request for information regarding establishing a reserve."
The American Nuclear Society launched an initiative during its virtual annual meeting to encourage members to email their congressional representatives in support of the Biden administration's fiscal 2022 budget request for the funding of advanced nuclear research and development. "Robust public R&D investment is critical to fielding the next generation of nuclear technologies," said ANS Executive Director and CEO Craig Piercy.
The UK meeting of the Group of Seven issued a final memorandum for "Global Action to Build Back Better" that reaffirmed members' commitment to "lead a technology-driven transition to Net Zero," including nuclear power "for those countries that opt to use it."
A panel session at the 2021 ANS Annual Meeting discussed the need for federal oversight of technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials produced by the oil and gas industry. EPA environmental scientist and former pipeline worker Philip Egidi said the Atomic Energy Act does not address TENORM and legislation is needed to clarify regulations.
San Diego-based General Atomics is set to ship its recently completed parts for the Central Solenoid component of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project under construction in France. The solenoid's six 250,000-pound modules will be sent over the next two years from the General Atomics Magnetic Technologies Center to the ITER facility.
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