Overnight Energy & Environment – Presented by ExxonMobil – Dems press drillers on methane leaks

Welcome to the Energy and Environment program on Friday, your source for the latest news focusing on energy, the environment and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

Today we are witnessing a House committee demanding answers on methane leaks, green groups seizing their moment on infrastructure advertising spending and what appears to be the end of the lobster fishermen’s trial.

For The Hill, we are Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk. Email us with tips: [email protected] and [email protected] Follow us on twitter: @RachelFrazin and @BudrykZack.

Let’s go.

Democrats ask oil and gas companies to turn over their data

Democrats are asking 10 oil and gas companies for data on leaks of a global warming gas called methane because the leak can dramatically increase the contribution of fuels to climate change.

In a new investigation announced on Friday, House Space, Science and Technology Committee chair Eddie Bernice (D-Texas) wrote to companies looking for such data.

She wrote to 10 companies, including ExxonMobil and Chevron, which operate in the Permian Basin producing region of the southwestern United States in what she described as an attempt to understand if their technology can help reduce significantly emissions.

The investigation also examines whether and how to strengthen the role of the federal government in monitoring methane leaks.

So what’s the bottom line? When burned, petroleum and especially natural gas emit fewer global warming emissions than coal, and industry has often touted them as cleaner sources of energy.

However, leaks of methane, which is 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period, can occur during the process of producing and transporting oil and gas. These leaks in turn increase how fuels contribute to global warming and undermine such claims by industry.

Johnson, in his letters, cited a study that found that about 60 percent more methane was leaked in 2015 than what was counted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The study attributed the underestimation to inventory methods that do not take into account “abnormal operating conditions”.

And what are they asking for? In the letters, she specifically asked the companies if they had developed estimates of their emissions in the Permian Basin that differ from the EPA’s estimates.

She also asked them to provide information on how much methane they have leaked each year since 2016.

Learn more about the request here.


Carbon capture and storage. One way to help reduce emissions.

Industry and electricity production account for nearly two-thirds of global CO2 emissions. At ExxonMobil, we’re collaborating on some of the world’s largest carbon capture and storage projects to help reduce industrial emissions on a large scale.

The big expenses of the green groups

Green groups are spending big to promote climate policies amid lawmakers’ deliberations in recent months on a major climate and social spending bill.

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and a group called Climate Power have teamed up on a number of commercials, spending a total of $ 50 million to promote climate legislation and the Social and Climate Spending Bill. Democrats so far this year, according to figures shared with The Hill.

Pete Maysmith, LCV’s senior vice president of campaigns, told The Hill it’s way more than the group has spent on political ads in the past.

“From a policy and advocacy standpoint, we’ve never done anything of this magnitude before and again, it’s because this moment is so urgent,” Maysmith said.

The sum only applies to political advertising and not to expenses to support election campaigns.

The story so far: The spending comes as Democrats tried to lock in the weather provisions of the spending package, amid the senator’s reluctance. Joe manchinJoe ManchinOvernight Energy & Environment – Presented by ExxonMobil – Dems Press Drillers on Methane Leaks Overnight Health Care – Presented by March of Dimes – Abortion Access for 65 Million Women at Stake Joe Manchin Should Take Paid Time Off – now MORE (DW.Va.) and some Chambers moderate on certain climate proposals.

The House has already passed the bill, but in the Senate, Manchin noted that they were working on “tweaks” to the energy provisions. Lawmakers told The Hill this week that a program to reduce methane emissions and provide incentives for the purchase of union-made electric vehicles was under negotiation.

LCV and Climate Power say they spent around $ 30 million on TV ads and around $ 2.8 million on Facebook ads with keywords related to legislation, including in states where key lawmakers reside.

Learn more about the push here.

Lobster fishermen rejected by the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a request by lobster fishermen to suspend environmental protection measures that restrict fishing in a wide swath of the Gulf of Maine.

The request, filed earlier this week by a lobster fishermen’s union and two lobster fishing companies, was dismissed without comment by the judge Stephane BreyerStephen BreyerOvernight Energy & Environment – Brought to you by ExxonMobil – Dems Urges Drillers on Methane Leak Supreme Court Rejects Lobster Fishermen’s Attempt to Shut Down Environmental Safeguards What do you feel in Supreme Court? FOLLOWING, which deals with emergencies related to the region.

What is at issue are federal limits that aim to protect the North Atlantic right whale, one of the most endangered species on the planet, by restricting the use of lobster traps in nearly 1,000 square miles off Maine for several months of the year. Whales tend to get entangled in nets or collide with boats.

In their Wednesday filing, lobster fishing groups said the restrictions would cut fishing for more than 100 of the state’s “largest and most productive” boats.

Learn more about the denial here.



  • House Energy and Trade Committee to hold hearing on legislation aimed at pipeline reliability
  • House science, space and technology committee to hold hearing on R&D to fight PFAS
  • House financial services committee to hold hearing on fairness in the distribution of disaster benefits
  • The House natural resources committee will hold a hearing on bills relating to national museums, monuments and historic sites.


  • Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works to hold hearing on proposed wildlife recovery bill
  • Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to Hold Hearing on Reuse of Contaminated Properties


  • The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs will hold a hearing on federal efforts to combat PFAS contamination. Sean O’Donnell, the inspector general overseeing both the EPA and the Department of Defense, is expected to testify, alongside several defense officials.
  • The Select Climate Crisis Committee will hold a hearing on “Climate investments to help families and businesses”.




And finally, something quirky and quirky: Possum pirate

That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Discover The Hill’s energy and environment page for the latest news and coverage. See you on Monday.

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