Energy In-depth: A Week Of Abbreviations – BHP, EPA, AG And XL

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 109 views 

Editor’s note: Each Friday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Energy In-depth,” a round-up of energy and regulatory news in our email newsletter, which you can sign up to receive daily for free here.

ARKANSAS AG TESTIFIES IN WASHINGTON AGAINST PROPOSED EPA REGULATIONS
KUAR’s Michael Hibblen reports that Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge testified before a congressional committee in Washington Thursday, saying proposed regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency would be an “economic disaster” for Arkansas.

The House Oversight Subcommittee on the Interior heard from officials about the Clean Power Plan, which in Arkansas would require cutting carbon emissions by nearly 44% by 2030. The Sierra Club of Arkansas issued a response to Rutledge’s testimony. Read more here.

WAL-MART EYES ‘PHASE THREE’ OF ITS SUSTAINABILITY PLAN
It’s been more than a decade since Wal-Mart Stores publicly began its sustainability journey, and while there have been notable accomplishments, the greater work is yet to be done, according to Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon. Greater work is what critics of Wal-Mart’s sustainability program are calling for.

The retailer provided the following feedback on its three major benchmark initiatives during the meeting. The information was presented in a video and there was no further discussion.

• To be supplied 100% by renewable energy — About 25% of Wal-Mart’s global electricity is generated by renewable sources.
• To create zero waste — Wal-Mart’s U.S. business diverts 81.6% of its wastes from landfills.
• To sell products that sustain people and the environment — Wal-Mart’s work with its suppliers through sustainable sourcing have increased capacity in the supply chain.

Read more at this link.

BHP TAKES FAYETTEVILLE SHALE ASSETS OFF THE BLOCK
Australian mining giant BHP Billiton announced this week that it has been unable to find a viable suitor for its Fayetteville Shale operations, and is no longer seeking to sell the conglomerate’s unconventional natural gas in play in Arkansas.

“We have concluded the marketing of our Fayetteville acreage and have decided to retain it within our portfolio to maximize value,” BHP Chief Executive Andrew Mackenzie said in the company’s half-year earnings report. “The longer-term development of the Fayetteville remains an attractive option and with the majority of our acreage held by production, we will continue to defer investment for value, consistent with our long-term outlook for gas prices.”

Despite those assurances, BHP still plans to cut the company’s U.S. shale budget substantially for the remainder of the year.

DELEGATION RESPONDS TO KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE VETO
President Obama’s veto of U.S. Senate Bill 1 to build a nearly 3,000-mile pipeline from Canada across the country drew a stinging rebuke from the state’s congressional delegation Tuesday.

In his veto message to the Senate, Obama cited concerns over environmental issues among other reasons for the veto. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., said the bill would have benefited the economy, while other lawmakers said the decision was inexplicable.

SUSAN EISENHOWER: IT’S TIME TO MODERNIZE NATION’S ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE
Energy and national security consultant Susan Eisenhower offered guest commentary for TB&P on the vulnerability of the nation’s energy grid and the need to modernize the U.S. power infrastructure. Eisenhower offers a scary picture of her experience in August 2003 blackout during a business trip to New York City when the infamous Northeast blackout took out most of the East Coast.

“Initially, the public’s mood was almost celebratory. People befriended strangers. Bars served patrons with nothing else to do. But those early carefree moments departed as night approached. Navigating a congested, 24-hour city in the dark was the first challenge.

“The next rude awakening came when people realized that water supplies had been interrupted. Then came the bitter reality that there was no escape by car because even gas pumps need electricity.” Read her full take here.