Tom Ewing’s Environmental Update

*  Pipeline fallout: The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation holds a hearing next week titled “Pipeline Safety in the Merrimack Valley: Incident Prevention and Response” in South Lawrence, MA. The focus is on September 13, 2018, natural gas pipeline explosions and fires in Lawrence and Andover, MA, that killed one person, injured over two dozen, and damaged over 100 structures, requiring extreme response efforts by federal, state, and local authorities.  MA Senators Markey and Warren asked for this hearing in the impacted communities.  Markey and Warren are pressing hard for answers about emergency planning, integrity management and the adequacy of emergency response (think money).  Witnesses include top corporate and state and federal governmental leadership.  Pipeline opponents are now citing the Lawrence explosion as a reason to stop separate projects.
*  The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) established a New York Bight Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force (TF) and BOEM has scheduled a TF meeting in New York at the end of the month.  The purpose is to discuss BOEM’s draft Wind Energy Areas that were developed based on information received from the Call for Information and Nominations issued earlier this year.  The TF includes Federal officials as well as elected state, local, and tribal officials, and/or designated member representatives as well as the New York and New Jersey Renewable Energy Intergovernmental Task Forces.  Actually, just about the whole east coast is involved: BOEM has also invited representatives from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Virginia, and Maryland.
*  Here’s a sobering thought from the Global CCS Institute: Right now, there are 18 large-scale CCS (carbon capture and storage) facilities operating around the world. “But it is not enough,” the Institute writes, “If we want to limit global warming to well below two degrees Celsius, we need thousands.”  Norway, the US, and Canada are CCS leaders.  The Institute poses two key questions: is the world ready to deploy CCS at the scale required? And if so, how does each country rank in its “readiness” to achieve this?  These issues are the focus of a webinar on November 27, taking a close look at the Institute’s most recent “Thought Leadership” reports; a series consisting of three CCS Indicator Reports and the CCS Readiness Index.  To participate, try this link; it’s a “gotowebinar” link.
Have a great Monday and a great Thanksgiving! 🦃
Tom Ewing
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