Energy and Environment – Schumer studies the “NOPEC” bill after the oil outage

OPEC’s production cuts are renewing interest in a bill that would make the group’s oil companies vulnerable to lawsuits and prompt calls for a reassessment of the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, President Biden is expected to designate a new national monument in Colorado next week.

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Schumer is considering a bill against OPEC

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (DN.Y.) said Saudi Arabia will end up paying for what he called its “very pessimistic act” of backing a 2 million barrel cut in oil supplies, which will put more pressure on the United States. Economie.

OPEC+, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, announced this week that it would cut oil production to support lower prices, offsetting President Biden’s decision earlier this year to tap the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower gas prices amid falling supplies due to the war. in Ukraine.

What did Saudi Arabia do to help? [Russian President Vladimir] Americans will long remember Putin, who continues to wage his vile, vicious war against Ukraine. “We are looking at all legislative tools to best deal with this appalling and highly cynical act, including the NOPEC bill,” Schumer said in a statement.

Wait, what’s your noob? The NOPEC bill, passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee in May, would change US antitrust law to expose OPEC+ member states and their oil companies to lawsuits.

The attorney general will be allowed to sue companies such as Saudi Aramco and Russia’s Lukoil in federal court.

OPEC+ announced its plans to cut production despite intense pressure from the Biden administration to keep supplies flowing at high capacity.

Read more about Schumer’s statement here, from Alexander Bolton of The Hill.

OPEC’s move calls for calls to reassess US-Saudi ties

…speaking of OPEC:

The decision of the OPEC+ countries to cut oil production is a black eye for President Biden’s foreign policy after his visit to Saudi Arabia in July. It also sparks calls from congressional Democrats to rethink the Washington-Riyadh alliance, particularly on the subject of arms sales and defense technology.

Human rights advocates have long criticized the sometimes strained relationship between the United States and the Saudi royal family, particularly after the 2018 murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

  • When Biden met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in July, many viewed him as a necessary evil that could lead to higher OPEC production and lower gas prices. But since Wednesday’s announcement, a number of Democratic lawmakers have called on the United States to respond by halting arms sales and military aid to the kingdom.
  • From unanswered questions about 9/11 and the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, to conspiring with/ [Russian President Vladimir] Putin to Punish the United States With soaring oil prices, the Saudi royal family has never been a trustworthy ally of our nation. It is time for our foreign policy to imagine a world without their alliance,” Senator Dick Durbin (Illinois), The second Democratic candidate for the Senate via Twitter Thursday.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), In the meantime, called the reduction “A blatant attempt to increase gas prices at the pump” and called for an end to military aid to Saudi Arabia.

On the House side, Representatives Tom Malinowski (D-D), Sean Kasten (D-Illinois), and Susan Wild (D-Penn) introduced legislation to withdraw US forces from the kingdom, describing the cuts as “a shift that signals our relationship with our Gulf partners.”

  • Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), another outspoken critic of the Saudis, also called for the nation to be “toughly” treated and an end to arms sales.
  • The Saudis need us for weapons more than we need them. “President Biden must make clear that we will cut off arms if OPEC+ does not reverse the decision to make drastic production cuts,” Khanna said in a statement to The Hill. “In Congress, we must also explore ways to curb OPEC+ control of energy prices around the world.”

But, it may not be bipartisan: Senator Bill Cassidy (R-L.A.), a vocal critic of Biden’s energy policies, told The Hill that critics of the Saudi government “are resentful that we have consciously made ourselves dependent on them, they don’t bow to our will” despite Biden taking office “promising a hostile relationship.” “.

Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of the nonprofit Democracy Now in the Arab World, was skeptical that the cuts would lead to a permanent rupture in the relationship. In an interview with The Hill, Whitson said much of the public anger toward Saudi Arabia was likely “performative,” but added that “some of it is real, because publicly, it’s very insulting to Biden.”

Read more about the situation here.

Biden calls Camp Hill a national monument

A source familiar with the move told The Hill on Friday that President Biden will designate Camp Hill, an area in Colorado that was used to train soldiers in World War II, as a national monument next week.

Los Angeles Times first mentioned That the national monument designation, scheduled for next Wednesday, was imminent.

While Biden has expanded borders and advanced protections for other monuments during his time in office, naming Camp Hill will be the first new memorial to his presidency.

A White House spokesman declined to comment.

At Camp Hill, located in the Rockies, the Army’s 10th Mountain Division learned skiing and mountaineering techniques.

Senator Michael Bennett (Democrat from Colo) is expected to join Biden. Bennett, who will be re-elected this year, wrote a Message to Biden in favor of naming the memorial, along with Senator John Hickenlooper (Democrat) of Colorado, Governor Jared Polis (Democrat) and Representative Joe Negus (Democrat).

And while senators, besides some Veterans and environmental advocatesIt paid for the rating and also has opponents.

Some Republicans opposed the idea, saying the designation would be “land grabs.”

Read more about the upcoming appointment here.

The Environmental Protection Agency suggests that lead fuel is a health threat

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed declaring lead in jet fuel as a public health hazard, and taking a step toward regulating this type of pollution from aircraft.

  • Exposure to lead can damage the kidneys and brain and is particularly harmful to children.
  • Lead is used to fuel piston-engined aircraft, which are usually small aircraft that carry between two and ten people. As of 2014, about 140,000 of those in US commercial airliners used unleaded fuel.

Unsafe levels of lead have been found in the air around some airports, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The agency also found that about 5 million people live within 500 meters of the airport runway, and 163,000 children attend schools within 500 meters of the runway.

Friday’s proposal is not a regulation to regulate these aircraft or fuel. Instead, the outcome, if finalized, would set the EPA on a path toward regulation, which would require additional steps.

However, EPA Administrator Michael Reagan described the proposal as an important step forward as we work to reduce exposure to lead and protect children’s health.”

Read more about the results here.

what we read

  • ‘Steam rings’ in many cities could be a solution to climate change (NPR)
  • UK risks ending Cop26 presidency in disarray over Truss climate policyWatchman)
  • ‘Don’t eat’: High levels of toxic ‘forever chemicals’ are found in deer and fish (USA Today)
  • Solar and wind farms can harm the environment. New study offers solutionsLos Angeles Times)

🐦 lighter click: Save the birds from Ian

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Energy and Environment page For the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you next week.

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