Extreme Temperature Diary Saturday October 3rd, 2020/ Main Topic: Will The Biden Team Reduce Oil And Gas Production Enough?

Saturday October 3rd… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉

Main Topic: Will The Biden Team Reduce Oil And Gas Production Enough?

Dear Diary. On the United States political front, so far so good this fall. All polls show Biden well ahead of Trump as of this writing, and it looks likely that the Senate will flip over into democratic hands after the election. Hopefully, this trend will continue with a smooth transition going into early next year. We might be getting the old proverbial cart before the horse, but it’s perhaps time to start peering into the Biden team’s plans for climate change mitigation, knowing that the transition to renewables can’t come fast and soon enough.

As usual, Inside Climate News is one of our best sources for reporting and learning about climate mitigation plans from any executive branch from any country worldwide. Here is their latest report on reducing gas and oil use during a Biden administration:

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/01102020/biden-trump-oil-output-2020-election-public-lands

Nicholas Kusnetz

BY NICHOLAS KUSNETZ

Biden Could Reduce the Nation’s Production of Oil and Gas, but Probably Not as Much as Many Hope

Oil markets will likely have greater sway on drilling, despite the candidate’s plans to ban permits on federal lands, limit methane emissions and make polluters pay.

BY NICHOLAS KUSNETZ

OCT 2, 2020

There are over 1,100 producing oil wells in the McKittrick oil field north of McKittrick, California. Credit: Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty
There are over 1,100 producing oil wells in the McKittrick oil field north of McKittrick, California. Credit: Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty

This year’s election might seem to present an existential moment for the nation’s oil and gas industry. One candidate says he would phase out fossil fuels to address a climate crisis while the other promises to continue expanding drilling and production.

Yet the outcome of the presidential election may have only a limited effect on the nation’s oil and gas output, at least in the short term. Analysts and advocates say it is economics, far more than any policies Joe Biden or Donald Trump may enact, that will determine the fate of the fossil fuel industry. And those economics are not looking good.

Global oil prices have yet to fully recover from their crash earlier this year, when governments locked down much of the world in response to the coronavirus, and fears of a second wave have lowered expectations for a speedy recovery. Meanwhile, many critics and even industry insiders say the pandemic is accelerating a global transition away from oil.

For the American oil and gas industry, the conditions have spelled disaster, said Pavel Molchanov, an energy analyst at Raymond James. A wave of bankruptcies is claiming dozens of smaller companies, while today’s drilling activity is “literally the lowest since the days of Rockefeller and Standard Oil a hundred years ago,” he said.

If Biden were to follow through on his promise to spend $2 trillion on a clean energy transition backed by a Democratic Congress pushing bold policies to wean the nation off fossil fuels, advocates say it could begin an orderly shift away from oil and gas production. But those changes could take time, and experts say the transition away from oil is already underway, whether or not the U.S. government supports it.

“The fact of the matter is, yes, the energy transition in the United States would benefit from a Democrat in the White House, all else being equal,” Molchanov said. “But it is not the end all and be all. And the impact of what a Biden administration could do by itself is really quite small.”

Perhaps the most immediate threat that a Biden administration would pose to the industry would come in the form of a promised ban on new permits for drilling on federal land. While that would mark a dramatic break from the Trump administration’s efforts to approve as much drilling as possible, Molchanov said that with activity so low, “the practical impact of that would be negligible for all of 2021, and probably 2022.”

Even if the oil market recovers more quickly, a permit ban would still have a delayed effect, because companies have an abundance of already approved permits that generally remain valid for two years. Molchanov said drillers could also shift whatever activity they can sustain from federal to state or private lands, where most of the nation’s oil and gas is 

It’s also unclear whether a Biden administration could put a halt to new permits on lands that have already been leased. Kyle Tisdel, climate and energy director at the Western Environmental Law Center, said companies have strong legal claims to drill there. Instead, he said, Biden could ban new leases while imposing additional conditions on permits, such as a requirement to study the cumulative effects of drilling on the climate.

A ban on new leases, rather than permits, may rest on more solid legal ground. But that policy’s effect would be even more delayed—oil companies are sitting on a backlog of millions of acres of undeveloped leases, on which they generally have 10 years to drill. The most recent Bureau of Land Management data, which runs through September 2018, shows that only about 12.8 million acres were producing oil and gas, out of a total 25.5 million acres leased.

Bottom line: even if a Biden administration halted or significantly constrained oil and gas drilling on federal lands, the effect on the nation’s overall production would be limited, and may take years to show up.

For the rest of this fine article just hit this link:

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/01102020/biden-trump-oil-output-2020-election-public-lands

At this point in time, only one month exactly from the election date of November 3rd, it is very important to campaign for Biden and the Democrats. If successful, we should then untuck information from this article to press Joe Biden and Congress on the climate issue. Dear readers, I know that I will on this site. I know you will too.

Today I will be listing items from California’s dire fire and Heatwave Desdemona situation below. The most recent items, which I will be updating frequently, will be at the top of this list:

Another hot “ET” report from North America:

Here is more climate and weather news from Saturday:

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)

Now here are some of today’s articles and notes on the horrid COVID-19 pandemic:

(If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.) 

Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”

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