Germany, widely known as Europe’s industrial powerhouse, is now leading the continent in an alarming new trend — rapid de-industrialization.
Astronomical natural gas prices are forcing heavy industries, from smelters to fertilizer plants, to shut down or curtail production. Germany’s fabled “Mittelstand” — the collection of mid-sized firms that form the backbone of its economic might — is buckling under the weight of terrible decisions made by climate obsessed politicians going back decades.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia would continue to supply Europe with natural gas, but warned that deliveries via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline could become constrained if sanctions prevent further maintenance on the pipeline, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Putin asserted that the pipeline’s owner, the Moscow-controlled energy firm Gazprom, will honor and fulfill its responsibilities to Europe in remarks that he made late Tuesday after his visit to Tehran, reported the WSJ. Putin’s comments come amid the reduced flow of natural gas into Europe due to sanctions and other supply chain disruptions caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Biden administration is expanding restrictions on carbon emissions that could impact half the liquefied natural gas (LNG) export capacity in the U.S.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expanding a rule under the U.S. Clean Air Act called the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Pollutants (NESHAP), which places restrictions on the emission of formaldehyde and benzene from stationary combustion turbines. Starting in August, the rule will now apply to two types of gas-fired turbines that were previously left out of the regulation, the EPA announced in February.
Connecticut residents will see an increase in their electricity bills beginning in July.
The Public Utility Regulatory Authority has approved a rare summer electricity rate increase for both residential and business customers, effective July 1 through Dec. 31.
U.S. natural gas prices have skyrocketed nearly 150% this year while inventory levels have shrunk, signaling more consumer pain ahead of the summer season.
The Henry Hub natural gas spot price, an indicator of nationwide prices, stormed past $9.30 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) Thursday, up from its early January price of $3.74 per MMBtu and the highest level since 2008, according to government data. U.S. natural gas inventories have been drained in recent months, declining 17.6% year-over-year and down 15.3% relative to their 2017-2021 average, additional data released Thursday showed.
The U.S. Department of Interior announced it is making only 20% of eligible acreage for oil and natural gas production available for leasing on federal lands to comply with a federal court order.
In his first week in office, President Joe Biden issued an executive order directing new oil and natural gas leases on public lands and waters to be halted by the Interior Department. The agency was also tasked to review existing permits for fossil fuel development.
Half of all U.S. states penned a letter to the Biden administration, arguing against its decision to reverse a Trump-era rule allowing energy firms to transport natural gas via rail.
The 25-state coalition said that proposed prohibition of natural gas rail transport would have “devastating effects” on the economy and national security, according to the letter led by Republican Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry. The Monday letter was addressed to Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) Acting Administrator Tristan Brown.
Industry groups and others are pushing back after a study found gas stoves contribute more to global warming than previously thought at a time when some elected officials are considering policies to limit natural gas connections.
The study, published in Environmental Science & Technology, found methane that leaks from natural gas stoves in U.S. homes has a climate impact equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions from about 500,000 gas-powered cars.
The study also tested emissions from stoves in homes. A Stanford news release that accompanied the study raised concerns about indoor air quality because of the levels of nitrogen oxides.