Overnight Energy: White House deflects blame on rising gas prices | Florida braces for hurricanes after Surfside | Company behind Keystone XL seeks $15B in damages from US
HAPPY TUESDAY!!! Welcome to Overnight Energy, your source for the day's energy and environment news. Please send tips and comments to Rachel Frazin at [email protected] . Follow her on Twitter: @RachelFrazin . Reach Zack Budryk at [email protected] or follow him at @BudrykZack . Today we're looking at gas prices and what the White House has to say about them, Florida preparing for what could be its first hurricane this year right after the recent condo collapse and TC Energy seeking damages for the Keystone XL pipeline's end. PUMP IT UP: White House deflects blame on rising gas pricesThe White House on Tuesday deflected blame on rising gas prices across the U.S.
Germany wants the gas from the pipeline , which would double the capacity of Russia to deliver the fuel under the Baltic Sea, and likely be cheaper than liquefied natural gas imports from the United States and other countries. Biden has long said the pipeline is a bad deal for Europe.
But he immediately waived the measures as Washington seeks to repair relations with Berlin following four years of the Trump administration. Merkel told reporters that Germany, Europe's biggest economy, has different views on the pipeline than the United States. But she said Berlin sees Ukraine as a transit country
Still, the leaders repeatedly emphasized their one-on-one relationship in their public appearances, a sharp divergence from Ms. Merkel’s chilly and stilted interactions with Mr. Trump, who maligned her as “captive to Russia.”
“I think it’d be helpful to actually get a bill to know what we’re voting on before we vote,” said Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah and a key negotiator. President Biden said that he trusted Republican negotiators to continue to hold to their commitments on the bipartisan infrastructure deal, speaking during a joint news conference on Thursday with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.
USA-GERMANY: Biden and Merkes emphasize their divergences on the gas pipeline © Reuters / Tom Brenner Biden and Merkel emphasize their friendship despite their divergences on the gas pipeline
by Jeff Mason and Andrea Shalal
Washington (Reuters) - US President Joe Biden and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel have recognized their differences on the North Stream 2 gas pipeline project before reiterating their commitment to make common Front against Russia and China.
Joe Biden rented "the exemplary life of Angela Merkel who served Germany and the whole world" on the occasion of what will probably be the last visit of the German leader at the White House before his withdrawal of life policy at the end of the September federal elections.
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Yet their positions on the most divisive issues remain far apart. Merkel has rejected opposition from the United States and eastern European neighbours to the almost completed Nord Stream 2 pipeline which they fear Russia could use to cut out Ukraine as a gas transit route, depriving Kyiv of lucrative income and undermining its struggle with Moscow-backed eastern separatists.
"There will likely be a joint call by Biden and Merkel for China to step up its efforts on carbon reduction and global health, maybe a reference to the need to further open the Chinese market," Benner said.
Joe Biden hosted Angela Merkel at the White House on Thursday for bilateral meetings as the outgoing German chancellor prepares to step down, in a visit that marked Biden ’s latest attempt to strengthen relationships with US allies. The two leaders met in the Oval Office and later held a joint press conference.
“We stand together and will continue to stand together to defend our eastern flank allies at NATO against Russian aggression,” Biden said during their joint news conference.
Joe Biden, 78, and Angela Merkel, 66, who know each other and collaborate for years want to strengthen transatlantic relations, undermined by the former US President Donald Trump who has regularly taken the closest to the nearest Allies of the United States.
"I attach great importance to our friendship," said Angela Merkel in the Oval Office, highlighting the role played by the United States in the construction of a free and democratic Germany after the Second World War.
Angela Merkel is the first European leader to visit Joe Biden from the White House since taking office in January.
Despite cordiality, some disagreements were apparent. Joe Biden reiterated his concerns about the North Stream 2 pipeline, under construction under the Baltic Sea between Russia and Germany; The United States fear that Moscow will not use it as a weapon against Ukraine. The $ 11 billion project (€ 9.31 billion), which should be completed in September, will contourne Ukraine, potentially depriving significant transit revenues.
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The Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) on Friday announced a $93,200 fine against the operators of the Dakota Access pipeline, citing safety violations.In its notice, the administration said Energy Transfer violated regulations on drainage valves for stormwater in at least six locations. The company also did not properly correct hazards relating to at least one valve used for nitrogen release, according to the PHMSA notice.
President Biden 's top energy official on Tuesday pleaded with people not to "hoard" gas as a ransomware attack against the Colonial pipeline causes fuel shortages.
“Let me emphasize that much as there was no cause for, say, hoarding toilet paper at the beginning of the pandemic, there should be no cause for hoarding gasoline , especially in light of the fact that the pipeline should be substantially operational by the end of this week,” Granholm said at a White House press briefing.
Mr. Biden said he broached the contentious issue of the billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline , a natural gas conduit being built between Germany and Russia that is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Mr. Biden said the two had agreed that they were “united in our conviction that Russia should not be able to use energy as a weapon.” The president waived congressional sanctions this year on the Russian company building the pipeline and its German chief executive, effectively conceding that an effort to halt the project was not worth the expected cost to U.S.-German relations.
The two leaders then stated to be united in their belief that Russia should not use energy as a weapon.
"We are united and we will continue to defend our allies of the slope is NATO against Russian aggression," said Joe Biden at a common press conference.
Divergent opinions on China
Washington and Berlin also have divergent opinions about how to do business with China.
"We agree that China, in many areas, is our competitor; that trade with China must rest on the hypothesis we have rules of the equitable game," said Angela Merkel.
The two countries said they would defend democratic principles and universal rights when seeing China, or any other country, strive to undermine a free and open society.
"We are united, united in our commitment to fight against democratic decline, corruption, populism in the European Union or among candidates for joining the EU, or wherever we find it in the world" , said Joe Biden.
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The Biden administration has consistently stated its objection to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline , citing concerns over European and Ukrainian security, particularly in the energy sector.
Moscow has repeatedly rejected accusations from western countries of "aggression" on the Russian-Ukrainian border, noting that Russia is committed to bolstering security in the region in connection with an increased NATO presence there. Biden and Merkel launched the US-Germany Climate and Energy Partnership, which aims to strengthen cooperation between the nations by addressing climate change
John Emerson, who was ambassador in Germany under the former President Barack Obama, said the relationship remains "indispensable" for Washington considering the role of Germany as the first economy in Europe and allied. NATO, as well as its importance as a builder of bridges in relations with Russia, the Middle East and North Africa.
Germany welcomes some 36,000 American soldiers on its soil.
Angela Merkel and her husband participated Thursday at a dinner organized by the Biden at the White House. Among the guests are American parliamentarians, the former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton and the Republican leaders of the House of Representatives and the United States Senate, said the White House.
(Andrea Shalal and Jeff Mason, with the contribution of Arshad Mohammed to Washington and Andreas Rinke and Joseph Nasr in Berlin; French version Camille Raynaud)
Angela Merkel White House Visit Live: Merkel, Biden to Discuss Pandemic, Russian Pipeline .
President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are expected to discuss the "full range of policy issues" in their relationship, including global health security and climate change.Merkel will meet with President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and other White House aides and government officials throughout the day to discuss issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline.