Energy & Environment — India and China could buy Russian oil rejected by the EU

Some of the oil the EU forgoes under its new embargo could end up flowing to countries in Asia, and President Biden has signed legislation to improve preventive care for veterans exposed to burn outbreaks.

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Asia could provide market for Russian oil after EU ban

Countries like China and India have the power to undermine the European Union’s latest move to sanction Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, potentially mitigating the impact of one of the most significant economic actions that the West has taken against Moscow so far.

On Friday, the EU formally agreed to ban imports of most oil from Russia, joining countries including the United States in pledging to give up the country’s oil.

But experts say the move is unlikely to push Russia into economic pariah status, as other countries, including big economies like China and India, will continue to import its fuels and give the Kremlin another source of income.

“We expect that most of the volumes that Russia currently exports will be taken up by other markets,” said Alan Gelder, vice president of refining, chemicals and petroleum markets at the research firm. energy Wood Mackenzie.

“If they are still able to find buyers for their exports and they have to negotiate a price, that means they get a steady stream of income. If everyone said no it would be quite different, but not everyone says that,” Gelder added.

More incentive? : Patrick De Haan, head of oil analysis at GasBuddy, said China and India would likely have even more incentive to buy oil after the EU embargo.

Complicating the issue further, De Haan said, is that Russian oil is of a quality that makes it desirable in international markets.

“It’s the heavier oil that distills into more desirable molecules like diesel, which is what Europe really craves right now,” he said.

The delay could also help Russia: Kristine Berzina, head of the Alliance for Securing Democracy’s geopolitics team, said the ban’s failure to take effect immediately could also undermine its effectiveness by giving Russia more time. to adapt.

She said scares in the market could drive up oil prices in the short term, giving Russia an advantage as it sells oil for the time being, and the country will also be able to work with other countries like India. who are likely to buy the oil.

“They can negotiate the prices there and try to adjust to the fact that they will have to go to different markets in the long term,” she said.

Ben Cahill, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that despite the limitations, EU sanctions are probably the most important step the world has taken to limit the use of Russian oil to date. .

“This is certainly the most important decision to date in terms of restricting Russian exports,” he said. “The big question is to what extent will this take Russian oil offline and to what extent will it simply redirect Russian oil from Europe to Asia.”

Learn more about what could happen here.

Biden signs bill to help those exposed to burning fireplaces

President Biden on Tuesday signed legislation to provide better access to mammograms for veterans exposed to burn sites as part of nine bills signed into law to improve veterans’ health care.

The measure aims to ensure that veterans who serve near burning fireplaces receive preventive care and requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to perform breast cancer screenings for women who served near exposures. toxic.

Dr. Kate Hendricks Thomas’ SERVICE Act was named in honor of Marine Corps officer Kate Thomas, who served near a burnout in Iraq and died in April of breast cancer . Biden honored her during a White House address and acknowledged her husband and son who were at the bill signing.

Biden focused on expanding benefits for veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and were exposed to toxic chemicals from burning stoves. The fire pit issue strikes a personal note for the president, who believes chemicals from the fire pits may have contributed to the brain cancer that ultimately killed his son Beau Biden.

He signed eight other pieces of legislation focused on veterans’ health care, including a bill to improve breast imaging services for veterans, whether or not they’re exposed to burns and to compensate veterans who developed cancer and medical conditions from World War II. nuclear programs of the era.

Read more about The Hill’s Alex Gangitano here.

RELATED: ANOTHER TOXIC BILL MOVE FORWARD

The Senate voted 86 to 12 on Tuesday to advance another bill to help veterans exposed to toxic substances.

The Honoring Our PACT Act specifically seeks to expand health care eligibility through the Department of Veterans Affairs; establishing a framework for linking toxic exposures to military service that would grant additional benefits to those exposed and expand the conditions presumed to be caused by service.

The vote to move the measure forward was largely bipartisan, but all opposition came from Republicans.

The legislation is expected to go to a full vote on passage soon.

INVITATION TO A VIRTUAL EVENT

Closing gaps in health insurance, Wednesday, June 8 at 1 p.m. ET

A record number of Americans are insured, but many remain vulnerable to large medical expenses, including high premiums, out-of-pocket payments and pre-authorizations. The Hill sits with Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (DS.C.), Rep. David Schweikert (R-Arizona) and more at discuss filling gaps in health insurance. RSVP today.

STAFF NEWS

To the DOE: The Senate voted Tuesday to confirm Shalanda Baker to lead the Department of Energy’s Office of Minority Economic Impact.

Lawmakers voted 54-45 to confirm it. The vote was largely along party lines, but the Republicans who backed Baker are Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Cindy Hyde-Smith (Miss.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Thom Tillis (NC) and Roger Wicker (Miss.) .

Baker is currently an associate director for Energy Justice in the department’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity. She was previously a professor of law, public policy and urban affairs at Northeastern University.

At NWS: The National Weather Service (NWS) has a new chief on Tuesday. The Biden administration announced that Kenneth Graham will lead the weather agency.

Since 2018, Graham has directed the National Hurricane Center. He has also served in other positions with the agency, including serving as the Meteorologist in Charge of the NWS office in New Orleans/Baton Rouge for 10 years.

NWS has not had an officially appointed leader since the departure of Louis Uccellini in January. In the acting assistant director, Mary Erickson, served as acting director.

ON SALE TOMORROW

  • The House Science, Space and Technology Committee will hold a hearing on detecting methane from the oil and gas sector
  • Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to Hold Hearing on Two Nominees to Nuclear Regulatory Commission

WHAT WE READ

  • Why is environmentally conscious California spending millions to support natural gas? (Projector)
  • ERCOT predicts Texas will set record high electricity demand this week (The Dallas Morning News)
  • Water from the Rio Grande returns to El Paso this weekend, quenching the arid border region (El Paso Times)
  • Shell, the oil giant, will sell renewable energy to Texans (The New York Times)

ICYMI

And finally: You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here

That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Energy and Environment page for the latest news and coverage. Well see you tomorrow.

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