Energy news in brief

**EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler says he was “completely disgusted” over the riots of Wednesday but he won’t leave office early. “My intention is to continue to honor the mission of the Agency, to protect public health and the environment, until January 20th in order to provide as smooth a transition for the Agency as possible,” he wrote in a message to agency staff on Thursday.

** Brazilian state-run giant Petrobras finished 2020 with record oil production, pumping an all-time high 2.3 million barrels of crude a day, according to a statement. That’s about the same as OPEC member Kuwait.

** Tree sitters in western Virginia continue to block the Mountain Valley Pipeline, more than 50 days since a judge ordered them down.

** President-elect Biden has picked Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, a former top union leader and recently named chair of Climate Mayors, to serve as his Labor secretary.

** General Motors Co. reportedly will build two new electric vehicles for Honda, including an Acura to be built at its Spring Hill plant in Tennessee.

** The Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association is suing the state in federal court in an effort to torpedo its ongoing rulemaking to adopt California’s clean car standards, which the state just proposed weeks ago reported POLITICO.

** Reuters reported oil production in Russia declined last year for the first time since 2008 and reached its lowest level since 2011 following a global deal to cut output and sluggish demand caused by the coronavirus, statistics showed on Saturday.

** Freezing weather in the Northern Hemisphere and a shortage of fuel and ships to move natural gas have resulted in skyrocketing prices paid by Asian utilities. Spot prices jumped more than 10-fold since April.

** Reuters reports that operators of a Nevada lithium mine announce plans to double production by 2025, citing growing demand for electric vehicles and other battery applications.

** Arizona’s largest electric utility says it will continue to waive late fees for residential and business ratepayers through October 15 reported the Glendale Star.

** U.S. coal production sees a slight rebound over last week but is still down nearly 20% from the same period a year ago. 

** The New Jersey attorney general asks the U.S. Supreme Court to stay out an attempt by the PennEast pipeline developer to revive its effort to seize state land along its route.

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