Energy news in brief

** Paris-based Total , Europe’s second largest publicly-traded oil-and-gas company by market value, said Friday that it was only “partially aligned” with the API’s positions on climate-change policy and wouldn’t renew its membership for 2021, citing disagreements with the API’s stances against electric-vehicle subsidies, carbon pricing and methane emission regulations.

** The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported on Thursday that domestic supplies of natural gas declined by 134 billion cubic feet for the week ended Jan. 8.

**  China is considering accepting some stranded Australian coal cargoes, an effort that would help ease a logjam of vessels that have stacked up off its coast for months.

** The EIA estimates that total U.S. coal production decreased by 24% in 2020, but that it will increase by 12% in 2021 and rise again in 2022.

** Freezing weather that’s sweeping the northern hemisphere is causing chaos in energy markets and damaging infrastructure with households from Japan to Pakistan and France being asked to curb their electricity use reported Bloomberg.

** The Trump administration proposed weakening environmental protections for millions of acres of California desert, allowing more room for wind and solar energy projects, mining, and broadband infrastructure according to Reuters.

** Shares of Schlumberger Limited SLB have jumped 43.9% in the past six months compared with the industry’s 28.5% growth according to Zacks Equity.

**  Twenty defendants pleaded with a New Hampshire district court judge to allow them to have jury trials to face trespass charges stemming from blocking a train delivering coal to a power plant reported New Hampshire Public Radio.

** Wind turbine OEM Siemens Gamesa is cutting 266 jobs in Spain with the closure of two factories, it announced on Tuesday, with the falling appetite for smaller wind turbines cited as the chief cause reported Green Tech Media.

** A study by Sandia National Laboratories researchers indicates a new carbon fiber material could benefit the wind energy industry if developed commercially reported KRQE. 

** Toyota Motor Corp. will pay a record-breaking $180 million civil penalty to settle claims that the automaker violated Clean Air Act emissions reporting requirements for roughly a decade.

** Hitachi announces a new factory in Kentucky to make motors for electric vehicles.

** A new lawsuit by General Electric accuses Siemens Energy of benefiting from trade secrets it improperly received from a Dominion Energy employee in 2019, when GE & Siemens both bid on gas turbine equipment and servicing for Dominion according to Reuters.

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