Energy news in brief

** San Antonio’s municipal electric utility sues 16 natural gas companies over high prices during last month’s winter storm, which in one case included a 15,000% price increase.

** Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) are calling for answers from the Solar Energy Industries Association on the link between the U.S. solar supply chain and the alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

** GE Renewable Energy has been awarded a contract to expand the wind energy pipeline in Vietnam. It won a contract by VNECO to supply eight of its wind turbines for the Thuan Nhien Phong wind farm in the Binh Thuan province, Vietnam.

** Chevron Corporation CVX recently announced its intention to halt the funding of its Kitimat LNG project as it was unable to find a prospective buyer. This decision, however, does not affect the company’s other assets in Canada.

** The world’s biggest banks cut lending to fossil fuel firms by 9% in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, although funding has still risen over the past five years, a report showed on Wednesday. The 60 largest banks lent more than $750 billion to 2,300 fossil fuel companies in 2020, down from $824 billion in 2019.

** Minnesota appellate judges had sharp questions Tuesday for the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and Enbridge about the ultimate need for the company’s new oil pipeline across northern Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Commerce, along with several pipeline opponents, have challenged Enbridge’s long-term oil demand forecast, which the PUC accepted when it approved the company’s controversial new Line 3.

** Minnesota police prepare for protests as Enbridge seeks to drill under the Mississippi River. Internal documents reveal law enforcement agencies are gearing up for possible violence.

** Virginia law enforcement extracts the first of two tree-sitters who remained in a blockade of the Mountain Valley Pipeline two and a half years after it was first erected.

** Royal Dutch Shell Plc RDS.A announced that it entered a new five-year global business cooperation agreement with Hyundai Motor Company to facilitate the delivery of zero-emissions mobility solutions for a carbon-neutral future.

** Florida lawmakers advance bills to build more charging stations while increasing annual fees on electric vehicles to fund the infrastructure build-out.

** Two Democrats in Congress, Rep. Alan Lowenthal of California and Sen. Jeff Merkley, Oregon, will revive the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, which includes a national container deposit system and other sweeping changes. Representatives from the plastics industry have countered the push. They plan to introduce the bill on Thursday.

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