** Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz’s most serious campaign on Capitol Hill this year—passage of a bill enacting sanctions on entities working on Nord Stream 2—ended with a failed messaging vote. After leaving the vote open for nearly seven hours, the legislation was rejected Thursday, 55-44, with a handful of Democrats joining Republicans in support. Unfortunately, for Cruz, the bill needed 60 votes to pass.
** Trucking, farming and heating homes is set to get more expensive as diesel prices surge to highs not seen since 2014.
** The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported on Thursday a hefty weekly decline in U.S. natural-gas supplies, but said total inventories stand above their five-year average.
** Per the latest report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), almost half of the planned 2022 electric capacity additions in the United States are expected to be solar.
** New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy directed a sewage treatment facility to cancel a vote Thursday on a backup power plant after Newark residents complained that it would violate a law intended to keep minority communities from being overburdened with pollution.
** The federal government is moving forward with a plan to let teenagers drive big rigs from state to state in a test program. Currently, truckers who cross state lines must be at least 21 years old, but an apprenticeship program required by Congress to help ease supply chain backlogs would let 18-to-20-year-old truckers drive outside their home states.
** China will release crude oil from its national strategic stockpiles around the Lunar New Year holidays that start on Feb. 1 as part of a plan coordinated by the United States with other major consumers to reduce global prices, sources told Reuters.
** European gas stockpiles are on track to hit a record low this year, fuelling fears that the worst of the energy crisis is yet to come. With Russian supplies low, storage inventories will drop below 15bn cubic metres by the end of March – their lowest level ever – according to research firm Wood Mackenzie.
** French and German electricity prices jumped after Electricite de France SA revised down the production forecast for its nuclear fleet that’s vital to keep the lights on in Europe.
** Venezuela has ramped up shipments of gasoline and food to Cuba since November, providing key supplies to one of President Nicolas Maduro’s closest allies, according to documents from Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA and Refinitiv Eikon tanker tracking data.