Energy news in brief

** President Biden announced Tuesday that the U.S. would double its financial contributions to help developing nations combat and adapt to climate change.

** The Environmental Protection Agency has finalized the first major step taken under President Joe Biden to curb climate change, releasing new regulations to phase down the use of a potent greenhouse gas used in refrigeration.

** The net merchandise trade value of U.S. energy products (in other words, the value of all types of energy exports, minus the value of imports) showed a surplus of $27 billion last year. It’s the first time that’s happened since at least 1974, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, citing U.S. Census Bureau data.

** The White House is backing a plan by House of Representatives Democrats to let renewable energy firms form tax-advantaged partnerships that the oil and gas industry has used for decades to build out the U.S. pipeline and storage infrastructure, according to three people familiar with the matter.

** The New Orleans City Council moves to investigate Entergy and its role in the failures of transmission lines and other infrastructure during Hurricane Ida.

** A federal court rules that lawsuits against more than 100 power companies over the collapse of Texas’ electrical grid during February’s winter storm should be heard at the state level.

** A Louisiana parish passes a resolution in support of resuming federal offshore oil and gas leasing in the Gulf of Mexico after the Biden administration paused all lease sales earlier this year.

** The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts electricity generation from U.S. hydropower plants will be 14% lower in 2021 than in 2020. It blames extreme and exceptional drought conditions affecting much of the western U.S. especially California and Pacific Northwest states that are home to the majority of the country’s hydropower capacity.

** Not everyone in southern California supports renewable energy. Residents of the San Diego County city of Jacumba have filed suit to stop a 604-acre solar development claiming it will strangle their town.