** Senate Democrats who are part of the chamber’s Climate Change Task Force are calling for a multi-step strategy to achieve energy independence by transitioning to renewable energy over the next 500 days. At a meeting of the task force Tuesday, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) outlined a series of reforms that he said would achieve the goal without increased reliance on fossil fuels.
** Washington State Democrats have enacted a plan that would aim to ban most non-electric vehicles in the state by 2030. Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed a bill last week that sets a target for all vehicles of the model year 2030 or later that are sold, purchased, or registered in the state to be electric.
** The fiscal year 2023 Interior Department budget suggests a Biden administration delay in the US five-year offshore oil and gas leasing program will cause a major drop in revenue. Revenue could plunge by more than $370 million to only about $25 million.
** A federal court upholds a panel of judges’ decision that is delaying construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
** The Energy Department on Wednesday announced new energy efficiency standards for federal buildings set to take effect in 2023.
** President Biden’s fiscal 2023 budget request asks Congress to allocate funding to hire as many as 760 new employees to the Bureau of Land Management.
** Germany on Wednesday issued an “early warning” that it could be heading for a gas supply emergency. It’s preparing the country for a possible disruption or stoppage of supplies from Russia.
** Poland announced steps Wednesday to end all Russian oil imports by the end of 2022. Poland has already largely reduced its dependence on Russian oil, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said. Poland said Tuesday it was banning imports of Russian coal. Morawiecki said he expects gas imports will be cut in May.
** Some 21 vessels are idled off the coast of Qatar as they wait to load LNG, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the most in nearly a year, according to traders, some of who say that it may be due to reduced output.
** BlackRock Inc, the world’s biggest money manager, is seeking more infrastructure deals in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region and is also looking to invest in private companies in the region, an executive said.
** Cnooc Ltd. is considering a sale of its U.K. North Sea portfolio, in what could be one of the biggest disposals in the aging basin by a foreign firm in recent years, people familiar with the matter said.