** The state of Utah and two Republican-leaning rural counties sued the Biden administration on Wednesday over the president’s decision last year to restore two sprawling national monuments on rugged lands sacred to Native Americans that former President Donald Trump had downsized.
** Climate activists have developed plans to foil a provision Senator Joe Manchin wedged into the new climate law that ties renewable energy projects to more oil and gas drilling. Under the Inflation Reduction Act, new wind and solar leases on federal lands and waters are contingent upon the sale of drilling rights in the same territory within a specific timeframe. Environmentalists initially dubbed it a “climate suicide pact” and warned the requirement would hold green projects hostage to fossil fuel development.
** California was expected to vote on Thursday to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035. “The climate crisis is solvable if we focus on the big, bold steps necessary to stem the tide of carbon pollution,” Governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement.
** The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported on Thursday that domestic natural-gas supplies rose by 60 billion cubic feet for the week ended Aug. 12. That compared to an average forecast for an increase of 51 billion cubic feet from analysts polled by S&P Global Commodity Insights.
**A developer proposes a 300-400 MW wind farm on about 32,000 acres of private and public land in southern Idaho.
** Legal analysts say the Biden administration can approve ConocoPhillips’ proposed Willow oil and gas development in Alaska even though environmental reviews found it could cause up to $18 billion in climate damages.
** The federal Bureau of Land Management awards $1.1 million in contracts for plugging and reclaiming 11 abandoned wells in Utah and California, the first such work funded under last year’s infrastructure law.
** OPEC+ has floated a production cut. It could push prices as high as $150 a barrel, energy analyst Paul Sankey said.
** Russia’s Gazprom on Thursday said no turbines used on the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline were undergoing maintenance in Canada, a day after a Canadian minister was quoted as saying Ottawa would stick to a sanctions waiver allowing turbines to be returned to Russia via Germany after servicing.
** Germany’s government has agreed measures to save energy this winter, that may leave buildings cooler and streets darker. The measures agreed Wednesday (August 24) mean that from September 1, public buildings – except for social institutions like hospitals – will be heated to a maximum 19 degrees Celsius. Heating could be turned off entirely in corridors and foyers.
** South Korea has signed a 3 trillion won ($2.25 billion) contract with a Russian state-run nuclear energy company to provide components and construct turbine buildings for Egypt’s first nuclear power plant, officials said Thursday.
** Italy’s push to rapidly reduce its dependence on Russian natural gas has made the country less vulnerable to an interruption of supplies, Premier Mario Draghi said Wednesday, noting that the country has stockpiled 80% of its capacity of gas reserves ahead of winter and is on track to hit 90% by October.
** Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday his government was willing to resolve a trade dispute with the United States centering on his administration’s energy policies.
** A man suspected in the Berlin kidnapping of a former Vietnamese oil executive has been charged in Germany with aiding and abetting the abduction and with intelligence agent activity, the federal prosecutor said Thursday.