** President Joe Biden’s administration said Venezuela freed seven detained Americans, including several oil executives and a former US Marine, in a swap involving two imprisoned members of Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro’s family.
** Toyota Motor Corp President Akio Toyoda said California’s new zero-emission requirements that seek to end sales of new gasoline-only vehicles by 2035 will be “difficult” to meet.
** Skyrocketing oil prices have helped make oil and gas producers the best performers in the stock market this year, triggering a rapid rise in dividend payments and a bonanza of special dividends.
** Canada’s Enbridge Inc will sell a C$1.12 billion ($818.83 million) minority stake in seven Alberta oil pipelines to a group of Indigenous communities, in North America’s largest energy-related Aboriginal partnership, the company said.
** New York state plans to adopt California’s rules approved in August that would require all new vehicles sold in the state by 2035 to be either electric or plug-in electric hybrids, Governor Kathy Hochul said on Thursday.
** Commercial electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors says it has slowly started production of its first model, the Endurance pickup.
** The U.S. is using multilateral talks in Montreal to seek stronger emissions targets for aviation — and the Democrats’ climate law is providing diplomatic leverage according to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
** Exxon Mobil Corp. CEO Darren Woods told the Biden administration that the oil industry should not limit its U.S. fuel exports in favor of putting more fuel in storage tanks, as doing so could “aggravate” a global supply shortfall amid Russia’s war in Ukraine, according to a letter submitted to the Energy Department and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
** Far-right leader Giorgia Meloni, who is poised to become Italy’s next premier, vowed Saturday to put national interests first in tackling soaring energy costs as she made her first public outing since her Brothers of Italy party won the most votes in the country’s national election.
** Natural gas supplies are set to be even tighter next year as the Nord Stream pipeline deals with an apparent act of sabotage, International Energy Agency chief Fatih Birol said, adding that it’s “very obvious” who was behind the attempt to cripple the key piece of energy infrastructure.
** Danish and Swedish investigators are now looking into the explosions, while trying to contain the environmental fallout. Björn Lund, director of the Swedish National Seismic Network, reported that the explosions were clearly “blasts.” In a television interview, he said that “at least 100 kg of TNT has been used, but probably more.”
** TotalEnergies SE said it spotted an aerial drone close to an oil field in the Danish North Sea, intensifying concerns of an energy conflict erupting in Europe.
** Italy is beginning to look stronger and stronger amidst Europe’s energy crisis. Italy had long counted Russia as its biggest gas provider, its greater diversity of suppliers and long-standing links with Africa meant it was better placed to withstand a cessation of Russian supply than many others.
** Tens of thousands of Czechs gathered in Prague in recent days to protest against the government’s handling of soaring energy prices and the country’s membership of NATO and the European Union.
** European Union energy ministers were set Friday to adopt a package of measures including a windfall levy on profits by fossil fuel companies, but a deal on capping gas prices remained off the table.