** In an effort to counter rising prices at the pump, President Biden plans to plunder the country’s “oil piggy bank.” In November, the Department of Energy will deliver 10 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to the market.
** A trio of Democratic lawmakers wants to pull all U.S. troops out of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates after an alliance of oil-producing countries announced it was slashing production, a move which is expected to drive up U.S. gas prices.
** The Biden administration is considering a number of options in response to OPEC+ and its decision to cut oil production. The White House is pledging to work with Congress on a bill to allow the U.S. to sue oil cartels for antitrust violations, a step that lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have threatened before but which the Biden administration has been wary of taking.
** Booming demand for batteries powering the world’s shift into electric vehicles is rekindling US cobalt production after at least a 30-year hiatus. Australia-based Jervois Global Ltd. is starting the first US cobalt mine in Idaho, according to chief executive Bryce Crocker.
** California’s Proposition 30 proposes to raise taxes on the richest Californians. Pull in $30 billion to $90 billion over the next 20 years. Use 80% of the money to subsidize electric vehicles and charging stations, and 20% for wildfire suppression and prevention.
** The Biden administration on Friday published a sweeping set of export controls, including a measure to cut China off from certain semiconductor chips made anywhere in the world with U.S. equipment, vastly expanding its reach in its bid to slow Beijing’s technological and military advances.
** A top Florida state official warned that firefighters have battled a number of fires caused by electric vehicle (EV) batteries waterlogged from Hurricane Ian.
** California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday he will call a special session of the state Legislature in December to pass a new tax on oil company profits to punish them for what he called “rank price gouging.”
** European nations criticized Germany’s €200 billion ($196 billion) aid package to shield consumers and businesses from gas price spikes, saying it’s a warning sign for the European Union to act quickly to address the crisis.
** Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree, published on Friday, to set up a new operator for the Sakhalin 1 oil and gas project, following similar steps to seize other oil and gas projects with foreign participation.
** Venezuela’s state oil company is pushing to revive a defunct energy pact with the Caribbean under different terms as it seeks markets that are willing to pay cash for oil and refined products.
** Prices for wood pellets have nearly doubled to 600 euros a ton in France, and there are signs of panic buying of the world’s most basic fuel. Hungary even went so far as to ban exports of pellets, and Romania capped firewood prices for six months. Meanwhile, wood stoves can now take months to deliver.