** The states hit hardest by blackouts in last week’s winter storm have significantly increased reliance on heating homes with electricity over the last decade, putting more strain on the power grid when temperatures plummet.
** General Motors has begun the long process of installing the 40,000 Level 2 charging stations it announced as part of its Dealer Community Charging Program. Nearly 1,000 GM dealerships, or about a quarter of its dealers in North America, are enrolled, which will help expand EV charger access across the continent. The automaker now says its first stations have been installed in Wisconsin and Michigan.
** The United States will introduce incentives on Jan. 1 for delivery firms and other companies to switch to electric trucks as part of a broad push to get polluting, workhorse vehicles off roads and out of neighborhoods.
** America’s largest natural gas producer, EQT Corp, has experienced a plunge in production up to 30% due to severe cold weather that led to Appalachian Basin well disruption, Bloomberg reports.
** Sikorsky has filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office over the U.S. Army’s contract award to Textron’s Bell to build the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft, expected to be the service’s largest helicopter procurement in 40 years.
** Hitting back at Brussels’ imposition of a windfall tax on oil companies, Exxon Mobil Corp is suing the European Union on the grounds that the tax will hinder investment and end up being “counter-productive”, according to media reports.
** The European Commission is considering banning ships registered in European Union countries from using crews of sailors from the Philippines. The prohibition could drastically impact global shipping: Currently, one in four crew members on merchant vessels around the world hails from the Philippines.
** Germany’s government is confident that a key refinery that provides Berlin and swaths of the eastern part of the country with fuel is well positioned to keep running even as the nation is set to begin its ban on Russian oil in the coming days.
** The European Union should rethink its rules to disburse state aid and have a stronger oversight of key supply chains like energy and chips to counter the US Inflation Reduction Act, Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni said.
** Russian gas exports to Europe via pipelines plummeted to a post-Soviet low in 2022 as its largest customer cut imports due to the conflict in Ukraine and a major pipeline was damaged by mysterious blasts, Gazprom data and Reuters calculations showed.
** China broke ground on an 80 billion yuan ($11 billion) renewables project in Inner Mongolia, part of a massive clean-power rollout to achieve the nation’s ambitious climate targets.
** Oil extended losses on concerns that China’s rapid dismantling of its Covid Zero policy could lead to a surge in cases across the world.