** Exxon Mobil Corp. reported $56 billion in profit for 2022, smashing a company record set in 2008 when the company reported net earnings of $45.2 billion. For the fourth quarter of 2022, the oil major reported a profit of $14 billion excluding charges.

** Political debate grows over the dead whales washing ashore in the northeast where offshore wind mills are planned. Federal scientists claim there’s no evidence of the wind development is behind the deaths but the arguments threaten New Jersey’s ambitious offshore wind agenda.

** Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs a bill creating statewide siting standards for wind and solar projects.

**  U.S. researchers are collecting birds and bats killed at wind and solar facilities to help understand how to reduce the environmental impact of clean energy facilities.

** An Iowa lawmaker introduces five bills to curtail the use of eminent domain for carbon pipeline projects.

** A study finds eight Louisiana oil refineries are some of the worst in the country for discharging heavy metals, nitrogen and other pollutants into waterways.

** A whistleblower and advocacy group is raising concerns over what they call a “gag rule” against federal scientists that was included in White House scientific integrity guidelines.

** All of the nation’s coal-fired power plants but one are less cost-effective to operate than constructing new solar or wind facilities in the United States, according to a study published Monday by the firm Energy Innovation.



** Ceuta, a tiny Spanish enclave at the tip of North Africa, has emerged as a new hub for Russian crude oil trade. The city administered by Spain is becoming a gateway to keep Russian oil flowing as shippers scramble to reorder trade routes in response to EU sanctions and a price cap that took effect on Dec. 5.

** Chevron Corp.’s Venezuelan oil production has increased by about 80% since November when Washington gave the go-ahead to re-engage in production operations in the OPEC country.

** China told the Netherlands it wants to keep supply chains and trade open, a sign Beijing is trying to find room to maneuver amid a US push to cut it off from advanced chip technology.

** The Biden administration is considering cutting off Huawei Technologies Co. from all of its American suppliers, including Intel Corp. and Qualcomm Inc., as the US government intensifies a crackdown on the Chinese technology sector.

** Rising demand from Europe has added to a US natural gas investment boom even as the industry struggles to overcome opposition to pipeline construction. Production of the fuel reached 3.1 trillion cubic feet for the month of October, according to the most recently available US data, an all-time high and up almost 50 percent from the level a decade ago.