** Vice President Kamala Harris and two cabinet secretaries on Thursday celebrated the start of construction of a new high-capacity power transmission line between Arizona and California, which they hope will lead to future solar energy farms in the desert outside Phoenix.
** The federal Bureau of Land Management cites the developer of the proposed Rhyolite Ridge lithium mine in Nevada for trespassing on an endangered wildflower’s habitat.
** A proposed carbon pipeline spurs the introduction of eight bills in North Dakota related to voluntary easements, private property access by surveyors and underground storage.
** Federal officials seek to assuage fears that dead, beached whales along the mid-Atlantic are the result of offshore wind development, with one saying “no information” supports the claim.
** Five days after the U.S. Energy Department announced a $700 million conditional loan to an Australian mining company pursuing a lithium project in Nevada, federal land managers cited it for trespassing within the habitat of an endangered flower.
** Environmental rules designed to protect imperiled fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta have ignited anger among a group of bipartisan lawmakers, who say too much of California’s stormwater is being washed out to sea instead of being pumped to reservoirs and aqueducts.
** Maine’s push to develop offshore wind power cleared a significant hurdle Thursday when the federal government determined that there is no competitive interest in the state’s application to lease 9,700 acres on the U.S. continental shelf for a floating offshore wind power research site.
** Environmental groups sued the United States to overturn its approval of a deepwater oil-export facility off the Texas Gulf Coast, saying it would boost oil-production and greenhouse gas pollution. The Sea Port Oil Terminal (SPOT), owned by energy pipeline operator Enterprise Products Partners, would be the largest offshore export terminal in the United States.
** Colombia’s Energy and Mines Minister Irene Velez said that the government’s decision not to award new oil and gas exploration contracts was “absolutely urgent” and needs “immediate action.”
** Mexico is cracking down on experiments in solar geoengineering. The controversial proposed climate solution, in which aerosol particles are released into the upper atmosphere to reflect the Sun’s heat, will no longer be allowed to take place in the country, the Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) announced last week.
** Ukraine’s foreign minister said on Thursday it was time to review the $60 per barrel price cap imposed on Russian seaborne oil, on the grounds that the current market price for Russia’s Urals oil blend was below that level.
** China is planning to accelerate construction of coal- and natural gas-fired power plants this year, even as massive investment in renewables means clean power will dominate generation capacity.
** Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi criticized a $6.2 billion minerals-for-infrastructure contract with China, saying the world’s largest producer of a key battery metal hasn’t benefited from the deal.