Briefs of other energy stories

** Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg finally issued a statement on the train derailment (which has since developed into a toxic chemical environmental disaster) in Ohio on Monday evening — but as his statement came a full ten days after the derailment occurred, critics were less than impressed with his response.

** A report from nonprofit group Local Solar for All found the cost of power outages in the Midwest more than doubled from 2020, echoing a warning from the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) that found the majority of the grid nationwide will face electricity shortages in the next four years.

** The city council in Austin, Texas, has voted to fire its beleaguered manager Spencer Cronk. The city managers’ office — the primary overseer of Austin Energy, the main city electric utility — has been a prime focus of public ire following the protracted power outages caused by last week’s ice storm.

** Trump-appointed World Bank Chief David Malpass is stepping down from the organization by the end of June, months after House Democrats called on him to resign following comments that implied climate change denial.

** New federal funding will only apply to electric vehicle chargers that work with all vehicle brands, prompting a White House agreement with Tesla to open at least 7,500 of its chargers to all cars by 2024.

**  An electric luxury boat developed by a former Tesla executive expects to begin deliveries in the second quarter of 2024.

** Alaska’s U.S. senators urge the Biden administration to approve ConocoPhillips’ proposed Willow oil and gas drilling project amid environmentalists’ calls to reject it; the state’s Indigenous leaders remain divided on the issue.

** Soaring gas prices are being felt in California as natural gas bills arrive. Household budgets in the Golden State, already stretched thin as prices soar for everything from rent to eggs, are being pummeled by monster gas bills.


** United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned on Tuesday that rising sea levels due to climate change could spark a “mass exodus of entire populations” and increase the potential for conflict.

** Lawmakers in the European Union voted Tuesday to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars and vans by 2035, effectively requiring all new cars be electric in Europe in 12 years.

** Decades of work by Gazprom to build up Russia’s natural-gas exports have gone to waste, a former official at the state-run energy giant has said, as Ukraine war sanctions threaten to help cut the company’s overseas revenues in half.

** Barclays on Wednesday said it was tightening lending criteria for coal power and would stop financing oil sands exploration and production, but did not announce new restrictions on oil and gas lending as some rivals have.