Quick reads of more energy stories

** The Department of Transportation Inspector General will investigate Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s use of government aircraft, a memo shows. DOT Principal Assistant Inspector General for Audits and Evaluations Charles Ward revealed the upcoming investigation in a memo to the assistant secretary for administration, reported Just the News.

** House Oversight Committee lawmakers launched an investigation into Department of Transportation Secretary Pette Buttigieg over his “apathy” in the face of the dangerous train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, after the secretary waited 20 days to visit the site after the initial wreck.

** President Joe Biden has been traveling the country to tout the job creation boom his billions of dollars in clean energy spending will bring. But the cutting-edge companies he’s promoting face a struggle: hiring enough people to fill those jobs.

** Oil demand could hit record highs later this year, according to Vitol CEO Russell Hardy. That could push prices back up to $100 a barrel, especially with crude inventories likely to tighten further.

** Rising natural gas costs in Southern California have many restaurants on the brink of raising costs of menu items or even shutting their doors.



** Workers in the geological formation known as Vaca Muerta — Spanish for Dead Cow — are building a 356-mile (573-kilometer) pipeline that will carry natural gas from remote northern Patagonia to Argentina’s cities and industry centers in the east. The project, along with the planned expansion of an oil conduit in the same area, will help relieve bottlenecks that have stifled production of fossil fuels the nation desperately needs to bolster its economy.

** At a time when gas-rich Turkmenistan could be pushing to diversify its export paths, it is instead allowing itself to be pulled back into Moscow’s energy orbit, experts say. Russia is no longer the top buyer of natural gas from Turkmenistan, a country that is believed to depend on the fuel for three-quarters of its state revenues.

** There were explosions overnight in the Russian city of Tuapse in Krasnodar Krai, followed by a fire at a Rosneft oil refinery. Video circulating on social media shows a large cloud of smoke rising from the facility, while photos show the terminal apparently on fire.

** China unleashed a massive expansion of coal power generation last year despite pleas from Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and Western governments for the nation to take more climate action, according to an independent analysis released Monday.

** Russian oil is being sold way above the $60 a barrel price cap, according to a group of researchers. A new paper estimates that Russian crude was trading at an average price of $74 a barrel in late 2022. That’s because oil demand outside Europe is still strong, and suppliers haven’t been complying with the price cap.