Quick energy reads

** President Biden may be close to issuing the first veto of his presidency as Congress is expected to pass a resolution disapproving of a Department of Labor (DOL) rule allowing retirement plan managers to factor environment, social and governance (ESG) into their investment decisions.

** Power from zero-carbon sources made up a full 41% of the US electricity mix in 2022, a record-breaking number that has increased almost every year since 1990. That mix includes power from nuclear plants, hydroelectric dams, solar and wind.

** According to Rystad Energy data cited by the Wall Street Journal, there are currently some 15 deals in the U.S. oil and gas space that face an uncertain future. Their combined value is $40 billion, and some of them may well remain unsold—especially if they focus on natural gas.

** The Washington state House passed a bill nearly unanimously Monday that would require wind farms to turn off the blinking red lights on turbines if no airplane is nearby. The vote in favor of House Bill 1173 was 94-1.

** Chevron Corp. Chief Executive Michael Wirth on Tuesday said a consolidation between the five top Western oil producers remains a possibility but would face regulatory hurdles.

** The U.S. Air Force is testing new technology that could let it brew jet fuel from the air. That’s part of an attempt to create a decentralized supply chain for jet fuel — allowing future American military outposts to produce their own. The Department of Defense on Tuesday announced a $65 million contract with startup Air Company, which brews fuel out of carbon dioxide pulled from the atmosphere.

** The Biden administration is weighing approval of a major oil project on Alaska’s petroleum-rich North Slope that supporters say represents an economic lifeline for Indigenous communities in the region but environmentalists say is counter to President Joe Biden’s climate goals. A decision on ConocoPhillips Alaska’s Willow project, in a federal oil reserve roughly the size of Indiana, could come by early March.


** China’s manufacturing activity expanded at the fastest pace in more than a decade in February, an official index showed on Wednesday, smashing expectations as production zoomed after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions late last year.

** Adversaries Morocco and Algeria are each racing to build a conduit pumping Nigerian gas to European markets, even as the continent aims to wean itself off fossil fuels. Both countries have moved to revive long-stalled projects in light of a gas supply crunch following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a year ago. Prices surged and Europe — which was heavily reliant on Russian gas — had to look elsewhere for energy.

**  Germany’s transport minister said Tuesday that his country won’t back a planned European Union ban on the sale of new cars with combustion engines from 2035, after failing to get assurances from the bloc’s executive for an exemption on synthetic fuels.

**Saudi Arabia’s Aramco is considering an investment in a liquefied natural gas facility outside the kingdom, as global demand for the fuel soars following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.