Short energy reads

** Democrats’ witness at a House Natural Resources Committee hearing Tuesday blasted supporters of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) last year for “permitting a climate apocalypse.” John Beard, Jr., the founder and president of the Texas-based Port Arthur Community Action Network, particularly criticized the IRA for several provisions that open up millions of acres of federal land and waters to fossil fuel drilling.

** Democratic and Republican lawmakers are working to pass time-sensitive legislation that would roll back a White House rule allowing Chinese solar panel makers to circumvent U.S. trade laws.

** A U.S. union official alerted the Biden administration to health problems caused by the Norfolk Southern derailment in February, saying that some workers have become sick. In a letter obtained by CNBC, union representative Jonathon Long said Wednesday that rail workers have fallen ill at the East Palestine, Ohio, crash site.

** Freeport LNG’s export plant in Texas was on track to pull in about 1.2 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) of natural gas from pipelines on Thursday, Refinitiv data showed, a sign it likely started the second of three liquefaction trains at the plant. The plant in Texas, the second-biggest U.S. LNG export plant, started to exit an eight-month outage in February. That outage was caused by a fire in June 2022.

** California Gov. Gavin Newsom assailed environmentalists and other activists opposing construction of new housing units in a public park in the city of Berkeley as “selfish” and “wealthy homeowners” after a state appeals court halted the project over concerns about a state environmental law.

** The U.S. Postal Service’s plans for a nationwide fleet of electric vehicles are getting closer to being realized. The service awarded contracts on Tuesday for 9,250 battery electric vehicles and for more than 14,000 charging stations.

** A federal appeals court refused Wednesday to block construction of the largest lithium mine in the U.S. while it considers claims by Nevada conservationists and tribes that the government illegally approved it in a rush to produce raw materials for electric vehicle batteries.


** Communities around the world emitted more carbon dioxide in 2022 than in any other year on records dating to 1900, a result of air travel rebounding from the pandemic and more cities turning to coal as a low-cost source of power. Emissions of the climate-warming gas that were caused by energy production grew 0.9% to reach 36.8 gigatons in 2022, the International Energy Agency reported Thursday.

**  Enbridge Inc will invest C$3.3 billion ($2.42 billion) in natural gas and liquids infrastructure and in renewable power this year and expects an annual core earnings growth rate of 4% to 6% through 2025, the Canadian company said on Wednesday.

** Under plans going to a vote by European Union ministers on Tuesday, the bloc will effectively ban the sale of new internal combustion engine vehicles from 2035. The proposals were agreed in principle last year and are designed to cement the transition to electric cars.