US and world quick reads

** U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday rejected a Republican proposal to prevent pension fund managers from basing investment decisions on factors like climate change, in the first veto of his presidency. “I just signed this veto because the legislation passed by the Congress would put at risk the retirement savings of individuals across the country,” Biden said in a video posted on Twitter.

** Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) teed off on President Biden’s decision earlier on Monday to veto a bill that would have nixed a Labor Department rule on environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing. “This Administration continues to prioritize their radical policy agenda over the economic, energy and national security needs of our country, and it is absolutely infuriating,” said Manchin.

** Protesters criticizing President Joseph Biden’s approval of an oil drilling project in Alaska on Monday blocked an administration official from delivering a speech about U.S. climate leadership. Ali Zaidi, White House climate adviser, was unable to address the event on the “Future of U.S. Climate & Energy Leadership” at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

** A Norfolk Southern train that derailed in Alabama earlier this month lacked required alignment control couplers for two of its locomotives and a company inspection did not identify their absence, federal investigators said Monday.

** Governor Gavin Newsom struck a deal Monday with legislative leaders on a proposal to limit how much profit oil companies can make in California and establish a watchdog to monitor gasoline prices. Under the proposal, authored by state Senator Nancy Skinner, the California Energy Commission would be allowed to impose a penalty on refiners that charge more than an allowable margin for the price of gasoline, Newsom’s press office said in a statement.

** The Biden administration will approve new California rules to cut tailpipe pollution and phase out sales of diesel-burning trucks, according to three people briefed on the plans, a move that could jump-start the nation’s transition to electric-powered trucks and help communities harmed by diesel pollution.

** Manufacturers and operators of electric vehicle chargers in the United States are bracing for a slowdown in production and deployment as they scramble to comply with “Made in America” terms of a $7.5 billion federal program meant to accelerate the industry.


** The world has an even tighter timeline for avoiding catastrophic climate change, according to the latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The sixth “synthesis report,” released Monday, used findings from three expert assessments published between 2021 and 2022 to give a concise brief for policymakers as they prepare for the next round of climate negotiations.

** A Swedish court gave Greta Thunberg and hundreds of other climate activists the go-ahead on Tuesday to proceed with a class action lawsuit against the Swedish state for “insufficient climate policy”. Thunberg, and 600 other young activists in a group called Aurora, sued the Swedish state in November, claiming it had to do more to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius in order to live up to the European Convention on Human Rights.

** A US-based developer of small nuclear reactors has signed a deal to sell 24 of its power plants to UK customers, putting pressure on rival makers including Rolls-Royce.