Energy fast reads

** More than a dozen environmental groups are suing the federal Environmental Protection Agency over its failure to set water pollution limits for some industrial contaminants as well as its reluctance to update decades-old standards for others, arguing that the agency’s inaction amounts to a “free pass to pollute” for hundreds of chemical and fertilizer plants, oil refineries, plastics manufacturers and other industrial facilities.

** So much has been invested in clean energy that there can be no rolling back of moves to end carbon emissions, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said Sunday. Kerry noted that if countries deliver on promises to phase out polluting fossil fuels, the world can limit average global warming to 1.7 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), better than the worst case scenarios but still above the current limit of 1.5 C global warming above pre-industrial levels.

** Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene floated an alternate explanation for the warming climate, claimed that climate change is a “scam,” and added that fossil fuels are “amazing,” in a tweet on Saturday. “If you believe that today’s ‘climate change’ is caused by too much carbon, you have been fooled,” Greene tweeted.

** Arkansas electric cooperatives embark on construction of a 122 MW solar farm next to a former fossil fuel plant.

** County commissioners have rescinded an energy company’s permit to drill exploratory wells for a geothermal project in the Nevada desert near the site of the annual Burning Man counterculture festival about 110 miles (177 kilometers) north of Reno.




** Germany became only the third European country to shut off its nuclear power supply on Saturday when its final three reactors were severed from the grid for good. The end of German nuclear energy, a process begun by former chancellor Angela Merkel after the Fukushima disaster in 2011, came at the same time as the country seeks to wean itself off fossil fuels and manage an energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine.

** Japan and the United States agreed Saturday to cooperate on developing geothermal energy, one of the most plentiful resources on this volcanic island chain. The memorandum of commitment was signed Saturday on the sidelines of a meeting of the Group of Seven energy and environment ministers in the northern city of Hokkaido.

** Russia has been able to navigate Western sanctions well enough to push oil exports above levels reached before its war on Ukraine — and new data suggests that Moscow has China and India to thank for that. In the first quarter, Russia’s seaborne crude oil exports totaled 3.5 million barrels per day versus 3.35 million barrels in the year-ago quarter, the tail end of which saw the start of Russia’s war on Ukraine.

** Beijing on Saturday protested U.S. sanctions against additional Chinese companies over their alleged attempts to evade U.S. export controls on Russia, calling it an illegal move that endangers global supply chains. The U.S. Commerce Department on Wednesday put five firms based in mainland China and Hong Kong on its “entity list,” barring them from trading with any U.S. firms without gaining a nearly unobtainable special license.

** Saudi Arabia’s crown prince announced Sunday the transfer of a 4% stake of the oil giant Saudi Aramco to a subsidiary of the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, further boosting its coffers as the kingdom tries to expand its economy beyond oil.

** Peruvian authorities said they spotted a new oil spill near a Repsol SA-operated refinery during a routine inspection, according to a statement. Peru’s environmental authority OEFA said the oil spill at the port of La Pampilla refinery affected a 300 square meter area. It was discovered on April 15 at the multi buoy terminal 2, which is regularly inspected after a major oil spill affected the area last year.