Fast energy reads

** The Biden administration is planning to announce strict carbon limits on existing and future power plants for the first time — plants which currently generate 60 percent of America’s electricity.Three people briefed on the administration’s plans told the New York Times that under the EPA’s new rules, almost all coal and gas-fired power plants would have to cut or capture nearly all of their carbon dioxide emissions by 2040.

** Sen. Joe Manchin accused the Biden administration of “liberalizing” Congress’ efforts to stimulate sales of electric vehicles — and warned Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm that the president’s approach could send money and jobs to China. It was the West Virginia Democrat’s latest attack on the administration’s handling of the sweeping climate bill that Manchin helped write.

** President Joe Biden signed an executive order that would make “environmental justice” the mission of federal agencies, the White House said. The Democratic administration wants to ensure that poverty, race and ethnic status do not lead to worse exposure to pollution and environmental harm.

** A proposed Chinese-owned EV battery component plant in Michigan facing public opposition eked out a key legislative win on Thursday when the state’s Senate Appropriations Committee approved US$175 million in incentives by a 10-9 vote.

** The U.S. extended for three months a license that protects Venezuela-owned oil refiner Citgo Petroleum from creditors trying to seize its assets to recoup pending debts.

** The Biden administration said concerns of Republican lawmakers that last year’s record drawdown of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve damaged the system’s delicate salt caverns were unfounded, a letter seen by Reuters showed.

** Volkswagen has become the first non-U.S. brand to have an electric vehicle qualify for the Biden administration’s new tax credit for non-fossil-fuel cars and trucks, the Treasury Department said.


** A former vice president of Venezuela’s state oil firm PDVSA was arrested as part of a widening anti-corruption probe looking into wrongdoing at the state company, a government official said on Wednesday.

** U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres bluntly challenged the climate efforts of President Joe Biden and other world leaders in a message for a White House summit, charging that expanded oil and gas drilling and other policies of the richest countries amount to a “death sentence” for the planet.