** A lawsuit by environmentalists seeking to block the 2021 sale of Gulf of Mexico oil and gas leases auctioned off by the federal government was rejected Friday by a federal appeals court in Washington. Energy companies including Shell, BP, Chevron and ExxonMobil offered a combined $192 million for drilling rights on federal oil and gas reserves in the Gulf of Mexico.
** House Democrats released draft legislation that could be their opening bid in permitting reform negotiations. The new draft from Democrats Sean Casten (Ill.) and Mike Levin (Calif.) focused largely on electricity infrastructure, renewable energy and including local communities in the process.
** The League of Conservation Voters and Climate Power said Thursday it would run attack ads against five Republicans who voted to repeal tax credits for renewable energy as part of the GOP debt limit bill. The lawmakers targeted by the ads are Reps. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) Juan Ciscomani (R-Ariz.), Marc Molinaro (R-N.Y.) and Brandon Williams (R-N.Y.).
** A northern Wisconsin oil refinery restarts operations five years after an explosion at the facility injured nearly 40 workers.
** Suncor Energy Inc. is set to boost its carbon-intensive oil sand reserves after agreeing to buy TotalEnergies SE’s Canada unit in a C$5.5 billion ($4 billion) all-cash deal.
** Three Michigan-based companies and 11 individuals have been charged with violating federal air pollution laws as part of an alleged scheme to disable emission-control systems on hundreds of semi trucks. A US Attorney and the EPA called it one of the largest investigations of its kind in the country.
** A North Dakota county enacts a 90-day moratorium on wind projects as new siting regulations are reviewed.
** Portland, Oregon, plans to ban gasoline-powered vehicles from parking in loading zones in a 16-block downtown area, creating the nation’s first zero-emissions delivery sector.
** Federal regulators plan to hold hearings next month on the Navajo Transitional Energy Company’s bid to require BNSF Railway to haul more coal from the firm’s Powder River Basin mines.
** The San Carlos Apache Tribe takes its fight against a proposed copper mine in Arizona to the United Nations.
** The California Air Resources Board has approved new rules to cut emissions and air pollution from diesel-powered trains. The railroad industry opposes the rules and questions whether California’s authorities to regulate trains.
** Venezuela’s ruling party-controlled National Assembly on Thursday approved a law allowing the government to seize assets linked to corruption cases, as it investigates irregularities at state oil company PDVSA and other state companies.
** China has proposed its most expensive Belt and Road Initiative to date with a $58 billion railway system that would connect Pakistan to western China in a move to further reduce Western trade dependence, according to a report.
** Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed Moscow’s burgeoning energy and wider economic ties with Ankara as he and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan took part virtually in a ceremony inaugurating Turkey’s first nuclear power plant.
** Chevron Corp has stepped up sales of Venezuelan crude oil to rival U.S. refiners, adding PBF Energy Inc and Marathon Petroleum Corp to its list of customers for the crude, vessel tracking and loading schedules showed.