Brief energy news

** President Biden vetoed a bipartisan resolution Tuesday that would have reversed his executive action last year ordering the Department of Commerce not to enforce tariffs on Chinese solar panel manufacturers for two years. Biden explained that the legislation — which recently passed the House and Senate with Democratic support — “bets against American innovation.”

** A peer-reviewed study finds 37% of forest burned in Western wildfires since 1986 can be linked to greenhouse gas emissions from the world’s largest fossil fuel companies and their products.

** California lawmakers advance legislation that would hold oil and gas companies liable when their operations harm people’s health and allow victims to sue for up to $1 million in damages.

** A study finds 26% of workers laid off due to the 2020 closure of a California oil refinery remained unemployed a year later and those who had found jobs earned lower wages and experienced poorer labor conditions.

** Florida’s Republican congressional delegation requests a federal study on the effects of wind turbines in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean as part of an effort to block state offshore wind development.

** After decades of advocacy by tribal nations, states and conservation groups, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is updating requirements for one of the largest sources of mercury pollution. The changes will require taconite plants to lower their mercury emissions by at least 50 percent by the end of 2026. The proposed rules come after nearly 20 years of advocacy by conservation groups, Michigan and Minnesota, and various Tribes in the region.

** Some U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials contend the agency is allowing more American bald eagles to be killed by wind farms while at the same time its number of criminal cases of the deaths has declined.



** Power giant Ørsted secured a 20-year contract from Danish regulators to capture carbon from a pair of biomass-fired power plants for geologic storage in the North Sea.

** “M-Kopa, which pioneered a pay-as-you-go-model for solar panels and smartphones in east Africa, has raised more than $250 million in debt and equity in one of the largest fundraisings by an African technology start-up,” the FT reports.

** Europe’s mad dash to build LNG import terminals could result in an excess number of regasification projects by the end of the decade if the EU manages to continue reducing natural gas consumption and accelerates the rollout of wind and solar power capacity.

** Vietnam’s VinFast expects to sell as many as 50,000 electric vehicles (EVs) this year, an almost seven-fold increase over 2022 as it ramps up exports to North America and starts shipping to Europe, the company’s founder said on Wednesday.

** South Korean company SK Ecoplant Co. will invest in and help develop a $4.5 billion green hydrogen project in Canada that’s set to be one the largest such plants in the world.