Energy briefs

** Exxon Mobil Corp. said the prospect of the world reaching net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 is “highly unlikely” due to the drop in living standards that would come with such a scenario. The Texas oil giant made the comments in a regulatory filing that argued against proxy adviser Glass Lewis’ view that the cost of phasing out oil and gas operations would be a material financial risk.

** Construction of the country’s first commercial wind farm in the ocean is going into high gear. Vineyard Wind is right off the Massachusetts coastline, about 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Comprised of 62 turbines, Vineyard Wind will be capable of supplying power to 400,000 Massachusetts homes.

** Minnesota is set to spend historic sums on the environment after lawmakers agreed to policy changes and programs designed to respond to climate change, safeguard air and water and renovate boat launches and other crumbling outdoor infrastructure. The $2 billion environment, natural resources, climate and energy package that House and Senate lawmakers agreed on Tuesday night is expected to head to Gov. Tim Walz’s desk after House and Senate floor votes.

** A federal judge has rejected a lawsuit brought by Nantucket residents who argued that the planned construction of dozens of wind turbines off the affluent resort island threatens the survival of endangered Northern Atlantic right whales.

** The Biden administration has supported for the second time in a week the Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline, a project a key Democratic senator has pushed in legislation to speed permitting of fossil fuel and power transmission projects. Equitrans Midstream Corp’s $6.6 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline has been opposed by environmental activists, but has won the backing of Biden administration officials, including Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.

** Navigator CO2 says it’s reached an agreement to provide some of the carbon dioxide it proposes capturing from ethanol and other industrial ag plants in Iowa and four other Midwestern states to a California company to make climate-friendly fuel.

** Two-thirds of North America could face blackouts over the next few months as summer heat increases demand for electricity, according to a report from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. It predicted that huge swathes of the U.S., from the whole West Coast through the Southwest, Midwest, Texas, and parts of the South and New England, face an “elevated risk” of energy shortfalls.



** South Africa is at risk of record power outages this winter because the state electricity company may not have enough supply to meet increased demand and efforts to increase generation face delays. The country faces a “difficult winter” as it heads into the cold months with 3,000 megawatts less capacity than last year, Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. acting Chief Executive Officer Calib Cassim told reporters.

** Brazil burned fossil fuels for electricity at the lowest level in more than a decade in February, thanks to booming use of wind and solar power, said a recent study. Latin America’s biggest economy, whose grid is mainly powered by hydroelectric dams, got just 4.9 percent of its electricity from fossil fuels in February, the first time the monthly figure has fallen below five percent since July 2012, according to British clean-energy research group Ember.

** China says it has become the world’s biggest exporter of cars after overtaking Japan in the first three months of the year. Officials figures released in the last week show China exported 1.07 million vehicles in the period, up 58% compared to the first quarter of 2022.

** A severe drought affecting the Panama Canal is forcing container vessels to lighten their loads and pay higher fees, with further increases in the cost of shipping cargo through the canal expected this summer. The largest vessels will have to reduce their drafts — how low they sit in the water — by carrying less or cutting the weight of their cargoes as of May 24, followed by another decrease that kicks in on May 29.