Energy briefs

** U.S. natural gas production is expected to rise until 2050, according to a report released Tuesday by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), which said most of the demand fueling that increase will be driven by exports to foreign markets. U.S. domestic gas demand will stay flat or decline as renewables come online, the report found. But those exports are also projected to drive up U.S. gas prices.

** Biden administration officials in recent weeks hosted private listening sessions with environmental groups and oil companies ahead of the release of proposed oil and gas regulations, reported Politico. The rules, expected to come out in June, could represent some of the White House’s most lasting steps on public lands to help address climate change.

** GOP lawmakers are stepping up their attacks on the Biden administration’s efforts to regulate the kitchen appliances, portraying proposed efficiency standards from the Energy Department as federal overreach. Supporters say the GOP and industry are exaggerating the impact of modest efficiency requirements.

** The Biden administration will take an additional six months to review a proposal to build a road through remote and pristine areas of Alaska to access minerals like copper, cobalt and zinc.

** Two nuclear reactors in Georgia were supposed to herald a nuclear power revival in the United States. But the project is seven years late and $17 billion over budget as Georgia Power Co. announced the first new reactor at its Plant Vogtle could reach full electrical output by Saturday.

** Ohio clean-energy advocates say a string of solar project denials by state regulators has left renewable energy developers uncertain about the role of public input in permit decisions. Critics claim the Ohio Power Siting Board has been inconsistent and arbitrary in recent months with how it weighs local opposition as it balances the pros and cons of energy projects.

** Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court will take its first crack at whether a governor can force power plant owners to pay for their planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, or whether he first needed approval from a Legislature that refused to go along with the plan.

** California regulators say the state is unlikely to experience electricity shortages this summer after securing new power sources and a wet winter that filled the state’s reservoirs enough to restart hydroelectric power plants that were dormant during the drought.



** The world must rapidly ditch fossil fuels and end “the senseless war against creation”, Pope Francis said on Thursday, in a fresh plea over climate change that called on people to repent for their “ecological sins”. In a message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, he said a U.N. climate summit meeting in Dubai on Nov. 30-Dec.12 “must listen to science and institute a rapid and equitable transition to end the era of fossil fuel”.

** Another tidal energy project has failed in Nova Scotia. The most recent casualty is Sustainable Marine Energy, who brought a floating tidal power project promising easy accessibility for repairs and minimal environmental impact. After their setup produced power for Nova Scotia’s power grid in Grand Passage for almost a year, they were unable to progress forward, shutting down operations in early May and blaming the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

** Finland is currently dealing with an unusual problem: clean electricity so abundant that it sent energy prices negative on Wednesday. While much of the rest of Europe is dealing with an energy crisis, the Nordic country reported its spot energy prices dropping below zero before noon.