Energy updates

** A Shell refinery in Texas that caught fire last weekend malfunctioned at least four times since 2022, sparking criticism of a state law that relieves companies of liability for pollution events if they’re reported as accidents or emergencies.

** Dozens of Democratic lawmakers on Monday called on the Biden administration to consider the climate and environmental justice impacts of the expansion of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.

** The Biden administration approved a plan late last week backed by New York state leaders to charge commuters an increased fee to enter Manhattan in an effort to reduce congestion and improve the city’s air quality.

** The US government lab that made a long-awaited breakthrough in fusion energy late last year has run five similar experiments since then without being able to replicate the results.

** A group of seven U.S. senators on Monday questioned Tesla Inc’s use of forced arbitration clauses in employee and consumer contracts, arguing that they prevent bringing discrimination claims and consumer safety complaints to court.

** The U.S. EPA is considering adding an Ohio oilfield waste processing facility with a history of radioactive contamination to its list of Superfund sites.

** Attorneys general from six Northeast states and the District of Columbia sign on to a letter urging the federal government to do more to regulate emissions from gas stoves.


** Cooler weather across Alberta on Monday helped firefighters battling widespread wildfires in Canada’s main oil-producing province, but the government said it could be months before all the blazes are brought under control. Alberta declared a state of emergency on Saturday in response to wildfires that have displaced nearly 30,000 people and prompted energy producers to shut in at least 280,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), more than 3% of Canada’s output.

** Aramco will introduce an additional dividend, potentially boosting payouts for investors and Saudi Arabia’s government by more than $10 billion, just as weaker oil prices edge the kingdom’s budget into a deficit.

** Norway is more than a decade ahead of the U.S. in its adoption of electric vehicles. If the Biden administration’s goal of having 50 percent of new vehicles be electric by 2030 sounds ambitious, Norway passed that mark in 2019, The New York Times reports.

** China needs to seek alternative solutions to ensure its energy security, rather than relying on building new coal-fired power plants, according to Germany’s climate envoy. Jennifer Morgan, Germany’s state secretary and special envoy for international climate action, told the South China Morning Post in an exclusive interview that she was concerned about China’s coal plant development.

** European gas prices could nearly treble this winter and remain higher into summer next year, according to Goldman Sachs, delivering a shock to households and a boost to Vladimir Putin’s efforts to fund his war in Ukraine.

** South Africa plans to spend 146.7 million rand ($8 million) over six months to protect state-owned electricity utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd.’s power stations, according to parliament.