Short energy stories

** A jury finds all four defendants guilty of bribery conspiracy in a case involving former ComEd executives accused of arranging jobs, contracts and money for allies of former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan in exchange for favorable legislation.

** The White House is trying to persuade Congress to pass a 30% tax on the electricity used in cryptocurrency mining in the next federal budget in order to minimize the nascent industry’s impact on climate change.

** ew York state has passed legislation that will scale up the state’s renewable energy production and signals a major step toward moving utilities out of private hands to become publicly owned. The bill, included in the state’s new budget, will require the state’s public power provider to generate all of its electricity from clean energy by 2030.

** Electric vehicles are a money pit for Ford as the company reports losing nearly $60,000 for every EV sold.

** The California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted first-in-the-nation rules that aim to dramatically slash air pollution and planet-warming emissions from the state’s rail sector. Along with imposing short-term measures, the policy states that any locomotive built in 2035 or after will have to use “zero-emissions configurations” while operating in California, even if coming from another state.

** A Republican lawmaker is introducing legislation Tuesday that would prohibit the federal government from making voluntary contributions to the United Nations Green Climate Fund. Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., a member of the House Budget Committee, authored the bill — the No Taxpayer Funding for United Nations Green Climate Fund Act — in an effort to restrict the extent to which U.S. taxpayers fund global green energy projects.



** Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard seized a Panamanian-flagged oil tanker in the strategic Strait of Hormuz on Wednesday, the second-such capture by Tehran in under a week amid heightened tensions over its nuclear program. Last week, Iran seized an oil tanker carrying crude for Chevron Corp. of San Ramon, California, amid wider tensions between Tehran and the U.S. over its nuclear program.

** The United Nations warned Wednesday of a growing likelihood the weather phenomenon El Nino will develop in coming months, fueling higher global temperatures and possibly new heat records.

** A Jesuit priest and a scientist are appearing before a German court Wednesday charged with coercion in connection with a climate protest last year. The Rev. Joerg Alt and Cornelia Huth, a biologist and member of the group Scientist Rebellion, blocked a road in Munich on Oct. 28.

** BP just reported another quarter of bumper earnings. The oil giant said Tuesday (May 2) that profits hit $5 billion in the first quarter. It cited strong trading in oil and gas. The company said it would buy back another $1.75 billion in shares over the next three months.

** Mumbai’s iconic Taj Mahal Palace hotel today (May 3) announced it will now operate on 100% renewable energy. Spread over 2.5 acres, the 120-year-old, 285-room property was running on 60% solar energy by 2020 itself. And now the transition is complete, considerably reducing its carbon footprint.

** An explosive device derailed a Russian freight train in a region bordering Ukraine for a second straight day Tuesday ahead of an expected counteroffensive by Kyiv. The last four days have seen two trains derailed by explosions, a suspected drone hitting an oil depot in Crimea that caused a huge blaze and power lines blown up near Saint Petersburg.

** COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber said climate diplomacy should focus on phasing out emissions from oil and gas, leaving the door open for the continued use of fossil fuels while ramping up technologies to capture the carbon pollution produced from burning them.