Energy briefs

** Missouri regulators approve a $140 million rate increase for Ameren Missouri that environmental groups say will require the utility to report avoided costs if two coal plants shut down early. 

** Four townships in an eastern Ohio county will hold public hearings this summer on whether to ban large-scale wind and solar projects. 

** Eight Baltimore community organizations intend to sue the local utility over a gas pipeline project that will add gas regulators outside of their homes, leading to safety, aesthetic and cost concerns.

** The Interior Department will launch a formal process to develop long-term guidelines for the drought-stricken Colorado River.The plan, which comes weeks after seven states surrounding the Colorado River Basin resolved short-term water consumption cuts, will replace the 2007 Colorado River Interim Guidelines for Lower Basin Shortages that are set to expire in 2026.

** A group of Democratic senators is calling on the Biden administration to go further to address methane emissions from oil and gas production, saying the current proposed rule is “insufficient.” Specifically, the lawmakers say it does not adequately address flaring — a process by which excess gas is burned off, releasing planet-warming methane into the atmosphere.

** The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $135 million in funding for 40 projects that will reduce the carbon footprint of the industrial sector and move the U.S. towards a net-zero emissions economy by 2050. These 40 projects are expected to advance key transformational and innovative technologies toward these goals. The grants involve 36 different universities, National Laboratories and companies spread across 21 states, DOE said.


** Indonesia will stop exporting copper concentrates as soon as Freeport Indonesia and Amman Mineral Internasional finish building smelters next year.

** European Union countries failed on Monday to agree on planned new rules for the bloc’s power market, having clashed over a proposal to extend subsidies for coal plants under the reform, and a push to expand state aid for other power plants. EU energy ministers meeting in Luxembourg ended talks without a joint stance on the reforms that seek to avoid a repeat of last year’s energy crisis, when record-high gas prices left consumers with soaring energy bills.
** Woodside Energy Group Ltd. gave the go-ahead for a $7.2 billion oil field off Mexico, the Australian producer’s first major fossil fuel investment since acquiring BHP Group Ltd.’s petroleum business last year.