Energy headlines

** A U.S. judge on Monday signaled he was prepared to go ahead with selling Venezuela-owned oil refiner Citgo Petroleum’s assets to satisfy creditor claims while pushing back against one of Venezuela’s key objections.

** The auto industry’s largest lobbying group said an EPA plan to electrify American vehicles is “neither reasonable nor achievable in the time frame covered in this proposal.”The Alliance for Automotive Innovation in public comments criticized a proposed rule that would require two-thirds of new passenger cars sold in the United States to be all-electric by 2032.

** Alaska regulators propose fining ConocoPhillips $914,000 for numerous violations associated with a natural gas leak at one of its North Slope fields last year.

** The Biden administration on Wednesday announced a $7 billion grant competition to expand access to residential solar energy in low-income communities. The funding, paid for by the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA) $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, will cover up to 60 grants, according to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) press call Wednesday.

** Chicago, Milwaukee and Detroit vied for the title of the city with the worst air quality in the world on Tuesday. In the Windy City, both O’Hare and Midway airports saw visibility drop as low as 1.25 miles in smoke, as air quality index readings hit historic smoke-related readings.

** Texas broke its electricity demand record on Tuesday, with the state roasting under the same stagnant heat dome that has plagued it and neighboring Mexico for more than two weeks.

** A small, rural electric cooperative in eastern Utah, Moon Lake Electric Association, approved a declaration of what it says is an “impending U.S. energy crisis,” fueled by the accelerated retirement of coal-fired power plants without ensuring an alternative base load energy supply can take their place. In the action approved by board members earlier this month, the nonprofit cooperative serving 24,121 connections that include the Ute Indian Tribe said current federal energy policies are untenable.

** The U.S. Energy Information Administration states that 9 out of 10 households in Utah are heated by natural gas, a higher proportion than any other state.

** Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled Legislative Finance Committee voted earlier this month to increase the registration fee for electric vehicles by 75%. The vote comes as experts are predicting that electric vehicles could make up over half of those sold in the U.S. by 2040.

** Texas and Louisiana, two states on the U.S. Gulf Coast that produce and export liquefied natural gas (LNG), accounted for nearly half the domestic demand growth for natural gas in the last decade, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday.

** Electric vehicle demand soars across markets, but some automakers still face some hurdles. Ford plans to cut hundreds of jobs amid its $50 billion EV push, while Volkswagen is set to cut back on production of its EV sedan as demand falters.

** The Biden administration said on Wednesday it raised $105 million from solar power developers at a lease auction covering 23,675 acres of Nevada desert this week, making it the highest-yielding federal onshore renewable energy auction to date.


** In 2022, energy trade between the United States and Mexico increased substantially from 2021 because high commodity prices drove up the value of the trade. Energy trade in 2022 between the United States and Mexico totaled $81.9 billion in real prices, an all-time high.

** Seplat Energy Plc remains committed to purchasing Nigerian oil and gas assets from Exxon Mobil Corp. by completing a deal that’s been held up by the West African state for more than a year.

** China is on track to almost double its wind and solar capacity by 2025 and blow past the country’s clean power target five years early, according to Global Energy Monitor.

** OPEC has canceled accreditation for reporters from three major news organizations to cover a conference in Vienna that will feature the head of BP Plc and the European Union’s top energy official.

** France is being badly hit by climate change, is not prepared for its effects and is failing to sufficiently reduce its emissions, an independent climate body warned Wednesday. The record heat and exceptional drought seen last year have had “serious impacts in France,”  and are more than the current prevention and crisis management systems can cope with, the French High Council for the Climate (HCC) said in its annual report.