** Folded into the debt-ceiling bill that passed the Senate on Thursday are measures that could speed up the building of energy projects in the US. They are an update of the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA — long a punching bag for critics on both sides of the aisle who say the environmental permitting process for new projects takes too long and requires too many bureaucratic steps.
Energy headlines from around the world
** In an attempt to curb rising rates and help electrify the state’s approximately 14 million homes, California has a new state law that will require its three investor-owned utilities to charge customers fees for electricity based not only on how much electricity they use, but also on how much money they make.
** A federal judge ruled that a lawsuit brought by young Oregon-based climate activists can proceed to trial years after they first filed the lawsuit in an attempt to hold the nation’s leadership accountable for its role in climate change.
** The state of Wyoming is considering a tax on electric vehicle charging. Taxes on liquid fuels support Wyoming Department of Transportation operations and road maintenance, but electric vehicle drivers don’t pay those taxes.
** Exxon Mobil Chief Executive Darren Woods said on Thursday he aims to double the amount of oil produced from the company’s U.S. shale holdings over a five-year period using new technologies.
** Environmental groups sue Montana over new laws loosening coal mine permitting requirements and water quality regulations, saying they gut protections for people and the environment.
** Xcel Energy moves to withdraw its proposal to build the country’s largest utility-owned electric vehicle charging network after Minnesota regulators approve less than half of the utility’s rate increase request.
** An explosion that killed a man at a power plant in the southeast Texas town of Franklin is under investigation. It occurred at the plant owned by Dallas-based Luminant company.
** The United Nations officially launched its mission this week to prevent what it says could be an “environmental catastrophe” on the Red Sea. Sitting off the coast of Yemen lies a nearly half-century-old ship with roughly 1.14 million barrels of crude oil on board, the global agency said – and it’s “deteriorating rapidly.”
** The British Museum has quietly ended its sponsorship deal with BP after 27 years, becoming the largest cultural institution to drop the fossil fuel giant. Under pressure from climate activists, organisations including the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and National Portrait Gallery have also discontinued sponsorship deals with the oil multinational.
** A Norwegian energy company “exploring the possibility” of an offshore wind farm off Guernsey says it would need at least 100 wind turbines to make it affordable.
** Japan’s liquefied natural gas imports last month fell to the lowest in more than 20 years as efforts to save energy and boost nuclear power reduced the need for the fossil fuel.
** Germany wants to combine its H2Global funding scheme to support green hydrogen with the new European Hydrogen Bank, the economy ministry said. Economy minister Robert Habeck and European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson discussed the matter during a meeting in the state of Lower Saxony, where they visited Salzgitter AG’s hydrogen-based steel production project.
** Tanzania’s government said it had completed negotiations with the investors of its $42 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, with the agreements set to be reviewed for approval next month.
** Two of China’s top electric vehicle (EV) makers, BYD and Li Auto, set new monthly sales records in May, spurred by a recovery in consumer demand after a bruising, months-long price war in the ultra-competitive sector.