Energy quick reads

** Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.), the top Republican on the Senate Energy Committee, called on the Energy Department’s Office of Inspector General to investigate Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm after she conceded to wrongly telling the committee she does not own individual stocks.

** The right-to-repair movement has suffered a setback in Massachusetts this week. The Biden administration told car manufacturers not to comply with a state law that would allow independent auto shops and car owners the ability to fix their own vehicles.

** A new regulation will formalize a roughly 80% cut in project fees for wind and solar energy developments on federal lands under a proposal by the Biden administration on Thursday as part of a strategy to boost renewable energy to fight climate change. The Interior Department’s U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) last year had lowered rent fees and lease rates for solar and wind by about 50%.

** Applied Materials Inc. is suing a Chinese-owned rival over what it says was a 14-month effort to steal some of its most valuable secrets, allegedly including an orchestrated employee-poaching spree and surreptitious transfers of semiconductor equipment designs.

** U.S. Treasury officials on Wednesday unveiled rules for how non-profits, tribes and governments can take advantage of subsidies in President Joe Biden’s new climate change law, expanding the incentives beyond big corporations. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) offers billions of dollars in tax credits to speed decarbonization of the U.S. economy.

** Santa Cruz, California, suspends its natural gas hookup ban after determining it was too similar to Berkeley’s court-overturned ordinance to survive legal challenges.

** West Virginia regulators award what’s thought to be the final state permit needed to resume construction on the Mountain Valley Pipeline.


** An array of climate measures being introduced by Germany’s government will bring the country closer but not all the way toward meeting its national goals for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, officials said Wednesday.

** The head of the International Energy Agency issued a stark warning to long-term investors, arguing against investing in international oil and gas companies because of mounting reputational risks and concerns that fossil fuel investments will soon become stranded assets. “I, myself, wouldn’t do it,” Fatih Birol said of whether he would invest his own personal pension in fossil fuel firms.

** A heat wave is scorching China, killing livestock and straining electricity grids across the country. Temperatures in Beijing soared to as high as 39C (102F) on Thursday, and the National Meteorological Center issued a low-level heat alert, advising against outdoor activities.

** China’s Yadea Group Holdings, one of the world’s biggest electric two-wheeled vehicle makers, plans to invest about $1 billion in an e-motorcycle factory in the Philippines, the country’s investment promotions agency chief said on Thursday.

** Earnings for giant crude supertankers posted their second-largest daily gain in three years as the number of cargoes jumped from the Middle East, the top exporting region. The hike in rates and cargoes is a surprise because several producer nations including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait previously pledged to cut output.

** Energy bills will rise £200 a year within a decade to pay for wasted wind power as new turbines in Scotland are paid to switch off, according to new forecasts. Poor electricity grid infrastructure means energy created by turbines in Scotland cannot reach homes in England on very windy days.