Other energy notes

** The spill of highly radioactive waste beneath a building on the Hanford nuclear reservation north of Richland and near the Columbia River is both deeper and broader than anticipated. In a statement, the Department of Energy said the contamination in the soil at the Hanford 324 Building 1,000 feet from the Columbia River and a mile north of Richland is “much larger” than previously identified.

** The controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline could carry natural gas as soon as this winter, the company behind it said after the pipeline secured federal approval.

** The Biden administration has formally rebuffed a bid by environmental activists to phase down oil and gas production on federal lands and waters, marking its latest nod to the endurance of fossil fuels in a warming world.

** As federal incentives for electric vehicles and clean energy fuel a jobs surge in Georgia and beyond, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm suggested recently that Republicans would harm communities welcoming new, green jobs if they follow through on threats to gut the programs that spurred those investments.

** A federal jury ruled recently that a health clinic in a Montana town where hundreds of people have died from asbestos exposure submitted 337 false asbestos claims that made patients eligible for Medicare and other benefits they shouldn’t have received.

** A new poll by the Pew Research Center found 35% of Americans think the U.S. should never stop using fossil fuels.

** The auto industry’s largest lobbying group says a proposed U.S. EPA rule aimed at ensuring two-thirds of cars sold by 2032 are electric is “neither reasonable nor achievable” without “substantially” increasing vehicle costs and disadvantaging many Americans.

** The Department of State has failed to create a system for tracking carbon emissions of its diplomats as President Joe Biden ordered in 2021, according to a report released Thursday by a federal watchdog.

** Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway now owns a little more than 25% of Occidental Petroleum after the latest purchases. Buffett’s conglomerate picked up another 2.1 million shares this week, according to SEC filings.


** Saudi Arabia is expected to extend its unilateral 1 million barrel-a-day oil output cut for at least another month, as global crude markets remain pressured by economic fears.

** One of the most popular clean energy sources is becoming even more popular. A recent finding from the International Energy Agency (IEA) states that investment in solar power will overtake investments in dirty energy by the end of this year.

** Brent oil is on course for its longest run of quarterly losses in data going back more than three decades amid robust supplies and persistent concerns over demand.

** Less than a year after German coal giant LEAG unveiled plans to transform its open-cast mines into wind and solar farms, concerns are mounting that it and other lignite miners are exploiting an unfair advantage in the country’s race to go green.

** China’s leading steelmakers warned the industry faces a very challenging second half as demand disappoints, profitability lags, and pressure to cut costs mounts in the world’s top producer.