Energy briefs

** After seven years of delays and $21 billion in cost overruns, the first of two new units at Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle enters commercial service and becomes the first new U.S. nuclear reactor to do so in more than 30 years.

** A Wyoming conservation group and a retired federal government biologist have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s approval of a transmission line designed to advance wind power in the state.

** Pipeline companies agree to pay a $12.5 million civil penalty over federal clean water law violations related to oil spills in Montana and North Dakota in 2015 and 2016.

** Ford’s CEO says the company will rely on hybrid trucks for years to come to accommodate customers who are apprehensive about switching to all-electric.

** New draft guidance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) says that when agencies make rules or take other actions, they should consider the move’s impacts on ecosystems — and specifically on the benefits that such ecosystems deliver to people.

** Exposure to lead in the womb or in early childhood may be connected to an increased risk of engaging in criminal behavior in adulthood, a new analysis has found.

** On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that diesel performance parts manufacturer Sinister Mfg. Company Inc., known as Sinister Diesel, pleaded guilty to charges that include conspiracy and manufacturing and selling illegal defeat devices. The company also agreed to pay a total of $1 million in criminal fines and civil penalties.

** Black Stone Minerals LP saw mineral and royalty production decrease by roughly 8.6% quarter-over-quarter—a plunge in volumes the company blamed on muted activity in the Haynesville Shale.


** State-owned Petróleos de Mexico (Pemex) is sticking with an accelerated production strategy of new field developments, which has allowed the company to arrest overall declines in crude oil and condensates production.

** Most of the oil on board a rusting supertanker off war-torn Yemen has been moved to a replacement vessel in a bid to avert a catastrophic spill, the United Nations has said. The transfer of 1.14 million barrels of Marib light crude from the 47-year-old FSO Safer to the new vessel started last week.

** Chinese chipmaking machine suppliers surged on Wednesday following a media report that a state-backed firm made a significant technological breakthrough, spurring hopes the country can lessen its reliance on US semiconductor techniques.