Energy headlines

** West Virginia officials are mounting additional challenges to the Biden administration’s latest rules targeting fossil fuel generating power plants. The state Public Service Commission has filed a 12-page objection to the new emission rules proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

** The California Energy Commission voted Wednesday to extend the life of three gas power plants along the state’s southern coast through 2026, postponing a shutoff deadline previously set for the end of this year. The vote would keep the decades-old facilities — Ormond Beach Generating Station, AES Alamitos and AES Huntington Beach — open so they can run during emergencies.

** Tensions rose in contract talks between the United Auto Workers union and Stellantis on Tuesday with the union president accusing the company of seeking concessions in contract talks when the union wants gains, as a September strike threat looms.

** Demand for power in Texas hit a record high on Wednesday for the second time this week and ninth time this summer as homes and businesses powered their air conditioners to escape a lingering heat wave. After setting 11 new highs for demand last summer, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said power use hit a preliminary 83,961 megawatts (MW), which topped the most recent record of 83,854 MW on Monday.



** Natural gas prices surged as much as 9% on Wednesday as energy workers in Australia threatened to strike. Australia is the world’s second-largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, so potential work stoppages could threaten global supply of the commodity.

** European natural gas slumped as traders weighed ever-rising stockpiles on the continent against the possibility of worker strikes in Australia that could disrupt global supplies.

** A decision by Canada’s largest oil and gas-producing province to halt new wind and solar projects has prompted disbelief among environmental groups and economists. The move comes as the country struggles with its worst wildfire season on record, a situation that experts agree is worsened by the climate crisis and a reliance on fossil fuels.

** Global oil markets are on track for a sharp supply deficit of more than 2 million barrels a day this quarter as Saudi Arabia slashes production, OPEC data indicate.

** Cuba has begun using its own tankers to ramp up crude imports from Mexico, which in the second quarter surpassed Russia as a key oil provider to the fuel-thirsty island, according to vessel monitoring data.