** Michigan lawmakers approved a slate of bills Wednesday night that are set to transform the energy systems at the heart of America’s heavy industry, putting the major manufacturing state on a course to generate all its electricity from carbon-free sources within just 17 years.
** On Tuesday, Maine residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of a new automotive right-to-repair ballot initiative forcing car manufacturers to provide independent mechanics and technicians with the same diagnostics they give to authorized repair shops.
** A new bill filed in the Florida legislature would add an extra annual fee for electric car and plug-in hybrid owners to make up for not paying a gas tax. Senate Bill 28 proposes adding an extra license fee in 2024 for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids starting in 2024.
** Power grids that supply more than half of the US population may run short of electricity during an extended cold snap or severe storm over the coming winter, according to industry regulators, reported Bloomberg.
** A San Jose man was arraigned on a federal indictment accusing him of destroying two PG&E Corp. energy facilities in California last winter.
** Oil companies begin exploration work on state land on Alaska’s North Slope after conservationists push back on federal land drilling, reported the Alaska Beacon.
** The European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service confirmed that last month was the warmest October ever recorded, and the year itself is “virtually certain” to break the record as well reported The Hill.
** A study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications said the ice shelves in the northern part of Greenland have lost more than 35 percent of their total volume. The study also said three ice shelves in the region have collapsed “completely.”
** Shipping companies are bidding ever-higher amounts to get through the Panama Canal faster. A Japanese company paid a record $4 million on top of normal fees, Bloomberg reported. The unprecedented bid reflects the enormous strain on the canal during a period of drought.
** Germany announced on Thursday a huge relief package including tax cuts on electricity for the manufacturing sector, in a bid to shore up an economy that many fear could end the year in recession.
** Oil demand is healthy and speculators are to blame for the recent drop in crude prices, said Saudi Arabia’s energy minister. “It’s not weak,” Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told reporters in Riyadh, when asked about the decline in oil prices. “People are pretending it’s weak. It’s all a ploy.”
** The oil demand outlook in China, the world’s biggest importer, isn’t offering much inspiration to bulls as the end of the year approaches.
** Shell is suing Greenpeace for £1.7m after a group of protestors occupied one of the oil giant’s vessels in the North Sea earlier this year, reported The Telegraph.