Energy quick reads

** U.S. natural gas producers are slashing spending and reducing drilling activity following a sharp decline in prices, companies said this week during earnings presentations and analyst calls.

** House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, cheered the news that multiple major U.S. banks and financial institutions are leaving a $68 trillion climate alliance founded at the United Nations.

** Scout Motors celebrated the start of construction on its $2 billion electric SUV plant in South Carolina on Thursday not with a line of people in suits with shovels but with a nod to the company’s gasoline-powered past.

** Last fall’s contentious United Auto Workers’ strike changed Ford’s relationship with the union to the point where it will “think carefully” about where it builds future vehicles, Ford’s top executive said Thursday.

** Natural gas production in North Dakota in December rose to a record 3.525 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) from the prior all-time high of 3.469 bcfd in November, while gas flaring eased.

** Cleveland-Cliffs announced that it is shutting down a northern West Virginia tin production facility indefinitely and plans to lay off 900 workers after the International Trade Commission voted against imposing tariffs on tin imports.

** The National Archives rotunda and galleries in Washington, D.C., closed to the public after two apparent climate change protesters dumped red powder on the case holding the U.S. Constitution.

** In a move heavily criticized by environmentalists,the Arizona Corporation Commission on Feb. 6 initiated a proceeding to eliminate energy efficiency and renewable energy rules that conservative regulators say have cost the state’s electricity consumers billions of dollars but no longer provide much in system benefits.


** Israel appears to have conducted covert attacks on two major natural gas pipelines inside Iran this week, disrupting heat and cooking gas supplies in several provinces, The New York Times reports. The sabotage marked an escalation in the shadow war between Israel and Iran, said the report.

** A well in Kazakhstan leaked 140,000 tons of methane into Earth’s atmosphere in 2023, scientists say. That’s equal to nearly enough gas for nearly 800,000 cars over a year.

** Nine days after a slick was first spotted by Trinidad and Tobago’s Coast Guard, an oil leak from a capsized barge remains unplugged, according to first responders and authorities, raising alarms for nations across the Caribbean Sea.

** The Indian government is increasing the windfall tax on petroleum crude to 3,300 rupees ($39.76) a metric ton from 3,200 rupees with effect from Feb. 16, according to a notification released on Thursday.