Energy quick reads

** Maine’s top environmental regulator, the Maine Board of Environmental Protection rejected a proposed state electric vehicle (EV) mandate in a surprise vote, bucking climate concerns voiced by eco groups and Democrats.

** Minnesota company Carba is helping to slow down an overheating planet by pulling its solution right from the air. As detailed by the Star Tribune, the clean-energy startup designed a proprietary reactor that is able to turn carbon dioxide (CO2) into a “charcoal-like substance,” which can then be repurposed as a product or buried underground for more than a thousand years.

** The Texas Railroad Commission’s well plugging program will utilize its expertise to plug hard to reach orphaned wells located along the Coastal Bend of Texas in Baffin Bay, Humble Channel and Pita Island. The RRC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the General Land Office (GLO) in which GLO will provide $3 million to help plug 10 wells.

** The U.S. government needs to streamline permitting for renewable energy projects, including development of power transmission infrastructure and grid connectivity, to support needed growth, executives said on Thursday at a conference in Houston.

**  The largest U.S. public pension fund plans to ask Exxon Mobil to drop a lawsuit against investors that filed a shareholder resolution asking the U.S. oil major to curb greenhouse gas emissions faster.

** The Fed needs to cut rates to help the struggling clean energy sector, Elizabeth Warren said in a letter to Fed Chair Jerome Powell. Along with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Warren said that high interest rates have “completely tanked” major renewable infrastructure projects which are heavily debt-financed.


** A wave of Ukrainian drone strikes left a dent in Russia’s oil industry — a rare success. But the US is urging Ukraine to stop them, according to The Financial Times. The US is worried the strikes could drive up oil prices, the report said.

** Protests have continued this week in Cuba over one of the island’s worst ever economic and energy crises as food shortages and blackouts push the country toward the “verge of collapse.”

** Exxon Mobil CorporationXOM, alongside TotalEnergies TTE, is entering discussions with Suriname’s state-owned oil company, Staatsolie, to potentially develop natural gas fields along the maritime borders shared with Guyana.

** Nuclear-energy officials arrived in Brussels this week amid a growing wave of public support for atomic power. They left humbled by the tepid reaction of bankers assessing the price tag of their ambitions.

** Russia attacked electrical power facilities in much of Ukraine, including the country’s largest hydroelectric plant, causing widespread outages and killing at least three people, officials said Friday.

** Fossil fuels will eventually be seen as just as unhealthy as cigarettes, according to Brazil Energy Minister Alexandre Silveira, who oversees the South American country’s balancing act a giant of both renewables and oil.

** Prime Minister Justin Trudeau‘s Liberal government survived a no-confidence motion brought by the opposition Conservative Party over Canada’s carbon tax, which looks set to be a major issue in an election likely to be held next year.