Energy quick reads

** The bodies of two people were recovered from the Patapsco River on Wednesday as officials searched the water where the Key bridge collapsed after being hit by an out-of-control container ship. The men, a 35-year-old and a 26-year-old, were found trapped in a red pickup at the middle of the fallen bridge, according to the Maryland State Police.

** The Biden administration issued a final rule Wednesday aimed at curbing methane leaks from oil and gas drilling on federal and tribal lands, its latest action to crack down on emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes significantly to global warming.

** Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called out China’s ramped-up production in solar energy, electric vehicles and lithium-ion batteries, calling it unfair competition that “distorts global prices” and “hurts American firms and workers, as well as firms and workers around the world.”

** The federal government will provide a $1.5 billion loan to restart a nuclear power plant in southwestern Michigan, officials announced Wednesday. Holtec International acquired the 800-megawatt Palisades plant in 2022 with plans to dismantle it. But now the emphasis is on restarting it by late 2025, following support from the state of Michigan and the Biden administration.

** Ford will drastically cut the number of hourly workers at its factory that builds the Ford F-150 Lightning as sales of electric vehicles slow, according to a media report. Ford began the year by cutting production of the F-150 Lightning electric pickup after weaker-than-expected electric vehicle sales growth.

** The city of Berkeley, California, has agreed to halt enforcement of a ban on natural gas piping in new homes and buildings that was successfully opposed in court by the California Restaurant Association, the organization said.


** The current low-carbon transition plans of 10 of Europe’s and North America’s biggest listed oil and gas companies are not good enough to assess the risks involved, the world’s leading investor climate action group said on Wednesday.

** Europe plans to build enough new gas power stations to supply 60 million homes despite a target of decarbonising electricity grids by the middle of the 2030s. About 72 gigawatts-worth of new gas-fired power stations are planned across the Continent, according to a report from pressure group Beyond Fossil Fuels.

** Russia has increased gasoline imports from neighbouring Belarus in March to tackle the risk of shortages in its domestic market because of unscheduled repairs at Russian refineries after drone attacks, four industry and trade sources said on Wednesday.

** The United States and South Korea this week launched a new task force aimed at preventing North Korea from procuring illicit oil, as deadlock at the United Nations Security Council casts doubts over the future of international sanctions.

** A German court ruled on Thursday partly in favour of consumers in a class action suit against Mercedes Benz over diesel emissions defeat devices. Some of the German luxury carmaker’s diesel models with the Euro 6 grade engines built between 2012-2016 had cheat devices, the Stuttgart court said. It found no violations in the older Euro 5 models, however.