Energy briefs

** The Biden administration is restricting drilling on millions of acres of government-owned lands in Alaska — and taking the penultimate step toward blocking a mining access road in the same state. The administration announced Friday it would block off oil and gas drilling on 13 million acres in the Western Arctic that are part of an area known as the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.

**  BNSF Railway attorneys told  jurors Friday that the railroad should not be held liable for the lung cancer deaths of two former residents of an asbestos-contaminated Montana town, one of the deadliest sites in the federal Superfund pollution program. Attorneys for the company say the corporate predecessors of the railroad, owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate, didn’t know the vermiculite they hauled over decades from a mine near the town of Libby was filled with hazardous microscopic asbestos fibers.

** Dozens of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s former colleagues at an environmental defense giant are calling on the Independent presidential candidate to drop out of the race. Several current and former Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) staffers, including co-founder John Adams and President and CEO Manish Bapna, threw their support behind President Biden in the letter.

** The Biden administration is contemplating scrapping the most cutting-edge aspect of its highly anticipated and impactful power plant pollution rules, two sources familiar with the plan told CNN. The administration may also allow a slower phase-in for a portion of the rules, which are due to be finalized as soon as next week.


** Valero Energy Corp. and Chevron Corp. are buying oil shipped through Canada’s newly expanded Trans Mountain Pipeline system for their California refineries, according to people familiar with the shipments, a sign that US West Coast may become a significant market for oil-sands crude.

** Russia became the top oil supplier to India during the fiscal year 2023/24 for a second year in a row, squeezing the market share of Middle Eastern and OPEC producers to historic lows, ship tracking data from industry sources showed.

** The U.S.-China rivalry has a new flashpoint in the battle for technology supremacy: electric cars. So far, the U.S. is losing. Last year, China became the world’s foremost auto exporter, according to the China Passenger Car Assn., surpassing Japan with more than 5 million sales overseas.

** A Philippine freight railway project may be built with the support of the US and Japan, an official in charge of it said, as Manila seeks alternative financing deals after dropping funding talks with China.

** Seven people lost their lives and five others were injured in an explosion that took place at a hydroelectric power plant on Lake Suviana in central Italy, situated south of Bologna, on April 9, 2024.

** Ecuador’s President Daniel Noboa declared a second state of emergency on Friday over an energy crisis that has already led to rationing in the South American country.