Energy briefs

** The Biden administration on Thursday finalized a highly anticipated suite of rules to cut hazardous, planet-warming pollution generated by power plants in one of its most significant environment and climate actions to-date. The Environmental Protection Agency’s new rules will compel coal and new natural gas power plants to either cut or capture 90% of their climate pollution by 2032.

** The Biden administration on Wednesday laid out a national goal to cut emissions from freight shipping down to zero. A White House fact sheet did not include a date for this goal, but it comes on top of existing goals to reach net-zero emissions for the transportation sector, as well as the whole U.S. economy, by 2050.

** More than 131 million Americans are exposed to unhealthy levels of air pollution, according to the American Lung Association’s (ALA) 2024 State of the Air report.

** The Biden administration has finalized standards for federal buildings that will eliminate onsite fossil fuel usage for new projects by the end of the decade, the Energy Department confirmed Wednesday.

** For the first time, a former coal mine will become a pumped storage hydropower facility thanks to a Florida clean energy company. Rye Development’s Lewis Ridge Pumped Storage Project in Bell County, Kentucky, will be among the first of its kind built in the United States in more than 30 years and the first built on mine land, according to a news release.

** Ford Motor Co.’s first-quarter net income fell 24% from a year ago as the company’s combustion engine vehicle unit saw revenue and sales decline. The Dearborn, Michigan, automaker said Wednesday it made $1.33 billion from January through March, compared with $1.76 billion a year earlier.



** Some shippers on Canada’s Trans Mountain expansion project are raising concerns that the long-delayed oil pipeline will not be fully in service by its projected start date of May 1, according to a letter to the Canada Energy Regulator on Tuesday.

**  Refiner Valero Energy beat first-quarter profit estimates on Thursday, benefiting from sustained demand as crude supplies remained tight due to disruptions in Russia and maintenance work at U.S. refineries. Crude supplies came under pressure as Ukrainian drone attacks had shut about 14% of Russia’s refining capacity, as of the end of the March quarter.

** Equinor posted a sharp fall in first-quarter profit on Thursday, hit by tumbling natural gas prices in Europe, though strong energy trading and rising output limited the decline. The Norwegian oil and gas producer’s adjusted earnings before tax for January-March fell almost 37% to $7.53 billion but beat the $7.2 billion forecast in a poll of 22 analysts compiled by Equinor.