Energy briefs

** Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) are asking the Justice Department to look into the oil industry’s handling of climate change after their own investigation.

** A group of state financial officers and other public and labor leaders called on Tuesday for major asset managers to vote against top Exxon directors, citing the U.S. oil company’s ongoing lawsuit against climate activists.

** A union representing miners has filed a legal challenge to a Biden administration climate rule. The United Mine Workers of America filed a petition to try to undo a Biden regulation requiring coal plants to capture their emissions or shut down. The rule is expected to accelerate the nation’s movement away from coal power.

** Wildfire smoke covered as much as 70 percent of California in recent years — wreaking havoc not only on land, but also in the state’s vast freshwater ecosystems, a study published Wednesday has found. Published in the Communications: Earth & Environment, the study reported that in the past 18 years, maximum smoke cover over the state has increased by about 116,000 square miles.

** The Biden administration boasted this week that it’s taking strong steps aimed at “helping to lower prices at the pump as Americans hit the road this summer.” But its action is unlikely to help bring down California gasoline prices, which have consistently been the highest in the nation.

** John Hess, the boss of the oil company that bears his family name, is talking to directly with shareholders in a last-ditch effort to ensure enough support for a $53 billion takeover by Chevron Corp., according to people familiar with the matter.


** Global investment in clean energy tech manufacturing increased by more than 70% from 2022 to 2023, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). The numbers accounted for solar, wind, battery, electrolyzer, and heat pump manufacturing, Electrek reported.

** Tesla Inc. got off to a sluggish start to the second quarter in Europe, where Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk was expecting a much better showing than the first few months of the year. The carmaker registered just 13,951 vehicles in April, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association said Wednesday, down 2.3% from a year ago and its worst tally since January 2023.

** France supports companies that believe in the country, its President Emmanuel Macron said in an interview published on Wednesday, in response to a question on oil major TotalEnergies’ potential pursuit of a U.S. listing. A pillar of France’s CAC 40 blue chip index, TotalEnergies is one of the world’s largest oil companies and an important agent of French influence.

** India’s Adani Group has allegedly sold low-grade coal as a more expensive and less polluting form of the fuel, according to documents provided by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project to the Financial Times.

** Origin Energy Ltd. will delay the closure of Australia’s largest coal-fired power station amid concerns renewable energy isn’t being added fast enough to keep pace with plans to quit fossil fuels.