Energy briefs

**  U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Friday called for more nuclear reactors to be built in the United States and worldwide. But the CEO of the Georgia utility that just finished the first two scratch-built American reactors in a generation at a cost of nearly $35 billion says his company isn’t ready to pick up that baton.

** Vermont’s governor allows the Climate Superfund Act to become law without his signature, becoming the first state to pass a measure requiring major oil companies to pay for climate damages.

** Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) led 23 Democratic senators Thursday in a call for the Justice Department to investigate allegations of price-fixing by major oil companies.

** Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry signs a new law to make it harder for a single company to take land through eminent domain, which was written to aid a wealthy state landowner fighting a high-voltage line to deliver Texas wind energy to a Mississippi power station.

** The Biden administration announced Thursday it will award nearly $900 million for clean energy school buses to hundreds of school districts across the country.

** Ford Motor and General Motors’ chiefs offered clashing perspectives on the importance of hybrid vehicles to their long-term strategic outlooks. Ford CEO Jim Farley wants the industry to stop viewing hybrid vehicles as only an interim solution to be used until drivers are comfortable going fully electric, while GM CEO Mary Barra does not view the technology as a longer-term play.

** Looking into data from nearly 13,000 electric cars, a new report has found that the batteries of Tesla vehicles degrade significantly in a matter of just three years. Electric vehicle analytics startup Recurrent  found that Teslas, alongside the offerings of other major EV makers, never actually reach the ranges determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, even when they’re brand new.

** Exxon Mobil Corp. may set a dangerous precedent by suing shareholders over a climate-related proposal, according to the head of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the largest public pension in the US.

** A coalition of community activists called on House leadership to take up a broader reauthorization of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) after Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) scheduled a vote on a more limited extension next week.


** A fire on Sunday at an oil refinery owned by Lukoil near Ukhta in Russia’s northwestern Komi Republic caused fatalities, authorities said, but did not say how many.

** The government of New South Wales in Australia has initiated a tender for long-duration energy storage projects, aiming to secure 1GW of eight-hour storage capacity. The move is part of the state’s strategy to transition towards renewable energy sources while ensuring a reliable and affordable energy supply.

** In April 2024, 95% of Portugal’s electricity came from renewable sources, making it a clean energy leader in Europe and for the rest of the world. Per Euronews Green, this inspiring statistic is just one victory within an overall “continental shift” — in April, “fossil fuels provided less than a quarter of the EU’s energy for the first time ever.”

** China has allayed fears that growing grid congestion could tap the brakes on its record pace of renewable installations, by relaxing limits on how much renewable power can be utilized in energy-rich areas.