Energy briefs

** The Biden administration announces $1.7 billion to retool or expand 11 auto plants in eight states for electric vehicle manufacturing, including $500 million for General Motors to convert a Michigan assembly plant.

** Tesla’s share of the U.S. electric car market falls to less than 50% in the second quarter as the popularity of General Motors, Ford, Hyundai and Kia’s models grow, a research firm finds reported the New York Times.

** A national laboratory finds installing rooftop solar saved the median American household about $691 annually on utility bills when all costs and incentives are considered.

**  The U.S. and Mexico on Wednesday announced new steps to fight the circumvention of U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum by China and other countries that ship products through Mexico, implementing a North American “melted and poured” standard for steel.

** Honeywell said on Wednesday it would buy Air Products’ liquefied natural-gas process technology and equipment business for $1.81 billion in cash, marking the industrial giant’s fourth acquisition this year.


** Mexico’s massive, debt-fueled passenger rail building program is not going to end with the administration of outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, but will instead double, he said Wednesday. López Obrador said his successor, President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum, is planning to build three passenger train lines running from the capital to some cities on the U.S. border. López Obrador and Sheinbaum agree she will build about 1,850 miles (3,000 kilometers) of passenger rail, double the amount he built.

**  Yemen’s Houthi rebels likely fired an Iranian-made anti-ship cruise missile at a Norwegian-flagged tanker in the Red Sea in December, an assault that now provides a public, evidence-based link between the ongoing rebel campaign against shipping and Tehran, the U.S. military says.

** A Reuters  report reveals how Kurdish oil is being smuggled to help Iran. They painted a picture of a booming business in which more than 1,000 tankers carry at least 200,000 barrels of cut-price oil every day to Iran and, to a lesser extent, Turkey – bringing in about $200 million a month.

** The Chinese government says it will investigate allegations that fuel tankers have been used to transport cooking oil after carrying toxic chemicals without being cleaned properly between loads. The controversy has spread online as social media users express concerns about potential food contamination.

** China is building almost twice as much wind and solar energy capacity as every other country combined, research published Thursday showed. The world’s second-largest economy is the biggest emitter of the greenhouse gases that drive climate change.