President Joe Biden’s first budget proposal calls for tens of billions of dollars in new spending to mitigate climate change, referencing the phenomenon far more frequently than any other major threat to the country. This includes $1.9 billion to the Department of Energy to create an emissions-free electricity network by 2035; $450 million to the Department of the Interior for a federal jobs program to clean up abandoned mines and orphaned oil and gas wells; and $800 million to the Department of Commerce (home to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) for climate research. (Roll Call)
In a deal that will allow two new battery plants to open in Georgia, two South Korean industrial giants have settled a trade secrets case, with SK Innovation Co. Ltd. paying its rival LG Energy Solutions $1.8 billion in cash and future royalties in exchange for the latter dropping its litigation beforeU.S. and South Korean courts. The dispute could have proved politically challenging to Biden, who now will reap the benefits of the 2,600 projected jobs at SK Innovation’s $2.6 billion U.S. manufacturing facilities and a strengthened domestic electric vehicle supply chain without having to take sides in the intellectual property dispute. (The Washington Post)
The Saudi Arabian Oil Co. said it will sell a 49 percent stake in its oil pipeline business to a consortium headed by the U.S. investment company EIG Global Energy Partners, which also includes an Abu Dhabi sovereign-wealth fund and is likely to eventually include both Chinese and Saudi investors, according to people familiar with the matter. The $12.4 billion deal will result in Aramco creating a new joint-venture company known as Aramco Oil Pipelines Co., which will have the rights to 25 years of tariff payments for oil transported through its network of pipelines. (The Wall Street Journal)
Just a few months ago, the U.S. government wasn’t participating in a global treaty to reduce harmful gas emissions, and legal challenges were threatening to kill a carbon tax imposed by the Canadian government as the centerpiece of its effort to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
In a much-anticipated federal court hearing on Friday, April 9, attorneys from the Department of Justice and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said they have not made up their minds on what to do about the embattled North Dakota pipeline, likely leaving its fate in the hands of a federal judge.
Since the February power outages, Texas legislators have been busy weighing a host of improvements for the state’s grid, from weatherizing equipment to shaking up oversight to partnering with the billionaire investor Warren Buffett on new emergency-use power plants. But hardly any of them have focused on what some believe could be a more widespread fix: plugging into other U.S. power supplies.
Phred Dvorak and Matthew Dalton, The Wall Street Journal
Champions of the accelerating push for solar energy around the world are confronting a previously overlooked challenge: The industry’s supply chains are heavily reliant on Xinjiang, a Chinese region the U.S. government and others say is the scene of genocide against local ethnic minorities including the mostly Muslim Uyghur inhabitants.
The Interior Department on Friday bolstered offshore wind energy by revoking a legal opinion issued during the Trump administration that gave more weight to fishing concerns about that kind of energy development.
Juan Manuel Briones was 14 when he started working in the coal mines in this remote stretch of northern Mexico. He toiled underground for nearly two decades, only to be laid off a few years ago as Mexico began embracing renewable energy and weaning itself off fossil fuels. Briones worried the future had left him behind. Then, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador took office in late 2018 and started turning back the clock.
An ambitious pledge to cut greenhouse-gas emissions under consideration by the U.S. gives President Joe Biden more leverage when he hosts leaders for a climate change summit later this month — presenting a particular challenge to China’s Xi Jinping.
Government and investors are quickly moving to quantify the risks posed by climate change and make that part of their financial decision-making. But many companies remain unsure how to measure the threat of climate change to their business, and whether or how to report those risks to investors and the public.
Huawei Technologies Co. will invest $1 billion on researching self-driving and electric-car technologies, accelerating plans to compete with Tesla Inc. and Xiaomi Corp. in the world’s biggest vehicle arena.
Michael K. Dorsey (Chief Strategy Officer, Solair), Morning Consult
The growth of blockchain technologies like cryptocurrencies seem to be doubling each year, and this fast growth has revealed the unintended environmental consequences just as quickly. Last month, Elon Musk announced that Tesla is accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment for its fast-selling electric cars. Enthusiasts for cryptocurrencies celebrated it as a milestone for liberating a financial system riddled with friction and exclusion.
The frequency of natural disasters has soared in recent decades. Total damage topped $210 billion worldwide in 2020. With climate change, the costs attributed to coastal storms will increase dramatically.