Several reports, from the US Environmental Agency to the International Energy Agency to industry analysts, expect the electric vehicle market to substantially grow, albeit slowly over time. However, to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the transportation sector must make and sell more EVs in a faster time frame, writes Ken Silverstein.
Cheniere Energy unveiled plans to expand its Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana with the acquisitions of additional acres and build more, potentially smaller liquefied natural gas plants even though the global market is awash in supply. "Our goal is to leverage the existing infrastructure to build whatever the next round requires," Cheniere Director, President and CEO Jack Fusco said.
The port of Corpus Christi in Texas is on track to become the primary exporting hub in the US as crude exporters increasingly favor it as an alternative to the congested Houston Ship Channel. Corpus Christi is in the midst of an expansion that could eventually increase its daily crude export capacity from 960,000 barrels now to 2.8 million barrels, which compares with Houston's current 1.7-million-barrel export capacity.
Oil prices rose for the fourth consecutive day on Tuesday fueled by expectations that US crude stockpiles likely dropped by 2.25 million barrels last week. August West Texas Intermediate gained 56 cents to trade at $43.94 per barrel while Brent for August delivery rose 64 cents to $46.47.
The Texas Legislature has increased the Texas Railroad Commission's biennial budget from $176.5 million to $256.1 million, most of which will benefit the agency's well-plugging, oilfield cleanup and pipeline safety programs. The funding boost comes after years of underfunding and a shortage of inspectors responsible for monitoring wells.
BP is investing tens of billions of dollars in deepwater projects in the US Gulf of Mexico, hoping to eventually reduce the costs of offshore oil production by 50% or more at a time when competitors shun offshore investments. BP says its $9 billion Mad Dog Phase 2 would turn a profit even with $40-a-barrel oil, in stark contrast with the $100-per-barrel minimum oil price BP needed for new Gulf projects in 2013.
A University of Alberta study has found that hydraulic fracturing and saltwater disposal in North America have little to no impact on seismic events. Geophysicist Mirko van der Baan, who led the study, says the majority of fracking operations are "perfectly safe," although unanswered questions remain, such as why seismicity changes in some areas because of fracking operations.
The US Conference of Mayors, which represents 1,400 mayors nationwide, has advanced a resolution encouraging cities to aim for 100% renewables by 2035. Columbia, S.C., Mayor Steve Benjamin said the resolution is "a message to the entire world that America is still at the table and we support a vision at 100% clean and renewable energy."
Pattern Development has acquired Wind Quarry's 103-megawatt Willow Creek project in South Dakota, according to the companies. "We are thrilled to acquire our first wind project in South Dakota and look forward to working with Wind Quarry and the local community to develop the Willow Creek Project, creating jobs, economic spending and a new source of energy in Butte County," said Pattern Energy President and CEO Mike Garland.
Dong Energy has inaugurated its 582-megawatt Gode Wind 1 and 2 offshore wind project off the coast of Germany in the German North Sea, according to Dong. The complex features 97 Siemens 6-MW offshore wind turbines.