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Ukraine withdraws from Avdiivka, in Russia's first major battlefield win in months

Ukraine withdrawing from AvdkivkaRussian troops have occupied the eastern Ukrainian town of Avdiivka after a months-long assault that wore down Ukrainian troops running low on ammunition.

It's Russia's first major battlefield win since last May and a boost for Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of next month's presidential elections.

Ukraine's newly appointed military chief, Gen. Oleksandr Syrsky, said in a statement that he decided to withdraw units from the embattled town to "avoid encirclement [by Russian troops] and preserve the lives and health of servicemen."

President Biden acknowledged the significance of Avdiivka's fall in a call to Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday. A readout of the call from the White House said Ukraine's military "was forced to withdraw from Avdiivka after Ukrainian soldiers had to ration ammunition due to dwindling supplies as a result of congressional inaction, resulting in Russia's first notable gains in months."

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‘Smoking gun proof’: fossil fuel industry knew of climate danger as early as 1954, documents show

Fossil fuel industry knew of dangersThe fossil fuel industry funded some of the world’s most foundational climate science as early as 1954, newly unearthed documents have shown, including the early research of Charles Keeling, famous for the so-called “Keeling curve” that has charted the upward march of the Earth’s carbon dioxide levels.

A coalition of oil and car manufacturing interests provided $13,814 (about $158,000 in today’s money) in December 1954 to fund Keeling’s earliest work in measuring CO2 levels across the western US, the documents reveal.

Keeling would go on to establish the continuous measurement of global CO2 at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. This “Keeling curve” has tracked the steady increase of the atmospheric carbon that drives the climate crisis and has been hailed as one of the most important scientific works of modern times.

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Saudi Arabia surprises oil markets by ditching plan to increase production

Saudi Arabia ditches plan to increase production

Saudi Arabia has cast doubt on the future of the global oil market after abandoning plans to grow its crude production capacity by 1m barrels a day.

The world’s biggest exporter signalled a big change in policy by ordering the state oil company, Saudi Aramco, to drop plans to expand its maximum production capacity to 13m barrels a day by 2027.

The decision has raised questions over the future of global oil demand growth, weeks after an influential report found that a worldwide peak in crude demand could come before the end of this decade.

The International Energy Agency said that the faltering global economy would slow the world’s growing demand for oil from this year, before the take-up of electric vehicles in the second half of the decade causes consumption to reach a peak.

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Biden administration issues rule to cut methane emissions from oil and gas

Methane gasThe Biden administration on Saturday announced new regulations that are expected to deliver significant cuts to the greenhouse gas methane in the oil and gas sector.

The rule, finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), tees up emissions reductions for both new oil and wells and, for the first time, existing oil and gas wells.

An EPA press release said the rule is expected to prevent 58 million tons of methane from entering the atmosphere between 2024 and 2038. These emissions savings are the climate equivalent of taking 28 million gas-powered cars off the road for a year.

Methane is a planet-warming gas that’s about 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide and is responsible for about 25 percent of global warming.

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Drone strikes knock out half of Saudi oil capacity, 5 million barrels a day

Saudis shut down half of oil output after attackDrone strikes on Saudi Arabian oil facilities have disrupted about half of the kingdom's oil capacity, or 5% of the daily global oil supply, people with knowledge of Saudi's oil operations told CNN Business.
Yemen's Houthi rebels on Saturday took responsibility for the attacks, saying 10 drones targeted state-owned Saudi Aramco oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais, according to the Houthi-run Al-Masirah news agency.
Five million barrels per day of crude production have been impacted after fires raged at the sites, one of them the world's largest oil production facility, people with knowledge of the kingdom's operations said. The latest OPEC figures from August 2019 put the total Saudi production at 9.8 million barrels per day.

Wholesale energy prices dip below zero because of California’s solar power

Solar power in CaliforniaSolar power shines bright in California, and wholesale energy prices prove it. Last winter and early spring’s dependence on solar drove wholesale energy prices to negative prices, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Solar power in the California Independent System Operator accounted for nearly 40% of net grid power for three hours on March 11, 2017, the administration reports —a major first.

These figures don’t translate for the consumer into retail prices, which are based on averages. But the move will likely cause energy companies to pay more attention to green energy options.

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Nuclear reactor at Indian Point plant in N.Y. shut down again after leak found

Indian Point reactor leakOne of two reactor units at a nuclear power plant near New York City has been taken offline for the second time in four months after leakage was found in a pipe that pumps water into the facility, officials said Friday.

Reactor Unit 2 at the Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, N.Y., was shut down Thursday after discovery of the malfunction. Officials said the leak was found in a non-radioactive part of the plant.

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