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Oil company profits boom as Americans reel from high fuel prices

Oil and gas companies profit as public sufffers

The US’s biggest oil companies pumped out record profits over the last few months as Americans struggled to pay for gasoline, food and other basic necessities.

On Friday, ExxonMobil reported an unprecedented $17.85bn (£14.77bn) profit for the second quarter, nearly four times as much as the same period a year ago, and Chevron made a record $11.62bn (£9.61bn). The sky-high profits were announced one day after the UK’s Shell shattered its own profit record.

Soaring energy prices have rattled consumers and become a political flashpoint. “We’re going to make sure everybody knows Exxon’s profits,” Joe Biden said in June. “Exxon made more money than God this year.”

The record profits came after similarly outsized gains in the first quarter when the largest oil companies made close to $100bn in profits.

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Leaked: US power companies secretly spending millions to protect profits and fight clean energy

Florida PowerThe CEO of the biggest power company in the US had a problem. A Democratic state senator was proposing a law that could cut into Florida Power & Light’s (FPL) profits. Landlords would be able to sell cheap rooftop solar power directly to their tenants – bypassing FPL and its monopoly on electricity.

“I want you to make his life a living hell … seriously,” FPL’s CEO Eric Silagy wrote in a 2019 email to two of his vice-presidents about state Senator José Javier Rodríguez, who proposed the legislation.

The CEO of the biggest power company in the US had a problem. A Democratic state senator was proposing a law that could cut into Florida Power & Light’s (FPL) profits. Landlords would be able to sell cheap rooftop solar power directly to their tenants – bypassing FPL and its monopoly on electricity.

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Unprecedented Heat And Stressed Grids Make Dangerous Power Outages Increasingly Likely

Unprecedented heat and stress will cause outages

The electric bill Chantel Watkins pays every month costs more than a week of groceries for her family of four.

Yet at any given moment, the power might flicker off, setting in motion a series of expensive and potentially deadly events.

Depending on how long it takes for electricity to be restored, the food might spoil in the fridge. If there’s heavy rain, like last year, the basement of her townhouse on Detroit’s East Side might flood with the electric sump pump disabled. If her partner or 11-year-old stepson have an asthma attack, especially if the power goes out during a lung-constricting heat wave, she might need to call an ambulance, since the breathing machines they use need power and don’t have batteries.

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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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Portugal runs for four days straight on renewable energy alone

Portugal runs four days on renewable energyPortugal kept its lights on with renewable energy alone for four consecutive days last week in a clean energy milestone revealed by data analysis of national energy network figures.

Electricity consumption in the Iberian country was fully covered by solar, wind and hydro power in an extraordinary 107-hour run that lasted from 6.45am on Saturday 7 May until 5.45pm the following Wednesday, the analysis says.

News of the zero emissions landmark comes just days after Germany announced that clean energy had powered almost all its electricity needs on Sunday 15 May, with power prices turning negative at several times in the day – effectively paying consumers to use it.

TVNL Comment:  Why, just why, are we always behind other countries in so many things?  Just asking...

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