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The Labor Day holiday made for a pretty slow energy news week. We’re skipping the breakdown of the biggest clean energy story this week, but you’ll still find a roundup of what’s going on.
💰 Profiting off climate disaster: Hedge funds, pension plans and the ultrarich are increasingly investing in “catastrophe bonds” that transform the risk of multibillion-dollar natural disasters into securities that pay off for investors. (Washington Post)
🚘 Easing into EV manufacturing: The Department of Energy announced $15.5 billion in funding to help automakers retool plants for electric vehicle production, winning praise from a union leader who has threatened a strike amid concerns the industry will “replace oil barons with battery barons.” (Canary Media, Associated Press)
🌊 Wind flops in the Gulf: The first federal auction for offshore wind development rights in the Gulf of Mexico received a mediocre response, though an industry group said the Gulf auction “is nonetheless a critical step for the energy transition.” (Reuters, Canary Media)
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🌬️ Second wind: After a downturn in 2022, the U.S. onshore wind industry is back to growth mode thanks in part to federal tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act. (Inside Climate News)
🌋 Eco-friendly lithium? A study found an extinct volcano in northern Nevada and southern Oregon may contain the world’s largest lithium deposit in a form that is relatively environmentally friendly to extract for use in batteries and other clean energy components. (Popular Science)
🏦 Climate change comes for big banks: As insurance companies exit states increasingly prone to climate-fueled disasters, the banking industry braces for the impact. (The Hill)
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⚠️ Extreme weather’s uncounted effects: Studies suggest the United States is undercounting deaths related to hurricanes, heat waves, and other climate-fueled disasters. (Grist)
🐋 The latest drilling fight: The oil industry is suing the Biden administration over its plan to protect an endangered whale by scaling back an auction of oil and gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico, while environmentalists are challenging the sale altogether. (Associated Press)
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