Democrats see hope for a clean energy bill, but Manchin is adding a new hurdle: More funding for fossil fuels

This post was originally published on this siteExactly how much money Manchin wants to dedicate to fossil fuels — versus investments in clean energy — is so far unclear.

Russia accuses Ukraine of daring airstrikes on fuel depot in Belgorod, Russia

Officials in Belgorod, a Russian city near Kharkiv, Ukraine, say Ukrainian military helicopters were responsible for explosions and subsequent fires at a fuel depot early Friday. “The fire at the oil depot occurred as a result of an airstrike coming from two helicopters of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which entered the territory of the Russian Federation flying at a low altitude,” Belgorod regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov wrote on Telegram. “There are no victims,” though two workers were injured.
Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the explosions; Bohdan Senyk, the head of the public affairs department of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, told CNN there was “no information” about the incident. “It would be the first time that Ukrainian aircraft have flown into Russian airspace to hit a target. bringing the war home to Russia” and giving “a huge boost to the morale of Ukraine’s military,” BBC defense correspondent Jonathan Beale writes from Odessa. 
“Ukrainian helicopter pilots have plenty of experience of flying low and fast to avoid being detected by military radar and air defense systems. They’ve been doing exactly that in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine for years,” Beale adds. “But if these unconfirmed reports are correct — flying at night, well into Russian territory, to launch an attack on an enemy fuel depot would have required extraordinary bravery — as well as finely honed flying skills.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the strikes on the fuel depot can’t “be perceived as creating conditions comfortable for the continuation of negotiations,” and everything is being done to reorganize the fuel supply chain. Russia has hit several Ukrainian fuel depots throughout the country, claiming the purpose is to cut off supply to Ukraine’s military.
“The Belgorod area was used as a staging ground for Russian forces shortly before the invasion, and Kharkiv has since been relentlessly shelled and hit with missiles,” CNN reports. There were several explosions reported at an ammunition depot near Belgorod late Tuesday night, and Gladkov said Wednesday that a preliminary investigation pointed to a fire sparking those blasts. 

Marco Rubio thinks China is complicit in Russia’s war on Ukraine

This post was originally published on this siteSen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) joins James Hohmann for a conversation about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the threat posed by China.

Car Sales Seen Sputtering as Supply-Chain Woes Hurt Production

This post was originally published on this siteAuto makers are projected to report lower year-over-year sales amid tight inventories. “This market is stuck in low gear,” said one industry watcher.

March Jobs Report Could Reveal Strong Hiring Momentum

This post was originally published on this siteEconomists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal estimate that employers added 490,000 jobs in March—which would mark 11 straight months of gains above 400,000, the longest such stretch since 1939.

As Gas Prices Soar, Biden’s Climate Ambitions Sputter

This post was originally published on this siteRising costs at the pump, war in Ukraine, an emboldened fossil fuel industry and stalled legislation have imperiled President Biden’s climate agenda.

Russia orders 135,000 new military conscripts, reportedly pulls troops from Georgia to Ukraine

Russia is redeploying 1,200 to 2,000 troops from Russian-occupied Georgia and reorganizing them into three tactical battle groups “to reinforce its invasion of Ukraine,” Britain’s Ministry of Defense said Thursday evening, its latest intelligence update. “It is highly unlikely that Russia planned to generate reinforcements in this manner and it is indicative of the unexpected losses it has sustained during the invasion.” 
Russia has stationed its forces in parts of the former Soviet republic since invading it in 2008.
Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier Thursday signed a decree ordering that 134,500 Russian men age 18 to 27 be conscripted into the Russian army as part of its annual spring draft, but Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu suggested none of them will be sent to Ukraine. “Most military personnel will undergo professional training in training centers for three to five months,” he said in remarks published Tuesday. “Let me emphasize that recruits will not be sent to any hot spots.”
Mikhail Benyash, a lawyer representing Russian National Guard members who refused orders to go to Ukraine, told Reuters that under Russian law, these conscripts could actually be sent to fight after several months of training. 
The issue of sending conscripts to war is politically fraught in Russia. Putin claimed in the beginning of March that no conscripts were “participating in hostilities” in Ukraine, but the Defense Ministry said that in fact there were conscripts in Ukraine and some had been taken prisoner by Ukraine, prompting Putin to order military prosecutors to find and charge the officials who had deployed the conscripts against purported orders. 
“The Russians need more soldiers,” since “their invasion plan with over 55 percent of Russian ground forces has placed them in a very difficult spot,” retired Australian Army Maj. Gen. Mick Ryan tweeted Thursday. But even if Putin does intend to deploy the conscripts, that “will be of little assistance. It takes time to train soldiers.”
Western intelligence assesses that at least 1,000 private soldiers from the Wagner Group have already been deployed in eastern Ukraine, but Ryan said none of this will save Russia from its early miscalculations. “They will obviously use mercenaries, and second- or third-rate forces from elsewhere (such as Georgia). We should not expect their military effectiveness to be any better than the ‘theoretically elite’ formations which crossed into Ukraine on 24 February.”

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