Third time’s the charm: Lotilla confirmed as Energy Secretary

After undergoing three committee hearings, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla has been confirmed by the Commission on Appointments (CA).

The CA on Wednesday confirmed the appointment of Lotilla, who had previously served as Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary from 2005 to 2007.

Deliberations on the ad interim appointment of Lotilla have been suspended twice, before finally getting the CA’s nod on his third committee hearing.

Lotilla’s capacity to serve “fairly” as the DOE chief has been questioned due to his recent affiliations with power industry players.

He served as lead independent director of AboitizPower in 2021 and as an independent director of ACE Enexor in 2019. He resigned from both positions following his appointment.

Lotilla’s brother, meanwhile, is an independent director at Synergy Grid & Development Philippines Inc., which owns 60 percent of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, operator of the country’s electricity transmission network.

Why is India so thirsty for Russian oil?

India is snapping up discounted crude from Russia, refining it and selling it, becoming a key supplier to Europe as it reshapes global fuel flows more than a year into Moscow’s war in Ukraine.

US expands access to EV subsidies in proposed rules

US officials proposed Friday guidelines that widen access to electric vehicle subsidies, bringing relief to countries like Japan and potentially the EU amid their fears of being excluded from Washington’s spending bonanza.