News in brief

Tesla wants to sell electricity to Texans

Tesla wants to sell electricity directly to Texas households, according to a request filed with state regulators by its new subsidiary Tesla Energy Ventures.

The company, first reported by Texas Monthly, comes as Tesla is already building large energy storage facilities, including one near Houston, that could operate at the scale of an energy utility. But its Aug. 16 application to the Texas Public Utility Commission signals its intention to become a retail electricity supplier.

Tesla founder Elon Musk, who moved to Texas last year, told investors he expects the company’s energy sector to someday rival its auto manufacturing, according to Bloomberg. He wants to turn Tesla into a multi-faceted clean energy company and has bought financially strapped solar panel supplier Solar City to push those ambitions forward.

For Texas, any significant expansion by Tesla could help diversify the state’s energy mix, dominated by oil and gas. The limits of the state’s regulatory environment were highlighted earlier this year when a cold snap cut power for weeks across the state.

– The Washington Post

DoorDash and Grubhub Face Chicago Suits

CHICAGO – Chicago officials on Friday accused DoorDash and Grubhub of harming the city’s restaurants and their customers by charging high fees and other deceptive practices when deliveries and take-out became essential for the industry during the covid-19 pandemic.

City officials believe their lawsuits against delivery companies are the most sweeping of their kind filed by a city.

“It is deeply concerning and regrettable that these companies have broken the law in these incredibly difficult times,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement.

Representatives for the two companies called the lawsuits filed in Cook County Circuit Court Friday “without merit.”

According to the lawsuits, companies advertise delivery services for restaurants without their consent, damaging companies’ reputations when customers are unhappy with the cost or service.

City investigators also found that both charge higher prices for items than restaurants set on their own menus and charge higher total fees than initially disclosed to customers.

A DoorDash spokesperson called the lawsuit “baseless” and a Grubhub spokesperson said the company was disappointed with Lightfoot’s decision.

– The Associated Press

State index climbs to 670.71, up 12.05

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the state’s largest public companies, closed Friday at 670.71, up 12.05.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of December 30, 1997.

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