Climate-aware Big Tech firms still enabling fossil fuels

CLIMATE:
• While major technology firms are pledging to slash their carbon emissions, they continue to court fossil fuel companies as customers. (Associated Press)
• A new poll finds broad bipartisan support for transitioning to clean energy from fossil fuels. (Business Insider)

REGULATION: The Trump administration nominates a lawyer with scant energy industry experience to serve on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which would leave the traditionally bipartisan agency with a 3-1 Republican majority. (Greentech Media)

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Ohio slips in efficiency ranking as lawmakers gut state standards

EFFICIENCY: An energy efficiency advocacy group further downgrades Ohio in its state rankings, thanks to a new law rolling back the state’s clean energy standards. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• An Iowa preschool wins an award for being among the most energy efficient buildings in the state. (Ottumwa Courier)
• On National Energy Efficiency Day, Michigan officials offer residents tips for reducing energy use and saving money. (WLNS-TV)

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BIOFUELS: A tentative agreement by the Trump administration would increase biofuel quotas to compensate for waivers that have exempted some oil refineries from complying with the requirements, according to sources.

Can California convince residents to move beyond cars?

TRANSPORTATION: Policymakers are ramping up efforts to encourage people to use ride-sharing and public transit in California, where transportation is responsible for about 40% of the state’s greenhouse-gas emissions. (Cal Matters)

ALSO:
• House Democrats urge leading automakers to join four car manufacturers that signed a deal recognizing California’s authority to set its own vehicle emissions standards. (The Hill)
• California regulators approve a San Diego utility’s plan to build at least 3,000 plug-in chargers for vehicles such as buses, delivery trucks and forklifts. (City News Service)

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Report: PG&E failed to clear trees before wildfires

UTILITIES:
• Pacific Gas & Electric, blamed for some of California’s most devastating recent wildfires, failed to clear thousands of trees that posed a threat to power lines, according to a report submitted to a federal judge (Associated Press)
• Nevada regulators will allow a planned liquid hydrogen facility to opt out of service from utility NV Energy without paying an impact fee. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

RENEWABLES:
• California’s grid led the country with the most renewable energy output during the first half of 2019, producing 3% less than the previous year. (S&P Global)
• California’s Clean Energy Commission awards $3.75 million to support 25 early-stage clean energy projects. (news release)

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Western states join lawsuit challenging rollback of EPA pollution rules

COAL: California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington are among 22 states suing to overturn new Trump administration rules on pollution, saying they will worsen smog and climate change by keeping “the oldest and dirtiest power plants in the country on life support.” (The Mercury News)

ALSO: The court overseeing Blackjewel’s bankruptcy authorizes the termination of 401(k) plans for the company’s miners, satisfying one of the conditions of Contura Energy’s purchase of the company’s Wyoming mines and giving workers the option to receive a cashout. (Wyoming Public Media)

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OIL & GAS:
• Commissioners for Garfield County, Colorado, say new state rules governing oil and gas permits will create a recession in the area. (Post Independent)
• Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment says a new law that allows local governments to enact stricter rules on the oil and gas industry doesn’t weaken its authority.