First electric school buses roll out for Virginia initiative

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A central Virginia bus company unveils the first of 50 electric school buses scheduled for delivery across the state as part of a Dominion Energy initiative. (Lynchburg News & Advance)

ALSO:
• A Georgia “smart city” issues a request for proposals to build more charging stations and other infrastructure for electric vehicles. (Smart Cities World)
• A new Volkswagen headquarters in Northern Virginia will include 300 electric vehicle chargers. (Virginia Business)

SOLAR:
• Entergy prepares a 20 MW solar plant in eastern New Orleans for launch next month. (Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate)
• A Virginia company announces plans for an $85 million, 100 MW South Carolina solar farm that should be operational by 2023.

Offshore oil and gas workers evacuate ahead of Hurricane Zeta

POLICY: North Carolina’s down-ballot races for lieutenant governor and the state legislature could shape the future of climate and clean energy policy in the state. (Energy News Network) 

OIL & GAS:
• Energy firms evacuate workers from offshore rigs as the Gulf Coast readies for Hurricane Zeta. (Reuters)
• President Donald Trump considers ordering an economic analysis of hydraulic fracturing to spotlight the issue in key battleground states. (Wall Street Journal)

PIPELINES: Environmental groups ask an appeals court to formally review the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s opinion that the Mountain Valley Pipeline will not significantly affect endangered species. (Roanoke Times)

SOLAR:
• A Texas county designates a reinvestment zone that opens the door for a possible tax abatement on a proposed $200 million, 200 MW solar farm.

Southeast school districts tout cost savings from solar projects

SOLAR: Coal county school boards in Virginia lobby for changes to a regional utility contract that is limiting installation of solar panels on school buildings. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• A Kentucky school district has saved half-a-million dollars in two years by installing solar panels and energy efficiency measures. (Northern Kentucky Tribune)
• An Arkansas school district expects to save $40,000 annually after signing a deal for solar energy. (Hot Springs Village Voice)
• An 86 MW solar farm in western Kentucky prepares for construction. (Paducah Sun)
• A Texas regulator gives the go-ahead for a school district to negotiate incentives with a company considering a 500 MW solar farm.

Coal giant Robert Murray dies days after retirement

COAL: Robert Murray, founder and former president of America’s largest privately held coal company, dies just days after his retirement and weeks after filing for federal black-lung benefits. (Associated Press, West Virginia Public Broadcasting)

ALSO: High schoolers from Kentucky, West Virginia and Wyoming discuss prospects for life after coal. (Ohio Valley ReSource)

PIPELINES: Environmentalists hope that a combination of legal obstacles and production declines among natural gas companies will result in the demise of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

UTILITIES: Frontier Energy purchases a coal-fired AEP power plant slated for closure and will instead convert it to natural gas. (KFDX)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A Northern Virginia county partners with Dominion Energy and state agencies to launch passenger service on an autonomous electric shuttle.

Debate exchange over oil’s future ripples through Texas and the South

OIL & GAS: Donald Trump and Joe Biden debate climate change and the future of oil and gas at the final presidential debate. (Texas Tribune)

ALSO:
• Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says Biden’s comments on transitioning from oil “killed” industry workers’ paychecks. (Newsweek)
• The oil and gas industry has given nearly $2 million to Trump in the 2020 election cycle, more than three times as much as to Biden. (E&E News)
• France seeks to cancel or delay an electric utility’s $7 billion deal to buy Texas shale gas because of concerns over its methane emissions. (Kallanish Energy)
• The oil industry hasn’t recovered jobs lost in the pandemic, and a new analysis suggests 70% of those jobs won’t return before the end of 2021.