Biden pick returns U.S. to global climate discussion

Note to readers: U.S. Energy News is taking a break for the holiday and will be back on Monday, Nov. 30. Thank you for reading! CLIMATE: The naming of former Secretary of State John Kerry to a newly created position of top climate diplomat signals that President-elect Biden is serious about climate change. (Washington Post)

• The former secretary of state’s role will involve trying to restore the world’s trust in the United States after Trump’s rejection of climate diplomacy.

Trump launches lame-duck fight over Arctic drilling  

OIL & GAS: The Trump administration proposes a rule that would limit large banks from pulling their financing from Arctic oil and gas projects after several banks announced policies prohibiting such investments. (Anchorage Daily News)

• President-elect Biden faces several obstacles to fulfilling his pledge to permanently protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from drilling. (The Hill)
• An oil and gas analyst says the industry is “cautiously positive” about the impact of President-elect Biden and notes that a president who manages a gradual shift from oil might be better for business in the medium term compared to President Trump’s climate denialism. (NPR)

PUBLIC LANDS: The New Mexico congresswoman reportedly being considered for Interior Secretary under President-elect Joe Biden says leasing practices for federal lands need to change to encourage more clean energy. (S&P Global)

OHIO: Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Chairman Sam Randazzo resigns days after the FBI searched his home as part of an investigation into the state’s power plant subsidy law bribery scandal.

GM: ‘We want to be part of the solution’ on climate

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: General Motors CEO Mary T. Barra announces plans for 20 new electric vehicle models in the U.S. by 2025: “We are all-in to establish leadership in electric vehicles.” (New York Times)

• Data shows the majority of electric vehicle buyers in California are white men, and advocates say overcoming the “Silicon Valley dudes” perception will be key to more widespread adoption. (San Francisco Chronicle)
• Fremont, California’s police department says its Tesla Model S patrol car has been more reliable and cheaper to operate than gasoline vehicles, and the department has since added another Tesla to its fleet. (KPIX)

OVERSIGHT: Outgoing EPA administrator is booking a taxpayer-funded trip to tropical destinations during the final days of the Trump administration in January. (Associated Press)

• Democratic lawmakers condemn President Trump’s “destabilizing” and “politicizing” of the National Climate Assessment. (The Hill)
• Progessive members of Congress hold a climate rally outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters.

Biden seeking to rebuild U.S. credibility on climate

CLIMATE: Climate change has been a major focus in President-elect Joe Biden’s outreach with world leaders, with the topic coming up in 12 of 14 calls so far. (E&E News)

• Republicans now hold attorney general positions in 26 states, and are “developing strategies to push back” against the Biden administration on climate. (E&E News)
• The American Farm Bureau says it has “broken through historical barriers” in joining a coalition of environmental groups to cut emissions in the agricultural sector. (InsideClimate News)
• While U.S. carbon emissions will be lower overall in 2020, nearly a third of that has been canceled out by pollution from Western wildfires. (Washington Post)
• A media analysis explores the financial risks that climate change poses to utilities.

Deal reached for largest dam removal in U.S. history

HYDROPOWER: A new agreement among tribes, PacifiCorp, and the states of Oregon and California will advance plans to remove four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River, which, if approved by federal regulators, would be the largest dam removal in U.S. history. (Associated Press)

• Environmental groups criticize President-elect Biden’s selection of Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond as a senior advisor, citing his ties to the oil industry. (The Hill)
• The Biden administration will likely include the Agriculture and Transportation departments in efforts to fight climate change. (The Hill)

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