Texas oil regulator race could have major climate impacts

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Virginia clean energy advocates propose an alternative to Dominion Energy’s electric school bus plan that would provide money for a massive diesel-to-electric conversion across the state. (Energy News Network)

OIL & GAS:
• A race for a seat on the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates oil and gas drillers, has stakes for U.S. climate policy, analysts say. (Bloomberg)
• Houston liquefied natural gas company Cheniere Energy hits its 1,000th export shipment with cargo headed to France. (Midland Reporter-Telegram)
• Texas oil and gas officials visit an El Paso elementary school to teach students about the industry. (CBS4)

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Southeast states lag in adopting renewables, reducing emissions

CLIMATE: The Southeast is facing major impacts from climate change, but utilities and cities have been slow to adopt clean energy or reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (InsideClimate News)

ALSO: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration has goals to reduce emissions, regulate monopoly utilities and boost electric vehicles, but it faces roadblocks from Duke Energy and a Republican-controlled legislature. (WFAE)

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PIPELINES: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service releases a draft $13.4 million plan designed to protect the endangered rusty patched bumblebee, which has habitat along the route of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

OIL & GAS:
• A facility for a Houston machining company that makes parts for the oil and gas industry explodes, killing two people and destroying a neighborhood.

Southeast utilities among most vulnerable to climate change

UTILITIES: Utilities in Florida, Texas, and on the East Coast are some of the most at-risk for hurricane and climate change vulnerability, according to a Moody’s Investor report. (Utility Dive)

SOLAR:
• Two Kentucky utilities propose to build the state’s largest solar project, with Dow and Toyota buying most of the power. (Lexington Herald Leader)
• A solar cooperative in southwest Florida is helping homeowners afford to install rooftop solar. (WBBH)
• Appalachian Power, which does not own any solar projects, reopens its call for solar bids after an initial round “did not result in any viable projects.” (Roanoke Times)
• A canopy-like solar structure and solar trees are installed at an amphitheater at Miami’s Bayfront Park as part of Florida Power & Light’s effort to increase its solar capacity. (Miami’s Community Newspapers)

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West Virginia governor willing to do ‘anything’ to help oil and gas

OVERSIGHT: The North Carolina Utilities Commission is finally at full strength — with almost all seats appointed by Gov. Roy Cooper —  and is expected to rule this year on orders related to electric vehicles and rate hikes. (Energy News Network)

OIL & GAS:
• West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice says he is willing to do “anything” to help the state’s struggling oil and natural gas industry. (WVPB)
• A Kinder Morgan executive says the company is cautiously expanding its operations in Texas and Mexico. (S&P Global)

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PIPELINES: A small Texas water district joins a lawsuit against Kinder Morgan’s Permian Highway Pipeline amid protests across the state.

Virginia Senate panel advances fracking, offshore drilling bans

OIL & GAS: A Virginia Senate committee advances two bills that would ban offshore drilling and fracking in most of eastern Virginia. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• Texas and Oklahoma are exploring the possibility of allowing oil and gas companies to discard wastewater in streams and rivers. (Grist)
• In the two years since an oil well explosion killed five people in Oklahoma, there have been few changes in safety rules. (Houston Chronicle)
• Oil and gas companies continue to find reserves deep in the Gulf of Mexico, despite scaling back drilling. (Offshore)

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