U.S. Energy News

After turmoil in D.C., a path forward on climate

POLITICS: After a failed insurrection yesterday by Trump loyalists, Congress certified President-elect Joe Biden’s victory; meanwhile, Democrats will gain control of the Senate after Jon Ossoff’s lead in Georgia passes the recount threshold, clearing a path for federal clean energy and climate policy to advance in 2021. (New York Times, Reuters)    

ALSO:
• The head of the National Association of Manufacturers urges use of the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office for inciting yesterday’s siege of the U.S. Capitol. (Reuters)
• Senate Democrats are poised to use the Congressional Review Act to undo Trump administration regulations passed in recent months. (E&E News)
• A member of Biden’s transition team warns “rebuilding efforts across the government are going to be more extensive than we have understood before,” seeking to temper expectations for quick action on climate. (E&E News)

EQUITY: Arrest figures reveal the starkly disparate treatment that pro-Trump insurrectionists were granted compared to the aggressive police response to social justice protests last year. (Forbes)

TRANSPORTATION: EPA data shows average vehicle fuel economy declined in 2019 as consumers buy more SUVs than cars, with the trend expected to continue. (Reuters)

OIL & GAS:
The Bureau of Land Management’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge oil and gas lease sale only attracted three bidders, none of which were major oil companies. (Alaska Public Media)
Leaders of several tribal nations object to a Bureau of Land Management decision to allow the drilling of 5,000 oil and gas wells in the southern region of Wyoming’s Powder River Basin over the next decade. (Casper Star-Tribune)

ENERGY EFFICIENCY: A North Carolina board makes changes to the state building code that would allow developers to skimp on insulation and other energy-saving basics in exchange for flashier additions such as solar panels and super-efficient appliances. (Energy News Network)

OFFSHORE WIND:
• Fishing groups in Maine are skeptical of the state’s commitment to work with them as plans are devised to develop an array of floating offshore wind turbines. (Energy News Network)
• An offshore wind farm in New Jersey will be among the first in the world to be powered by the largest wind turbines ever built. (NJ Spotlight)

UTILITIES: Illinois’ Citizens Utility Board files a complaint in federal court claiming ComEd continues to benefit from an alleged bribery scheme after admitting wrongdoing in a deferred-prosecution agreement. (Chicago Sun-Times)

NUCLEAR: A 35-year-old Mississippi nuclear plant spent nearly three-quarters of 2020 at zero or reduced power for maintenance and other reasons, raising questions about nuclear power’s long-term reliability. (E&E News, subscription) 

CLIMATE:
In a report released Tuesday, Exxon Mobil released its greenhouse gas emissions for the first time, showing they are the highest among major oil companies. (Bloomberg)
Burlington, Vermont became the first city to declare itself powered by 100% renewable energy but the reality is more complex as cities are unlikely to fully zero-out their carbon footprints. (Grist)

COMMENTARY:
• Democratic victories in Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoff elections give President-elect Joe Biden the opportunity to go big on climate change and other issues, writes an opinion columnist. (Bloomberg)
• An analyst says that New England households would pay substantially more for heating costs than those elsewhere in the country if homes are fully electrified. (Energy Institute at Haas)

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