U.S. Energy News

Airlines keep flying even though passengers are staying home

TRANSPORTATION: Airlines have seen a 96% drop in passenger numbers but continue to fly near-empty planes, leading to a “huge environmental waste.” (The Guardian)

ALSO:
New York’s transit authority seeks $39 billion in federal aid as transit agencies around the country face plummeting revenue. (Crain’s, Bloomberg)
The city of Carmel, Indiana, is set to become the first in the U.S. to convert its fleet vehicles to run on hydrogen fuel technology. (Indianapolis Star)

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POLLUTION:
Environmental groups ask a federal court to force the EPA to respond to a petition for increased transparency around its decision to relax air and water quality enforcement during the pandemic. (Bloomberg Environment)
As expected, the Trump administration guts an Obama-era rule designed to limit mercury emissions from coal- and oil-fired power plants. (Associated Press)
Chicago community leaders demand environmental justice reforms after a coal smokestack demolition coated a neighborhood in dust. (Energy News Network)

WIND:
Wind turbine makers are finding it increasingly difficult to get necessary parts as suppliers are disrupted by lockdowns and coronavirus spread. (Bloomberg)
Wind energy accounted for 39% of new utility-scale U.S. capacity last year, the largest of any generation source, according to an industry group’s report. (Power)
Wind turbines installed in the U.S. last year were also larger, taller, and more productive than ever before, according to the same report. (Recharge)

TECHNOLOGY: A Minneapolis nonprofit partners with a company to make it easier to buy and sell renewable energy credits with blockchain. (Energy News Network)

PIPELINES:
A federal court’s decision to cancel a key Keystone XL Pipeline permit could have impacts on other projects like the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines. (Bloomberg Law)
A federal judge “reluctantly” rejects an environmental group’s effort to require inspections of thousands of miles of pipelines on public lands. (Bloomberg Environment, subscription)
Native American tribes urge a federal judge to shut down work on the Keystone XL pipeline, citing land damage and coronavirus risks from worker camps. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR:
Pennsylvania officials ask federal regulators to delay the license transfer of the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor due to a shortage of funds for site cleanup and the coronavirus pandemic. (WHYY)
Georgia Power cuts about a fifth of its Plant Vogtle workforce, nearly 2,000 workers, as COVID-19 spreads among employees. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

GRID: FERC rejects requests to reconsider its order forcing state-subsidized resources to bid higher prices in PJM’s capacity market, a decision that a dissenting commissioner called “just plain garbage.” (Greentech Media, Utility Dive)

OIL & GAS: Advocates of a ban on natural gas home heating say it is a major source of greenhouse gas pollution while gas supporters point out its affordability and carbon reductions compared to oil. (Boston Globe)

UTILITIES: Members of Congress call for language in the next stimulus bill that would prohibit utilities from disconnecting customers during and immediately after the pandemic. (Utility Dive)

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CLIMATE:
A study finds that a vast region of the western U.S. is in the grips of the first climate change-induced megadrought, more severe than some of the worst in 1,200 years. (Washington Post)
The coronavirus pandemic is compounding pollution and climate risks to low-income and minority communities across the country. (InsideClimate News) 

COMMENTARY:
Democrats have leverage in Congress to demand support for clean energy but they are unwilling to use it, writes David Roberts. (Vox)
Don’t fall for Shell’s new climate pledge, which leans on unproven carbon capture and storage technologies, a journalist writes. (Earther)

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