U.S. Energy News

Bankruptcy records shed more light on Ohio utility’s influence

DARK MONEY: A bankruptcy filing reveals that FirstEnergy’s generation subsidiary paid nearly $2 million to a special interest group that orchestrated ads, political donations, and other efforts behind Ohio’s nuclear and coal bailout. (Energy News Network)

ALSO: Utility, nuclear and coal interests continue to play a large role in Ohio politics, with records showing a significant increase in contributions since 2010. (Energy News Network)

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POLICY:
• Federal energy regulators appointed by President Trump have disrupted clean energy plans by states in grid operator PJM’s territory. (Bloomberg)
• A revised Trump administration proposal would dismiss or downplay some of the most important environmental research of recent decades. (New York Times) 

EFFICIENCY:
• The National Association of Home Builders successfully blocked support for stricter building energy codes in a U.S. Senate energy bill. (Washington Post)
Some Oregon businesses are looking at efficiency measures beyond the state’s stalled cap and trade bill. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• General Motors unveils a long-range battery to power an expanded lineup of electric vehicles as part of the company’s $20 billion spending plan for electric and automated vehicles over the next five years. (Detroit Free Press)
• Ford announces plans for a battery-powered version of its popular Transit cargo van. (CNET)

SOLAR:
• Coronavirus disruptions in China delay large-scale solar projects in Wisconsin while Minnesota companies also express concern. (Star Tribune)
• An environmental justice nonprofit brings solar energy to affordable housing cooperatives in New York City with its lessons shared with other multi-family housing units. (NextCity.org)
The number of K-12 schools nationwide powered by solar has doubled in three years, led by projects in Virginia. (The Hill)
• A Minnesota tribal official looks to expand solar development opportunities among Native Americans. (The Circle)

STORAGE: California-based utility-scale battery developers are beginning to get financial backing from banks. (Los Angeles Times)

EMISSIONS: The world’s largest dairy company says it wants to become carbon negative, eliminating more carbon dioxide than it emits. (Quartz)

UTILITIES: The Virginia Senate temporarily approves a bill that would restore state regulators’ oversight of how utilities write off costs, despite objections from Dominion Energy. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS:
• A new analysis of California records finds almost 1,000 deserted oil wells across the City of Los Angeles left for the state to clean up. (Los Angeles Times)
• A Pennsylvania lawmaker who opposes tax breaks for petrochemical plants holds a town hall for stakeholders to discuss the economics and health impacts of fracking. (StateImpact Pennsylvania)

PIPELINES: Energy companies plan to extend a pipeline along the Gulf Coast to expand transmission capacity for oil and gas. (S&P Global) 

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TRANSMISSION: Maine officials say enough valid signatures have been collected to qualify a statewide referendum seeking to rescind approval of a transmission line to import Canadian hydropower. (Portland Press Herald)

ACTIVISM: A Texas grand jury declines to issue felony indictments against activists who closed the Houston Ship Channel during a protest. (Reuters)

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