U.S. Energy News

Biden to announce next steps in federal drilling ban

OIL & GAS: President Biden is expected to direct agencies this week to begin work on a ban of new oil and gas leasing on public land. (New York Times)

• As a retired Shell Oil executive says on Fox News that “oil is not going away” and predicts Biden’s climate policies will cause “years of struggle,” his former company is acquiring electric vehicle charging companies in Europe. (Fox Business, The Guardian)
An Interior Department official says Native American tribes are exempt from the Biden administration’s temporary pause on oil and gas permitting. (Reuters)
A new report says eliminating flaring in the Permian Basin could generate $440 million in additional revenue for oil and gas producers. (Houston Chronicle)

Climate envoy John Kerry tells the United States “I regret that my country has been absent” from international climate talks. (The Hill)
The Federal Reserve creates a first-of-its-kind committee to study the risks of climate change to the financial system. (E&E News, subscription)

• Dozens of U.S. utilities plan to keep coal plants online past 2030 while building new gas plants, raising questions about their emission-reduction targets, according to a new Sierra Club report. (Reuters)
• Thirteen groups from around the country are pushing the Biden administration to create an Office of Economic Transition to help struggling coal communities. (Inside Climate News)
• North Carolina, Duke Energy and a conservation group announce a settlement that will shift $1.1 billion in coal ash cleanup costs from ratepayers to the utility and its shareholders. (Associated Press)

• In a nod to fishing industry objections, Maine Gov. Janet Mills proposes a 10-year moratorium on offshore wind within three miles of shore, but will continue to support a floating turbine pilot project. (Portland Press Herald)
• Developers of the Vineyard Wind project inform the Biden administration that they will resubmit their plans after withdrawing the project in December. (State House News Service)
President Biden reverses a Trump administration order that would have accelerated reviews of potential offshore wind leases in California. (E&E News, subscription)

• Virginia lawmakers advance a bill that would allow schools and local governments to contract for solar power with companies other than state-regulated utilities. (Virginia Mercury)
• Debate over a bill that would allow utility-scale solar development on New Jersey farmland highlights the challenge of quickly developing renewable energy in the country’s most densely populated state. (NJ Spotlight)

UTILITIES: The city of Toledo seeks to join a lawsuit claiming that Ohio’s ratepayer subsidies to support nuclear plants were unconstitutional and part of a “scheme to corrupt the legislative process.” (Toledo Blade)

TRANSPORTATION: President Biden says he wants to transition the federal government’s fleet to American-built electric vehicles. (The Verge)

COMMENTARY: A law professor questions the ongoing legal challenges that have delayed the Maine’s Clean Energy Connect transmission line: “When is enough, enough?” (Portland Press Herald)

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