U.S. Energy News

Big oil companies don’t want Trump’s methane rollback

OIL & GAS: A Shell executive says it’s “frustrating and disappointing” that the Trump administration is pushing to weaken methane oversight, as oil majors worry increased emissions could undermine political support for natural gas. (NPR) 

ALSO:
The White House pushed for even further weakening of methane oversight than the EPA is expected to propose this week. (E&E News)
Permian Basin state agencies and oil and gas operators are taking action to limit flaring. (S&P Global)
Oil refineries across the West are converting to crop- and waste-based fuel plants due to decreased demand for gasoline and uncertain future amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Bloomberg)

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OVERSIGHT:
The Department of Energy proposes rolling back standards for shower head flow, in place since the 1990s, following persistent complaints by President Trump about washing his hair. (The Hill)
A former lobbyist for a heating and cooling industry group is now a senior advisor at the EPA, and is pushing reforms backed by her former employer. (E&E News)

CLEAN ENERGY:
• The clean energy industry saw modest job recovery in July but companies are far from recovering job losses since the start of the pandemic, according to an analysis of employment data. (Bloomberg Law)
• Dozens of mayors across 25 states call on Congress to extend wind and solar tax credits, expand incentives for electric vehicles and energy efficiency and create new tax credits for energy storage. (Solar Power World)

COAL:
• Federal data shows U.S. electricity generated from coal fell 30% in the first half of 2020. (Greentech Media)
• Coal production in the Powder River Basin has fallen 15% over the past year, driven by lower demand from power plants. (S&P Global)
• MidAmerican Energy could save customers $92 million by closing two coal plants near Sioux City by 2023, according to a Sierra Club analysis. (Sioux City Journal)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Xcel Energy sets an electric vehicle investment target that would help deploy hundreds of thousands of EVs across its eight-state service area by 2030. (Denver Post)

SOLAR:
• A 239 MW solar project set to come online later this year in eastern Michigan comes during what one developer calls the “beginning of a solar boom in the Midwest.” (MLive)
• Toyota is planning a $2.7 million solar project in Alabama to help power its plants. (Birmingham Business Journal, subscription)

GRID:
• After Tropical Storm Isaias left 1.4 million New Jersey customers without power, state regulators consider hastening the installation of smart meters and other technologies to aid service restorations in future storms. (NJ Spotlight)
• Utilities in Illinois and elsewhere are employing a range of strategies to prevent grid outages caused by wildlife and overgrown foliage. (Energy News Network) 

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ANALYSIS: David Roberts writes that recent findings show that the impacts of air pollution are far worse than previously thought, and that it would make economic sense to end fossil fuel use even if climate change didn’t exist. (Vox)

COMMENTARY:
• A market analyst says a recent FERC ruling aiming to increase competition could harm states’ clean energy efforts. (Forbes)
• Advocates lay out a plan for an equitable clean energy system in Puerto Rico. (Environmental Defense Fund)

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