U.S. Energy News

Chatterjee out as FERC chair, hints at ‘retribution’ from Trump

OVERSIGHT: The Trump administration unexpectedly demotes Neil Chatterjee from chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, a move that Chatterjee speculates is related to a recent decision supporting carbon pricing: “if in fact this was retribution for my independence, I am quite proud of that,” he said. (Washington Examiner, E&E News archive)

POLICY:
Political veterans say Joe Biden’s experience in the Senate may enable him to broker a bipartisan climate deal, though it would not be as ambitious as needed to address the crisis. (InsideClimate News)
Energy lawyers outline executive actions that a Biden presidency could take in the first 100 days to advance clean energy policy. (S&P Global)

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ELECTION 2020:
• Louisiana voters overwhelmingly reject a ballot measure that would have allowed manufacturers and natural gas facilities to negotiate lower taxes with localities. (The Advocate)
Xcel Energy praises Boulder voters’ approval of a deal that pauses efforts to form a city utility, saying “we are stronger working together to advance our shared goals.” (Denver Business Journal)

COAL:
American Electric Power says it will close a Texas coal-fired power plant by 2023 and stop using coal in another plant by 2028, removing a total of 1,633 MW of coal-fired power as part of a larger shift from the fuel. (Columbus Dispatch, Longview News-Journal)
• Wisconsin regulators approve a securitization refinancing plan for a shuttered We Energies coal plant that had installed pollution controls, which could save ratepayers about $40 million. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• Two Montana coal companies owe more than $9 million in taxes to state and local governments. (Billings Gazette)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: General Motors plans to bring new electric vehicles to market faster than it anticipated as it starts to bring workers back to EV plants in Michigan and Ohio. (Detroit Free Press)

WIND:
Offshore wind advocates say a regional approach to transmission interconnections will lower costs compared to the current project-by-project approach. (Energy News Network)
Wyoming regulators deny a lease on state land for a portion of a proposed 500 MW wind farm that would have generated $480,000 a year in revenue for the state. (Casper Star-Tribune)

SOLAR: A proposed 16.5 MW solar project would enable a Wisconsin county to offset 100% of its electricity use with renewable energy. (Wisconsin State Journal)

OIL & GAS: Colorado regulators preliminarily approve a rule change ending routine flaring and venting of natural gas at drilling sites in a 5-0 vote. (Bloomberg, subscription)

WASTE-TO-ENERGY: Baltimore drops an appeal of a federal court order that invalidated a city clean air law intended to shutter waste-to-energy plants. (Bloomberg Law)

UTILITIES: Black Hills Energy announces plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for its electric and natural gas utility operations in Wyoming, Colorado, and South Dakota over the next two decades. (Rapid City Journal)

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POLITICS: Watchdogs criticize EPA chief of staff Mandy Gunasekara for spreading misinformation about the election, actions she defends as taking place on her personal time. (E&E News)

COMMENTARY:
An academic and an environmental activist say a new petition drive to thwart a Maine power line would have the unintended consequence of stopping other renewable energy projects. (Portland Press Herald)
A New Mexico lawmaker and former Democratic candidate say the carbon capture plan for the San Juan Generating Station is not unrealistic, but the downsides shouldn’t be ignored. (Albuquerque Journal)

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