U.S. Energy News

Cities, states unprepared to fill EPA’s void on enforcement

POLLUTION: Cities and states often have authority but lack the resources and political will to enforce environmental regulations that the federal government has eased enforcement of during the pandemic. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• An EPA regional administrator says the agency is continuing to improve air quality, while Colorado officials say rollbacks at the federal level are making their jobs harder. (Denver Post)
• Yale University researchers study the impact of coal and shale gas development on groundwater in eastern Ohio. (Energy News Network)
A controversial wood pellet plant proposed in eastern North Carolina could create a hotspot of pollution in Native American communities. (NC Policy Watch)

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SOLAR:
• Northeast states take a variety of actions in response to COVID-19, including emergency regulations and online outreach to developers. (Solar Power World)
• A new bill in West Virginia could expand solar energy in the state, energy experts say, but the state also needs renewable portfolio standards. (WV News)
An Iowa solar manufacturer produces medical face shields as normal business drops off. (WOI-TV)

EFFICIENCY: Entergy and New Orleans officials distribute energy efficiency kits to residents to help them save money on bills during the pandemic. (WDSU)

PIPELINES: Mountain Valley Pipeline developers say they are still targeting a completion date of late this year despite the suspension of an Army Corps permitting program. (Roanoke Times)

OIL & GAS:
The Coast Guard is monitoring a buildup of oil tankers off California’s coast with nowhere to unload for signs of environmental damage. (American Shipper)
• Climate activists call the oil price collapse a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to nationalize the industry, though skeptics warn that the approach could lead to lawsuits and state corruption. (HuffPost)
Opponents of a liquified natural gas export terminal go to court to challenge the project, saying federal regulators failed to conduct a required environmental review. (NJ Spotlight)

COAL:
• Two Indiana utilities face heightened scrutiny over the use of self-scheduling, in which uneconomic coal plants run despite higher costs. (Utility Dive)
A federal judge in Kentucky orders coal companies owned by the family of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice to pay more than $1 million in fees in a lawsuit accusing them of defaulting on a mining contract. (Associated Press)
• A U.S. Supreme Court decision on wastewater discharges could have wide-reaching impacts on coal ash storage waste, environmental groups say. (Bloomberg Law)

GRID: National lab researchers are working on a “value of resilience” to help state regulators measure utility grid investments. (Utility Dive)

NUCLEAR: Plans revealed last week by the Trump administration would open up land near the Grand Canyon for uranium mining. (InsideClimate News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A Bay Area company is developing a battery-equipped electric vehicle charger that can deliver fast charging while minimizing its pull from the electric grid. (Greentech Media)
Tesla begins calling some workers back to its California vehicle-assembly plant despite a local stay-home order. (Bloomberg) 

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CLIMATE:
• Illinois researchers say while the pandemic has slowed greenhouse gas emissions, longer-term solutions are needed to ensure climate benefits. (State Journal-Register)
• Meeting climate change targets “would require a drop of this magnitude to occur every year for the next several decades,” a Wisconsin atmospheric scientist says. (Wisconsin Public Radio)

COMMENTARY:
• Utility regulators in several states are standing strong on clean energy during the pandemic, issuing policy directives that link recovery efforts to new or existing clean energy commitments. (Greentech Media)
• Don’t bail out fossil fuels, buy them out instead, writes an environmental activist, who says it would cost less than $1 trillion. (Newsweek)

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