U.S. Energy News

Clean energy sector lost more than 100,000 jobs in March

CLEAN ENERGY: The clean energy sector shed more than 100,000 jobs in March, according to a new report, as customers halted projects and manufacturers shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Reuters)

TRANSPORTATION: The coronavirus pandemic is fueling a bike boom, but it’s unclear if the trend will last after stay-at-home orders are lifted. (E&E News)

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OIL & GAS:
• Oil and gas companies eliminate more than 6,400 jobs in a single day, with most layoffs at a Houston oil field service company. (Houston Chronicle)
• More than 40 Democratic lawmakers sign a letter arguing that fossil fuel companies should not receive any coronavirus relief funding. (The Hill)
• Alaska’s remote Indigenous communities are divided over the Trump administration’s plan to allow oil drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (Al Jazeera)
• A study of fish in the Gulf of Mexico reveals oil contamination is still widespread 10 years after the Deepwater Horizon explosion. (UPI)

PIPELINES:
A federal judge revokes a key permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which opponents say creates a “significant hurdle” for the project. (Associated Press)
• A group of 29 House Democrats ask federal energy regulators to stop approving new natural gas pipeline projects and liquefied natural gas export facilities during the pandemic. (The Hill)

UTILITIES: Restoring power after storms and other natural disasters could take longer as utilities limit or suspend mutual assistance pacts because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Bloomberg)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
“Charging deserts” in big cities are among the biggest hurdles for people who want electric vehicles but lack a garage or other options. (New York Times)
• Joplin, Missouri, offers Tesla $1 billion in tax incentives and savings to locate a Cybertruck factory there. (CNBC)
• The EV charging infrastructure industry appears sheltered from short-term coronavirus disruptions, but the future is less certain. (E&E News, subscription)

SOLAR:
Community solar appears to be holding its own as residential installations collapse during the coronavirus pandemic. (Greentech Media)
• Massachusetts updates solar financing regulations for an incentive program that aims to double its capacity from 1,600 to 3,200 MW. (WBUR)

NUCLEAR: Pennsylvania nuclear plant operators are taking extra steps to protect workers during refueling outages as work is completed at the Limerick plant where two workers tested positive for COVID-19. (StateImpact Pennsylvania)

BIOFUELS: The governors of five states ask the Trump administration for a nationwide waiver from biofuel blending requirements during the pandemic. (Reuters)

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POLLUTION:
California’s Environmental Protection Agency says it will “fill any enforcement gaps” as the U.S. EPA scales back. (Bloomberg Law)
• The U.S. EPA is expected to finalize a proposal today to eliminate the legal basis for mercury pollution limits from power plants. (Bloomberg Environment, subscription)
The Sierra Club sues the EPA, alleging the agency is violating the Clean Air Act by failing to take action on Arizona air pollution. (Bloomberg Law, subscription)

COMMENTARY: A clean energy policy advocacy group says coronavirus relief measures have not helped the sector, and that federal tax credits should be changed to direct payment incentives to keep projects moving. (news release)

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