U.S. Energy News

Climate mayors optimistic about Biden administration

CLIMATE: U.S. “climate mayors” are hopeful that a Biden administration will help cities accelerate progress toward climate goals. (Bloomberg)

ALSO:
• Under pressure from investors, Exxon announces a pledge to reduce emissions, but the plan doesn’t represent any significant departure from fossil fuels. (Inside Climate News)
• Oil companies are pushing to have state climate lawsuits heard in federal courts, where they are more likely to win a favorable ruling. (Houston Chronicle)
• China, the UK and the European Union announced accelerated emissions reduction targets at a recent summit, which the U.S. did not attend. (The Hill)

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EPA:
• President-elect Biden’s transition team is scrambling to find a new candidate to lead the EPA after advocates objected to Mary Nichols’ “bleak track record in addressing environmental racism.” (New York Times)
The new contenders emerging to be Biden’s EPA administrator include a New York University law professor and state regulators from New York and North Carolina. (E&E News, subscription)

TECHNOLOGY:
• A study says the U.S. could transition to carbon-free power more cheaply if it focused on transmission and existing technology. (E&E News, subscription)
• The urgency of climate change is generating more support for controversial technologies such as nuclear energy and carbon capture. (Axios)

SOLAR:
• A regional planning agency in the Twin Cities offers to help suburban rental property owners add solar panels to their buildings in exchange for setting aside additional apartments for low-income renters. (Energy News Network)
• Detroit business owners see a spike in interest for small-scale solar projects during the pandemic. (Model D Media)

OFFSHORE WIND: Avangrid submits plans for the first phase of an offshore wind development it says will create $2 billion in economic impact and nearly 800 jobs in Virginia and North Carolina. (Virginia Business)

RENEWABLES: Renewable energy companies are stepping up efforts to reduce the environmental impacts associated with manufacturing solar panels and disposing of wind turbines. (Utility Dive)

UTILITIES:
• A Colorado rural electric cooperative is likely to move beyond its goal of 70% renewables by the end of next year, with plans to reach 100% by 2030. (Mountain Town News)
• Some of the Southeast’s biggest utilities file plans with federal regulators for an automated energy exchange to allow them to more easily share excess capacity and better integrate renewable energy. (Greentech Media)
• Connecticut municipal officials say communication from Eversource was non-existent during the early days of outages from Tropical Storm Isaias as the state kicks off a week of performance review hearings. (CT Mirror)

PUBLIC LANDS: A Bureau of Land Management official halts a Utah tar sands lease sale after a media investigation finds a beneficiary of the deal also worked as a contractor in the BLM’s Salt Lake City office. (Salt Lake Tribune)

OIL & GAS:
• A Louisiana congressman credits natural gas for reduced carbon emissions and says there’s “no possible way” that Congress will vote to end new oil leases on federal lands and waters. (Houma Today)
• The federal government revises its estimates to reveal that nearly 60,000 oil and gas workers lost their jobs between February and August — 10,000 more than previously reported. (Beaumont Enterprise)
• Whistleblowers say radioactive waste produced during fracking is rarely discussed and consequences of it are largely unknown. (Public Herald)

COAL: The clean-up after a 2008 coal ash spill in eastern Tennessee led to dozens of deaths and hundreds of illnesses among workers exposed to radioactive materials and other toxins. (Daily Yonder/Grist)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Toyota plans to unveil a prototype electric car with a solid-state battery in 2021, a long-sought technological breakthrough that would dramatically increase range and longevity while cutting charging time. (Motor Trend)
• Mercedes-Benz announces six new electric vehicles, including two SUVs that will be built in an Alabama plant. (Forbes)
• After a successful pilot program in Fremont, California, the police department in Redding is seeking city approval for a specially-equipped Tesla and other electric or hybrid vehicles for its fleet. (Redding Searchlight)

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