U.S. Energy News

Coal baron applies for black lung benefits that he opposed for miners

COAL: Bob Murray, who for years fought black lung regulations as the former president and CEO of the now-bankrupt Murray Energy, has filed an application to receive federal black lung benefits and is “near death,” according to his claim. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting/Ohio Valley Resource)

ALSO:
• Coal miners in Pennsylvania say they still support President Trump despite his failed promises to revive their industry. (Reuters)
• Vistra Energy officials blame state subsidies, declining gas prices, overbuilt generation and grid operator MISO’s “irreparably dysfunctional” market while announcing a suite of coal plant closures in Ohio and Illinois. (Utility Dive) 

EQUITY:
Indiana NAACP organizers create a clean energy job training program to develop a “black to green” pipeline in marginalized communities. (Energy News Network)
• Massachusetts advocates try to expand participation in the state’s energy efficiency programs to lower-income residents and non-English speakers as most benefits go to wealthier households. (Energy News Network)
• EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler says President Trump’s order blocking equity training is “very appropriate” because he feels such training “marginalizes groups of people.” (E&E News)

OIL & GAS:
• A report finds the federal government used coronavirus pandemic funds to buy more than $355 million in oil industry bonds, which authors say “amounts to a massive safety net” for the industry. (Bloomberg)
• Royal Dutch Shell’s CEO says the company will cut as many as 9,000 jobs by 2022 as it makes a “dramatic change” toward reducing emissions. (Washington Examiner)

PIPELINES:
• For the second time in a month and a day before its scheduled opening, an emergency shutdown and unplanned gas release occurred at a compressor station undergoing testing outside Boston. (WBUR)
• As the Mountain Valley Pipeline prepares to bring thousands of out-of-state workers to Southwest Virginia, the developer refuses to share its COVID-19 response plan with state regulators, documents show. (Blue Virginia) 

PUBLIC LANDS: Interior Secretary David Bernhardt will lead the Bureau of Land Management after interim director William Perry Pendley was removed by a court order. (The Hill)

NUCLEAR: Ohio’s attorney general says state lawmakers should require FirstEnergy and Energy Harbor officials to testify on whether two nuclear plants set to receive a $1.3 billion bailout are profitable without the subsidy. (Cleveland.com)

UTILITIES: FirstEnergy stands to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue over the coming decade based on a decoupling provision in a state law at the center of a bribery scandal. (E&E News, subscription)

CLIMATE: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis releases a draft climate plan calling for an 80% drop in emissions from electricity generation and for most cars in the state to be electric by midcentury. (Denver Post)

SOLAR:
• Duke Energy will build its first floating solar array at a U.S. Army base in North Carolina — and the largest ever announced in the Southeast. (Greentech Media)
• General Motors signs a power purchase agreement for a 180 MW solar project to be built in Arkansas. (PV Magazine)

WIND: Virginia receives a $750,000 military grant to develop a mapping tool to help the state better coordinate with the military on wind energy siting. (CBS19)

COMMENTARY: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette endorses Pennsylvania’s entry into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

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