U.S. Energy News

Coal companies cash in on small business loan program

COAL: The federal government has given more than $31 million in small business pandemic-relief loans to publicly traded coal companies. (Bloomberg)

ALSO:
• A complaint by creditors alleges two Murray Energy executives fraudulently used the ailing coal company as their own personal “piggy bank.” (S&P Global)
• Murray Energy entered bankruptcy with about $300 million in liquidity and in two months has burned through about $180 million. (WVPB)

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EMISSIONS: Two states and New York City will argue before a federal appeals court that the EPA fails to address a pollutant that drifts over them from upwind power plants and other sources. (Bloomberg)

CONGRESS: More than 40 lawmakers back legislation to bar fossil fuel companies from receiving coronavirus-related federal aid. (The Hill)

CLEAN ENERGY:
Dominion Energy’s opposition to an Ohio village’s 100% clean energy resolution appears part of a larger trend of gas utilities becoming more active at the local government level. (Energy News Network)
A Minneapolis entrepreneur is moving forward with plans for a renewable energy job training center and hopes to start some classes this summer. (Finance & Commerce)

UTILITIES: By a wide margin, Pueblo, Colorado voters reject a proposal to leave Black Hills Energy and form a municipal utility. (KRDO)

SOLAR:
• An update to California regulators’ guidelines acknowledges that distributed energy can help eliminate the need for some transmission projects. (Utility Dive)
• Data show the pandemic has had less of an effect on residential solar’s year-over-year growth than expected. (PV Magazine)
• A New England startup pairs community solar projects with farmers who need revenue from their unused land. (The Rising)

STORAGE: California regulators believe battery storage will be integral to the state’s goal of achieving zero-carbon electricity by 2045. (Utility Dive)

WIND: Wind turbine maker Siemens Gamesa warns investors that project delays and supply chain disruptions will continue to hurt earnings this year. (Reuters) 

TRANSPORTATION:
Advocates worry the pandemic is causing irreparable financial damage to public transit systems and will force more people to rely on private cars. (E&E News, subscription)
Tesla postpones the first delivery of its semi-truck to 2021, citing battery supply constraints that could have slowed production. (Transport Dive)
An Idaho man is planning to drive across the country in a truck he’s built to run entirely on solar power. (KIVI)

BUILDINGS:
The coronavirus pandemic threatens the push for denser, transit-oriented development as the world becomes uneasy about shared space. (New York Times)
Buildings represent a major source of load flexibility through energy efficiency and demand response, a report finds. (Utility Dive)

GRID: The Department of Commerce is considering additional tariffs on steel components used in electrical transformers and equipment used in all types of electric generation. (Greentech Media)

PIPELINES:
• Dominion Energy says the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will cost $8 billion and be completed by 2022, pending several legal cases. (Reuters)
• Pipeline company MPLX says it is no longer pursuing a Permian Basin to Gulf Coast natural gas pipeline due to the collapse in oil prices. (Reuters)

OIL & GAS:
Oil companies are set to significantly reduce production in the Permian Basin because of considerable losses amidst the coronavirus crisis. (Washington Post)
Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet regrets his $10 billion investment in an oil company last year and plans to invest more in wind and solar. (E&E News, subscription)
• The coronavirus pandemic could drive a mass abandonment of oil and gas wells in Appalachia, Louisiana and elsewhere. (E&E News, subscription)

COMMENTARY:
• Climate activists can organize more public debates and create more political analysis as the coronavirus prevents mass pipeline protests, says the head of an Indigenous advocacy group. (Grist)
• The Sierra Club says states should leave the organized energy markets if their decisions and recent orders by federal regulators undermine efforts to encourage clean resources and hurt consumers. (Utility Dive)

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