U.S. Energy News

Congress to prioritize ‘Environmental Justice for All’ bill

EQUITY: Congressional Democrats are hoping to advance a sweeping environmental justice bill early this year. (E&E News, subscription)

ALSO: A new report finds that major environmental organizations remain “generally predominantly white,” including a lack of diversity on their boards. (NBC News)

EPA:
• A coalition of 17 states and New York City sue the EPA for declining to toughen standards on particulate pollution. (The Hill)
• Outgoing EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler defends his tenure at the agency and says he hopes the Biden administration won’t be “single-focused” on climate change. (Washington Post)

OVERSIGHT: Emails show Interior Department ethics officials warned against the agency’s October video praising President Trump. (The Hill)

WIND:
• New York adds 2.5 GW of offshore wind contracts for two projects being developed by European energy giants Equinor and BP. (Greentech Media)
• The first offshore wind tower facility in the U.S. will be built outside Albany and produce 150 towers annually. (News10 ABC)

CLIMATE:
As Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker faces today’s deadline to sign a landmark climate law, legislative leaders say they will pass the same bill again if it is vetoed. (CommonWealth Magazine)
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo lays out an aggressive climate action plan that includes renewable energy projects across the state and a build-out of transmission from upstate areas to the New York City load center. (Buffalo News)

COAL: Five coal miners died last year, marking a record low amid the pandemic and a shift by utilities away from coal. (Associated Press)

CLEAN ENERGY: Ann Arbor, Michigan, officials are pursuing a community choice aggregation bill that would allow it to purchase clean energy on behalf of residents and businesses. (Energy News Network)

UTILITIES:
• Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost seeks a court order blocking $102 million in decoupling fees allowed under HB 6, which state attorneys say are “for the sole purpose of padding FirstEnergy’s bottom-line.” (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Victims of last year’s Slater fire in northern California and southern Oregon sue Pacificorp for negligence, saying the utility’s failure to maintain its transmission lines is to blame for the blaze. (The Oregonian)

OIL & GAS: The head of the American Petroleum Institute vows to fight Biden administration pledges to eliminate tax breaks and restrict drilling on public land. (Inside Climate News)

GRID: MIT researchers say a national approach to expanding transmission capacity could cut the cost of decarbonizing the grid by as much as 46%. (Utility Dive)

ACTIVISM: Climate advocates are reconsidering the tactic of occupying congressional offices following last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol. (Washington Post)

ANALYSIS: A journalist explains the relationship between climate misinformation and the “blatant lies about election fraud” that fueled Trump supporters’ efforts to overturn the results. (New York Times)

COMMENTARY:
• The author of a new book on corporate accountability says that voluntary climate pledges give companies an opportunity to evade scrutiny without actually making needed changes. (HuffPost)
• Independent oil and gas producers support regulation of methane as a meaningful way to combat climate change, writes the CEO of a national trade organization representing exploration and production companies. (Houston Chronicle)
• Highly restrictive regulations on commercial wind projects in two Iowa counties are part of a growing shift to impose local limits on wind as policymakers call for more renewable energy, a columnist writes. (Forbes)

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