U.S. Energy News

Coronavirus having a complicated impact on carbon emissions

EMISSIONS: The coronavirus outbreak is stunting global trade and travel and could halt emissions growth, but experts say the decline will likely be fleeting and come with social and economic trauma. (Washington Post) 

ALSO:
The coronavirus outbreak is pushing airlines toward a financial crisis that could slow long-term efforts to reduce emissions. (New York Times)
• Meanwhile, a drop in travel isn’t causing a corresponding drop in emissions as airlines fly empty “ghost flights” to preserve flight slots. (CityLab)

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COAL: Coal plants are closing, and even the ones that remain open are running much less often than before, according to new federal data. (InsideClimate News)

OVERSIGHT: An Ohio utility regulator’s long opposition to renewable energy is making its mark in state regulatory decisions. (Energy News Network)

POLICY:
• Virginia on Friday became the latest state to pass legislation calling for a transition to 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045. (Greentech Media)
• A political fight between the governor and legislature means North Carolina still hasn’t awarded any funding from its Volkswagen settlement. (Energy News Network)

TRANSPORTATION:
• Transit services in small New England cities could get a boost from a proposed regional compact to tackle transportation emissions. (Energy News Network)
• A report suggests hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles could play a significant role in the transportation sector, especially for heavier vehicles. (Greentech Media)

SOLAR:
Oregon is starting to emerge as a hub for solar and storage development, with a number of projects under construction in the state. (S&P Global)
• Residents of a Chicago public housing complex that has long faced industrial pollution push for solar energy. (Forbes)

NUCLEAR: Opinions are divided on small-scale nuclear reactors, such as NuScale Power’s 720-megawatt project for an Idaho utility. (Yale Environment 360)

BIOFUELS: The Trump administration requests two more weeks to respond to a federal court ruling critical of its biofuel waiver program. (Reuters)

BIOGAS: Legislative efforts to boost renewable natural gas in Minnesota face criticism from environmental groups that say electrification is a cheaper alternative for reducing pollution. (MinnPost)

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CLIMATE:
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is preparing an executive order to cut the state’s climate impacts, vowing “aggressive action” after the state legislature adjourned abruptly in wake of Republican walkout. (Oregon Capital Bureau)
A federal appeals court rules that Baltimore’s lawsuit against oil companies for climate impacts can move forward in state court. (InsideClimate News)
• The Heartland Institute, an influential climate-denial think tank, “is broke” and has laid off nearly a dozen staffers, according to former employees. (HuffPost)

COMMENTARY:
• Clean energy advocates say the Virginia Clean Economy Act is a major step forward on equity by empowering consumers with rooftop solar and directing investment to underserved communities. (Energy News Network)
• General Motors’ bet on an all-electric future represents a huge economic opportunity for the company and its home state, a Michigan columnist says. (Michigan Advance)

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