U.S. Energy News

Corporate allies could help Biden in climate fight

CLIMATE: The Biden administration will face less resistance on climate policy from corporations, including some oil companies, thanks to public commitments to reduce emissions. (E&E News)

ALSO:
• A Trump administration proposal to limit banks’ ability to refuse to finance fossil fuel projects faces opposition from free-market advocates. (The Hill)
• Maine’s Climate Action Plan set for release tomorrow would require a substantial commitment from state residents to lessen the impact of climate change, as advocates now tackle finding ways to pay for it. (Energy News Network)

POLLUTION: The EPA estimates more than a half-million diesel pickup trucks in the U.S. have been illegally modified to override pollution controls, which one advocate calls “far more alarming and widespread than the Volkswagen scandal.” (New York Times)

OVERSIGHT: EPA scientists have been resisting the Trump administration’s final efforts to weaken the agency, which may prove helpful to President-elect Biden. (New York Times)

OIL & GAS:
• Energy experts say the Biden administration could help the U.S. oil and gas industry compete globally by bringing it in line with climate standards. (E&E News)
• Internal documents show Exxon Mobil has lowered its expectations for oil prices over the coming decade. (Wall Street Journal)
• Colorado regulators defend their lack of oversight of an oil refinery over almost a decade of pollution violations. (Denver Post) 

PIPELINES:
• Enbridge sues the state of Michigan in federal court in hopes of stopping the Whitmer administration’s attempt to shut down Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac. (Bridge Michigan)
• The Red Lake and White Earth Bands of Chippewa ask Minnesota regulators to halt Line 3 pipeline construction, saying it would increase the risk of coronavirus spread. (Associated Press)

COAL:
Peabody announces plans to discontinue healthcare benefits for non-represented and retired employees, declaring the coverage “not sustainable.” (Casper Star-Tribune)
• Georgia Power’s acquisition of nearly 1,900 acres around five of its 12 coal ash ponds could shield it from millions of dollars in cleanup costs. (ProPublica)

EFFICIENCY: Boston and utility Eversource launch an information hub to help owners of large buildings to cut their energy use and help the city meet its goal to become carbon neutral by 2050. (Energy News Network)

UTILITIES: Candidates in this month’s board of directors election for the Nebraska Public Power District drew record-breaking campaign contributions as various interests sought to steer the utility’s agenda. (Energy News Network)

SOLAR:
• An Indiana startup looks to provide turnkey solar options for school districts concerned about high upfront costs and maintenance. (Indianapolis Business Journal)
• Researchers say adding pollinator habitats to solar projects can boost nearby crop yields, reduce soil erosion and provide long-term operations and maintenance savings. (InsideClimate News)
• A rapid proliferation of solar farms puts Texas on a course that could see it eventually surpass California as the nation’s leader in solar capacity. (Wall Street Journal)

WIND: Offshore wind power has become the most ambitious and expensive part of Virginia’s plan to achieve a carbon-free grid by 2050. (Virginia Mercury)

COMMENTARY:
• An editorial says “the United States has squandered too much time” on climate change and urges President-elect Biden to take aggressive action. (Washington Post)
• The CEO of First Solar says Ohio is positioned to be a national leader in solar manufacturing if it maintains a “level playing field” for companies. (Cleveland.com)

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