U.S. Energy News

Could oil bailout be a bargaining chip for clean energy stimulus?

OIL & GAS: A federal bailout of oil companies is unlikely to change the amount of crude being pumped out of U.S. oil fields, analysts say, and some say it could be a bargaining chip for securing federal clean energy stimulus. (E&E News)

ALSO:
• The White House faces pressure to turn away a fleet of Saudi Arabian supertankers carrying 40 million barrels of oil to the Gulf of Mexico. (Washington Post)
• Many oil and gas producers in Texas and other states are continuing work despite the pandemic and oil market crash. (Grist)

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PIPELINES:
A federal appeals court hears arguments over a FERC practice that often keeps pipeline opponents out of court while projects are being built. (Bloomberg Law)
Federal attorneys argue that a recent ruling halting a wetland permitting program would hamper thousands of construction projects. (Associated Press)
Months after paying a $30 million environmental fine, Energy Transfer is negotiating a settlement with Pennsylvania officials over a new series of hundreds of violations. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

UTILITIES:
• In a new report, Duke Energy says its future electricity mix needs to rely heavily on renewables and nuclear energy, with some natural gas, to reach its 2050 goal of being carbon neutral. (Axios)
Several candidates running to serve on the Nebraska Public Power District board indicate they want to speed the utility’s transition from coal to clean energy. (Energy News Network)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
A partnership to electrify transportation in the Los Angeles area proposes a $150 billion federal stimulus to advance new technology and cut vehicle emissions. (Utility Dive)
A startup company whose product helps commercial vehicle operators go electric raises $13.2 million from investors. (Bloomberg)

SOLAR:
• A 2016 agreement between Appalachian Power and southwest Virginia municipalities supersedes the state’s new solar law, capping net-metered systems at 3 MW for schools and government entities. (Energy News Network)
• Solar module manufacturer Q Cells now owns the largest share of both the U.S. commercial and residential solar module markets. (PV Magazine)

WIND: Ships are performing geophysical studies at the site of Dominion Energy and Ørsted’s 2,600 MW wind farm off the coast of Virginia. (Workboat)

EFFICIENCY:
• New York officials offer additional flexibility to efficiency contractors during COVID-19, including expedited payments for completed work. (Utility Dive)
• A Massachusetts utility uses video chats and other online tools to conduct home energy assessments during the coronavirus pandemic. (Boston25)

POLLUTION:
• Los Angeles’ clear skies and fresher air under the state’s coronavirus lockdown will be temporary, experts say, as the systemic problems contributing to pollution and carbon emissions haven’t changed. (Grist)
• An Indiana researcher says the U.S. EPA’s plan to revise the cost-benefit analysis for mercury and other air toxins is “basically trying to handcuff the agency from future rules.” (Indianapolis Star)
• Fine particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions have dropped in the Detroit area, though previous pollution may have already put residents at higher risk from COVID-19. (MLive)

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POWER PLANTS:
• More than 70 Democratic lawmakers join a suit challenging the Trump administration’s rollback of President Obama’s Clean Power Plant rule. (The Hill)
• Power plant operators continue to change procedures and delay scheduled maintenance in response to the coronavirus pandemic. (Power) 

COMMENTARY: An unfair FERC practice allows pipeline construction to begin before court challenges can proceed, environmental lawyers say. (SELC)

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