U.S. Energy News

Democrats want to break Senate inertia on climate

CLIMATE: A report by a Democratic-controlled Senate climate committee recommends spending $400 billion per year, or roughly 2% of GDP, on efforts to reach zero emissions by 2050. (E&E News)

ALSO:
• In an interview, Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz explains how Senate Democrats are trying to overcome inaction on climate change. (Vox)
• Researchers say natural disasters intensified by climate change are contributing to a mental health crisis in the U.S. (Center for Public Integrity)
• An analysis finds that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, despite publicly backing climate action, disregarded clean energy and climate bills in its 2019 evaluation of legislators. (NPR)

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GRID:
A new report suggests that California’s overreliance on out-of-state energy imports contributed to major power outages earlier this month after two natural gas plants unexpectedly shut down. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
Echoing political attacks at the Republican National Convention, U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette claims California’s adoption of renewable energy is to blame for power outages and wildfires. (E&E News, Fox Business)

OVERSIGHT:
• A mostly Democratic group of 87 House members urges the EPA to reverse course on weakening methane rules. (The Hill)
William Perry Pendley’s continued control of the Bureau of Land Management despite not being confirmed by the Senate highlights ongoing conflict between Trump political appointees and career staff. (The Hill)
• Utility regulators across the U.S. continue to grapple with rate cases involving utility revenue recovery during the pandemic. (S&P Global)

CLEAN ENERGY:
• A Minnesota company is helping colleges develop alternatives to natural gas heating, often the final hurdle in efforts to reach zero emissions. (Energy News Network)
• Puerto Rico energy regulators reject natural gas additions and will require the island’s utility to acquire thousands of megawatts of renewables and storage in coming years. (Greentech Media)

WIND:
• A new study finds painting wind turbines black can dramatically reduce collisions with birds. (E&E News)
• Federal agents carried out a training exercise in the Midwest last year involving potential attacks on wind turbines from environmental activists, even though no evidence supports such a threat. (The Intercept)

SOLAR:
• A national solar trade group is among parties seeking a rehearing on a recent federal rule that critics say limits third-party renewable energy projects. (Utility Dive)
• A global investment firm that committed $100 million to solar projects in Maine unveils details of three installations totaling 201 MW. (Portland Press Herald)

STORAGE: Duke Energy announces it plans to add 30 MW of battery storage capacity in Florida. (Renewables Now) 

NUCLEAR: Federal nuclear safety regulators fine TVA more than $600,000 for retaliating against two whistleblowers at a Tennessee nuclear plant. (E&E News)

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UTILITIES: A legal analyst says while Connecticut could order the breakup if its largest utility, it may not be worth the cost or the risk. (Middletown Press)

COMMENTARY:
• Fleet electrification can help states like Michigan achieve broader electric vehicle adoption even during economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic, the leader of an advanced energy group says. (Energy News Network)
An academic says the coronavirus pandemic may have removed climate from the public consciousness, but responding to the crisis and restoring the economy sustainably are inextricably linked. (New York Times)

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