U.S. Energy News

Dems push for ‘climate emergency,’ clean electricity standard

CONGRESS: Progressive lawmakers push President Joe Biden to declare a national emergency on climate change that would give him broader powers to act, similar to a declaration Trump used to expedite construction of his southern border wall. (Associated Press)

ALSO: U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., calls for a national clean electricity standard and proposes using budget reconciliation to push it through Congress despite Democrats’ narrow edge in the Senate. (The Hill)

STATE POLICY:
• State lawmakers are drafting plans that could help propel or stall President Biden’s climate and clean energy priorities. (E&E News, subscription)
• Rhode Island legislators hold a hearing to discuss making the state’s seven-year-old climate goals mandatory. (ecoRI)

EMISSIONS: A new study models how each state could reach zero-carbon emissions by mid-century. (Greentech Media)

OVERSIGHT: The Biden administration delays a Trump-era rule that would have weakened enforcement of a law that’s held utilities, oil companies and wind energy developers responsible for accidental bird deaths. (Washington Post)

COAL: A federal judge says the Trump administration failed to consider climate change and other environmental costs when approving the expansion of a Montana coal mine. (Washington Post)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Ford doubles down on electric vehicles, saying it will now invest $22 billion in electrification through 2025, nearly twice its previous commitment. (Reuters)
The era of electric cars is coming faster than expected as auto manufacturers rush to roll out electric pickup trucks and sports cars. (Houston Chronicle)
• Apple considers a Georgia facility to manufacture self-driving cars. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, subscription)

WIND:
• The U.S. wind industry had its strongest year ever in 2020 as new capacity increased 85% compared to 2019, according to a new report. (ReNEWS)
• Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker sees potential in a multi-state approach to offshore wind development instead of each New England state pursuing its own contracts. (Statehouse News Service)

RENEWABLES: Indigenous and historic preservation advocates object to plans for a large-scale wind and solar project in southern Minnesota that would be near a historically sacred petroglyphs site. (Star Tribune)

BIOGAS: Environmental advocates and many North Carolina residents argue that a collaboration between hog farms and utilities to produce energy from methane will perpetuate longstanding practices that harm neighboring communities. (Grist)

OIL & GAS:
• Federal lawmakers introduce bills to restore protections to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil and gas drilling. (Anchorage Daily News)
New Mexico U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell introduces a bill to exempt the state from the moratorium on new federal oil and gas leases. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE:
• Chicago city planners should focus on the effects of air pollution on residents as they review a South Side industrial corridor, a study says. (Chicago Sun-Times)
• President Biden’s climate agenda could benefit Texas communities dealing with the toxic legacies of oil, gas and chemical production, but state leaders have pushed back in defense of those industries. (Texas Tribune)

COMMENTARY:
• The widespread shift to electric vehicles will drive up electricity demand and could potentially be detrimental to the biofuels industry, says the head of an ethanol advocacy group. (Des Moines Register)
• A folk singer and playwright describes his experience as an oil patch worker in North Dakota nearly a decade ago. (New York Times)

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