U.S. Energy News

EPA makes last-ditch push to slow climate action

OVERSIGHT: An unexpected rule change from the EPA would exempt industrial sectors from an Obama-era carbon rule if they account for less than 3% of total emissions — which would include oil production, refineries and other polluters. (E&E News)

ALSO:
• The White House science office reassigns two recent appointees after they attempted to distribute climate misinformation under the guise of official U.S. science communication. (New York Times)
• Documents reveal the Interior Department has engaged in “consistent efforts to thwart oversight and thwart accountability” under the Trump administration. (E&E News)

POLITICS:
• General Electric joins Dow in cutting off campaign contributions to lawmakers who backed President Trump’s efforts to overturn his election loss. (E&E News)
• Observers say West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who famously shot a bullet through a climate bill in a 2010 campaign ad, has moderated his views and could be key to bipartisan movement on climate policy. (Inside Climate News)

CLIMATE:
• Concerns mount in Massachusetts as unconfirmed reports emerge that Gov. Charlie Baker may veto a sweeping climate bill passed last week over provisions he considered too drastic. (CommonWealth Magazine)
• Connecticut officials say reaching zero-carbon emissions in two decades is feasible but would require changes in the way the regional grid operates. (Energy News Network)

EFFICIENCY: Months after record participation by state and local governments helped pass an ambitious building energy code update, the organization that oversees the process is taking steps that would sideline thousands of public sector members from voting on future updates. (Energy News Network)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: General Motors is launching a commercial electric vehicle business and has locked in FedEx as the first customer of a delivery van. (NBC News)

UTILITIES: A group of Virginia lawmakers prepares to push for stricter oversight of Dominion Energy, a longtime political behemoth in the state and its largest utility. (Associated Press)

COAL:
• A northern Minnesota utility announces that it will close its last two coal plants by 2035 as it transitions to carbon-free power by 2050. (Star Tribune)
New Mexico’s largest utility formally files with state regulators to hand over its interest in the Four Corners power plant, putting the company on track to be coal-free by 2024. (Farmington Daily Times)
A bankrupt Powder River Basin coal company fails to find a buyer for its planned Washington state export terminal and is seeking to abandon its lease for the site. (Casper Star-Tribune)

NUCLEAR: The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed work on two new reactors at Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle. (Capitol Beat News Service/Georgia Public Broadcasting)

NATURAL GAS: The State Department threatens sanctions against European countries backing a Russian natural gas pipeline, in part because it would compete with U.S. exports. (Reuters)

COMMENTARY:
• Former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter says the Biden administration is preparing to take on climate change “in a way no U.S. president has done before.” (The Conversation)
A professor of history and environmental studies says treachery and deceit allowed Peabody Coal Co. to mine Black Mesa coal, betraying the trust of the Hopi and Navajo Nations. (Durango Herald)

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