U.S. Energy News

EPA nominee: ‘We are not to leave any community behind’

EQUITY: Responding to a senator’s question about job losses, EPA Administrator nominee Michael Regan says “we’ve been instructed that we are not to leave any community behind” in the transition to clean energy. (Washington Post)

ALSO:
• A National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report warns that economic disparities can be a barrier to decarbonization, noting that “policy approaches that focus only on worker retraining have been inadequate.” (Utility Dive)
• A nonprofit launches a Climate Funders Justice Pledge to push philanthropic organizations to shift 30% of their donations to environmental efforts led by people of color. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE:
• As Senate Democrats and Republicans reach a power-sharing agreement, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says “major climate legislation” will be a priority. (E&E News)
• A new report finds waiting until 2030 to begin decarbonizing the economy will cost trillions of dollars more compared with starting immediately. (Earther)

PIPELINES:
• The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a developer’s appeal of a lower court order that prevents it from using eminent domain to take state lands in New Jersey for the PennEast pipeline. (The Hill)
• The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa says crude oil carried through Line 5 in Michigan could be re-routed to a pipeline that runs south to Illinois in order to reduce risk, though Enbridge disagrees. (Energy News Network)
• Alberta plans to pursue compensation from the U.S. for the Keystone XL pipeline cancellation, using a provision of the former North American Free Trade Agreement that remains in place until 2023. (Globe and Mail)

UTILITIES:
• It is estimated that millions of U.S. households have unpaid utility bills, with advocates warning that a wave of shutoffs could exacerbate the COVID-19 pandemic. (Bloomberg CityLab)
• PG&E’s criminal probation judge says the utility may have been “criminally reckless” with its wildfire mitigation efforts before the Zogg Fire, and “a terror” to Californians since 2010’s deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion. (San Francisco Chronicle)

WIND:
• The new top federal regulator for offshore wind projects says review of the Vineyard Wind project in Massachusetts is back on track after the developer temporarily withdrew it in the waning days of the Trump Administration. (Boston Globe)
• Turbines are being repowered with newer, larger blades far ahead of their original life expectancies as utilities and developers take advantage of technology improvements and tax credits. (Energy News Network)

CLEAN ENERGY: The Prairie Island Indian Community in Minnesota advances plans for a clean energy project that will help the tribe achieve net zero emissions. (Post Bulletin)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• The Tennessee Valley Authority and state regulators will partner to install electric vehicle charging stations every 50 miles along Tennessee’s interstates and major roads. (Knoxville News-Sentinel)
Oregon fails to reach its goal of 50,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2020, only managing 31,977 as of Feb. 1 this year. (Willamette Week)

OIL & GAS: University of Wyoming energy experts say President Biden’s moratorium on new federal oil and gas leases could adversely impact carbon capture and storage development. (Casper Star-Tribune)

COAL: Federal lawmakers introduce legislation to direct the Labor Department to devise and implement COVID-19 protections for miners. (Huntington Herald-Dispatch)

COMMENTARY:
• The director of a sustainable building organization disputes the widespread notion in Massachusetts that net-zero buildings are prohibitively expensive. (CommonWealth Magazine)
• Some automakers’ “gesture of goodwill” to withdraw from a lawsuit challenging California’s authority to cut vehicle emissions is underwhelming, an editorial board says. (Los Angeles Times)

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