U.S. Energy News

EPA staff warned Trump officials of flaws in fuel efficiency rule 

TRANSPORTATION: The Trump administration ignored warnings from EPA staff about serious flaws with its new fuel efficiency rule that some predict will make it more vulnerable to court challenges, documents show. (Washington Post)

ALSO:
• A top executive at General Motors says the automaker is “almost there” on developing an electric vehicle battery that will last one million miles. (Reuters)
• Miami will pilot four low-powered electric-assist e-cargo bikes to be used for deliveries across the city. (Utility Dive)

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RENEWABLES: Global growth in renewable energy capacity this year is expected to slow for the first time in two decades, the International Energy Agency said today. (Reuters) 

EFFICIENCY: A Virginia energy efficiency nonprofit leader says funding interruptions from federal programs have helped the organization prepare for uncertainty during the pandemic. (Energy News Network)

SOLAR:
• Panasonic restarts solar panel manufacturing at its Buffalo Gigafactory, but major tenant Tesla remains silent on its plans. (The Verge)
Major wind developers are increasingly pivoting to solar as forecasts show the market could be several times larger than wind by 2025. (Greentech Media)

WIND: Siemens Gamesa unveils the largest wind turbine ever, a 14-megawatt model with a 222-meter diameter designed for offshore wind farms. (Greentech Media)

POLLUTION: A court rules that the EPA violated the law when it denied a request from Maryland and Delaware to tighten air pollution controls at power plants in upwind states. (Reuters)

COAL:
• The coronavirus pandemic has worsened already high unemployment rates in Ohio coal communities that were struggling with the industry’s downturn. (Energy News Network)
• Arch Coal has changed its name and is making moves to shift its focus away from thermal coal and focus on metallurgical coal and other resources. (Wyoming Public Media)

UTILITIES:
• Utility executives say the pandemic has created dramatic shifts in their operations, but so far financial stability is not at risk. (E&E News, subscription)
The Tennessee Valley Authority for the first time in three years will have a full nine-member board as the U.S. Senate is expected to approve two President Trump nominees. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)  

OIL & GAS:
• Google says it will no longer build artificial intelligence tools for speeding up oil and gas extraction following pressure from Greenpeace. (Associated Press)
Groups call on U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette to resign after he compared banks’ restrictions on financing oil and gas projects to denying mortgages for people of color. (Reuters)
• Oil companies’ progress on clean energy has slowed amid the collapse of oil prices, with fewer deals announced in the most recent quarter. (Axios)
• Two oil and gas companies team up to develop a network of sensors that will monitor methane emissions in Texas. (Journal of Petroleum Technology)

PIPELINES: The premier of Alberta, Canada, says he is prepared for court challenges if Joe Biden is elected and follows through on a pledge to revoke a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. (Calgary Herald)

DIVESTMENT: The University of California announces its investment portfolios are now free of fossil fuels after the sale of more than $1 billion in assets, becoming the largest university system in the U.S. to do so. (Los Angeles Times)

HYDROGEN: An energy company says it plans to build a $55 million facility near Los Angeles that will make hydrogen by using plasma heating technology to disintegrate paper recyclables. (Los Angeles Times)

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BIOFUELS: The U.S. EPA has drafted a plan to slightly lift biofuel-blending targets next year while avoiding potentially more controversial decisions about refinery exemptions, according to sources. (Bloomberg) 

CLIMATE: While Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has gained public support for his COVID-19 response and following scientific consensus, his approach to climate change has been less consistent. (Grist)

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