U.S. Energy News

EPA watchdog warns agency is losing its way

OVERSIGHT: The EPA’s inspector general says relaxed enforcement of pollution laws during the coronavirus pandemic “threatens the Agency’s overall mission to protect human health and the environment.” (Bloomberg)

ALSO: EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler appears in Wisconsin to tout air quality improvements in Sheboygan County, which critics say is due to a redrawn map that excludes high pollution readings. (InsideClimate News)

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CLEAN ENERGY:
• Goldman Sachs projects spending on clean energy projects will surpass oil and gas for the first time next year. (Business Insider)
• Xcel Energy proposes spending $3 billion, mostly on large renewable energy projects, in response to regulators’ call last month to help jumpstart the economy during the pandemic. (Star Tribune)
• Older wind and solar projects reaching retirement age could provide investment opportunities to be repowered with newer technology. (Bloomberg)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Rideshare company Lyft promises to shift to 100% electric vehicles by 2030. (Greentech Media)

CLIMATE:
• Massachusetts lawmakers urge Boston-based Liberty Mutual insurance to stop providing coverage to fossil fuel projects and companies, which include controversial projects such as Keystone XL. (Energy News Network)
• Chevron recently sent an email to journalists claiming that climate action would harm people of color by depriving them of jobs in the fossil fuel industry. (E&E News, subscription required)

OIL & GAS:
• Dominion Energy asks federal regulators for two more years to complete the long-delayed $8 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline, as lawyers opposing the project turn their focus to environmental justice and climate. (Reuters, Bloomberg)
House Democrats say the BLM may be unlawfully allowing oil and gas companies to seek royalty cuts because of the coronavirus crisis. (E&E News, subscription)

COAL: Navajo Nation advocates say aquifer depletion from coal mining has made it harder for residents to get water, exacerbating the spread of COVID-19. (Bloomberg)

SOLAR: The Navajo Transitional Energy Company is planning to install 200 MW of solar power on reclaimed land at its New Mexico coal mine. (Navajo Times)

STORAGE: Sunrun finalizes agreements with utilities in New York and California to run pilot programs at hundreds of residences with solar-battery combinations to create virtual power plants. (Greentech Media)

OFFSHORE WIND: A deeper analysis of a federal study of offshore wind impacts shows there may be some “less than palatable” conditions set on projects, one analyst says. (E&E News, subscription required)

NUCLEAR: A federal judge rules a Florida utility is legally bound to buy power for 20 years from Plant Vogtle nuclear reactors in Georgia despite delays and cost overruns. (Florida Times-Union)

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GRID: Shifting demand patterns from the coronavirus pandemic are making it harder for grid operators to predict future needs. (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY:
Environmental justice advocates say New York City’s peaker plants must close as their public health risks disproportionately affect disadvantaged communities. (Gotham Gazette)
The CEO of a California climate policy think tank says decarbonizing the electric grid, and electrifying everything is key to the state’s post-pandemic economy. (Forbes)

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