U.S. Energy News

‘Existential peril’ for transit agencies with aid tied up in Congress

TRANSPORTATION: Public transit agencies around the country face drastic cuts amid changes in ridership from the pandemic, as a bipartisan $15 billion aid package is being blocked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. (New York Times)

CLIMATE:
President-elect Joe Biden indicates he is open to deficit spending to address climate change. (E&E News, subscription)
“The honeymoon ended at the altar”: Environmental groups are already pressing the incoming Biden administration to take aggressive action on climate change. (Reuters)
The Vermont Climate Council aims to get the state back on track for reducing emissions after the effort stalls in recent years. (Energy News Network)

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COAL:
• A coal company owned by West Virginia’s governor agrees to abide by pollution limits and will pay $300,000 in a settlement after it was found liable for 138 selenium-related violations. (ProPublica, Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Wyoming officials defend spending millions of dollars to promote the coal industry as other areas of the state budget face drastic cuts. (Casper Star-Tribune)

NATURAL GAS:
• Nevada’s recently released climate plan outlines a transition away from natural gas, which a state official says “has to be sensitive to costs.” (Nevada Independent)
• The entire legislative delegation of a region in Rhode Island that suffers natural gas shortages opposes a utility plan to solve it by building more capacity. (UpriseRI)

PIPELINES: Minnesota regulators deny a request to halt construction on the Line 3 pipeline. (Star Tribune)

POLLUTION: A California official says 2020 was a “really, really bad ozone year” for Southern California despite a 21-day stretch of smog-free days in Los Angeles that overlapped coronavirus stay-at-home orders. (Los Angeles Times)

PUBLIC LANDS: New revenue data from the Interior Department indicates payments to Western states from drilling and mining on public lands decreased 26% in fiscal year 2020 compared to 2019. (Associated Press)

WIND:
• New Jersey’s largest utility buys a 25% stake in the state’s first offshore wind farm off Atlantic City as it moves toward its zero-carbon generation goal. (NJ Spotlight)
• A year into its operations, a New Hampshire wind farm continues to polarize opponents despite complying with mitigation rules. (Energy News Network)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Roughly 150 Cadillac dealerships are choosing to take buyouts from General Motors instead of investing thousands of dollars to support electric vehicles. (Detroit News)

EFFICIENCY: A federal lawmaker says appliance energy efficiency standards will be a “top priority” under the incoming Biden administration. (Utility Dive)

EQUITY:
• A North Carolina task force recommends the state add environmental justice and inclusion positions at four agencies to counter a tendency to locate polluting industries near low-income neighborhoods and communities of color. (N.C. Policy Watch)
• Tesla’s first-ever Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Impact report shows the company’s U.S. leadership is 83% male, and 59% white. (The Verge)

COMMENTARY: North Carolina advocates say the clean energy industry can advance racial equity through job opportunities and making energy improvements available to people who struggle to pay energy bills. (Raleigh News & Observer)

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