U.S. Energy News

Federal energy bill hits snag in Senate amid amendment pile-on

CONGRESS: The first major federal energy bill in more than a decade hit a roadblock Monday night as amendments threatened to derail the legislation entirely. (The Hill)

ALSO: Democratic senators last week filed amendments to the bill that would block the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from implementing its controversial Minimum Offer Price Rule, among other reforms. (Utility Dive)

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CLIMATE: The city of Honolulu files a lawsuit against eight oil companies, accusing them of concealing the risks of climate change, “an existential threat for what the future looks like for islanders.” (InsideClimate News)

GRID:
Utilities worldwide are preparing to invest $30 billion over the next five years to install more than 300 million smart meters, a report finds. (Greentech Media)
The regional grid operator in New England says 95% of its interconnection queue is occupied by wind, solar and energy storage projects. (Utility Dive)

UTILITIES:
• An effort to municipalize ComEd’s electric grid in Chicago appears unlikely for now, but city officials say a feasibility study is “good due diligence.” (Crain’s Chicago Business)
• Integrated resource planning is pushing Michigan utilities to increase targets for clean energy, a sign the state’s 2016 law is working as intended, stakeholders say. (Energy News Network)

SOLAR:
Critics say New England’s rapid embrace of solar is causing erosion and other environmental degradation as states begin to impose stricter land-use regulations. (Bloomberg)
A Minnesota couple’s design that keeps solar panels free of snow was selected as a finalist in a national clean technology competition. (Energy News Network)
• Utah solar advocates are in conflict with Rocky Mountain Power over how much customers should be paid for power exported to the grid. (Greentech Media)
• A solar software company says California’s solar mandate for new housing means “solar has to be moved up in front of the design process.” (PV Magazine)

TRANSPORTATION:
Washington lawmakers passed a bill to increase the number of electric cars available in the state, but more aggressive measures failed to gain support. (InvestigateWest)
• Minneapolis’ 10-year transportation plan looks to increase trips by walking, bicycle and public transit to reduce traffic and emissions. (Star Tribune)
• A Maine waste-to-energy company will convert to electric trucks powered by its burning of household trash by the end of the year. (Portland Press Herald)

OIL & GAS:
• The steep collapse in oil prices Monday sent shockwaves through the Bakken oil fields, following a year of relative stability for the region. (Bismarck Tribune)
Louisiana and Texas businesses tied to the oil and gas industry could suffer from low crude oil prices. (The Advocate, Texas Tribune)
• Anti-gas activists release a report that challenges National Grid’s assertion that there is a natural gas shortage in metropolitan New York City that requires new pipelines. (City Limits)

ACTIVISM: More than 100 pipeline protesters blocked entrances and elevators at TransCanada’s building in Charleston, West Virginia. (WV Metro News) 

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COAL ASH: Southeast states and utilities are starting to reach agreements to clean up coal ash sites, but Tennessee residents and environmental lawyers say the Tennessee Valley Authority lags far behind. (Southerly)

COMMENTARY: Despite short-term emission reductions, coronavirus is terrible for climate change because it will sap funding and political will, an editor writes. (MIT Technology Review)

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