U.S. Energy News

Fossil fuel money still seeping into 2020 campaigns

POLITICS: Several Democratic presidential candidates continue to accept donations from high-level employees at oil, gas and coal companies despite pledging to reject fossil fuel money. (Washington Post)

ALSO:
• Sen. Kamala Harris and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unveil legislation aimed at ensuring climate policies benefit low-income communities. (New York Times)
• A longtime Republican pollster offers to help Democrats with their messaging on climate change as bipartisan carbon tax bills emerge. (Roll Call)
• Despite a high-profile walkout by Republican lawmakers, it was actually the dissent of a key Democrat that doomed cap-and-trade legislation in Oregon. (Medford Mail Tribune)

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TRANSPORTATION:
• Colorado reaches an agreement with major automakers to expand the availability of zero-emission vehicles in the state. (Reuters)
• California is pushing ahead with autonomous vehicles, which proponents say can improve safety and reduce emissions. (CalMatters)
• Hawaii is becoming a proving ground for electric aircraft. (Greentech Media)

EFFICIENCY:
• A contractor says a lack of qualified installers may prevent Maine from hitting its goal of 100,000 new heat pumps by 2025. (Energy News Network)
• Efficiency Vermont announced details about expanded programs in the state that a higher income threshold for weatherization funds. (VT Digger)

STORAGE: Critics say a proposal by grid operator PJM will make it tougher for battery storage to compete with fossil fuel plants in wholesale markets. (Energy News Network)

SOLAR:
• Utility-scale solar capacity in the Southeast is expected to rise 25% this year, largely due to supportive state policies, an analysis shows. (S&P Global)
• A streetcar in New Orleans will get solar panels installed on its roof as part of an effort to power city facilities with solar. (Uptown Messenger)

WIND:
• A North Carolina bill that would put a moratorium on wind energy projects doesn’t have enough support to pass, its sponsor says. (Coastal Review Online)
• A 71-turbine wind project is still planned in Ohio despite the state’s coal and nuclear bailout that also scales back clean energy standards. (Sandusky Register)
• Ameren Missouri scraps plans for a 157 MW wind project in northwestern Missouri, citing the cost of transmission upgrades. (St. Louis Business Journal)

COAL:
• Miners and their families camp out in front of a coal train in Harlan County, Kentucky to protest not being paid by bankrupt coal firm Blackjewel. (WYMT)
• An attorney for a Wyoming county says the state has left them “holding the bag” in collecting $37 million in unpaid taxes on Blackjewel properties. (WyoFile)

NATURAL GAS:
• Critics of Ohio’s new coal and nuclear subsidies say they will likely stall construction of new natural gas plants in Ohio. (S&P Global)
• Some natural gas units in Missouri are among those across the U.S. that are little used despite being fewer than 20 years old. (S&P Global)

PIPELINES:
• Columbia Gas and Massachusetts plaintiffs reach a $143 million settlement for damages caused by a fatal pipeline explosion last year. (Associated Press)
• An executive at pipeline operator EPIC says the company will start exporting crude oil from a South Texas terminal by the end of the year. (Reuters)

OIL & GAS: Neighbors of oil facilities in South Portland, Maine are increasingly concerned about airborne pollutants. (InsideClimate News)

BIOFUELS: An ethanol company CEO says the industry is set to decline due to the ongoing trade war with China and waivers to small oil refiners. (Reuters)

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CLIMATE:
• Five years after passage of the Resilient Rhode Island law to address climate change, there is little to show except studies and reports. (ecoRI)
• Climate activists demonstrate at the Massachusetts state house, saying the state hasn’t done enough to address the crisis. (Taunton Gazette) 

COMMENTARY:
• Journalist Russell Gold outlines Texas’s role in renewables and how much of their future hinges on the 2020 presidential race. (Texas Monthly)
• Advocates say cities can transition to electric bus fleets while providing jobs to disadvantaged communities. (Governing)

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