U.S. Energy News

General Motors sees a future without fossil fuels

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: General Motors announces plans to phase out internal combustion engines in light-duty vehicles by 2035, and make its entire operations carbon-neutral by 2040. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• The move is a significant shift for a company that has built its brand image and profits on gas-guzzling SUVs. (Inside Climate News)
• GM’s new targets could lead to major shifts in the manufacturing and utility sectors, experts say. (E&E News, subscription)

ELECTRIFICATION: New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio announces a plan to ban natural gas hookups in new and renovated buildings by 2030 in his final State of the City address. (Politico, news release)

CLIMATE:
• The governor of Texas issues executive orders authorizing state agencies to sue the federal government over the Biden administration’s efforts to fight climate change if they limit oil and gas production in the state. (Reuters)
With little fanfare, both houses of the Massachusetts legislature pass the same version of a comprehensive climate bill that Gov. Charlie Baker vetoed earlier this month. (CommonWealth Magazine)
New Mexico lawmakers introduce a climate solutions bill that includes cutting oil industry emissions 60% by 2030. (Santa Fe New Mexican)
National climate adviser Gina McCarthy has a deadline of April 22 to identify concrete steps the U.S. can take to meet Paris Agreement targets. (E&E News)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE:
• A governor-appointed environmental justice task force in Michigan is having an influence in top-level decision making, members and other activists say, though some want it to have “more teeth.” (Energy News Network)
• President Joe Biden’s promise to address the disproportionate exposure of people of color to pollution is met with both hope and skepticism after generations of systemic racism in the placement of energy infrastructure. (Georgia Public Broadcasting)

TRANSMISSION:
• Opponents of renewable energy infrastructure projects may be able stall development by deploying some of the same legal tactics that have upended the pipeline sector, experts say. (S&P Global)
• A bipartisan group of former FERC commissioners says the agency must reform the way it approaches transmission planning if the U.S. is to meet its clean energy potential. (Utility Dive)

OVERSIGHT: Experts say FERC “will be an indispensable player in the Biden administration’s clean energy agenda.” (Bloomberg)

CLEAN ENERGY:
• An amendment to an already controversial Indiana energy bill would place restrictions on state-funded universities’ clean energy investments. (Energy News Network)
• Minnesota lawmakers begin work on legislation that would require utilities to produce 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES: Virginia lawmakers push a package of seven bills to strengthen state oversight of Dominion Energy, with hopes of lowering some of the nation’s highest electricity rates. (Richmond Times-Dispatch/ProPublica)

OIL & GAS: A federal agency is holding off on publishing a rule meant to prevent banks from denying financing to oil companies. (The Hill)

PUBLIC LANDS:
• Newly released data shows that 87% of the Bureau of Land Management’s Washington D.C. staff decided to leave the agency rather than relocate to a new headquarters in Grand Junction, Colorado. (The Hill)
• Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney introduces two bills aiming to block a moratorium of fossil fuel leasing on public lands. (The Hill)

COMMENTARY:
• A columnist writes that “when even General Motors realizes the end of fossil fuels is inevitable,” it’s time to change the conversation. (Washington Post)
• Clean energy “must become part of the Republican Party’s core messaging platform as a matter of survival,” says a board member of the Minnesota Conservative Energy Forum. (MinnPost)
• As chairman of the U.S. Senate’s energy committee and a fulcrum in the closely divided body, Joe Manchin of West Virginia holds the power to build a post-coal economy for the state, writes a policy expert. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

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