U.S. Energy News

GM: ‘We want to be part of the solution’ on climate

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: General Motors CEO Mary T. Barra announces plans for 20 new electric vehicle models in the U.S. by 2025: “We are all-in to establish leadership in electric vehicles.” (New York Times)

ALSO:
• Data shows the majority of electric vehicle buyers in California are white men, and advocates say overcoming the “Silicon Valley dudes” perception will be key to more widespread adoption. (San Francisco Chronicle)
• Fremont, California’s police department says its Tesla Model S patrol car has been more reliable and cheaper to operate than gasoline vehicles, and the department has since added another Tesla to its fleet. (KPIX)

OVERSIGHT: Outgoing EPA administrator is booking a taxpayer-funded trip to tropical destinations during the final days of the Trump administration in January. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE:
• Democratic lawmakers condemn President Trump’s “destabilizing” and “politicizing” of the National Climate Assessment. (The Hill)
• Progessive members of Congress hold a climate rally outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters. (The Hill)
• Climate scientists say a recent study claiming a tipping point on climate has already been passed has numerous flaws. (E&E News)

TRANSITION:
• Former Obama Energy Department official Arun Majumdar is emerging as a top candidate to lead the agency. (E&E News)
• President-elect Biden’s appointment to a relatively obscure government post could largely project the scope of executive actions on energy and climate. (Washington Post)

OIL & GAS:
• President-elect Biden’s pledge to halt new drilling on public lands will face numerous obstacles, including resistance from some Democratic governors. (Washington Post)
• A lease sale for drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico this week attracts more bidders than in March, but remains well below 2019 figures amid an industry slump. (Houma Today)
• Pennsylvania legislators send a bill to Gov. Tom Wolf that would relax environmental standards for conventional oil and gas drillers. (StateImpact Pennsylvania)
• A Colorado agency apologizes after accidentally sending an email to hundreds of oil and gas workers that contained derogatory jokes about the industry. (CBS4)

COAL: Senators from coal-producing states are expected to hold three out of four leadership posts in the chamber’s energy and environment committees. (E&E News)

SOLAR:
• A trade court grants President Trump’s request to reinstate tariffs on two-sided solar panels, which could benefit manufacturers with U.S. facilities. (Greentech Media)
• Knoxville, Tennessee signs a purchase agreement to get 20% of its electricity from solar by 2023. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

WIND: As prices continue to fall, Xcel Energy issues bill credits to Minnesota customers who volunteered to pay extra to support wind energy. (Energy News Network)

UTILITIES: A filing reveals that FirstEnergy’s firing of top executives is related to a $4 million payout to a firm connected to an unnamed state regulator, just days after the FBI searched the home of PUCO chair Sam Randazzo. (Akron Beacon Journal) 

GRID: A North Carolina electric cooperative adopts “self-healing grid” technology to reduce the length of outages in a five-county region. (The Pilot)

COMMENTARY:
• California’s lieutenant governor says “now is the time for the rest of the nation to join us in committing to climate action.” (CalMatter)
• A columnist says that while there is hope for climate action at the federal level, we shouldn’t overlook the role that states will continue to play. (Bloomberg)
• Two economists explain why the U.S. should invest in more companies like Solyndra. (MIT Technology Review)

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