U.S. Energy News

How Trump appointees quashed a major grid study

GRID: A federal lab’s study outlining the massive potential benefits of stronger connections between regional power grids ignited a political firestorm within the Trump administration, which prohibited the authors from presenting or even discussing their work outside their office. (The Atlantic/InvestigateWest)

ALSO: Connecticut’s top utility regulator says extended outages after a recent tropical storm show the urgency of grid modernization, an effort she has championed for several months. (Energy News Network)

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OIL & GAS:
• Seattle’s gas supplier helped orchestrate a sophisticated “wall of opposition” to a city council plan to ban future gas hookups in new buildings — part of a broader industry pattern of opposing local climate actions. (The Guardian)
• The Trump administration is under pressure to complete its Arctic National Wildlife Refuge oil and gas lease sale before Inauguration Day. (Washington Post)

PIPELINES: The legal dispute over the Dakota Access pipeline is set to ramp up again as two separate federal court cases proceed. (S&P Global)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• General Motors’ plan to install 2,700 electric vehicle fast-charging stations underscores the difficulty of building an electric fueling network. (E&E News)
• Electric bikes are seeing a major spike in sales that started before the pandemic but has sharply accelerated since March. (Axios)
• Teslas made up more than 80% of electric vehicle sales in the first half of 2020. (CNET)

COAL: A West Virginian who founded a company that helps miners find work in stable industries talks about expanding Applachia’s post-coal economy, especially after the coronavirus pandemic. (Grist) 

EMISSIONS: Monthly U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions in April were the lowest in decades, a result of sudden changes in consumption from lockdowns and the shift to work from home and distance learning. (Today in Energy)

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POLITICS:
• Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker proposes ratemaking reforms and clamping down on utilities’ political contributions in the wake of a bribery scandal: “Their days of outsized influence on the process are ending.” (Chicago Sun-Times)
• A former chair of the Texas Public Utility Commission discusses competitive power markets and how Texas, dominated by Republican politicians, became a renewable energy leader. (Greentech Media)

COMMENTARY: Citibank’s CEO says banks must be willing to have frank conversations about reducing emissions — and have the courage to walk away when clients won’t commit to a low-carbon future. (CNN)

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