U.S. Energy News

In nation’s oil and gas capital, leaders listening to climate concerns

OIL & GAS: Houston’s “energy elite” are starting to listen to one of their most prominent critics as awareness grows about the climate change risks facing the city. (Bloomberg)

ALSO:
Pennsylvania’s attorney general says his office is conducting more than a dozen investigations into fracking and pipeline companies and expects “some will result in criminal charges in the near future.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Fracking is a wild card in Pennsylvania political races as the assumption that drilling opponents cannot win statewide races is challenged. (E&E News, subscription)

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SOLAR:
Florida regulators approve a $1.8 billion community solar plan by Florida Power & Light that the utility says will be the largest in the country. (Miami Herald)
A rural northern Virginia school’s solar project is the state’s first to be certified by a recently launched pollinator-smart solar program. (Energy News Network)
After years of policy disputes, Iowa solar advocates and the state’s largest utility find common ground on a proposal that would preserve net metering and let utilities recoup costs faster. (Energy News Network)
Solar developers begin to take more interest in Kentucky as the state slowly opens up to more project proposals. (Greentech Media)
New Mexico’s governor signs bills into law aiming to expand renewable energy in the state, including reinstating a solar tax credit. (New Mexico Political Report)

TRANSPORTATION:
California’s Air Resources Board is crafting regulations addressing the outsized climate impact of ride-hailing services including Uber and Lyft. (CalMatters)
Electric trucking startup Nikola is merging with a publicly listed acquisition company in a bid to become the first zero-emission big rig company. (Verge)
Maryland legislators consider bills to hasten a switch to electric buses starting in 2022, with a goal of converting more than 50% by 2030. (WTOP)

GRID: San Antonio, Texas, is building a modernized electric grid with its municipal utility at the helm. (Houston Chronicle)

PIPELINES: A pipeline company CEO says more natural gas pipeline construction is the most direct way to reduce emissions in the Northeast. (S&P Global)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: Accidents spiked and safety inspections decreased in 2018 and 2019 as the Trump administration relaxed offshore drilling regulations, according to a report by a progressive think tank. (NOLA.com)

COAL: The Indiana Senate passes its version of a bill that would require regulatory approval for coal plant closures. (Bloomberg Environment, subscription)

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CLIMATE: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee may no longer be a presidential candidate, but parts of his climate change program are influencing the Democratic Party’s climate report set to be released later this month. (Politico)

COMMENTARY:
• The rush to build natural gas capacity poses tens of billions of dollars of financial risk to utility investors, a climate policy think tank says. (Forbes)
The corporate responsibility facade is finally starting to crumble as the gulf is exposed between oil and gas companies’ climate rhetoric and their actions, an NYU business ethics professor writes. (Quartz)
Republican attitudes about coal ash appear to be shifting as rural constituents pressure lawmakers, a journalist writes. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) 

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