U.S. Energy News

Investigation: Rick Perry’s Ukraine deals could enrich his political allies

Editor’s note: This digest has been updated to correct an error in the lead item.

OVERSIGHT: A six-month investigation finds that Ukrainian natural gas deals arranged by Rick Perry when he served as Energy Secretary could net billions of dollars for his friends and political supporters. (ProPublica)

CLIMATE:
• A new UN report finds greenhouse gas concentrations have hit a new record despite coronavirus lockdowns, and warns that the 1.5°C warming threshold could be reached sometime in the next five years. (Reuters, Associated Press)
• Scientists warn that 2020’s climate-fueled disasters will seem tame compared with what’s likely to come in the future. (Associated Press)
• Charleston, South Carolina, files a lawsuit against 24 fossil fuel companies accusing them of misleading the public on climate change and seeking compensation for flooding damages in the city. (Charlotte Observer)

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OIL & GAS:
• Three Alaska Native tribes and 15 states file lawsuits aiming to stop the Bureau of Land Management’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge oil and gas lease sale. (Anchorage Daily News, Spokesman-Review)
• In the wake of Hurricane Laura, an oil sheen at least 20 miles long covers wetlands along Louisiana’s coast and other waterways. (DeSmog)
• President Trump’s new offshore drilling moratorium excluded North Carolina, alarming environmental groups there. (News & Observer) 

PIPELINES:
• A Michigan judge allows Enbridge to resume normal operations of the Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac after it was partially shut down in June because of damage. (Bridge Magazine)
• Tribes make another push for an injunction to temporarily shut down the Dakota Access pipeline pending an environmental review by a federal agency. (E&E News, subscription)

SOLAR: NextEra Energy is seeking land near Kansas City for a project that could include up to 500 MW each of solar and storage, which clean energy advocates call a “game-changer.” (Energy News Network)

WIND: New Jersey opens its second solicitation for offshore wind as legislators demand a shutdown of an ongoing project in a dispute with its developer over promised economic benefits. (NJ Spotlight)

UTILITIES:
• Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Republican lawmakers call on House Speaker Mike Madigan to explain his role in a recent scandal involving favorable legislation for ComEd. (Chicago Sun-Times)
• The Ohio Consumers’ Counsel seeks an outside investigation into whether ratepayer funds were improperly used for activities connected to HB 6. (Associated Press)

GRID:
• The Department of Energy projects U.S. electricity use will show a decline of 2.4% in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Houston Chronicle)
• Federal regulators deny the New York grid operator’s plan to allow renewable energy to compete in wholesale markets that critics say will make them too expensive. (Greentech Media)

CLEAN ENERGY: A new report says hydrogen and carbon capture could help the U.S. achieve emissions-free electricity by 2035. (Reuters)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: General Motors announces a breakthrough that would make its electric vehicle batteries more flexible and compact. (E&E News, subscription)

POLITICS: An oil industry report targeting presidential candidate Joe Biden claims halting fossil fuel leasing on public lands will cost nearly 1 million jobs. (Fox Business)

COMMENTARY:
California’s record heat wave, wildfires, and smoke are a sign that climate change is happening right now. (ProPublica)
• The director of the Texas Campaign for the Environment calls on Joe Biden, if elected, to reject the Trump administration’s practice of putting fossil fuel lobbyists in charge of government agencies. (Houston Chronicle)

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