U.S. Energy News

Judge reopens path for power lines to cross streams and wetlands

PIPELINES: A federal judge upholds a ruling against the Keystone XL pipeline but revises it to allow a disputed federal permitting program for stream and wetland crossings to be used again for electric transmission projects. (Reuters)

ALSO: Environmentalists sue federal regulators for their approval of a western Massachusetts pipeline project contending that climate risks should have been included in permit reviews. (Energy News Network)

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OIL & GAS:
• Oil and gas bankruptcies threaten to leave states with a massive bill to seal up thousands of “orphan” wells that pose pollution and safety risks. (Politico)
• The Trump administration moves to block a Washington state law that imposed safety restrictions on oil transported by rail from the Bakken region. (Associated Press)
• Natural gas exports to foreign countries slow because of the coronavirus pandemic, leaving companies’ expansion plans up in the air. (New York Times)
• Major oil companies and utilities stand to benefit from a planned $750 billion federal bond bailout, an environmental group’s analysis finds. (The Guardian)

SOLAR:
•  The $1 billion Gemini Project in Nevada, which at 690 MW will be the largest solar energy project in the U.S., gets its final federal approval with a decision by the Interior Department. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
• The oil market crash is hurting Texas’ solar industry: Developers have scrapped plans to build at least 13 solar farms, and analysts say more may follow as the state’s economy suffers. (Bloomberg)

EFFICIENCY: A Pennsylvania company that specializes in energy efficiency for healthcare facilities is slowed by the coronavirus pandemic but expects to bounce back when the crisis passes. (StateImpact Pennsylvania)

CLEAN ENERGY: Advocates say New York companies requesting rate relief during the pandemic endanger a key funding source for state clean energy programs. (Politico)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Elon Musk resumed operations at his California Tesla plant yesterday, defying a county shelter-in-place order. (Associated Press)

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OVERSIGHT: Polluters are claiming the pandemic prevents them from complying with pollution cleanup orders, and environmental groups fear the U.S. EPA won’t hold them accountable. (Grist)

COMMENTARY: Clean energy jobs including wind energy engineer and solar installer rank among the lowest risk for COVID-19 infection, a clean energy group writes. (Clean Energy Future Blog)

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