U.S. Energy News

Massive layoffs at nation’s largest oil company

OIL & GAS: Exxon Mobil plans to lay off an estimated 14,000 employees globally, about 15% of its workforce, due to the collapse in oil demand. (Reuters)

ALSO:
• An Exxon analyst says he was pushed out of the company after raising the subject of climate change at an employee town hall meeting. (Vice)
• Environmental groups sue the U.S. EPA for failing to update and enforce rules for flaring, or burning off excess gases. (Houston Chronicle)
• Colorado regulators propose to eliminate flaring at oil wells by early 2022, a move that is supported by large producers. (Denver Business Journal, subscription)

EQUITY: Renewable energy companies have made unprecedented statements on race and equality, but it remains to be seen whether it will translate into action that overcomes systemic racism within the industry. (Greentech Media)

CLEAN ENERGY:
• Arizona regulators approve a measure requiring utilities to get all of their electricity from 100% carbon-free sources by 2050, with a benchmark of 50% by 2035. (Arizona Republic)
• While Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry is dominating political narratives, the state’s clean-energy entrepreneurs are preparing for sustained growth. (Wall Street Journal, subscription)

OHIO:
• Two people strike plea deals in Ohio’s power plant bailout corruption scheme, and utility FirstEnergy fires CEO Chuck Jones and two other senior officials amid investigations into the company’s role. (Columbus Dispatch, Cleveland.com)
• Critics say FirstEnergy and state lawmakers are shielding voters from understanding more about the scandal before Election Day. (Eye on Ohio / Energy News Network)

CLIMATE:
• A federal appeals court rejects oil companies’ efforts to have a Rhode Island climate lawsuit heard in federal court. (Reuters)
• Pennsylvania farmers say they’re already seeing the impacts of climate change and want political leaders to pay more attention. (StateImpact Pennsylvania)

WIND:
• North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland announce they will work together to facilitate offshore wind energy development. (The Hill)
• The first U.S. offshore wind farm will temporarily go offline this spring as crews replace cables that were not buried deep enough. (E&E News, subscription)

SOLAR:
• Six months after the Kansas Supreme Court threw out an Evergy electricity fee only for customers with solar panels, the utility has come back with a new “grid access fee” that critics say also discriminates. (Energy News Network)
• Georgetown University announces an agreement to get more than two-thirds of its electricity from solar starting next month. (Washington Post)

COAL:
• A decline in coal production and related revenue creates uncertainty for a federal program to reclaim and spur economic development at abandoned mine sites. (Daily Yonder)
• Puget Sound Energy, facing pushback from regulators, calls off the sale of its share of the Colstrip power plant in Montana; a spokesperson says the utility is still committed to “get off coal as quickly as possible.” (Billings Gazette, Seattle Times)

NATURAL GAS:
• Massachusetts regulators order the state’s natural gas utilities to find ways to decarbonize by 2050. (S&P Global)
• An analysis finds that a proposed natural gas pipeline extension in Maryland runs primarily through low-income communities of color. (Maryland Matters)

TRANSPORTATION:
• Ford plans to unveil an electric transit van next month: “We’re betting on a full lineup of commercial electrified vehicles,” says CEO Jim Farley. (Detroit Free Press)
• New electric tour boats at Niagara Falls could become part of a growing trend as the tourism industry seeks to cut emissions. (Washington Post)

POLITICS: New York climate activist Michael Bloomberg gives $2.6 million to a Democrat running for a Texas board that regulates oil and gas. (Grist)

COMMENTARY: An editorial says Pennsylvanians should disregard the political debate over fracking, noting the president has little power to impact the industry. (York Dispatch)

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