U.S. Energy News

“No new fracking”: Biden escalates opposition to fossil fuels

POLITICS: “No more, no new fracking.” In a first, presidential candidate Joe Biden says he would oppose new hydraulic fracturing projects. (E&E News)

SOLAR:
• A research firm scales back its projection for global solar capacity growth, predicting growth will slow for the first time since the 1980s. (Grist)
• A new law in Virginia updates and clarifies a 2013 measure that gave homeowner associations power to impose “reasonable restrictions” on solar, including the size and placement of rooftop solar. (Energy News Network)
• A Kansas City utility’s community solar program has been slow to fill subscriptions in contrast to others in the region. (Energy News Network)
• Illinois regulators clarify state rules on power purchase agreements that will help entities obtain solar power through third parties. (Energy News Network)

OFFSHORE WIND: State officials say that while international offshore wind leader Orsted chose Rhode Island for its U.S. innovation hub, New York remains the state with the best chance to land most of the industry jobs. (Newsday)

RENEWABLES:
• After weeks of supply chain concerns, the biggest coronavirus risk to wind and solar now appears to be a global economic slowdown. (Greentech Media)
Amazon announces four new renewable energy projects to help power its data centers, including one in Virginia. (ZDNet)

EFFICIENCY: Advocates say requiring new homes to be net-zero energy is an effective way to reduce emissions and combat climate change, while opponents say the added costs will price out new first-time buyers. (Boston Globe)

OIL & GAS:
• An employee at California’s largest oil refinery tests positive for coronavirus and goes into self-quarantine, along with a few other workers. (Reuters)
• Oil companies tell staff to work from home and also plan to perform more frequent health checks for employees on offshore rigs and pipelines. (Reuters)
• Texas’ oil and gas sector was already having problems, but fear and uncertainty around the pandemic could end the state’s fracking boom. (Texas Observer)
• Oil prices bounce back some after President Trump says the Department of Energy will buy crude for the nation’s petroleum reserve. (NPR)

COAL:
• The national miners’ union warns miners about the risks of COVID-19 for those working underground and with black lung disease. (Bloomberg)
• Four years after being introduced, elk populations on former strip mines in West Virginia are growing slower than expected. (WVPB)

EMISSIONS: The owner of the Beaver Valley nuclear plant in Pennsylvania cancels its plan to shut down the two reactors due to the state’s plan to join a regional cap-and-trade emissions compact. (StateImpact Pennsylvania)

TRANSMISSION: Maine environmental officials issue a draft permit for a $1 billion power line through the state to import Canadian hydropower. (Portland Press Herald)

UTILITIES: A utility watchdog group begins tracking utilities that have suspended shut-offs during the coronavirus pandemic. (Energy and Policy Institute)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A trial involving shareholder accusations against Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been postponed due to coronavirus. (Reuters)

OVERSIGHT: A watchdog group spotlights conflict of interest concerns about a new GOP commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. (The Hill)

COMMENTARY: Cheap fracked gas, climate change concerns, and renewable energy contributed to “an extraordinary reversal of fortunes for coal,” David Roberts explains. (Vox)

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