U.S. Energy News

Oil industry ends week with legal win on Alaska drilling

OIL & GAS: The future of the U.S. oil and gas boom is in doubt after recent setbacks involving major pipeline projects. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
A federal appeals court rules that drilling can resume in a sensitive Alaskan reserve without updating an environmental assessment that was completed four years before oil was discovered in the area. (Courthouse News)
• As Microsoft vows to eliminate its carbon footprint within a decade, its retirement program is pumping millions into the fossil fuel industry. (E&E News)
Texas residents raise concerns about a law that allows oil and gas drilling to take place in backyards, vacant lots and other urban areas. (Houston Chronicle) 

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GRID: As the COVID-19 pandemic intensifies, federal regulators express concern about the energy sector’s supply chain, deferred equipment maintenance and the potential for outages. (Utility Dive)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Electric vehicle startup Rivian is poised to be the first company with an electric pickup truck to hit the market. (CNBC)
• After years of battling over control of North Carolina’s share of the Volkswagen settlement, Republican lawmakers and the Democratic governor quietly approve a $31 million plan for electric vehicle infrastructure. (Energy News Network)

POLLUTION: More than 350 facilities have taken advantage of an EPA rule that lets them stop monitoring water pollution during the pandemic. (The Hill)

EMISSIONS: A consultancy working on Rhode Island’s transition to 100% renewable electricity by 2030 says work must continue afterward to address emissions from transportation and heating. (Providence Journal)

PIPELINES:
• Despite a legal victory this week, the fight is likely far from over for Indigenous activists challenging the Dakota Access pipeline as one Standing Rock Reservation member reflects on the recent victory. (Rolling Stone)
• The Dakota Access pipeline operator says it could take roughly three months to empty oil from the line and preserve it for future use. (Bismarck Tribune)
• Developers of natural gas pipelines seek to differentiate themselves from projects like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline that was recently canceled. (Utility Dive)

CLIMATE: California regulators propose having investor-owned utilities incorporate climate change vulnerability assessments into rate cases. (Utility Dive)

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RENEWABLES: Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette dismisses 100% renewable electricity goals for not taking into account “real world” conditions. (E&E News, subscription)

COMMENTARY:
• It’s been “a truly awful few days for the fossil-fuel industry, which is another way of saying that it’s been an unexpectedly good few days for planet Earth,” writes Bill McKibben. (The New Yorker)
• Warren Buffet has a history of missteps in energy investing, and his $10 billion bet this week on natural gas may be riskier than he realizes, a columnist notes. (Los Angeles Times)

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