U.S. Energy News

Pandemic, oil prices lead to grim outlook for electric vehicles

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Global electric vehicle sales appear likely to crash this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and oil price collapse, according to research from Wood Mackenzie. (Greentech Media)

ALSO: Tesla is reportedly set to furlough non-critical employees without pay and cut executive salaries as much as 30% through Q2 while its operations remain suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Bloomberg)

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TRANSPORTATION: Work continues on a regional compact to reduce transportation emissions on the East Coast, but it’s unclear how falling gasoline prices and economic uncertainty will affect the plan. (Energy News Network)  

UTILITIES:
President Trump says he wants to cut the pay “by a lot” for the Tennessee Valley Authority’s chief executive — the highest paid federal employee — as part of legislation to boost the economy. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
• NextEra Energy is exploring a potential acquisition of Kansas utility Evergy, following reports that AEP and Ameren are also interested. (Utility Dive)

EFFICIENCY:
Missouri’s consumer advocate asks regulators to suspend utility energy efficiency programs as a way to reduce customer bills during the coronavirus pandemic, but supporters of the programs say it’s an excuse to weaken the state’s efficiency law. (Energy News Network)
• California regulators unanimously approve seven new local ordinances that exceed 2019 energy efficiency building codes, including one that will require new buildings to be all-electric. (Bloomberg Law, subscription)

OIL & GAS:
• A limited number of employees work long hours by themselves to keep pipelines operating in Texas during the pandemic. (Houston Chronicle)
• President Trump tells aides he doesn’t support a plan to temporarily stop charging energy companies royalties for oil and gas produced on federal lands and waters. (Bloomberg)

COAL:
• Coal companies ask Congress to cut the taxes they pay to support abandoned mine cleanup and healthcare for miners with black lung disease. (Washington Post)
• Republican senators push to ensure that fossil-fuel companies, and coal in particular, aren’t excluded from the bailout program being administered by BlackRock on behalf of the federal government. (Bloomberg Environment)
• Families of coal miners worry about the health and safety of those working in mines during the coronavirus pandemic. (WYMT)

GRID:
• New data on electricity use suggests the economy is experiencing the fastest and maybe deepest downturn since the Great Depression. (New York Times)
• Grid operators are seeing a slower morning ramp up and an early afternoon peak instead of the usual morning and evening peaks. (Greentech Media)
• PJM prepares for worker sequestration and readies a third control room if COVID-19 requires either action. (POWER Magazine)

POWER PLANTS: The coronavirus pandemic is expected to delay 39% of new power plant construction over the next six months, with Pennsylvania among the states most impacted. (Bloomberg Law)

CLEAN ENERGY:
• When New York revamped its renewable energy siting law last week it became the first state to create a central planning office for that purpose. (Utility Dive)
• Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker taps the former director of the state’s Environmental Protection Agency to craft legislation for 100% renewables by 2050, but the plan’s timeline is unclear. (Rockford Register-Star)

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POLLUTION: Colorado environmentalists are urging Gov. Jared Polis to suspend coal and oil operations in the state, citing new research indicating air pollution impacts coronavirus death rates. (E&E News, subscription)

COMMENTARY: A clean energy policy advocate says the country should go all-in on distributed solar to restart the economy. (Morning Consult) 

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