U.S. Energy News

Pence criticizes ‘climate alarmists’ in vice presidential debate

Clarification: Ameren Illinois says it will close its existing net metering program to new customers after reaching a capacity limit under a state law. Existing customers will not be affected. An item in yesterday’s email was unclear.

POLITICS: In last night’s vice presidential debate, Mike Pence incorrectly implied that there is doubt over the cause of climate change, while Kamala Harris emphasized that Joe Biden does not support a ban on fracking. (The Hill)

ALSO: Many coal miners in Pennsylvania still back President Trump despite his failure to make good on promises to revive the industry. (The Independent)

***SPONSORED LINK: Tigercomm is hosting a Cleantech Editors Roundtable today  from 1-2 p.m. ET Tune in as editors of major clean economy news sites discuss sector trends and developments. Register here.***

EMISSIONS: A federal court today will hear arguments from the EPA seeking to weaken its own authority to regulate emissions from power plants. (E&E News)

UTILITIES:
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signs a bill holding utilities to tougher standards on power outages, on the same day a storm knocks out electricity for thousands of customers in the region. (Hartford Courant)
• In response to an exodus of member co-ops seeking to cut their own emissions, Colorado-based Tri-State Generation and Transmission will allow members to develop more of their own energy resources. (Denver Post)
• Critics in Michigan say a DTE Energy executive compensation mechanism incentivizes the prolonged use of fossil fuel plants while such incentives should be linked to decarbonization. (Energy News Network)
• The Omaha Public Power District is moving too quickly to build backup natural gas power plants while stalling on solar development, critics say. (Energy News Network)
A federal court vacates a FERC order holding that California utility PG&E could not back out of wholesale power contracts without the agency’s consent. (Reuters)

EFFICIENCY: Maine’s marijuana industry will now be eligible for energy efficiency grants after a 5-2 vote by a state agency reversing an earlier ban. (Portland Press Herald)

OIL & GAS:
A Bureau of Land Management spokesperson says the agency’s pandemic royalty relief program for oil companies was legal and has been done under other presidents. (Washington Post)
After more than a century as the nation’s largest oil company, Exxon Mobil is knocked from the top spot by Chevron. (Houston Chronicle) 

GRID: A first-of-its-kind plan to create a regional electricity market in the Southeast could boost renewables by allowing utilities to buy and sell surplus generation, though skeptics are wary of the companies’ intentions. (E&E News)

POLICY: A Virginia legal rule that bars cities and counties from exercising power not explicitly granted to them by the state is hampering local efforts to make progress on clean energy goals. (Virginia Mercury)

POWER PLANTS: Ongoing coal and nuclear plant closures in the Midwest are expected to provide more opportunity for gas-fired generation. (S&P Global)

SOLAR:
• Electric cooperatives participate in a three-year research program to test ways to make solar more accessible for low-and moderate-income customers. (Solar Power World)
• A Wyoming city takes its “first major step toward carbon neutrality” with two solar panel installations. (Oil City News) 

***SPONSORED LINK: MnSEIA’s 7th annual Gateway to Solar conference is next week! Join us Oct. 12-13 for a SEIA State Chapter Roundtable, keynotes such as Attorney General Keith Ellison and Minnesota State Legislators, D&I training for energy professionals, and much more.***

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: “It is really a public health issue”: A new study recommends New Jersey push to electrify medium- and heavy-duty vehicles to improve air quality. (NJ Spotlight)

COMMENTARY:
• Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette says the Trump administration is “committed to using all available means” to tap Pennsylvania’s natural gas. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
• A George Mason University professor says a government-backed foundation could help speed the spread of new clean energy technology. (The Conversation)

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