OIL AND GAS: Energy Transfer receives a waiver from Pennsylvania to continue some work on sections of the Mariner East pipeline for safety reasons. (Natural Gas Intelligence)

ELECTRIFICATION: Efforts to impose natural gas bans in new construction in several states, including Massachusetts, stall as activists are limited to virtual meetings and officials are preoccupied by COVID-19. (Platts)

EFFICIENCY: New Jersey regulators have developed a proposal to help encourage utilities to adopt more aggressive energy efficiency programs. (NJ Spotlight)

POWER PLANTS: A power plant just commissioned in Pennsylvania is capable of using a blend of natural gas and ethane, a fracking byproduct used in the petrochemical industry. (Utility Dive)

UTILITIES:
• A western Canadian utility closes its deal to acquire Emera Maine a week after it receives approval from state regulators. (E&E News, subscription required)
• Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker orders all electric, gas and water utilities to cease shutoffs of service for nonpayment during the coronavirus crisis. (Masslive)
• A New Jersey utility says meter reading will continue during the coronavirus outbreak while disconnections have been eliminated. (New Jersey Herald)
• Pennsylvania utility PECO is providing electricity to all customers including those previously disconnected. (Local Daily News)

WIND: Vermont regulators end the last active wind energy project in the state, with their dismissal of the petition for Dairy Air Wind. (Associated Press)

EMISSIONS: A Maryland man is sentenced to six months in prison for his part in a scheme to alter emissions controls on trucks that transport wastewater for Pennsylvania’s fracking operations. (Bus and Motorcoach News)

GRID:
• Officials and energy experts in New England say the chances of a widespread power outage due to the coronavirus pandemic are low with the greatest concern being infected plant workers. (Boston Globe)
• The grid operator in New England says power demand has dropped as much as 5% during the coronavirus outbreak, resembling usage patterns on snow days. (Granite Geek)

Bill Opalka

Bill is a freelance journalist based outside Albany, New York. As a former New England correspondent for RTO Insider, he has written about energy for newspapers, magazines and other publications for more than 20 years. He has an extensive career in trade publications and newspapers, mostly focused on the utility sector, covering such issues as restructuring, renewable energy and consumer affairs. Bill covers Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire and also compiles the Northeast Energy News daily email digest.