U.S. Energy News

President-elect Biden begins transition planning for EPA, DOE 

POLITICS: President-elect Biden names his energy and environment transition team members, including academics, Obama administration alumni, and representatives of labor and environmental groups. (S&P Global)

ALSO:
Former Iowa Gov. Chet Culver is reportedly under consideration for a possible senior role in the Energy Department, according to sources. (Bloomberg)
• Biden is expected to name Ronald Klain as his White House chief of staff; the longtime aide is vocal on climate change and viewed as an ally by progressive environmental groups. (E&E News, subscription)
• Despite President Trump’s refusal to concede, energy companies are not waiting to congratulate and lobby the incoming Biden administration in hopes of helping to shape its climate plans. (Washington Post)

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OIL & GAS:
• Occidental Petroleum becomes the first major U.S. oil producer to set a net-zero emissions goal for everything it extracts and sells. (Bloomberg)
Just five of the largest 39 oil and gas companies have announced emission targets on track to avoid a 2-degree Celsius in global warming. (Bloomberg)
• Shell says it will push for carbon pricing and the reversal of President Trump’s rollback of methane emissions rules under the new administration. (Bloomberg)

EMISSIONS: The Prairie Island Indian Community in Minnesota is set to jumpstart its net zero emissions plan with major investments in solar, a microgrid and energy efficiency. (Energy News Network)

CLEAN ENERGY:
• One-third of the top venture-backed clean tech companies in 2010 are no longer in business, but success stories include Tesla and ChargePoint. (Greentech Media)
• New York officials propose utility rebates for communities that host wind or solar facilities, which could help temper local opposition to energy projects. (Albany Times Union)

EFFICIENCY:
• A developer converting a Connecticut office building into a net-zero hotel hopes the project can provide a model for an industry that has lagged on energy efficiency. (New York Times)
• Tennessee Valley Authority partners with Urban League chapters across Tennessee to offer energy efficiency training for contractors. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

UTILITIES:
• Kansas City utility Evergy disputes a news report that it turned down a $15 billion acquisition bid from NextEra Energy, saying there is currently no offer on the table. (Greentech Media)
• Utility officials say the increase in residential power demand due to the pandemic has amplified the need for affordable energy and a reliable, resilient energy grid. (Daily Energy Insider)
• A former California public utility regulator says the state’s attorney general should investigate what led to the state’s grid operator ordering rolling blackouts this summer. (S&P Global)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Ford plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in southeast Michigan to build electric vehicles and EV components. (Detroit News)
• A Turkish electric vehicle parts supplier announces it will open its first North American manufacturing plant in Georgia. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

TRANSPORTATION:
• While hydrogen has struggled to advance as a viable transportation fuel, a policy push in California could help overcome lingering skepticism. (New York Times)
• California legislators are urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to look beyond battery-electric vehicles as the state seeks to decarbonize its transportation sector. (Green Car Congress)

SOLAR: Colorado researchers are finding that solar panels in fields can improve growing conditions for some types of crops, while also protecting them from hail. (Ag Journal)

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POLLUTION: The EPA says large portions of Utah’s Wasatch Front are set to be in compliance with federal standards for fine-particulate pollution after more than a decade of not meeting the standard. (Deseret News)

COMMENTARY:
• Michael Bloomberg writes that President-elect Biden must “take a whole government approach to climate action right from the get-go.” (Bloomberg)
• A pair of health educators propose a Civilian Climate Corps that could simultaneously tackle the pandemic, economy, climate and racial injustice. (The Hill)

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