U.S. Energy News

Profits from gas-guzzlers fueling GM’s electric vehicle ambition

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: General Motors CEO Mary T. Barra says the company’s profits from SUV and pickup truck sales make it “well positioned” to devote more resources to developing electric vehicles. (New York Times)

ALSO: Toyota plans to release two new electric models in the U.S. next year, and estimates 70% of its sales will be electric or hybrid by 2035. (Associated Press)

ELECTRIFICATION:
• To fight electrification measures in California and other states, utility-backed groups are running campaigns to promote gas stoves despite known health hazards. (Mother Jones)
• California officials want to replace millions of gas-fired water heaters with electric to cut emissions and serve as an energy storage resource; a Minnesota cooperative has had a similar program for decades. (Bloomberg, Energy News Network archive)

OIL & GAS: A new report shows that jobs in fracking-intensive counties in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania grew at less than a fifth of the national average, calling into question the robust growth predicted a decade ago. (Ohio River Valley Institute, Inside Climate News)

CLIMATE:
• Plaintiffs in a youth-led climate lawsuit against the federal government will turn to the Supreme Court after a federal circuit court declines to revive the case. (Bloomberg Law)
• Democrats on the House energy committee vow to build on climate legislation developed last year, as Republicans seek more support for communities dependent on fossil fuels. (E&E News)

SOLAR:
• A coalition of homeowners and solar advocates are asking Minnesota lawmakers to support a bill that would block homeowners associations from banning rooftop solar projects. (Energy News Network)
• Advocates and industry groups are pushing for federal support for an effort to install solar on 30 million homes in the next five years. (E&E News, subscription)
• After an uproar from solar developers and the governor, Central Maine Power now says it has a way for faster and cheaper solar hookups after warnings a week ago of cost spikes. (Portland Press Herald)

WIND: Projects in Colorado and New Mexico have helped Xcel Energy to become the second U.S. utility to reach 10,000 MW of wind energy capacity. (Denver Post)

COAL: Indiana lags other states in requiring utilities to remove coal ash from unlined pits, which are contaminating groundwater across the state. (Indianapolis Star)

PUBLIC LANDS: Native American leaders in Montana call on U.S. Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Matt Rosendale to stop “deeply offensive“ criticisms of Interior secretary nominee Deb Haaland. (Montana Standard) 

UTILITIES: FirstEnergy utilities in five states paid $144 million over three years for external affairs support from a company that’s allegedly a key player in Ohio’s power plant subsidy scandal. (Energy and Policy Institute)

COMMENTARY:
• A charging company executive says charging station operators must adopt open standards for the technology to promote greater acceptance and flexibility. (Energy News Network)
• The Press of Atlantic City praises federal agencies for working to allay fears of fishing interests who are concerned about possible adverse impacts of offshore wind on their industry.

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