U.S. Energy News

Renewables beat coal in U.S. for first time in 135 years

RENEWABLES: Federal data shows the U.S. consumed more energy from renewable sources than coal last year, for the first time since 1885. (CNN)

CLIMATE: The United Nations has delayed the COP26 climate summit until November of 2021, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. (Reuters)

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EFFICIENCY:
• A Michigan utility’s latest smart thermostat rebate program is the largest of its kind and will help curtail demand during summer peaks. (Energy News Network)
Ameren Missouri is proposing to offer on-bill financing of energy efficiency upgrades to 1,000 customers with no upfront costs. (Energy News Network)
• Virtual energy efficiency audits are becoming more widespread and will likely continue following the pandemic. (Yale Climate Connections)

MINING: House Republicans introduce a bill to speed U.S. permitting for mining of materials like copper, uranium and cobalt to avoid imports from China. (The Hill)

PIPELINES: A federal appeals court rejects the Trump administration’s request to revive a water crossings permit program for new oil and gas pipelines, which could further delay projects. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES: California regulators unanimously approve PG&E’s bankruptcy plan, increasing the likelihood the utility will meet its June 30 exit deadline. (New York Times)

WIND:
American Electric Power’s major wind project in Oklahoma has received approval in enough states, including Louisiana and Arkansa, that it could move ahead even if Texas regulators reject it. (Greentech Media)
• The Coast Guard agrees with developers of offshore wind farms south of Massachusetts on a proposed turbine layout that eases navigation for commercial vessels and fishermen. (Taunton Daily Gazette)

SOLAR:
• An Oklahoma pipeline operator will add solar power to its natural gas facilities in several states. (Houston Chronicle)
• Solar developers in Massachusetts say emergency rules issued in response to the coronavirus pandemic will have the opposite of their intended effect and curtail development. (Greentech Media)
• The CEO of Navajo Power says a major solar project is key to putting Navajo Nation citizens back to work and creating its clean energy future. (GreenBiz)

COAL: An analyst says New Mexico regulators’ approval of two solar power purchase agreements, at a price much lower than a proposed carbon capture retrofit of coal plant, raises questions over whether the project is viable. (PV Magazine)

ELECTRIFICATION: Policy experts expect more states to pursue laws preventing cities from banning natural gas hookups. (Bloomberg)

BIOFUELS: Iowa’s two senators want clarification from the U.S. FDA on the use of ethanol in hand sanitizer, which has provided producers some revenue as fuel sales dropped dramatically from the pandemic. (Radio Iowa)

TRANSPORTATION: Saudi Arabia’s oil company is working with researchers in Detroit and elsewhere to develop vehicles that can capture their own CO2. (E&E News)

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OIL AND GAS: Key questions remain unanswered in the dismissal of a University of Colorado air quality researcher that activists say was a target of industry pressure. (InsideClimate News)

COMMENTARY: A Minnesota writer explains why anti-racism needs to be at the core of climate action. (The Correspondent)

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