U.S. Energy News

Report: Clear skies give a hint of electric vehicle future

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Air quality during the pandemic is giving the country a futuristic glimpse of the clearer skies that could come with an electric vehicle fleet, a NOAA study finds. (Reuters) 

ALSO:
• Auto industry turmoil brought on by the pandemic could end up being a good thing for electric car startups like Byton and Lucid, experts say. (New York Times)
• Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he spoke with Tesla CEO Elon Musk about moving the company’s headquarters to the state due to his frustrations over California’s rules during the pandemic. (Reuters)
Tesla completely reopens its Nevada Gigafactory, where it makes batteries for its electric cars and energy storage products, as well as parts for the Model 3. (Verge)

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UTILITIES:
Critics of Maine’s investor-owned utilities see a state takeover of the electric grid as a way to boost renewables and reliability. (Energy News Network)
• Duke Energy’s CEO says the utility still plans to add 8 GW of renewables by 2025 despite the pandemic reducing demand and forcing budget cuts. (Greentech Media)
Ameren tells investors it is “transitioning to a cleaner generation profile” that includes adding 700 MW of wind while bringing coal down to 8% of its rate base by 2024. (S&P Global)

RENEWABLES:
• The short-term prospects for wind and solar look rocky, but renewables could emerge stronger than ever after the pandemic, experts say. (Yale Environment 360)
• Renewables are expected to overtake coal in U.S. power generation earlier than expected as demand shrinks due to the pandemic and natural gas prices remain cheap. (InsideClimate News)
• Engie says it plans to ramp up investments in U.S. batteries, hybrid renewables and offshore wind. (Greentech Media)
• Massachusetts’ attorney general says the state should invest in renewable energy to recover from Covid-19 as air pollution increases the impact of the disease on disadvantaged communities of color. (Boston Globe)

OFFSHORE WIND: Analysts say a ruling by federal regulators impacting the price of renewable energy in PJM makes offshore wind inclusion in the capacity market “virtually impossible.”  (E&E News, subscription required)

OIL & GAS:
• The Trump administration says the oil industry is in a “transition to greatness,” but several reports indicate otherwise. (E&E News, subscription required)
• BP CEO Bernard Looney is the latest oil company leader to predict that oil might never fully recover after the coronavirus pandemic. (Axios)
• See also: jet fuel. A researcher at Goldman Sachs says business travel, and demand for jet fuel along with it, may never fully rebound either. (CNBC)
• Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette says the Trump administration asked the Federal Reserve to modify its Main Street Lending Program to include mid-size companies in order to help struggling oil firms. (Bloomberg Law)

EFFICIENCY: St. Louis leads the Midwest with a new energy performance standard that requires large buildings to meet various efficiency targets. (Smart Cities Dive)

OVERSIGHT: President Trump is now two seats short of a Republican majority on the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a reliably pro-environment appellate court that has handed his administration defeats on important cases. (InsideClimate News)

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CLIMATE: Oil industry climate pledges aren’t coming anywhere close to meeting the Paris Agreement, a new analysis from an investor group shows. (Earther)

COMMENTARY:
• The U.S. could create green jobs in oilfields by paying oil workers to clean up extraction sites and capture carbon, a writer says. (New Republic)
• Coal companies shouldn’t be receiving federal money meant to help small businesses to survive during the pandemic, a writer says. (Electrek) 

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