U.S. Energy News

Report predicts strong year for large-scale solar, despite pandemic

SOLAR: A report projects U.S. solar installations will grow by 33% this year despite the pandemic, but that residential installations will still decline. (Greentech Media)

ALSO: After building momentum over the past two years, Illinois’ solar industry is quickly falling off due to the pandemic and a lack of state funding for key programs. (E&E News, subscription)

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POLLUTION:
• Efforts to advance environmental justice policy in Congress are still falling short, despite civil rights protests around the country. (E&E News)
• A third lawsuit is emerging over the Trump administration’s weakening of environmental enforcement in response to the coronavirus pandemic. (The Hill)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Tesla’s stock price hits a new high; meanwhile, more employees at its reopened California plant test positive for COVID-19. (The Verge)
• A used electric vehicle dealer in Minnesota says sales dropped off at the start of the pandemic and it’s been much harder to reach customers who aren’t already motivated to buy an electric vehicle. (Energy News Network)
• Tesla, Volkswagen and Ford each signal plans to build bigger, cargo-hauling electric vehicles. (E&E News, subscription)

COAL:
• The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts a 25% drop in U.S. coal production this year. (S&P Global)
• West Virginia residents and conservation groups tell environmental regulators they’re worried about water pollution if a coal company is allowed to begin operating a former mine again. (WVPB) 

OIL & GAS:
Colorado regulators adopt new rules to protect groundwater from drilling operations that are believed to be the strictest in the country. (Colorado Sun)
A Colorado environmental group drops its plans to place an anti-fracking measure on the state’s November ballot, citing the coronavirus pandemic. (Reuters)
A Western advocacy group says the BLM’s decision to award energy companies breaks on oil and gas extraction payments shows that “royalty dodgers” are allowed to benefit at the expense of local and state governments dependent on natural resource revenues. (Associated Press)

EFFICIENCY: New Jersey regulators approve a new efficiency program that moves the state from being a laggard to one of the most aggressive in the country. (NJ Spotlight)

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GRID: A report from New York’s grid operator highlights the challenges of building transmission to carry output from both onshore and offshore wind. (Greentech Media)

COMMENTARY: Expanded tax credits for renewable energy, stronger energy efficiency programs and building electric vehicle infrastructure are ways to boost clean energy jobs in response to the pandemic, advocates say. (Environmental Defense Fund)

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