U.S. Energy News

Scandals show how utilities use political power to protect profits

UTILITIES: The recent bribery scandals unfolding in Ohio and Illinois illustrate how utilities routinely use power to shield themselves from business risk. (InsideClimate News)

ALSO:
North Carolina clean energy advocates say they will drop their opposition to half of Duke Energy’s grid improvement plan if the utility agrees to consider climate change in future grid planning. (Energy News Network)
A Maine lawmaker amends his proposal to create a public utility in the state, instead advancing a bill to convene a task force to study the issue. (Bangor Daily News)
California utility PG&E tells a federal judge that the transmission line that started a deadly 2018 wildfire could still be a hazard despite being shut off. (San Francisco Chronicle)

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CLIMATE:
Experts fear that a Trump re-election could set global climate efforts back a decade or more, as the president continues to tout his “energy dominance” policy of cutting regulations. (The Guardian, Associated Press)
Joe Biden’s $2 trillion clean energy proposal will face challenges from local opposition to wind and solar projects. (The Guardian)
Federal data shows renewable energy sources provided more than 25% of U.S. electricity in the first five months of 2020. (Renewables Now)

COAL:
Previous alliances between the coal mining industry and coal-burning utilities are beginning to diverge. (New Republic)
A year after miners’ Blackjewel coal train blockade, a journalist looks back at the protest and what’s happened since. (Ohio Valley Resource) 

PIPELINES: An environmental group’s “homegrown legal strategy” and constant opposition from residents along the planned route played major roles in stopping the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

NUCLEAR:
The Department of Energy is seeking proposals to build nuclear reactors on the moon and Mars. (Associated Press)
Industry proponents are looking at applications for nuclear power beyond large-scale power plants. (Forbes)

HYDROGEN: NextEra plans to build a $65 million hydrogen power pilot project in Florida that will use a 20 MW electrolyzer to produce 100% green hydrogen from solar power instead of natural gas. (Greentech Media)

STORAGE: A New Hampshire utility’s energy storage pilot program could have implications for how the technology is implemented elsewhere. (Energy News Network)

EFFICIENCY: An Illinois program to help older residents install energy efficient technology and provide job training for young adults will operate virtually until a new launch date in January. (Energy News Network)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES: General Motors previews plans to launch a full-size electric pickup truck with 400-plus miles of range. (Business Insider)

COMMENTARY:
• Climate policy expert Rhiana Gunn-Wright explains how the coronavirus pandemic is making it easier to talk about climate change. (New York Times)
• The Audubon Society says the Trump administration’s regulatory rollbacks make it harder to develop offshore wind responsibly. (The Hill)

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