U.S. Energy News

Scientists: Coronavirus shutdown had ‘negligible’ impact on climate

CLIMATE: Emissions reductions from the coronavirus lockdown will have a “negligible” impact on climate change, according to a new study. (The Guardian)

ALSO: Despite having ambitious climate goals, many Californians still resist zoning changes that could allow denser housing, which advocates say will be key to reducing emissions. (NPR)

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POLITICS: Although President Trump is trailing in polls, oil companies are donating heavily toward his re-election, a departure from more bipartisan giving in past cycles. (Quartz) 

OVERSIGHT:
• The Government Accountability Office finds federal agencies are using outdated standards to evaluate permits for natural gas export facilities. (The Hill)
• FERC Commissioner Bernard McNamee says he will step down in September. (Power Engineering)

UTILITIES: TVA reverses course and rehires 102 workers it let go after President Trump complained it was replacing Americans with foreign workers — a misnomer since the number of employees working on H-1B visas is low. (Washington Post)

EQUITY: A neglected corner in Gary, Indiana, will soon be home to a net-zero affordable housing project that was shaped with input from community members. (Energy News Network)

GRID: A new “virtual power plant” project by three Bay Area electricity providers aims to improve grid reliability and reduce dependence on big utilities. (InsideClimate News)

OHIO:
• Murray Energy is accused in a bankruptcy court filing of not being forthcoming with creditors about its role in a $61 million bribery and racketeering scheme to bail out uneconomic power plants. (Columbus Dispatch)
• Four defendants in the Ohio power plant scandal plead not guilty to federal racketeering charges while former House Speaker Larry Householder is granted a delay to find a new lawyer. (WKSU)

WIND: Maine’s development of floating offshore wind turbines puts it at the forefront of an emerging industry that will be key to tapping energy in the state’s deep coastal waters. (Energy News Network)

SOLAR:
• More Missouri farmers are turning to solar power to help reduce operating costs. (St. Louis Public Radio)
• A 240 MW behind-the-meter solar project, the largest in the U.S., moves forward at a Pueblo, Colorado steel mill. (Mountain Town News)

PIPELINES: Twenty-two Virginia legislators urge Gov. Ralph Northam and health officials to halt construction on the Mountain Valley Pipeline during the pandemic, citing the health risks from an influx of workers. (WFXR)

OIL & GAS: Navajo Nation leaders continue to push the EPA to address a high concentration of methane emissions in northwestern New Mexico. (E&E News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: New Jersey will be offering fewer $5,000 rebates for zero emission vehicles after regulators cut available funds by more than half in response to declining state revenues. (Spotlight NJ)

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ANALYSIS: David Roberts dives deep on the research of Saul Griffith, who says we already have the technology we need to fight climate change. (Vox)

COMMENTARY:
• “Better late than never”: A conservative writer says some Republicans are finally coming to grips with climate change. (New York Times)
• An economist says utility corruption scandals shouldn’t undermine the impact nuclear power could have on reducing emissions. (Forbes)
• North Dakota oil field workers are repurposing their skills as wind turbine technicians, author Bill McKibben writes. (New Yorker)

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