Scientists denounce ‘crazy’ EPA rollback as methane emissions rise

OIL & GAS: The Trump administration formally rolls back EPA methane rules, essentially absolving oil companies of the responsibility to detect and repair leaks, as scientists warn methane emissions are already undercounted. (New York Times)

ALSO:
• “We are effectively telling the world we don’t care about climate change”: scientists react to Trump’s rollback, and environmental groups threaten to sue. (InsideClimate News)
• While major oil companies opposed the rule change, it is expected to benefit smaller producers who won’t need to invest in new equipment. (Forbes)
• Congressional Democrats introduce a bill that would require gas companies to report major leaks and create financial penalties. (The Hill)
• During a visit to Colorado this week, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said renewable energy is “dependent” on natural gas. (Denver Post)

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SOLAR: The solar industry appears to be recovering rapidly after a nosedive in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. (E&E News)

COAL:
U.S. Attorney General William Barr says he will be “taking a look” at the Federal Trade Commissions rejection of a joint venture between two of Wyoming’s largest coal operators. (Casper Star-Tribune)
• Illinois environmental and community groups say proposed statewide coal ash regulations are far too lax to protect water, communities and workers. (Energy News Network)

OHIO:
• The Ohio House of Representatives withholds dozens of records from federal investigators and the public involving a law at the center of a bribery scandal, citing attorney-client privilege. (Cleveland.com)
• The Ohio power plant bailout bribery scandal is a rare instance where federal prosecutors have brought criminal charges against people associated with “dark money” political groups. (E&E News, subscription)

PIPELINES: For the first time, Michigan tribes will have a chance to formally assert their treaty rights in a case before state regulators involving relocating the Line 5 pipeline into a tunnel. (MiBiz)

TRANSMISSION: Maine’s top court rules a ballot referendum aimed to stop a transmission line to import Canadain hydropower is unconstitutional. (Maine Public)

TRANSPORTATION:
• German automaker Daimler agrees to pay $2.2 billion to settle accusations that some of its cars and vans sold in the U.S. were programmed to cheat on emissions tests. (New York Times)
• The International Energy Agency says air travel is recovering more slowly than expected. (New York Times)

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MEDIA: Facebook tells Democratic senators that it will continue to allow misinformation on climate change as long as it is “clear opinion content” that it exempts from fact-checking. (The Verge)

COMMENTARY:
• Clean energy can support indoor farming’s growth by lowering costs and carbon emissions, while cannabis cultivation can be one of the first markets to deploy the technologies, energy efficiency advocates say. (Energy News Network)
An energy analyst laments the lack of progress on microgrid deployments in California as the new fire season begins. (GreenBiz)

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