U.S. Energy News

Secret agreement helps builders block energy efficiency rules

BUILDINGS: A secret agreement has made it easier for the nation’s homebuilders to block building code changes meant to address climate change, according to documents. (New York Times)

UTILITIES: Activists say transitioning utilities to public ownership could help lay the groundwork for a renewable, just future. (Teen Vogue)

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COAL ASH: Attorneys representing coal ash cleanup workers who got sick or died from exposure to toxins say they have been unable to reach a settlement with a TVA contractor nearly a year after a jury decision in their favor. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

• Virginia regulators create a toolkit for solar developers on how to incorporate pollinator-friendly habitats by growing native vegetation. (Energy News Network)
• Washington, D.C., grapples with how to incorporate solar panels into historic neighborhoods as the city looks to ramp up renewables. (E&E News, subscription)
• Tesla re-releases its solar roofing product, featuring larger tiles, higher power density, new materials, simpler designs and a 25-year warranty. (Quartz)

WIND: As offshore wind farm proposals pile up, supporters wonder how much a federal permitting delay is due to “simple incompetence” versus President Trump’s “general desire to impede offshore wind.” (Axios)

• The oil and gas industry is gearing up to fight Sen. Chuck Schumer’s plan to boost electric vehicle sales with trade-in vouchers. (E&E News, subscription)
• Two Connecticut auto industry leaders say the state’s goal of 500,000 electric vehicles by 2030 is unattainable. (New Haven Register)

GRID: Michigan utility regulators aim for “action” over “fancy reports” with a new initiative meant to prepare the state’s electric grid for more distributed generation. (Energy News Network)

• A Massachusetts agency opens a new investigation into a series of natural gas line explosions that killed a person in 2018. (Associated Press)
• Plans for a new gas-fired power plant in Connecticut have become a flashpoint in the state’s debate over climate change. (CT Mirror)

Providence, Rhode Island unveils a climate justice plan that aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 while ensuring resources are targeted to “frontline communities.” (Providence Journal)
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the state’s environment department are voicing opposition to the Trump administration’s methane rules reversal. (New Mexico Political Report)
Boulder County, Colorado’s carbon capture and sequestration project achieved little success in its first year. (Denver Post)

• Sen. Ed Markey, a Green New Deal co-sponsor, returned $46,900 in donations after violating a pledge to reject fossil fuel industry money. (HuffPost)
• Sen. Mike Braun, a co-founder of a new bipartisan climate caucus, has accepted tens of thousands of dollars in donations from oil and gas interests. (Sludge)
• A former FERC commissioner says she worries the panel is downplaying climate as a result of President Trump’s policies. (StateImpact Pennsylvania)

Documents show fossil fuel companies spent thousands to lobby Black community leaders in Oakland to support a proposed coal export terminal. (The Guardian)
• As rural Kentucky coal communities suffer from floods and extreme weather related to climate change, the state’s leaders continue to prop up the coal industry. (Center for Public Integrity, Mother Jones) 

OFFSHORE DRILLING: A clear majority of Americans say oil and gas drilling off the coasts and on public lands should decrease or remain at current levels, according to a news organization poll. (Washington Post)

FINANCE: As other states adopt property assessed clean energy financing, officials with Connecticut’s Green Bank worry the state could lose its edge. (Hartford Business Journal)

More than 2 million PG&E customers in Northern California are in the dark for several days from the utility’s largest planned power outage to date. (East Bay Times)
California Gov. Gavin Newsom calls on Warren Buffet to buy the bankrupt utility, while a number of cities and counties are considering transitioning to public power. (Sacramento Bee)
Experts say electric companies cannot entirely blame climate change for California’s wildfires — more people moving into forested areas and an outmoded power grid also increase fire risk. (E&E News)

PUBLIC LANDS: Environmental groups say they will challenge the Interior Department’s planned lease sale in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by year’s end in federal court. (Associated Press)

• Sen. Schumer’s electric vehicle plan won’t solve climate change or ensure equity unless it’s paired with public transit investments, a writer says. (Earther)
• A hiking enthusiast says a proposed hydropower transmission line “is not the threat to Maine’s wilderness that opponents claim.” (Portland Press Herald)
• A podcast explores how oil-backed groups are fighting utility electric vehicle plans, similar to the lobbying campaign against California’s auto regulations in the 1990s. (Greentech Media)

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