U.S. Energy News

The pandemic emissions plunge won’t stop climate change

CLIMATE: Even if the coronavirus pandemic causes the biggest yearly drop in carbon emissions since World War II, it won’t be enough to stop climate change, says the World Meteorological Organization, which urged governments to integrate climate action into recovery plans. (Reuters)

ALSO:
• UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres says the world must not forget that climate changes is an “even deeper emergency” than the pandemic. (BBC)
• Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg says the world needs to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and climate change together. (Reuters)

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SUSTAINABILITY: Engineered wood, which has lower carbon emissions than other construction techniques, has become a more common material in large-scale projects in New England over the past three years. (Energy News Network)

OFFSHORE WIND:
• A federal regulator says despite an office shutdown caused by COVID-19, a wider study of the Vineyard Wind project is still expected to be finished by December. (National Fisherman)
• Components for Dominion Energy’s wind project off the coast of Virginia ship from Europe, with construction expected to begin this spring. (Virginia Business)

WIND:
• A group of researchers is
studying the potential of rooftop energy that combines small wind turbines and solar panels. (Scientific American)
Almost all of the nearly 1,300 MW of new capacity added in grid operator MISO’s territory since mid-March has been wind power. (S&P Global)

SOLAR:
• Smaller manufacturers face an uncertain future as the coronavirus continues to take a toll on the solar supply chain and module prices. (Greentech Media)
• A North Carolina solar company works with mortgage lenders to let customers include solar panels in home refinancing. (Solar Power World)
Smog-free skies help to produce record solar output in Germany. (Bloomberg)

TECHNOLOGY: As fossil fuel companies increasingly use software to maximize production, big questions are emerging about the responsibility of tech companies for how their products are used. (Drilled)

CLEAN ENERGY:
Former presidential candidate Tom Steyer says clean energy investments will be integral to U.S. economic recovery from the pandemic. (Los Angeles Times)
EDF Renewables is betting big on the future of small-scale, distributed energy with a series of U.S. acquisitions. (Greentech Media)

EMISSIONS: Harvard University vows to divest from fossil fuels and achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. (Bloomberg)

TRANSPORTATION: New Jersey’s Rate Counsel says the state’s electricity customers should not pay for building out electric vehicle charging infrastructure that will be operated by a competitive market. (NJ Spotlight)

OIL & GAS:
• Across the country, oil companies are laying off workers and shutting down wells in preparation for a prolonged price slump. (New York Times)
• A small group of Democrats, including Texas Rep. Lizzie Fletcher, want to help President Trump and Republicans bail out the oil industry. (Sludge)
• Texas regulators ask staff to consult with the attorney general on whether a cap on oil production would hold up in court. (Dallas Morning News)
Six Native American tribes have sued the Trump administration to stop billions of dollars in coronavirus emergency funds from going to for-profit entities, including fossil fuel developers in Alaska. (InsideClimate News)

PIPELINES: A recent court ruling that halted Keystone XL pipeline construction could affect other U.S. oil and gas pipeline projects, energy analysts say. (E&E News, subscription)

BIOFUELS: Nearly 30% of U.S. biofuel plants have idled as gasoline demand nosedives during the pandemic. (Star Tribune)

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POLITICS:
• An Indiana coal mining company with ties to former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt receives a $10 million federal loan as part of small-business relief from COVID-19. (Washington Post)
• Washington Gov. Jay Inslee endorses Joe Biden, citing private conversations with the candidate on climate policy. (New York Times)

COMMENTARY: “I’m angry,” writes a climate scientist, at the very idea that there might be a silver lining for the environment from the human suffering created by the coronavirus pandemic. “There is not.” (Drilled)

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