U.S. Energy News

Trump administration floats federal bailout for oil and gas industry

OIL & GAS: The Trump administration is strongly considering a federal bailout for oil and gas companies affected by plummeting prices amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to people familiar with the deliberations. (Washington Post)

UTILITIES: As utilities and grid operators restrict employee travel, a report warns electric utilities to prepare to operate with up to 40% of their workforce out sick or quarantined due to the coronavirus outbreak. (S&P Global)

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EMISSIONS:
• Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signs an executive order “taking the boldest actions available” to lower emissions after the state’s legislative session abruptly ends in the wake of a Republican walkout. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)
Duke Energy, Dominion Energy and Southern Company are undermining their clean energy goals by investing in natural gas and likely won’t meet emissions targets, an energy research firm report says. (Utility Dive)

SOLAR:
• Coronavirus-related supply chain delays may force U.S. solar companies to choose between running down their module supply stored in warehouses or backing out of some projects through force majeure claims. (Greentech Media)
• Solar jobs increased slightly in Massachusetts last year, but growth was small compared to neighboring states, which advocates say is due to uncertainty over state policy. (Energy News Network)
• A unique Ohio solar project will direct hundreds of thousands of dollars from electricity sales to a nearby low-income community. (Energy News Network)

STORAGE:
• The U.S. energy storage industry capped off its biggest year of installations with its largest single quarter, according to a new report. (Greentech Media)
Wind farm developers are increasingly looking to incorporate on-site energy storage as they repower aging projects. (Greentech Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
California utilities are concerned that a transport electrification plan proposed by state regulators could actually slow progress on electric vehicles. (Utility Dive)
• Tesla is scouting for locations in the central United States to build a new factory for the company’s electric pickup truck. (Reuters)

COAL:
The economics of coal are declining sharply as financiers and insurance companies abandon the industry in the face of shrinking demand, cheaper renewables and pressure from climate campaigners. (Yale Environment 360)
• Indiana lawmakers pass a bill extending the life of the state’s coal plants for a year while requiring regulators to examine proposed closures. (Indianapolis Star)
• Foresight Energy files for bankruptcy, joining its parent company Murray Energy in efforts to restructure amid industry decline. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
The 2020 West Virginia legislative session ends with no new legislation addressing black lung benefits. (WVPB) 

GRID:
• Colorado’s top utility regulator says distributed energy and non-wires alternatives have a role to play in the state’s climate efforts. (Utility Dive)
California’s largest ports are turning to microgrids for energy security and demand flexibility. (Greentech Media)

TRANSMISSION: The Maine Ethics Commission will investigate whether a group opposing a hydropower transmission line should be required to disclose its donors. (Portland Press Herald)

PIPELINES: A federal judge sides with Atlantic Coast Pipeline developers in a lawsuit with Nelson County, Virginia, over federal permits for the project. (Courthouse News Service) 

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CLIMATE:
• The United Nations warns that the world is “way off track” for addressing the climate emergency and that time is running out. (The Guardian)
Climate is a top priority of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, but its investment portfolio includes millions of shares in companies that burn coal and transport oil. (Vice)
• The world’s response to coronavirus shows that we are capable of taking the kind of swift action needed for climate change, an advocate says. (Fast Company)

COMMENTARY: An energy researcher describes the nexus between natural disasters and energy in Puerto Rico and concludes that an effective disaster response should include solar and energy storage. (Energy News Network)

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