U.S. Energy News

Trump, Biden show stark contrast on climate in California visits

POLITICS: In visits to fire-ravaged California, President Trump casts doubt on climate science and insists without evidence that “it’ll start getting cooler,” while Joe Biden says the president’s climate denial “fails the most basic duty to a nation.” (Los Angeles Times, InsideClimate News)

CLIMATE:
• Connecticut sues ExxonMobil, arguing the oil giant misled the public for decades on climate change, joining more than a dozen other states and municipalities that have filed similar lawsuits. (Washington Post)
• Facebook announces it is launching a new science information center but will not revisit editorial policies that have allowed climate misinformation to flourish on its platform. (NBC News)

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OVERSIGHT:
• A coalition of 24 states and municipalities sues the EPA over its decision to roll back restrictions on methane emissions. (E&E News)
• Critics say a new EPA rule requiring public input on guidance documents will make it easier to dismantle regulations, but some legal scholars say the change could harm businesses. (The Hill, Bloomberg Law)
• Current and former EPA staff say a recent Trump administration memo outlining new restrictions on enforcement reflects a far-right ideology and presumes the agency acts in bad faith. (E&E News)
• A Democratic senator calls for an investigation into the EPA’s use of political appointees in legal proceedings. (The Hill)

EQUITY: Utilities’ corporate vows to fight for racial and social equity are being tested as states lift consumer protections barring service disconnections. (E&E News) 

SOLAR:
Critics say a Michigan utility has failed to provide data justifying its proposal to significantly reduce compensation for customers who send excess solar power back to the grid. (Energy News Network)
• Virginia leaps into the top 10 in an annual ranking of K-12 school solar capacity following several years of policy progress. (Energy News Network)

GRID:
• The Southwest Power Pool and Midcontinent Independent System Operator announce a yearlong study to improve coordination along the “seam” where their grid boundaries interconnect. (Arkansas Business)
• California utility PG&E says it mistakenly directed a 400 MW power plant to scale back at the height of rolling blackouts in mid-August. (San Francisco Chronicle)

COAL: Peabody Energy announces the termination of its chief operating officer amid a particularly rough stretch for the coal industry. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

OIL & GAS:
• The U.S. EPA denies ethanol blending waivers to a group of petroleum refiners in 14 states after offering the industry exemptions for years. (Associated Press)
• Pennsylvania reports drillers extracted a record amount of natural gas last year, nearly 10% more than in 2018. (StateImpact Pennsylvania)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Massachusetts transit officials say five electric buses put into service last year do not run as far as predicted and take too long to recharge. (CommonWealth Magazine)

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NUCLEAR: Federal officials extend the license of the Seabrook nuclear plant in New Hampshire with additional conditions to monitor and maintain deteriorating concrete at the facility. (Seacoastonline)

COMMENTARY:
• The Los Angeles Times editorial board says “Trump’s myopic focus on forest management misses the big picture” of climate change’s role in wildfires.
• Hurricane Laura was a toxic harbinger of climate disasters to come, writes a director at the nonprofit Institute for Southern Studies. (Louisiana Weekly)
• Ohio regulators should intervene to root out the “deception and nonsense” at the heart of HB 6, an editorial board says. (Columbus Dispatch)

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