U.S. Energy News

Trump launches lame-duck fight over Arctic drilling  

OIL & GAS: The Trump administration proposes a rule that would limit large banks from pulling their financing from Arctic oil and gas projects after several banks announced policies prohibiting such investments. (Anchorage Daily News)

ALSO:
• President-elect Biden faces several obstacles to fulfilling his pledge to permanently protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from drilling. (The Hill)
• An oil and gas analyst says the industry is “cautiously positive” about the impact of President-elect Biden and notes that a president who manages a gradual shift from oil might be better for business in the medium term compared to President Trump’s climate denialism. (NPR)

PUBLIC LANDS: The New Mexico congresswoman reportedly being considered for Interior Secretary under President-elect Joe Biden says leasing practices for federal lands need to change to encourage more clean energy. (S&P Global)

OHIO: Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Chairman Sam Randazzo resigns days after the FBI searched his home as part of an investigation into the state’s power plant subsidy law bribery scandal. (Cleveland.com)

POLITICS:
• An Indiana legislative task force’s report appears to lay the groundwork for justifying power-plant bailouts similar to those in Ohio and Illinois, despite assurances from state regulators and the region’s grid operator that coal plant closures do not pose a threat to grid reliability. (Energy News Network)
• In addition to determining the balance of the U.S. Senate, January’s runoff election in Georgia has high stakes for the state’s energy future, with two seats on Georgia’s Public Service Commission also on the ballot. (The Intercept)

FINANCING:
• A Connecticut green bank is among a growing list of lenders offering retroactive energy efficiency loans as a way to help business owners free up capital during the pandemic. (Energy News Network)
• A first-of-its-kind clean energy fund created by Portland, Oregon, voters prioritizes grants to people of color and those with low income to offset “centuries of underinvestment” in those communities. (NPR)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• General Motors says a pending breakthrough will make the cost of an electric vehicle equal to internal combustion models within five years and also increase vehicles’ range per charge. (Associated Press)
• A lame-duck session of the Pennsylvania House passes an annual fee for owners of hybrid and electric vehicles. (Associated Press)
• Massachusetts voters this month approved a referendum that requires automakers to give owners and repair shops access to wireless data that could make repairs to Teslas easier and quicker. (Grist)

UTILITIES: Entergy used an undercover consultant to covertly advocate for its interests in electricity grid stakeholder meetings, public records reveal. (Energy and Policy Institute)

COAL: Colorado air quality regulators move to order three coal-fired power plants to close by the end of 2028, sooner than their owners have said they would voluntarily retire them. (Colorado Sun)

POLICY: After four years of attacks by President Trump, Californians expect to play an influential role in shaping policy under President-elect Biden, including on climate and equity issues. (Bloomberg Law)

TECHNOLOGY:
• Federal regulators propose a rule that could help grid operators use high-performance computing and artificial intelligence to squeeze more capacity out of existing lines. (E&E News, subscription)
• A Sandia National Laboratories researcher develops a solar panel component that prevents arc-faults from igniting electrical fires. (Solar Power World)

CLIMATE: The pandemic’s impact on climate-changing pollution was virtually meaningless — “just a tiny blip” — according to a new report. (HuffPost)

COMMENTARY:
• The attempt to overrule banks’ decisions on Arctic oil and gas development is the Trump administration’s latest lame duck move to fast-track drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Emily Atkin writes. (Heated)
• A columnist says a decades-long practice of approving carrots over sticks on federal energy policy is likely to continue under President-elect Biden. (Axios)
• A pair of former directors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the National Institutes of Health needs a division focused on climate. (Scientific American)
• A new campaign targets the public relations agencies that have helped the fossil fuel industry spread propaganda, Bill McKibben writes. (New Yorker)

Comments are closed.