OIL & GAS: The Trump administration is giving companies temporary breaks on royalties and rent for extracting oil and gas on public land. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• In clarifying its decision overturning Washington’s effort to regulate oil trains, the Trump administration says the state can’t use “safety as a pretext for inhibiting market growth.” (DeSmog)
• Microsoft’s recent pledge to go carbon negative ignores the impact of contracts with oil companies for sensors and software to support drilling. (Grist)
• An environmental group in Washington, D.C., sues ExxonMobil for misleading consumers with “false and deceptive” advertising touting clean energy investments. (DeSmog)

***SPONSORED LINK: Applications are now open for the Veterans Advanced Energy Fellowship, a yearlong program for high-performing, high-potential military veterans in advanced energy, presented by the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center. Learn more at www.vetsenergyproject.org/fellowship.***

PIPELINES: Dozens of congressional Democrats support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s attempt to shut down the Dakota Access pipeline while a federal environmental review is completed. (Associated Press)

NATURAL GAS:
• Researchers find exposure to methane from leaking natural gas pipes is killing trees in a Boston-area community. (InsideClimate News)
• Virginia’s build-out of natural gas plants erased its gains from coal retirements as carbon emissions in the state were higher in 2019 than in 2009. (E&E News)

WIND:
As Dominion Energy’s pilot wind project off the coast of Virginia nears completion, the utility plans a major push into offshore wind. (Greentech Media)
• An analysis by New England’s grid operator finds up to 10% of new offshore wind capacity could be curtailed due to transmission constraints. (S&P Global)
• PJM looks for solutions to help offshore wind compete in its capacity market, as states like New Jersey and Maryland look for other options. (Utility Dive)

STORAGE: A new zinc-air battery storage system to be tested in New York is expected to provide better performance than lithium-ion batteries at a fraction of the cost. (Recharge News)

RENEWABLES:
Momentum on corporate renewable energy purchases has slowed due to the pandemic, but it’s expected to rebound with long-term demand. (Utility Dive)
• Five experts share predictions on the future of renewable energy amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Grist)

TRANSPORTATION:
Chicago transit advocates push to ensure system cuts during the pandemic don’t harm workers’ access to jobs or disrupt progress on emission reductions. (Energy News Network)
• New York City subway ridership is growing again but is still a fraction of normal rates; and the city’s transit agency begins using ultraviolet light to disinfect buses and train cars. (New York Daily News, CNN)
• Polls show many Americans plan to avoid transit even as lockdowns are eased, reflecting similar trends in China. (Reuters)

NUCLEAR: The nominee for deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy claims the Trump administration has no plans to use Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste storage site, contradicting a statement he made in February. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

POLICY: Legislation to update Minnesota’s energy efficiency program failed to get a vote at the end of regular session this week, though lawmakers did approve new funding for a solar incentive program. (Energy News Network)

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POLITICS: Corporate lobbyists appointed by Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez blocked a climate-focused presidential debate last year; now a climate activist newly elected to the DNC is looking for a fight. (Sludge, Heated) 

COMMENTARY: The pandemic has led some states to “cynically question the value of efficiency,” says the head of an advanced energy group. (Utility Dive)

Dan Haugen

Dan has two decades' experience working in print, digital and broadcast media. Prior to joining the Energy News Network as managing editor in December 2017, he oversaw watchdog reporting at the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, part of the USA Today Network, and before that spent several years as a freelance journalist covering energy, business and technology. Dan is a former Midwest Energy News journalism fellow and a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communications from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.