U.S. Energy News

Trump offers rent, royalty breaks for oil and gas drilling on federal land

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)

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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)

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