U.S. Energy News

Trump races the clock to weaken environmental rules

TRANSITION: The Trump administration is scrambling to weaken environmental protections before the inauguration, with advocates warning of “other disruptive executive actions” in Trump’s final days as president. (The Hill)

ALSO:
Details have not yet emerged on President-elect Biden’s plans for oil and gas activity on federal land. (E&E News)
• Climate advocates hope the Biden administration will return the Bureau of Land Management headquarters to Washington, D.C. (E&E News)

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CLIMATE:
• Two U.S. oil and gas companies announce plans for reaching net-zero emissions, but neither seem to be taking steps toward developing renewable energy. (InsideClimate News)
• Former FERC chair Neil Chatterjee says it was a “mistake” not to give states a more prominent role in carbon pricing discussions. (Utility Dive)
• A draft of Maine’s new climate plan calls for 100% of car sales in the state to be electric by 2050, rapid increases in weatherization and heat pump installations, and other measures. (Bangor Daily News)
Down-ballot results from last week’s Western elections could have significant climate and environmental impacts. (Los Angeles Times)

SOLAR:
A bipartisan House bill would make it easier for solar companies to take advantage of the Investment Tax Credit. (The Hill)
The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians seeks to ramp up solar installations at its northern Minnesota reservation while hopefully serving as a model for other tribes, officials say. (Energy News Network)

CLEAN ENERGY:
Mayors in Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia call for a “Marshall Plan for Middle America” to replace 100,000 fossil fuel jobs in the Ohio River Valley with climate-friendly industry. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Tri-State Generation & Transmission announces plans to reduce emissions associated with its Colorado wholesale electricity sales by 80% by 2030. (Craig Daily Press)

HYDROPOWER: Under a unique purchase agreement, 21 public utilities in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont agree to buy power from dams on the Connecticut River to displace natural gas. (Salem News)

PIPELINES:
Two Minnesota agencies approve key permits for the Line 3 pipeline reroute and expansion, and labor officials say construction could begin as early as next month after a few remaining permits are secured. (MPR News)
A circuit court judge orders tree sitters blocking the Mountain Valley Pipeline to leave a southwestern Virginia encampment they have occupied for more than two years. (Roanoke Times)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Ford unveils the electric version of its Transit cargo van, promising business customers in particular lower long-term operational costs. (Detroit News)
• A new study finds that rural drivers could save more than $1,900 per year by switching from gasoline to electric. (Union of Concerned Scientists)
Colorado regulators are considering Xcel Energy’s proposal to spend $102 million over three years to increase the number of electric vehicles on the state’s roads. (Denver Post)

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BIOFUEL: A downturn in the restaurant industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic is reducing the availability of used fryer oil — a key feedstock for biodiesel refineries. (Bloomberg)

COMMENTARY:
Military spending could provide the Biden administration a quick way to make progress on clean energy. (Quartz)
• A legal scholar warns that presidential executive orders can sometimes take a year or more to finalize. (Bloomberg)

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