U.S. Energy News

‘Uncharted territory’ as oil prices continue to slide

OIL & GAS: Oil prices continue to fall this morning after plummeting into “completely uncharted territory” on Monday, with crude futures trading for as low as negative $37 per barrel Monday. (Washington Post, E&E News)

ALSO:
• The reason: oil is still being pumped out of the ground despite plunging demand, and we’re running out of places to physically store it. (Slate)
“This is a great time to buy oil,” President Trump said Monday night at a coronavirus task force news briefing. (NBC News)
• The main source of funding to study the ongoing fallout from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill is set to expire by the end of this year. (Earther)

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POLLUTION: An annual report from the American Lung Association finds several California cities had the worst air quality in the U.S. from 2016-2018, making residents more vulnerable to coronavirus. (San Francisco Chronicle)

SOLAR:
• Addressing the solar industry’s diversity problem has become even harder because of the threat of the coronavirus pandemic. (HuffPost)
• General Motors plans to offset all of its power usage at its southeastern Michigan facilities in three years with wind and solar. (Detroit Free Press)
• A dark money group files a fast-track petition with federal regulators that could lay the groundwork to undermine state control over net metering. (Energy News Network archive, Greentech Media)
• Solar and storage company SunPower suspends all manufacturing and cuts hours for thousands of workers due to the pandemic. (Greentech Media) 

WIND:
• Vestas announces 400 job cuts, mostly in Denmark, but says it will continue delivering turbines to U.S. customers through 2020. (Greentech Media)
• More than 100 people associated with a North Dakota wind turbine factory have tested positive for COVID-19. (Reuters)
A major Southeastern wind project faces a challenge from Texas regulators, but developers say it may not require approval from all states involved. (S&P Global)

CLEAN ENERGY:
Experts are divided over whether Monday’s oil price collapse will have a long-term impact on the adoption of clean energy. (Los Angeles Times)
New York’s state energy authority is working on plans to jump-start the state’s clean energy sector after the coronavirus shutdown. (Politico)

PIPELINES:
• A stream crossing permit for the Mountain Valley Pipeline could stay on hold even longer depending on a ruling over Keystone XL pipeline. (Roanoke Times)
Two environmental groups file a federal lawsuit aiming to stop a proposed underground natural gas pipeline from Idaho to Wyoming, citing threats to wildlife. (Associated Press)

COAL: Citigroup says it will stop providing financial services to thermal coal-mining companies over the next decade. (Bloomberg)

CLIMATE:
• A New York City environmental justice group says COVID-19 underscores the vulnerability of low-income communities to emissions and the effects of climate change. (Politico)
Youth activists pressure Southeastern mayors to take action on renewable energy and climate change. (Sierra Magazine)

BIOGAS: A Wisconsin company is the first to join a new renewable gas tracking system that could help monetize the environmental benefits of captured methane. (Energy News Network)

BIOFUELS: More ethanol plants are trying to make up for lost demand by selling alcohol used in hand sanitizer, but most won’t be able to offset losses. (Reuters)

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TECHNOLOGY: Several utilities are using artificial intelligence and machine learning to address changes in energy usage as a result of shelter-in-place directives. (Venture Beat)

COMMENTARY:
• The oil and gas industry was already in long-term decline before the pandemic, and President Trump and Republicans appear likely to waste billions of stimulus dollars slowing the transition to clean energy, David Roberts writes. (Vox)
• Excluding clean energy from stimulus funding during the coronavirus economic downturn is “bad for jobs, veterans, and national security,” says the founder of the Veterans Advanced Energy Project. (Energy News Network)

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