U.S. Energy News

Utilities plan to house key workers at power plants during pandemic 

POWER PLANTS:
Utilities plan to house key personnel at power plants to ensure facilities remain online during the coronavirus pandemic. (POWER)
• New Hampshire’s Seabrook nuclear plant is operating with limited staff during the outbreak, with regulators doing some inspections remotely. (Eagle-Tribune)

COAL:
• As coal-fired power plants are shut down for good, companies see opportunity in redeveloping abandoned fossil-fueled sites. (Energy News Network)
• The U.S. coal industry asks for royalty relief, tax cuts and other breaks to help companies weather the economic slowdown from coronavirus. (Associated Press)
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice says coal mining is an “essential” service during the coronavirus pandemic. (Beckley Register-Herald)
A Pennsylvania order to shut down “non-life sustaining” businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic includes the state’s coal mines. (Bloomberg)

CARBON CAPTURE: An energy consultant calls carbon capture projects, including one in North Dakota, that require millions in public funding “expensive greenwashing.” (DeSmog Blog)

OIL & GAS:
Gulf Coast businesses and tourist attractions shut down amid the coronavirus outbreak, reminding some of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (Associated Press)
Gulf Coast state lawmakers ask the Interior Department to temporarily reduce the royalty rates paid by oil and gas companies for offshore drilling. (New York Times)
The Texas Railroad Commission becomes integral to international policy as it weighs whether the state should curb crude oil production. (Bloomberg)

GRID:
• Analysts, traders and economists are already seeing the impact of coronavirus and the accompanying economic slowdown on electricity markets. (E&E News, subscription)
• The power sector, including clean energy, could play a critical role as the world recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, experts say. (Utility Dive)
• Massachusetts finalizes rules for its Clean Peak Standard intended to promote clean energy when electricity production is most expensive. (Greentech Media)

SOLAR: “Sales have dropped to zero.” The coronavirus has hammered the residential solar industry, sowing anxiety among installers. (E&E News, subscription)

BIOFUELS: Ethanol producers consider switching from making fuel to alcohol that can be the basis for sanitizers, though regulatory hurdles remain. (E&E News, subscription)

UTILITIES:
Colorado utilities seeking greater benefits of a regional transmission organization are split between western and eastern energy imbalance markets. (Energy News Network)
• PG&E reaches an agreement with California Gov. Gavin Newsom that paves the way for the utility to emerge from bankruptcy. (New York Times)

POLITICS:
Democrats and advocates want a greener coronavirus stimulus bill that boosts clean energy, but time may be running out. (Washington Post, E&E News)
• The Trump administration does not appear to be slowing down its efforts to roll back environmental regulations amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Grist)

COMMENTARY:
• A new paper suggests that travel is a primary reason why wealthy people use so much more energy than those with less wealth, David Roberts writes. (Vox)
• Leading advocacy groups for the U.S. wind and solar industries submit potential actions for Congress to “keep U.S. workers busy building the clean energy grid of the future.” (American Wind Energy Association)

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