U.S. Energy News

Utilities reconsider campaign donations in wake of Capitol riot

POLITICS: Utilities join other companies in suspending political contributions and condemning efforts to overturn the election results following last week’s failed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. (E&E News, subscription)

OIL & GAS:
• The Trump administration finalizes a rule that would make it more difficult for banks to refuse to finance controversial oil and gas projects, with some Republicans comparing the practice to racial discrimination in housing. (E&E News)
• A new Interior Department rule would lower the royalties oil and gas companies are required to pay for drilling on public lands. (The Hill)

EQUITY: Legislation in Oregon, Illinois and other states could provide a template for environmental justice policy at the federal level. (Inside Climate News)

CLIMATE:
• A new survey finds a majority of voters say addressing climate change and advancing clean energy should be high priorities for the federal government. (New York Times)
• Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker vetoes a comprehensive climate roadmap bill, saying its efficiency requirements would have burdened the housing sector and that the bill lacked tools for localities to address environmental justice issues. (Masslive.com)
• Colorado Gov. Jared Polis reveals a new plan to reduce greenhouse gas pollution with a goal of reaching 100% renewable energy by 2040, but critics say the roadmap is still not specific enough. (CBS Denver, Colorado Sun)
• Minnesota is falling further behind on its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets largely because of increased natural gas usage and transportation emissions. (Star Tribune)

TRANSPORTATION:
• Toyota is set to pay a $180 million fine for longstanding Clean Air Act violations and failing to report defects that interfered with how cars control tailpipe emissions. (New York Times)
• A coalition of 20 advocacy groups press Virginia lawmakers to build on last year’s sweeping Clean Economy Act by directing automakers to deliver more fuel-efficient and electric vehicles. (Energy News Network)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Tesla’s dominance in the electric vehicle market is threatened as major automakers like Ford and Volkswagen unveil new models. (New York Times)
• BMW announces plans to double its sales of electric vehicles by 2021. (Reuters)

COAL:
• Kentucky residents worry that bankrupt coal operator Blackjewel may abandon many of its unreclaimed surface mines, leaving a massive environmental mess for taxpayers and communities. (Lexington Herald-Leader)
• A new report says the cost of reclaiming nearly half a million acres of mined land in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia and Tennessee may amount to $6 billion — more than twice than the $2.5 billion available in bonds for cleanup. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

STORAGE: Connecticut regulators propose a home battery storage program that would help the state reach its goal of 580 MW by 2030. (Energy News Network)

WIND: The developer of a New Jersey offshore wind farm tells recreational fishermen they are welcome to ply the waters in and among its turbines. (Asbury Park Press)

SOLAR: A Tennessee-based construction company announces it will build a 100 MW solar facility in Georgia. (Solar Power World)

COMMENTARY: The Los Angeles Times editorial board says climate change remains the defining crisis of our era, and we’re still not doing enough to address it.

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