OVERSIGHT: After oil industry leaders fail to show up for a hearing, Congressional Democrats use research and expert testimony to expose oil companies’ alleged efforts to derail climate action and spread misinformation. (E&E News, Inside Climate News)
FINANCE: The Department of Energy’s loan office looks to publicize its new $250 billion program to help communities repurpose or replace energy infrastructure, like by converting a coal plant to a nuclear or storage facility. (S&P Global)
Southern Environmental Law Center is hiring
The Southern Environmental Law Center—one of the nation’s most powerful environmental defenders, rooted in the South—is hiring an Energy and Climate Communications Manager. This role will oversee regional energy communications, including solar and methane gas issues, to advance climate progress.
• The U.S. Senate is poised to ratify its first climate treaty in decades with an international agreement focused on phasing out hydrofluorocarbons used in refrigeration appliances and air conditioners. (E&E News)
• Most of the U.S. experienced temperatures that were several degrees above average this summer, making it the third hottest summer in the past 128 years. (Axios)
• Pennsylvania climate groups warn that a bill ending the right to abortion could also be used to stop environmental regulations passed by the executive branch. (Capital & Main)
• In Massachusetts, the Electric Power Research Institute’s outdoor laboratory pushes grid equipment to its limits to observe its weaknesses in the face of more extreme weather. (E&E News)
• Louisiana regulators approve $39 million for a New Orleans power plant after previously blocking it because city officials said they would not enforce the state’s abortion ban. (NOLA.com)
STORAGE: Supply chain issues and grid interconnection delays may hold back the full potential of the Inflation Reduction Act’s incentives for energy storage. (E&E News)
OIL & GAS:
• The Biden administration reinstates $190 million of exploration leases to oil and gas companies looking to drill in the Gulf of Mexico. (Washington Post)
• California regulators prohibit utilities from billing customers to pay for natural gas line extensions to residences or businesses. (Bloomberg)
UTILITIES: FirstEnergy CEO Steven Strah abruptly retires effective today as the utility completes a required management review as part of an HB 6 settlement, though it is unclear whether the departure is related. (Cleveland.com)
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SOLAR: The use of power purchase agreements has enabled Virginia’s K-12 schools to double their solar capacity over the last two years, a new report says. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• The coal mine that supplies the San Juan power plant in northwest New Mexico shuts down and lays off most of its workforce, suggesting that a plan to keep the coal plant running is defunct. (World Coal)
• Alabama coal miners have been on strike for 18 months in a grinding impasse over wages and benefits that points to wider struggles in the coal industry. (Christian Science Monitor)