Trump Interior chief says climate change response falls on Congress
Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill
In his first hearing since being sworn in as secretary, the Trump administration official frequently put the onus on lawmakers for responding to global warming. He said that while he believes in climate change, Congress has not directed him to respond to it.
US denies sinking Arctic Council declaration over climate change
Jennifer Hansler, CNN
The US State Department on Tuesday denied that it had prevented the Arctic Council from signing a joint declaration after a meeting of the intergovernmental body ended with the release a short statement that did not include the phrase “climate change” instead of a formal declaration.
Oil steady near $70 as China demand offsets concerns about trade
Ron Bousso, Reuters
Brent oil held steady near $70 a barrel on Wednesday as record Chinese imports and tighter global supplies eased concerns about a deepening trade spat between the United States and China.
Oil and Natural Gas
Interior chief says offshore drilling plan not ‘indefinitely sidelined’
Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill
Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said Tuesday the department will complete development of a five-year offshore drilling plan, despite earlier comments that plan had been put on hold.
Shale Driller Pioneer Is Asking a Third of Senior Managers to Retire
Kevin Crowley and Joe Carroll, Bloomberg
Pioneer Natural Resources Co. dismissed speculation it’s spiffing up the company to entice potential buyers amid an escalating bidding war for fellow Permian Basin oil driller Anadarko Petroleum Corp. The stock plunged more than 8 percent.
After Gas Explosions in Massachusetts, Gas Company Settles for $80 Million
Jacey Fortin, The New York Times
A gas company announced Tuesday that it had reached a settlement with three communities in the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts after explosions and fires ripped through dozens of homes there last year, killing one person and injuring several more.
US says it will complete Keystone environmental review
The Associated Press
U.S. government attorneys say the Trump administration plans to finish a new environmental review of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada even if a federal appeals court throws out a lawsuit that blocked the project.
Canada Likely to Proceed With Trans Mountain Expansion
Josh Wingrove, Bloomberg
The Canadian government is likely to proceed with expansion of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline when it announces its final decision on the conduit next month, officials familiar with the matter say.
Cameron LNG startup is ‘days away’: Sempra executive
Harry Weber, S&P Global Platts
The updated schedule may coincide with a May 14 visit to the Louisiana export facility planned by President Donald Trump.
Exxon Seeks $280 Million From Cuban Companies Over Seized Assets
Alex Nussbaum, Bloomberg
The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington on May 2, the first day American corporations were allowed to file after the Trump administration lifted a long-standing ban against such actions.
Occidental CEO Battles Oil-Field Giant to Rule the Permian Basin
Christopher M. Matthews et al., The Wall Street Journal
Driven by a risk-taking chief executive, Occidental Petroleum Corp. is trying to swallow a competitor close to its own size, outmaneuvering one of the world’s oil giants in the process.
Utilities and Infrastructure
Judge Orders PG&E Directors to Visit Town Destroyed by Wildfire
Lauren Hepler, The New York Times
In an unusual move, a Federal District Court judge on Tuesday ordered directors of Pacific Gas and Electric to visit the Northern California town destroyed by the state’s deadliest wildfire, which the utility has said was most likely started by its equipment.
FERC deadlock could continue past end of LaFleur’s term
Iulia Gheorghiu, Utility Dive
Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur will likely stay on the commission after her term ends on June 30, but could depart earlier, according to her staff.
NYISO gets FERC approval to add energy storage to real-time market settlement rules
Jasmin Melvin, S&P Global Platts
Having received the nod from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, New York’s grid operator is moving forward with a proposal to prepare its real-time market settlement rules for the expansion of wholesale market participation by energy storage resources.
Tesla closes $2.7 billion mixed offering of shares, debt
Supantha Mukherjee, Reuters
Tesla Inc said on Wednesday it closed its $2.7 billion offering of stock and convertible notes and that it was over-subscribed, giving the electric carmaker much needed cash as it ramps up production. Tesla sold about $860 million in shares and $1.84 billion in debt, after the underwriters exercised their option to buy 15 percent in each offering.
Global renewables capacity growth stalled 2018 at 177 GW: IEA Andreas Franke, S&P Global Platts
Global renewable electricity capacity growth stalled in 2018 for the first time since 2001 — an unexpected flattening of growth trends that raises concerns about meeting long-term climate goals, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said Monday.
Massachusetts’ multipronged policy approach spurs distributed energy storage
HJ Mai, Utility Dive
Massachusetts is a leader in the deployment of distributed energy storage in America, due to forward-thinking legislative approaches and other measures aimed at unlocking the full potential of the resource, analysts told Utility Dive.
GM Cruise autonomous vehicle unit gets $1.15B investment
Tom Krisher, The Associated Press
Cruise announced the investment from a group led by T. Rowe Price on Tuesday and said it included money from GM, Honda and Japanese tech investment firm SoftBank.
TVA defends its role in trade group
Sean Reilly, E&E News
The Tennessee Valley Authority is defending its participation in a utility trade organization that has often been on the front lines of legal challenges to tighter air pollution standards.
US regulators reject calls for hearing in nuke storage case
The Associated Press
U.S. regulators have denied requests by watchdog and environmental groups that sought an evidentiary hearing challenging plans by a New Jersey-based company to build a storage facility for spent fuel from commercial nuclear reactors. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board announced its decision Tuesday after hearing arguments in Albuquerque earlier this year.
Air Pollution Crisis Exposes More Environmental Racism in Illinois
Sharon Lerner, The Intercept
Because the EPA has yet to set limits on the chemical that reflect this latest science, more than 100 census tracts around the country have elevated cancer risks due in part to ethylene oxide pollution. A 2018 EPA report, which was based on industrial facilities’ tally of their own emissions, clearly tied specific sites emitting the chemical to the cancer risk in each place.
Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives
The Guardian view on extinction: time to rebel
The Editorial Board, The Guardian
We humans pride ourselves on our ability to look beyond immediate concerns and think on a grander scale. While other creatures preen for mates, hunt prey or build homes, only humans ponder the nature of time, explore our place in the universe or are troubled by the question of what wiped out the dinosaurs.
Climate change suddenly matters in the 2020 race. Are the candidates ready?
Bill McKibben, Politico Magazine
For three decades in American politics, climate change has been the issue that wasn’t. Even as the temperature steadily rose, and evidence mounted that it was human behavior—and human policies—that were driving this change, candidates mostly deflected.
Congress can take these key steps after passing landmark climate bill
Christy Goldfuss, The Hill
This is a historic moment for climate action and the end of a dark era, as the House has passed landmark bipartisan legislation to tackle the climate crisis.
The EPA is meant to protect us. The Monsanto trials suggest it isn’t doing that
Nathan Donley and Carey Gillam, The Guardian
Ever since Monsanto introduced its line of Roundup weedkillers to the world in 1974, the products have been touted by the company and regulators as extremely safe. The EPA reiterated that stance last week.
Renewable capacity growth worldwide stalled in 2018 after two decades of strong expansion
International Energy Agency
After nearly two decades of strong annual growth, renewables around the world added as much net capacity in 2018 as they did in 2017, an unexpected flattening of growth trends that raises concerns about meeting long-term climate goals.