Climate change tests Joe Biden as he confronts a major question for Democrats: Is any compromise too much?
Matt Viser, The Washington Post
Joe Biden has spent the past two days attempting to push back against liberal criticism over his stance on climate change, pointing to decades-long environmental work in an effort to blunt the first major ideological skirmish of his presidential campaign.
EPA officials met with law firm in groundwater case
Ariel Wittenberg and Ellen M. Gilmer, E&E News
Ken Kopocis, who led the Office of Water during the Obama administration, said it was “odd” for Ross to meet with attorneys involved in active litigation.
U.S. leaves rare earths, critical minerals off China tariff list
Tom Daly, Reuters
The United States has again decided not to impose tariffs on rare earths and other critical minerals from China, underscoring its reliance on the Asian nation for a group of materials used in everything from consumer electronics to military equipment.
Murphy administration sues DuPont, 3M and other companies over toxic firefighting foam
Scott Fallon, North Jersey Record
The lawsuit is the latest in a series of legal actions taken against the chemical manufacturers over widespread pollution caused by PFAS: a group of toxic chemicals including PFOA and PFOS that have been in everyday use for almost 80 years
Oil prices fall as U.S. inventories rise, but Middle East tensions support
Ahmad Ghaddar, Reuters
Oil fell on Wednesday after data showed a surprise rise in U.S. crude inventories and the U.S.-Chinese trade dispute threatened oil demand, although Middle East tensions capped losses.
Oil and Natural Gas
Attacks to Raise Security, Insurance Costs for Persian Gulf Oil Shipments
Benoit Faucon and Summer Said, The Wall Street Journal
Recent attacks on Saudi Arabian oil tankers and pipelines are set to increase the cost of insuring and securing crude shipments in the Persian Gulf region, added expenses that will likely lead to higher oil prices, industry executives said.
Texas petrochemical facility with March blaze has flash fire
The Associated Press
A company that owns a Houston-area petrochemical storage facility that burned for days in March says it quickly extinguished a small fire that broke out at the facility during ongoing cleanup efforts. Intercontinental Terminals Company says the flash fire happened at 11:45 a.m.
Mozambique authorizes Exxon Mobil’s Rovuma LNG project
Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle
The Rovuma LNG project aims to process natural gas produced from three offshore reservoirs in East Africa, and then market that LNG around the world.
In World’s Top Oil Play, a Driller Bets Big on Gas Liquids
Rachel Adams-Heard, Bloomberg
In September 2016, Apache said it had made an “immense” find in the Alpine High, with the promise of at least 3 billion barrels of oil in place in two of the five formations.
Utilities and Infrastructure
Texas Startup Letting Homeowners Buy Wholesale Power Gets Funding to Expand
Gerald Porter Jr. and Chris Martin, Bloomberg
Power giant Electricite de France SA took an equity stake in Griddy Energy LLC, a Texas-based supplier that lets homeowners buy electricity at real-time wholesale prices. The investment from EDF will allow Griddy to expand beyond Texas into New York and the grid stretching across 13 states from New Jersey to Illinois, Chief Executive Officer Greg Craig said in an interview.
The Energy Industry’s Secret Campaign to Get Us to Build More Power Plants
Michael Isaac Stein, The Nation
It’s a scheme designed to imitate the appearance of genuine grassroots support while obscuring the actual decision makers and funders. But industry insiders say that the ploys are becoming both more frequent and audacious.
U.S. Senate moves forward on plan to develop electric vehicle supply chain
Ernest Scheyder, Reuters
U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday moved closer to developing a national electric vehicle supply chain policy, with senators voicing bipartisan support for legislation designed to parry China’s dominance in metals production and battery manufacturing.
Democrats Try to Extend Wind, Solar Aid They Agreed to Let Die
Ari Natter, Bloomberg
Tax credits worth billions of dollars for the wind and solar industries are set to expire or begin phasing out next year — part of a 2015 deal Democrats struck that ended a 40-year-old ban on the export of crude oil. But some Democrats are seeking to extend the credits, saying President Donald Trump’s tariffs on solar panels and moves to roll back Obama-era climate-related policies has changed the equation.
Volvo taps Asia’s LG Chem, CATL for long-term battery supplies
Cynthia Kim and Yilei Sun, Reuters
Swedish carmaker Volvo said on Wednesday it had signed long-term battery supply deals with Asian firms LG Chem and Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL), as it pushes its EV target of 50 percent of sales by 2025.
ChargePoint sounds alarm on electric vehicle charging standards
Douglas Busvine, Reuters
A leading operator of charging stations has sounded the alarm on a proposed technical standard that it says could hamper mass adoption of electric vehicles by making it harder to charge them at home or at work.
With Billions at Stake, Utilities Fight to Charge Coal-Ash Costs
David R. Baker and Jim Efstathiou Jr., Bloomberg
Officials from Virginia to North Carolina to South Carolina are pushing back on utilities’ plans to charge customers for the costs of shuttering coal-ash ponds, long the primary way of storing residue from coal-fired power plants.
Annual DOE funding bill includes no funds for Yucca Mountain
Humberto Sanchez, The Nevada Independent
A bill to fund the Department of Energy does not include any funding to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, according to the text of the legislation released by the House Appropriations Committee.
Santee Cooper sues VC Summer contractor Westinghouse over abandoned nuclear equipment
Avery G. Wilks, The State
The state-owned utility’s legal battle with Pennsylvania-based Westinghouse Electric Co. is important to the two million South Carolinians who get Santee Cooper’s power, either directly or through an electric cooperative that buys and distributes it.
New CEO push on climate-change policy
Amy Harder, Axios
The initiative, the CEO Climate Dialogue, features CEOs from oil giants BP and Royal Dutch Shell, as well as from companies across the economy including Citi, Dominion Energy and Ford Motor Company. The Environmental Defense Fund and The Nature Conservancy are among the environmental groups that helped convene the group.
Heating up: Investors’ green targets go beyond just big oil
Stan Choe, The Associated Press
In the next few weeks, Amazon shareholders will vote on a proposal made by one of their own to push the company to describe how it’s curbing its use of fossil fuels. In California, investors of Ross Stores are asking the retailer of off-price clothing to set goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
In Flood-Hit Midwest, Mayors See Climate Change as a Subject Best Avoided
Mitch Smith and John Schwartz, The New York Times
The disasters have renewed national attention on how climate change can exacerbate flooding and how cities can prepare for a future with more extreme weather. But in some of the hardest-hit areas, where bolstering flood protection and helping the displaced are popular bipartisan causes, there is little appetite for bringing climate change — and the political baggage it carries — into the discussion.
Single-use plastics a serious climate change hazard, study warns
Sandra Laville, The Guardian
The report says plastic contributes to greenhouse gas emissions at every stage of its lifecycle, from its production to its refining and the way it is managed as a waste product.
These Are the Cities Doing the Most to Combat Global Warming
Jeremy Hodges and Demetrios Pogkas, Bloomberg
Cities, which are home to more than half the world’s population, are stepping up efforts to slash pollution, often wresting the fight against climate change away from national governments.
Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives
House Democrats must choose economically viable solutions on climate change
U.S. Rep. Ron Estes (R-Kan.), The Hill
The House Ways and Means Committee will take up the subject of climate change in a hearing this week. If the House Democrat’s agenda – and the campaign speeches of their presidential candidates – are any indication, the hearing may be heavy on scare tactics and light on real, viable solutions.
Allowing DERs to participate in wholesale markets does not trample state and local authority
Ted Thomas and Jeff Dennis, Utility Dive
The rapid deployment of technologies like onsite renewable energy generation, battery storage, fuel cells and electric vehicles, along with enabling consumer devices and software controls, promises to bring significant benefits not only to the customers deploying them, but also for the electricity grid as a whole.
A Decisive Year for the Sunrise Movement and the Green New Deal
Osita Nwanevu, The New Yorker
Six months ago on Tuesday, climate activists with the Sunrise Movement, joined by the incoming congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, held a sit-in at the office of the incoming House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, demanding that House Democrats establish a committee to draft a Green New Deal.
Innovation Outlook: Smart charging for electric vehicles
International Renewable Energy Agency
Electric vehicles (EVs) hold the key to unleash synergies between clean transport and low-carbon electricity. Just as future transport must be increasingly electrified, future power systems must make maximum use of variable renewable energy sources. Smart charging for EVs minimises their load impact and unlocks the flexibility to use more solar and wind power.