Energy in brief

** Duke Energy Corp. says its two Carolinas utilities spent about $622 million on cleaning up their coal-ash operations from Oct. 1, 2018, to Sept. 30, 2019, with about $200 million going to North Carolina contractors.

** North Dakota’s largest coal plant “has operated at a significant financial loss,” but the owner says there are no plans to shut it down.

** Enbridge prepares construction on a replacement section of the Line 5 pipeline beneath the St. Clair River in southeastern Michigan.

** An investigation finds thousands of idled oil and gas wells across California, and taxpayers could be left on the hook for billions of dollars in decommissioning costs.

** State officials and lawmakers are under fire for an “informal” meeting with the University of Wyoming at which the school pitched for more than $20 million for coal and petroleum research projects.

** Federal judges heard arguments this week on whether California cities and counties can proceed with climate lawsuits against oil companies in state court.

** The controversial head of EPA’s Region 9, Mike Stoker, was dismissed from the agency without explanation, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. EPA’s Office of the Inspector General found in March 2019 that Stoker, an agricultural attorney before joining EPA, often worked near his home in Los Angeles, rather than regional headquarters in San Francisco.

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