Energy news in brief

** California regulators impose a $2.14 billion penalty against PG&E for the utility’s role in causing catastrophic wildfires in 2017 and 2018.

**An Indiana Senate committee advances a bill aimed at slowing coal plant retirements with amendments that would shorten the bill’s end-date and protect ratepayers from cost increases.

** A lack of government enforcement allowed coal companies to transfer $865 million of disability liabilities to taxpayers during recent bankruptcies, according to a federal report.

** A proposed settlement agreement stemming from a refinery fire in Superior, Wisconsin, two years ago stipulates that the company would add solar panels and help residents swap out wood-burning appliances to offset emissions.

** Ameren Missouri’s $7.6 billion grid modernization plan also includes investments in solar and storage to boost rural reliability.

** Critics of federal biofuel mandates say the U.S. EPA’s attempt to scale back exemptions for small oil refiners may open up significant legal challenges.

** Oregon’s House Democratic leader subpoenas 21 Republican House lawmakers over their unexcused absences, which have prevented a vote on cap and trade legislation and stalled other key bills.

** Xcel Energy announced earlier this week that it cut carbon emissions 10% last year, raising questions about Boulder, Colorado’s effort to launch a municipal utility.

** Wyoming’s House advances a bill that would create rules allowing small modular nuclear reactors to be deployed in the state.

** BP is set to leave the Western States Petroleum Association over the oil and gas lobbying group’s position on carbon pricing and its opposition to a low-carbon fuel standard now being considered in Washington state.

** Alaska’s political leadership is considering ways to fight back against JPMorgan Chase’s “anti-Alaskan” move to cease oil and gas investment in the Arctic.

** A U.S. magistrate judge has vacated five oil and gas leases in Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming, ruling the BLM failed to allow public participation as required by law.

** A case against five Portland climate activists charged with criminal trespassing for blocking an oil train last year ended in a mistrial. 

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