Energy news in brief

** Pioneer Natural Resources Company in Dallas announced  that its Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.55 per share on Pioneer’s outstanding common stock. The dividend is payable July 14, 2020, to stockholders of record at the close of business on June 30, 2020.

** Unemployment soared to record levels in Texas last month as employers slashed 1.3 million jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic that shut down most of the state’s economy. The state’s unemployment rate jumped to 12.8 percent in April, more than double the 5.1 percent rate in March, and marking the highest jobless rate since the data series began in 1976, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday.

** Venezuelan authorities have celebrated the first of five Iranian tankers loaded with gasoline docking in the South American country. The ships bring badly needed fuel to the crisis-stricken nation that sits atop the world’s largest oil reserves. The shipments come in defiance to stiff sanctions by the Trump administration against both nations.

** Alliant Energy plans to retire a coal plant in eastern Wisconsin years ahead of schedule, which is expected to save ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars long term.

** Chicago officials face public backlash during a virtual town hall meeting on the botched demolition of a former coal plant smokestack.

** Since 2012, pipelines owned by the developer of the Dakota Access pipeline or its subsidiaries have had 349 leaks, spills and other incidents.

** A Sioux man seeking to bring energy sovereignty to U.S. tribes is the driving force behind a new solar project on the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota.

** Several major banks have announced new policies recently that will limit how they do business with companies that rely on coal, including utilities, a watchdog group reports.

** PG&E announces almost 90% of its California wildfire victims voted in favor of the utility’s bankruptcy plan.

** The BLM says its temporary breaks on royalties are only granted “when it is in the best interest of conservation to do so or when it would encourage the greatest ultimate recovery of our natural resources.”

** The general counsel for Navajo Power says the Navajo Nation needs support in encouraging renewable energy investment on its lands as coal declines.

** Oil and gas companies have proposed more than 150,000 acres of federal land for potential development in the canyons of eastern Utah, some as close as a mile and a half from the famous Arches National Park. The parcels could be auctioned off by the Bureau of Land Management in its September oil and gas lease sale in Utah, conveying drilling rights to the highest bidders for a period of 10 years.

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