Energy news in brief

** A bill to cancel lawsuits by Louisiana parishes against oil and gas companies fails in the state House after lawmakers say they ran out of time;  Republicans say they plan to pick it back up next year.

** Houston doubled its solar capacity for the second year in a row, with enough now to power about 8,400 homes, according to the Environment Texas Research & Policy Center. 

** A federal appeals court rejects the Trump administration’s request to revive a water crossings permit program for new oil and gas pipelines, which could further delay projects.

** Ameren Missouri is proposing to offer on-bill financing of energy efficiency upgrades to 1,000 customers with no upfront costs.

** U.S. renewable energy consumption surpassed coal last year for the first time in 130 years, according to the Energy Information Administration.

** Two dozen U.S. lawmakers call on FERC to reject a proposal they argue would remove state authority on net metering.

** A decline in wholesale power prices leads Duke Energy Ohio to reduce rates for residential power customers starting next week.

** Iowa’s two senators want clarification from the U.S. FDA on the use of ethanol in hand sanitizer, which has provided producers some revenue as fuel sales dropped dramatically from the pandemic.

** California regulators unanimously approve PG&E’s bankruptcy plan, increasing the likelihood the utility will meet its June 30 exit deadline.

** An analyst says New Mexico regulators’ approval of two solar power purchase agreements, at a price much lower than a proposed carbon capture retrofit of coal plant, raises questions over whether the project is viable.

** Operators of a Montana mine confirm that almost 100 miners returned to work Tuesday after more than two weeks of unpaid time off.

** The CEO of Navajo Power says a major solar project is key to putting Navajo Nation citizens back to work and creating its clean energy future.

** New Mexico regulators are considering a Public Service Company of New Mexico “decoupling” request which would allow the utility to recover all its fixed service costs independently of how much electricity customers actually consume.

** The Coast Guard agrees with developers of offshore wind farms south of Massachusetts on a proposed turbine layout that eases navigation for commercial vessels and fishermen.

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