Energy news in brief

** On Friday, President Trump will travel to South Dakota for his Fourth of July event at Mount Rushmore. The event, which will draw thousands to the area, will not require attendees to wear masks and has been strongly opposed by tribes. On Monday, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem declared that social distancing will not be enforced at the event, and although masks will be available attendees will not be required to wear them.

** The EPA says it will rescind a policy that had suspended enforcement of pollution limits due to the coronavirus pandemic.

** The House passed its climate-friendly $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill, H.R. 2 (116), by a 233-188 vote Wednesday afternoon.

** EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler called House Democrats’ new climate plan, which calls for eliminating pollution from cars by 2035, unrealistic during an appearance on Fox Business on Wednesday. “They’re actually going to turn around the economic growth that President Trump has delivered to the American people,” he said, adding that it will force U.S. car manufacturing jobs to China and other countries.

** A new study says residents of larger cities will see utility bills rise about 10% due to the stay-at-home orders issued for COVID-19.

** San Francisco officials announce legislation that would ban natural gas hookups in new buildings after this year.

** PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company  announced Thursday that PG&E has emerged from Chapter 11, successfully completing its restructuring process and implementing PG&E’s Plan of Reorganization that was confirmed by the United States Bankruptcy Court on June 20, 2020.

** As the coronavirus races through San Antonio, Texas, 32 CPS Energy employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and an additional 246 workers are quarantined at home, utility officials said this week.

** Tension over wind development in North Dakota’s coal country surfaces during a public hearing over a county’s moratorium on wind development in place until 2022.

** A Michigan judge allows Enbridge to temporarily restart a segment of the Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac to perform an in-line investigation and provide results to the state.  Residents speak out against Enbridge’s plan to reroute a segment of Line 5 in northern Wisconsin, with one saying: “It’s all risk and no reward for the people of Wisconsin.” 

** Ohio regulators fined Dominion Energy $1 million for a natural gas pipeline explosion in November, citing a lack of oversight and poor construction practices.

** Hilcorp officially takes control of BP’s North Slope Alaska oil production.

** Utilities in New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado are among those opting for a natural gas-free transition in moving towards renewable energy.

** U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small is concerned about new oil and gas development being stopped on federal lands, as more 50% of New Mexico’s production is in such locations.

 

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