Energy news in brief

** A Louisiana company moves ahead with oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico despite the recent market downturn.

** Looming PG&E public safety power shutoffs have Northern California homeowners rushing to install battery backup systems.

** The U.S. Department of Justice files an amicus brief in support of rooftop solar customers in a dispute over an Arizona utility’s fees. 

** A Wyoming county rejects a push for stronger setback rules that would have effectively blocked all new wind development.

** Xcel Energy faces increased pressure from Colorado environmental advocacy groups to advance the closure dates for the utility’s two remaining coal-generated power plants in the state.

** A House panel approves a spending bill that includes $27 million for interim nuclear waste storage, but no funds for the proposed Yucca Mountain repository in Nevada.

** Southern California Edison breaks ground on a $356 million program that will install at least 870 commercial charging stations for electric buses and trucks over the next five years.

**  Joe Biden is expected to call for a 100% clean electricity standard by 2035 and investing $2 trillion over four years on clean energy.

** EPA will leave the national air quality standard for ground-level ozone at its 2015 level, Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced Monday.

** A federal judge in New York will hear a lawsuit from five Northeastern states seeking to force EPA to act on seven upwind states’ pollution allegedly harming their downwind air quality.

** The House Appropriations Committee approved a $49.6 billion funding bill for the Energy Department, Army Corps of Engineers and related agencies by a party-line vote of 30-21 on Monday. The measure now heads to the floor after appropriators approved a manager’s amendment that would boost funding for Western water supply efforts, prioritize dredging projects with environmental benefits and making other minor changes.

** The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee unveiled bipartisan legislation on Monday to authorize new lock, dam, levee and ecosystem projects and set policy for the Army Corps of Engineers.

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