Energy news in brief

** The United States and India signed a preliminary agreement on Friday on cooperating on emergency crude oil reserves, including the possibility of India storing oil in the U.S. emergency stockpile, officials said.

** The Army Corps of Engineers will publish the final environmental impact study for the contentious Pebble Mine in Alaska on July 24, according to the mine’s developer. It will then be at least 30 days before the Corps issues its “Record of Decision” whether it will issue the permits or not.

** A Louisiana appeals court rules that the Bayou Bridge Pipeline “trampled” the rights of landowners when the company cut down trees, dug trenches and laid pipeline across properties without permission.

** FERC could radically change the economics for rooftop solar owners if it takes jurisdiction over net metering. In responding to a petition from the New England Ratepayers Association, the commission will determine whether rooftop solar generators should be allowed to sell their power back to the grid at the full retail rate.

** Midstream marketing firm MidCon Gathering LLC is suing Occidental Petroleum, alleging the shale giant did not pay for crude deliveries, the latest dispute to arise from production shut-ins prompted by a crash in oil prices this year.

** SpaceX hopes to launch prototypes of its Starship rocket more than a dozen miles high within the next seven months, according to a filing with the Federal Communications Commission. Elon Musk, the aerospace company’s founder and CEO, is urgently racing to develop Starship, a fully reusable rocket system that is designed to one day land on the moon for NASA and take up to 100 people to Mars at a time.

** The Board of Directors of Valero Energy Corporation has declared a regular quarterly cash dividend on common stock of $0.98 per share. The dividend is payable on September 2, 2020, to holders of record at the close of business on August 4, 2020.

** Analysts expect 2020 U.S. coal consumption to drop by more than 30% after a “very weak” second quarter due to lower demand during the pandemic.

** The Bureau of Land Management declined to say whether it plans to appeal Wednesday night’s ruling striking down its repeal of the methane waste rule (Reg. 1004-AE53 ), but still is disputing the judge’s conclusions. “We completely disagree with the court’s ruling,” spokesperson Derrick Henry said in a statement.

** Four senior Senate Democrats — Elizabeth WarrenTom CarperSheldon Whitehouse and Brian Schatz — are urging Facebook to take stronger steps to fight disinformation about climate change on its platform.

** An investigation by the State of California finds that PG&E transmission lines ignited the Kincade Fire in October 2019.

** Local leaders in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin aren’t ready to give up on coal despite grim projections about the industry’s decline.

** Registrations of Tesla electric vehicles in California dropped 48% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2020. 

** An Alaska judge backs supporters of a ballot measure aiming to raise taxes on major oil producers.

** Montana Sen. John Tester introduces a bill that would end a BLM practice allowing oil and gas companies to buy leases for $1.50 per acre.

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