Energy news in brief

** Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D) has been implicated in a massive bribery scandal involving utility company ComEd, and Illinois’ Democratic governor J.B. Pritzker has stated that Madigan “must resign” if the allegations against him are true. Madigan strongly denies any wrongdoing.

** Illinois utility Commonwealth Edison has agreed to pay a $200 million fine in relation to a federal investigation over bribery charges that have cast a shadow over its policy efforts in the state capital.

** A federal judge sides with California over the Trump’s administration’s challenge to the state’s cap and trade program.

** Some oil from China’s swelling storage tanks is finding its way back into the international market as traders jump at the opportunity to source cheap crude for resale to regional refiners.The shipments in question, so far just 1 million barrels, have been procured by trading houses via the Shanghai futures exchange, and loaded from the bourse’s numerous storage tanks that dot the country’s eastern coast.

** The Haynesvillle shale in East Texas and Louisiana has surpassed the Eagle Ford shale in both drilling rigs and new drilling permits.

** Israel’s cabinet approved a multinational accord to lay a pipeline that will facilitate the export to Europe of natural gas found in Israeli and Cypriot waters.

** A $52 million settlement with Monsanto Company resolving claims that the company produced and sold toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that contaminated water sources in Washington D.C. has been announced. The lawsuit alleged that Monsanto manufactured and sold PCBs for nearly 50 years even though the company knew the chemicals were deadly and toxic to the environment.

** Less than two weeks after emerging from an 18-month bankruptcy caused by its multibillion-dollar wildfire liabilities, Pacific Gas & Electric faces yet another lawsuit for a 2019 fire that California investigators say was caused by its power lines. On Thursday, the state’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection confirmed that the Oct. 2019 Kincade fire was caused by a failure of a PG&E transmission line in Sonoma County.

** Republican Wyoming Senator John Barrasso wants the Department of Energy to open a satellite office in the state.

** Some North Carolina economic development officials worry that without the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, industries won’t build in the state — but pipeline opponents reject that argument. 

** The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management proposes to sell oil and gas drilling leases for nearly 79 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico in November 2020.

** BP plans to take full ownership of a central Indiana wind project as part of the company’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050. 

** Morgan Stanley will become the first major U.S. bank to publicly disclose how much its loans and investments contribute to climate change.

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