Energy news in brief

** China’s biggest oil and gas companies finalized deals worth $56 billion to sell their pipeline networks to a new national carrier at premiums to their book value, a long-awaited step that’s being seen as a boost for investors.

** The Trump administration is going to proceed with the development of the largest gold and copper mine in the country, a mine the Obama administration did not develop after learning it could permanently harm the region’s sockeye salmon population. Pebble Mine, which would provide access to gold, copper and other minerals worth up to $500bn, would be built in Alaska over the Bristol Bay watershed, which is also the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.

** Noble Midstream Partners LP announced that the Board of Directors of its general partner, Noble Midstream GP LLC, declared a cash distribution of $0.1875 per unit for second-quarter 2020. The second-quarter 2020 distribution will be payable on August 14, 2020, to unitholders of record as of August 7, 2020.

** Duke Energy’s second solar project in Texas begins operations, meaning the utility now has 500 MW of solar in the state.

** Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine shifts course and calls for the state’s nuclear bailout law at the center of a $60 million bribery scandal to be repealed and replaced through a process the “public can have full confidence in.”

** Vessels performing work for Enbridge’s planned tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac may have recently damaged a portion of the Line 5 pipeline.

** Wisconsin regulators extend a statewide moratorium on utility disconnections until September 1, citing COVID-19 concerns. 

** Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois proposes a plan to help transition coal-reliant communities that includes expanding Medicare to laid-off coal workers and guaranteeing free higher education to miners and their families. 

**  The closing of a major North Dakota coal plant has reignited tension in the state between fossil fuels and renewable energy.

** A former locomotive engineer says shutting down the Dakota Access pipeline would add eight oil trains a day to North Dakota’s rail system and wouldn’t threaten crop shipments. 

** The bankruptcy of Rhino Resources puts at risk about 550 jobs at mines in Utah and other states. 

** Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines appears to be backing away from his earlier commitment to confirm William Perry Pendley to lead the BLM.

** Farmers oppose a 3,900-acre solar facility in southeast Oregon, arguing that wildlife will be displaced. 

** Just 10 states and the District of Columbia have protections in place to shield all of their residents from having their water, gas or electric utilities shut off, a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee minority staff report warned last week.

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