Energy news in brief

** California’s State Water Resources Control Board voted this week to let four gas plants along the Southern California coast to keep operating past the end of the year followed brief rolling blackouts over two evenings last month, as a heat wave caused air conditioning demand to soar, and California found itself short on electricity supplies.  The board decided they’re needed to provide reliable electricity even as they contribute to the climate crisis.

** The oil spill disaster off Mauritius turned deadly this week when a tugboat leaving the shipwreck collided with a barge and sank, killing at least three sailors, police said Tuesday.

** A day after its 5-for-1 stock split took effect, Tesla announced plans Tuesday to sell up to $5 billion worth of common shares. The electric car and solar panel maker said in a filing with securities regulators that it intends to sell up to 10.03 million shares and use the proceeds for unspecified general corporate purposes.

** Solar accounted for nearly half of all new power generation capacity added worldwide in 2019, surpassing wind as the fourth-largest source of capacity on a cumulative basis, according to newly released data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

** North Dakota utility officials discuss challenges with financing carbon capture projects during a visit by U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette.

** The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recommends the Justice Department negotiate a settlement with the state of North Dakota over policing costs related to Dakota Access pipeline protests. 

** Developers eye southwestern Iowa for wind projects in the coming years after local officials adopted regulations this summer.

** Former U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says current Secretary Sonny Perdue should visit Iowa farmers to hear firsthand about the biofuel industry’s challenges.

** The Trump administration is revising regulations governing oil and gas drilling across more than 190 million acres of U.S. forest land in a bid to increase the nation’s energy production.

** California reaches the milestone of 100 lawsuits filed against the Trump administration, with the latest challenging environmental rules changes.

** A new report issued by the Interior Department’s internal watchdog indicates two top officials misled Congress in claiming it was necessary to relocate the Bureau of Land Management to Colorado due to high office rent in Washington, D.C.


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