Energy news in brief

** EPA finalized a rule Thursday that will make it easier for power plants and others that emit Clean Air Act pollutants to avoid the costly process of applying for new federal permits when they make major upgrades,

** A lawsuit faults California’s PG&E for last month’s deadly and destructive Zogg Fire, alleging the utility failed to maintain power lines.

** Wyoming is among the states operating coal-fired power plants in areas projected to face rising water stress due to climate change.

** The second largest national coal producer in the U.S. is looking for an “appropriate buyer” as it cuts production in the Powder River Basin by 50% over the next two to three years.

** California’s attorney general wants a federal appeals court to reverse “hastily compiled rulemaking” that rolled back an Obama-era rule on fracking on public and tribal lands.

** A technology firm is set to transform the University of Wyoming into a major center for solar generation research and innovation.

** North Dakota regulators approve more funding for a carbon capture and storage project that supporters say would help keep open a major coal plant set to close in 2022. 

** A central Illinois village and its mayor file a lawsuit seeking to halt construction of a planned wind project.

** The battery storage component of a 2.55 MW solar-plus-storage Alliant Energy pilot project is now online in central Iowa.

** France seeks to cancel or delay an electric utility’s $7 billion deal to buy Texas shale gas because of concerns over its methane emissions.

** The State Department plans to pressure the French government to approve a potential $7 billion deal between a U.S. LNG supplier and a French trading firm, after the government blocked the deal over concerns that U.S. shale gas was too dirty.

** A natural gas company that once owned the Mountain Valley Pipeline wants to sell off its capacity in the project, which is running two years behind and $2 billion over budget.

** Georgia residents who live near the country’s largest coal-fired power plant call for it to clean up a coal ash pond and address concerns about air and water quality.

** Arch Resources, the nation’s second largest coal company, outlines plans to divest from electricity-generating thermal coal.

** Clean energy jobs paid 25 percent more than the national median wage in 2019, according to new analysis Thursday from Environmental Entrepreneurs, the American Council on Renewable Energy, and the Clean Energy Leadership Institute.

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