Energy
Ohio’s Regulators Deal a Likely Fatal Blow to Lake Erie Wind Project

Ohio’s Regulators Deal a Likely Fatal Blow to Lake Erie Wind Project

As Electrek reported, last week Ohio unanimously approved the Icebreaker wind farm, North America’s first offshore freshwater project planned for Lake Erie near Cleveland. However, there’s a rather large hitch that could put an end to the entire project. At the very last minute, the Ohio Power Siting Board ruled on Thursday that the project could […]

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Oil and Gas Companies Continue to Lead on Getting Government Handouts

Oil and Gas Companies Continue to Lead on Getting Government Handouts

Oil and gas companies continue to pump the government for cash.  Bloomberg Law News reported that the Administration has granted 76 royalty waivers to oil and gas companies who are drilling for oil on federal land in Utah — lowering the rates from 12.5% to as low as 2.5%. 

Why This Matters:  The giveaways to oil and gas companies in the name of saving jobs just keep coming.

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Biden Commits to Rescinding Keystone XL Permit–Spelling the End for the Pipeline

Biden Commits to Rescinding Keystone XL Permit–Spelling the End for the Pipeline

To put it bluntly, the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline has been a 12-year catastrophe. From when the pipeline (stretching from Alberta to Nebraska) was first proposed in 2008, to when it was vetoed by President Obama in 2015, to the Trump administration’s fractured attempt to reinstate construction, the pipeline has been the embodiment […]

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Oil and Gas Companies Use Tax Cuts in Stimulus, Renewables Promised Tax Credit Extension

Oil and Gas Companies Use Tax Cuts in Stimulus, Renewables Promised Tax Credit Extension

In what one tax watchdog called a “stealth” bailout, dozens of oil and gas companies are taking advantage of provisions in the CARES law to write off losses right away and get an immediate tax refund against prior years’ earnings going back to 2018, according to Bloomberg News

Why This Matters:  These refunds also carry forward – so oil and gas companies can expect to pay zero taxes for years to come, according to Bloomberg.

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Renewable Energy Sector Has Lost 600,000 Jobs Due To COVID-19

Renewable Energy Sector Has Lost 600,000 Jobs Due To COVID-19

Using the latest Labor Department data, E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), and other analysts reported on Wednesday that 594,347 workers in clean energy occupations, representing 17.8% of the industry’s workforce, filed for unemployment benefits in April and March. 

Why This Matters:  The oil and gas industry really is the squeaky wheel getting the grease.  The number of jobs lost in that sector is likely only a fraction of those lost in the renewable energy sector.

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Interior Department Approves Largest Solar Project in the U.S.

Interior Department Approves Largest Solar Project in the U.S.

Earlier this week the Trump Administration took a break from its boosting oil and gas (they announced yesterday they are going to buy 1 million barrels of oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as a “test”) to give final approval to the Gemini Solar Project – a massive $1B solar array and battery storage project situated on federal land near Las Vegas.

Why This Matters:  The project went through a streamlined environmental review process, but the final development and operations plan will minimize and mitigate impacts on visual resources, cultural and tribal resources, recreation access, air quality, native vegetation and wildlife such as the desert tortoise, a “threatened” species.

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Ethanol Sales Drop With Gas Prices, Producers Begin Making Hand Sanitizer

Ethanol Sales Drop With Gas Prices, Producers Begin Making Hand Sanitizer

To offset a portion of the losses, some of the nation’s largest ethanol producers have switched to making hand sanitizer, even though it costs them.

Why This Matters:  President Trump because the administration is under pressure from the gas companies and refiners to lift the ethanol requirement altogether – something they had been doing often on a case by case basis in the past.

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New York’s Indian Point 2 Closes, Will the State Lead the Transition Away from Nuclear?

New York’s Indian Point 2 Closes, Will the State Lead the Transition Away from Nuclear?

Though it was a contested decision, late last week Indian Point’s Unit 2 nuclear reactor permanently shut down after nearly 46 years generating electricity for Westchester County and New York City. Since New York state receives 32% of its energy from nuclear the move to decommission the reactor in the midst of the pandemic was […]

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Some Good News For Solar: It’s Cheap, It’s Popular, and the Technology Keeps Improving

Some Good News For Solar: It’s Cheap, It’s Popular, and the Technology Keeps Improving

GreenTech Media reported that the largest solar power project in the world will also be its cheapest — the project is in Abu Dhabi where the government expects that the price will be as low as $1.35 for a kilowatt-hour, beating the previous record low price of $1.60. 

Why This Matters:  There is no doubt that solar energy projects and jobs are at short term risk due to the pandemic.  But the industry’s leaders and analysts remain optimistic.

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Tesla Has Q1 Profit, Ford and Rivian Scrap Plans to Build EVs

Tesla Has Q1 Profit, Ford and Rivian Scrap Plans to Build EVs

CNBC reported yesterday that despite factory closures in China and the U.S., Tesla managed to eke out $16M in profit in the first quarter of the year, but it remains unclear how quickly its U.S. car plant and suppliers can ramp up production once it re-opens from Covid-19 restrictions

Why This Matters: The COVID pandemic is a setback for many industries — but particularly ones working to get off the ground like electric vehicle manufacturing.

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Europe Pushes for Green Stimulus, Will Congressional Republicans Finally See the Light?

Europe Pushes for Green Stimulus, Will Congressional Republicans Finally See the Light?

Speaking ahead of a virtual meeting of 30 nations, Germany and Britain’s environment ministers said Monday that efforts to revive the global economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic must ensure a ‘green recovery’ that helps the world tackle climate change, according to AP. The ministers emphasized the importance of economic recovery programs to invest […]

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Big Flares, Big Bankruptcy, Big Relief?  Oil Sector Experiencing “Tectonic Shift”

Big Flares, Big Bankruptcy, Big Relief? Oil Sector Experiencing “Tectonic Shift”

A study by researchers at Harvard and the Environmental Defense Fund published yesterday in the journal of Science Advances found that ail and gas operations in the Permian Basin of Texas are flaring off more than twice the amount of methane emissions than previously estimated, according to CBS News. 

Why This Matters:  Several industry analysts continue to paint a dark picture for the future of the oil and gas industry.

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