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DOE Rejects Grant to Battery Maker With Alleged China Ties

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Essential energy industry news & intel to start your day. May 24, 2023 | May 24, 2023 | ENERGY By Julia Martinez | Twitter  Email   Top Stories The Energy Department decided not to award a $200 million grant to Texas-based battery manufacturer Microvast Holdings Inc. to build a plant in Tennessee amid backlash from Republican lawmakers who have scrutinized the company’s alleged ties to China. The agency did not provide a specific reason for canceling the preliminary grant, which was announced in October. (The Associated Press)  In a 221-203 vote, the House passed a Congressional Review Act resolution to overturn the Biden administration’s heavy-duty truck pollution rule that aims to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides by half by 2045, as Republicans contend the rule would mean higher costs for the industry and customers. The measure, which was passed earlier by the Senate, now heads to President Joe Biden for an expected veto. (The Hill)  In an effort to avoid lawsuits, the Environmental Protection Agency recommended delaying a proposal that would have given electric vehicle manufacturers the ability to generate federal biofuel credits by charging EVs with renewable natural gas or methane from farms and landfills, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The EPA said it is considering comments on the proposal and is still working to announce a final rule by June 14. (Reuters)  HAPPENING TODAY: The Environmental and Energy Study Institute will host a briefing on the Farm Bill with speakers like Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.).    Chart Review ‘Worthless’: Chevron’s carbon offsets are mostly junk and some may harm, research says The Guardian Even if Chevron met the goals in its net zero plan, it would ignore over 90% of its emissions Emissions included in Chevron's net zero' plan Scope 1and 2, emissions from 57m operation and production Emissions not included Scope 3, emissions from the end use of Chevron's oil and gas products 10m metric tons of O, equivalent   What Else You Need To Know POLITICS AND POLICY U.N. slams carbon removal as unproven and risky Corbin Hiar, E&E News A United Nations panel is casting doubt on the promise of using machines to remove vast amounts of carbon dioxide from the air and sea in order to fight climate change. California seeks EPA approval to ban sales of new gasoline-only vehicles by 2035 David Shepardson, Reuters California has asked the Biden administration to approve its plan to require all new vehicles sold in the state by 2035 to be either electric or plug-in electric hybrids, a landmark move that could speed the end of gasoline-powered vehicles, according to a letter seen by Reuters. U.S. Energy Department funds small-scale clean energy on tribal land Valerie Volcovici, Reuters The U.S. Energy Department on Tuesday announced $34 million in funding for 18 renewable energy projects, part of an effort by the Biden administration to bring clean electricity to remote places that lack stable service and face high energy bills and severe impacts of climate change. Maverick Joe Manchin on shaky ground in coal country over climate Aime Williams, Financial Times The Democrat has failed to convince conservative West Virginians that Biden’s clean energy subsidies will help them. EPA under pressure to revive noise pollution program Sean Reilly, E&E News More than 40 years have passed since EPA’s noise regulation program was silenced by a Reagan-era rollback. CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENT Heat Wave and Blackout Would Send Half of Phoenix to E.R., Study Says Michael Levenson, The New York Times New research warns that nearly 800,000 residents would need emergency medical care for heat stroke and other illnesses in an extended power failure. Other cities are also at risk. Here’s why this hurricane season could be unusually unpredictable Scott Dance, The Washington Post El Niño typically means a quieter hurricane season. As ocean temperatures rise, that could be changing. BlackRock, Vanguard Among Firms Blocking Key ESG Votes: Study John Ainger, Bloomberg The world’s biggest asset managers are consistently voting against proposals intended to protect biodiversity, as one of the fastest-growing corners of ESG falls flat at shareholder meetings, according to a report by environmental nonprofit Planet Tracker. Current emissions trajectory could expose billions to extreme heat: study Zack Budryk, The Hill The current trajectory of climate change could put some 2 billion people at risk from extreme temperatures by the turn of the century, according to research published in the journal Nature Sustainability. Biodiversity Credits Rejected by ESG Body in New Guidelines Sheryl Tian Tong Lee, Bloomberg For global companies newly concerned about their impact on plants and animals, an influential standards-setting body has barred one of the easiest remedies: so-called biodiversity offsets, which allow firms to counterbalance their environmental impact in one place with conservation efforts elsewhere.    RENEWABLES AND NUCLEAR Record solar power generated in New York state -grid operator Reuters New York state's power grid met about 20% of its electricity demand with energy from the sun for one hour last week, marking the highest ever output from solar generation, the grid operator said on Tuesday. Federal judge dismisses whale case, upholds permits for offshore Vineyard Wind project Diana DiGangi, Utility Dive The project still faces three other lawsuits, two from fishing industry stakeholders. FOSSIL FUELS Energy Transfer slams US denial of LNG extension, seeks rehearing Curtis Williams, Reuters Pipeline operator Energy Transfer slammed the U.S. Department of Energy's denial of an export-permit extension to its Louisiana liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project in a DOE filing, seeking a rehearing. Two injured in fire at CVR's Wynnewood refinery in Oklahoma Reuters Two employees were injured due to a fire in the gasoline hydrotreater at CVR Energy's 74,500 barrel-per-day refinery in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, on Tuesday morning, the company said. Wildfires in Western Canada Recede, Energy Output Resumes Kevin Orland and Robert Tuttle, Bloomberg The number of fires burning in Canada’s top energy-producing province of Alberta declined in recent days, allowing some companies to restore oil and gas production that had been shut earlier in the month.   Foreign exports, not domestic demand, to drive controversial gas expansion, agency finds Saul Elbein, The Hill Foreign sales, not American demand, are driving a projected decades-long rise in natural gas production, a new federal report has found. Contractor says it has settled lawsuit with sick and dying coal ash workers Travis Loller, The Associated Press Attorneys for a group of workers who believe their jobs cleaning up a massive coal ash spill in Tennessee led to a slew of illnesses, including fatal cancers, have reached a settlement with the contractor who organized the cleanup for the Tennessee Valley Authority, according to a notice posted on the Jacobs Engineering website on Tuesday. TRANSPORTATION AND ALTERNATIVE FUELS Ford keeping AM radios in vehicles amid lawmaker pressure Jared Gans, The Hill Ford Motor Co. announced it is keeping AM radio available in its vehicles following pressure from lawmakers to keep it in its products.  Tesla to pick location for new factory this year, Musk says Reuters Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said on Tuesday the automaker would probably pick a location for a new factory by the end of this year. ELECTRICITY/UTILITIES/INFRASTRUCTURE Speeding up US power grid connection 'top priority', FERC chairman says Valerie Volcovici, Reuters The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission aims to finalize its plan to speed up the process of connecting power projects to the grid over the coming months, FERC Chairman Willie Phillips said on Tuesday, calling the issue his top priority. Pennsylvania high court to consider plan to make power plants pay for greenhouse gas emissions Marc Levy, The Associated Press Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court will take its first crack at whether a governor can force power plant owners to pay for their planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, or whether he first needed approval from a Legislature that refused to go along with the plan. The coming battle between Americans who want to go electric and their landlords Shannon Osaka, The Washington Post In rented homes and apartments, renters struggle to switch to cleaner energy. California’s ‘zonal’ approach could revamp clean energy planning, shrink interconnection queue: experts Kavya Balaraman, Utility Dive The California Independent System Operator’s new approach to coordinating transmission planning, interconnection queuing and resource procurement in specific geographic zones could have a significant impact on clean energy planning and paring down interconnection requests in the queue, according to experts. Mass. agency dismisses 2 battery storage projects, citing lack of legal clarity over ‘generating facility’ Stephen Singer, Utility Dive A Massachusetts agency has dismissed two proposed battery energy storage systems, saying state law does not provide “clear guidance” on whether a BESS is a generating facility and subject to its jurisdiction. LAND AND RESOURCES USGS rejects push to make copper a ‘critical’ mineral Hannah Northey, E&E News The U.S. Geological Survey is rebuffing bipartisan calls from lawmakers to add copper to its list of critical minerals, a classification that’s catapulted in importance as the nation races to compete with China on development of renewable energy technology and boost electric vehicle adoption. Historic Colorado River deal not enough to stave off long-term crisis, experts say Oliver Milman, The Guardian Agreement between California, Arizona and Nevada will cut water consumption by 13% but experts warn river is still in serious peril. California wants to store floodwaters underground. It's harder than it sounds Nathan Rott and Claire Harbage, NPR News More water stored underground means fewer flooded farms, and more water available to farmers like him during the next inevitable drought. GENERAL Sustainable mushroom coffin a last best wish for some Aleksandar Furtula and Raf Casert, The Associated Press For those seeking to live in the most sustainable way, there now is an afterlife too. ‘Big Earth energy’: A new era of nature spirituality is here Michelle Boorstein, The Washington Post But growing interest in nature spirituality doesn’t necessarily lead to more climate activism, experts say. OPINIONS, EDITORIALS AND PERSPECTIVES A Lawsuit to Protect Pensions From Climate Politics The Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal Workers say New York pension funds can’t use their savings to serve Bill de Blasio’s policy goals. NING C NG CONSIL This email was sent to: [email protected] by: Morning Consult 1025 F Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20004
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