Weekly Energy Digest for April 24, 2020

By Published On: April 24, 2020

A few energy-related news stories we’ve been reading this week …


Kern Oil Producers Dodge Worst of US Price Collapse

The unprecedented collapse in the nation’s benchmark oil price this week is not expected to hurt Kern petroleum producers, local observers say, though it does reflect difficult market conditions weighing heavily on the county’s economy and employment. (The Bakersfield Californian, April 21)

Clean Energy Can be a ‘Huge Job Creator’ as Economy Recovers, Tom Steyer Says

The LA Times talked with Tom Steyer on Tuesday about how ambitious clean energy programs might help California and the nation recover from the damage wrought by the coronavirus crisis. The following conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity. (Los Angeles Times, April 21)

PG&E’s Top Exec to End Short Stint at Beleaguered Utility

PG&E Corp. CEO Bill Johnson will step down from his job just 14 months after the nation’s largest utility hired him to rescue it from a financial mess caused by a history of negligence and to change a corporate culture that emphasized profits over safety, the company announced Wednesday. (Sacramento Bee, April 22)

California Regulators Move Closer to Approving PG&E’s Exit from Bankruptcy

California utility regulators could advance Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s high-stakes emergence from bankruptcy through two major proposals they unveiled Monday. (San Francisco Chronicle, April 21)

80,000 California Wildfire Victims Weigh their Futures, and PG&E’s

About 80,000 people affected by recent Northern California wildfires are making a multibillion-dollar decision that could have enormous consequences for their lives and the future of the state’s electric grid. (San Francisco Chronicle, April 21)


NextEra Energy Looks to Spend $1B on Energy Storage in 2021

Companies across the global renewable energy industry are anxiously assessing the negative impact of the coronavirus outbreak on their bottom line. Every company, it seems, except NextEra Energy. (Green Tech Media, April 22)

Will the Coronavirus Pandemic Doom North Sea Oil?

For decades, the oil rigs rising out of the North Sea off Scotland provided Britain with hundreds of thousands of jobs in a thriving industry and billions in tax revenue. Much of that now seems a memory. The collapse in oil prices from the coronavirus pandemic, coupled with infections aboard the drilling rigs, are imperiling the vast industry that sprawls across the waters off Scotland and Norway. (New York Times, April 22)

This Coal Company with Ties to the Trump Administration Just Got a $10 Million Small-Business Loan

But Hallador Energy has several hundred more employees than the standard firm awarded money under the $2 trillion stimulus bill. And it has at least two important ties to the Trump administration: Scott Pruitt, the former Environmental Protection Agency administrator, was hired last year to lobby for the publicly traded firm in Indiana; and the company’s former government relations director now works at the Energy Department. (Washington Post, April 22)

Oil Prices Collapse Below Zero, Scrambling the Clean Energy Transition

Oil futures dived below zero for the first time ever amid the coronavirus-triggered economic turmoil. (Los Angeles Times, April 20)

Oil Plunges to Lowest Since 1986 Ahead of Contract Expiration

Oil plunged to the lowest level since 1986 as a deadly pandemic ravaging global economies threatens to erase an entire decade of demand growth, slashing thousands of jobs and wiping out hundreds of billions of dollars from company valuations. (Bloomberg, April 20)

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