Weekly Energy Digest for May 29, 2020

By Published On: May 29, 2020

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


As Fire Season Approaches, Sonoma County Prepares for Possible PG&E Shut-Offs Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

When Santa Rosa Junior College administrators started discussing moving the fall semester online because of the coronavirus pandemic, they had to plan for the possibility that a PG&E power shut-off could disrupt learning even further. (Press Democrat, May 29)

Regulators OK PG&E’s Bankruptcy Plan Despite ‘Mismanagement and Failure’

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. took a major step toward emerging from bankruptcy Thursday when California utility regulators approved the company’s plan to restructure its finances and pay victims of wildfires it caused. (San Francisco Chronicle, May 28)

Old Reactor Vessel from San Onofre Nuclear Plant Heads to Utah

A 770-ton chunk of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is on the move. Encased in a carbon steel cylinder, the reactor pressure vessel used by Unit 1 at the now-shuttered plant is getting shipped via rail to a licensed disposal facility in the town of Clive, Utah, about 75 miles west of Salt Lake City. (San Diego Union-Tribune, May 28)

PG&E Utility Replacement if Safety Woes Persist: Golden State Energy

PG&E would be replaced by a non-profit company called Golden State Energy if the disgraced utility operates unsafely in the future and causes more catastrophes such as wildfires or explosions, under the provisions of a proposed state bill to be debated before a legislative panel Thursday. (San Jose Mercury, May 27)

San Diego May Have to Pay SDG&E Millions for Natural Gas it Doesn’t Want

San Diego’s new government-run utility will likely have to spend millions on natural gas-fired power it doesn’t want as it takes its first steps into the energy market this year. (Voice of San Diego, May 27)

Electricity Outages Lead to Substantial Backup Generator Purchases

Preliminary survey results from California suggest that long outages are leading people to buy backup generators, possibly instead of rooftop solar. (Energy at Haas, May 26)

PG&E’s Long-Running Bankruptcy Saga Enters Pivotal Stage

Pacific Gas & Electric limped into bankruptcy vilified for its long-running neglect of a crumbling electrical grid that ignited a succession of horrific Northern California wildfires that left entire cities in ruins. (Associated Press, May 26)

Big Oil Loses Appeal, Climate Suits Go to California Courts

A U.S. appeals court ruled Tuesday against major oil companies in lawsuits brought by California cities and counties seeking damages for the impact of climate change. (Associated Press, May 26)

Another Step Toward Making Nuclear Fusion Power Plants a Reality?

An experiment at San Diego’s General Atomics is working improve performance in fusion projects. (San Diego Union-Tribune, May 26)


Trump’s Fossil Fuel Agenda Gets Pushback from Federal Judges

Federal courts have delivered a string of rebukes to the Trump administration over what they found were failures to protect the environment and address climate change as it promotes fossil fuel interests and the extraction of natural resources from public lands. (Los Angeles Times, May 28)

Power companies have announced plans to close 13 coal plants this year, according to an E&E News review of federal data and companies’ closure plans. Two others will be converted to natural gas. (E&E News, May 27)

U.S. Consumed More Renewables Than Coal for First Time in 134 Years

The U.S. consumed more renewable energy than coal last year for the first time since 1885, according to the Energy Information Administration. (Wall Street Journal, May 28)

Column: In Landmark Vote, Shareholders Tell Chevron to Report on its Climate Lobbying

Here’s a shareholder resolution Chevron will find hard to ignore. At the big oil company’s annual meeting, held Wednesday in a virtual format, a majority of shares were voted in favor of a proposal that the company issue an annual report disclosing its lobbying expenditures on climate change. (Los Angeles Times, May 28)

Chevron to Cut Up to 15% of Global Workforce

The second-largest oil producer in the U.S. said it wants to “compete in any operating environment and address current market conditions” which includes reducing operating costs, among other measures. (San Francisco Chronicle, May 28)

Investment in the U.S. shale sector will drop by half this year, the International Energy Agency said, predicting a period of pain for producers, even as oil prices rally. (Wall Street Journal, May 27)

The pandemic is turning energy markets upside-down. Some consumers will get paid for using electricity. (New York Times, May 22)

Ohio yesterday unanimously approved the Icebreaker wind farm, North America’s first offshore freshwater project, planned for just off the Cleveland shore in Lake Erie. (E&E News, May 22)

About the Author: Staff

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