Mining union backs just transition to renewables

TRANSITION: United Mine Workers of America leaders say they’ll support President Biden’s plan of training fossil fuel workers for “good paying jobs” in the renewables sector, though some miners are skeptical. (NBC News)

ALSO:
Investors are demanding returns from coal be four times higher than they’d receive from wind and solar, an University of Oxford study finds, showing they need a big incentive to justify the risks of financing the fossil fuel. (Guardian)
Sen. Joe Manchin and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm discuss how a clean energy transition can take shape in places that depend on fossil-fuel jobs, though a split between labor and energy advocates could stand in the way. (Roll Call; E&E News, subscription)

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EMISSIONS:
Global carbon emissions will rise nearly 5% this year, the International Energy Agency projects, in what its director calls a “dire warning” that the world’s COVID-19 recovery is “anything but sustainable.” (CNN)
ExxonMobil pitches a $100 billion carbon-capture project as a way to meet the rapid emissions reductions President Biden is expected to soon announce, provided the company receives tax breaks and other aid to build it. (Politico)

PIPELINES:
• A nonpartisan watchdog says the federal government doesn’t adequately inspect active undersea pipelines and allows 97% of all decommissioned pipelines to remain on the seafloor. (The Hill)
• The Dakota Access operator argues in federal court that shutting down the pipeline would cause “immediate economic shock” and lead the company to lose roughly $4 million per day in revenue. (Reuters)

CLIMATE:
The UN’s meteorological arm reports on climate change’s “relentless” intensification last year as heatwaves, floods and extreme storms broke records around the world. (Guardian)
Environmental activists aren’t pleased with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s selection of a former private equity investor and Obama administration veteran to lead the department’s new climate hub. (Politico)
Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the U.S. is “falling behind” China when it comes to fighting climate change, saying the U.S. will “lose out on countless jobs” if it doesn’t speed up its transition to renewables. (The Hill)

POLITICS: House Republicans launch a three-day event focused on “conservative solutions for a better climate” as President Biden headlines his own summit. (The Hill)

NATURAL GAS: Supporters of a 55 MW natural gas peaker plant in Massachusetts say the region needs the firm capacity to support further renewables growth, though opponents note it will increase pollution in an area that is already home to a power plant. (Energy News Network)

RENEWABLES:
Amazon is backing new solar projects in Ohio and California, as well as a wind project in Oklahoma, as it seeks renewable power for its data and distribution centers. (The Hill)
Renewable energy could become a remote southeastern Utah county’s principal export, with a Navajo Nation solar project leading the way. (Salt Lake Tribune)

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UTILITIES: A recent appointee to a Michigan consumer advocacy board is the pastor of a church that received a $12,000 grant last year from DTE Energy’s foundation, raising concerns among utility watchdogs and ethics experts. (Energy News Network)

FINANCING: Connecticut’s two U.S. senators are resurrecting an earlier bill to form a national green bank that would allow the U.S. Department of the Treasury to issue billions in “green” bonds. (New Haven Register)

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