July 2020 Media Brief

The Energy in COVID-19 monthly research briefs collect the latest news read by our working group members. Each month, a different working group member takes the lead in writing up summaries and the brief’s framing, always in conversation with the full working group. The overall aim of the briefs is to showcase how disasters instigate policy changes, particularly around economic crises.


Reports on energy in COVID-19 continue to range in coverage and topic. As the pandemic’s impacts continue to unfold and be felt, already stressed systems’ vulnerabilities are increasingly brought to light. For this week’s brief, reports and news articles focus on varied topics that do, however, continue to take into consideration the economic repercussions of the pandemic. Topics of discussion range from the pandemic’s impact in rural communities, to large-scale projects unfolding or being dismantled by the pandemic. Our second media brief continues to build upon theories of black feminist thought on the interlocking systems that reproduce relations of power and create the conditions favorable for a disaster like the one that continues to unravel (Collins, 1990; Fortun, 2012). Readers should pay attention to discussions of vulnerabilities within  digital infrastructures, utility industries, and  energy production sectors, as well as vulnerabilities that are worsened as the virus’ contagion increases and as safeguarding policies are relaxed. While not explicitly discussed, several articles presented in this brief do covertly reveal stressed, racially unequal and segregated systems and infrastructures that contribute to disparate health outcomes.

The below image is from "Utilities Propose First Regional Grid-Balancing Market in Southeastern US" and presents a map of regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs) that manage the interstate transmission grids.


Cite as: Briana Leone, Morgan Sarao, James Adams, Andrew Rosenthal, and Ali Kenner. "Research Brief - July 31, 2020." Energy in COVID-19. The Energy Vulnerability Project. Platform for Experimental and Collaborative Ethnography.

The Energy in COVID-19 monthly media briefs collect the latest news read by the Energy in COVID-19 working group members. The overall aim of the briefs is to showcase how disasters can shore up policy changes, particularly around economic crises. All media briefs can found in this timeline essay.

Visit the Energy in COVID-19 main page for more information about the working group.

Thumbnail Image Citation:  Carey, N. (2020, July 8). “Coronavirus 'collateral damage' hits U.S. rural power providers.” Reuters.



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Created date

July 24, 2020

Group Audience

Cite as

Briana Leone, Alison Kenner, James Adams, Morgan Sarao and Andrew Rosenthal. 24 July 2020, "July 2020 Media Brief", The Energy Rights Project, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 28 June 2022, accessed 21 April 2024. https://energyrights.info/content/july-2020-media-brief