EPA official’s ex-lobbying firm took millions from utilities

POLITICS: A secretive group of utilities paid millions of dollars to a top lobbying firm shortly before one of its partners was named the EPA’s top air pollution regulator, documents show. (Politico)

EMISSIONS:
• Ford investigates whether incorrect computer modeling may have caused it to misstate fuel economy and emissions during government testing. (Detroit News)
• The Trump Administration’s push to weaken California’s vehicle emission standards could have a ripple effect in New Jersey and other states. (NJ Spotlight)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 12th annual Storage Week, Feb. 25-27 in San Francisco, is the development and finance business hub at the forefront of behind-the-meter and grid-connected storage system deployments.

Feds cut off fuel efficiency talks with California

TRANSPORTATION: The Trump administration breaks off talks with California officials over vehicle fuel efficiency standards and is on track to roll back standards put in place by the Obama administration. (Washington Post)

EMISSIONS: Volkswagen is the first automaker to pledge to make its manufacturing operations carbon neutral. (E&E News)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 12th annual Storage Week, Feb. 25-27 in San Francisco, is the development and finance business hub at the forefront of behind-the-meter and grid-connected storage system deployments. Join energy storage executives and active financiers as they explore the road to bankable projects!***

RENEWABLES:
• Arizona’s largest utility announces it will add almost 850 MW of new battery storage and 100MW of solar power by 2025.

All-renewable grid will need lots of storage

GRID: The polar vortex showed the U.S. needs to scale up battery storage far beyond what’s projected to meet high demand with 100 percent renewables, an analysis finds. (InsideClimate News)

SOLAR:
• An oversight agency rules that a Texas solar company did not provide the service or savings promised to customers in Puerto Rico. (Centro de Periodismo Investigativo)
• A Virginia bill awaiting the governor’s signature would raise the state’s net metering cap for electric cooperatives. (Energy News Network)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 12th annual Storage Week, Feb. 25-27 in San Francisco, is the development and finance business hub at the forefront of behind-the-meter and grid-connected storage system deployments.

Amazon says it will make half of shipments carbon neutral by 2030

COAL: Tennessee Valley Authority issues a draft operating plan that calls for a shift from coal to natural gas and distributed generation as the electricity sector evolves in the Southeast. (Energy News Network)

EMISSIONS: Amazon announces plans to make half of all its shipments carbon neutral by 2030, perhaps to distract from a recent Greenpeace report on the environmental impact of its data centers. (Associated Press, TechCrunch)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 12th annual Storage Week, Feb. 25-27 in San Francisco, is the development and finance business hub at the forefront of behind-the-meter and grid-connected storage system deployments. Join energy storage executives and active financiers as they explore the road to bankable projects!***

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Optimism grows in a southern Illinois city that electric pickup truck startup Rivian will repurpose a shuttered auto factory.

Pipeline project faces criminal investigation

PIPELINES: Mountain Valley Pipeline developers disclose to investors that they are under federal criminal investigation for possible violations of the Clean Water Act and other federal laws. (Roanoke Times)

ALSO:
• On top of legal challenges and environmental criticism, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline now faces growing wariness from investors as Moody’s downgrades the project’s rating. (Rocky Mount Telegram)
• A federal judge keeps most preliminary construction work on hold for the Keystone XL pipeline. (Associated Press)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 12th annual Storage Week, Feb. 25-27 in San Francisco, is the development and finance business hub at the forefront of behind-the-meter and grid-connected storage system deployments.