‘We were warned’: Climate change no longer a distant threat

CLIMATE: Thirty years after James Hansen warned Congress about the looming threat of climate change, it is “hitting us hard from all sides.” (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• Experts say some companies’ climate disclosure resolutions may be relying on overly optimistic scenarios. (Energy News Network)
• A cottage industry has developed around helping the oil industry keep pace with climate change in Alaska, including a company that helps keep permafrost frozen. (NPR)

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RENEWABLES:
• The Massachusetts Senate approves sweeping legislation that would promote energy storage, put a price on carbon, increase renewable portfolio standards, and raise the solar net metering cap. (Associated Press, pv magazine)
• President Trump names a former fossil fuel lobbyist who had co-authored a report denying climate change to lead the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

When utilities make mistakes, who should pay?

UTILITIES: A California case is part of a broader pattern of utilities across the U.S. seeking to pass the costs of their mistakes onto customers instead of shareholders. (New York Times)

BIOFUELS: Conservative Midwest politicians are increasingly turning on EPA chief Scott Pruitt for weakening ethanol mandates. (Politico)

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POLLUTION: U.S. district court judges in Maryland and New York say the EPA must force five upwind states to limit smog pollution to comply with a Clean Air Act provision. (The Hill)

TRANSMISSION: Central Maine Power signs a contract with Massachusetts electricity distributors that sets prices for a proposed $950 million transmission line to deliver hydropower from Canada to New England.

Puerto Rico’s grid remains vulnerable as hurricane season approaches

GRID: Puerto Rico’s grid is in still in worse shape than it was before Hurricane Maria, raising the threat of blackouts as another hurricane season approaches. (Vox)

POLITICS: Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, a close ally of EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, suggests Pruitt should step down because of ongoing ethical scandals. (The Hill)

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OIL AND GAS:
• House Republicans push a proposal to impose large fees on states that oppose offshore oil and gas drilling by charging them at least a tenth of the estimated government revenue that would have been generated.

Under Trump, corporations increasingly worried about climate change

CLIMATE: Climate change is a growing concern for the nation’s top companies, beating out other economic concerns, according to an analysis of earnings calls. (Bloomberg)

POWER PLANTS:
• The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission unanimously says closing uneconomic coal and nuclear plants does not pose a threat to the U.S. power grid, putting it at odds with the Trump administration. (Reuters)
• American Electric Power’s CEO says any plan to stabilize nuclear and coal plants should be reviewed by utilities to protect ratepayers from rising costs. (E&E News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) and Host, Puget Sound Energy, for the West Coast Energy Management conference and expo, June 20-21 in Seattle. Use code EMC18CO at checkout for $200 reduced conference registration.***

SOLAR: A Nevada utility could soon break the record for the lowest price for solar energy in the nation.

Maine regulators deal setback to offshore wind project

WIND: Citing concerns about rates, Maine regulators will reconsider a previously negotiated contract for a proposed offshore wind farm; developers say the decision won’t necessarily prevent the project from moving forward. (Portland Press Herald)

ALSO: The decision underscores how Maine, which once sought to be a leader on offshore wind, has fallen behind other New England states. (Portland Press Herald)

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SOLAR:
• A new report predicts a steep drop in solar installations in Massachusetts in part because of caps on net metering.