House Republicans question basic climate science during hearing

CLIMATE:
• Skeptical Republican lawmakers question a top climate scientist on global warming and sea-level rise during a House committee hearing. (E&E News, New York Magazine)
• Trump’s new NASA administrator says climate change is happening and humans are contributing “in a major way.” (The Atlantic)

FINANCE: The Trump administration’s tax laws have had a minimal impact on clean energy investments, dispelling earlier predictions that changes would hurt availability of tax equity. (Greentech Media)

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TECHNOLOGY: Bitcoin “mining” is consuming record amounts of electricity and by late next year could equal all the world’s solar panel output. (Grist)

SOLAR: A planned solar farm on abandoned mine land in Kentucky is in limbo because a West Virginia coal company is years behind on reclaiming the land.

Report: Solar employs twice as many U.S. workers as coal industry

SOLAR:
• The U.S. solar industry employed twice as many workers as the coal industry in 2017, according to a new report. (Bloomberg)
• Residential solar installer Sunrun sees a 37 percent boost in revenue year-over-year and expects to benefit from a California mandate requiring solar panels on all new homes. (Greentech Media)

RENEWABLES: Wholesale energy prices would drop up to 25 percent if wind and solar provided 40 to 50 percent of grid generation, but price fluctuations would likely increase, according to a new study. (Greentech Media)

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Report: Rollback of auto emissions rules won’t derail EV growth

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Weakening federal fuel efficiency standards is unlikely to slow progress on electric vehicles, according to a new report. (Greentech Media)
• Amid production problems and staff departures, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tells employees the company will undergo a “thorough reorganization.” (Reuters)

SOLAR: A law requiring solar panels on new homes in California could lower residential solar prices to as little as $1 per watt by decreasing soft costs. (PV Magazine)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 2018 Renewable Energy Conference: A Leadership Forum on Energy Policy, June 26 in Poughkeepsie, New York will feature IBM’s Dr. John Kelly. Don’t miss the premier renewable energy conference on the East Coast! Register today!***

INNOVATION: The founder of a St.

Report: California solar home mandate will boost sales by 14 percent

SOLAR:
• A mandate requiring solar panels on new California homes is expected to boost residential solar sales 14 percent from 2020 through 2023, according to a new analysis. (Greentech Media)
• Eight senators urge the Trump administration to exempt industrial-sized solar panels from its solar import tariff. (Bloomberg)

STORAGE: Tesla CEO Elon Musk hints at a gigawatt-hour-scale energy storage project during a recent earnings call. (Greentech Media)

***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.***

WIND: A new database of U.S. commercial wind turbines shows that Kern County, California, leads with 4,581 turbines — more than every state in the Northeast combined.

Pruitt wants EPA to consider energy effects when setting clean air laws

EPA: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issues an emergency memorandum to change how federal clean air laws are made, saying the agency’s advisers should consider any adverse economic or energy effects. (InsideClimate News)

ALSO:
• A White House spokesperson says President Trump is pleased with the job Pruitt has done as EPA administrator, but his ethical investigations “have raised some concerns.” (Reuters)
• Pruitt is seeking extra help defending himself from an onslaught of ethical scandals through a private legal defense fund, but that may come with ethical issues of its own. (Mother Jones)

***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.***

CLIMATE:
• The Pentagon revised an Obama-era Defense Department report to minimize climate change threats to military bases and installations, according to an unpublished draft obtained by The Washington Post. • Washington state’s King County files a climate change lawsuit against five prominent fossil fuel companies and asks them to establish a fund to pay for the effects of global warming.