Critics question promises of quick nuclear cleanups

NUCLEAR: Activists and regulators question whether companies offering speedy cleanup of radioactive material have the expertise and financial means to do the job. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• The CEO of FirstEnergy says keeping nuclear plants online is an “insurance policy” against higher natural gas prices in the future. (WKSU)
• A U.S. House committee rejects a funding request to restart the licensing process to permanently store nuclear waste at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
• Piketon, Ohio, residents protest a U.S. Department of Energy event over cleanup efforts at a former uranium enrichment plant. (Columbus Dispatch)

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Minnesota utility to close last coal plants by 2030

COAL: Xcel Energy will close its last two coal plants in Minnesota by 2030 under an agreement with environmental and labor groups. (Greentech Media)

ALSO:
• A top Democrat criticizes the U.S. EPA for not participating in a hearing about the health effects of toxic mercury air pollution. (The Hill)
• Illinois lawmakers have until the end of the month to pass more stringent regulations for coal ash storage sites. (Energy News Network)

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SOLAR:
• Environmental justice advocates say a Massachusetts program has failed to extend solar power access to low-income communities.

EPA to change accounting for coal pollution impacts

COAL: Sources say the U.S. EPA plans to adopt a new method for calculating health risks of air pollution that has never been peer-reviewed, and would slash an estimate for premature deaths caused by its new rule on coal plant emissions. (New York Times)

ALSO:
• A Tennessee Valley Authority contractor faces another lawsuit on behalf of 119 workers who say they were exposed to toxins a decade ago while cleaning up the nation’s largest coal ash spill. (Knoxville News Sentinel)
• Major utilities transition from coal, even in conservative states, despite the Trump administration’s effort to revive the industry. (Salon)

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RENEWABLES:
• A New Jersey Senate committee endorses a 100% renewables by 2050 proposal despite some business groups saying the target is too soon.

Midwest flooding exposes Keystone XL risks

PIPELINES: Flood-prone areas of the Midwest increase the risk of leaks and spills from the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, critics say. (InsideClimate News)

ALSO:
• The nation’s busiest gasoline pipeline, which runs from Texas to North Carolina, is running below capacity because Gulf of Mexico refineries make more money exporting fuel to Latin America. (Bloomberg)
• A utility serving Long Island has stopped processing applications for natural gas service after New York regulators rejected an undersea pipeline. (Newsday)

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OFFSHORE DRILLING:
• Oil that’s been leaking from a Gulf of Mexico drilling site for 14 years is finally being contained, and a chronic oil sheen is now “barely visible,” according to Coast Guard officials.

Documents show Trump administration misled on biofuel waivers

BIOFUELS: Documents reveal the Trump administration granted biofuel waivers to oil refiners months before a court decision it has used to justify the practice. (Reuters)

PIPELINES:
• New York regulators yesterday denied a water quality permit to a proposed undersea natural gas pipeline that would have connected New Jersey to Long Island. (New York Times)
• Video footage is released of damage to the Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac following an anchor strike in April 2018. (Detroit Free Press)

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UTILITIES: California fire investigators have determined that transmission lines owned and operated by PG&E were responsible for starting the deadliest wildfire in the state’s history.