Toxic coal ash polluting groundwater in 22 states

Listen: A special podcast collaboration between the Energy News Network and Greentech Media spotlights the shift in clean energy politics. COAL ASH: Groundwater testing reveals coal ash contamination near at least 70 power plants in 22 states, with numbers likely to grow. (InsideClimate News)

EFFICIENCY: The Trump administration takes down the Energy Star website during its government shutdown while other sites remain online. (E&E News)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 12th annual Storage Week, February 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!***

GRID: Virginia utility regulators reject most of Dominion Energy’s $6 billion proposal to modernize its electric grid, saying the cost for customers was too high.

Top economists call for carbon tax

CARBON TAX: Top economists from across the political spectrum call for a carbon tax as the best way to address climate change. (Washington Post)

SHUTDOWN:
• The chairman of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee says the Interior Department should not allow employees to continue work on oil and gas permitting and leasing during the government shutdown. (Associated Press)
• The government shutdown’s impact on wind and solar has been minimal so far, but that could change depending on how long it lasts. (Greentech Media)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 12th annual Storage Week, February 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!***

SOLAR:
• Google will power two data centers with solar projects totaling 413 MW in Alabama and Tennessee.

U.S. oil boom spells disaster for climate

OIL & GAS: The U.S. will export more oil than it imports next year thanks to a surge in drilling in the Permian Basin, according to the U.S. Energy Department. (CNBC)

ALSO:
• An analysis warns that the U.S. oil and gas boom spells disaster for the climate, releasing pollution equivalent to that from 1,000 coal plants by 2050. (E&E News, HuffPost)
• Families living near gas drilling operations are disproportionately burdened by them, their lawyer tells West Virginia’s Supreme Court. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 12th annual Storage Week, February 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!***

CLIMATE:
• A new study finds 18 states would see higher carbon emissions under the Trump administration’s “Affordable Clean Energy” rule.

Climate change’s first major financial casualty

CLIMATE:
• Energy experts say PG&E’s bankruptcy filing is one of the first major financial casualties from climate change, and won’t be the last. (New York Times)
• Climate change legislation in Rhode Island has so far done little to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (ecoRI)

MICROGRIDS: As the threat of climate change-fueled wildfire continues to grow in the West, one San Francisco Bay-area clean energy developer is working with California fire stations to develop resilient microgrids. (Greentech Media)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 12th annual Storage Week, February 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:
• Despite automaker promises to develop new electric vehicle models, only two are being unveiled at the Detroit auto show this week.

Renewables expected to outpace gas in 2019

POWER PLANTS: U.S. renewable energy additions are expected to far outpace natural gas in 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency. (Utility Dive)

ALSO:
• The limitations of America’s reliance on switching from coal to natural gas to lower emissions came into focus in 2018. (E&E News)
• Solar-and-storage pairings are becoming competitive with natural gas peaker plants, prompting nervousness in the gas industry. (Quartz)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 12th annual Storage Week, February 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!***

AVIATION: As gasoline consumption from car travel decreases, airline fuel use is growing and represents a huge problem for the climate.