California regulator: PG&E ‘failed on pretty simple stuff’  

CALIFORNIA: PG&E executives faced intense criticism over recent power outages on Friday from PUC president Marybel Batjer, who said the bankrupt utility “failed on so many levels on pretty simple stuff.” (New York Times)

ALSO: California lawmakers hope Batjer will help reform the commission, which they say has been too utility-friendly and especially soft on PG&E. (Los Angeles Times)

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COAL:
• Contura subsidiary Eagle Specialty Materials has apparently closed its $13.5 million deal to assume ownership of two former Blackjewel mines in Wyoming, potentially good news for former mine employees eager to return to work. (Gillette News Record)
• Experts say the accelerating closure of coal plants across the West isn’t quick enough to meet climate change goals. (Arizona Central, subscription)

PIPELINES: The developer of the proposed Bridger Expansion project revealed two oil pipelines will be built; one straddling North Dakota and Montana and one in Wyoming.

Trump taps former auto lobbyist to head Energy Department

WASHINGTON: President Trump says he will nominate deputy secretary Dan Brouillette to succeed Rick Perry as energy secretary. (New York Times) 

ALSO: Brouillette’s background as a lobbyist for the automotive industry fits a trend among Trump administration cabinet members. (New York Times)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Chicago residents living in apartments push for better access to electric vehicle charging stations as the city adopts new regulations to address the issue.

Opponents prepare challenge to Wisconsin transmission project

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Chicago residents living in apartments push for better access to electric vehicle charging stations as the city adopts new regulations to address the issue. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• Missouri regulators approve Ameren’s $11 million plan for electric vehicle charging stations. (St. Louis Business Journal)
• The need for utilities to respond to increased demand from electric vehicles could come sooner than expected, analysts say. (Utility Dive)

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Virginia signs major renewable energy contract with Dominion

RENEWABLES: Virginia enters a contract with Dominion Energy to buy 420 MW of power from four solar projects and a wind farm to help meet a mandate of using renewables for 30% of the state’s electricity needs by 2022. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, Roanoke Times)

SOLAR: Dominion Energy is proposing to pay the lowest avoided cost rate in the country to solar projects under PURPA in South Carolina. (PV Magazine)

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POLITICS: West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has frequently promoted his own coal companies, farms, and resorts while running the state government despite promising to focus on public service.

Subsidy revamp fails to protect ratepayers, New Jersey counsel says

SOLAR: The state Rate Counsel says the proposed revamp of New Jersey solar subsidies fails to reduce costs for ratepayers as a 2018 law requires. (NJ Spotlight)

ALSO: New Jersey regulators say the state has reached 3 GW of installed solar over 116,000 installations. (Solar Industry)

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BIOMASS: Two New Hampshire biomass plants lay off staff and go offline, and two others are at reduced capacity as efforts to save them fail.