U.S. Energy News

17 states sue the Trump administration over car emission rules

REGULATION:
California and 16 other states file a lawsuit against the Trump administration for attempting to roll back fuel economy standards. (New York Times)
•  Democratic Senator Tom Carper calls the administration’s proposed changes to vehicle efficiency standards “extreme” and “legally questionable.” (The Hill)

EPA:
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s top Superfund adviser and the head of his security team are leaving the agency amid increasing scrutiny. (The Hill)
Scott Pruitt’s trip to Morocco last year was partially organized by a former Comcast lobbyist and cost taxpayers more than $100,000. (Washington Post)

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POLITICS: Solar and wind companies donated $247,000 to Republicans in the 2018 election cycle, compared to $139,300 to Democrats, according to an analysis of campaign finance data. (Reuters)

BIOFUEL: A biofuels trade group asks a federal court to decide whether the EPA illegally granted oil refineries exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard. (Reuters)

OIL & GAS:
• Opponents are using the courts to fight a ban on new bulk fossil-fuel terminals in Portland, Oregon. (Portland Business Journal)
• A coalition of conservation groups reaches an agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over an endangered bird threatened by drilling and overgrazing on public lands in Colorado and Utah. (Deseret News)

COAL:
The Hopi tribe files a lawsuit to try to force an Arizona coal plant’s biggest customer to keep buying power from the troubled facility. (Arizona Republic)
Two coal companies — Ramaco Resources and Consol Energy — ramp up production as the industry slows, opening new mines in West Virginia and Virginia and working with large retrofitted coal plants. (Reuters)

WIND:
New research looks at public perception of wind farms and whether some objections by opponents are overblown. (The Conversation)
A new study says proximity to major cities makes offshore wind more valuable in the Northeast than in other parts of the U.S. (Windpower Monthly)

RENEWABLES: Companies are on track to shatter records for the amount of renewable energy purchased in a year. (Bloomberg)

NUCLEAR: A plan to store spent fuel from commercial nuclear reactors draws a wave of opposition in New Mexico, where critics say the federal government needs to study more alternatives. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES:
Dominion Energy Virginia plans to build at least eight natural gas-fired power plants over the next 15 years and add solar capacity as it shifts from coal. (Associated Press)
A non-binding vote on whether to create a municipally owned electric utility in Decorah, Iowa, was too close to call late Tuesday. (Midwest Energy News)

GRID: A retired Air Force general in Wisconsin says diversified energy sources will make the country more secure. (Midwest Energy News)

CARBON MARKETS: The success of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has supporters pushing to expand the program, perhaps to include all 50 states. (Utility Dive)

CARBON PRICING: New York’s grid operator considers a proposal to integrate a carbon price into its power markets. (Utility Dive)

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CLIMATE:
A European climate group wants to draw attention to global warming by carving President Trump’s head into a glacier to “see how long the sculpture lasts before melting.” (The Hill)
Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders urge President Trump to select a homeland security adviser who takes climate change seriously. (The Hill)

COMMENTARY:
Oil and gas companies must do more to combat climate change, says a former ExxonMobil executive. (CNBC)
How a “virtual power plant” system in built by Hawaiian Electric could help the state reach its 100 percent renewable energy goal by 2040. (GreenBiz)
President Trump is reluctant to fire EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt because he’s brought the White House a number of policy successes and “regularly strokes Trump’s ego,” says a writer at Vox.

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