U.S. Energy News

Advocates slam FERC order as fossil fuel bailout

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POLICY: Federal regulators issue an order that critics say amounts to a subsidy for fossil fuel plants and will hurt renewable energy in grid operator PJM’s territory. (InsideClimate News)

ALSO: The White House directed last-minute efforts to discontinue federal clean energy tax credits for solar and electric vehicles, though advocates are also placing blame on House Democrats. (Greentech Media)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Analysts say the future of electric vehicles remains “highly uncertain” as forecasts vary and in some cases have scaled back estimates. (E&E News, subscription)

BIOFUELS: Farm groups and farm-state lawmakers express anger over the U.S. EPA’s final proposed renewable fuel standard, which they say fails to uphold President Trump’s promises. (Associated Press)

RENEWABLES: The North American Electric Reliability Corp. says grid operators should prepare for more than 330 gigawatts of wind and solar coming online through 2029. (Utility Dive)

TRANSPORTATION: Advocates of a multi-state effort to curb tailpipe emissions fear New Hampshire’s withdrawal will prompt other states to opt out of the fledgling compact. (E&E News)

SOLAR:
• Michigan saw a 57% increase in net metering installations in 2018, raising concerns among solar advocates that utilities will reach caps in the next year preventing more customers from participating. (Energy News Network)
• Though federal tax credits and retail-rate net metering programs are phasing out, declining costs and battery storage will likely help the distributed solar industry. (Utility Dive)

EFFICIENCY: Across the U.S., public holiday lighting displays are cutting costs and their carbon footprint by using LEDs. (E&E News, subscription)

OIL & GAS:
• Texas’ oil and gas industry is largely responsible for doubling illegal air pollution in the state in 2018, according to an environmental group’s report. (Texas Observer)
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says a fracking ban would be “catastrophic” to Pennsylvania’s economy, but its study ignores costs related to climate change and public health. (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)
• Congress’ federal spending deal could imperil an Appalachian fossil fuel storage project seeking a $1.9 billion federal loan guarantee, according to environmental advocates. (WVPB)
Oil and gas drilling threatens the future of a central Colorado valley that turned to sustainable farming in the wake of coal’s decline. (InsideClimate News)

COAL:
The U.S. Senate passes the Bipartisan American Miners Act of 2019, which protects coal miners’ pensions and expands healthcare benefits. (WKYT)
The U.S. EPA will allow Georgia to develop and enforce its own coal ash regulations, making it the second state after Oklahoma to be able to do so. (WABE)

UTILITIES: PG&E CEO Bill Johnson tells a U.S. Senate committee that California’s wildfires were largely caused by climate change, pushing back against a report this month from state regulators that pointed a finger at poorly maintained transmission equipment. (E&E News, subscription) 

PIPELINES: South Dakota lawmakers are working on a bill backed by tribes that would require oil companies to pay for cleaning up pipeline spills or leaks. (Associated Press)

STORAGE: More large-scale battery storage projects are coming to Texas to help support the state’s growing renewable portfolio. (Houston Chronicle) 

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CLEAN ENERGY: More than a dozen groups urge New York regulators to begin a process that would set the state on a path to 70% renewable energy in a decade. (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY: Despite an unprecedented number of deep-decarbonization commitments from U.S. utilities in 2019, emissions are still not on a downward track, advocates say. (Natural Resources Defense Council)

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