U.S. Energy News

After derailment, Oregon fire chief now calls crude-by-rail ‘insane’

OIL TRAINS:
• Cleanup continues after a train carrying Bakken crude oil derailed and caught fire Friday in Oregon’s scenic Columbia River Gorge, causing extensive damage to a nearby town’s water system. (Reuters, Oregonian)
• The fire chief in that town, previously a defender of the practice, now calls shipping Bakken crude by rail “insane.” (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

PIPELINES:
An industry official says it’s taking longer for pipeline projects to be approved and completed due to opposition from activists and landowners. (Greenwire)
Developers of the Constitution Pipeline say they had no role in the clearing of trees along the project’s route in New York. (Oneonta Daily Star)

OIL AND GAS:
• How oil company fights against clean air rules starting in the 1950s set the stage for resisting action on climate change. (InsideClimate News)
• Oklahoma companies seek dismissal of earthquake-related lawsuits. (Oklahoman)

NUCLEAR:
• Exelon says two more nuclear plants — in Illinois and Pennsylvania — are next to be considered “economically challenged” in the utility’s fleet. (Quad-City Times)
• An informed debate over nuclear power at Stanford University fails to persuade the audience one way or the other. (New York Times)

COAL:
• Critics say Arch Coal’s bankruptcy plan fails to account for how the company will finance mine cleanup. (Reuters)
• The Sierra Club says Nevada ratepayers could save hundreds of millions of dollars if a coal plant closure is moved up six years. (Associated Press)
• Peabody Energy files suit in a St. Louis court over another company’s failure to close a $358 million acquisition deal for mines in Colorado and New Mexico. (St. Louis Business Journal)
North Dakota researchers use farming techniques to improve coal mine reclamation. (Bismarck Tribune)

COAL ASH:
• The head of North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality says a recently passed coal ash bill “substantially weakens” environmental protections in current law. (Wilmington Star-News)

OVERSIGHT: How ratepayers have borne the costs of failed utility projects in California. (Los Angeles Times)

SOLAR:
• The Texas grid operator expects the state to add as much as 27 GW of new solar in the next 15 years. (Greentech Media)
• Advocates in Virginia see the state’s largest utility as a formidable obstacle to solar power, but pressure from corporations may change that. (Southeast Energy News)

EFFICIENCY:
A Nebraska company is helping develop a new approach to wind energy at a grain silo in Minneapolis that would create electricity from wasted heat. (Midwest Energy News)
A California experiment aims to mainstream net-zero homes. (New York Times)

UTILITIES: The CEO of NRG Energy reaffirms the company’s commitment to developing renewable energy and fighting climate change while also “insisting on financial discipline.” (EnergyWire)

GRID:
• A FERC conference discusses threats to the power grid. (RTO Insider)
• Industry executives push back against Ted Koppel’s book warning of grid vulnerability, calling his claims exaggerated. (USA Today)

COMMENTARY:
• Solar approaches the $1/watt threshold, but there are caveats. (MIT Technology Review)
• Community solar programs could reach millions of people if they’re designed right. (Greentech Media)
• Coal producers’ response to changing markets and technology has generally been defensive, rather than to innovate. (Slate)

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