U.S. Energy News

Air pollution from fracking may harm workers, neighbors

NATURAL GAS: People living or working near fracking for natural gas may be exposed to unsafe levels of air pollutants, according to scientists from Oregon State University and the University of Cincinnati. (Science Daily)
ALSO: Natural gas advanced to an 11-week high on speculation that demand for its use as power plant fuel will rise. (Bloomberg)FRACKING BAN: New York state on Wednesday released a 2,000-page final reportrequired to make its fracking ban official. (Capital New York)

OIL EXPORTS: A group of U.S. senators unveiled the chamber’s first major legislative plan for lifting the nation’s longstanding ban on crude exports on Wednesday. (FuelFix)
ARCTIC DRILLING: Shell says its offshore oil rigs will arrive on Seattle’s waterfront to prepare for drilling in Alaska despite a Port of Seattle resolution Tuesday asking the company to delay the docking. (The Seattle Times)
EPA RULES:
U.S. Senate Republicans introduced a bill Wednesday that would overturn EPA emissions limits for power plants and make it nearly impossible to rewrite them. (The Hill)
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s most vocal opponent of EPA emissions limits for power plants announced he will resign. (The Hill)
Two new tools can help states weigh their options for complying with proposed EPA emissions limits on power plants. (FierceEnergy)
STATE POLICY:
Vermont’s Senate gave preliminary approval Wednesday to an energy bill that, for the first time, would require utilities to provide renewable energy and help customers use less fossil fuel. (Burlington Free Press)
Maine’s governor has submitted three bills aimed at lowering energy costs that clean-energy advocates say would dismantle years of state policies supporting renewable energy and efficiency programs. (Portland Press Herald)
TRANSMISSION: An eastern Michigan transmission company has completed a $510 million project to tackle renewable-energy access and economic development in rural parts of the state. (Midwest Energy News)
SOLAR: A landfill next to San Francisco Bay will become the home of a 19,000 panel solar farm to power nearly 200 public buildings. (San Francisco Chronicle)
DIVESTMENT: Some state lawmakers are pushing public pension funds to dump stock in fossil fuel companies, but fund managers worry that a largely symbolic act will hurt vulnerable retirees. (Stateline)
INNOVATION:
A team that aims to drastically boost the efficiency of computing with silicon chips that move data using light rather than electricity took home both grand prizes from MIT Clean Energy competition. (MIT News)
Rice University scientists have found a way to simplify the manufacture of solar cells by using the top electrode as the catalyst that turns plain silicon into energy-absorbing black silicon. (Science Daily)

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