U.S. Energy News

Analysts: Residential solar growth will flatten in 2017

SOLAR: Residential solar is only expected to grow by about 0.3 percent next year thanks to utility pushback and shifting tax policies, according to a recent analysis. (Bloomberg)

CLIMATE:
• Low natural gas prices, federal tax breaks for renewables and the falling cost of wind and solar are the primary drivers of lower carbon emissions, experts say. (EnergyWire)
• California’s governor signs four bills into law, including funding of electric-car rebates and an increase of climate-related dollars going toward low-income communities. (Los Angeles Times)

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ADVOCACY: A new Minnesota advocacy group is working on behalf of ratepayers to limit price hikes and promote clean energy. (Midwest Energy News)

REGULATION:
• A new federal blueprint divides a 17,000-square-mile stretch of California desert into conservation areas and lands open to solar and wind farm development, drawing criticism from clean-energy producers who call it too limiting. (Associated Press)
• A massive public lands bill for Utah that would allow the state permitting authority over energy development on federal lands is unorthodox and “problematic,” says the director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. (Deseret News)

POLITICS: House Democrats slam Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith during a committee meeting, calling his subpoenas against state attorneys general who are investigating ExxonMobil a brazen attempt to help the oil industry. (Huffington Post)

UTILITIES: Nest believes it can deploy 50,000 of its smart thermostats to help prevent blackouts as part of a new deal with Southern California Edison. (Greentech Media)

OIL & GAS: Executives from a Houston company that recently discovered some 15 billion barrels of oil and gas in West Texas are working to assure locals that fracking operations won’t threaten spring waters in the area’s Balmorhea State Park. (Houston Chronicle)

FRACKING: The Ohio Supreme Court rejects efforts to put anti-fracking initiatives on November ballots, siding with election officials who said the plans didn’t provide enough guidance on how local permitting would work. (EnergyWire)

PIPELINES:
• The Army Corps of Engineers tells a federal court not to grant an injunction against the Dakota Access Pipeline, but said it supports a temporary halt on construction pending a more rigorous review. (The Hill)
500 people rally at the White House to persuade President Obama to stop construction on the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, which activists say is still underway despite the Justice Department asking the company to “voluntarily pause” the project. (Huffington Post)
• How tribes in Montana fought and won a battle against Yellowstone Pipeline Co. in 1995, which has similarities to the ongoing Dakota Access Pipeline controversy. (Billings Gazette)
• Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline says one of its Alabama pipelines leaked about 6,000 barrels of gasoline on Friday, but the fuel is contained and poses no threat to public health or safety. (Reuters)
• Officials for Houston-based Spectra Energy say a natural gas pipeline that exploded in Pennsylvania in April was caused by rapid steel corrosion. (Tribune-Review)

COAL:
• The coal industry needs to stop debating the validity of climate change and focus on a “technical solution” to curbing emissions, such as carbon capture and sequestration technology, according to the CEO of coal miner Cloud Peak Energy. (SNL)
Recycling coal ash in North Carolina presents financial challenges, according to a new report. (Southeast Energy News)

COMMENTARY: California’s biggest utility is right in its proposal to shut down California’s Diablo nuclear plant in favor of more renewable energy. (Greentech Media)

 

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