U.S. Energy News

As climate debate intensifies, dozens of new gas plants going online

NATURAL GAS: As the U.S. debates how to fight climate change, as many as 177 natural gas plants are slated to open across the country. (USA Today)

ALSO: “Berkeley is the opening salvo” as dozens of cities are now considering restrictions on new natural gas connections. (Reuters)

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SOLAR:
• Xcel Energy wants to change how Minnesota calculates its “value of solar” rate as it faces a potential spike in payments to community solar operators. The complicated formula involves eight key variables. (Energy News Network)
• A recently completed solar farm in North Carolina is severely damaged by Hurricane Dorian. (13 News Now) 

WIND:
• Indiana has experienced a surge in wind farm construction during the past decade despite a lack of clear, uniform standards. (Associated Press)
Additional review of the Vineyard Wind project in Massachusetts will also delay regulators’ consideration of several offshore wind projects throughout New England. (ecoRI)

PIPELINES:
• A divisive fight over a crude oil pipeline project in Minnesota pits environmentalists against trade unions and highlights the dilemmas facing Democrats in some 2020 battleground states. (Associated Press)
A new bill pre-filed in the Kentucky legislature would make it a felony to trespass on “key infrastructure assets,” including pipelines. (WFPL)
• New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state will continue to fight federal approval of the Constitution pipeline “any way that we can.” (PressConnects.com)

UTILITIES: To avoid being sold, South Carolina utility Santee Cooper plans to overhaul its business by adding solar energy and potentially a gas-fired power plant, and studying cost-sharing arrangements. (Post and Courier)

GRID:
• Power prices crashed in Texas on Friday as electricity customers responded to requests from the state’s grid operator to reduce their energy use. (Reuters)
New York City will soon get two floating barges equipped with gas-fired generators to replace aging floating power plants. (POWER)

COAL: As the sale of Cloud Peak mines to the Navajo Nation enters the home stretch, concerns are again being raised that the Nation could be burdened with tax and cleanup liabilities associated with the mines in Wyoming and Montana. (Casper Star-Tribune)

BIOFUELS:
• Agricultural trade groups push back against a Trump administration plan to reform biofuel policy. (Reuters)
• North Dakota officials visited Brazil in hopes of building relationships that will open a new market for ethanol produced in the state. (Forum News Service)
• U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio criticizes the Trump administration for issuing biofuel waivers to refiners that he says are hurting Ohio farmers. (WOSU)

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POLITICS: Polling finds young Republicans care just as much about climate change as their Democratic peers. (Grist)

COMMENTARY:
“Voters should be skeptical of debates that place individual climate angst ahead of the industrial policies that could take the biggest bite out of emissions.” (Quartz)
An editorial board says additional review of offshore wind projects by federal regulators is reasonable, but the process must be consistent and predictable. (Newsday)
A former EPA official says we should not stop using nuclear power until we have replaced all of our major fossil fuel power sources with renewable energy. (The Hill)
David Roberts says political tribalism over nuclear power fails to capture the nuance of the policy discussion. (Vox)

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