U.S. Energy News

As coal declines, climate focus shifts to natural gas

UTILITIES: As coal-burning power plants are retired, utilities face the next big climate question: embrace natural gas or aggressively shift to renewable energy? (New York Times)

ALSO:
• The country’s largest public utilities say the Trump administration’s new power plant rule won’t impact their long-term plans. (RTO Insider)
Ratepayer advocates raise concerns about how ComEd’s proposed time-of-use rate pilot program would impact customers. (Energy News Network)

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POLITICS: The president of the Oregon Senate says the climate bill that triggered a Republican walkout does not have enough votes from Democrats to pass. (The Oregonian)

SOLAR:
North Carolina remains a top solar state as the Southeast surges ahead in installed capacity, an industry report shows. (Charlotte Business Journal, Axios)
• Nevada’s largest utility makes a big commitment to solar plus storage after many of its large customers demand more clean energy. (Utility Dive)
• A Seattle software startup offering home solar performance guarantees raises $15 million in investment funding as it seeks to expand into the commercial solar market. (Greentech Media)

WIND:
• North Carolina lawmakers reach a compromise over a proposed wind farm moratorium, instead agreeing to require state officials to seek more information from the military before approving permits. (Charlotte Observer)
• After visiting a proposed industry hub, U.S. Sen. Edward Markey reintroduces legislation to extend the investment tax credit for offshore wind. (Herald News)

TRANSMISSION:
• Government delay, utility disinterest, and local opposition killed what would have been America’s biggest transmission line to move wind power from Oklahoma to Tennessee. (Axios)
• Massachusetts regulators approve power contracts to import Canadian hydropower over a planned power line in Maine. (CommonWealth Magazine)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
U.S. automakers’ efforts to extend federal tax credits for electric vehicles triggers a lobbying battle from oil and natural gas companies. (Washington Post)
Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in a new commercial aimed at promoting electric vehicles. (Wired)

OIL & GAS:
• The U.S. House approves a spending measure barring land managers from using federal funds to approve oil and gas projects near an area in New Mexico considered sacred by several Western tribes. (Associated Press)
The Philadelphia refinery that was damaged by an explosion and fire last week may permanently close with layoffs expected to be announced today. (Reuters)

PIPELINES:
• A Texas judge rejects a challenge to the state’s licensing process, allowing Kinder Morgan to begin work on a natural gas pipeline without Texas energy regulators approving its proposed route. (Reuters)
• Atlantic Coast Pipeline developers appeal to the Supreme Court to keep permits for the project to cross the Appalachian Trail. (E&E News, subscription)

NUCLEAR:
A company that has been acquiring closed nuclear plants received $260 million in tax breaks from New Jersey had similar aid from Ohio revoked after failing to create promised jobs. (ProPublica)
Ohio Senate Republicans move quickly to draft a substitute bill to support two nuclear plants before lawmakers break for the summer. (Utility Dive, Toledo Blade)

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COAL: A federal report shows Appalachia is seeing some economic improvement but coal-producing communities are still struggling. (Ohio Valley Resource)

COMMENTARY:
• A watchdog group’s analysis shows utilities plan to slow the pace of decarbonization efforts over the next decade. (Energy and Policy Institute)
Without tax credits, the wind energy industry that is thriving in states like Texas and Oklahoma will be slow to grow, a think tank leader writes. (The Hill)

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