U.S. Energy News

As Florence flooding continues, coal ash spill impact unknown

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COAL ASH: North Carolina’s Cape Fear River continues to flood coal ash sites, and the environmental and public health impact is still unknown. (Energy News Network)

• In South Carolina, rising floodwaters spill into a coal ash pit owned by utility Santee Cooper. (Post and Courier)   
What is coal ash and why is it dangerous? (New York Times)

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About a third of Duke Energy’s 3,000 MW of solar capacity initially went down during Hurricane Florence, and nearly 600 MW are still out of service. (Bloomberg)
• Solar industry groups launch an automated permit processing initiative designed to streamline permitting and reduce costs. (Greentech Media)
• A solar group-buying program in Philadelphia is helping to lower costs and change perceptions about rooftop solar in the city. (Energy News Network)

STORAGE: Amid an $800 million upgrade, the Ludington Pumped Storage Plant in western Michigan could play a bigger role on the grid as utilities use more variable renewables. (Energy News Network)

RENEWABLES: Cleveland announces a 100 percent renewable energy goal by 2050, though advocates say the plan lacks details. (InsideClimate News)

EFFICIENCY: Plans by Iowa utilities would scale back energy efficiency programs to a “shell of what they used to be.” (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

TRANSPORTATION: California’s top air quality regulator is urging the Trump administration to abandon plans to freeze fuel efficiency standards in advance of a series of public meetings before federal regulators this week. (Reuters)

• The Trump administration is expected to announce a plan to allow year-round sales of gasoline with higher ethanol blends. (Bloomberg)
• The U.S. EPA plans to publicly share more data on biofuel-blending exemptions it grants to small refiners. (E&E News, subscription)

It’s becoming more expensive to build natural gas pipeline projects in the Northeast, partly due to regulatory scrutiny and states denying necessary permits, according to a recent study. (Argus)
• Fishermen and environmental advocates say the Bayou Bridge Pipeline that will cut through Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin threatens wildlife, economy, and waterways. (Huffington Post)

• Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke tells oil and gas industry leaders that “our government should work for you.” (Vox)
A Philadelphia gas company proposes building a new liquefied natural gas facility in South Philadelphia, but environmentalists are wary of the health and safety risks. (WHYY)

• The Trump administration’s top mine safety regulator says his agency plans to use technology to reduce mining fatalities and injuries but doesn’t mention black lung disease. (Ohio Valley Resource)
• Unless the federal government intervenes, it seems likely the West’s largest coal plant will close next year. (Arizona Republic)

NUCLEAR: The Energy Department says it would demand quick repayment of nearly $6 billion in federal loans if owners cancel the Vogtle nuclear plant expansion. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES: As it launches a full-scale attack against a clean energy initiative, Arizona’s largest utility launches a slew of clean energy programs. (Greentech Media)

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SUSTAINABILITY: Two California universities are taking new steps to eliminate carbon emissions from their buildings. (Greentech Media)

• A columnist writes that it’s time for oil companies to put their politics where their marketing materials are on climate change. (Houston Chronicle)
• Hurricane Florence flooding is among countless other coal ash incidents for Duke Energy, yet its practices continue with little change, an environmental advocate argues. (Charlotte Observer)

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