U.S. Energy News

At least five states moving forward on carbon pricing

CLIMATE: Legislators in at least five states are pushing for a price on carbon in the form of a tax or fee. (Washington Post)

ALSO:
• A plan introduced in the District of Columbia would charge polluters for their carbon emissions and send funds back to city residents, with advocates saying “the only people who don’t benefit are polluters.” (ThinkProgress)
• Virginia’s attorney general said the state can regulate greenhouse gas emissions, which could include setting a statewide cap for new and existing fossil fuel plants. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• The oil and gas exploration company Occidental Petroleum Corp. approves a proposal requiring it to report on the business impacts of climate change after the company’s largest shareholder backed the decision. (Bloomberg)

COAL:
• The Northeast’s shift from coal to natural gas puts the region “at the vanguard” of changes taking place globally. (CNBC) 
• A utilities lobbying group files a petition asking the EPA to scrap coal ash rules, calling them ill-conceived and burdensome. (Associated Press)
• BNSF Railway is appealing the outcome of an environmental review for a proposed coal-export terminal in Washington state, saying there is no credible evidence that locomotive diesel emissions increase cancer risks. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS:
• A Houston-based energy company agrees to pay a $4.2 million penalty for safety and environmental violations related to a fatal 2012 oil platform fire off Louisiana’s coast. (Associated Press)
• North Dakota’s oil industry is experiencing a small boom thanks to the Dakota Access Pipeline and more regulatory certainty under the Trump administration. (Associated Press)
• Pressure from environmentalists have convinced some banks to stop supporting fossil fuel projects, but the movement has seemingly had little effect on energy companies’ ability to get financing. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES: About 20 protesters are still fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline from a makeshift camp in Iowa. (Des Moines Register)

SOLAR:
Multiple hurdles are preventing the world from generating terawatts of solar power, according to a new study. (Anthropocene)
• An Albuquerque-based solar company is looking to hire over 150 workers to help it construct $45 million worth of solar farms for Facebook. (Albuquerque Business First)
• Small and medium-sized solar installers are more concerned with growth than cutting costs, according to a new survey. (Greentech Media)

STORAGE: A Vermont utility is teaming up with Tesla to offer super cheap home backup batteries at the cost of $15 per month. (Greentech Media)

UTILITIES: Electric customers are helping the utility industry lobby against clean energy by paying a portion of their utilities’ membership dues, according to a new report. (ThinkProgress)

NUCLEAR:
• Atlanta-based Southern Co. will take over the building of two nuclear reactors at its Vogtle plant from bankrupt contractor Westinghouse. (Bloomberg)
• The owners of an unfinished nuclear plant in Georgia may cap Toshiba’s financial guarantees on the project at about $3.6 billion, but the deal is contingent on the owners of an unfinished nuclear plant in South Carolina coming to a similar agreement. (Reuters)

COMMENTARY:
• A new trade deal with China will bolster the U.S. natural gas industry and hurt the coal industry that President Trump promised to help. (Huffington Post)
• Efforts to expand drilling near Florida’s coast in exchange for oil money are dangerous and misguided, according to an editorial in the Tampa Bay Times.
• States can fight smog from coal-fired power plants by asking the EPA for help reducing ozone pollution, say the authors of “Struggling for Air: Power Plants and the ‘War on Coal.'” (Washington Post)
Ethanol has no benefits and raises consumer costs for working-class voters who supported President Trump, according to an editorial in the Washington Examiner.

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