U.S. Energy News

Audit suggests federal fines not improving mine safety

COAL: A government audit finds no evidence that more than $1 billion in federal fines over 18 years have deterred unsafe mining practices. (NPR)

• Vistra plans to close four downstate Illinois coal plants to comply with stricter statewide emission regulations. (Crain’s Chicago Business)
A hearing is set for the Labor Department to argue some of Blackjewel’s coal should be blocked from crossing state lines. (Reuters)

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CLEAN ENERGY: Two Chicago entrepreneurs hope energy efficiency and solar can help provide quality housing for low-income residents and avoid gentrification. (Energy News Network)

• Climate candidate Jay Inslee drops out of the 2020 presidential race but leaves behind a comprehensive set of policy plans for others to use. (Vox)
• Sen. Bernie Sanders will release a $16.3 trillion climate plan today that he says will pay for itself over 15 years and create 20 million jobs. (New York Times) 

• President Trump attacks Ford as the automaker makes a deal with California on fuel efficiency rules the administration wants to scale back. (Reuters)
• Trump claimed his mileage rules would make cars safer but internal emails show his EPA worried they would increase highway fatalities. (Vox)

• Pipeline companies are getting bolder in their use of eminent domain to take land in Louisiana and other Southeastern states. (Southerly)
• Mountain Valley Pipeline opponents ask federal judges to build on developers’ decision to voluntarily suspend construction. (E&E News, subscription)

• Oil and gas companies bid $159.4 million for federal drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico, down from sales in March and a year ago. (Associated Press)
• A front group for a California utility has withdrawn from regulatory proceedings about the future of natural gas in the state. (Los Angeles Times)

• Ohio regulators appear satisfied with a settlement that could lead to the first offshore wind project in Lake Erie. (Energy News Network)
• Developer GlidePath Power Solutions enters the wind-plus-storage market in Texas with the purchase of 149 MW of wind power. (Greentech Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A Wisconsin utility partners with Lyft to offer a $500 bonus to electric vehicle drivers who sign up with the ride-service company. (Wisconsin State Journal)

GRID: A plan proposed by California regulators would create $100 million in energy storage incentives for areas most at risk from wildfires. (Greentech Media)

OVERSIGHT: A group of retired Bureau of Land Management employees are pushing back against relocation of the agency’s offices to the West, saying the plan would serve “only the short-term wants of locally powerful stakeholders.” (The Hill)

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• Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is assessing ways to use executive authority to reduce greenhouse gas emissions after a landmark climate bill failed this year. (Oregon Capital Bureau)
• The Northeast is reaching a climate tipping point caused by increasing temperatures as the gulf stream has moved closer to shore. (WGBH)

COMMENTARY: A University of Massachusetts economics professor says fully renewable electric grids are feasible with current technology at current prices, and that the main barriers are political and cultural. (The Conversation)

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