U.S. Energy News

Big box retailers emerge as solar power leaders

SOLAR: Under pressure from customers, shareholders and employees, big box retailers are embracing solar power. (New York Times)

ALSO:
• A Virginia farming family is frustrated that its proposed solar project is facing high utility charges to connect to the grid. (Energy News Network)
• The Trump administration eliminates an exemption from solar tariffs for “bifacial” panels that absorb sunlight on both sides. (E&E News, subscription)

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BIOFUELS:
• The Trump administration plans to restore ethanol demand by upholding higher blending standards in 2020 and removing barriers to ethanol sales. (Associated Press)
• Minnesota senator and presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar calls the plan a “vague promise” to undo the damage already done to farmers, and “too little, too late.” (Radio Iowa)

PIPELINES:
• The U.S. Supreme Court will hear an appeal by Dominion Energy of a lower court ruling that stopped construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. (Reuters)
Pre-construction work on the Keystone XL pipeline is expected to start this month in South Dakota and Montana. (Rapid City Journal)
• New Permian Basin crude oil pipelines haven’t yet boosted U.S. crude exports, largely because of the ongoing U.S-China trade war. (Bloomberg)

OIL & GAS:
• Most large oil companies no longer deny the connection between fossil fuels and climate change but continue to invest in them anyway. (New York Times)
The Trump administration opens up 725,000 acres of land in California’s Central Valley and Coast to oil and gas drilling, ending a prohibition on leases in the state. (Associated Press)
A federal judge rejects the Trump administration’s request to either toss or transfer a challenge to greater sage grouse habitat management plans. (E&E News, subscription)
Oil companies are pushing federal regulators to overturn a Washington state law to improve the safety of oil shipped by rail. (E&E News, subscription)

RENEWABLES: Utility customers in the MISO and PJM grid regions could save nearly $50 a year with more wind, solar and storage on the grid, according to a new report. (North American Windpower)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Massachusetts regulators reject a plan by National Grid to subsidize thousands of electric vehicle charging stations. (E&E News, subscription)
Wisconsin regulators are among officials grappling with policy questions amid the expansion of electric vehicles. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• Ford Motor Co. plans to make electric vehicle models more appealing for drivers than what’s currently on the market. (E&E News, subscription)

TRANSMISSION: Renewable energy development in the Great Plains could be curbed if transmission capacity doesn’t expand, some experts say. (Oklahoman)

COAL:
• Critics in Appalachia say that retraining programs have a poor record in connecting dislocated workers, like coal miners, with local employment that pays a competitive wage. (Ohio Valley Resource)
• A northern Indiana city councilor tells federal regulators that dumping coal ash in unlined pits has devastated her community. (Times of Northwest Indiana)

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NUCLEAR: It’s unclear how the leading Democratic presidential candidates would stand on relicensing Duke Energy’s nuclear reactors. (HuffPost)

CLIMATE:
• With more carbon emissions than all of the other Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative states, Pennsylvania’s entry is the most significant change since the compact began in 2008. (InsideClimate News)
• New York City is considering turning Governors Island, a tiny patch off the tip of Manhattan, into a “living laboratory” to study the effects of climate change. (New York Times)

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