U.S. Energy News

Bigger American homes are offsetting efficiency gains

EFFICIENCY: The ballooning size of American homes over the past 40 years has offset the gains made in energy efficiency. (Vox)

CARBON TAX: Washington state residents are leading others in pushing for a carbon tax that would return revenues to the public. (Washington Post)

RENEWABLES:
• The IEA predicts a cumulative $7.4 trillion global investment in renewable energy by 2040. (The Guardian)
Officials unveil the latest plan that will guide renewable development on 10 million acres of the California desert. (Press Enterprise)

COAL: Australia and South Korea are pushing back hard against U.S. efforts to sway other wealthy nations away from financing coal projects overseas. (ClimateWire)

WIND: Two companies bid $1.8 billion for rights to develop offshore wind on New Jersey’s coast. (UPI)

CLEAN POWER PLAN:
• Michigan’s Republican governor says while new federal rules may bring short-term economic challenges, “It’s a good thing for us, longer term, to move away from coal to cleaner sources of energy.” (MLive)
The CEO of American Public Power Association says: “This is a [national] energy policy. Like it or not, we have one now.” (Lincoln Journal Star)

TRANSMISSION: The U.S. DOE approves plans for a $1.2 billion transmission project connecting New England with Canadian wind and hydro resources. (Utility Dive)

SOLAR:
• A variety of complicated fees on rooftop solar is having a chilling effect on the industry’s growth. (Climate Central)
• 
After a slow start, community solar is growing in Michigan with at least four new projects announced within the past year and more are coming. (Midwest Energy News)
• A North Texas utility sees value in making it easier for residential customers to install rooftop panels. (Utility Dive)
A new report says that, under the right conditions, solar-plus-storage projects can provide an economic return and resiliency to affordable housing projects. (Utility Dive)

RAIL SAFETY: Elected officials in Minnesota and Wisconsin are pushing plans to improve safety on rails moving hazardous products. (Pioneer Press, LaCrosse Tribune)

OIL AND GAS:
• Despite opposition from lawmakers, Ohio advocates are still pushing to increase the state’s severance tax on drilling. (Midwest Energy News)
• North Dakota’s governor says the oil slump won’t hurt the state’s record population growth because its economy has diversified. (Associated Press)

ETHANOL: A national group opposed to the nationwide ethanol mandate extends its ad campaign, saying the Renewable Fuel Standard hurts the environment and food prices. (The Hill)

UTILITIES: Stagnant electricity demand is prompting a surge in mergers and acquisitions among utilities. (USA Today)

COMMENTARY: President Obama’s climate change focus should be on stemming fossil fuel production, not just consumption. (New York Times)

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