U.S. Energy News

BP oil spill lawyer confirmed as top federal environmental attorney

OIL & GAS: The U.S. Senate confirms BP’s oil spill lawyer as the federal government’s top environmental attorney. (InsideClimate News)

ALSO:
• An Alaska ballot measure pits the state’s love of salmon against its need for oil and gas revenues. (National Public Radio)
A series of home explosions outside Boston last month were triggered by over-pressurized gas lines resulting from a scheduled pipe replacement in the area, according to a preliminary report. (The Hill, USA Today)

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HURRICANE MICHAEL:
• Gulf Power says it may have to rebuild its electric system in the areas most damaged by Hurricane Michael because of the “unprecedented” nature of the storm. (Utility Dive)
• Gulf of Mexico oil producers begin to return crews to 90 offshore facilities after Hurricane Michael, which halted 42 percent of oil output and nearly a third of natural gas production. (Reuters)

MICROGRIDS: Customers are increasingly interested in behind-the-meter microgrids in the Midwest for sustainability, reliability, and economic benefits. (Energy News Network)

STORAGE: Duke Energy’s plan for spending $500 million on battery storage in the Carolinas does not refer to contracted deals or any sort of binding commitment. (Greentech Media)

SOLAR:
• Minnesota utility regulators approve an incentive to encourage more residential participation in community solar projects, though not at the level advocates wanted. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
Minnesota developers say changes to an Xcel Energy incentive program that increases the limit on project sizes could discourage businesses from installing larger solar systems. (Energy News Network)
• Vectren and consumer advocates agree on a lower rate structure for a planned 50 MW solar project in southern Indiana that previously divided advocates. (Evansville Courier & Press, Energy News Network archive)

WIND:
The former president of the Conservation Law Foundation says New England can learn from Kansas about harnessing wind power. (WNPR)
Orsted’s acquisition of Rhode Island-based Deepwater Wind cements the hold of European players on the U.S. offshore wind market. (Greentech Media)

RENEWABLES: New Hampshire lawmakers and clean energy advocates release a roadmap for powering the state with renewable energy by 2040. (NHPR)

COAL:
A proposed coal export terminal in Washington presents a test for President Trump’s goal of “energy dominance” and the governor’s climate ambitions. (E&E News)
• Westmoreland Coal Company, one of the country’s largest coal companies, files bankruptcy in a Texas court. (WVPB)
• The Appalachian Regional Commission awards $26.5 million to nine states to help struggling coal communities. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES: Tribes ask South Dakota regulators for more information about the Keystone XL pipeline’s compliance with permit conditions. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE: Cities, states, and companies are filling a leadership void on climate change, but their collective pledges may not be enough to achieve necessary emission reductions, experts say. (Christian Science Monitor)

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POLITICS:
Offshore drilling has turned what should be an easy Republican win into a competitive race in South Carolina. (E&E News, subscription)
Energy interests are spending more in North Dakota than any other U.S. Senate race this year. (E&E News, subscription)

COMMENTARY:
Burying power lines might not solve the problem of storm damage for utilities, a University of Florida professor says. (The Conversation)
In two op-eds, a Massachusetts environmental leader and an executive explain why they respectively oppose and support a proposed transmission line that would bring Canadian hydropower to the state. (Boston Globe)

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