U.S. Energy News

Burning less coal keeps global carbon emissions flat for third straight year

EMISSIONS:
• Scientists report that global carbon emissions remained flat for the third straight year, largely due to less coal being burned in the U.S. and China. (Washington Post)
• Donald Trump’s administration could roll back rules on methane emissions from oil and gas operations. (Washington Post)

RENEWABLES:
• The Trump administration won’t attack renewable energy by revoking wind and solar subsidies, according to an anonymous member of Trump’s transition team. (Utility Dive)
• The Michigan Senate approves a measure to increase the state’s renewable standard from 1o percent to 15 percent by 2021. (MLive)

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WIND: An Ohio lawmaker wants to adopt stricter wind development regulations, including a mandate that each turbine must be a quarter mile from any adjoining property line. (Midwest Energy News)

SOLAR: A Utah utility proposes demand charges and lower net-metering rates for solar customers, which would raise their bills from an average of $55 to $74. (Utility Dive)

NUCLEAR: A New York-based company will buy a closed nuclear plant in Vermont that’s considered to be the state’s biggest industrial waste site, with an estimated cleanup cost of $1.24 billion. (Associated Press)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: How Donald Trump’s administration may try to kill the Clean Power Plan. (Washington Post)

CARBON TAX: The backers of a carbon tax initiative that failed to win enough votes in Washington state say they will try again next year. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE:
• President-elect Donald Trump is looking at ways to quickly scrap the Paris climate accord by bypassing a theoretical four-year procedure, according to an anonymous source who works on Trump’s transition team. (Reuters)
• Donald Trump’s win invigorates U.S. climate activists and draws more people to the cause, with environmental groups telling their members to prepare for a fight. (Reuters/High Country News)
Trump’s administration will face a lawsuit alleging the federal government knowingly failed to curb dangerous greenhouse gas emissions, following a ruling by a U.S. District Judge last week. (Climate Central)
• Exxon Mobil is adding New York’s attorney general onto a lawsuit to block state investigations into what the company knew about climate change. (Bloomberg)

COAL:
• Environmental groups criticize Duke Energy’s plan to cap coal ash ponds at six plants in North Carolina. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says it’s “hard to tell” whether Donald Trump will be able to bring coal jobs back. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

PIPELINES:
• Environmental advocates say new natural gas pipelines in the Southeast are putting ratepayers at risk. (Southeast Energy News)
• The CEO of the company building the Dakota Access pipeline is confident that President-elect Donald Trump will help move construction forward, saying protesters in North Dakota “will not stop our project.” (CBS News)
• Nearly 40 people protesting the Dakota Access pipeline are arrested in rural North Dakota. (Huffington Post)
• Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan includes building more oil pipelines. (BuzzFeed/EnergyWire)

FRACKING: More than 40 faith leaders in Maryland give sermons that emphasize stewardship of the planet as environmentalists push for a statewide ban on fracking. (Baltimore Sun)

ELECTION:
• Employees at the Department of Energy and the EPA are distraught in the wake of the presidential election, as Donald Trump vows to repeal rules they have worked on for years. (Greenwire)
• Trump taps climate change skeptic Myron Ebell to oversee the transition at the EPA. (New York Times)
• Virginians in coal country say they voted for Donald Trump because he is their “only hope” for economic survival. (Washington Post)

UTILITIES:
• Ohio regulators approve a plan for American Electric Power to transition a coal-fired plant in Ohio to natural gas and develop at least 900 megawatts of wind and solar energy projects in the state. (The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register)
• A utility says it could close its coal and nuclear plants in Pennsylvania and Ohio because they are unaffordable to operate under the current pricing structure. (Pittsburgh Business Times)

COMMENTARY: Regulators across the country should get ambitious about renewable energy and start thinking of distributed solar as an opportunity instead of a problem. (Utility Dive)

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