U.S. Energy News

California may toughen electric vehicle requirement

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A California bill could require 15 percent of all new automobiles sold in the state to be emission-free within a decade. (Associated Press)

WIND:
• Wyoming lawmakers’s effort to raise the state’s wind energy taxes could knock one of the world’s largest wind farms “out of existence.” (Los Angeles Times)
• The Interior Department is preparing to lease more than 122,000 acres off the coast of North Carolina for wind power. (The Hill)

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CARBON TAX: Activists in Washington are pushing for one of the world’s most far-reaching taxes on fossil fuels, starting at $15 a ton. (Seattle Times)

UTILITIES: One of the country’s major carbon dioxide emitters, NRG Energy, struggles to clean up its act. (New York Times)

POLITICS:
• Anti-fracking initiatives proposed for Colorado’s November ballot could split the state’s Democrats and put Hillary Clinton in a tough spot. (Politico)
• The person the next president may tap to be Secretary of Energy is a “wild card” with “no obvious tradition,” say several sources familiar with the process. (Greenwire)

OIL & GAS:
• New figures show double-digit growth in the rig count in West Texas’ Permian Basin, totaling 189 active drilling sites. (San Antonio Business Journal)
• Montana oil and gas companies may soon have to notify everyone within a quarter mile of a proposed drilling site in order to get a permit. (Billings Gazette)
• State officials say more than 20,000 gallons of oil has seeped out of a North Dakota hillside since July. (ThinkProgress)

SOLAR:
• A Colorado organization is training unemployed coal, oil and gas industry workers in various fields within the solar industry. (Denver Post)
• A nonprofit could provide a national “fiscally conservative” model for low-income energy assistance by creating a community solar project for a Minnesota tribe. (Midwest Energy News)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: Shareholders of renewable energy developer SunEdison can’t be represented by an official committee in bankruptcy court, says a U.S. judge. (Reuters)

COAL:
• An Oregon judge says state regulators acted within their authority when they rejected a proposed coal terminal that would funnel millions of tons of American coal to Asia each year. (Associated Press)
• The Bureau of Land Management will lease a 6,100-acre coal tract in Utah despite a three-year national moratorium on any new federal leases for coal, saying the decision was made before the suspension came into effect. (Deseret News)
• Utah environmental regulators say the Price River is safe for recreation and irrigation after a storm washed 2,700 cubic yards of coal ash into the river last week. (Salt Lake Tribune)

REGULATION: Officials in Spokane, Washington, backpedal on a measure that would make shipping oil and coal through downtown a civil infraction with a fine of up to $261 per rail car. (Spokesman-Review)

CLIMATE CHANGE: President Obama plans to debut new tools for combating climate change before he leaves office, including a second round of fuel efficiency standards for heavy-duty vehicles. (The Hill)

EMISSIONS: The EPA won’t investigate a former agency adviser who has been accused of underreporting methane leaks. (InsideClimate News)

COMMENTARY:
• Donald Trump’s promise to save the coal industry is removed from “tough economic reality” and does more harm than good. (Time)
• Plans to build a nuclear power plant in southeastern Utah will fizzle without help from environmentalists thanks to budgetary problems and years of regulatory hurdles. (Salt Lake Tribune)
• Nuclear waste is likely to remain in storage at commercial reactor sites for the indefinite future, leading to unsafe conditions and higher costs. (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)
Clean truck standards implemented five years ago are an enormous success, but more can still be done. (Climate 411)

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