U.S. Energy News

California sets renewable energy record as coal output hits 39-year low

RENEWABLE ENERGY: California breaks a record for peak power from renewables, while U.S. coal production falls to its lowest level since 1978, according to a new report. (ThinkProgress)

SOLAR:
• The Missouri House is considering a bill that would allow utilities to charge customers a fee for having solar panels. (Springfield News-Leader)
• A Florida utility says it will build another 1,500 megawatts of solar arrays over the next seven years, including Miami-Dade county’s first-ever solar plant. (Saint Peters Blog, Miami Herald)

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STORAGE: These five states may have the right conditions to become hubs for energy storage. (E&E News)

EPA: Employee morale is plummeting at the EPA, as the Trump administration cuts funding and rolls back Obama-era environmental policies. (Los Angeles Times)

EFFICIENCY: Ten states, along with New York City, are suing the Trump administration over a decision to suspend energy efficiency rules. (The Hill)

COAL:
• The Interior Department kills an Obama-era rule that aimed to prevent coal companies from shortchanging taxpayers on profits from coal mined on federal lands. (Associated Press)
• The federal government isn’t overseeing how abandoned coal mine cleanup funds are being spent by states, according to a new report. (The Hill)
• One businessman believes so strongly in the future of coal that he’s opening up a new coal mine in Utah. (Deseret News)

PIPELINES:
• Seattle’s city council votes for the city’s finance department to avoid contracting with banks backing the Keystone XL pipeline. (Seattle Times)
• Months of protests against a natural gas pipeline in West Texas are dying down as construction on the project comes to an end. (Houston Chronicle)
• The Dakota Access Pipeline protests shone a light on the poor living conditions on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, where residents are now coping with defeat. (InsideClimate News/Huffington Post)
• A Michigan State University researcher and member of the Potawatomi Nation talks about pipeline issues in the region and indigenous perspectives on fossil fuel development. (Midwest Energy News)

FRACKING: Two Pennsylvania families say they will seek a settlement after a judge threw out a $4.2 million jury verdict against an energy company that allegedly contaminated their drinking water. (Reuters)

POLLUTION:
• The Alabama Department of Public Health says a chemical leak at a natural gas facility has affected the health of residents in a poor African American community. (Los Angeles Times)
• An underwater oil pipeline leak in Alaska’s Cook Inlet has been stopped, but the size of the leak remains unknown. (Associated Press)
• Pollution from a coal-fired plant in Pennsylvania impacted the health of babies 30 miles downwind in New Jersey, according to a recent study. (Washington Post)

COMMENTARY:
• President Trump’s anti-climate executive order is “a war on basic knowledge of the harm that coal can do,” says a staff writer at The New Yorker.
• The Trump administration’s decision to roll back the Clean Power Plan will increase U.S. emissions, and that’s not good news for our planet, says the The Denver Post editorial board.
• Trump says he wants to “start a new energy revolution,” but the nation’s energy supplies are stronger than they have ever been, according to a columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle.

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