U.S. Energy News

California signs ambitious climate bill into law

CLIMATE: California governor Jerry Brown signs the country’s most ambitious climate change law, making the world’s sixth-biggest economy a ‘laboratory’ for efforts to slow global warming. (Associated Press/New York Times)

POLLUTION:
• Environmentalists file a lawsuit against the U.S. EPA to demand new federal water-quality standards that will address ocean acidification caused by burning fossil fuels. (Reuters)
Vermont is suing Volkswagen for violating the state’s consumer protection and environmental laws with its emissions-rigging scheme, saying a proposed settlement to pay about $1,000 per vehicle is inadequate. (Associated Press)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES: With a surge in the number of charging stations, the country may finally be reaching a tipping point for electric vehicle adoption. (Bloomberg)

NET-ZERO: Two Arizona companies are starting construction on a $14 million townhouse development that is aiming for net-zero energy consumption. (Phoenix Business Journal)

CLEAN ENERGY: California’s natural gas use fell by 20 percent this summer compared to last summer, thanks to a rebound in hydro and solar energy. (Greentech Media)

GRID: How one company is fighting for a transmission line to bring wind energy from Wyoming to California. (ClimateWire)

BIOMASS: With millions of trees dying from drought and bark beetle infestations, some researchers argue they should be burned for energy in coal plants. (Washington Post)

UTILITIES: Critics are calling Charlotte-based Duke Energy’s 15-year plan, which doubles down on natural gas and shies away from solar, “woefully inadequate.” (Southeast Energy News)

NUCLEAR:
• Nuclear power plants are struggling not to overheat as the lakes and rivers that typically supply cooling water become hotter thanks to climate change. (Midwest Energy News)
• A FirstEnergy official says the utility may support a “New York-style” scenario to save its struggling nuclear plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania. (Platts)

OIL & GAS: Weak profit margins and increased costs related to renewable fuel credits are causing oil refiners to lay off workers and revamp operations. (Reuters)

MERGERS: Investors predict a wave of mergers within the pipeline industry may be coming. (Bloomberg)

PIPELINES:
• An area where Native American officials say they’ve identified cultural artifacts will be inspected by North Dakota’s chief archaeologist to determine whether construction on the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline should continue. (Associated Press)
• A Native American tribe plans to continue protesting the construction of the pipeline regardless of a major ruling expected from a federal judge on Friday. (Huffington Post)
• Oil industry players pushed for a fast-track permitting process on the Dakota Access pipeline that bypasses rigorous environmental and public reviews. (DeSmog)

COAL:
• Roughly 10,000 retired coal miners and their families rally at the U.S. capitol to urge lawmakers to protect their pension and health benefits. (Reuters)
• A House committee votes that coal leases can go forward despite a White House moratorium on leasing federal land for coal mining, so long as the company submitted their application for before the law took effect. (The Hill)

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POLICY: Congressional lawmakers convene to work on the first major energy bill in nearly a decade, though the legislation faces a slim chance of winning bipartisan support. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY: Fossil fuel use has declined dramatically since 1999, with 23 states now relying on geothermal, solar or wind as a primary source of electricity generation. (Renewable Energy World)

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