U.S. Energy News

California wildfire response spurs interest in home batteries

SMART GRID: Utilities are increasingly investing in telecom infrastructure to support the deployment of smart grid technology. (Energy News Network)

UTILITIES: California’s largest utility shuts off power to thousands of customers in areas with high wildfire risk, and the prolonged outages are driving interest in residential batteries. (Sacramento Bee, Quartz)

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SOLAR:
Danville, Virginia, an old tobacco town, is in the midst of an economic and civic revival powered in part by new solar energy projects. (Energy News Network)
• The U.S. Department of Energy rolls out a research project aimed at increasing access to solar power for lower-income families. (E&E News, subscription)
• A trio of bills propose a solar farm at the Rikers Island prison site that could help close several small polluting power plants in New York City. (HuffPost)

WIND:
As offshore wind developments proliferate along the East Coast, advocates in Maine fear the state has missed its opportunity to cash in. (Press Herald)
More than half of the nation’s wind power last year was produced by just four states: Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Iowa. (Houston Chronicle)

OIL & GAS:
• South Portland, Maine, seeks answers after news that a fuel storage facility has been violating air pollution permits since at least 2013. (InsideClimate News)  
• To get rid of excess natural gas, some Texas drillers pump highly pressurized gas down old oil wells to dislodge any remaining oil. (Bloomberg)
• Two companies partner to build a carbon-neutral oil field by capturing carbon dioxide in the Permian Basin and replacing oil in the ground with it. (KUT)

PIPELINES:
Many legal challenges remain for the Keystone XL pipeline that make it unlikely the project will be built anytime soon. (InsideClimate News)
• Enbridge pipeline permitting delays in Minnesota and Michigan are the latest setbacks causing severe congestion to move oil out of Alberta, Canada. (Reuters)

COAL:
• West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice says Michael Bloomberg has “declared war on the American worker” with his $500 million pledge to a campaign seeking to close all remaining U.S. coal power plants. (WV Metro News)
• The Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign claims credit for accelerating coal plant closures, but its actual impact is hard to quantify. (E&E News, subscription)
• Federal mine safety regulators show little indication of changing policies to protect coal miners from black lung disease risks. (Ohio Valley Resource)
• Michigan regulators approve Consumers Energy’s long-term resource plan that calls for phasing out remaining coal plants by 2040. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR:
• Scientists and policymakers say we’re going to need to figure out a new way to manage the country’s nuclear waste — and soon. (Slate)
New Mexico’s governor says it would be “economic malpractice” to open a storage site for spent nuclear fuel in the southeast part of the state. (Albuquerque Journal)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: The Philadelphia transit authority rolled out its first 25 electric buses and has plans to electrify its entire fleet. (WHYY)

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ADVOCACY:
As a Wisconsin consumer advocacy group marks its 40th anniversary, its focus increasingly aligns with clean energy goals. (Energy News Network)
• The president of the Evangelical Environmental Network encourages Christians to advocate for clean energy. (Yale Climate Connections)

COMMENTARY:
• National business trade groups are increasingly at odds with members that are taking strong stances on climate change action. (Vox)
• The natural gas industry has a methane problem and the Trump administration is making it worse, writes a columnist for an environmental group. (NRDC)

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