U.S. Energy News

Census: U.S. solar industry loses 9,800 jobs in 2017

SOLAR: The U.S. solar industry lost 9,800 jobs between 2016 and 2017, according to a new report that attributes the 3.8 percent decline to policy uncertainty and a slowdown in established markets. (Greentech Media)

• China demands compensation for new tariffs on solar panels imported by the U.S., saying the move violates numerous World Trade Organization rules. (Reuters)
Grazing sheep are being used to control vegetation at utility-scale solar facilities in agricultural areas across the country. (Smithsonian)
• A Department of Agriculture program loans Oregon $48 million to build six new solar developments. (Grist)

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RENEWABLES: U.S. natural gas production will continue to increase and renewable generation will more than double between 2017 and 2050, according to a new government report. (Utility Dive)

SMART METERS: Texas utilities reach a settlement that could improve how the state’s smart meter data shares information with service providers that compete for customers in Texas’ deregulated energy market. (Greentech Media)

• California could spend more than $100 million in taxpayer money to dismantle two offshore oil-drilling facilities abandoned by bankrupt oil companies. (CALmatters)
• U.S. oil production last month likely broke a new record of 10.2 million barrels a day, according to Energy Department estimates. (Houston Chronicle)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: More than 100 protesters rally outside Oregon’s capitol building to oppose Trump’s plan to expand offshore drilling. (Associated Press)

FRACKING: Miami University researchers analyzed three years worth of seismic events in an Ohio county and concluded fracking in shale plays can affect deeper faults. (Midwest Energy News)

PIPELINES: FERC asks an appeals court to stay a mandate that could potentially shut down or cease construction of pipelines in the Southeast. (Platts)

Coal miners rally at Arizona’s state capitol to demand the Navajo Generating Station, a coal plant slated for closure next year, remain open. (Arizona Republic)
• Occupational safety researchers in Appalachia found the biggest black lung cluster ever reported, though “it’s still an underestimate.” (NPR)
• A coal miner dies at a West Virginia mine, the state’s first mining fatality this year following eight deaths in 2017. (WV News)

NUCLEAR: Industry and government officials tell House lawmakers that small modular reactors could be a “game changer” for country’s nuclear energy sector. (Utility Dive)

• Despite progress, many U.S. cities are still falling short in their plans to tackle climate change on their own. (NPR)
• The Trump administration missed a January 1 deadline to submit a report on climate change action to the United Nations. (Associated Press)

GRID: New York could be on a path to having the most aggressive energy storage goal in the United States. (Utility Dive)

UTILITIES: Mississippi regulators unanimously approve a settlement with Mississippi Power over its failed billion-dollar Kemper “clean coal” project. The deal ends years of contention and should result on average in a 2.4 percent drop in residential bills. (Mississippi Business Journal)

POLITICS: A Senate committee is expected to advance the nomination of Andrew Wheeler, a climate denier and coal lobbyist, as the EPA’s deputy administrator. (Huffington Post)

POLICY: Clean-energy advocates in Kansas are pressing for proactive legislation this year with bills related to utility-sponsored energy-efficiency programs and net-metering policies for customers who generate solar power. (Energy News Network)

COMMENTARY: Despite the Trump administration, Americans are choosing to ride the wave of clean energy that is remaking the energy industry in the U.S. and around the world, two guest columnists write. (Energy News Network)

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