U.S. Energy News

Chatterjee accused of politicizing FERC rulemaking

FERC: Critics say Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chair Neil Chatterjee — a former aide to Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell — is politicizing an agency typically known for nonpartisan rulemaking. (Politico)

ALSO: New York’s proposed carbon pricing plan could pose a challenge to FERC, which has been reluctant to address climate change. (E&E News)

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ELECTRIFICATION: To reach its ambitious climate goals, California will eventually have to force or entice homeowners to electrify everything — including gas stoves. (KQED)

UTILITIES: FirstEnergy Solutions tells a bankruptcy court that it won’t honor existing union contracts, which means power plant workers who helped lobby for the recent Ohio bailout bill could lose traditional pensions if a judge agrees to the utility’s restructuring plan. (Utility Dive)

OIL & GAS:
• Democratic presidential candidates are rallying behind the idea of stopping new leases to extract fossil fuels from federal lands. (E&E News, subscription)
• House Democrats are pushing for an investigation into the Trump administration’s rollback of offshore drilling safety rules. (The Hill)
• The threat of coastal erosion lawsuits against energy companies is hurting Louisiana’s economy, says the head of an oil and gas group. (Louisiana Record)

PIPELINES:
• Increasingly severe rainfalls — a consequence of climate change — are dislodging oil and gas pipelines in Pennsylvania; engineers warn current standards may not be strong enough. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
• Texas Gov. Greg Abbott asks Mexico’s president to end a political stalemate leaving natural gas pipelines in limbo. (Houston Chronicle)
• South Dakota tribal leaders request a hearing on a plan to double the Dakota Access Pipeline’s capacity. (Sioux Falls Argus Leader)

TRANSPORTATION:
• The White House is reviewing the final policy that would roll back Obama-era standards for vehicle emissions. (The Hill)
• A fuel efficiency deal that four major automakers and California’s clean-air regulator agreed to in July was rejected by the Trump administration months ago. (Bloomberg)
• Advocates criticize Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf for a plan to use Volkswagen settlement money to fund upgraded diesel school buses. (StateImpact Pennsylvania)

COAL: A former coal company owner donates over $1 million from his foundation to miners and their families who have not been paid by bankrupt coal company Blackjewel. (CNN)

COAL ASH:
• The EPA holds hearings today on whether Georgia should become the second state to assume oversight of coal ash disposal. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
• The Tennessee Valley Authority’s new CEO meets with sickened coal ash cleanup workers. (Knoxville News Sentinel) 

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EFFICIENCY: New York utility Con Edison is partnering again with local food banks to distribute 250,000 high-efficiency light bulbs. (Staten Island Advance)

COMMENTARY:
• Customer-owned solar delivers far more benefits than utilities typically give it credit for, writes the director of Environment America’s Go Solar campaign. (Greentech Media)
• Advocates urge Northeast states to consider communities most impacted by transportation pollution as they make plans to reduce emissions. (Baltimore Sun)

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