U.S. Energy News

Climate lawsuits face key legal test before appeals court

CLIMATE: A panel of federal judges is expected to hear arguments today on whether California cities and counties can proceed with climate lawsuits against oil companies in state, rather than federal, court. (San Francisco Chronicle)

ALSO:
• In his State of the Union speech, President Trump doesn’t mention climate change but touts oil and gas and his new support for planting trees. (Grist, Vox)
Vermont lawmakers consider a bill that would allow citizens to sue the state if it doesn’t follow through on reducing emissions. (Vermont Public Radio)

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SOLAR: President Trump’s solar tariffs are adding about 30% to system costs and keeping large-scale solar from falling below $1 per watt. (Greentech Media)

RENEWABLES: Wind and solar jobs won’t make up for lost coal-mining jobs as the nation transitions to cleaner energy, according to a new peer-reviewed report. (Axios)

ELECTRIFICATION: The real estate and construction industries are scrambling to keep up as cities introduce policies prohibiting new natural gas connections. (New York Times)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Utilities in California and Oregon still face numerous challenges as they prepare the grid for an influx of electric vehicles. (Utility Dive)
• Electric vehicle maker Rivian and Amazon unveil a model of the all-electric delivery van they are developing and expect to hit the road in 2021. (CNET)
• Tesla CEO Elon Musk takes to Twitter to ask if the electric car manufacturer should build a new gigafactory in Texas. (Reuters)
Feeling pressure from Tesla, General Motors executives try to convince shareholders the company is a leader in electric vehicle technology. (Reuters)

COAL:
• A coal industry group leader revives arguments before Ohio lawmakers that coal plants are critical for grid reliability. (Energy News Network)
There are 20 coal plants left in the West without specific dates to fully retire. (Los Angeles Times)

OIL & GAS: The Virginia legislature passes a bill to block future oil and gas development off the state’s coast; it’s expected to be signed by Gov. Ralph Northam. (Reuters)

PIPELINES: Minnesota regulators grapple with the climate impacts of an expanded Line 3 pipeline and whether the project aligns with state energy goals. (MPR News)

NUCLEAR: The U.S. may soon have the world’s oldest nuclear reactors as utilities try to extend the lives of plants in Florida and South Carolina. (Bloomberg)

TRANSMISSION: Backers of a proposed power line to import hydropower to New York dispute a recent report claiming the project will not reduce emissions. (WAMC)

POLICY:
• Michigan policymakers begin to weigh their options as the state’s renewable portfolio standard levels off next year at 15%. (Energy News Network)
• Illinois environmental groups say a bill pushing the state to 100% renewable energy by 2050 is a top priority this session. (WTTW)

CALIFORNIA: PG&E’s federal bankruptcy judge has approved a settlement agreement between the utility and bondholders who agreed to withdraw their competing bankruptcy exit plan. (San Francisco Chronicle)

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POLITICS:
Sen. Bernie Sanders’ proposal to ban fracking receives support and opposition in Texas, where the natural gas industry is booming. (Texas Public Radio)
Iowa biodiesel producers are on the front lines of the Trump administration’s wavering approach to the Renewable Fuel Standard. (E&E News, subscription) 

COMMENTARY: States are leading efforts around programs that incentivize utilities to invest in energy efficiency programs, an energy analyst says. (Forbes)

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