U.S. Energy News

Climate lawsuits spotlight federal inaction

CLIMATE: A surge of lawsuits seeking to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for climate change are shaping public opinion by drawing attention to federal inaction, observers say. (InsideClimate News)

ALSO:
Researchers at Brown University in Rhode Island launch a project to expose the people and money behind the climate-denial movement. (ecoRI News)
• Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg awards St. Petersburg, Florida $2.5 million to boost its efforts to combat climate change. (Tampa Bay Times)

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BUILDINGS: As the U.S. population shifts southward, air conditioner use is on the rise, but energy for heating is declining, which might end up being a net positive for greenhouse emissions. (Bloomberg)

OIL & GAS:
• The oil boom in Permian Basin is reshaping international markets and bringing both prosperity and problems to Texas and New Mexico. (Time)
• Carlsbad, New Mexico struggles to attract chain restaurants and retail stores because so many potential workers have been lured away by the oil and gas industry. (Carlsbad Current Argus)
Oil prices dropped 40 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, bringing the rapid growth of Texas energy sector to a halt. (Houston Chronicle)

COAL ASH: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says he supports legislation that would require Dominion Energy to dig up 27 million cubic yards of coal ash stored in unlined ponds. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

COAL:
• A small solar farm on a former coal mine is one of 19 proposals Virginia officials are considering for abandoned mine land reuse. (Energy News Network)
• More coal-fired power plants have retired during President Trump’s first two years than President Obama saw during his entire first term. (ThinkProgress)
Texas’ main power grid operator is reviewing a plan to close another coal plant, which could further shrink the state’s reserve margin. (E&E News, subscription)
The Navajo Nation withdraws legislation that would pave the way for a tribal-owned energy company to buy an Arizona coal plant. (Gallup Independent)

SOLAR:
A Minnesota nonprofit helps launch a community solar project in Vermont to lower energy costs for 50 low-income households. (Energy News Network)
A solar-powered microgrid will help an urban agriculture startup grow vegetable greens inside a converted New Jersey warehouse. (Energy News Network)

EFFICIENCY: As the the cost of legal marijuana plummets, cannabis cultivators in Colorado are trying to reduce energy use to remain profitable and meet cities’ demands for sustainability. (Colorado Sun)

VEHICLES: A Volkswagen subsidiary created under a settlement over the automaker’s emissions-cheating scandal emerges as an industry leader in electric vehicle charging. (E&E News)

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FERC:
FERC Commissioner Kevin McIntyre, who last year rejected a Trump administration plan to aid coal and nuclear, dies at 58. (Washington Post)
The White House has already been vetting candidates to replace McIntyre and a nominee could emerge within weeks, sources said. (E&E News, subscription)

COMMENTARY:
• The executive director of Vote Solar says public opinion strongly favors renewable energy, and lawmakers should find common ground on developing the resources. (Governing)
• Florida must invest in more solar as the window to avoid the worst effects of climate change closes, a university student and clean energy activist write. (Tallahassee Democrat)

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