U.S. Energy News

Coal executive on low-carbon future: ‘That’s where we’re headed’

COAL: Former coal executive Don Blankenship is sentenced to a year in prison – the maximum allowed – and a $250,000 fine for knowingly violating safety standards. (New York Times)

ALSO:
• Independent consultants will investigate Utah lawmakers’ proposed $53 million investment in a California export terminal. (Salt Lake Tribune)
• At a Wyoming panel discussion, a coal executive says a low-carbon future is inevitable: “whether you like it … that’s where we’re headed.” (Wyoming Public Media)

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SOLAR:
• The Massachusetts House passes a bill that would raise the state’s net metering cap but cut rates for reimbursement. (MassLive)
• Proposed net metering changes in Vermont would offer higher rates for solar sited on rooftops, parking lots and other preferred locations. (Brattleboro Reformer)
• A new industry report shows an average 5 percent drop in installation costs around the country in 2015. (PV Magazine)
A Massachusetts town rejects solar carports at a library parking lot, saying the project would make it “feel closed-in.” (Boston Globe)

CARBON CAPTURE: A diverse group of backers push Congress to extend a tax credit for carbon capture projects. (WFPL)

POLICY:
• Maryland’s Senate passes a bill to raise the state’s renewable energy standard to 25 percent by 2020. (Baltimore Sun)
• A U.S. Senate committee reaches an agreement to extend key renewable energy tax breaks as part of an FAA reauthorization bill. (The Hill)

PIPELINES:
• A judge says California regulators should reject a proposed $621 million natural gas pipeline, saying there are cheaper alternatives. (Associated Press)
• Opponents of a pipeline in New York raise concerns about the project’s impact on state-protected farmland. (Albany Times-Union)
• Pipeline opponents disrupt a New Jersey public hearing. (Bergen County Record)

NATURAL GAS: The California utility that operates the Aliso Canyon storage field wants to resume injecting natural gas this summer. (Los Angeles Times)

POLITICS: A billionaire investor pledges $500,000 to a Republican clean energy organization. (Bloomberg)

BIOENERGY: In what has so far been a nascent industry in the U.S., a major biogas producer that turns livestock manure into energy is expected to expand operations this summer with a new Missouri plant. (Midwest Energy News)

COMMENTARY:
• The benefits of letting utilities own and operate rooftop solar. (Greentech Media)
• Is the grid ready for more distributed energy? (Greentech Media)
• How federal coal leasing reforms can cut carbon emissions. (Vox)

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