U.S. Energy News

Coal-fired electricity on track for its biggest annual decline ever 

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COAL: After four decades of near-uninterrupted growth, coal-fired electricity is on track for its biggest annual decline on record this year. (The Guardian) 

TECHNOLOGY:
Using drones for deliveries could reduce emissions even compared to electric trucks, depending on how and where they are deployed. (Los Angeles Times)
• Scientists still don’t fully understand how Bitcoin is affecting global carbon emissions as another new study attempts to quantify its impact. (Grist) 

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EMISSIONS: U.S. energy-related carbon emissions rose last year for the first time since 2014 largely due to more extreme weather and transportation, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. (E&E News, subscription)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• California faces federal regulatory roadblocks as it seeks to install electric vehicle charging stations at highway rest stops. (E&E News, subscription)
• A Cornell researcher and utility are running a pilot program to study consumer preferences for in-home charging of electric vehicles. (Cornell Chronicle)

STORAGE: Rail-based gravity systems, hydrogen and flow batteries are on the rise as some analysts see economic limitations to lithium-ion battery storage. (Utility Dive)

POWER PLANTS: Texas could be the site of a 300 MW, net-zero greenhouse gas emissions natural gas plant that relies on carbon capture and sequestration. (E&E News, subscription)

RENEWABLES:
PG&E’s power shut-offs have introduced a “new form of curtailment risk” for independent power producers, a credit ratings firm warns. (Greentech Media)
A South Dakota regulator says federal tax credits will drive wind development in the short term but solar is poised to grow beyond 2020. (Clean Energy Finance Forum)

HYDROPOWER: Members of Canadian indigenous tribes speak at a Maine forum on the environmental effects of large hydropower dams like the ones that would supply electricity to a proposed transmission line. (Bangor Daily News)

OIL & GAS:
A plant in southeastern Texas that processes oil for the petroleum and chemical industries explodes, injuring at least three people and forcing evacuations. (New York Times)
The U.S. Department of Energy awards $300,000 in funding to a California carbon capture project. (Environmental + Energy Leader)

PIPELINES:
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments over the Atlantic Coast pipeline in February 2020. (E&E News, subscription)
Federal regulators delay the environmental review schedule for the MVP Southgate pipeline project due to proposed route changes. (S&P Global)

BIOFUELS: Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa says the Trump administration’s rhetoric on biofuel support is a “broken record” that has yet to match its policies. (E&E News, subscription)

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OVERSIGHT:
A survey of utility regulators reveals that most expect fossil fuels to play a key role in the nation’s energy over the next decade. (Utility Dive)
State utility regulators say changes are needed to the federal PURPA law, but they disagree over how it should be overhauled. (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY:
• Pricing carbon, subsidizing renewable energy and electrifying everything are among key components to swiftly taking climate action, Vox columnists write.
A writer pens an open letter to Tennessee Valley Authority on how it can improve its regulations, staff and board, and environmental impact. (Daily Yonder)

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