U.S. Energy News

Coal-friendly senator to head Senate energy committee

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POLITICS: West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a longtime defender of his state’s coal industry, will lead the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, making him a key energy gatekeeper. (Charleston Gazette-Mail/E&E News, subscription)

OIL & GAS:
• A leaked federal memo suggests drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge could endanger its already fragile polar bear population. (Mother Jones)
Environmental groups sue the Trump administration for allowing companies to conduct seismic oil and gas surveys off the Atlantic coast. (Washington Post)
The U.S. government is helping the natural gas industry make major profits at the expense of the environment. (Texas Tribune, Center for Public Integrity)

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CLEAN ENERGY: After years of community demands for investment, clean energy jobs and development are coming to one of Chicago’s poorest and most isolated neighborhoods. (Energy News Network)

RENEWABLES:
An analysis of 30 state renewable standards finds every one includes “dirty” sources such as wood, mill residue, waste incineration, and waste-methane, some of which emit large amounts of carbon and other pollutants. (Grist)
• The U.S. will get more energy from wind and solar next year and less from coal, according to the Energy Department. (Houston Chronicle)

SOLAR: Former Major League Baseball player and manager Dusty Baker launches a solar company that includes projects for historically black universities, cannabis growing, and tribal reservations. (Chicago Tribune)

WIND: The U.S. offshore wind industry seeks a second wind with political backing from leaders in several Atlantic states. (E&E News, subscription)

COAL:
• A federal judge delivers a potentially fatal blow to a proposed Washington coal terminal by upholding the state’s refusal to grant a key water quality permit. (Longview Daily News)
U.S. firms face mounting risks related to coal investments as 42 percent of coal plants are losing money heading toward retirement. (Axios)
• Outgoing U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota says she will continue focusing on policy to support carbon capture and sequestration. (E&E News, subscription)

GRID:
Unforeseen cold snaps and other factors could stretch electricity supplies thin this winter, according to a forecast by ISO New England. (Journal Inquirer)
Smart grid upgrades offer less risk and more flexibility than expensive power line upgrades, according to a new report. (Energy News Network)

CITIES: In Minneapolis and California, plans to increase urban density may foreshadow how cities respond to efforts to cut emissions. (Curbed)

UTILITIES: Critics say an Omaha utility’s carbon reduction pledge gives it significant leeway to keep burning fossil fuels. (Energy News Network)

TRANSPORTATION:
• If electric vehicles become the norm in California, electricity demand would exceed the grid’s current capacity, an analysis finds. (The Conversation)
• Miami-Dade County officials look to get more compressed natural gas buses to replace their aging fleet. (Miami Today)

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BIOFUELS: Illinois Rep. John Shimkus plans to introduce changes to the federal Renewable Fuel Standard in the next Congress. (E&E News, subscription)

COMMENTARY: Texas and the rest of America, not OPEC, are driving the global oil and gas market, an editorial board says. (Dallas Morning News)

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