U.S. Energy News

Coast-to-coast ‘super-grid’ benefits would far exceed costs, researcher says

GRID: A coast-to-coast transmission “super-grid” would cost about $80 billion to build but deliver more than twice that in economic gains, according to an Iowa State University researcher leading a federal study. (E&E News)

ALSO:
• Google seeks to play a bigger role in regional transmission organizations as they make decisions about wholesale power markets. (Greentech Media)
Attorneys general from 11 states urge FERC to “advance, not impede” state clean energy policies. (Utility Dive)

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CLIMATE:
“Impeachment is important, but the climate is even more important,” former California Gov. Jerry Brown says in an “explosive” House hearing on the Trump administration’s attack on the state’s clean car rules. (The Hill, E&E News)
• Former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson is expected to take the stand today in the New York climate change fraud trial. (Reuters)
• New York’s grid operator will undertake a study of how long-term climate change could impact a 100% renewable energy system. (S&P Global)
• Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis hears testimony on the influence of dark money in blocking climate action. (DeSmog)

PIPELINES:
Keystone XL pipeline opponents say the Trump administration is underestimating the project’s risk of spills into waterways. (Associated Press)
A federal appeals court hears arguments for and against an air pollution permit for an Atlantic Coast Pipeline gas compressor station in a historic African American community in Virginia. (Associated Press)
A Wisconsin committee advances a bill making it a felony to trespass on land associated with oil or gas companies and pipelines. (Wisconsin State Journal)

COAL:
• President Trump’s close ties to Murray Energy CEO Bob Murray couldn’t save the company from bankruptcy. (E&E News, subscription)
• Murray Energy’s bankruptcy could put the miners’ union pension fund on the brink of insolvency. (Huffington Post)
• U.S. power companies expect to retire or convert 13,800 megawatts of coal-fired generation in 2019, a slight increase from 2018. (Reuters)
• Texas regulators allow coal companies to avoid responsibility for abandoned mine cleanup, leaving behind contaminated land. (Texas Tribune, Grist)
• A freshman Democrat from Washington state wants the next spending bill to bar the EPA from revisiting Obama-era mercury rules. (E&E News, subscription)

COAL ASH:
An administrative law judge again rules that North Carolina regulators acted appropriately in ordering Duke Energy to excavate unlined coal ash basins. (NC Policy Watch)
• Almost 30 House Democrats sign a letter asking the EPA to scrap its plans to change how it regulates temporary coal ash piles. (E&E News, subscription)

WIND:
• Iowa State University researchers seek solutions to prevent ice buildup on wind turbine blades. (Energy News Network)
• The Defense Department is seeking new rules in North Dakota for wind turbines near nuclear arsenals, and says it’s also looking at four other states. (Associated Press)
• The world’s largest offshore wind developer says it overestimated the amount of time its turbines are generating electricity. (Bloomberg)
• Maine U.S. Sen. Susan Collins co-sponsors a bill that would provide competitive grants for improving wind energy technology. (MaineBiz)

SOLAR: Falling cranberry prices have Massachusetts farmers looking to solar power to help support their operations. (Associated Press)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Oil and gas groups are using blatant bias in polling methodology to skew results of public polling on electric vehicles, experts say. (DeSmog)

BIOFUELS:
• A congressional hearing over federal biofuel waivers “aired out the grievances of two key political constituencies heading into next year’s election.” (Reuters)
House Democrats propose a transparency measure that would end confidentiality for oil and gas companies receiving biofuel waivers. (The Hill)

CALIFORNIA: Experts say California’s public safety power outages are indicative of the rising costs of climate change. (InsideClimate News)

CARBON: A project near Gillette, Wyoming aims to prove whether carbon capture can work at scale. (Associated Press)

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