U.S. Energy News

Colorado to require largest utility to calculate social cost of carbon

CLIMATE: A new policy that requires Colorado’s largest utility to calculate the “social cost” of its carbon emissions is expected to give renewable energy a competitive advantage in the state. (Denver Post)

ALSO:
• Following a meeting with G-7 leaders, President Trump tweets that he will make a “final decision on the Paris Accord next week.” (Bloomberg)
• Three sources say President Trump has told multiple people that he plans to leave the Paris climate agreement. (Axios)
• Three fossil fuel groups file motions to withdraw from a landmark climate change lawsuit against the federal government. (ThinkProgress)

POLITICS:
• A Senate committee questions nominees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Department of Energy about whether they would use federal authority to preempt state laws on nuclear and renewables. (Utility Dive)
• President Trump’s shortage of nominees for key Energy Department positions is beginning to cause operational challenges within the agency. (E&E News)

SOLAR:
• The U.S. tells the World Trade Organization that it may put emergency tariffs on imported solar cells, noting a petition filed by bankrupt solar manufacturer Suniva. (Reuters)
• Oregon regulators are finalizing rules for the state’s community solar program, but critics say they don’t do enough to encourage development. (Portland Business Journal)

EFFICIENCY:
• Connecticut lawmakers want to cut funding for energy efficiency programs by $160 million a year to help close a budget deficit. (Nexus Media)
• An Arizona electric utility stops offering rebates to commercial customers for energy-efficiency measures due to a shortfall in state program funds. (Arizona Daily Star)

EMISSIONS: General Motors is the latest automaker accused of rigging hundreds of thousands of vehicles with devices similar to those used by Volkswagen to ensure they pass emissions tests. (Reuters)

OIL & GAS:
• At least two lawsuits have been filed against an oil and gas company with links to a fatal home explosion in Colorado last month. (Denver Post)
• Economists say the shale gas revolution will continue, thanks to known reserves in several states. (RTO Insider)

COAL:
• Trump’s chief economic adviser tells reporters that coal “doesn’t really make that much sense anymore” and calls natural gas “such a cleaner fuel.” (Associated Press)
• While political leaders talk about reviving the industry, utilities in Appalachia and elsewhere continue moving away from coal. (New York Times)
• Nebraska is the only state to have increased coal usage from 2006 to 2016. (Bloomberg)
• Ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn his conviction for his role in the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine explosion. (The Hill)
• Virginia will receive a $10 million grant to develop abandoned mines around the state. (Times News)

NUCLEAR: Scientists warn that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission underestimated the risk of a nuclear disaster occurring at an underground waste facility, saying the agency rigged an earlier analysis “to get the answer they want.” (Common Dreams, Reuters)

COMMENTARY:
• Trump’s belief that lifting environmental restrictions will revive the U.S. coal industry is false, yet he continues to push lies for political convenience, says a columnist for the New York Times.
• An editorial board of the Times-Picayune says Congress should keep its promise to Louisiana on oil and gas royalties, following a budget proposal from President Trump to cut them.

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