U.S. Energy News

Colorado’s anti-fracking measures fail to qualify for ballot

OIL & GAS: Environmental groups fail to gather enough signatures to put two anti-fracking measures on Colorado’s ballot in November, marking a victory for developers who expect to make $10 billion a year in oil and natural gas production. (Reuters, Bloomberg)

ALSO:
• The new head of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources says he plans to work closely with local communities to boost oil production, which provides most of the state’s income. (Alaska Dispatch News)
Authorities arrest 52 climate activists in Washington for blocking railroad tracks near two oil refineries. (KOMO News/Associated Press)

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COAL:
• Legislation signed by California’s governor to block funding of new bulk-terminal projects may have killed a plan to ship coal to Oakland. (San Francisco Business Times)
• An Alaska coal mining operation halts exports indefinitely. (Fairbanks News-Miner)
• Maryland is fining operators of two of its largest coal power plants $1 million for polluting the Potomac and Patuxent rivers. (Baltimore Sun)

UTILITIES: Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp. is asking regulators to approve as much as $568 million a year for eight years in customer surcharges to compensate for the economic impact of having its headquarters in Akron. (Bloomberg)

BIOFUEL: New studies shed light on the effect of different biofuel crops on the amount of carbon sequestered in the soil. (Midwest Energy News)

RENEWABLE ENERGY:
• The Oregon Department of Energy is making $2 million in tax credits available for new renewable energy projects, with a focus on thermal energy projects that use solar, geothermal or biomass. (Portland Business Journal)
• A tiny Virginia neighborhood launched in 2002 with a focus on achieving net zero energy use is still seeing savings, with no monthly energy bills for most of the year. (Southeast Energy News)

GRID: Installed microgrid capacity is expected to grow 115% over the next five years, thanks to a shift away from single-entity owned and operated projects. (Greentech Media)

WIND: As offshore wind takes off in the Northeast, land-based turbines still face fierce opposition(Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• This week Florida voters will decide whether solar and renewable energy equipment on commercial buildings should be exempt from property taxes. (Mother Jones)
• Maryland plans to install 21 megawatts of solar capacity at four locations in Baltimore County, saving an expected $450,000 in the first year. (Baltimore Sun)
• A 20-megawatt solar field set to become Ohio’s largest installation is on track to open by the end of the year. (Associated Press)
• Utility-scale solar capacity will grow by 8 gigawatts this year, and by 5.3 gigawatts in 2017, according to an EIA forecast. (Utility Dive)

CLIMATE CHANGE:
• President Obama is planning to formally join the Paris climate agreement “as soon as possible,” according to a top adviser. (The Hill)
• Economists struggle to calculate the cost of shifting the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels. (Bloomberg)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: North Carolina legislators criticize the Clean Power Plan at a policy briefing. (Charlotte Business Journal)

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EMISSIONS: Massachusetts is pressing other states in the region to force power plants to cut carbon emissions by 5 percent each year between 2020 and 2031. (Boston Globe)

COMMENTARY:
• Shutting down the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline could backfire by pushing more oil onto trains, which would “increase the risk to the environment and human health and not decrease it.” (Fortune)
• Millions of used electric car batteries could help store energy for the grid. (Vox)
• Senators who deny that humans have had a significant impact on climate change took in an average of $467,022 more from fossil fuel industries since 2010 than senators who didn’t make such denials. (Huffington Post)
• As electric vehicles become less strange and more commonplace, adoption rates will presumably pick up – and even accelerate. (Vox)

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