U.S. Energy News

Company discovers massive oil reserve in West Texas

OIL & GAS: Houston-based Apache Corp. says it has discovered at least $8 billion worth of oil in a West Texas field that had been overlooked by experts. (Wall Street Journal)

ALSO:
• The Energy Department says the country’s emergency oil reserve system needs a $375 million overhaul to keep up with demand. (The Hill)
Citgo is appealing a ruling by a Philadelphia judge who found the company responsible for $120 million in damages for a 2004 oil spill on the Delaware River. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

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FRACKING:
• The U.S. Geological Survey upgrades the magnitude of a possible fracking-related earthquake in Oklahoma to 5.8, making it the most powerful in the state’s history, and says the odds of a more powerful earthquake are likely. (Associated Press)
• A White House spokesman says federal policy regarding hydraulic fracturing “has not changed” in the aftermath of the Oklahoma earthquake. (UPI)

PIPELINES: North Dakota authorities are beefing up security forces in preparation for a Friday ruling on whether to block construction of the four-state Dakota Access Pipeline. (Associated Press)

COAL: Hillary Clinton supports a bill to protect healthcare and pension benefits for about 120,000 former coal miners, saying they “are entitled to the benefits they have earned and the respect they deserve.” (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• Solar industry leaders voice concern over a draft manual on the compensation of distributed energy resources, saying the draft “lacks adequate transparency.” (Greentech Media)
• Portland, Maine, votes to build one of the state’s largest municipal solar power arrays on a landfill, a project expected to reduce the city’s reliance on fossil fuels by 25 percent over the next decade. (Portland Press Herald)

ELECTRIC CARS: Tesla Motors bolsters its finances through a $300 million deal with Deutsche Bank. (Reuters)

POLLUTION: The U.S. EPA issues the final version of its cross-state pollution rule on power plants that contribute to downwind ozone pollution. (Greenwire)

CLIMATE: California’s governor is set to sign the country’s most ambitious climate change legislation on Thursday. (Associated Press)

CAP-AND-TRADE: California legislators fight to save the state’s cap-and-trade plan in the face of legal challenges and weak sales. (Bloomberg)

POLICY: Energy trade groups are asking Congress to renew expiring tax credits for biomass, hydropower and other energy sources, saying a failure to do so will hurt their competitiveness against wind and solar. (The Hill)

GRID: California’s governor says expanding the state’s power grid to include other Western states may be politically difficult but is worth doing. (Associated Press)

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UTILITIES:
• Minnesota’s largest natural gas facility joins the growing trend of “decoupling” energy sales from profits, a practice long advocated by clean energy groups. (Midwest Energy News)
• California regulators release an energy demand response plan that would phase out fuel-fired generators and shift toward an open market for third-party energy services. (Greentech Media)

COMMENTARY:
• When consumers pay for their own solar generation, they essentially pay “infrastructure costs that would otherwise be imposed on every other power customer.” (Midwest Energy News)
• Fracking operators need to figure out a better way to dispose of wastewater to decrease earthquakes in Oklahoma. (Forbes)
Hillary Clinton should speak out against the Dakota Access Pipeline. (Los Angeles Times)

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