U.S. Energy News

Conservatives to push Trump administration on carbon tax

CLIMATE: A coalition of veteran GOP policymakers will meet with top White House officials today about replacing Obama climate regulations with a nationwide carbon tax. (Washington Post)

ALSO: House Republicans vote to overturn a rule requiring federal land managers to consider climate change and other long-term effects of development on public lands, calling the rule an example of government overreach. (Associated Press)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join the Midwest Energy Research Consortium (M-WERC) at the Energy Storage Conference, February 15 in Milwaukee. This conference will explore recent advances in energy storage technologies, as well as the applications and in-field examples of the role of energy storage. ***

PIPELINES:
• The Army Corps of Engineers says it will grant the necessary easement to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline and scrap an environmental review ordered by the Obama administration. (Washington Post)
• A federal judge says Dakota Access Pipeline protesters “are unlikely to succeed” in a lawsuit alleging that police used inappropriate force against them. (Associated Press)
• The Seattle city council votes to end its relationship with Wells Fargo due to the bank’s role as a lender to the Dakota Access Pipeline project. (Associated Press)

COAL:
• A Pennsylvania-based coal company lays off 200 workers after a state environmental board restricted a portion of its mining operations to protect a stream. (Tribune-Review)
• A federal investigation finds West Virginia officials have repeatedly failed to enforce environmental rules. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

NUCLEAR: An effort to pass legislation to subsidize a nuclear power plant in Connecticut is drawing criticism from fossil fuel plant operators, but supporters say a shutdown of the facility would mean more costly, and less clean, electricity. (New Haven Register)

EPA: During a House committee meeting focused on making the EPA “great again,” lawmakers claim the agency is pursuing a political agenda. (Washington Post)

UTILITIES: Financial analysts say upcoming tax reforms and regulatory changes under the Trump administration could pose a threat to power sector growth. (Utility Dive)

CARBON CAPTURE: Fossil fuel companies and green groups are coming together to support a tax credit for carbon capture and storage. (Time)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Investor-owned utilities file new plans with California regulators to spend $1 billion on programs to push electric vehicle adoption, including adding charging infrastructure and incentives for Uber and Lyft drivers. (Utility Dive)
• As part of a court settlement, Volkswagen will invest $2 billion in zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and awareness programs, which includes a plan to install over 500 charging stations nationwide. (Reuters)
• Researchers give five suggestions for how automakers can make electric vehicles profitable. (Greentech Media)

RENEWABLE ENERGY:
• A program launched by Minnesota’s largest utility will allow businesses and ratepayers to buy shares of power directly from nearby wind and solar farms, but critics say it could hurt the state’s growing community solar market. (Midwest Energy News)
• Critics say a bill to carve out a portion of Oregon’s renewable portfolio standard for small-scale projects would drive up costs and “result ultimately in fewer renewables.” (Portland Business Journal)

SOLAR:
• Utah lawmakers agree on a bill that would use a step-down approach to phase out the state’s solar tax credit by 2021. (Utility Dive)
• How rooftop solar growth crashed in Hawaii after the state’s net metering program was abruptly removed in 2015. (Greentech Media)
• Atlanta-based package shipper UPS says it will invest $18 million on solar installations at eight of its facilities, which will allow each building to produce 50 percent of its daily energy through solar. (Atlanta Business Chronicle)
• A San Antonio-based solar panel manufacturer pays back over $665,000 in tax abatements and grants after failing to meet an agreement to maintain 404 full-time jobs at its main facility. (San Antonio Business Journal)

COMMENTARY: Over 2,300 scientists send an open letter asking President Trump to honor the Paris climate agreement, saying the country “has a unique opportunity to lead the world in developing innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” (Modesto Bee)

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