U.S. Energy News

Court upholds Obama administration’s social cost of carbon

EMISSIONS: A federal appeals court upholds the Obama administration’s accounting of the costs of greenhouse gas emissions at $36 per metric ton. (The Hill)

COAL:
Federal regulators issue a policy advisory asking states to stop giving coal-mining permits to companies that lack the finances to guarantee they can clean up mines after they are abandoned. (The Hill)
• The U.S. interior secretary tells former coal miners that mine cleanup can provide a new livelihood. (Reuters)
• The cost of retraining coal miners to work in the solar industry would range from $180 million to more than $1.8 billion, according to a new study. (Greentech Media)
• Governor Pat McCrory’s administration lashes out against a North Carolina toxicologist who testified that state officials cleared poisoned well water near Duke Energy coal ash pits. (Associated Press)

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OIL & GAS:
• New York and Massachusetts urge a U.S. district judge in Texas to throw out a suit filed by Exxon to block an investigation into the company’s use of climate change data. (Bloomberg)
• A natural gas company in Maine agrees to pay the state a $307,000 fine for safety violations, following a potentially “catastrophic” gas leak. (Associated Press)
• Can a North Dakota oil town diversify its economy for long-term economic stability? (The Atlantic)

UTILITIES: A federal jury finds a California utility guilty of safety violations at the time of a 2010 gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people and destroyed a neighborhood in a San Francisco suburb. (New York Times)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Electric vehicle charging companies say the $2 billion that Volkswagen must invest in clean car infrastructure could hurt competition. (Reuters)

NUCLEAR:
• Exelon is paying $110 million to rescue a New York nuclear plant from being shut down in January. (Washington Post)
•  A federal judge orders the U.S. Department of Energy to release court documents about several hundred pounds of nuclear waste shipped to the Idaho National Laboratory. (Associated Press)

REGULATION: After September the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will have an unprecedented three commissioners, instead of five, all of them Democrats. (EnergyWire)

SOLAR: The country’s second largest solar panel maker is cutting 15 percent of its workforce due to revenue losses. (Reuters)

RENEWABLE ENERGY:
• Apple’s latest effort to sell clean electricity is relatively unique in the tech industry. (Mashable)
Four Midwest states rank among the top in the nation for making it easier for corporations to gain better access to wind and solar, according to a new report. (Midwest Energy News)

ENERGY EFFICIENCY: An Oklahoma city is piloting a smart meter program that will let residents have real-time information about their utility usage. (The Oklahoman)

COMMENTARY:
• The fossil fuel industry’s operations pose unacceptable health threats to children, low-income communities and people of color. (Huffington Post)
• Rewarding nuclear power plants for their low-carbon power makes sense, but the industry still has a lot of work to do. (Nature)
• Repealing oil and gas tax breaks is a fundamentally bipartisan idea that makes sense. (The Hill)
• If the U.S. took climate goals seriously, it would leave coal on federal lands in the ground. (Vox)
• A Montana regulator says “electricity consumers should not pay more on their bills” for renewable energy. (Missoulian)

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