U.S. Energy News

Critics question promises of quick nuclear cleanups

NUCLEAR: Activists and regulators question whether companies offering speedy cleanup of radioactive material have the expertise and financial means to do the job. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
The CEO of FirstEnergy says keeping nuclear plants online is an “insurance policy” against higher natural gas prices in the future. (WKSU)
A U.S. House committee rejects a funding request to restart the licensing process to permanently store nuclear waste at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
• Piketon, Ohio, residents protest a U.S. Department of Energy event over cleanup efforts at a former uranium enrichment plant. (Columbus Dispatch)

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HYDROPOWER:
A California bill recently given preliminary approval could jumpstart a controversial $2.5 billion pumped-storage hydroelectricity project near Joshua Tree National Park. (Los Angeles Times)
• A Canadian company is constructing four new dams on a wild and remote river to help supply hydropower to the northeastern U.S. (E&E News)

GRID:
A California utility’s decision to install a battery system instead of building a new gas peaker plant shows how storage paired with clean energy might replace a crucial gas market sector. (U.S. News and World Report)
Eversource plans a $7 million storage project instead of a new power line for a rural New Hampshire town that suffers frequent, lengthy power outages. (NHPR)
Duke Energy prepares to start building a large solar-plus-storage microgrids to supply backup power to a small town in the North Carolina mountains. (WFAE)

SOLAR: A New Jersey city signs a power contract that will increase its energy supply to 50% solar, the highest percentage of any town in the state. (Patch)

WIND: The Texas Senate votes to extend a tax abatement program for wind projects that was on the chopping block this year. (Austin American-Statesman)

EFFICIENCY: A study of older New York City co-ops says those buildings would face stiff fines under new laws passed to require greater energy efficiency. (Curbed New York)

COAL:
• As federal mine regulators prepared to sue West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s family companies for not paying fines, the companies sued them first, claiming the government reneged on an agreement. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
Illinois researchers say the worst form of black lung disease is on the rise among coal miners likely due to increased exposure to silica in mines. (Earther)

COAL ASH: A Texas ranching family is embroiled in a bitter battle over toxic coal ash contaminating land around their property. (Yale 360)

OIL & GAS:
• Offshore drilling has become a political liability for Republicans in coastal states who are caught between donors and voters. (Nexus Media)
• Despite the Permian Basin oil and gas boom, methane emissions do not appear to have significantly increased, according to federal data. (Carlsbad Current Argus)

BIOFUELS: President Trump is reportedly considering a trip to an Iowa ethanol refinery, signaling support for year-round sales of higher ethanol blends. (Bloomberg)

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EMISSIONS:
• Developers plan to build the world’s largest plant to remove carbon dioxide from the air in West Texas. (E&E News, subscription)
California must eliminate natural gas as an electricity resource if it wants to become a zero-emissions economy by 2045, experts say. (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY:
• For existing homes, energy efficiency is often a better bargain than solar power, writes the director of an energy efficiency advocacy group. (ACEEE Blog)
• Texas’ deregulation of oil and gas companies has harmed public health, the environment, and the economy, a clean energy advocate writes. (The Hill)
• Solar energy would bring more jobs and boost Florida’s economy more than the state’s planned toll roads, an environmental advocate says. (Gainesville Sun)

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