U.S. Energy News

Dark money group forms to defend natural gas

POLITICS: A new group backed by anonymous donors launches a campaign to protect the natural gas industry from what it calls “radical” policies to slow climate change. (Reuters)

ALSO: Evangelical leaders are ramping up pressure on Republican lawmakers to reduce U.S. reliance on fossil fuels. (Houston Chronicle)

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COAL:
• Six coal states pressure federal regulators to finish an inquiry into whether coal and nuclear plant retirements are threatening the electric grid, even though FERC already rejected a bid to bail out the plants. (Bloomberg)
• Solar and natural gas are accelerating the coal industry’s decline in the Southeast, according to new research from a clean energy think tank. (IEEFA, news release)
• Critics are still highly skeptical of a small company’s proposal to install carbon capture at a New Mexico coal plant. (Durango Herald)

GRID:
Dominion Energy files a plan in Virginia to spend $594 million over the next three years modernizing the state’s electric grid, after a similar plan was denied earlier this year. (Washington Post)
Federal regulators approve a plan giving California’s grid operator more authority to contract with outside sources to improve reliability. (Politico)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A transportation startup, a utility and two Massachusetts towns test a car-sharing service for electric vehicles to promote wider adoption. (Energy News Network)
Electric and hybrid vehicle owners in Washington start paying a $75 annual car-tab fee this month; critics say it could add financial strain to thousands of cab and ride-hailing drivers. (Seattle Times)

EFFICIENCY:
• Massachusetts ranks as the top state for energy efficiency in an annual report for the ninth consecutive year. (E&E News)
A nonprofit partnership looks to expand a program training Chicago youths to become energy efficiency “ambassadors” in their homes and communities. (Energy News Network)

WIND:
• Wind energy advocates fear President Trumps’ hatred of wind turbines will break the industry’s momentum on land-based and offshore projects. (Associated Press)
• Three development groups file proposals for wind farms off the Connecticut coast ranging from 400 MW to 1,200 MW in size. (CT Post)

SOLAR: Decades ago, oil companies like Exxon Mobil invested in technology that laid the foundation for solar energy. (NPR)

PIPELINES: Under a Wisconsin bill, a person trespassing near a pipeline would face a felony charge with up to six years in prison and $10,000 in fines. (Grist) 

NATURAL GAS: A gas leak that forced evacuation in Massachusetts last week was caused when road workers inadvertently closed a valve that should have been disabled. (CNN)

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ACTIVISM: A group of high school students urge New Mexico’s governor to declare a climate emergency and use oil revenues to pay for a transition to carbon-free energy. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY:
• Americans are increasingly acknowledging climate change, but don’t seem to be willing to sacrifice anything to fight it. (Bloomberg)
A California energy official and a climate policy researcher say low-income families must not be left behind in the state’s climate fight. (Utility Dive)

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